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
  7.   Drive for the Sharing Place Food Bank
  8.   Crazy Hair & Pajama Day in support of March of Dimes Canada

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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":

 

7.  SHARING PLACE FOOD DRIVE

For the third year in a row, our class promoted and organized the school's drive in support of the local food bank. The Sharing Place Food Bank is the Orillia area's largest and busiest food bank. Over the past year they have provided needed, nutritious food to approximately 15,000 people of all ages, from infants and toddlers to disabled seniors.  Through our drive, we collected several boxes of non-perishable foods, for the food bank.

 

8.  CRAZY HAIR & PAJAMA DAY

Each year, our class organizes one school-wide fund raiser, in support of a charity. This year, students in our class chose March of Dimes Canada, where the aunt of one of our students works, as the beneficiary of this event.  March of Dimes Canada enhances the independence and community participation of people with physical disabilities through a wide range of programs and services across the country. Students and staff were invited to donate a toonie, in order to participate in our event.  Crazy Hair & Pajama Day raised $207.02 in donations!

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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.