Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Our Student Blog Journey. On your mark, get set, start with paper. What!?

We are on the Kidblog journey! Very soon we will each have our own live blogs. This was the plan all along but the plan was quickly put into motion when we had a few students head off on vacation after Christmas.
Typically when students go away I send a travel journal with a few activities for them to do while they are away that they get to keep after as a vacation keepsake. This time I decided to give them the option of a paper travel journal or doing it on their kidblog. I gave them a quick how-to and they were off. You can check out their awesome travel blog posts here. Also take a look at the conversations that were generated in the comments section. Very cool.

When I introduce student blogs there are some safety and ethics conversations that need to happen first. We start with a conversation about what exactly a blog is, what all the different parts are about and what it means to be a responsible digital citizen. Much of this vocabulary is new, like posts, gadgets, commenting, global audience and digital citizenship. The children need to make the connection between what they say to someone in person and what they say to or about someone online as being the same thing. They need to understand that just because they are posting to their blog on their own doesn't mean that what they post does not affect other people. And they need to understand that unlike when they write in their notebook which stays on the shelf, when they post to their blog it is for a global audience. All of this comes with great responsibility that they need to understand and take seriously.

Next we tackle blog design. I want them to take time to think about catchy, thoughtful titles, writing posts that have purpose and make sense and the fun things like gadgets and backgrounds. I have found that they take more time with this and can focus on it better if we do it on paper first. They create a paper blog, doing the fun design parts first, and then will write and edit their first blog post on paper. We discuss the elements and process expected for writing a quality blog post. Once that is complete we will discuss and create criteria for quality commenting and use sticky notes to leave comments on each others paper blogs.

It may sound like a drawn out process but I feel very strongly about the teaching that needs to take place around digital citizenship and using social media responsibly. In this day and age, we need to take online safety, responsibility and respect as seriously as we do in our classrooms and hallways.

I have adapted some of these ideas from @pernilleripp.

Thursday, January 22, 2015


My name is Mrs. Chubey and I am Mrs. Dent Scarcello's teaching partner. We share a classroom and students. I teach every day in the morning, and Mrs. Dent Scarcello teaches in the afternoon.
So far we have really enjoyed working as a team at school. We have also found many things that we have in common, such as our adorable children at home. Here is my little guy, Liam!
Liam and his Elephant (21 months)
And another, with Liam's dad and me!

Mrs. Dent Scarcello has graciously invited me to post on her blog, so that I can share what our class is up to in the morning half of our day.
Stay tuned for more posts about Math, Science, and other adventures in learning!

-Mrs. Chubey

Friday, January 16, 2015

Brilliant Children

You know those moments when a young person just amazes you? We had that today.

Yesterday afternoon I was at a meeting for all the early years technology coordinators in our school division. One of the teachers shared a few links she thought were neat. There was one that I thought would be cool to try with our class and we happened to have computer today so I decided to go for it. I spent about 5 minutes or less showing the kids the basics. Click here, type your name, pick some of these and go! This is when the magic happened. They thought it was a neat website and jumped right in. Every single student in our class created a story with actions, characters and more than one page! Some added in extra details, some focused on the actions, all of it was awesome. As our time came to an end I was bombarded with proud requests like:
"How do I keep it?"
"Can you send this to my parents?"
"I want to  make another one!"
"I want to keep adding more sentences!"
Yes please! We will definitely keep exploring this one! This time we were trying it out, the students hadn't done any pre-planning about their story. Another time I will have them plan out a beginning, middle and end before creating. But sometimes it's fun to jump right in and play first.

I managed to grab a few samples to share. You can check them out by going to this link and using any of these codes:
LPP697 (Adam's story)
NWE077 (Kaz's story)
AUP417 (Alexis' story)
ADM774 (Anthony's story)
SDT043 (my story)

Monday, January 12, 2015

Buffalo Represents Respect and the Bear Represents Courage

Today we had a special guest, Mr. Delorme who was talking to us about the 7 Sacred Teachings. He focused on the bear which represents courage and the bison which represents respect. We talked about when kids need to have courage and respect. He also passed around parts of the bison that Aboriginal people used. It was really neat! Things like a tooth, horn, fur, bladder, hoof, etc and he told us how they used each of those items for a purpose. 

