Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Top 5 Highlights of 2014 School Year

This post is a short reflection on 5 highlights to date of the current school year, 2014-15 year. I have chosen to focus on highlights from both of my present classes from September through to December since they and the school community are likely to be reading this post.

The top 5 highlights have been extracted from various situations that have impacted both my Gr Fours and Fives in regards to their learning. There is no order of importance - just chronological :)

#5 - Ottawa Citizen Report
St. Cecilia had been chosen to be one of the two schools from our school board to be featured in our local paper. My Gr. Fives were fortunate to be interviewed for this article. This was a fascinating experience for my students since they had the opportunity to talk to the reporter about the 21st Century design of our school. They were also excited to show off their technological skills and discuss how we use technology to enhance our learning.
This was also an interesting opportunity for me to explain to the reporter about how teaching practice has changed and the physical structures of schools are complimenting that practice.
My Grade Fives were so honoured to be part of this experience and to see themselves in the e-article (which included videos). It really gave them an appreciation of their daily learning environment.
You can find the article here.

#4 - Corresponding with France
Both my classes have had an enriching opportunity to correspond with students in Misérieux (Lyon) France. Students started with short introductions on Google slides and expanded onto making iMovie Trailers about our school, video presentations, recipe exchanges, giving hand-crafted Christmas cards, and passing on descriptions of our culture (e.g., Halloween, Apple picking).  And to think that this is only the beginning! All students are so engaged in this project. They think about the students in France frequently and constantly want to share more with them. This has really opened their eyes to the benefits of learning another language. This authentic experience has inspired them to perfect their French in speaking, reading and writing!
Check out the website in progress, I have created to compile our interactions.

#3 - Parks Canada Giant Floor Map
These maps borrowed from Canadian Geographic were a big hit! The giant floor map provided a great visual of Canada politically and physically which gave students a very deep learning experience.  Students were able to collaborate on various activities, exploring and discovering the political and physical regions of Canada. They learned how to use coordinates, discovered various landmarks, practiced their French to complete the scavenger hunt and used iPads to capture their learning. I was just as excited about this map as my students were - maybe slightly more ;)
Here is where you can order yours for your school.

#2 - Hour of Code
This was a first for my students and I. After this activity, I quickly discovered how important computer science is for students. Both classes had the opportunity to practice coding using interactive games from At first both classes found it intimidating, but after some more tutorials and attempts, they were surprised with the results. Coding gives students the opportunity to problem solve, look over their mistakes to see where they went wrong and fix them, apply critical and analytical thinking and it encourages their confidence...etc. This list can go on and there are plenty of articles out there that will support the theories of how code benefits students. Overall, I noticed that my students were exposed to technology in a way they never thought was possible. Most of them enjoyed coding and pursued it at home. I think it really made them feel empowered and they realized all the opportunities it can bring.
Both classes were able to spend a block with a Grade Two class and teach them how to code. They soon realized how fast the Gr Twos picked up how to code and were impressed with their abilities. It was such a great experience to watch.
The Gr Fours started to use Scratch to make their own Christmas cards. I can't wait to explore further with more coding!

#1 - Trip to Parliament
The Gr 5s had an amazing field trip to Parliament and surrounding locations. This was the first field trip that we let students bring devices and our school gave us permission to bring iPads so that students can capture their experience.
Any field trip is such a great learning experience for students. This one, in particular, meant so much for the students. After the shooting that took place in Ottawa this year, we weren't sure how students would respond to this trip. To the surprise of all Gr Five teachers, all students had a very humble experience and new appreciation of our city, including all the people that make our government function. Students were first blown away by the parliament buildings and took hundreds of photographs with the iPads. Then they paid tribute to Terry Fox at the statute of him on Wellington. Afterwards, it was one student's idea to pay our respects at the War Memorial. And so we said a prayer at the monument in memorial to Cpl Cirillo.
Afterwards we continued to walk taking note of some landmarks e.g., Chateau Laurier, Union Station, Rideau Canal, Major's Hill Park, National Art Gallery, Notre Dame Cathedral-Basilica and the market.
A very meaningful field trip! One that students will share with their correspondents in France :)

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Joyeux Noël

I am not trying to advertise coffee, however this video captures the warmth of the Christmas season.
I wish my students and their families Love, Peace, Joy and Hope during the holidays. 
Joyeux Noël!

Don't forget to check out our classroom Christmas videos:
Gr 4s: Une petite pièce de théâtre pour le Noël
Gr 5s: Noël est là
All shared with you in your Google Drive (check your e-mail)

Monday, November 24, 2014

Resources for Gr 4 and 5 Projects

Gr 4's will be working on an Integrated Sciences project (Science/Social Studies): Rocks and Minerals (focusing on fossil fuels) and Canada - Political and Physical Regions (whereabouts of the pipeline). 
Gr 5's will be focusing on the Fossil Fuel Pipeline in Canada and looking at the political aspects (Provincial/Federal) of this current issue.

