This year, students decided to support the Orillia SPCA with our annual class fund raising event, entitled "Market Day."

This is how Market Day worked:

Students in our class were invited to donate gently used toys, games, books and videos that they no longer needed and were willing to sell to friends. After everything had been collected, students divided the items into three categories, or "stores," created storefront signs, and priced the items they would be selling. All items were priced between 25 cents and a dollar.

Students were then invited to bring up to $5.00 in change, to spend at Market Day. When Market Day arrived, students set up their stores and took turns selling, or browsing and purchasing goods. Then, they counted their profits and we tallied up how much we raised.

In all, students raised $78.90, through their Market Day event.

At the outset, Mrs. Black had promised to match student donations, up to $110. ($5.00 per student), with a donation of her own.

With Mrs. Black's donation added, our total raised for the Orillia SPCA was $157.80!!

Items that were leftover after our sale were donated to Valu Village.

Thank you and congratulations to all the students and parents who supported our fund-raiser with donations of goods and money. We know the Orillia SPCA will put our funds to excellent use!

Mrs. Black also wants to thank her teaching colleague Lisa MacRae, for sharing the idea of Market Day.

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Thank you for visiting our class BLOG.  If you have any questions or comments, feel free to e-mail me (Margaret Black):  mblack@scdsb.on.ca or to add a comment to this page.

During recent Social Studies and Literacy periods, our class participated in an island survivor simulation. The exercise was designed to introduce the concept of government, stretch students’ ability to work collaboratively in assigned groups and provide opportunities for students to engage in role play and oral discussions.

This is the basic outline of the project (Click on any photo to enlarge it.)

 

STEP ONE:

within their small groups, students began brainstorming a list of all the things they might be able to do with the items that were salvaged from the plane.

 

STEP TWO:

Groups began work on survival plans and land use maps of their islands. Then they were told they had been rescued and needed to prepare a presentation for the press.

 

STEP THREE:

Groups presented their survival plans at a press conference. When students were not part of a particular presentation, they became members of the press gallery. Ten members of the press rated each group's chance of survival, based on the plans they shared. Mrs. Black assessed the drama aspect of the project, based on how well each student acted his/her roles and listened during other groups' presentations.

This gentleman took his role very seriously, making his hair appear as if he'd been out in the wilderness for months!  🙂

 

THE RESULTS ARE IN!

These are the scores the press gallery gave each group's overall survival plan, based on their performance at the press conference:

  • Nunavut:  65%
  • British Columbia:  56%
  • Ontario:  53%
  • Newfoundland:  36%

The press gallery was also asked to rate the odds of each group surviving a winter in the wilderness, based on the survival plans they presented. These are the class' estimates:

  • Nunavut:  64% chance of survival
  • Ontario:  55% chance of survival
  • British Columbia:  48% chance of survival
  • Newfoundland:  26% chance of survival

Congratulations to the survivors who crash landed near Graham Island, Norwegian Bay, Nunavut! You are the winners of Island Survivor 2017!!

Island Survivor was a thoroughly enjoyable experience for most students in the class; a frustrating one for a few. While groups were meeting to brainstorm ideas and achieve consensus about their survival plans, Mrs. Black circulated. She stepped in and facilitated whenever personality clashes or inexperience with consensus-building created an impasse. She hopes the one-on-one and small group coaching that transpired during this activity will provide students with some new tools and strategies they can employ next time they are collaborating with others on a project.

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Thank you for visiting our class BLOG.  If you have any questions or comments, feel free to e-mail me (Margaret Black):  mblack@scdsb.on.ca or to add a comment to this page.

Within their Science program, Grade 5 students study "forces acting on structures." This Science unit includes reading and video viewing, hands-on building, the writing of lab. reports explaining the model building process, and a unit test.

This blog post showcases groups of students building model bridges, towers, roller coasters or strength bridges, with agreed upon materials and (in the case of strength bridges) agreed upon bridge spans.

These are the finished models, which were presented to the class:

Thank you for visiting our class BLOG.  If you have any questions or comments, feel free e-mail me (Margaret Black):  mblack@scdsb.on.caor to add a comment to this page.