Each class in our school will get to learn from Mr. Delorme and then we will all be doing a letter writing project with another school.

I got to touch a real bird's feather. It was cool that we got to touch the buffalo's bladder.  -Gabby

It's cool that I got to touch a buffalo's tooth! -Adam

I like feeling the fur on the buffalo. -Evan

The horn on the buffalo was smooth. -Ciera

It's cool that I got to feel the buffalo's tooth. -Kate

It's like cool that I got to feel the buffalo's fur because it feels kind of rough a little bit. -Jaden

When the buffalo has to go pee the bladder holds the pee. The people use the bladder as a bag! -Kate

It was cool feeling the brains because it was softer than I thought it would feel like. -Adam

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

It's SO Cold!

We got back to school this week after our Christmas holiday. It is SO cold outside!

It's so cold that if you weren't dressed properly you could get frostbite. -Jaden

If you go outside you might get your tongue stuck to the rail. -Addison

If you were going sledding you would be going sledding once and then you would be like "I'm done" because it's so cold outside. -Katelyn

If it's very cold you should stay inside and have hot chocolate. -Anthony

On a very cold day don't walk if you want to go sledding because as soon as you get there you will want to go home because it is so cold. -Chantal

We listened to 50 Below Zero on Tumblebooks because it is so cold. -Sean

You can listen to the story here:

50 Below Zero By Robert Munsch

(retsd books)

-Mrs. Dent Scarcello's Class :)

We're Back!

Happy 2015! I am back from my mat leave and enjoyed my time with my children very much. Aren't they adorable?

Once again I will be teaching grade 2 in the afternoons and Teacher Librarian doing Inquiry Based Learning with all the classes in the school in the mornings. I love this mix very much because I still get the close connection to the students in my class and can watch them grow and learn directly and then I also get to work with all the students on a wide variety of exciting projects. I will continue to blog here about both.
I will be introducing blogging to our grade 2 class this week and we will have things to share very soon! Stay tuned!

Friday, December 20, 2013

Writing for a purpose

Since I am in the classroom half-time now (the other half is my beloved Teacher Librarian IBL position), I don't teach ELA directly to my class anymore. I really miss this because it can be so many things! My teaching partner, Candace, recently did what I think is an awesome activity with our kids.
It stemmed from a typical and never-ending classroom problem. PENCILS. Pencils can be one of the biggest headaches in a classroom. They are always missing, dull, broken or something else other than useful. But there is no way around needing them. I have tried cheap pencils, expensive pencils, mechanical pencils, tying pencils to desks and putting flags on the ends. NOTHING WORKS. This year we have had even more trouble because the pencils we bought for our class seem to be particularly frustrating. We could take a new pencil out of the box and sharpen the entire thing without using it. We sharpen it, the led falls out because it is broken inside. We sharpen it again, it breaks again. THE ENTIRE PENCIL. No joke.
Mrs. Henry and our class decided they had had enough. So they did some letter writing. I love this because it was a real-life problem that they wanted to let the company know about. They also need to learn about the writing process and more specifically the letter writing process. Win-win!
As you will see in the photos, this was a multi-step process that ended in them actually mailing the letter to the company. They brainstormed about the message that needed to be sent, putting their ideas into sentences, letter format and addressing an envelope. I can't wait to hear if they reply!


The final letter:

To Whom it May Concern,
We are grade 2 students at Birds Hill School. We are writing to let you know that we do not like the pencils we bought from your company. They do not work well. They always keep breaking, so we can’t do our work. Sometimes we have to throw away the pencils before we even get to use them because we have sharpened it so many times. The lead keeps falling out or they sharpen unevenly. Our pencil sharpener will jam. All of these problems mean that we can’t do our work. Thank you for your time.

