Sunday, 16 September 2012

NEW blog!

As we have begun a new year with a new group of students, I have created a new blog.   If you would like to see our new blog please click on this link or visit us as

This year I have begun a new role as a Faculty Advisor at UBC.   If you are an educator you may also be interested in checking out my website at

Monday, 16 July 2012

Thank you for a wonderful year!

Division 5 students,

I must apologize for the delay in my posting of the iMovie I showed on my last week of school.   I hope your last week was good.  I was away with my family and promised them that I would not do any homework while on vacation.  The day after I returned I was at UBC in a one week long class.

But I really want each of you to know that every time our view the video, I smile at the learning journey we took together.   Although I was only with you half of the week, I enjoyed every day!   You are all brilliant and you taught both me and Mrs. Robson so much!

Have a wonderful summer!   Keep checking the blog, as I just may have a math problem that I need your assistance with.

Take Care, Mrs. Barker

Here is the link to the video... Sorry - I had some difficulties embedding it within this post.

Monday, 18 June 2012

Bubble GUM inspired writing!

Sequencing Writing - How to Blow A Bubble!

Measuring Mania

These past couple of weeks, the students have been doing some measuring using both non-standard units of measure such as dominos, letter tiles, crayons, hands, etc. as well using standard units of measure, such as centimetres, and metres.  They had a lot of fun working with the clock partners to rotate through stations.

This group measured the back table with different sized play cars...
This lead to an interesting discussion!  I asked them to describe what
they discovered.   It didn't seem to concern them that some of the play cars
they used were different lengths... some much longer than others.   I asked
if this made a difference in their results...  they agreed that it did but were
unsure how to measure the long length of the table using units of like size
since they did not have enough cars of equal length ~ one student showed
the others how to line up a car at the edge of the table, make a mark, and
either add a car of similar size or move the previous car to the beginning
of the mark - aligning the car(s) in a straight line without overlapping
gaps ~ an "ah-ha" moment!

Sunday, 10 June 2012

Library Mouse Inspires Writing

Inspired by some great writing ideas shared by colleagues at my Primary Teacher's Writing Study Group, and sparked by Daniel Kirk's book, Library Mouse, a couple of weeks ago I read my students this lovely story.

Sam, the library mouse, lives in the walls of the library.   He enjoys reading the many books and one day decides to write a few stories of his own.  He hides them on the shelves of the library.   The next day some children find his books and wonder who the author is.

Inspired by Sam, the library mouse, each student in the class wrote their own mini-books based on self-selected topics.   On Wednesday during library, the students excitedly hid their books amongst the other books in the library.  We can't wait to hear what other students have to say when they discover our little books.

This past week I read Library Mouse: A World To Explore, also by Daniel Kirk.   Through this cute story Sam the library mouse, learns about places around the world through the books in the library and through students 3-D projects that he plays with.   After reading and discussing the book, my students came to understand that through reading we can "adventure" to new places in the world.  

Next, I had the students look at non-fiction books describing countries around the world.   I told them that I wanted them to read about a place that they would like to visit and then pretend that they had travelled there.   I then handed each student a recipe/index card and had them write me a postcard telling me about all the interesting things they saw and learned on their adventure.   

Thursday, 7 June 2012

It's About Time

Last week I brought a few of my favourite watches in to school to show the class.  I have always loved watches and remember the excitement when I walked into a Swatch Watch store for the first time.

The children liked looking at creative designs and bright colours.   This led us into a discussion about time.  I showed them the chart paper below that had an analog (face) clock and a digital time.  Together we discussed what they knew and I wrote their comments down.   This was a way of conducting an informal assessment for learning.

I was surprised and pleased with the knowledge the students had.  Although no student mentioned 24-hour clock notation, so I believe this will be a new concept for many.

Following the discussion, we looked at the picture book, Tuesday by David Weisner and then the students were asked to respond individually to the question "What would happen if we had no way to measure time?"  

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Still working hard!

Although I have not posted in over a week... the students in Division 5 have been hard at work.  They wrote their own First Nations legends, created blossom pictures, and finished a Curious George study!