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For the second year in a row, the Grade 5 class at Rama Central P.S. organized a winter clothing drive for the less fortunate.  Our drive ran from mid-November until December 20th. Afterwards, we sorted and bagged all of the clothes, for delivery to a local shelter.

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img_6342img_6345img_6346img_6348After everything was sorted and bagged, the class loaded all 34 bags into Mrs. Black's and Ms. Lyons' cars.

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Then, Mrs. Black and Ms. Lyons drove the bags of clothes to "Green Again," the store operated by Greenhaven Women's Shelter, in Orillia. This is Green Again volunteer (and retired Rama Central french teacher!) Erin Price, with some of our donations.

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Thank you to the Rama Central P.S. community for their generosity, and congratulations to our Grade 5 class on a job well done!

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Thank you for visiting our class BLOG.  If you have any questions or comments, feel free e-mail me (Margaret Black):  mblack@scdsb.on.ca or to add a comment to this page.

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In  November and December, our class had the privilege of hosting a teacher-candidate from Lakehead University's Faculty of Education.

Mrs. Tingey began her five weeks in our class with observation.  Then, she gradually assumed responsibility for teaching some of our lessons. By Week 5 she was teaching full-time, in consultation with Mrs. Black.

Here are some images of Mrs. Tingey's time with us:

MATH

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LANGUAGE

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SCIENCE

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GYM and DPA

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MUSIC

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VISUAL ARTS

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We want to thank Mrs. Tingey for the energy and enthusiasm she brings to her teaching. Her excitement about education is contagious and we are really going to miss her!

All the best to Mrs. Tingey in her future career as an educator!

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Thank you for visiting our class BLOG.  If you have any questions or comments, feel free e-mail me (Margaret Black):  mblack@scdsb.on.ca or to add a comment to this page.

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Canada's only chimpanzee sanctuary is located near Montreal, Quebec. The Fauna Foundation is currently home to fourteen middle-aged to elderly chimpanzees. About half of the chimps were rescued from a medical research lab. in New York State. Several others spent decades on display in Canadian zoos. Two, who are fluent in American Sign Language, were part of a cross-species language study at a university in Washington State.

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http://www.faunafoundation.org/chimps/chimps-resident/

This year, the sanctuary invited the public to help brighten the lives of the chimpanzees by decorating Christmas stockings to adorn "the chimp house."

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http://www.faunafoundation.org/2016/11/rock-the-sock-contest/

Our Grade 5 class jumped at the opportunity to help!  Almost every student in our class willingly gave up a recess period to begin work on the stockings.  When we started the project, there were twelve chimpanzees in residence at the sanctuary. Students worked individually or in pairs to decorate a beautiful stocking for each one of them.

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Mrs. Black researched the types of "enrichment items" the sanctuary's chimpanzees enjoy and then purchased some Christmas colouring books and DVD's, crayons, small stuffed animals, Santa hats, hair brushes, sunglasses, beads and paper streamers to send to the sanctuary, as stocking stuffers.

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After our first package had been shipped, the sanctuary announced that it had taken in the last two zoo chimpanzees in Canada, two very elderly females named Blackie and Dolly, who had lived at a Quebec Zoo for over 40 years.  Two students in our class created stockings for Blackie and Dolly, and we sent a second package to the sanctuary.

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The chimpanzee's caregivers were delighted with our contribution!

On December 16th, the sanctuary posted this picture on their Facebook page, depicting Loulis', Jethro's and Chance's stockings stuffed with goodies:

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On December 18th, the sanctuary posted a short video of Dolly helping herself to items from Jethro's stocking:

http://www.facebook.com/faunafoundation/videos/1179755042073159/

This is a screenshot from that video:

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On December 23rd, the Fauna Foundation announced the winner of their "Rock the Sock" contest. EXCITEMENT!  Our entire class won the contest!!!
(click on the image below to enlarge it)

We sent the sanctuary back a big "Thank You" for chosing our stockings!

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UPDATE:  Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Today, the class received a wonderful thank you package from The Fauna Foundation!

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Thank you for visiting our class BLOG.  If you have any questions or comments, feel free e-mail me (Margaret Black):  mblack@scdsb.on.caor to add a comment to this page.

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Our class recently read, "Ice Dogs," a young adult novel by author Terry Lynn Johnson. Ms. Johnson, who lives in Whitefish Falls, Ontario, also works as a conservation officer, and has written a number of outdoor-themed novels.

