Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Day Three of EQAO Testing

Day Three and our final day of our Government Testing

Today the kids were on top of both the math and language components of the test. Each day I feel they were a little more comfortable with the test and how to answer the questions. Today in  math and language they did their absolute best work.

Here is the treat they walked into this morning.

What I baked for them last night is an oldie but a goodie. I have a chocolate chip recipe that I have been using for years. I found it back when you could by the bakers chips in the red bag. I substitute the semi sweet chocolate chips with milk chocolate chips and it gives it a velvety brown sugar flavour.
For the final day of testing I always try and end it with a WOW factor.
I was able to get my hands on an old fountain drink machine and filled it with lemonade on one side and strawberry juice on the other. The students filled up their recyclable containers all day when they needed a drink. What a great end to three very successful days for both the students and myself.
 I am so proud of my students!

I'm off to bed for what I am sure will be a very sound sleep.
Thank you for checking back each day to see how we were doing.

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Day Two of EQAO Testing

Day Two of our Government Testing
Day two of testing went very smoothly. The students liked the math portion of the test. I noticed the students feel like they did well because they can answer most of the questions. (harder to recognise a wrong answer) In language if they leave some blanks on a line or don't understand the essay question being asked they feel like they have not done well.
I'm not sure about you, but I don't find these days stressful. My attitude is - I have done all I can and my job now is to keep their energy and confidence up till the three days are over.

That is exactly what I find the extra incentives are doing, not to mention they look forward to what was baked just for them in the morning.

This is what was on their desk today.

Today I had an old family recipe for banana bread. I find it is so moist and buttery without adding anything and very easy because it is all done in a food processor.
Here is the recipe if you would like to try it.
Guaranteed even if your not a fan of banana bread!
Did I mention yesterday that I was exhausted? Well today I feel it even more. I mentioned earlier that the testing doesn't give me stress, but it sure does make me tired. I am ahead of schedule a little bit tonight. Just finished baking for the last day tomorrow. I still have the packages for their desks to make but should be sleeping in the near future. lol
Please check back tomorrow to see the treat and how our final day of testing went.
Thank you

Monday, 26 May 2014

Day One of EQAO Testing

Day one of our Government Testing

When the students arrived at school today they had a couple of surprises waiting for them.
On their desks was a special note and treat.
We began with the Language booklet (reading and writing) and this little incentive left on their desk gave the students enthusiasm and a positive attitude before even picking up a pencil. 
Each day I have a special treat for the students planned for the moment they walk in, but you will have to check back at our blog each day to see what it was, because I don't want to spoil the surprise for my students who follow the blog.
Each year the week before testing I send home a note to parents letting them know about the testing and asking for donations of healthy snacks. In the letter I include the fact that each night I will bake up a storm for the students because they are working so hard.
Today they walked into Mrs. Renaud's famous Cinnamon Chip Oatmeal Cookies.
After day one I am exhausted as I am sure the students are as well.
We have tried changing the order of the language and math booklets this year. We went with all language morning and afternoon for day one. Tomorrow and the last day will be Math in the am and Language in the pm. The students were pretty exhausted after writing just in the morning. We tried it this way because in past years we find on that last day after two full days , the students really run out of interest and energy. I was able to tell a difference in the students answers from the morning to the afternoon. I noticed they were rushing through and not putting down as much information as they did in the morning for their reading and writing questions. Tomorrow should be a bit easier on them, math doesn't require much writing, and the students this year really love to solve problems. I am looking forward to seeing how they do.
Well, I am off to finish what I am baking for tomorrow. Hope you check back to see how things went.
Thank You

Saturday, 17 May 2014

A Ted Talk, Social Media Thoughts & A Visual Arts Lesson


Hello All! I have finally found a little down time to share a few ideas and thoughts this week.

I am arriving home from a Dan Meyer Ted Talk. Although the talk was geared towards secondary school teachers, SWOAME (Southwestern Ontario Association of Mathematics Educators) also invited elementary peeps along for the experience. It  definitely gave me a renewed kick in the butt to finish off this crazy-wild-ride-of a year on great footing.

Please allow me to digress for a moment......

After being jostled around from grade to grade and school to school each year, I have recently experienced a great deal of "calm". It's ODD. Yes, I will get slammed with a pink slip once again this year and pack up my classroom and head on the next wild adventure....... but I have begun to look at things differently. Hence the rsvp "YES" to this Ted Talk. Every conference, workshop, seminar etc. that I attend, I try to push myself outside of my comfort zone a little more and embrace 1 or more ideas the presenter offers..... no matter what direction my future will take, I am committed to the present.

Which brings me to today-----

Here's a little about Dan Meyer for those unfamiliar:

What was this talk about? As teachers we threaten and we persuade. We try to add real-world context problems. In spite of our efforts, students still often disengage from math. Today, Dan described research-based methods for instilling a need for new learning. We learned how to make the curriculum expectations practical and more accessible to students.

Although we learned quite a bit, here is one part that stuck with me. The 3 Act Math Task (which for fellows Ontario teachers is the 3 Part Math with a slice of lemon and maybe some cayenne pepper).

Here's a sample of his ideas and how he encouraged us to approach our math classes from time to time.

Definitely excited to use some of the phenomenal resources that he provided to us and expand my repertoire of math teaching. If you ever get the chance to attend one of his talks, it will be worth it.

Take his ideas in strides and make it your own. You know your class best.


