Monthly Archives: November 2016

Class Trip

We had a fantastic trip yesterday to Green Ventures Echo House and to the Hamilton Steam and Technology Meuseum.  Thank you to all of our parents for the financial contributions that make these trips possible. The kids (and I) learn so much!

When we returned at the end of the day and I asked the students to rate the trip and what they learned with a show of fingers 1-10, almost all students gave the trip a rating of 8 or higher. I would say that is a success.

I took lots of photos, but I was only with one fifth of our entire group of 66 students so I am missing many faces from our class.  Also, many of the other classes students are in my photos because the groups were mixed and I need to check if they have a media consent.

Here are a few photos of some things we learned about and of some of the literature we saw on our trip.  Ask your child to tell you about some of these photos.

I am going to put a bag in the tank of my toilet to use less water. Students: What idea did you take away from our trip? What change will you make in your life to help conserve and preserve water?

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Inquiry on Water


Over the past few weeks, we have been building up our inquiry program to dive into our research on clean water.

We have learned about asking good questions. These are “thick” questions that require deep thought and research to formulate an answer. This is different from a “thin” question that leads to one, easy to find, simple answer.

We have talked about all the places we can find information:

  • Books
  • Charts
  • Maps
  • Magazine
  • Experts
  • Online/internet/Web – use different tools (Expert Space, Britanica School, Learn 360, etc.), be careful when using Google
  • Newspapers

We’ve talked about how to break our questions down into smaller sub questions and how to choose good search terms to help us get to those answers. As well…

How do we search?

  • What do you really need to know?
  • What are the key words?
  • Can you say it in a different way? (Where does our water come from? OR What is our water source?)
  • Try searching with many different words (e.g. dog OR puppy)
  • Try using the advanced search to say what you don’t want (NOT…)
  • Use the advanced search to write in the EXACT PHRASE you want or…
  • Put your EXACT PHRASE in quotations in the search bar
  • Use an asterisk to look for variations of a word e.g. Discover* will look at discover, discovery, discovered

Today, students refined their questions and many began the research process. Below is the list of questions that our class came up with. Each student has chosen one to look further into. Help your child at home by looking into video and news clips related to their question. This is a good way to do home reading. Many of our students need lots of support on learning how to take notes. This is a great thing to help them with at home. Any research done at home will be welcome at school.


Class 4A – Our Inquiry Questions

Where does our water come from?

Where does the water people use come from in other parts of our country or the world?

Why is there not enough water for everyone in some places?

Why can’t everyone get clean water?

What happens to us if we can’t get enough water?

How did the bacteria (in the Hamilton boil water video) get into the water?

Can the bacteria in the water spread?

What happens if people use water that has bacteria in it?

Will there be a solution to the problem with the infested water?

What is the Randle Reef Project?

How do we know the water in the sink is healthy water?

What are the effects of dirty water on land and animal resources?

What are the effects of the dirty water on the animals in the Cootes Paradise Marsh?

Is there anywhere else in Canada that has had a problem with unclean water? What’s being done?

If most of the world is made up of water, why is there not clean water for everyone?


The Inquiry Process


Math Quiz

 Mrs. Davies learned that Google Forms offers a great way to build tests and quizes. To try this out, students used the Chromebooks or iPads to complete a multiple choice quiz to get a quick snapshot of there understanding of some of the major concepts we’ve covered over the past little bit. It was great because the students received immediate feedback of how they scored.


I was incorrect in thinking the test scores were released to their school issued Google Drive accounts. The results were sent to their school email accounts. Students have not yet used their email accounts this year. However if you ask your child to log onto “the HUB” at there is a button on the main screen that will take you to their email account.  There will be an email with a link to their quiz answers and results.


 Ask your child how they did. Here are the questions they were asked:
1. What statement is correct?
a) 4286 is greater than 4231
b) 4286 is less than 4231
c) 2468 < 7863
d) both a and c
2. Which answer shows the numbers ordered from least to greatest?
8971, 3498, 982, 20
3498, 8971, 20, 982
20, 982, 3498, 8971
20, 982, 8971, 3498
3. What is the sum of 28 + 46? Show your thinking in your math notebook.
4. What is the difference of 63 – 37?
5. I have two containers of milk. One is 400mL and one is 600mL. How much milk do I have all together?

The Pacific Northwest Tree Octopus

Last week we had a lesson on reliable sources and the 5 Ws of Online Comprehension. Students were then directed to a website and asked to research the Endangered Tree Octopus. This was a fascinating animal to learn about! One of its predators is even the Sasquatch! They thought it was amazing that there was a half ape, half human species that ate octopuses who lived in trees.

They were surprised to learn today that the photos, video, and website they had been reading was all made up. A tough lesson on checking your sources was learned today.



Making Punch

We have been talking about volume and capacity for the last two weeks. Last week we worked through a very challenging problem. It was a lesson in perseverance. Many students were excited when they discovered how to get to the answer. There were many different strategies used and we learned a lot from each other.

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Sudents have been struggling with understanding what volume looks like. For example, would a tube of hand cream be 100mL or 1L. To give them a better sense of what different volumes look like, today we did some hands on math. We made punch! When looking to get the first ingredient, many students realized they had to make two trip to Mrs. Davies to get the Soda… Our collection containers were only 400mL and we needed 500mL.

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