Wednesday, December 11, 2013

An Animated Declaration

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

The Big Idea

Listen to the two video clips from The Voice (top 5) competition this week.  Pick the song you prefer and write about The Big Idea in the song.  Use examples from the lyrics and your own thoughts.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Google Doodle Contest


This looks like an interesting contest.  The deadline for entry is December 31st. and I thought some of you might be interested.  Let me know if you would like to enter. Students create their doodles based off the theme “If I could invent anything, I would invent...” Above are links which will help you get started.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

A Child's Garden - a story of HOPE

Watch the above video. Tell me why you think the book is called "a story of hope".

Open the following link to find out some interesting information about the author.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Kinetic Sand

Watch the above video.  I would like to order some of this interesting sand.  Can you find out what it is composed of and if not, what do you think it might be made out of? (Including proportions)
Post your responses.

Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, 1918 – 2013

Open the above link and read about Nobel Peace Prize winner - Nelson Mandela.

The world lost a hero last week – Nelson Mandela.  Nelson Mandela was an inspiration to people all over the world.  After spending 27 years in jail for fighting against Apartheid (the segregation of White versus Black people), he went on to become the first Black President of South Africa and won the Nobel Peace prize for bringing freedom to his country. 

Choose a character trait that you think Nelson Mandela possessed.  Write a paragraph explaining why you chose that specific trait and why it is an important characteristic to have.   Remember to justify your answer with proof from your own thinking.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Christmas Scavenger Hunt - For Joy Day (Do NOT open until Friday)....Santa's watching!


See Mrs. O'Hara for Part Two of the Christmas Scavenger Hunt.

Hana's Suitcase - Final Activity

Do you know if anything was found inside Hana's suitcase?  If not, what do you think she would have taken with her when she had to escape?
Imagine you are able to place 6 items in Hana's suitcase (for her).  Not including clothing.  What would you put in her suitcase? Explain why.
Post your responses.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Where in The World...due Friday, Dec. 5th

A clip from the actual movie....Warning - Don't try this!

Advent - What does it mean to you?

What does Advent mean to you? (Post your response)

The Cats in Krasinski Square

We will be reading the book - The Cats in Krasinski Square by Karen Hesse, in class.
"When Newbery Medalist Karen Hesse came upon a short article about cats out-foxing the Gestapo at the train station in Warsaw during WWII, she couldn't get the story out of her mind. The result is this stirring account of a Jewish girl's involvement in the Resistance. This fictional account, born of meticulous research, is a testament to history and to our passionate will to survive, as only Karen Hesse can write it."  - Scholastic.com

I have provided you with a written copy of the story and a video (to music) below.  Three of the main characters we have read about lately have been girls: Hana, Rose, and the main character in The Cats in Krasinski Square (Mira's sister).  What character traits do they all have in common? Explain.


I was very curious as to whether or not the cats were actually involved in "outfoxing the Gestapo" at the train station in Warsaw during WWll. I spent at least a half hour searching for the actual article that Hesse was referring to - no luck. I finally decided to check out the author's blog (which is great for aspiring writers, by the way) and I found this question from another curious reader and an answer (from Karen Hesse).

Friday, November 29, 2013

Monsters in A Jar

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Rose Blanche by Roberto Innocenti - A Different Perspective

We are reading Rose Blanche in class.  Open the above link and watch the video retelling.

Book Review Excerpts:
"An excellent book to use not only to teach about the Holocaust, but also about living a life of ethics, compassion, and honesty." - School Library Journal
"This is a stunning book and a forceful argument for peace. All ages." - Publishers Weekly
Do you agree with the reviews? Explain your answer.
When I say that this book shows a "different perspective" what do you think I mean?

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

"As writers, we learn most of what we know just by watching the pros, don't we?" ~John R. Trimble

Mentor Sentence of The Week:

The car passes and you can't see through the dark windows and you can hear the snow crunching under the tires, squeaky and frozen.

Freak the Mighty
Rodman Philbrick

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Where in the world.....due Thurs., Nov. 21st.

Watch the above video clip.  What images and words remind you of the book - Hana's Suitcase?  Your WITW this week is based on the picture below the video clip.

National Bullying Awareness Week

Listen to the above song from The Voice competition. The song is We're Going to Be Friends, by The Whitestripes. This song reminds me of my best friends when I was in elementary school, some of whom I am still friends with today.  How do you know when someone is your friend?

"Bullies tear down. Friends build up. So what do you want to be?" Respond to this quote. 
Post all your responses.

Wonder Quote

“If every person in this room made it a rule that wherever you are, whenever you can, you will try to act a little kinder than is necessary - the world really would be a better place. And if you do this, if you act just a little kinder than is necessary, someone else, somewhere, someday, may recognize in you, in every single one of you, the face of God.” 
― R.J. PalacioWonder

Explain what this quote means in your own words. Why do you think this quote is important? How does it apply to anti-bullying messages?

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Analyzing Text for the Big Idea.

