Powerful Words

We’ve been reading Barbara Robinson’s book, The Worst Best School Year Ever.  In it, we see how one compliment affects  a key character who is known for her and her family’s outrageous, trouble-making behaviour.

After finishing the book, we did an activity to see how it felt to be given compliments.  Each child had a blank piece of paper taped to his or her back.  The students were instructed to walk around and write compliments and positive comments on each other’s papers, without leaving names.

Photo 2014-04-08, 11 28 24 AM

Photo 2014-04-08, 11 28 50 AM

Photo 2014-04-08, 11 28 54 AM

Photo 2014-04-08, 11 34 56 AM

Photo 2014-04-08, 11 34 59 AM

Photo 2014-04-08, 11 35 04 AM

At the end of the activity each child was left with a page filled with positive words about themselves.  Words like, “fun,” “creative,” “best friends,” “smart,” “kind,” “energetic,” and many, many others.  We talked about how it felt to get these messages about how they were seen by others and the kids said it made them feel special, warm and fuzzy inside, and happy to read the words.

As we recognize today’s Red Cross Day of Pink in support of taking a stand against bullying, we will continue to use our positive, uplifting support of each other in our class and our school.

We Are Teachers!

As part of our learning about the First Nations’ Circle of Courage, we have been learning about Mastery, which is the identification of things that we are good at and things that we know so well that we could teach others.

Photo 2014-03-04, 1 52 16 PM

As a class we identified and learned about what the word “Mastery” meant.  We talked about the fact that everyone has something that they are great at!  As a group, we brainstormed a list of different things that people could be good at:

Photo 2014-03-04, 1 52 27 PM

Then we talked about ways that we could present and teach our skills to the class, using different method, props, etc.

Photo 2014-03-04, 1 52 36 PM


Each child was encouraged to complete a planning sheet to help them identify what skill they were going to teach, what props/items they could use to share the information and what they could say to help others understand what they were Masters at.

The results were phenomenal.  I had planned for each child to speak for 3-5 minutes each.  Most of the students managed to do 10-12 minutes minimum of presenting and speaking to their peers.  The passion and enthusiasm that they showed was proof of what happens when you allow children to ‘learn’ about things that they are interested in and excited about.

Some of the highlights of our project:

Photo 3-18-2014, 12 57 58 PM Photo 3-18-2014, 12 50 28 PM Photo 3-18-2014, 1 09 56 PM Photo 3-18-2014, 1 05 55 PM Photo 3-17-2014, 2 59 55 PM Photo 3-5-2014, 3 11 18 PM Photo 3-5-2014, 2 39 08 PM Photo 3-4-2014, 9 48 10 AM Photo 3-4-2014, 9 40 19 AM Photo 3-4-2014, 9 27 50 AM Photo 3-4-2014, 9 14 05 AM Photo 3-4-2014, 3 12 53 PM Photo 3-4-2014, 3 07 21 PM Photo 3-4-2014, 3 03 11 PM Photo 3-4-2014, 3 00 14 PM Photo 3-3-2014, 2 47 48 PM Photo 3-3-2014, 2 41 14 PM

Photo 2014-03-03, 3 12 50 PM


Some videos from a few presentations:

Our Hunting Expert demonstrates some calls:

Our Highland Dance Expert demonstrates her skill:

Our Musical Staff and Violin Expert:

A video from our Snowboarding Expert:

A video from our Karate Expert:

Here is a list of our demonstrated Expertise:

Sticker Collector
Baton Twirling
Chin Ups
Rainbow Loom
Ballet and Tap Dancing
Highland Dance
Musical Staff and Violin

This was a remarkable project.  The students’ passion for what they love to do and love to share was amazing.

Thank you to the parents who helped their children prepare for this presentation.  I was blown away by their confidence and willingness to teach us!  We all learned so much!

Our New Community

While taking part in a Twitter chat a while back, I was inspired by @cowpernicus, James Cowper, a Principal from Ontario who tweeted a picture of an inquiry project that a primary teacher in his school had done.  I exchanged tweets with him to get more information and was eager to pose the problem to my students.


Each child was then given 5 index cards and had to write one thing on each cars that they thought were the most important things that would need to be included in the building of the community. The students then got into partners and tried to organize, group, and categorize their cards. Those partners joined another set of students and did the same thing. The groups continued combining and sorting cards:




Photo 2-25-2014, 3 29 07 PM

Afterwards, the cards were put into the iCardSort app where they could be discussed, further categorizing was done, and the students volunteered to take on different responsibilities to create our community.

