Friday, September 27, 2013

Wonder Buddies

Today we had our first session of Wonder Buddies. Wonder Buddies is a pairing up of my Grade 5 class and Mrs. Weales Kindergarten class to do research. The Kindergartens have spent all week working on their wonders, questions they have wondered about. Some of the questions were:

How is a drum made?
How do birds fly? Why can't we fly?
How can you make a butterfly out of paper?
What makes a hot air balloon fly?
How do caterpillars turn into butterflies?
How are rainbows made?

It went wonderfully well with lots of discussion amongst them. The Grade 5's had a bit of a hard time gearing their explanations down to a kindergarten level. It was a great afternoon with all enjoying it thoroughly. Looking forward to the next one.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

How Do Ants Communicate?
by Aidan, Keeshan, Adrian M., Hunter, Caden

Ants do not talk like humans. Ants release a special type of chemical called pheromones. It gives off information for other ants to follow. They also rub antenna to communicate. Queen ants also rub their chest in patterns to communicate.

Facts about Cleopatra
by Andrew and Zach

Cleopatra was a queen in Egypt. She was also the seventh Cleopatra. She made Marcus Antonius kill her younger sister. When her brother was going into battle she poisoned him. Cleopatra was born in 69 B.C. and died in 30 B.C. She died because she let a Cobra kill her.

Why Can't Penguins Fly?
Cody and Stewart

All birds need to get places. Most fly. Penguins don't. The problem comes down to having enough energy to fly and penguins don't have the energy to do it. They lost the ability to fly when they developed more efficient swimming. Smaller wings did not help their cause.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Getting the facts

Today one of the groups had a question that was fact oriented but also had room for getting opinions. I overheard them discussing how they were going to handle it. It warmed my heart to hear the discussion about what was important. They also discussed about whether to set up a chart or record individual responses. Gotta love the problem solving a SOLE can bring about.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

September 17, 2013

How Do Volcanoes Form?
By Keeshan, Stewart, Denyce, Cody

When molten rock from mantle moves up to the surface through the crust it forms hills. As more molten lava moves up the hill gets higher. Gasses and ash are released as well. Volcanoes are formed when the earths tectonic plates collide and form a peak. Magma is released through the opening. Volcanoes are found all over the world.

Why Do Flies Cluster Around An Animal's Eyes?
By Mia, Abi, Aaliyah

Face Flies feed on secretions, nectar, dung and liquids. Adult female Face Flies cluster around an animal's eyes, mouth muzzle and rear end causing the animal to feel extreme annoyance.Activity around the eyes allows the flies to give the animal eye diseases, parasites, pink eye and eye worms. Male flies feed on nectar and dung. Dung is poop.

Why Do Bulls Charge At Red?
By Adrian D., Aidan, Caden

Bulls are colour blind so when they see objects they are not red. Bulls only charge at rapid movements, like when a cape is waved. That bull's hate red is a myth.

By Cameron, Hunter, Alisha, Dora

Bats have webbed wings, which makes them capable of sustained flight. Their wings are broad which provide lift for flight.Not all bats eat insects. Some eat fruit. Many bats in temperate areas mate in fall and hibernate in winter. There are over a thousand types of bats. They have really sharp teeth. They are the only mammals that truly fly. A little brown bat lived for 34 years in New England. One Hungry bat can eat over 1000 insects in a day. The phrase blind as a bat isn't really true. Bats are not blind and rely on their hearing, sight and echo locution. Bats help farmers because they eat the insects that make fruit and vegetables go bad. Bat's flying around you on a summer night are not going for you but for the mosquitoes and moths that are flying around you.

How was the Great Pyramid Giza Built?
Olivia, Katelynne, Reyah

Giza was built 4500 years ago. It took 2.3 million blocks to build it. Limestone was carried across the Nile River. The blocks were carried, dragged and pulled from where they were carved to the site. It took over 14 years to build the outside of the pyramid. They had been using a ramp method to build it.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

In this article he maintains that the crisis in education is more about perception than an actual crisis.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Thursday, September 12, 2013

The Twin Towers

Dora, Alisha, Abi, Andrew

On September 11, 2001 the United States was attacked. Four passenger panes were hijacked by 19 Al Qaeda supporters. They wanted to fly the jets into building for suicide attacks. The jets were estimated  to weigh 200 tons. They were travelling about 300 miles and hour and were carrying sixty thousand pounds of jet fuel. At 8:46 am the first plane crashed into the North Tower of The World Trade Centre in New York, At 9:03 the second jet crashed into the south tower. The flames in the towers were as hot as 2000 degrees Fahrenheit. It took a short period of time before the heat started melting the steel causing the tower to crash to the ground from the weight. It took many months and 700 000 trucks loads to remove the debris.
Another plane crashed into the Pentagon and another, heading for the White House crashed in Pennsylvania after the people on the plane found out what was happening and stopped them.
What happens when you get hit in the sternum?

Caden, Keeshan, Adrian M. Aidan.

Have you ever had the wind knocked out of you? you can`t breathe. It feels like there is nothing in you and you are being squeezed.
When you get hit in the sternum all the gets pushed out of you. Your diaphragm spasms. This means it stops working. It hurts a lot as it temporarily paralyzes you. Your diaphragm will start working shortly but you will still be scared because there is no oxygen in your lungs. That is one scary feeling.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Why do people have two eyes?
Kadyn, Adrian, Hunter

Each eye sees things from a different angle creating a slightly different picture. Together they provide one full picture of what we see.

