Friday, December 7, 2012

What's your angle?

We've been working on Geometry in math class. Today we spent time reviewing vocabulary -- looking at why things are named what they are, word origins, prefixes, etc. We also reviewed our benchmark angles and 2D shapes.

Here are some pictures of our work!

 In this photo, you can see Nora trying to figure out a new manipulative with which you can make 2 or 3D figures. Erin, very happily shows off the triangle she made. The boys at the bottom left discuss ways to try and make a hexagon, while the boys at the bottom right exclaim their shape!

The photo at the right shows Neve being very particular in proving that the shape the girls made is equilateral. Similarly, Jessie and Erin are trying to prove that the 3 angles of a triangle add up to be 180 degrees.

Creating right angles took some space!

Examples of student work...

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Culture in our Day

Following our analysis of our daily events, such as eating, getting dressed, our free time, etc. we completed an online form to pool our responses.

Our answers are summarized in the graphics below. They led to wonderful discussions about the cultures we see and how cultures have changed.

Great work, Grade 5 and 6!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Think through your day...

Now that you've done the  homework, use your sheet to fill in the following form we created in class:

Track a day in your life to find:

  • at least 5 things you do that are a result of YOUR personality
  • at least 5 things you do that are influenced by culture
Tell whether your entries are a part of:
  1. Youth Culture
  2. School Culture
  3. Popular Culture
  4. Techno Culture
  5. Ethnic Culture

Activity in Your Day
Unique to You?
 Cultural Influence
Waking up to Boom Boom Pow by Black Eyed Peas
Popular culture influence. It’s a popular song.
Techno cultural influence – the song is on my iPhone.
foods you eat 
(breakfast, lunch, supper)

  extra curricular activities

 TV shows you've watched

 How you spend your free time

 What you wear

Monday, November 19, 2012

Looking at the Night Sky

As part of our science unit on Space and the Planets, we're beginning to explore vocabulary associated with these topics and also some cultural beliefs.

Here are the vocabulary graphic organizers we created. Using an organizer like this helps us to keep track of the information we researched. Students used dictionaries, books from the classroom science library or the internet to gather the information on the word they were assigned.

As this unit continues, we are also looking at understanding the sky, stars, and constellations. Students are reminded to use these websites to guide their nightly sky viewing:

Be sure to check the nightly forecast to see if it is going to be clear enough to view the stars:

We are also lucky to have a Mi'kmaq elder coming into our class this week to share Mi'kmaq beliefs about the stars and space. Here is the Mi'kmaq tale of Muin and the Seven Bird Hunters, which we are exploring in class:

Stay tuned for more information about this topic!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Tracking Hurricane Sandy

We're looking at Hurricane Sandy today as part of our lessons.
Check out the neat way we're keeping track via Storify:

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Animal Protests

Here's the wallwisher we started in class!
Looking forward to your research!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Our first Skype meeting of 2012-2013

As part of the Global Read Aloud, our class was asked to link up with a 5th grade class in Portland, Maine. Mrs. Smith introduced their class which has students from all over the world!
We also shared our ideas about the book we're both reading, The One and Only Ivan.
We sang O Canada for them; they said the Pledge of Allegiance for us! It was pretty neat! Various students also shared greetings in many languages including Gaelic, Mi'kmaq, Arabic, Afrikaans, etc.
There were some really neat similarities in our schools: both our classrooms overlook water; their school is located on a peninsula like ours. But the similarities ended there as they were amazed that our whole school population is about 1/4 of their school's population, which only serves K-5!

Following our 1/2 hr chat, we decided we'd become "pen pals" through the safe online educational site, Edmodo. This fits in PERFECTLY with our upcoming exploration of cultural regions as part of social studies!

Here are some shots of the experience:
Skyping with Mrs. Smith's class in Portland, ME

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Blog homework... this is a first!

Hey, grade 5/6!
Here's your surprise on the blog.

I would like each of you to post a sticky on the wallwisher board (link here) I've created about Ivan's project. Answer one of the following in your post:

  • What do you think Ivan's plan is?
  • Do you think he's really just painting pictures for Ruby?
  • Who do you think will be involved in Ivan's plan?
Write your response (it doesn't have to be long) and sign it -- with your name.

If for some reason you can't post on the wallwisher site, leave a comment below.

Thanks, guys!


Monday, October 15, 2012

Division Help

We've been reviewing multiplication and division in class in preparation for a test coming up. (Date to be determined; it will be written in the students' agendas.)
The parts of a division problem. Good vocabulary!