Throughout the last few weeks, my class and I continued our discussion about Social Media and how to use it appropriately. Here are a few eye opening videos that brought about great discussion in my room this week.....

Click HERE for more engaging and thought-provoking videos for your tweens.

My thought--Our kids need to have open dialogue about these devices and we need to get on board. That doesn't mean we need to lecture on the negative effects and how there is little use for them in our society (because they are using them any way), but rather teach them HOW to use this technology in safe and in some cases, beneficial ways.


As mentioned last week, I love using online instructional videos to assist me when teaching Visual Arts. Why? Because this is not my forte and I am not ashamed to admit that.  Here is a lesson that focused on a 2-point perspective, as well as shading techniques. I always make sure I preview all videos prior to the lesson, making sure that my learning goals are targeted and that I can explain what is taking place throughout the video. I pause the clip frequently to discuss various elements.

Here are a few looks at the finish products. The kids were amazed! Ha!

And I leave you with this for the week.......

6 weeks left... and still trying.

Have a great week ahead :)


Monday, 5 May 2014

TPT {Hearts} Teachers Sale!

Don't forget about the TPT Sale happening May 6th - May 7th! This is a perfect time to scoop up some goods before the school year comes to an end.

Here are a few of our favourites from our store that we adore . . .
Happy Shopping, Friends!
Christine & Kaitlin

Sunday, 4 May 2014

Renaud's Room Last Week

Poet Visit
Last week we had a special visit from the Canadian Author and Poet Arnot McCallum. What a dynamic man. The students loved the visit and were enthralled with his energy and humour. The visit that was scheduled  to last for 60 minutes went over and through recess as he warned me it would. They just didn't want him to stop or leave. Here are some pictures from that morning.


Math-Money on the SmartBoard
Free Lesson when you sign up with smart exchange and you can join for free. I found this Canadian coin smartboard lesson in smart exchange for free. I was having a hard time finding a smartboard program with the Canadian coins. There is so much more available for all subjects, grades and  lesson within this program. I am not sure if the US has a similar smartboard lesson exchange program but wanted to let everyone know that this exists and can be helpful when looking for lesson for the smartboard.

The lesson I used was labelled Grade 3-4 Money

Measurement on the smartboard and hands on activities

Great Homework Assignment
...and it's FREE

I want to send out a special Thank you to a graduate from the Faculty of Education. He has been tutoring students in my class three times a week in the morning for the last couple of months and it is making a huge difference. 
You're a wonderful Educator and Person, Mr. Moreau
Thank you from Mrs. Renaud and all the Grade 3 students. We appreciate all you do!

Mother's Day Idea's
We will be making our own style of purses with a treat inside for Mother's Day this week. Here are some ideas that we will base our purses on. 

What's happening to prepare for EQAO
What you can do at home:

I will be sending home previous EQAO tests that we are working on in class. All the tests will have your child's answers, as well as any corrections if needed. This will give you an idea of what the students will be seeing at the end of the month during the 3 days of testing. Please go over the tests with your child at home and send back any concepts your child is struggling with.  This will help me provide extra time and practise in the area(s) your child may need help.  
What we are working on in the class:

Testing Tips

St. John Vianney School Play

Come and see the play the evening performances are Wednesday and Thursday this week. 
May 7, and 8, 2014.
Contact Jonathan Holmes at SJV for tickets 519 948 8817
Costumes over the last month
I have been helping out a little with costumes over the last month. 

Hope you had a wonderful weekend. I will leave you with a quote one of my student's came up with and put up on our door. 


A Peak at my Week- Grade 7E

Here's what's on tap this week in 7E....

In Literacy, we continue our look at a variety of texts, with a continued focus on poetry. Here is the anchor chart that is on my Literacy Board. We will dive a little deeper into the structural elements of poetry this week.
You can pick up the pieces to this iPoet chart HERE for free!

I love using Lovin' Lit's poetry posters, as a visual reminder to my students. I also post these under "Learning Goals" or "Specific Focus" when we are creating or analyzing a specific type of poetry.
This week we are looking at Narrative Poems and using the "selfie" to accent it ... since some of my students are all about the selfie!! :) Ha! I told them about this last week and they thought I was joking. It's happening! :) Hehe.

In Math, we continue to learn about area and perimeter. My students have a good understanding of area and perimeter of a rectangle and parallelogram, but this week, we will dabble into work with triangle.

Here are some visuals I am using in their math workbooks.

 These tangible examples will hopefully help my kiddos see how the area of a rectangle and area of a triangle are related.

In Visual Arts, we are putting the finishing touches on our 3dimensional city views. The students are amazed at what they are able to create using perspective points. I will post the final products soon.
Since I am not an artist, I try to find online lessons to assist me.

Sometimes I draw along and explain and other times I pause the video and discuss the element being used.  Here is one I used this past week in my room:

In History Class, we are getting VERY close to the War of 1812. The boys in my room are very much "into" history, which always makes teaching a little more fun. Before we head on a field trip to Fort Malden in a few weeks (the post/ headquarters for the British forces in south-western Upper Canada during the War of 1812), we need to recap what we have learned, leading up to this war. 

 My plan is to create historical recap boxes to display.

Here is a look at my intention.....
I am tweaking this already.... so I will post the final idea soon :)
Very easy, and a great interactive display.

Ohhh.... and on May 6th & 7th we're having a sale! Stop on by to scoop up some goods!

I'll leave you with my focus for Monday.....
So deep, I know ;)

Have a happy week!