Mrs. Henry and Mrs. Dent’s Grade 2 Class

Monday, December 16, 2013

Gifts of Grace

Our friends down the street in Ms. Clarke's Class posted about this video and project on Friday. I thought it was a beautiful idea so I shared it with the kids in our class today! Thanks Ms. Clarke! Here is the video:

I love projects like this that encourage us to think about other people, especially around Christmas, and take the focus of the material side of the holiday. We talked about how we could participate in this project and decided it was important to write a letter to our families to explain it all. The kids brainstormed the details about what the project is, why we want to help and what we can do.

Everyone has the option of bringing in gently used or new mittens, hats or warm socks and leftover Halloween candy. I will take care of picking up any extra candy we need to fill the packages. Once we have gathered our donations (by Wednesday, December 16), we will stuff the warm items with the sweet treats and make cards shaped like mittens to go with them. Pick-up or delivery of the packages will be arranged for Friday, December 20 in time for their Christmas Eve delivery to Siloam Mission!

If you have warm items or candy you would like to donate too, please email me at and I can add them to our delivery.

Thank You!!

Friday, December 13, 2013

So Much to Talk About!

We have been so busy lately, we haven't kept up with our blog! Here is a bit about what has been going on and what is on our minds:

Snow forts
I made a snow fort with my friends by the side by the music room. We were getting a lot of big blocks by digging them out. We builded our fort really tall but people kept breaking it so we had to start over again. -Carter

I tried to build a snow fort with Sarah but people kept stealing blocks from us so we couldn't build a snow fort. -Rhyann

Me and Mikaela built a little snow fort and we played in it and we found blocks and out of blocks we made an iPod and a computer and iPhones and iPads. And we played a game we were being mean to each other but it was fake and it was fun. I really like playing with Mikaela, we have lots of fun. -Jace

Today I made a snow fort with my friends. It was fun. Me and my friends were playing puppets. I was a white husky named Snowflake. My friend Adrianna was a German Shepard named Cop. -Kami

We worked hard on our portfolios. We put our work in plastic sleeves and then in a binder. We put some stuff in term 1 and some stuff in the growth section. -Anthony

In our portfolios we read to our parents and they left us a comment. -James

Portfolio conferences
On Thursday and Friday there was portfolio conferences and our parents came to look at our portfolio and our teachers talked to our parents about how we are behaving in class. -Rhyann

Portfolio conferences our parents came to see what we have done in our portfolios. We typed blogs on the netbooks and we showed them inside the portfolios. After the portfolios we went to the book fair to get books. -Lucas

At portfolio conferences I saw Mrs. Henry and Mrs. Dent Scarcello and I showed my mom my portfolio and I showed my mom where I sit. -Madison

It was my birthday on November 18th! I turned 7 years old. At school my class sang Happy Birthday to me. -Rhyann

On October 5th it was my birthday and it was fun. On September 29th was my birthday party and I had it at Deer Meadow Farm. After my birthday party me and my dad and my cousin got to go and look at the rest of the animals and we got to go in the horse cage and the sheep too. One of the sheep was black and it was my favorite and it's name was Pepper. There was another sheep, it was all white and it's name was Salt. I got to go through a maze made of wood and we had to look for animals. Then, we went through the corn maze. -Adrianna

It was my birthday on October 30th. I turned 7 years old. I had a big party at Canadinns. It was really fun because we went down the big water slide. -Madelynne

Remembrance Day assembly
We had a Remembrance Day assembly and we had a guest speaking about what poppies are a sign of. -Sarah

Today I played in the snow with my friends and we played puppies in the snow. It was fun. The game was huskies and I was a husky with all black, Adrianna was a brown husky and it was fun playing. -Jace

It snowed a lot. It's not sunny and there is snow on the ground. -Anthony

Today we started a tree art. Tomorrow we are going to paint the background. Today we put on the glue and tissue paper. We are going to cut it out into trees and glue it on the paper that we paint tomorrow. We are going to use cool colours for the background and for the trees we are using hot colours. -Adrianna

Monday, November 25, 2013

Library Guest Readers!!