Students really enjoyed Ice Dogs as a read-aloud, and expressed an interest in sending pictures and reviews of the book to Ms. Johnson.

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Ms. Johnson loved receiving pictures and feedback from our class and offered to send us advance copies of two other books that won't be published until next fall! She is looking forward to receiving our reviews of her next two books.  🙂

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Thank you for visiting our class BLOG.  If you have any questions or comments, feel free e-mail me (Margaret Black):  mblack@scdsb.on.caor to add a comment to this page.

For our Grade 5 Science unit "Conservation of Energy and Resources," we read background information, watched educational videos, completed home energy surveys, and engaged in some fun hands-on learning.

Our first hands-on energy lab. was an outdoor demonstration of two renewable energy devices:

  • a small photoelectric solar panel that converts light from the sun into electricity to charge batteries;
  • a "biofuel" camp stove that converts heat from fire into electricity, to run an internal fan and to charge electronic devices.

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Our second energy lab. had the class using wattage meters to determine how much energy a variety of small household appliances consume. Students found some of the results quite surprising. Many tended to overestimate the consumption of electronic devices, such as radios, pencil sharpeners and computers, while underestimating the consumption of heat-producing devices such as space heaters, toasters and blow dryers. Students were also surprised to find that the incandescent bulb that drew 60 watts of energy gave off the same amount of light as the compact fluorescent bulb that consumed 12 watts and the LED bulb that drew just 9 watts.

img_6018 img_6020 img_6021 img_6022 img_6026 img_6027 img_6028 img_6031Through this energy lab., we learned that "wattage" is not the whole story.  A device that consumes a great deal of energy but is only used for a few minutes at a time, such as a blow dryer, can actually use less energy per month than a lower-wattage television that is used for many hours each day. The same principal applies to large household appliances, which we explored using Hydro One's Appliance Calculator:
http://www.hydroone.com/MyHome/SaveEnergy/Tools/calc_main.htm

Our third energy lab. involved the construction of several types of solar ovens, and then testing them outdoors. Unfortunately, the weather did not cooperate. The best day that week, the sky was partly cloudy. However, students did observe slightly higher temperatures in their devices when the sun was not obscured by clouds.

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As a writing assignment, students wrote lab. reports detailing their solar device experiments.

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Students enjoyed the opportunity to learn about energy use and alternative energy technology through hands-on projects. Their next step will be to consider how our class can encourage greater conservation of energy and resources, at home and school.

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Thank you for visiting our class BLOG.  If you have any questions or comments, feel free e-mail me (Margaret Black):  mblack@scdsb.on.caor to add a comment to this page.

For the fifth year in a row, my class is engaging in a number of outreach projects that meet Ontario curriculum expectations, while benefiting others in the school, community and beyond. This page will be updated throughout the year, as we complete new projects.

Here is a list of our outreach projects, to date:

  1.  Fourth annual food drive for orphaned wildlife
  2.  Expanatory writing in support of Habitat for Humanity
  3.  Art project to benefit rescued lab. and zoo chimpanzees
  4.  Clothing drive for the less fortunate
  5.  Pack-a-shoebox for First Nations youth
  6.  "Market Day" for the SPCA

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Project Details:

1. FOURTH ANNUAL FOOD DRIVE FOR ORPHANED WILDLIFE

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During the past four autumns, our school has helped local wildlife rehabilitation centres stock up on natural foods, to sustain their overwintering orphaned patients throughout the winter months.

Our class organized and promoted this year's wildlife food drive, by inviting students from Kindergarten through Grade 8 to contribute acorns, pine cones, maple keys, black walnuts, apples and sumac. This year, we collected three carloads of food, which were delivered to: Aspen Valley Wildlife Sanctuary, in Rosseau, Shades of Hope Wildlife Refuge, in Pefferlaw, and Woodlands Wildlife Sanctuary, in Minden. This project met curriculum  expectations in math, science, literacy and character education.

Here is a link to a blog post about this project:

 

2.  EXPLANATORY WRITING IN SUPPORT OF HABITAT FOR HUMANITY

Habitat-for-Canada-300x211-HunanityDuring the month of October, students in our class authored short explanatory writing pieces as a school project, and then entered them in a national writing contest.

