Friday, 27 January 2017


Starting on MONDAY, we will be exploring geometry...

Grade 7 you will explore at least 5 of these 3D shapes (pyramids, prisms)

Grade 8 you will explore these 3D shapes (5 platonic solids)

When talking about 3D shapes, you classify based on edges, faces and vertices.

So as you create them, write down in a chart in your math tool kits books, noting each shape’s name, number of sides, faces and vertices.

part 2

Grade 7

Types of triangles. Recreate using toothpicks on a poster. HAND IN

Grade 8

Create 2-3 of the Platonic Solids

Construct AT LEAST THREE of the five Platonic solids [i.e., tetrahedron, cube, octahedron, dodecahedron, icosahedron], and compare the sum of the numbers of faces and vertices to the number of edges for each solid ON A POSTER.*hand in



Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Math Formulas for Quiz Tomorrow

Some of the formulas for measurement!

Grade 7: area of a trapezoid, volume of a rectangular prism
Grade 8: area of a circle, volume of a cylinder

Both: converting units of metric measurement, can use 'staircase' method as needed

Calculators & rulers allowed!

Friday, 20 January 2017


Today I assigned some math homework.

Some students completed it in class. Others need to complete it at home. Of course students are encouraged to take home text books if needed. But the information they need is also on the blog.

These are the instructions!

Wednesday, 18 January 2017


What is Writer's Cafe?

I'm so glad you asked!

In our class, we have a number of special event STEAM and OUTDOOR DAY. I wanted to include one that was WRITING focused.

Right now, it is only scheduled for a period (or two) in length but I'd love to see us build that up into a fuller day.

Ok. Great. But what IS it exactly?

So glad you asked!


This might mean...

  • celebrating writing of all types, everything from stories to scripts to movie reviews...
  • sharing writing, whether that's interesting bits from what you are reading, interesting bits you yourself have written either as an assignment or for fun, or sharing FREEWRITE activities..

If it involves writing, we are going to play with it, enjoy it, and celebrate it during WRITER'S CAFE!

Note: eventually we will evolve into a CAFE setting...students, one of our first tasks will be determining what would make our CAFE setting awesome!


Thank you to those students who emailed me to let me know the Animal Farm google forms for Chapter 1 & 2 were not working! Also, the audio book version was not working!

I have resolved both issues!

Again, thank you for taking the initiative to tell me! Very much appreciated!

Mrs. J


Today is another snow day...or should I say ICE DAY?


Also note: due dates remain the same EXCEPT for the mini math quiz for Friday. That will likely shift to Monday in order to give us more time with the material. But lets see what we accomplish tomorrow.

So that means:

ART BLOG still due Tomorrow (there will be work periods)
GEO still due next Thursday
HEALTH ART still due next Thursday

Animal Farm first 2 chapters DUE Monday. There are links to both the e book and an audio book format on the blog page for Animal Farm above. Also, there are questions on a google form you need to fill out about those 2 chapters. Come to class prepared to discuss your readings and your responses to the questions!

Check out the blog pages above for ALL OF THESE ASSIGNMENTS. They are listed in more detail on those blog pages

STAY SAFE and enjoy your snow/ice day!

Tuesday, 17 January 2017


A gentle reminder to students! These items are DUE over the next two weeks!

  • Art Blog finished this THURSDAY Jan 19 (there will be a work period during the day if you need it)
  • First two chapters of Animal Farm next MONDAY Jan 23
  • Health Art due next THURSDAY Jan 26
  • Geography Assignment due next THURSDAY Jan 26
Specific details for all of these assignments are on the blog (see blog pages above)
Please note: as of today, the measurement mini quiz is still set for this FRIDAY. 

URGENT! Grade 7s you must hand in your swimming consent forms tomorrow!


In our measurement unit, one area we are exploring is VOLUME, in particular VOLUME of a rectangular prism.

Before the break, during our OUTDOOR DAY on Dec 21, students were tasked with creating snow houses (for our Imaginary Snow Town which we created in the forest of the yard).

I provided three different 'bricks': snow bricks (small), recycling bins (medium) and Rubbermaid tubs (larger). Students could use any combination of brick sizes to build their houses.

Snow is an amazing sculpting material. Usually, it is 'free'. You just pick it up off the ground. But in the world or Snow Town, snow costs $1.50 per cubic cm.

So how much did their snow house cost (closest approximation)?

This was an exploratory activity. Not every house builder got to figure out the cost of their house.

But it paved the way to yesterday's math class, where we took the practical experience of snow building and turned it into a more theoretical, role playing exercise.

This was the challenge/task.

Students jumped right in and went full blast on the math for TWO FULL PERIODS!

A task like this is so much richer than typical text book work.

