Attending WE Day in Vancouver is one of the highlights of the year for our grade 7s and this year was no exception. I had the pleasure of chaperoning 17 students to Rogers Arena this past Thursday for a day of motivation and provocation and WE Day did not disappoint! From speakers Sophie Trudeau to Peter Mansbridge, and performers JRDN to Shawn Hook, we were inspired and entertained all day.
My personal highlight for the day was listening to Noor Fadel share her story and take ownership of her healing process. Noor was the victim of an anti-muslim brutal assault while she was riding the skytrain home from work in December 2017. The train was packed with people, and yet only one man came to her defence, while the remaining passengers sat and did nothing. The attacker later pled guilty to charges of sexual assault and uttering threats, receiving a suspended sentence and 2-years probation for his actions.
Fadel took the stage at WE Day and publicly forgave her attacker, taking ownership of her own body and refusing to let the event define her or slow her down. "Because of you, I grew, I forgave and I began changing the world one person at a time. Because of you, the world knows my story, my resilience. Because of you, the world knows I am going to be OK," she told her attacker in court. Such a brave and outspoken young woman!
Over the past few years there has been an abundance of research supporting the idea that standing while learning may help us take in, process, and retain information, particularly when it comes to math. In grade 7 we've embraced this idea and try to give the students ample opportunities for collaborative vertical learning on non-permanent surfaces.
This week we asked the 7s to experiment with one of my favourite math prompts: choose 4 numbers between 2 and 6 and use them, together with any of the operations (+ , - , x , /) to create expressions equalling the numbers 1-30. Sounds simple, doesn't it? It's actually not as easy as it seems.
Working together, students test their computational fluency skills and access their knowledge of order of operations to create the 30 expressions.
Once completed, I challenged the students to revisit their expressions and rewrite any in which they used the same number more than once. Ex: 4x2+5-2=11...could they create an expression for 11 that doesn't need two 2s?
Feel free to try this one at home! Choose any 4 single digit numbers and any range of answers and ask your child to create the corresponding expressions. A fantastic way to practice math facts and review order of operations!
So many exciting things going on this week! We're in the midst of developing our food truck businesses: designing logos and menus, creating advertising campaigns, calculating our break-even points, and beginning to think about our persuasive pitches to get investment from the teacher.
And yet one of the highlights of everyone's week is buddy time - the half hour Friday mornings, right before lunch, that we spend with our 5 year old Kindergarten buddies. Each week we share a different experience with them, from reading picture books, to teaching fine motor skills by helping them to use scissors, to enjoying a little fresh air. This week, after reading the following article about the importance of play (click here), I decided to take the 7s and Kindies outside to play a simple game of catch. The result? Big buddies demonstrating their patience, skill, and commitment to helping their little buddies be successful in every endeavour, beginning with the simple act of throwing and catching a ball.
We're so fortunate to be within walking distance to Carson Graham Secondary School, For the past 3 years we have been able to use their foods room to support our Who We Are Unit of Inquiry and exploring basic food handling and preparation techniques. In week 3 we spent an afternoon making 3 different kinds of grilled cheese sandwiches: cheddar, with onion and granny smith apple options; a pizza grilled cheese with mozzarella, pepperoni, and pizza sauce; and a dessert grilled cheese made with fresh raspberries, finely chopped Aero bar, and cream cheese. Yum! This week we headed back up to bake chocolate chip muffins. The students loved both days, and were so open-minded about trying new things! Plus the cooperation and responsibility amongst groups was fantastic! The muffin recipe we used is here. A few pics from the afternoon...
There is a buzz in the air in room 302, as students excitedly soak up new knowledge. Whenever possible, I like to ensure that the lessons I teach have a real-life application; that my students will actually use these skills and knowledge in their lives, either now or later. So as we launch into our math unit on Financial Literacy, to support our Food Truck businesses in Who We Are, we begin with quick snapshot of the students' prior knowledge of percent by turning our classroom into a breakfast cafe.
Students are invited to sit in tables of 3-4 and each is given a menu (a real White Spot menu from a few years ago). They're instructed to order breakfast, including beverages, and dessert if desired, and record their order, and the prices, on an individual whiteboard. They then need to calculate their individual portion of the bill, the total bill for the table/group, and how much of a tip to leave based on 15% tipping. Those that find the 15% calculation easy, are challenged to calculate an 18% tip.
Students are then asked to pair/share with a partner other real-life applications of percent. Calculating tax, discounts, BOGO prices, and boxing week sales are some of their responses. No "when are we going to use this?" asked in today's math lesson!