In library we have started having our classmates volunteer to read to our class! It is so fantastic to see them so eager to read in front on an audience. This also tells me that the children feel safe in front of our class which is always a goal of mine. We have a fabulous group of readers this year and the books they choose are great! 
When reading in front of an audience we try to remember to read loudly and clearly, show the pictures to the audience and use animation in our voices. 
Our first guest was Jace and this week Madelynne read to us. Hey did a great job!! Up next is Sarah!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

The Rock Star of Outer Space

Last night Chris Hadfield was at McNally Robinson in Winnipeg! I was really disappointed to miss it but my lovely mother went and stood in line (for a verrrrrry long time). What a champ! Morgan from our class was also able to go. She posted to her Kidblog about it!! Morgan's mom told me: 
Morgan told Chris that she liked his videos, particularly the 'sleeping in space' one. She said she wasn't fond of the 'brushing teeth' video because he had to swallow toothpaste. His response? "We gotta do what we gotta do up there!"

Here they are!

Friday, November 8, 2013

Polar Bears in Churchill!

Thanks to Ms. Wasney for the heads up, the polar bear video stream in Churchill, Manitoba is live! The best viewing is from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm but they have clips from the day posted in the evening as well. Click this link to see them live for yourself!
This is a snapshot taken from the live stream!! What a neat experience THAT would have been! The polar bear is standing up on his hind legs trying to get a closer look at the people in the tundra buggy!

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween

Today is Halloween! At our school we all get together in the gym and each class has a chance to parade around and show off their costumes. There were some fabulous homemade costumes this year!

We got to dress up in costumes and parade around the gym. My favorite costume was the fortune teller. -Sarah

I liked the two Monster High costumes. -Rhyan

My favorite costume was the two boys dressed as girls! -Adrianna

My favorite costume that I saw was an iPod! -Carson

We got to have a party with treats and chocolate juice in our classroom. -Carter

People go trick or treating and they get candy. -Rhyann

Trick or treating is going to be fun. -Lucas

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Quality Commenting on Kidblog

Since we seem to be getting the hang of posting to our student blogs, I thought it was a good time to venture into the world of commenting. A number of my smarty-pants 7 year olds very quickly figured this out on their own but we hadn't set criteria for leaving comments.
I referred back to my tweep, @pernilleripp for a great way to explain the type of comments we want to write. We discussed and compared the difference between "highway comments" and "dead end comments". It always feels great to get a comment and know that there are people out there reading your posts, but we are hoping to generate discussion with our comments.
Dead end comments are kind and usually involve a compliment. For example, "Great job on your post, Leslie!" A highway comment is kind and complimentary but it also opens the door for discussion to begin. For example, "I really enjoyed reading your post, Leslie. I am reading it in Vancouver, Canada. Can you find that on a map? In Vancouver it is warm and sunny right now. What is the weather like in Winnipeg?" One of our main goals in commenting on blog posts is to start a conversation. When a commenter asks a question, the blogger can reply to their comment with the answer and perhaps another question.

Our criteria for quality commenting on blog posts is:
  • Be kind and appropriate.
  • Give a compliment.
  • Ask a question.
  • Make a connection.
  • Re-read your comment for spelling, punctuation and upper case letters.
  • Sign your first name only.
We would love to hear from you too! You can comment to us on our class blog, here, or on our Kidblogs as well.

Halloween Howl at the Henderson Public Library

Henderson Public Library is hosting an exciting Halloween event that you may be interested in. I double checked with the library and it does not matter if you have a library card or if you are not residents of the City of Winnipeg, you are still welcome to attend. As it mentions on the poster, please call to register. Happy Halloween!!