Mystery Skype & Global Read Aloud

This morning, we completed our very first Mystery Skype! Using geography-based questions, Google Maps, and Skype, our class was able to pinpoint where another group of Grade 6s was in the world. As it turns out, they were in Hamilton, Ontario. We asked them questions including, “Are you a territory? Are you east of Manitoba? Are you a capital city?” In turn, they asked us whether we were near Greenland, whether we are a provincial capital, and whether we are east of Saskatchewan. They successfully guessed where we are located, too.

22098550We will be connecting with this class over the next month and a half (and possibly longer) as part of the Global Read Aloud. During the GRA, classes from around the world connect and have one common thread between them: the shared reading of a story. Our class – along with many others – will read Pax by Sarah Pennypacker. We will write to other classes to share our predictions and reactions as the novel unfolds.

After the Mystery Skype call, we reflected on the process and came up with ways to improve next time. Mme Banks came to help and had some great suggestions to share.

We hope to make other Mystery Skype calls as the year progresses…perhaps with classes outside of Canada!


Upcoming Winnipeg Public Library Workshop

In the latest issue of At the Librarythe Winnipeg Public Library has listed an upcoming event that may be of interest to students:

Ultimate Building Challenge: Face a series of fun challenges that will have you designing and building sculptures that nearly defy gravity. Use simple materials like spaghetti, paper cups, marshmallows and KEVA planks. Your imagination is the only limit to what can be created! Ages 9-12. At the Westwood Library (registered program) on Saturday, October 8, 2-4 PM.

I encourage students who do not yet have a library card to get one!


What’s Up in Room 207?

We have had a busy first week of school.

In English Language Arts, we have begun to set up our reading and writing workshops. This year, everyone’s goal is to read 40 books…or, at least, more books than they read last year. We discussed the many genres of literature, and M. Sorokowski talked about a lot of different books (these book talks – or book commercials – are to introduce students to a wide range of literature. They have “Books to Read” lists in their reading and writing notebooks to keep track of what they read). We also began our poetry routine: Every Tuesday and Thursday, M. Sorokowski will share a poem, which we’ll study closely to appreciate the beauty and power of language…and to show that poetry doesn’t just have to be about flowers and nature.

Some beliefs that will inform what we do in English Language Arts, specifically about reading:

  • Every person a wild reader.
  • Books are mirrors, windows, and sliding glass doors.
  • Passionate readers are created from exposure to a wide choice of reading materials.
  • There is a book out there for everyone.
  • Our reader identity is developed by tracking and thinking about what we read (but this doesn’t necessarily mean keeping a reading log); wild readers have reading plans.


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Solving the Four 4s challenge

In Mathématiques, we learned about a professor named Jo Bowler, who introduced us to different ways to think about math. We discussed the myth of the math person and how math is extremely visual. Then we tried math challenges, including visualizing dots, recognizing patterns in our number system, and finding each of the numbers from 1-20 using four 4s and operations. Some of the norms we will use in math class this year include:

  • Everyone can learn math.
  • Mistakes are valuable.
  • Math is about creativity and making sense.
  • Questions are really important.
  • Depth is more important than speed.

Soon, we will begin our study of numbers by learning about numbers larger than 1 000 000, along with factors and multiples.

In Sciences humaines, we reviewed some concepts from Grade 5 and are in the process of completing a geographical review of Canada and the world. This will help set the stage for our study of Canadian history. In Sciences de la nature, we have begun our study of space. We are looking at how conceptions of the Earth and its position in space have changed over time. Then we will study the planets.


In Francais, we have begun a review of how to speak and write properly to be understood well. For example, we have learned how pronouns can be used to replace nouns and which verbs go with which pronouns. Students have known this for a loooooong time, but we always need to review come September. We also began LaLaLa with lecture autonome, which is where students read to themselves silently in French.

Finally, we have spent lots of time getting to know each other. We shake hands with M. Sorokowski every day when we enter, so we practiced how to give a good handshake and how to greet someone. We talked about what’s great and not so great about school, which led into a discussion about what kind of classroom and teacher we wish to have. These have informed our classroom beliefs, which we will solidify and sign this week. We even solved The Mystery of the Kidnapped Millionnaire to work on our teamwork, collaboration, and cooperation skills.


One week down, and many more to go! This will be a great year!



Scholastic Orders

Students and families are welcome to order books through Scholastic Book Club this year! I will be sending home the Middle School and Club de lecture book orders every month. I will also post book recommendations. There are two benefits to Scholastic Book Clubs. First, all of the books offered through Scholastic are sold for a lower price than in the bookstore. Second, every purchase gives me credits to get more books for our classroom library. Families can pay online by visiting or by sending in a cheque payable to Scholastic Canada.



  • Ghosts by Raina Telgemeier
  • Middle School, the Worst Years of My Life by James Patterson and Chris Tebbetts
  • Towers Falling by Jewell Parker Rhodes
  • Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid #11: Double Down by Jeff Kinney
  • The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer


Bienvenue à la classe de Sciences

Bonjour! Welcome to Sciences de la nature, 6e année. Below you will find a slideshow that outlines the four main topics we will study this year. We will ask ourselves the unifying question of How do we decide what to believe about a scientific claim? and work to answer that question throughout the year.

Families in 6F3, please click to download the opening letter and contact form. Return it to school with your child as soon as possible, so I can stay in touch with you.

Bonne rentrée !

Welcome back to school! Bonne rentrée !  You have found Salle 207’s blog, which will contain information about assignments and projects. Many handouts from class will be posted here if they are relevant and need to be accessed outside of school. The blog will be an information hub.

Please note that some posts will be in French: The blog’s audience is both parents and students, so the language will depend on the post’s purpose.

Screen Shot 2016-09-05 at 12.11.01 PM.pngI recommend you follow this blog by email, which means you will get an email notification every time there is a new post. This saves you the hassle of checking for updates when there’s nothing new. To follow, look for this widget on the sidebar or, if you’re on a cellphone, at the bottom of the page.

Another way to stay in touch is to use a service called Remind. Remind helps keep you informed about classroom activities and assignments. It is a free service that lets me send quick messages via text or email to everyone involved with the class. We’ll be able to stay in touch without revealing our personal contact information. Here’s how to sign up. Mme Buckwold and Mme Banks will also be using Remind to share school-wide information.

If you are new to having a child in middle years, I highly recommend reading Manitoba Education’s My Child in the Middle Years resource. It has great information about changes adolescents experience and how to best support them.

Finally, please find below links to handy documents.

I look forward to working together this school year. Merci et bonne continuation !