Watch the following video about Tarra and Bella.  When you are finished, I would like you to tell me the “Big Idea“.
I am expecting you to write a paragraph to justify (prove) your thinking.  Remember to use specific images or comments from the video and connect them to the Big Idea.

Don’t forget to use the criteria:
- begin by using part of the question in your answer
- answer what is being asked
- provide 2 pieces of relevant evidence (this means it supports the answer you’ve written)
- for EACH piece of evidence, provide your own thinking by analyzing the evidence you chose
- edit your response

Monday, November 11, 2013

Hana's Suitcase


We recently read a newspaper article about an older man named Nate, who was reminiscing about the events of Kristallnacht, when he was a young boy of 10, living in Germany. 
Pope Francis recently marked the 75th anniversary of the Kristallnacht attacks in Nazi Germany, saying the state-sponsored ransacking of Jewish homes, businesses and synagogues on the night of Nov. 9, 1938, in which scores of Jewish people were killed, marked a step toward the Holocaust and should not be forgotten. Pope Francis said the following in his Nov. 10th mass, this past Sunday, at St. Peter's Square:
"We renew our closeness and solidarity to the Jewish people, our big brothers
and pray to God that the memory of the past and of the sins of the past helps us to be always vigilant against every form of hate and intolerance."

We are reading Hana's Suitcase in class. How do you think George and Hana are similar and different in terms of the effect WWll had on them? Next week is anti-bullying week. How does Pope Francis' message relate to anti-bullying? (Post your responses.)

A Bruenn JR shop, a Jewish-run store after it has been vandalized by Nazis and its frontwall inscripted with anti-Semitic graffiti after Kristallnacht. 

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Gr. 5 Science - Structures & Mechanisms



Open and explore the above links.  Post three things you learned in each video. You may use point form.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Remembrance Day - War Animals

Super Typhoon Haiyan

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

"He's perfect the way God made him."

Watch the above video.  How does Archie's sister reflect Jesus' teachings? Can you make a connection to something in your own life?

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Where in the world....due Fri., Nov. 8th

Have any of you been to this museum or do you know someone who has been?
I have been and it is really interesting and inspiring.  My grandfather fought
in WW11.  He was in the Navy.  He didn't make it to Juno Beach, but he
often talked about his experience in the war.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Monsters In a Jar

Watch the above video clip - you may get some ideas for your 3D monsters.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Wonder - Week of Oct., 21st.



All the students from the school dressed up in Egyptian costumes for museum day. Summer and Auggie dressed as mummies.

Friday, October 18, 2013

W.I.T.W. - due Thurs., Oct. 24th

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Virtual Field Trip - Wed., Oct. 17th


A Virtual Field Trip from the Museum of Science October 17, 2013 1:00-2:00 PM ET Live from Museum of Science in Boston, MA
This event will explore the natural and human-made world through the lens of engineering. We'll be visiting STEMtastic exhibits like a Van de Graaff generator, a machine that makes musical thunder and lightning. We will also get a sneak peak of the Hall of Human Life, a brand-new exhibit opening in November. Its role is to highlight breakthroughs in biology and biotechnology.
Students will have an opportunity to submit questions beforehand.

Wonder - Read along

Question from Cat - What is a cyclone?

Watch the video below.  How does a cyclone compare to a typhoon?  Post your answers.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Wonder - due Fri., Oct.18th

Open the links below and explore.  Answer questions in your Reader's Notebook.



Friday, October 4, 2013

Literature Circle Wordle - due Wed., Oct. 9th

Open the above link and create a Wordle on your Literature Circle book. (Which book does the Wordle above represent?)

Wonder - pg. 51-80

Open the above link and view the background information on the newest section of our read aloud.

Sunday, September 29, 2013


Watch the above video.
 Respond to the following quotes from the video:
 "With great power comes great responsibility." 
"I think there's a hero in all of us who keeps us honest, gives us strength, makes us noble...."
What do you think these quotes mean? (Post your responses.)

Where In The World?....due Fri., Oct. 4th (Homework)

Watch the video below and answer the mini research questions.  Remember to include interesting facts that you discovered.

Wonder - Pages 27-50

Open the above link and answer the questions/file in your Reader's Notebook.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Superhero Assignment #1

Identify 5 character traits that Superman possesses. Rank the top three that would be most important for being a superhero. (Post your answer)

Thursday, September 12, 2013


Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Wonder - p.1 - 26

Open the above link - read & respond.  Post your responses on our blog.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Wonder by Natalie Merchant - Lyrics

Wonder by Natalie Merchant

Doctors have come from distant cities just to see me.
                                         Stand over my bed, disbelieving what they're seeing.

They say I must be one of the wonders of God's own creation.
And as far as they see they can offer no explanation.

Newspapers ask intimate questions, want confessions.
They reach into my head to steal the glory of my story.

They say I must be one of the wonders of God's own creation.
And as far as they see they can offer no explanation.