The topic for this writing project was "What Home Means to Me."  For every entry received, builder Genworth Canada donated $10.00 to Habitat for Humanity. Our class raised $190. with their writing!

This is the contest website:  http://meaningofhome.ca/

 

3.  ART PROJECT TO BENEFIT RESCUED LAB. AND ZOO CHIMPANZEES

stocking-iconCanada's only chimpanzee sanctuary is The Fauna Foundation, located near Montreal, Quebec. This year, the sanctuary invited the public to help enrich the lives of their fourteen rescued chimpanzees by decorating Christmas stockings to adorn "the chimp house." Students in our class worked individually or with a partner to decorate a stocking for each of the chimps. We mailed the stockings to the sanctuary, along with some stocking stuffers (enrichment items) appropriate for their chimpanzee recipients.

This blog post shows the amazing work the students did for the chimpanzees:

 

4.  CLOTHING DRIVE FOR THE LESS FORTUNATE

clothingdriveiconFor the second year in a row, our class agreed to promote and organize our school's winter clothing drive for the less fortunate. We used media literacy skills to advertise the clothing drive and create a drop-off station in the school foyer. When the clothing drive was over, our class sorted and bagged all of the donations, for shipment to the Greenhaven Women's Shelter and Lighthouse Men's Shelter.

More about this project is here:

 

5.  PACK-A-SHOEBOX FOR FIRST NATIONS YOUTH

pack-a-shoebox-element69In the new year, the Grade 5 and 6 classes at our school participated in an outreach project to benefit First Nations children and youth in remote northern communities of Canada.  The project entailed packing school supplies, toiletries, small clothing items such as socks and mittens, and small toys and games into shoeboxes. The shoeboxes were shipped to communities by a Canadian registered charity and will be distributed when children reach particular milestones at school and at the beginning of next school year.

This is the project website:  I Love First Peoples Pack-a-Shoebox

 

6.  "MARKET DAY" FOR THE SPCA

Our class' charity fund raiser for this school year, was a "Market Day" in support of the SPCA. Students in our class donated gently-used toys and games, created "stores" from which to sell their goods, and took turns purchasing and selling items from the stores. All monies raised were donated to the SPCA shelter in Orillia. This project met curriculum expectations in media literacy, math and character education.

This is a blog post depicting "Market Day":

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Thank you for visiting our class BLOG.  If you have any questions or comments, feel free e-mail me (Margaret Black):  mblack@scdsb.on.caor to add a comment to this page.

This year Grade 1-8 classes, in Area 2 of the Simcoe County District School Board, have moved from a three-part, 60 minute daily math session to six-part, 100-minute daily math.

The components of our new math program are as follows:

1. Foundational Practice:  This includes practice of basic math operations via the book, "Daily Math Review," drills, math games and flash cards.

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2. "Strings":  This part of our daily math program entails a guided discussion of mental math strategies used to solve basic multiplication equations.  Our "strings" resource is, "Minilessons for Early Multiplication and Division: A Yearlong Resource."

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3. Forward/Back: The third part of our 100-minute math session involves reviewing previously studied math concepts, for which extra review would be helpful, OR pre-teaching upcoming math concepts, in order to ensure that students have some familiarity with them.

4.-6. Our traditional Three-Part Math Lesson:  This part of our daily math session includes a "Minds-on," Lesson & Independent Practice, and Consolidation. An exit ticket is often used, following consolidation, to gauge how many/which students fully comprehended the lesson concepts and how many/which students would benefit from further work in a "Forward/Back" segment.

Our three-part math lesson follows the Simcoe County District School Board's "Course of Study in Math," and utilizes such resources as Nelson Math 5, Supersource Math Resource and the Ministry's Effective Guides to Instruction in Math.

This is a sample of the Grade 5 Course of Study Overview and outline for Unit 1:

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We are hoping that the extra time and program components will help to shore up some of our students' math skills.

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 HERE ARE SOME MATH RESOURCES YOU CAN USE AT HOME

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Thank you for visiting our class BLOG.  If you have any questions or comments, feel free e-mail me (Margaret Black):  mblack@scdsb.on.caor to add a comment to this page.