Monthly Archives: September 2016

The Thinking Matrix

The Thinking Matrix

Today the kids were introduced to The Thinking Matrix. This is a six-component method we will use throughout the year to increase our skills of interpreting and responding to texts. To begin our journey, I read Stone Soup by Jon J Muth.


We spent some time discussing the lesson the story taught us and relating it to our classroom. I have to tell you that I feel very fortunate to have such a wonderful and kind group of kids.


The first stage of the Thinking Matrix is the Retell/Summary component. After reviewing the description of a retell/summary, we talked about sentence starters and the success criteria. It’s also posted in our classroom to help the kids be successful:


They worked in groups to create a retell/summary response for the story. We only got about halfway through so today was a to be continued…






Some Selfies, Reading Buddies & a Dragon Lady

Some Selfies, Reading Buddies & a Dragon Lady

It’s been crazy busy in The Cottage today. We started with our Me, My Selfie & I and then moved onto Reading Buddies with our JK/SK friends in room 183 (Mrs Mathieson and Mrs Callahan). Math found us using our white boards to work in groups collaboratively. This was a chance for us to continue our learning around using variables in an expression sentence. Finally we spent time in Social Studies doing research for our Symbols Of Canada inquiry project.

Reading Buddies!

Reading Buddies!

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Working together to solve the Dragon Lady question.

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Me, My Selfie & I

Me, My Selfie & I

We worked on our Autobiographical Poems today and I went through my own poem with the kids.  Here it is!

Sarah (Dragon)

Honest, clean, curious, musical.

Sister of Ruthie

Lover of my family, an extra hot Starbucks Mocha Macchiato and sitting by my pond.

Who feels joy when my students learn something new, sadness when my friends are in pain and comfy when I turn the fireplace on and watch a movie with my kids.

Who needs a daily dose of caffeine, a good book and a five runs a week.

Who gives delicious meals to my family, advice to my bestie and time to my kids in the band.

Who fears rodents of all sizes and shapes, chalk and never getting the chance to try Swiss Chalet Dip chips!

Who would like to see the Alps, the bright blue waters of Bora, Bora and the volcanic mountains of Hawaii.

Resident of beautiful Binbrook.

Rayment (Lady)

Hello September!

Hello September!

sun-flowers-hello-september-quote-2015I can’t believe we’re already finished our first two weeks and what an excellent time it’s been!  Your kids have been working hard on their Me, My Selfie and I (due Wednesday, September 21st) and on their first Article of the Week.  They’ve already had their first math assessment on writing pattern rules.  I hope you got my Remind about signing their agenda as they’ve written their mark in for you to see.

Speaking of the Remind App, some of you still haven’t signed up.  Hopefully you can find a moment to link in so that you can be a part of our communications.  It’s a fantastic tool for touching base with you quickly.  The only drawback (maybe it’s not?) is that I have a minimum number of characters in which to get my message across.  You’ll have to get used to my short forms!  If you’ve lost the instructions just drop me a note in the agenda and I’ll make sure you get a copy.

Monday will be the start of My Classroom Economy.  I’ve been very impressed by the students who needed to get letters of recommendations for the jobs they wanted.  Such professionalism!  Don’t worry, if your child didn’t mention this to you it’s because the jobs they applied for didn’t require it.  I can’t wait to watch this roll out – it’s a first for me too!

There’s a couple of dates coming up that you should know about:

Monday, September 19th: first Cross Country try-out (first nutrition break)

Wednesday, September 21st: Me, My Selfie and I due (don’t forget to print off your selfie if you want it in colour)

Friday, September 23rd:  PD Day

Thursday, September 29th: Terry Fox Run

Thursday, October 6th:  Meet the Teacher from 5 – 6:30

I’m in the process of setting up our Scholastic Canada account for our class.  This is a great way to buy inexpensive books for your kids and to support the reading program in our classroom.  In case you weren’t aware, Scholastic gives money back to our classroom overtime you buy your child a book.  That money gets put toward new Literature Circle books for your kids (we’ll be starting Lit Circles shortly).  Stay tuned!

Enjoy your weekend!


A Lesson in Working Together

A Lesson in Working Together

Today the students spent some very important time working together to create our classroom Group Work Expectations. The first brainstormed the things they like about group work as well as the things that frustrate them (guess which list was longer!). After sharing and discussing as a class we took our likes and frustrations and came up with our expectations. This will be very useful as we work, learn and inquire together in our classroom.

Group Work Expectations

A Little Something About Me

A Little Something About Me

A Little Something About Me

One of the things that I do on the first day of school is give my students a letter that describes me. In return they write back to me.  I keep these letters all year long and return them at the end of the year so my kids can see how much they’ve grown. Sneakily it also gives me a great writing sample to help me get a picture of where they are at in their learning. Such trickery!

I’m attaching my letter just in case you’re interested.