Fact Monster
Suzy's World

How do they make hats?
Katelynne, Rheya, Caoihme

Hats can be made from almost anything but good hats are made from felt. Most people think of felt as smoother or tougher than cotton or wool fabric. Hats can be made of fur felt or wool felt. Some hats are hand crafted or sewn. Party hats are made by rolling a piece of cardboard and fastening it together.

Why does it hurt when you break a bone?
Abi, Denyce, Andrew, Olivia

It depends on which bone you break and how bad the break is. Most of the pain comes within the first few hours the day the break happens. The body's response is swelling and bruising of the tissues around the break. This is the bodies way of trying to pad the area for protection and supply it with a rich blood supply to hurry up the healing. The painful bruising is caused by the blood vessels around the bone that is broken. Bones are the body's storage area for calcium. Breaks can be difficult to diagnose in children lack calcium so it cannot be seen in an x-ray and because growth plates may disguise or hide the break.  Breaks and fractures mean the same thing. The most often bones broken are fingers, arms, elbows and wrists. In America 50% of the people have broken at least 2-4 bones. Breaking a bone doesn't hurt. It is the nerves around the bone that hurts.
Why do Honey Bees die after they sting you?

Aidan, Adrian, Cameron, Cody

Honey Bees cannot pull their stinger out like a wasp. They have a barbed stinger which means it stays inside of you. When they try to pull it out they loose it as well as parts of its digestive tract, muscles and nerves.

Why do mosquito bites itch?

Dora, Alisha, Aaliyah, Mia

Mosquitoes are a small family of blood eating pests. Mosquitoes puncture the skin and release a small amount of saliva into the wound. Your immune system reacts by releasing a histamine which affects the area around the wound. This causes a red bump or wheal. Histamine is an organic nitrogen. When the blood vessels expand nerves in an area you feel this itchy section.
wiki answers

Saturday, September 7, 2013


I read an article today about 20%. It is suggested that students be given 20% of their day to follow projects that of interest to them. It could be something in fashion or music or building an object. The project would be designed and developed to be what they want it to be. This is an interesting concept as it follows the lines of SOLE but taken a step further. I am giving some thought towards the ideas that it possesses. It has some merit.

You can read the article here:

Let me know what you think.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Some new SOLE!

Why do we have allergies?
By Dora, Alisha, Caoimhe

An allergy An allergy is a hypersensitivity disorder. Hives are a common allergic symptom. The reaction is called an allergen. The reactions are predictable. Allergies are one of four forms of hypersensitivity. These reactions might be damaging, uncomfortable, or occasionally fatal. An allergic reaction is distinctive because of an increase in the white blood cells. A variety of foods can cause reactions but 90% of the reactions are to cow's milk, soy, eggs, wheat, nuts, fish and shellfish.

When you are allergic to something your immune system mistakenly believes that this substance is harmful to your system. You can get some allergies through heredity.


Why do people close their eyes when they sneeze?
By Kaydn, Keeshan, Zach, Adrian D.

The reason you close your eyes when you sneeze is because it is a reflex. Your body has to generate a huge rush of air to make you sneeze. Everything clenches up tight to make you go achoo and blow air out through the holes to clear out the mucus.

How do boats float?

By Caden, Cameron, Adrian M.

The standard of floating was first recorded by Archimedes. It is upward water pressure , pushing on the bottom of the boat that is causing the boat to float. Ships have lots of air inside so they weigh less that the same volume of water, so they float. For a ship to sink it has to push aside some water and displace the air.

Why do animals live longer than humans?

By Abi, Aaliyah, Mia, Andrew

This can be true in some cases. Sea tortoises can live over a hundred years. Some parrots can lie over 80 years. Elephants can live over 70 years. Bigger animals can live longer because they are bigger and their metabolism is therefore slower and their heart rate is slower. Because they are larger they maintain their internal body temperature easier.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Welcome back! I have a straight Grade 5 class this year with 22 students! I love the numbers. I hope they last.

Today we started working with SOLE, Self Organized Learning Environments for the first time this year. We had many technical difficulties, iPods not connecting, laptops out of commission and therefore had to set it aside until tomorrow. Now that WIFI is in the portable and the cable into the room has been strung up we are ready to roll.

We have also been experimenting with rudimentary SOLE in math. Students get into groups of 4, solve a math problem, record the steps they used to solve it and report to the class. Below are a couple of examples that came about today.

A large box contains 18 small boxes and each small box contains 25 chocolate bars. How many chocolate bars are in the large box?

By Zach, Hunter, Caden and Keeshan.

18 small boxes. Each box has 25 bars so we need to multiply 18 and 25. A large box has 450 chocolate bars.

Abi, Andrew, Dora, Stewart

Large box = 18 small boxes
Small box = 25 chocolate bars

The answer is 450 chocolate bars. We know this because we made a number line and counted by 25's.

Cameron, Katelynne, Cody, Denyce

A large box contains 18 small boxes.
Each small box contains 25 chocolate bars.

What we did was multiply 25 X 18. We got an answer of 450.

Here is a math wiki that looked really good.