The students met in their partners or groups and decided how they would create their contribution. Plans were made to bring items from home and supplies were provided in the classroom.

After 2 work periods creating their buildings, parks and trees, we were ready to start putting it together.

It was a remarkable learning experience. The students were all engaged in their learning and all were active participants. The final result was remarkable! We spent 1/2 an hour playing in our community before it became more recycling.

A video to share:

Thanks for reading and watching!

Happy Birthday, Dr. Seuss

We celebrated one of our favourite authors this week! Dr. Seuss’ birthday would have been on March 2 so we spent this short week doing activities related to his work.

Monday was Cat in the Hat Day! The kids all wore red and were appointed as either “Thing 1” or “Thing 2” for the day. Mrs. Crawford was “The Teacher of All Things.” 🙂 Unfortunately, we were so incredibly busy that we forgot to take a group photo! We did celebrate the end of the day with Thing Cupcakes:

Photo 3-3-2014, 3 22 17 PM

Tuesday was Fox in Socks Day!  We learned about rhyming words and tongue twisters.  We had all kinds of crazy socks worn!

Photo 3-4-2014, 11 44 55 AM

Wednesday was The Lorax Day.  We talked about being kind to the Earth and we recycled our big community project. (I’ll follow up with another blog about that activity!)  We all became Loraxes: Speakers for the Trees:


Click to play this Smilebox slideshow
Create your own slideshow - Powered by Smilebox
Digital slideshow customized with Smilebox

Happy Birthday, Dr. Seuss!

One Love

It would have been Bob Marley’s 69th birthday this year. We acknowledged the day with a classroom Beach Day. We watched Marley’s video, One Love, then learned about what an ‘adaptation’ was when we read the book called ‘One Love,’ written by Marley’s daughter. We talked about his messages of acceptance and friendship and then set to making our own messages. You can see them here:

We worked on our balance in gym with practicing our ‘surfing’ and finished the day with a beach-treat – Popsicles! – while listening to a Robert Munsch book, Sandcastle Contest.

One love, my friends!


We have been working on extending and creating patterns in math.  We have learned about repeating patterns and increasing patterns.  The students were directed to demonstrate their learning by creating a pattern and explaining it.

Three of our boys made this video with our iPad mini:

These two were made with our iPad and the Educreations app:


We will add more tomorrow!

A Day of Celebrations

Well, I wasn’t sure it could be done but we proved that it is indeed possible to celebrate four different things in one day!

It was Superhero Day at our school today!  We dressed up and discussed superheroes and their powers. We did a fantastic writing and comic strip making activity.

Photo 1-30-2014, 1 31 03 PM

We also did some dancing to Just Dance as a brain break, using a superhero guy to follow:

Photo 1-30-2014, 10 15 35 AM


We learned about Groundhog Day and what it means.  We took some time to make some predictions as to what we think will happen on Sunday, February 2.  We will discuss the results on Monday.

Photo 1-30-2014, 11 37 08 AM


We have learned about Chinese New Year a couple of times this year, before Christmas and with Ms. Meredith in music. Today we got to see a Lion Dancer who was a visitor to Mme. Robertson’s class.

Photo 1-30-2014, 12 54 13 PM


Photo 1-30-2014, 12 56 58 PM


Photo 1-30-2014, 1 09 00 PM


We learned about the importance and significance of the colours green and red and we were given a Chinese wish for the Year of the Horse for our classroom.   We also made Chinese lanterns as a project. Gong Hey Fat Choy!

Then, as if today wasn’t awesome enough, we celebrated Hot Chocolate Day with our friends from Mme Potter’s class.  We enjoyed hot chocolate with a toppings table where the kids got to customize their own drinks.  We watched a short video about why hot chocolate cools in cold weather, like in the Arctic.  Or Saskatchewan. We also wrote about our hot chocolate preferences and graphed them for a data analysis activity for math.