Here are some links that explain division in another voice / way.

An example long division problem

A video explaining division:
Division Video

Step by Step Long Division

Division with a 2-digit divisor

Here is the multiplication video we watched in class as well:

Friday, October 12, 2012

Charlotte's Web -- Thoughts on Wilbur & the Characters

A Character Map

Thoughts on Wilbur

-- Both created by Rankin's Grade 2/3 & 5/6 Reading Buddies
(Thanks to Kalen & Emma for leading the groups in creating the walls!)

Thursday, October 11, 2012

What is a ______________?

*LD Funky Scribbles font from

We used this quote from our Global Read Aloud book, The One and Only Ivan, to springboard a writing activity. How would you describe an everyday item to a baby elephant... or someone who didn't know what it was?

“What is a lawnmower?” Ruby asked. “It’s a dad thing. You push it.” “It runs by gas. It is really heavy.” “On the bottom there is a sharp blade that cuts grass!” By: Jessie Helen

“What is a headband? Ruby asks” It is a girl thing, it goes in your hair. It holds your hair out of your face. It is like an elastic with soft stuff  or hard stuff on the outside.                                     --Nora 

“What is an eraser?” Ruby asks. "An eraser is a thing that erases things that you wrote in pencil.” Some of the colors of an eraser are pink and white”. The way you work it is by rubbing it on paper.

                                 By: Sam

“What is a toaster?” Ruby asks. “It’s a human thing, a rectangular shaped box with 2-4 slots in the top.”“You can put bread in the top and turn the knob, then you turn the knob and it heats up and turns the bread in to toast.”
                              By: Emily 

  "What is a iPod?" Ruby asks.  A iPod is a thing that is electric machine that you can play games on. It is a human thing .You can listen to music and go online and learn stuff that’s a human thing to. Some of the iPods can take pictures to play with it, too. 

“What is a bicycle?” Ruby asks “A bicycle is like a miniature car, you can go anywhere with it. But the difference between a car and a bicycle is that a car runs on gas and a bicycle runs on your energy. A different way to say bicycle is bike, The use for a bike is that you can go on a ride with your friends, go to your community market for a family member or you can just go to the store for a snack. And that’s what a bicycle is.”                 By: Erin J 

“What is a lamp?” Ruby asks. "It’s a human thing, it helps you when your in the dark and it helps you read, write and do homework.”  By: Taylor 

     “What is a Calendar” Ruby asked?
Well it tells you the month, year and date when you read it. You can write down when your busy and when your not. It helps you keep track of everything and it usually is a square that has numbers and at the top is says the month and year. It’s often made of paper. By: Gabby 

“What is a Computer?” Ruby asks. A computer is a device that humans use to communicate with other humans.They also use a computer to look at information that they don’t know. “So is it big or small?” Ruby asks.You can get them in all different sizes! But its better if its bigger because it will be easier to see the screen. By: Emma 

What is a bed? “ Ruby asks “A bed is a piece of furniture that humans lay on. And it has a soft thing that they put on,And sometimes has four legs. By : Neve 

What is a broom? Ruby asks It is a human thing .It has a long stick it is  called . At the end of it , it can be a triangle or a rectangle .At the end of the triangle or rectangle there is little things called brushes. A broom will sweep up dirt. You hold the handle to sweep. By: Sarah

"What is a paint brush?" Ruby asks. A paint brush's a human thing that leaves atail behind itself and it is hairy they also dip it in liquid and slide it across a wall that is a paint brush.-- Max 

“What is a Globe?” Ruby asked.It is round. It is a map. You can use it to find places. It spins. It is many colors. There is little tiny words on it.
 By Cody & Karzen J

“What is a lightswitch?” A lightswitch is a switch that turns on and off  the lights. If it’s pointed up the lights are on and it’s bright if its pointed down its off and dark. It has stuff behind it that gives it power to turn the lights on and off. By Logan 

“What is a laptop? Ruby asked” “A laptop is a gamer thing. It’s a rectangleFlip able thing with a screen. It has keys with the alphabet and numbers on it and when you type letters pop up on the screen like magic”.                  By Innis 

“What is a desk?” Ruby asks. A desk is a thing you sit on , while doing work , It’s square , It’s s place holder. It has a chair/seat part to sit on with 4 legs.Also where you put your supplies in.                              By Shayde  J 

“What is a stove?” Ruby asks It is a human thing . It is really hot and it is square with a little door in the front of it . It has 4 little circle’s on the top, that get hot to cook stuff, It’s in a house. By:Drake

