Kate Messner Video Q and A

As part of Global Read Aoud 2013 Kate Messner, the author of Marty McGuire, has been posting Q and A videos. In the videos Kate answers questions that classes from all around the world have sent to her. We were so excited to watch the latest video today and hear Kate read a question from the grade 2 & 3 class at Lincoln Alexander School.

Find out more about Kate Messner and her books at http://www.katemessner.com.


What can you infer from their faces?


In Marty McGuire (the chapter book we are reading as part of Global Read Aloud) there is a part where Sparky the raccoon is eating Fig Newtons in Marty’s kitchen. When we discussed this, I discovered many students had never tried a Fig Newton. Not true anymore. We looked at pictures of a fresh fig, a fig tree and dried figs before diving into the taste test. Of course since we are working on data management it was the perfect time to conduct a survey. See our tally chart and pictograph for the results.



Tomorrow students will be creating their own survey questions and collecting information about the typical grade 2 or grade 3 student.


Students also continued to learn about blogging via our Global Projects blog and they had a chance to reply to the posts of their classmates. You are welcome to add a reply as well. Tomorrow we will look at the replies and discuss what makes a good reply or comment.

In science the grade 3’s started thinking about plans to construct a 20cm wide bridge out of limited materials and the grade 2’s started exploring spinning tops to determine what makes a good one.

More exciting news – I have connected with a teacher in Wisconsin and we will hopefully Skype with her class on Monday to discuss chapters 5&6 of Marty McGuire.

As always please feel free to share your comments or questions here.


We did it!


There was extra excitement in room 6 today because we had our first Skype video call with another class. We connected with a grade 2/3 class from Gig Harbour Academy in Gig Harbour, Washington. Initially I thought the school was in Washington, D.C. so we looked that up on our map and talked about where Barack Obama works. Oops! If you have time over the weekend explain my mistake and have a look at where Washington State is on a map. A bit of a difference! This class is also participating in Global Read Aloud so we were able to share and ask questions about the book we are reading. We hope to also visit their blog and share ours next week to continue connecting. The boys and girls did very well and we learned a lot about how to communicate and prepare for a Skype interaction. We are looking forward to using this great tool again to take our learning beyond the classroom walls. Have a wonderful long weekend!

This week is flying by! Tomorrow I will be at the cross country meet with the grade 3-6 students who are representing Lincoln. This means I only have one more full day with the amazing kids in room 6 before the long weekend. Tomorrow the grade 2’s, along with the grade 3’s not attending cross country, will spend most of the day with Mrs. Andreychuk.

On Monday students were introduced to the HWDSB Commons. This is a platform where students can learn and share online through blogging in a secure environment. I think by the end of day today everyone was successful in creating their avatar and requesting membership to our class group: Global Projects. This group is visible to the public but only members can post on it. Students are also able login from home. To start we will use the blog to share our thinking about the book we are reading for The Global Read Aloud titled Marty McGuire. This afternoon I read chapter 3 aloud and students continued to practice making connections and categorizing them. We may be lucky enough to Skype with a class on Thursday, who is also reading Marty McGuire.

In math we are following up last week’s O.R.E.O. Project by learning how we can display data. Yesterday and today the class focused on creating a pictograph. Our anchor chart is posted on the learning goals page. Today students used the anchor chart to assess their work and create next steps.

A reminder that there is only one more week for students to complete their For the Love of Reading projects for cycle #1. We have had 5 creative presentations so far. I look forward to the rest.

Our Learning Today: Messy but Marvelous

Our day started out with a science reading activity using our Nelson texts. The grade 2’s read about inclined planes in our world and the the grade 3’s read a story about a family who crosses a stream by making a bridge. I asked students to think about questions they had while they read as a way to guide them toward creating an experiment to further their learning. We will continue our discussion tomorrow.

Next room 6 had a short period in the computer lab to practise skills using Prodigy and to finish up math activities from Tuesday.

Following that I introduced students to the O.R.E.O. Project which is a global math project linked to data management. Students were excited from the start because, as the name suggests, it involves Oreo cookies. For a second time today I decided to give up some ownership. After we read the rules of the project, I could have organized the students, given them photocopied sheets, and explained how the task would proceed. Instead we invited the grade 3’s from room 9 to join us and made 2 large groups of students. Each group was responsible for working together to figure out their own plan of how they would fulfill the requirements of the O.R.E.O. Project. This was a difficult but enlightening task. I interrupted the class a few times to discuss the challenges the groups were having. We also reflected on the process at the end of the period. What was discovered included that it’s really hard to not talk when we have an idea and it’s not our turn, it’s really hard to listen to everyone’s ideas, it’s really hard to compromise and it doesn’t feel good to be left out or not heard. Students also found out that they can persevere and overcome challenges to be successful. I am so very proud of them! The groups still have more work to do tomorrow but they did come up with a strategy to figure out who gets to go 1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc. One group decided to use reverse alphabetical order by first name and the other group organized their turns by height: tallest to smallest.

After break, students were introduced to a novel we will be reading as part of Global Read Aloud 2013 titled Marty McGuire. Some predictions were made before students ended the day with D.P.A. and Music.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.