Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Jumping right back in

Dear Parents,

Welcome back to school! It's a quick transition, as this Friday is TDSB's  P.A. Day for reporting, so there are a number of things to alert you about regarding that, and we also have a primary concert on Thursday night.

First things first, students are asked to arrive around 5:30 on Thursday to be here for our 6 pm concert. Our class will be housed in Room 109, as Room 105 is busy with daycare. Students should dress like mimes and a list of different costume ideas went home before the break. Don't worry too much if you don't have the exact costume, but do send your child in a white shirt and black pants, if you can. After the concert, you'll need to pick up students from Room 109.

Next, I've sent home an animal research project due at the end of February (February 25th).  Some marks from this Science strand will be included on the first term report, but the project will be due afterwards. Students got the project outline today and chose a habitat that they'll pick their animal from. I'll help them pick a book from our school library to support their research later this week.

Here's a link to the pdf we've used to help choose our habitats. It's got some helpful suggestions for which animals suit each habitat. Animal Habitat pdf

We'll also be doing a field trip to High Park Nature Centre on February 21st to support our Science curriculum. Please pay with Cash Online and return forms as soon as possible.

Please let me know if you need another project outline or trip form, sooner rather than later.

We've completed math units on Number Sense and Numeration, Patterning, and Data Management. Marks and worksheets have been sent home, for those so hopefully there are no surprises on report cards. We're working on Measurement now, looking at telling time on analog clocks, linear measurement, and money. Next we'll move on to 2D Geometry, as I need to have marks for all 5 strands before reporting. It's always a fine balance to report on all strands, but still give the time and rehearsal needed to learn these new skills. Using Prodigy to support at home is helpful, particularly if Math was a concern on the progress report.

Finally, I'm always astonished at the leaps and bounds that happen with reading over the Winter Break. We've reformed our reading groups to reflect this and now have 4 groups: Scorpions (A), Tigers (D), Gorillas (H) and Tarantulas (I). Scorpions and Tigers continue to focus on building decoding skills, while Gorillas and Tarantulas are working on building their writing chops. Staying focused and practicing reading and writing daily are important for all students. We continue to have RAZkids available to support reading practice online and at home.

If you are available to read with students, we are always happy to have extra adults in the room. Thank you to Tiffany for starting us off this term already!

Have a great long weekend. I look forward to seeing all of you on Thursday evening.


Ms. Goegan


Saturday, December 22, 2018

Holiday post

Dear Parents,

Just a quick update before I close up shop for the holidays.

First, thank you for your contributions to our party and your kind gifts to me. I hope you enjoy the ornaments students sewed and decorated, with more or less help as needed and that the letters to Santa regarding employment as an elf are enjoyed by all.
Here are three students with their ornaments.

A variety of stars and gingerbread men. Students sewed around the edges and stuffed them, then decorated with jewels and stars.
A more detailed look at some of the bling.

Here are the elves hanging on our clothesline.

"I can help drive the sleigh"

"I will be nice every day"

"I would bring the presents to the houses"

"I like delivering presents"

"I can share at the workshop"

I'd also like to share this photo of our science projects. You can see some elastic planes, some marble ramps, so wind powered toys and a solar powered car.

Finally, I've heard that my letter about mime costumes was over-ambitious and the goal is NOT uniformity, so pick and choose from the mime accoutrements as you're able. Low pressure.

I hope you all have a wonderful holiday and a great New Years.

Ms. Goegan

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

It's been a minute...

Dear Parents,

It's been tremendously busy these past few weeks, both in and out of the classroom. In good news, I've found my final volunteer for tomorrow's Scientist in Schools. Many thanks to Adriano's mum, Cameron's dad, Lauren's dad, and Lila's grandmum, for their help tomorrow afternoon!

Science projects have been a big hit between kids this week. On Tuesday, students did mini-presentations to each other and we've been doling out the more formal presentations in small chunks. I'll do my best to take some photos of projects before the end of the week, so you can get a sense of the range students have come up with. It's always a delight.

Speaking of photos, it's been a busy couple of weeks. Here's a random collection of bits and bobs from the last few weeks in the class:

Our Field trip to High Park Nature Centre, where we learned about the habits of squirrels

The Taiko Drumming Performance

Afterwards, we were excited to discover this big book in the library.
Then I managed to take a whole series of photos, documenting our beginnings of Data Management, where students sorted buttons by a variety of criteria:

Holes vs. No holes

Big vs. Little

Light vs. Dark

2 holes vs. 4 holes

No holes vs. 2 holes vs. 4 holes


Pattern vs. No pattern

Some are still finishing up our final piece from the patterning unit, but the evaluations should be coming home soon. Meanwhile, graphing and surveying are big hits in the classroom. 

In the new year, we've got a Winter Concert to gather costumes for and two more trips to the High Park Nature Centre planned. Please look for a newsletter coming home soon to outline what student costumes might look like. 


Ms. Goegan

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Be Nice!

Dear Parents,

Here's something lovely and pure for your weekend. Students did some responses about what they could do that would be positive in their community as part of our social studies unit, where we looked at students shifting roles, responsibilties and identities at home in the family, at school, and in the community. Part of our media curriculum is learning to design and create posters, so that's what we decided to do. These posters will go up around the school.