Please take some time at home to look into and/or review information regarding this topic.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Jour de souvenir

On Remembrance Day, the Grade Fives were asked to think of one word that comes to mind when they think of Remembrance Day/Jour de souvenir. Using a Google Form, students submitted their word. Then I took all the compiled words and copied them into Wordle takes the most common words and highlights them in a larger font. You can easily see what words students thought of most.

Grade Fours and Fives recited Remembrance Day poems in front of our green screen. These videos will be shared with students. They will be able to save the videos in their Google Drive.
If you check our twitter wall, Grade Fives tweeted about how they remember on Remembrance Day using the #werememberocsb.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Les textures

Gr Fours have been learning about the elements of Art. For the element of textures, we discussed  what real textures were and used the iPad to take photos of examples of real textures in our school yard. Students made a PicCollage of textures, identified them and described them with an adjective.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Waste-Free Lunch Challenge!

Get ready St. Cecilia as we participate in the “Waste Free Lunch Challenge”

Are you ready for the CHALLENGE?!?

Did you know that school lunches are a major source of waste in Ontario? In fact, the average student’s lunch generates a total of 30 kilograms of waste per school year, or an average of 8,500 kilograms of waste per school per year.
In an effort to engage all students and families in small environmental initiatives that can make a big impact,  St. Cecilia is participating in the week-long Waste-Free Lunch Challenge (WFLC) beginning on October 20-24.
The Waste-Free Lunch Challenge is a province-wide initiative run by the Recycling Council of Ontario (RCO).  Parents and Guardians are invited to visit the WFLC’s parent website at to download various resources.  Here, you can download resources and watch instructional videos about how to shop for and pack a waste-free lunch.
Thank you for doing your part, by helping  your child pack waste-free lunches for our event and helping us fulfill a number of goals:
  • Celebrate and learn about Waste Reduction Week using a “3Rs” approach to reduce, reuse and recycle so that less waste is created from school lunches.
  •  Reduce the cost of waste disposal so the school’s resources can be put to better use.
  • Encourage fresh and nutritious lunches (many pre-packaged lunch items contain significant amounts of sodium, preservatives and fat).
  • Broaden the understanding of materials that we can recycle, how recycling works and promote recycling in school and at home.
  • Help you reduce the cost of lunches: a waste-free lunch can cost as little as $2.50 per day, whereas a regular lunch containing pre-packaged items can cost $4.50 or more per day.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Co-creating criteria and rubrics

The last 2 weeks the Grade Fours and Fives have been busy co-creating our criteria and rubrics for Karaoke. It is important to have the students' input when creating the evaluation since they become more responsible for their learning. This process engages them to be in control in the assessment process and therefore more aware of the expectations. The Grade Fives modified the final rubric I presented to them today, so there will be another version for the next Karaoke. The rubric is not set in stone, but can be modified at any point with consent from all students. It is interesting to see the difference between Grade Four and Five expectations. 

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

We Scare Hunger

Bring in canned goods/non-perishable items by October 27th to benefit the Barrhaven Food Bank. Top 2 classes that collect the most cans will get the opportunity to duct tape Mrs. Green and Mr. Rodgers to the wall!

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Curriculum Night

Would like to thank all parents who came out to curriculum night on a week night!
I hope I was able to inform you about your child's education this year and answer your questions.
For those that were unable to attend, I've posted below the presentation I used that evening. I also sent home with your child a handout and pamphlet that was distributed that evening.
I look forward to working with you in your child's education :)

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Settling In

We are already into the third week of September!
Both Grade Fours and Fives have been settling well in our portable. 
The last two weeks have been dedicated to understanding our environment and routines. For the Fours, it is their first time transitioning between classes. Everyone has been adapting very well to our daily routines and procedures. There are a few things we still need to work on (e.g., remember to bring all our belongings to the next class) but otherwise I am impressed!

We learned about all the different learning spaces both in our portable and in our school. It is very important for students to know the spaces they can use to learn to the best of their potential! Students have also been introduced to technology. The Fives are well underway using Edmodo (also offered to stay in at recess to help those who are having difficulty logging on). The Fours have all logged onto the Chromebooks - we will get our Edmodo accounts created soon!

Students have been working on short introductions about themselves (Je me présente) based on a Social Studies model. The reason why we are devoting time to these introductions is because both grades will be part of a School Board initiative to connect to students from Lyon, France. We will be collaborating with these students throughout the year. What better way to practice our French!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Gr 4 Compositions

Students in Grade 4 have been using Garage Band to create a song that incorporates the elements of music (e.g., timbre, dynamics, tempo). Students have been composing melodies of their own and recording them on paper to help them play.

Gr 5 Songs created by Garage Band

These songs were inspired by our school yard. Students were asked to listen when in our yard, and use instruments to represent the sounds they hear. Some have even captured the sounds of the yard and incorporated them into their composition.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Collecting money until this Thursday (day of Jump Rope for Heart)!

Friday, May 30, 2014

Les chansons de 6e - utilisant Garage Band

Gr 6's have been creating songs using the Garage Band app. Students are eager to listen to each others songs, so here they as they are still being finalized and uploaded on my SoundCloud account. So far they sound innovative!

