June 2

Mon Arbre Généalogique

To end our unit on Ma Famille, grade 4 students in Madame Sylvie’s class presented their family to the class “en français” with great pride. In addition to practicing the vocabulary learned in class, they showed their computer expertise and creativity. Creating their family tree entailed listening to a short Youtube video before attempting to follow the intricate steps on their own. The end results were quite impressive coming from such a young audience. Hearing them speak French when presenting their family tree projects made me incredibly proud of them. Félicitations les quatrième année – Madame Sylvie est fière de vous tous!

May 15

Grade 4 – Self directed study

As the Grade 4 year begins to ebb closer to summer this means Grade 5 is looming… I begin to introduce skill sets that will prepare or at least give insight into what Grade 5 could look like. Self-directed study is one of those areas. I deliberately choose a topic that has high student engagement and a topic that they all have studied before (setting them up for success by building upon prior knowledge).

A study from Waterloo University states “Learning independently can be challenging, even for the brightest and most motivated students” and for the years in which I have completed Self-directed study units, I see this every single time. Despite this, I have never had one student give up. What I do see is an increase in student collaboration, thought partners to problem solve, and a quiet buzz (this year not so quiet!) of curiosity. It is a point in the year when I sit back and observe the students and how far they have come. This is not a task that one simply ‘does on a random day that nothing is planned’, there is a build-up of trust between students and teachers. In fact, the lessons that look like they have the least amount of structure, have the most amount of background structure (See John Spencer’s – awesome ‘out of the box’ educator’) .

The self-directed study needs four key stages:

-being ready to learn,

-setting learning goals,

-engaging in the learning process,

-evaluating learning.

As per my personal growth project this year, I have been working on (re) introducing Language Arts into Makerspace and building assessment tools that include 21st-century skill development and evaluation. Here is one of the tools that I am currently using, it is taken from the Bank of Resources at the University of Waterloo.

Let me show you the start of how we are moving through this exciting unit this term. Here are the first two stages as planned by a Grade 4 Student – Being Ready to learn and Setting Learning Goals:

Engaging in the Learning Process:

Students completed research and extended their learning beyond the classroom by bringing their own rock collections:

Students working on their projects:

Here we are taking our learning outdoors:

The final stage is evaluating learning so check out the individual student blogs to see what we produce… Students will produce their own assessment tool. Here is a John Spencer thought video about students owning their own assessments.

May 15

Grade 4 updates!

Upcoming Events:

  • Generations Day – Monday, May 15th
  • Oren’s dress down day on Wednesday, May 17th – Wear something ‘ crazy’
  • Menchies are being served on Mondays and Wednesdays after school. $4 per cup and all money raised goes towards the grade 8 grad trip.
  • No school Monday, May 22nd for Victoria Day
  • N0 School Friday, May 26th for Shavout.


  • Practice your speech, using Verbal and nonverbal cues. Please see the homework board for Ms.M’s Slides.

What’s happening in Grade 4:

We had a great night out for Grades 4/5 night at Fun Haven. I managed to get one snap before Lazer tag!


We have started self-directed science. Please my blog post to find out more about the whys and hows surrounding student choices in curriculum planning! Here are some snaps of students working on their projects:


Alongside their self-directed learning, there are teacher-led lessons. We ventured outdoors to collect, classify and test the rocks and minerals we found on the school grounds.

We also have students bringing their rock collections to class. This is a wonderful extension of their learning. This week we have Mr.S and Mr. G showcase:







April 29

Memorial Days in our class

In the last two weeks, we had important and significant commemorative events.

On Holocaust Day – students shared a little about their family memories at that time. And thanks and appreciation to Ari and Emma for bringing their family story to the class, writing it and presenting it to the class! Thank you very much for sharing these sad and important stories.

On the day of remembrance of fallen Israeli soldiers – we learned about a soldier – named Amit who was killed in one of the battles. We learned about his features and created a micrograph from his name and character traits.