“What is a Bus?” Ruby asks. A bus is a yellow rectangle with lots of windows and seats. It also has 1,2,3,4 black wheels that go round and round. It has a door  and steps that people walk up. A bus will take you around anywhere you want.
 -- Kalen 

“What is a bookmark” Ruby asks. It’s this thing that helps you remember your page, you can bind it, its small but not to small, it can be any color By: Cheyenne 

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

The One and Only Ivan :: Global Read Aloud 2012

As in previous years, our class is taking part in the Global Read Aloud Project. This year's book is called The One and Only Ivan. From the trailer we watched on the book's site, to the cover, and first few pages of The One and Only Ivan we are all wondering and anticipating what may come next with each page turned.

To get in Ivan's mind, we listened to this music, while we coloured on a piece of paper with a crayon...

What did we create?

I wonder if any of these pictures resemble what Ivan would draw in his domain?!?!

Also, as part of our participation in the Global Read Aloud forum, we created this week 1 word cloud which describes Ivan, the main character in our book.

Stay tuned to our blog and our twitter feed (@inmyclassroom or #Ivan5and6) as we explore this intriguing book!

Global Read Aloud :: Charlotte's Web :: Reading Buddies Grade 2/3 and Grade 5/6

This year we have paired up with Mr. MacKenzie's grade 2/3 class for Reading Buddies. As a kick-off to our year, we have signed up for the Global Read Aloud project reading Charlotte's Web. Here are some Vokis some of the buddies created about our thoughts on Charlotte's Web so far.

::::::::: Much thanks to Ms. Dugas for getting everyone used to using Voki! :::::::

Please use these links to get to each students' Voki:

Kaisa'n's Thoughts:

Chelsea's Thoughts on Charlotte's Web

Joshua's Thoughts on Charlotte's Web

Robert's Thoughts on Charlotte's Web

Celine's Thoughts on Charlotte's Web

Brenley's Thoughts on Charlotte's Web

Kaisa'n's Thoughts on Charlotte

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Multiplication Review

Here are the videos we watched in class that review how to multiply double digits by double digits.
There are 2 videos. One shows the "old way" and the other shows the "new fandangled" way.



Here are some websites to help your multiplication:

Monday, September 24, 2012

Our Important Book

As part of our "setting the stage" for a new school year, we read a book aloud called "The Important Book".

As a follow up activity, the students were asked to each create their own page of an important book.

Have a look at this great collective work!

I'm so proud of these guys!
Great work so far this year!
Keep it up!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

We're baaaaaaaaccccccccccckkkkkkkkk!

As students entered the classroom last week, they were greeted with the traditional "Welcome Back" message.

Things have been going smoothly; the grade 5/6 class have been considered wonderful role models for many in the elementary wing on many occasions the past week. (YAY!)

Speaking of role models, tomorrow we have our first Reading Buddies session with Mr. MacKenzie's grade 2/3 class. We're starting reading buddies this week as a way to gear up for the Global Read Aloud Project coming up in October. As part of reading buddies, our classes will be reading Charlotte's Web, while in our own language arts time, we'll be reading The One and Only Ivan.  (Watch the video... it has us "sad, but excitedly curious"!)

And finally, we held our student council representative election in our class where 6 brave grade sixes accepted the nominations and challenge to prepare a speech outlining their reasons for wanting to be class rep. The speeches were definitely some of the most inspiring, heartfelt and humorous speeches I've ever heard! Congrats on jobs well done, guys! Once the votes were tallied, the elected class rep was...
 Congratulations, Emily! We hope you work to keep us informed!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Hana's Suitcase

As part of our exploration of the Holocaust, we have been reading the book "Hana's Suitcase" by Karen Levine in class. This read-aloud activity has bolstered much anticipation and eager excitement in our class.

One of the journal writings students could choose to do had the students reflect upon why Fumiko's student group in Japan called themselves "Small Wings":

“Small Wings”
by: Tyler 

I think Fumiko’s students are called small wings because they are like baby birds -- they are learning how to fly well in this case they are learning all about Hana’s suitcase.

Kind of like their wings are small they are  trying to grow their wings and as they slowly grow their wings the more they learn about Hana’s suitcase that’s why I think their group is called small wings.

But right now their wings are small because they don’t know too much about Hana’s suitcase that’s why they have so called small wings. And because they are young when they learn more about Hana’s suitcase they won’t be called “small wings” anymore they will be mid wings such as medium sized wings and when they finish they will be called something like big wings well that’s my theory about why I think their Fumiko’s students group is called small wings.    

by: Kalen
 I think they called their group Small Wings because they were not very strong compared to Hitler and they weren’t as powerful as him. 

