Category Archives: math

Math Test Questions

Here are some sample answers from our most recent math test. Hopefully this will help shed some light on the various strategies your child might be trying to use. Please sign and return the test if you haven’t already. I will send it home again promptly so you can use it to practice further if your wish. There will be more opportunities this term for the children to demonstrate their subtracting and problem solving skills. Your child can let me know on Monday if they feel they need to do a retest

Two Weeks In

We have had a great first two weeks! Everyone is settling in nicely. I am very much enjoying this new class and I think they are enjoying me.

We have busy with lots of work reviewing and doing some diagnostic work so I can see where everyone is at. Below is a snapshot. If a child’s face is covered it is because I do not yet have a media consent form. Please send this form in as soon as you can.

We have a new friend temporarily visiting our room. DWEEBLE, as our hermit crab is affectionately known as, is helping to get us excited about HABITATS in science inquiry.

In art we are leading to a bigger project. We have reviewed warm and cool colours, and had a lesson on lines.

In math, we have been reviewing our mental math strategies from grades two and three. Check out all of the different ways our classmates get to an answer in their head! We learned that making tens, looking for doubles, and using friendly numbers like 20 or 30 is efficient. We have also been working on place value, expanded form, standard form, and written form. Today we started rounding, but we slowed down because many students had trouble remembering how to round 2, 3, or 4 digits to the nearest ten. We will work on rounding some more next week. The goal is to round 2, 3, and 4 digit numbers to the nearest ten, hundred, and thousand.

In literacy/language we have been building our reading stamina. We have listened to a few read aloud stories and have written our first story. This writing piece is a diagnostic so that I can see where their skills are at and was completed with little upfront teaching. We will be doing more story writing in the next couple of weeks with more targeted lessons.

Here is a shared writing piece we did, modelled after one of the read aloud we heard.

Have a great weekend everyone. Remember to read at least 5 nights a week with an adult. 😃✌️

Picture Post

So when things get busy, I fall behind on my blog. Then I avoid it because we have done SO SO much in the classroom and I start to stress about how to share it all. Then I fall further and further behind. Also, reading posts without pictures is boring. Sometimes I’m so busy running around the room helping kids, I don’t get to take photos. Hopefully our remind messages and conversations with your child have filled the gap and given you some insight into all the great learning we have been doing. As always, please remember I have an open door policy. You can come in any day after school to look around or make an appointment otherwise.

In the meantime, I’m going to do a picture post to share some of our many photos over the last few months.

Jump Rope for Heart

Light Inquiry

Ted Harrison Art

Patterns with three changing attributes

example: the pattern changes by colour, size, and shape

Kindergarten Reading Buddies

Understanding Fractions

This week we began taking a deeper look into fractions. Right now we are starting with fractions of a whole (e.g. how many pieces of a whole pizza are you getting). When this understanding is more solid, we will work on fractions of a set (e.g. how many buttons out of a group of 12 are pink? – 3 of 12 would be equal to 1/4)

Concepts we’ve discussed:

  • A fraction is a portion of a WHOLE
  • A fraction is a number between 0 and 1
  • The bottom number is called the denominator
  • The top number is the numerator
  • The denominator tells us how many EQUAL parts the whole is divided into
  • The numerator tells us how many of those EQUAL portions we are looking at
  • When comparing fractions, we must compare using the same size whole

Today we worked as a class and then in small groups to order various fractions on a number line between 0 and 1. Fractions are a very tough concept for many grade fours. It is often challenging for them to understand that a larger denominator means a smaller portion of the whole (e.g. 1/10 is smaller than 1/2). You can help your child at home by cutting multiple pieces of paper into different fraction portions and comparing their sizes. Also, draw a number line and have your child place different fractions in the correct place on the line. Once they truly understand the meaning of what a fraction is, the math work will come easy.

Patterning in math

Our posts have been lacking…sorry.

We have been working on patterns. Over the course of many weeks, students have worked with number patterns. We have looked at growing and shrinking patterns, using addition, subtraction, multiplication and some division. We have also looked at input and output patterns in tables.

Recently, we have been working with geometric patterns. There are many hands on opportunities here.

Earlier in December and January we learned how to read and interpret pictographs, circle graphs (pie graphs), bar graphs, and double bar graphs.  We have learned to collect data and made our own graphs.  You can have your son or daughter log into the Hub. There you can connect to their email and should see results for our data management quiz.

Pajama Day Math

Today was Pajama Day and our class was full of school spirit.

I decided that Pajama day would be even more fun with some candy cane hot chocolate. Of course we all had to do a little math before we got to enjoy our hot chocolate. We combined our knowledge of rounding, estimating, multiplication, and volume to calculate what our class would need.

We noted that an actual 1cup was 250mL, but that the styrofoam cups we were holding would only hold 180mL. 

We ran out of time, so tomorrow we will finish our calculations for how much hot chocolate mix we needed. This will give us an opportunity to talk about how fractions are “part of a whole.” This is a concept most grade fours usually struggle with and something we will visit many times this year.

Using Patterns and Mental Math to Multiply

On Thursday and today we looked at the patterns we can use to help us multiply with numbers that end in zero. Today we talked more about WHY these “add zero” tricks work.



We did a “Number Talk” as well today. During our number talks we share different ways we get to answers using mental math (no calculators, no paper). Each number talk has a series of 3-5 questions that will help students link their thinking together as we work toward the questions with bigger numbers. ALL answer are accepted, as we learn from our mistakes. The goal of number talks is for students to learn other strategies of getting to an answer and to look for strategies that might be more efficient than one they used. Here is our train of thought and some of the strategies our students used…




Calculating how much toxic waste is in Hamilton’s Randle Reef

Last week in math, we finally found the solution to a tough problem we have been working through in steps.

As a result of our inquiry on clean water, students have been asking about the Randle Reef project.

Check out our problem:


Last week the students first calculated that the volume of our portable was 140 cubic meters.

We discovered that the toxic waste in the Randle Reef area of Hamilton Bay would fill 4964 portables like ours! YUCK!

This problem was great! We talked about linear measurement (metres), volume (cubic metres), the formula for volume, addition options, subtraction options, multiplication options, and division options. It has even opened the door to decimals and partial numbers which we’ll discuss further next week.

Many students are still using addition and subtraction when solving problems like this, but these big numbers are beginning to help them see why multiplication and division might be more efficient.

Of course with such large numbers, students are allowed to use a calculator once they understand which mathematical operation to use and understand how it will help them to solve the problem.

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?

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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