Happy New Year!

Hello students, friends and family of Room 216,

I have spent a wonderful winter vacation dreaming up new and exciting projects for us to tackle together in the New Year. I hope all of you are well-rested and ready to take on the challenges ahead. Bring on 2013!

I thought this would be an appropriate time to show you all what we were up to at the end of 2012 (it’s been too long since my last post).

In Writing, we were learning how to write paragraphs.  We talked about the importance of knowing the purpose before you write.  Sometimes we write paragraphs to explain, sometimes we write them to describe and other times we write them to persuade. Knowing the purpose is key to writing a good paragraph.

how to paragraph paragraph hamburger

In Math, we learned how to estimate, how to round to the nearest 10, how to find missing numbers in addition and subtraction questions and we learned this really cool strategy called, “banana split” to help us add quickly in our heads.

why estimate rounding to estimate find a missing number banana split In Reading, we focused on making predictions before, during and after we read.  We also discussed how to write an effective response to a reading question.  A lot of reading responses have to do with the “big idea” in stories.  We made a chart to help us identify the big idea in stories we read together. We’ll be working on this more in the upcoming weeks.

making predictions Big Ideas in Stories   Answering a Reading Question

I can’t wait to see you all on Monday!  Until then, enjoy the last weekend of winter vacation.  :)


Ms. Toombs

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Royal Winter Fair

It’s official.

We LOVE field trips!

Our first big trip of the year was to the Royal Winter Fair.  We took this trip as a fun way to kick-off our new Social Studies Unit on urban and rural communities.  We are so lucky to live in a city that offers us a chance to experience some aspects of rural life in the heart of our urban environment.

Here are some of the highlights from our trip, taken before my camera battery died :(


- we saw a Super Dogs show

- we fed farm animals right out of our hands at the petting zoo, including cows, sheep, goats and llamas

- we saw farm animals competing in all kinds of contests

- we met farmers who told us about their animals and lives

- we saw a sheep being shorn

- we saw prize-winning GIANT pumpkins

- some of us even saw an equestrian competition

It was a truly memorable day.  Thanks to all the amazing volunteers who helped us out.

Until next time,

Ms. Toombs

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Sky Dive From Space!

Dear Room 216,

History was made yesterday when an Austrian daredevil jumped from the edge of space and landed safely back on earth.  The entire world was watching!  Today in the library, Mrs. Costello and I showed you that amazing jump.  I thought you might like to share it with the good folks at home. 

I know I don’t have to say this, but I will anyway- don’t try this at home!  :)

To watch the video, click here.

See you tomorrow morning!

Ms. Toombs

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Rick Mercer Link

Hello Room 216,

On Friday we watched a hilarious video starring Rick Mercer, who experienced zero gravity!  I promised you all the link so that you can re-watch the video at home, so here you go:

Rick Mercer Experiences Zero Gravity

Try not too laugh too much!


Ms. Toombs

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Hello, October!

Friends, Family and Students of Room 216,

It has been a busy couple of weeks.  Since my last post, we’ve changed from a Grade 2/3 class to a straight Grade 3 class.  We had to say goodbye to some of our younger classmates, and of course welcome our new Grade 3s .  We also welcomed Rawlinson’s newest teacher and our newest neighbour, Ms. Wong.  Overall it’s been a big change, but one that we are excited about!  I LOVE teaching Grade 3, so I’m looking forward to the rest of the school year.

Here’s a few pictures of some things we’ve been learning about lately:

We read the biography of Terry Fox.  Before reading, we got together with our groups and recorded what we already knew about Terry Fox.  We learned a lot from his biography, and after reading it, we recorded new facts that we learned.  This helped get us prepared to participate in the Terry Fox run, which happened near the end of September.

During Writer’s Workshop, we’ve been writing personal narratives.  We used this anchor chart to record what we are learning about personal narratives.  This week, we’ll be publishing our best personal narratives, and sharing them with our peers.  Exciting!

During our Reading Cafe, we’ve been talking about the importance of choosing books that are “just right” for us.  When we read books that are too easy for us, or too hard for us, we don’t learn anything.  We’ve been using reading logs to keep track of the “just right” books we’re reading.

Lately in math we’ve been problem-solving.  We use this awesome anchor chart to help us.  When we follow these steps, problem-solving is a breeze.

And, last but not least, I want to give a special shout out to all the Cross Country runners who represented Room 216 last week during the Cross Country Meet at Centennial Park. Congrats to Meron, Rachel, Noa and Shikawna!  You made us proud!

Good luck to Rachel and Noa, who will be running in the Semi-Finals tomorrow!

We’ll all be cheering you on!


Ms. Toombs


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Second Week was Sweet!

Last week was great!  We finished our self-portraits, which are now posted on the “student work” page of the blog.  You must check them out.

They are simply outstanding.   Some other interesting tidbits from life in Room 216:

We finished our time capsules.  Each table group created one capsule to be kept in a top secret location until the end of the year.  What fun!

We’ve been enjoying daily messages written by the class VIP.  Each morning we choose a new VIP.  He or she is responsible for writing a message to be read by the class at the end of the day.  The theme of the message is, “two truths and a lie”.  We all try to guess which statement is the “lie”.  It’s probably the time of day we all look forward to the most.

In math, we’ve been learning about patterns.  We created these patterns with a partner, and described the attributes that were changing and identified the pattern rule.

Finally, we started our spelling program.  We all have individual class spelling lists based on the results of our Mega 100 Word Spelling Test at the beginning of the year.  Students are expected to choose words from their individual lists, in order to challenge them at their own level.  The picture above shows our spelling pockets, where we keep our words of the week.  We also have spelling buddies, who give each other spelling tests on Fridays.   Spelling homework will begin next week, so stay tuned!

That’s another little peek into daily life in Room 216.  Thanks for reading!


Ms. Toombs


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Highlights From the First Week

Wow.  Let me say that again, wow!

I can’t believe our first week is already over.  I’ve had a blast getting to know all of my new students and finding out a little bit more about them.  Please enjoy some highlights from our first week together.

On the first day of school, we began by reading a hilarious story called, “Spider School”, and then talked about why we were feeling excited and/or nervous about starting a new grade.


Next, we brainstormed the type of classroom we want to create together.  The students worked together to write “we statements” that everyone could agree to.  Here are some samples of their brainstorming:



This brilliant brainstorming led into the following classroom agreements:

We “owl” agreed!

Finally, we also kicked off our Math Unit on Patterning by creating these fun name patterns:

Stay tuned for more updates soon.  We’re in the process of working on Time Capsules and  Self Portraits.

Mucho rest and relaxation this weekend all!


Ms. Toombs :)

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