O, I believe fate smiled and destiny laughed as she came to my cradle,
                                 Know this child will be able. Laughed as my body she lifted, 
                           Know this child will be gifted with love, with patience and with faith.
                                                                 She'll make her way.

People see me, I'm a challenge to your balance.
                                   I'm over your heads, how I confound you and astound you
                                  To know I must be one of the wonders of God's own creation.
                                     And as far as you can see you can offer me no explanation.

O, I believe fate smiled and destiny laughed as she came to my cradle.
                             Know this child will be able. Laughed as she came to my mother,
                              Know this child will not suffer, Laughed as my body she lifted,
                           Know this child will be gifted with love, with patience and with faith.

She'll make her way.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Wonder by Natalie Merchant

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Introducing our first read aloud - Wonder

What thoughts go through your mind as you watch this video clip? What questions do you have? Respond to the following quote from the book: You can't really blend in when you were born to stand out.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Let's Dance

Use one word to describe your response to each dance.  You have to use a different word for each dance. Place commas between each word and post your response.  Provide a title.

Monday, September 2, 2013


Night Zookeeper App

Check out our new iPad app - Night Zookeeper Teleporting Torch. This app delivers free daily drawing activities to our iPads. Hopefully these activities will inspire you to read, draw and write stories about magical animals!

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Question of The Week

 Stingrays are ovoviviparous . What does that mean?
 List 3 other creatures that are ovoviviparous .

Sunday, August 25, 2013


Monday, July 1, 2013

Happy travels this summer!

Further Up Yonder: A Message From ISS To All Humankind by film student Giacomo Sardelli, using images and audio messages courtesy of NASA. The video’s transcript:

As the most forward deployed citizens of the planet at this moment, and the first expedition crew aboard Space Station Alpha, we are well started on our journey of exploration and discovery, building a foothold for men and women who will voyage and live in places far away from our home planet. We are opening a gateway to space for all humankind.
As we orbit the planet every 90 minutes, we see a world without borders and send our wish that all nations will work towards peace and harmony. Our world has changed dramatically, still the ISS is the physical proof that nations can work together in harmony and should promote peace and global cooperation, and rich goals that are simply out of this world.
On this night, we would like to share with all, our good fortune on this space adventure, our wonder and excitement as we gaze on the Earth’s splendor, and our strong sense that the human spirit to do, to explore, to discover has no limit.
Times are hard all over the world, but this is a time when we can all think about being together and treasuring our planet, and we have a pretty nice view of it up here.

The fragility, the intricate detail, and "the charming rise and fold" of a Paper City. Animation by Maciek Janicki.

In case you are looking for something to do this summer....Have a great vacation!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Soccer Trip - by Luc Hewitt

Message from CACD regarding our Chemistry Video

Hi Mrs. O'Hara,

Well, you just made my day! Thanks so much for sharing this!

Can you give me the full names of the students who created the video. We would like to acknowledge their efforts. I see that the video said Katherine and Amanda but I would like to note their full names and grades.

Secondly, can we have permission to post this video on our Facebook page? We love showing what value the kids get out of it. For inspiration of course!

Once again, thanks for sending this over and thinking of us. We REALLY appreciate it.

Have a super day,


Catherine Wieckowska
Manager, Communications & Member Services

Canadian Association of Chemical Distributors

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

My Amazing Summer Vacation Plans......

The only rule is this:
You need to be back for school in September.
Now for the challenge -
You have to plan the most amazing summer vacation ever.  Imagine you have no budget restrictions and you have a private plane at your disposal.  Where would you go and what would you do? Post your responses.

Minecraft - This is what happens when you give your thirteen year old brother Minecraft!


Thursday, June 20, 2013

Flight - gr. 6




Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Flight - gr. 6

Interactive:  http://futureflight.arc.nasa.gov/map.html


Open the above link and click on all the items.  Using the information profided answer the following questions:
1.  What is an airfoil?
2.  How does an airplane fly?
3.  How does a bird fly through the air?
*Make sure all answers are in your own words.  You may add diagrams.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Flight - gr. 6



1.  Open the above link and explore the assigned section.  Be ready to present the gyst of the article to the rest of the class.
2.  What is the above diagram a picture of? 

Open the above link and learn about the history of aviation.  Create a timeline using this video and the poster in class.

Interactive Flight Activities from The Smithsonian http://airandspace.si.edu/wrightbrothers/interactiveExperiments/index.cfm

Gr. 6 Science - Creating Circuits


Thursday, June 13, 2013

Favourite Dance Scenes?

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Derecho - Did it happen?

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy
Watch the above video clip and open the above link and read the report.
We explored derechos today in class.  You researched the characteristics of a derecho.  We looked at a news report of a possible derecho.  As a follow-up I would like you to find out if the "dreaded derecho" actually happened.  Post a response.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013


Open the above link and explore.  Be ready to share your thoughts with a partner.

Pick a writing format: recount, narrative, diary/journal, report, newspaper/magazine article, radio/t.v. announcement, poetry.......your own idea!  Write a minimum 500 words.