Photo 1-30-2014, 2 56 24 PM


Photo 1-30-2014, 2 56 41 PM


It was an amazing day of learning!  Have a great long weekend, my students.  You make my days at work remarkable. 🙂


A Beautiful Day to Skate

Today we joined Mme Potter’s class outside for the last period to enjoy a beautiful day of skating on the rink by our school.  Enjoy some of our photos:


Click to play this Smilebox slideshow
Create your own slideshow - Powered by Smilebox
Create your own picture slideshow


A special thank you to the parents who were able to join us to help tie skates, fasten helmets and prepare and serve hot chocolate! The students have already started asking when we will be going out again. Let’s hope for some more awesome weather! We’d definitely go out again!

Helping Our Students Understand Outcomes

We have a new visual in our classroom.

Photo 1-14-2014, 11 37 23 AM

The Cupcake Analogy is one that was shared with me by our Educational Consultant, Frankie Pelletier,  based on a similar visual created by Jenel Markwart, a grade 6/7 teacher at École Centennial School.  It helps the students understand how their achievement is reflected in our Grade Two curricular outcomes.  The version in the photo above, the one that is hanging in our classroom, is one that I created written at a primary/elementary level to help my students truly understand it.

This visual helps the children understand what they need to be able to do to get an ET/4, ME/3, PR/2, BE/1 in our assessment system.  You will have noticed in Gradebook that when you see your child’s marks that I will mark to specific outcomes as opposed to giving percentages or individual assignment marks.  Since we will be referring to this analogy I thought it would be helpful to have a similar language at school and at home.  If you would like to see the documents with the cupcake stage descriptors, you can find those HERE.

The following is a description of the achievement of outcomes as written by Frankie Pelletier, our Educational Consultant, on our RPSConnect Website for the Regina School Division:

A student working at level 1 is beginning the journey.
A student working at level 2 is progressing and approaching some level of understanding.
A student working at level 3 is meeting the requirements of the task at hand.
A student working at level 4 is established and has mastered the art of making cupcakes.

We continue to work towards meeting our Grade Two Outcomes.

December, 2013

(At which time Mrs. Crawford makes an early resolution to do better at blogging next term!)

It’s been a busy, busy month!  After basking in the glow of the Rider’s win at the Grey Cup we quickly went into Concert Mode which took up a fair bit of our time but was totally worth it when you saw the final result!

Some photos that can highlight some of our delightful December follow:

We were lucky to have Elder Hazel visit our classroom to share some storytelling about First Nations beliefs and heritage.  Photo 12-2-2013, 2 49 56 PM

Photo 12-2-2013, 3 33 07 PM

We worked a lot on making inferences in our reading and one of our favourite activities was “What’s in Mrs. Crawford’s Bag?”

Photo 12-3-2013, 1 00 35 PM

We worked with our buddies to make some special holiday ornaments:

Photo 12-3-2013, 3 13 16 PM (1)

Photo 12-3-2013, 3 13 02 PM

Photo 12-3-2013, 3 12 31 PM

Photo 12-3-2013, 3 12 55 PM

Photo 12-3-2013, 3 12 18 PM

Photo 12-3-2013, 3 12 04 PM

All of those indoor recesses gave us lots of energy to use in the gym.  Using this huge ball for dodgeball was a favourite activity!

Photo 12-4-2013, 11 39 04 AM

Photo 12-4-2013, 11 39 10 AM

We were lucky to have the Grey Cup visit along with some players and coaches:

Photo 12-3-2013, 10 09 59 AM

Photo 12-3-2013, 10 16 10 AM

Grey Cup Class

A super fun bowling morning!

Photo 12-13-2013, 10 41 30 AM

Photo 12-13-2013, 10 42 37 AM

Photo 12-13-2013, 10 42 50 AM

Followed by a lunch with Mme Robertson’s and Mme Surkan’s classes:

Photo 12-13-2013, 11 57 25 AM

Photo 12-13-2013, 11 57 54 AM

Photo 12-13-2013, 11 57 33 AM

We also spent more buddy time with Mme Ramage’s class decorating sugar cookies and enjoying a holiday movie.

Photo 12-17-2013, 2 52 51 PM

Photo 12-17-2013, 2 52 44 PM

Photo 12-17-2013, 2 53 25 PM

Today, we had some senior students visit to do some carolling in our class:

Photo 12-20-2013, 1 25 02 PM

Have a Happy Holiday!  I wish you all the best of this season and always.  I hope everyone is surrounded by family, friends and love.  I feel truly blessed to be part of the Hawrylak School community and am grateful for the support and enthusiasm of the students and their families.

See you in 2014.

Best Regards,

Trina Crawford