  • Students already have links to a real life experience (from Outdoor Day), and can draw on that experience.
  •  The problem facing them is also real world (in essence, they are role playing a construction business, providing a customer--me--with a quote and a recommendation). 
  • The challenge requires students to apply their understanding of volume but also of money (decimals) and operations (multiplication)
  • This challenge requires a multi-step response. Students need to think through the steps, their process. 
  • Students need to communicate the results of their thinking in a clear and organised way, both in writing (to me) but also to their partner (in conversation). 

One math question = LOTS AND LOTS OF RICH MATH


Reflecting back on the year so far, I realise that we have had some very interesting guest speakers in our classroom.

Before the break, we had:
Major Ryan from Base Borden to talk about Remembrance Day
Ani, the Gr 8 student from Orillia and creator of the awesome recycled dress!
Jeff, photographer, who turned that awesome recycled dress into a photographic work of art!
Margaret, from the Simcoe County Greenbelt Coalition

And yesterday we had:
MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) presentation and
Denise and Glenn from the SCDSB Equity and Inclusion Team

And there are a few more planned before the end of the year...

Wow, that's 5 people so far in 5 months!

Here are some photos from yesterday's presenters:

MADD presented a video on the hazards of driving while under the influence. A discussion followed.

Denise presented on how art can be used to present a message on social change.

Glenn showed students how to use Piktochart to create infographics.

Both are skills students will need to utilise in their Change Agent projects.

Thank you to these amazing presenters! We appreciate your coming in and enriching our classroom experience. 


To be completed this week during laptop time:

Wednesday, 11 January 2017


Hello Students!

Just wanted to let you know that today's SNOW DAY doesn't impact our plans and due dates too much.

Please note these changes.
  • TOMORROW is now MATH OUTSIDE. Be prepared to step outside for a treasure hunt outdoors during one period of math. Dress weather appropriate. 
  • MATH QUIZ is still open book and is still set for next Monday. Though consider it less of a QUIZ and more like an in class ASSIGNMENT. 
  • A mini MATH quiz has been added for JAN 20 on measurement. 
  • WRITING is still due next Monday.

Geography & Health Tasks will be introduced tomorrow. We will also finally look at our last Art Element of SPACE tomorrow so we can finally finish those art blogs for Jan 19th! To do that, however, we will shorted gym.

Our health focus has altered slightly since I wrote up the assignment and I have edited the assignment page to reflect this.

I have guest speakers coming in and our topics relate to their availability.

MADD will be presenting next MONDAY and so we will be looking at addiction and substance abuse. Our second health topic this month will be STRESS and BODY IMAGE.

Officer Knox will come in Feb. to present material on being safe online. So our initial look at safety on line will wait until his presentation.

I am very please to have these guest speakers in our class!

Saturday, 7 January 2017

Welcome to 2017!

Welcome to 2017!

Hope everyone had a restful holiday!

Because we are about to hit the ground running!

Our time until March is all planned out. Please see the corresponding blog pages for details!

Also check out the homework and events list in the sidebar...everyone note: June is on the radar! But we've A LOT to accomplish between now and then!

Here's the Playlist until March Break:

First, some material we are all ready familiar with...

  • WRAP UP SHORT STORIES! Using my feedback, revise your short story. Final copy due Jan 16
  • WRAP UP CASI READING STUDY! Using my feedback, aim to improve your CASI scores when we do the final assessment Jan 13
  • WRAP UP YOUR Elements of Art ART ANALYSIS on your blog! Jan 19. 
  • Persuasive oral language piece aka TED TALK for your Change Agent project by Feb 1

Next, here's what's NEW to the playlist!

  • Grade 7 & 8 Geography Research Assignment! Due Jan 26
  • Whole Class Reading of Animal Farm & Corresponding Essay Response! Finish by March 8
  • Health Response & Art project! Due Jan 26
  • Math Quizes: Measurement Jan 16/Algebra Jan 26, Numeracy Mini Quizes Feb 10, Feb 24, March 8
Note: due dates are subject to change if needed! But so far, this is the plan!

To summarize:

Reading/Writing: Finish Story/CASI, Start Animal Farm Novel study/essay writing
Oral/Media: TED Talks (respond to and create your own), Geog media piece (poster or slideshow)
Geography: physical geography poster (gr. 7), mega city google slideshow (gr. 8)
Health: internet safety & managing stress written response & art
Art: complete art blog/health art/start art response journals
Math: measurement & algebra/patterning, numeracy (decimals/percents/ratios/money/shopping)!

Also, more STEAM days and our second FULL OUTDOOR DAY!

Okay, everyone, put on your dancing shoes and get ready to dance our way to March Break!