Small Wings
by: Jessie Helen

        I think Fumiko’s students named their group ‘SMALL WINGS’ because when you were Jewish you didn’t have much room to fly around.

         If I was Jewish I wouldn’t be able to go to school, go to the play ground, go to the store, or even go outside. If you wanted to go outside and were Jewish you would have to wear a star on your coat indicating that you were a Jew.
          I think ‘SMALL WINGS’ was a good name for their club because those two words explain Hana completely. It just sounds like what she was going through, she had no room to do anything what so ever.   

Monday, May 14, 2012

Haikus on a topic...

Horses are so cool,
In the sunshine where it's hot.
And horses love the heat.
 I have five brothers.
They are annoying. 
They like to play games.
Gillises are cool.
Better than what Dawn thinks.
Dawn is a dummy.
Rain is wet and fun.
I like to roll in the mud
When it is super wet!
 Sophia Lillian
The cutest baby ever.
I love her so much!
 Mom's have so much style.
They are loving and caring.
They love us so much!
Hoodies are so warm.
And I like to wear them.
They are very cool.
Gaelic is so cool.
In Gaelic there are accents.
You would like it, too.
I have a sister.
She is a pain in the butt.
That's why we have them!
Rain made by water
Water is good for everybody
Its gonna rain water all day.
You can play music.
You can play the piano.
Listen to music.
I have a dirt bike.
My dirt bike goes very fast.
My bike gets dirty.
They are physicists.
Penny is a bad waitress.
Ah hah! Bazinga!
Cards are very fun.
I like card tricks very much.
I know cool card tricks.
Family is cool.
Family takes care of you.
Family is nice.
I am a nice aunt.
Olivia -- three months old
I love her so much.
Greg and Roderick
Hate each other very much.
Manny poops a lot.
Neve and Shayde are twins.
They share all of their birthdays.
Neve is the oldest.
Guitars are awesome!
There are different guitars.
I play the guitar.
Ontario rocks!
Ontario is awesome.
Mississauga rocks!
all poems created by Grade 5/6 students.
-all rights reserved-

Friday, May 11, 2012

Party Rockin'!

Here was our class's entry into our school's Spring Fling Talent Show!

*all participants were asked if they wished for this video to be posted on our class's blog

Thursday, April 19, 2012

We're growing in popularity...

See all of the various notoriety we've been receiving as a result of our Energy Diet Challenge Video!

Monday, April 2, 2012


Our video for the Energy Diet Challenge is now LIVE!!!!!!!!!! The video as it's seen on the Challenge website is below. We ask that you please go to ,VIEW our video, then click the Facebook "LIKE" button at the bottom right. 

 OR you may.... Go to Facebook and:

1. Search for "Shell Canadian Geographic Energy Diet Challenge" 
2. "Like" the page.
3. Find our video "You Can Do It NOW!" by Rankin Grade 5/6 Class 
4. LIKE our video

(please and thank you very much) 

The likes for our video count for 25% of our total judging for the video contest. Voting opens to the public on April 2, 2012 at and will close on April 13, 2012 at 11:59:59 (Eastern Time. No votes will be accepted by any other means. All votes must be received on or before the Voting Deadline in order to count towards the results of the Video Contest.

  We would really like it if you commented here on our blog as well so we can get an idea of who's seeing our video!

Friday, March 30, 2012

GreenTeam Saves the Day

Here's the children's story book some members of our class submitted as part of our Energy Diet Challenge! Congratulations, girls!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Giving it up...

Giving up something we really like and use a lot isn't an easy task. Here's our journal entries on giving up one of our "wants" -- as part of one of Energy Diet Challenges

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Drawing 3D figures and Exploring Volume

Remember that 3D means that the figure has 3 dimensions: length, width, height (or depth).
To find volume we multiply these dimensions:

volume = length x width x height

Here's tonight's homework, based on what we did in class today:

 If you need to review the online drawing we did in class today, you can click here.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Independent Novel Project Outline (for those who misplaced their's)

 Novel Project Due Dates:
#'s 1-7 due Friday, April 13th
#8 due in class sometime week 16-20
#9 due Monday, April 23rd

 Independent Novel Project: Term 3

You are going to be choosing a novel you would like to read, and explore.
The following project will be mostly completed at school. Reading will take place at home and at school, especially during our designated silent reading time. Time will be given in class to complete some of the written components, but not all.

