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Week Nine: Making Math Meaningful

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What an exciting week it was at Linden with Halloween, the Open House, and Social Justice Data Fair! For Halloween we had Yoda, Cinderella, Elsa, and Minnie Mouse spend time in our classroom for the day (instead of G, G, M & Z). They seemed to enjoy working through our learning centres, despite the princess dresses and headpieces getting in their way a bit. For the rest of the week the girls worked hard to prepare for Social Justice Data Fair, and then showed off their learning at the fair to the rest of the school and many many visitors. Take a look at our week below:

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In the spirit of Halloween, Yoda (G) creates a pumpkin in the Art Centre. First she paints the plate orange, and then cuts out pieces of paper for the face and stem.

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Cinderella (M) looks thoughtful as she plans how she is going to build her palace. Princesses can be architects and builders too!

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Minnie Mouse (Z) adds on to the palace/kingdom that Cinderella is constructing. She carefully lays the exterior wall to make it extra strong.

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We have a special writer's workshop for Halloween - the girls are writing about their costumes. Here, Cinderella has drawn a picture of herself, and then writes about all of the details of her costume to help describe it to her readers. 

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G sketches a picture of a bike to use as part of our Social Justice Data Fair display. She uses our book about Transportation to help her include all of the parts of a bicycle in her drawing.

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We are in a new month, so Z creates our November calendar while she is at the Math Centre. She uses the print-out of a calendar to keep track of the days she has already written. This is a great and authentic opportunity for her to practice writing her numbers, and planning out what size they should be to be readable on the calendar.  

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M and G use our practice boards to draw pictures and tell stories once they are finished writing during writer's workshop. A nice quiet, calming activity before getting ready for the next part of the day.

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Our reading buddies are visiting again, and this time many groups try to fit into our comfy reading corner space. We have started recording the books we read with our buddies, and keeping track of our favourite parts of each book.

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With an interest in using marbles while building, comes the reality of ones that roll away once they roll down the ramps. G and G work together to capture the marbles and return them to the container to ensure they don't keep rolling. Who knew the floors all sloped toward the doorway!

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M and Z spend time in the Communication Centre collaboratively deciding how to use these new sight-word/letter cards. First M suggests that they turn the cards over and have to challenge each other to find certain letters when they are upside down. Then, Ziyal suggests trying to spell words with the letters. Finally, the girls work together to try to form the sight-words written on the cards by finding all of the necessary letters. 

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Z measures how many cubes tall the medium pumpkin is, after already estimating and writing down how many tall she thought it might be. 

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While at the Math Centre, M holds the big pumpkin upright as Z places cubes around the base of the pumpkin to measure how many cubes it takes to go around the pumpkin. The girls have both already estimated this number as well, and work together to solve the problem.

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G is excited to be working on her "first purse ever" at the Art Centre. She takes her time to first plan out where she wants the materials to go on the papers that she has glued together, and then glues them down one by one into their spots. When she is done she proudly shows her classmates her artwork.

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G practices her presenting skills in the comfort of our classroom. Tomorrow is the Social Justice Data Fair. To practice, each girl goes up to our display one at a time, and using her presenting/reading wand, tells the rest of us about the work she's done and answers some questions about her work. I am very proud of their hard work throughout the course of this big project!

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Using the table leg to support the big pumpkin, G snaps cubes together to measure the height of the pumpkin. Like the other girls, she has recorded her estimates in the chart beside her.

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M was eager to get to the nature centre and start creating a book about fall nature - leaves, pumpkins, gourds, etc. Here she has started by tracing and adding in details of a leaf that fell off of one of our classroom plants. I love watching the girls take initiative in their learning as they become more comfortable as well as more engaged.

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As part of our Open House schedule, Brie spent some time in our classroom for Art, and worked in smaller groups with the girls to learn about tinting using the mini pumpkins. G learns how she can start with red, and little by little add white to make different shades of the colour. She paints a new shade on each segment of the pumpkin.

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Z presents to a large audience at the Social Justice Data Fair. The girls spent some time presenting our work, and also some time walking around the gym with a Grade 11 buddy to see the projects that other girls had done. It was a very exciting morning!

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G has been excited all week to spend more time at the Math Centre to have the chance to explore the calculators we have. She tells me that she has typed in her phone number on the calculator. Here, she uses a paper to keep track of her number in case she wants to give it to people. 

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The girls make sure Brie's hair looks great before she heads out for the day. This turned into helping a number of adults at Linden with their hair (and cleaning their glasses). 

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We were lucky to get to have a visit from Nancy this afternoon. We even managed to convince her to stay and do a bit of colouring in our Halloween colouring books made by some older students at Linden!

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M, G, and G get their hands dirty in our pumpkins. First we did an experiment to see if all three would float in our sink (they did!). Now we have opened them up and are collecting the seeds from each (small, medium, and big) to count. Some of our estimates about the pumpkins have been accurate, but some have been very off. The girls are doing well not thinking of inaccurate estimates as mistakes, but instead as "different guesses".

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G tells me that she is a "super girl" this morning.

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M tries to show G how to use the chopsticks. She helps G pinch the food and then bring it up to her mouth to "eat". A mix of teamwork and being a role model.

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M, G, and G practice repeating different rhythms with Elizabeth in music class. They've got the beats, but holding the "pause (rest)" is proving more challenging than they might have initially thought.