Getting Started with Place Value

Today we got started with place value. The challenge was to represent 39437349 in as many ways as possible. Here are some of our solutions (we haven’t checked them all yet – we’re coming back to it tomorrow).

For a review of place value check out this video series on Khan Academy.

Math Homework: Jump Math – Page 1

Making Math Conjectures

Apply the Hailstone sequence that you learned about in math class today to at least 5 numbers. After completing 5 (or more) numbers, make a conjecture or informed guess about what the rule might be.


If a number is even, divide by 2

If a number is odd, multiply it by 3 and add 1

Prove It!

Today we worked on being mathematical skeptics. Skeptics want proof (and that’s a good thing in the age of social media and “fake news”) and use what they already know to decide whether something is true, or whether they might need to look for assistance in finding out the veracity (truthfulness) of a claim.

Math asks us the same thing. How can we prove our answers are correct? Today we worked on asking each other to “prove” that we were making a variety of geometric shapes and solids.

Collage of a variety of geometric shapes and solids created by students.
Some of our geometric creations.

This was also a group work and mindset activity. We got to put into practice some of the group work norms that we developed yesterday while also discovering that, together we could accomplish some very difficult tasks.

PhyEd Tomorrow

This is a reminder that we will be having PhysEd outside tomorrow. You can check the weather forecast here (it looks a little cool). Please remember to bring appropriate, comfortable shoes and clothing for running and walking outside.

If it rains, we will be in the gym.

Math Expectations

We completed an activity to set some norms for group work during math. Here’s what students shared about working with others to problem solve during math.

Things We Like

  • When everyone takes an equal part and contributes to a solution.
  • When people help you fix your mistakes (without just giving you the answer).
  • Everyone should try to the best of their ability
  • Everyone should be doing something

Things We Don’t Like

  • When one person takes over and does all the work.
  • When everyone relies on one person to do all the work.
  • When people fool around instead of paying attention and trying their best.
  • Copying (from other people or the internet)

In other Math news, our Jump Math books arrived today and will be distributed Thursday or Friday. Jump Math is a resource that students will use to practice concepts we explore in the classroom to improve their fluency and efficiency. Most students who have been at Teston Village for the past couple of years will be familiar with the Jump Math format.

Making Thinking Visible

Today we started exploring one of the many thinking routines from the book Making Thinking Visible. We used Compass Points to consider how we might structure our science and history/geography periods on the timetable. Students identified a variety of possible positive features (East – Excited) and concerns (West – Worrisome), asked questions about things that they needed to know in order to better understand the proposal and many came up with suggestions for me.

E = Excited
What excites you about this idea or proposition? What’s the upside?
W = Worrisome
What do you find worrisome about this idea or proposition? What’s the downside?
N = Need to Know
What else do you need to know or find out about this idea or proposition? What additional information would help you to evaluate things?
S = Stance or Suggestion for Moving Forward
What is your current stance or opinion on the idea or proposition? How might you move forward in your evaluation of this idea or proposition?

Visible Thinking – Harvard Project Zero
Picture of whiteboard with student sticky notes identifying their Excitements, Worries, Need to Knows, and Suggestions.
All of our sticky notes on the board.

After reviewing their Excitements, Worries, Needs and Suggestions while they were working on their writing assignment for me, I decided that we are going to try alternating between Science and History for this first term. We will evaluate this system near the end of the first term to see whether it’s working for us or whether we should try something different for the second term.

Students and parents can see what the weekly focus is (Science or History) on our class calendar. We will continue to have all of our other subjects in their normal blocks. You can see our timetable here (it’s still a work in progress and things may change). You can expect art, drama and media literacy to be integrated into many other subject blocks, and some dance will be integrated into our PhysEd periods.

First Day

I hope everyone had a great first day. I really enjoyed the “This or That” activity in the afternoon, as well as seeing how you considered what the act of “Thinking” actually entailed.

Parents/guardians – please ensure that you complete the school year package that was sent home with your child. The first two pages are the most important and MUST be returned to the school as soon as possible.

Back to School!

Selfie of Mr. Monahan on the La Cloche Silhouette hiking trail in Killarney Provincial Park.
On the La Cloche Silhouette hiking trail in Killarney Provincial Park this summer.

Welcome (Back)!

I hope you’ve all had a great summer and are excited to be back to school. As most of you will know, I’ve been the teacher-librarian at Teston Village Public School for the past four years. This year, I’m excited to be back in the classroom as a Grade 7 teacher!

My summer has been filled with family time, time outdoors, and getting ready for grade 7. I’ve been doing lots of reading and gathering resources to help us have an engaging and interesting year and I hope I’ll be able to rely on you to contribute to a positive classroom atmosphere where we all bring different strengths and background knowledge to school every day. I hope we create a community where we support each other as learners and make positive choices to help one another.

This blog will be the public face of our classroom. From here, you’ll be able to link to resources and private spaces such as Google Classroom or Edsby. I would encourage you and your parent(s)/guardian(s) to sign up for daily email updates from this blog (use the box on the right side of this page). That will help keep everyone up to date with what’s happening in the classroom, without the need to remember a username/password or download another app.

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