To begin the project, you will select a novel from the library, classroom, or bookmobile and complete a mini conference with your teacher to ensure the book you have chosen is grade appropriate and challenging. Class time will be set aside for reading conferences where you and the teacher will meet, and the teacher will assess your reading fluency and interpretation of the novel.

Each task must be completed on a piece of loose leaf, and presented in an organized manner. Write in blue or black ink, one side only, double-spaced and note page numbers where supporting information can be found in the text. Please create a cover page for your project as well as a table of contents (label each assignment with the corresponding page number listed). Please be prepared for a final presentation of your project to your classmates. Your project must be put together in the following order:

1. Give a brief summary of the plot. 1-2 full pages, tell the story. Include 2-5 of the main events and describe what happens at the end.

2. Explain the significance of the title (5-10 sentences). Authors do not choose a title randomly. Usually the title is symbolic in some way.

3. Describe the setting and genre – time period, location, etc. (5-10 sentences)

4. Discuss in 1 full page your ideas about the main character(s). Answer what you like or dislike about them and why they are worthy of praise and/or criticism.

5. In 1 full page, identify what caused a major change in the main character(s) and explain how the character(s) changed. These changes may have been a consequence of choice, a conflict, a display of some outstanding trait like courage, or even a result of events that occur during the novel.

6. In a journal style entry, copy 5 of your favourite phrase/sentences from the book and explain why you chose them.

7. Make up 5 true and false, 5 multiple choice and 5 matching test questions for this novel. Put the correct answers on a separate piece of paper.

8. In 1 full page write a general review of the book. Would you recommend the book? Why or why not? Would you have changed any element of the story (plot, characters, setting, resolution, conflicts, point of view, etc.)?

9. Select and complete 1 creative project that relate to and reflect the main points of your novel. Suggestions: book jacket, character scrap or memory book, theme or symbol collage, diorama, newspaper, character diary, character/scene sketch, menus from the text, comic or political cartoon, song, travel brochure, scene rewrite from a different point of view, movie poster with a cast of stars and justification of your choices, etc. Please run your ideas by me before you start.

 Your project’s assessment will include:
a) Selecting an appropriate novel.
b) Student/Teacher conferences.
c) Complete all of the tasks (some tasks have early due dates and will be shared as the term progresses). 

Monday, March 19, 2012

One Hour Without Power

When you are faced with an hour without power it can be boring, but you can always READ! If we were in 1860’s it would be really HARD because you wouldn’t have any power. Back then you would be making mittens or weeding the garden. I don’t know if I could even survive a DAY without power because we have TV’s, ovens and even computers. If I had to survive a day without power it would be REALLY HARD.

       For our hour without power in class, all we had to do was READ because we were in a small space. A larger outdoor space would allow us to do more activities like play tag. If we didn’t have any books it would be a long hour. With no power at home, all of our main course meals are made in the oven. We could always use the stove, but it would take longer than the oven. We would have to find other ways to cook our meals.

Anyway, I think we would be doing the earth some good if we cut back on the use of power every day! There are things we can do each day that don’t require power usage. Giving up power for one hour each day, is not a huge sacrifice; everyone should give it a try!

submitted by: Jessie Helen

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The Classroom Energy Diet Challenge

Wow! Have we been busy working on this challenge! Everything from a logo contest within our own classroom, to researching types of energy, tracking our trash, calculating our water usage, and simply turning things off... we've been immersed in energy use awareness!

Here are the logos designed by our class, with the class' chosen winning logo for our site in the Challenge, designed by Emily! Way to go, guys!

Perhaps the most exciting step thus far in the Challenge has been creating a script for a infomercial on reducing energy. We submitted our script to the contest, and, low and behold, our script was chosen as one of 50 semi-finalists across Canada! That means, we won a video recorder to shoot our infomercial! 

We're going to start shooting before March Break, and , hopefully finish the week after March Break! Once it is finished, we will be needing your help, as the video will be posted on the Energy Diet's Facebook page, and we'll need your "Likes" to win!

To keep updated on our Challenge progress you can check out:
Grade 5/6 Class Challenge

Friday, January 27, 2012

A little game of "What is it?!"

We've been working on descriptive writing in class. I'm trying to get my students to have more creative confidence in their writing! I, nor their classmates, can't be giving them all their ideas all the time. So, I decided to try a "Pull an item from the bag, Hide it, Write about it" activity. It was kind of fun! Here are some examples of their very descriptive writing: