Wednesday, 30 March 2016


Mrs. Czarnota has a book survey she needs everyone to complete.

Please complete by tonight, March 30th!

Here is the link to the google form.

FOR FRIDAY! You will need these google form links

On Friday, you will need these google form links!

For the Shakespeare Bio Video

For the Shakespeare & Hip Hop Video

REMINDER: You need a QR Code Reader for Thurs/Fri!

You need a QR Code reader for Thursday and Friday as I've planned another QR Code 'scavenger hunt'. Of course school ipads will also be available but if you want to use your personal device, make sure it has a QR Code reader App like this one. 

Monday, 21 March 2016

Totally Random: Jared

In which I pull a name at random and ask: what do you want on the blog?
Jared wants you to show you this video he made outside of school with Blake!

Oral Presentation: Financial Literacy & Dream Vacation Budget!

This is an engaging task that I've done in years past. It's fun to research, plan, and do the math!

Then students get to share them, and we get to see all their interesting travel destinations!

Here's how it works:

Students, you've been rewarded up to $15,000 CAN (imaginary money) to go on a dream vacation!

You can go anywhere, for however long you like, with a friend if you like (you can pool your money), but you cannot go over budget! (Though you definitely can go under budget).

You are to plan and budget your trip accordingly and then present your plan to the class in a media format of your choice!

Your plan must include:
  • Transportation details and costs for each person (how are you getting there?)
  • Accommodation details and costs (where are you staying? Hotel? Rented house or condo? Youth hostel? How long are you there for?)
  • An itinerary or activity play for your stay, which includes activity details and costs (what are doing while there? How much does it cost? Don't forget things like bus passes or train passes!)
  • Any additional spending money! (And what will you spend it on?) 
Costs are to be in CAN dollars, which means you will need to convert any currency if costs are quoted to you in USD or Euros for example.

Include budget details and TOTAL AMOUNT

Taxes must also be included!

Also, include photos or videos about your trip!

DUE DATE: April 8th!

Friday, 11 March 2016


I've pushed back the geography google slide activity due date to March 30 so we can have a bit more time to work on it after the break.

Mrs. J

Tuesday, 8 March 2016

Algebra Videos: Math + Drama = Natural Combo

On the weekend I presented at the SCDSB Push Your Learning Conference with Mrs. Boate.

Mrs. Boate was in our class in December in regards to our Graphing Stories study and video creation--and that is what we presented on!

Inspired by our discussions and actions with Graphing Stories, I have decided to incorporate more real life and creative activities into my math program. Hence, Algebra Stories!

One of the criteria in Gr. 8 math is to determine real life situations that use algebra.

I asked students to dramatize a problem scenario in life and then use algebra to help solve for the unknown. Here's an example:

There are more on our class YouTube page.

This task is a LEARNING activity more than an ASSESSMENT activity.

It focuses more on the process than on the end product.

Yes, they perform dramatically in role and produce a video! But the learning happens before that:
  • in the discussions around real life math applications, particular those that are personal and relevant and familiar, 
  • in the decisions to choose a simple or complex example (either is fine for the purpose of this exploration! Students enter into the concept at the level they are most comfortable with and we can grow form there later!), 
  • in conversations around how to translate the problem into algebraic format, 
  • in exploring how to solve that algebra once it is expression form.


I think math is a natural complement to drama, as a way to emphasize that we experience math in our own lives all the time. Math needs to move off the page (whether it be text book, work book, work sheet or chart paper, and into the world). There are so many re-enactments from our lives that could dramatize math concepts!

We need to start looking around our everyday lives and thinking: where's the math in that??

To balance out my math program, I'll be incorporating more real world math drama!

Certainly we will build on our understanding of algebra 'IRL' by considering more complex algebraic scenarios the next time we revisit this topic (which will be soon, probably April).

Stay tuned!

Saturday, 5 March 2016

Costa Rica Skype!

We had some technical issues but were nonetheless able to speak with Linda and Jenn at the Cloudbridge Nature Reserve in Costa Rica.

It was a great talk! They answered all of our questions and gave us lots of details about the reserve!

We also got to see frogs and lizards.

See our notes at

Wednesday, 2 March 2016

Snow Day! (Again)

Okay, everyone, it's another snow day!

We're getting close to the last week before the break...the two main priorities before the break are:
  • Animal Farm reading discussion and written response
  • Finishing algebra video and quiz
With two other possible priorities:
  • Pick your topic for a sustainability inquiry and
  • Finish those fan films!
Tomorrow is day 3 and I won't be in. On Friday, we have some commitments that I'd like to uphold, namely our Skype visit with Cloudbridge Nature Reserve in Costa Rica regarding sustainability and our fan films with Mrs. Oliver's class.

Thus, Friday will continue as planned:
  • Math vids finished in the morning block, with a bit of quiz practice thrown in
  • Skype visit after lunch with a corresponding discussion of sustainability
  • Fan Films after second break
That means Animal Farm will need to be deferred to Monday. We will do discussion and written responses then. Hand in by end of day for feedback.
Math quiz will go as planned on Monday, with a quick review before hand . If you need more practice, see me on Friday and/or review the videos on the math blog.

I'll organize more class time for the Animal Farm writing on Tuesday, with time for conferencing and feedback from me, but please consider that it will still be due the Weds.

So, to recap:
Friday: all math vids finished and quiz practice, Costa Rica Skype, sustainability topics and assignment review, fan films
Monday: math review and quiz, animal farm discussion and writing in class, due at end of day, Costa Rica write up if time
Tuesday: animal farm writing feedback and revision, final copy due Weds., possible second skype, topic for sustainability due weds. Fan films last block. Fan films DUE.

If you are interested in getting a head start, everything you need is on the blog: the animal farm writing topics are listed on their own page, as is the geography assignment, and of course any math support is on the math blog.

Email me if you have any questions
Mrs. j

Tuesday, 1 March 2016

Totally Random: Trent

In which I pull a name at random and ask: what do you want on the blog?
Trent wants you to remember the importance of Pink Shirt Day!