Monday, May 26, 2014

Les explorateurs (mini-project)

With the implementation of the new Social Studies curriculum, both Grade 5 and 6 FSL Extended classes have been learning about Canadian explorers. For our final task, students were able to research about a Canadian Explorer and present their research using the Doceri App. During the research process students kept a Google Document of their findings. The Google Doc was shared with me and I was able to monitor their progress while giving them feedback. The Doceri app allows students to visualize their content (choosing and adding the appropriate photos to accompany their text) and record themselves reading the text they have written.

Below are the playlists for both classes. As students complete their projects, they will be uploaded.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Open House 2014

 Thank you to all parents, students and guests who came to visit our classroom. Our first Catholic Education Week Open House was filled with so much student work to share. 

I hope you enjoyed your visit to our classroom and were able to learn about the concepts and skills your child was and is currently learning. Not to mention the hard work students put into their writing reflections, artwork, their medias (e.g., Aurasma, Educreations) and their ongoing e-portfolio.

I have assembled a few tweets below that showcased student work while visiting. For those that were not able to attend, hope this post will give you a glimpse of our morning.

Thanks again,

Mme Krawiecki

Monday, April 21, 2014

Earth Week 2014

Join us as we support Earth Week 2014 with activities, lessons and more!

Waste-free lunches ALL WEEK!!!

Tuesday April 22 - Wear Green for Earth Day!
Wednesday April 23 - Wear blue for Water!
Thursday April 24 - Wear white for Air. Walk to School Wednesday!
Friday April 25 - Wear brown for soil. Plant a seed!
Monday April 28 - Wear red, yellow or orange for Energy!

Monday, February 17, 2014

Sound Experiment

   Recently, we have been learning about the properties of sound. The knowledge and understanding that I want students to gain is the relationship between energy, vibrations and sound. Through our experiment, not only will students see and hear this relationship, but they will also manipulate volume and pitch.

Task 1: Create a instrument with recycled materials, focusing on creating a vibration. The more creative, the better!
Task 2: Before the experiment, students had to determine where the vibrations are created on their instrument and where will they place the contact mic to capture those vibrations.
   With a few students at a time, they were able to experiment with the contact mic creating a change in pitch and volume. I was able to control the volume of all instruments through a mixer (to maintain an equal volume). The mixer watch attached to the classroom speaker (for students to hear) and my laptop (recording through Garage band).
    Below you can hear the sounds made from then vibrations of students' instruments.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Quel est le rôle de la technologie dans les jeux olympiques?

Inspired by technology and the Sochi Olympics, the students were asked what role does technology play in the olympics? Using their ideas as a lead, they researched their inquiries first before sharing the facts. We then used a shared Google presentation to communicate the ideas and research.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Sweater Day February 6!

     Our school will be taking part in National Sweater Day on Thursday, February 6!
National Sweater Day is an annual event organized by World Wildlife Fund Canada. On National Sweater Day, WWF asks Canadians to turn down thermostats by two degrees Celsius at home, at school and at work to highlight the role that energy conservation plays in preventing climate change.
  Our school buildings will be a little chillier on February 6, so we are asking that all students wear or bring a sweater to school.
   In addition to turning down the heat and turning up our sweaters, our class will be participating in a number of activities designed to help students understand how everyday actions affect our planet’s future.

We are looking forward to a cozy day in the classroom! 

Monday, January 6, 2014

Happy New Year! Bonne année!

I hope that everyone has had a happy and restful Christmas holiday. 
I welcome you all back to school this new year. 
Here is a reminder of what we have been up to last year
 and what we will be working on this year!

Grade Four
   We began practicing our dramatic skills through the small Christmas play (Petite pièce de théatre pour noël). Stay tuned to see the final production via students' e-mail. I am currently editing the green screen footage :)  We will continue drama this January and early February.
    Students left off 2013 working on a science project on habitats and communities. Some have already started their final copy on a Google Presentation. We had a guest speaker on the last day of school, Mr Fahlman (a marine biologist), who presented and discussed marine life. The information we learned that day has helped students put into perspective the importance of learning about habitats and how humans can help in a positive way. I'm hoping to complete this unit soon and begin learning about light and sound (lumière et son).
    In Social Studies, we were focused on mapping skills and the physical characteristics of Canada. Now we will be focusing more on Canada's Physical Regions.
    I encourage students to continue reading this year. Many have kept track of their reading at home and have almost completed their carte du Canada (our at-home reading across Canada program).  Our goal this new year will to be speak more in French within our classroom!

Grade Five
    We are slowly making our way through the Social Studies unit on The Role of Government and Responsible Citizenship. There is so much to learn and students have been responding well to the unit through their inquiries. We will continue the unit this Jan/Feb in French while integrating the art of drama. Last year we learned about the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the history of Canada's democracy. We will focus on how to be a Canadian Citizen shortly.

Grade Six
    Students have worked very hard last year to complete their Social Studies project on how Canada interacts with the global community. I am currently posting students' work (Google Presentation, Prezi) on my website. Check out the 6ième Showcase!
    In December we started some group skits about Christmas. We will be continuing drama in French this January.

~Mme Krawiecki