I can smile to make people happy 
I can share with my friends

I can wash my hands so they're not all germy. (Admittedly, a favourite) 
I can hold the door for people

I can hold the door for other people 
Two, both versions of I can share with my friends

I can say please and thank you

Tuesday is our trip! Come on time and wear weather appropriate clothing. We will be outside in all weathers. 


Ms. Goegan

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Toys that Transform Energy Ideas

Dear Parents,

I sent home our next project for you today, based on the Energy in Our Lives unit. I've asked for projects to be returned completed on December 11th. I know this is a short turn around, but I thought it might be more challenging to have it drag on through the Winter Break. However, if this season is busy for your family and you'd prefer to have your child present after the break, please let me know.

I make some suggestions on the project hand out, but here are some ideas that are inspiring me tonight:
Image result for cranky crank



2 from this site:

STEM Challenge:  Marbles, Craft Sticks, and Cardboard Boxes
Balloon Straw Rocket for Kids

Image result for spin drum

Science for Kids--Build a Paddle Boat! Try it indoors or out for some fun STEM learning.

Image result for make a toy project grade 1

I'm also looking for parent volunteers on the afternoon of December 14th, when we'll have the Scientists in Schools presentation for our class. Please let me know if you're available and would like to support.

Our next week is very busy, with the upcoming field trip to High Park on Tuesday morning and a Japanese drumming performance on Thursday morning. I'm actually super excited about the drumming performance, as I saw this group perform at Harbourfront earlier in the year. Here's a link to the group's website: http://nagatashachu.com.


Ms. Goegan

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Mondrian and line art

Dear Parents,

First, reports went home today. I hope I have connected with everyone about interviews. If there's any challenge or confusion, please contact me via email asap. Also, don't be concerned, I'll be in to do interviews after school, but have called in sick because I'm not yet 100%.

I did want to share student art with you this week though.

We looked at the work of Piet Mondrian and did some great art that's up on our walls. Here's a sample:

When doing this work, we used cardboard to make straight lines and then filled in the spaces with primary colours using oil pastels, in the style of Mondrian. I love the way these look across the wall, but each one has its own charms as well.

Some of these look like maps

Some are sparse and some are busy

One looks like a xylophone here

The one on top looks like a stained glass window to me

Students really loved the title of Broadway Boogie Woogie and this delightful brief video shows Mondrian's development as an artist, while you listen to some boogie woogie:

Our follow up to this is based on the work of Jean Dubuffet: still working with primary colours and lines, but curved lines and busy patterns instead of solids. I'm really curious how this will turn out. We've been turning some of our lines from the pumpkin art that went home into patterns for this new work

Here's some samples of Dubuffet's work. 
arte bruto - capital del arte

Can't wait to see how that turns out. 

As you tour down the hallway, all our timelines are up in the hall and the subject of ongoing fascination:

Thank you for all your hard work. I think the kids learned a lot from this process (and so did I).


Ms. Goegan

Thursday, November 8, 2018

That Most Wonderful Time of The Year.

Dear Parents,

Reports go home next week and I've decided to offer you the opportunity to book your appointment online directly. Here is the link to be able to do so:


To claim your preferred slot that is available either on November 15 3:30-7:45 or on November 16 8:45-11:15, click on the time and follow the instructions on the site. If it doesn't work, you have questions, or want to arrange an alternate time, you are welcome to email me and I'll do my best to sort it out.

A letter will be sent home on Monday to make arrangements for those that don't follow the blog as well.

Reports will go home on November 15th and there's a lot packed in there. I hope you've seen work coming home, or we've chatted, and that you have a sense of how your child is doing already, but I'm looking forward to chatting with you anyways.

Image result for patterning

In math, we've moved on to patterning, which is both easier and harder than it sounds. I'm leaning on the Jump Math for this unit, because it has a good sense of detail management that asks students to identify patterns that might be confusing and ways to fix patterns that are broken.

Top tricks so far include:

1. Patterns always repeat the first term after the core.

E.g.: In the pattern ABCDABCD...., ABCD is the core because it needs to start at A again.

2. Patterns include all the different parts in each core.

E.g.: In the pattern ABACABACABAC..., ABAC is the core because you can't forget to include C

3. When you're trying to figure out a tricky pattern, read the pattern out loud like a sentence, using your finger to help you keep track of each part. You can hear the pattern better when you say it out loud.

4. Some patterns start and end with the same thing and it's easy to get mixed up. Look for doubles of the first term especially.


A lot of students are instinctively good at recognizing patterns, but it does get trickier as we go along, so it's good to have a firm grasp of what to look for.

I've set up an assignment on Prodigy, if you want to practice these skills at home as well. (If you need a reminder of the Prodigy log in, let me know and I can hook you up.)

Social Studies Projects are (mostly) up on the walls (one just keeps falling down) in the hall by our class. Go look at all that hard work and all that cuteness.

New art and writing is up on the walls of the class. I'll endeavour to make a picture filled post really soon.


Lisa Goegan