Friday, February 22, 2013


We had our first DI challenge the other day. For those of you who don't know what DI is, it is a program called Destination Imagination that promotes creativity through problem solving. The short version is that the students are given a question to ponder, then a challenge related to the question, a set of supplies and an amount of time in a team to solve the challenge.
Our first Destination Imagination day, the question was: What is long?  First, we went around our meeting circle and named things that were long. The answers were as varied as the students. From fallen trees, to skyscrapers if they fell over, to heaven! We talked about thinking outside the box, taking other people's ideas and making them your own (called piggybacking in DI) and then I gave them the challenge.
Our first challenge? Build the longest object you can using the supplies given. Students were put in teams of two and given:
3 straws, 3 paperclips, one piece of paper, one toilet paper roll, 3 cardboard circles and one strip of labels.
It was really interesting seeing how the different groups worked together, the way that their minds worked and the creations they came up with! I took some photos of the kids at work (sorry that some are blurry a bit - others were too blurry to post! The perils of using a phone camera!) and decided to post them with the circles to hide their faces. The photos lose something in doing this but the anonymity of the students stays intact and that is what is most important to me.

At the end of the DI session, teams got to tell about their thinking and other students got to comment on what they found interesting. I was a bit concerned about the attention span of some of the students but they all did really well. I loved hearing comments like "I think it is interesting the way that you did...." instead of just the usual "It is nice"!

Here are some of the final creations in their many, varied forms:


This team created an airplane. If this student's parent is looking at the blog,
they will know immediately that their son was on this team. He is airplane mad!!!!

This is a closeup of the end of the one below. I liked how they cut a slit in the circle
to put the strip of paper through because they were out of labels! Thinking outside the box is
what DI is all about!

Another close up from the one above it. Interesting folding techniques on the paper.
And I can not say enough about the three parents who came to help me do the lesson. Soon, they will have a chance to be trained in DI instruction and they will lead the lessons while I help them!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Heart Art

We have been working on pop art in the style of Jim Dine. I talked a bit about it the other day here. Not all of the class is finished theirs but I just can't wait to share the ones that are done!

Check these out!

 Beautiful, huh? Didn't I say that these were going to be frame worthy?

Ms. Hughes

Wednesday, February 6, 2013


Well, it is that time again. A new month. A new Currently. A new linky party with Farley over at Oh Boy Fourth Grade.

So, here goes....

Jump over to Farley's and check out the other Currently's!

Ms. Hughes

WWR February 6

Leonard Cohen
via here

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Is It a Full Moon?

Oh my goodness, can I say chatter boxes?!?!

I don't know if they are talking more than usual and it is driving me crazy or if they are talking the same amount and I just need my patience well refilled. Either way, the last two days have been loooong!

So, since I prefer to be a glass half full kind of person as much as possible, I am going to make myself share three things that went well today.

1. We started our non-fiction writing on whales. This is really a chance for students to show what they have learned studying whales with Mrs.V. while learning about elements in non-fiction writing. So far, I am pleased with what they have retained from her lessons.

2. We started a Valentine's pop art project based on the art of Jim Dine. I have wanted to do this since I first discovered his art and I just know that these projects are going to be AMAZING!!! Want to get it framed and hang it on your living room wall amazing!

The project is based on his pop art hearts.

Four Hearts 1969

heart painting
One of my favourite things about this project is it is impossible to do it wrong. Anything goes! We are using crayons, paint and oil pastels and will end up with something like this:

 Jim Dine inspired hearts from here
3. It was Library day. Which means I had 45 minutes class free to work on setting up the new Deconstruction/Reconstruction centre and re-organize my levelled books. was quiet for those 45 minutes. Bliss!

Tonight I am going to promise myself I will get a good night's sleep, drink TWO cups of coffee in the morning and take lots of STAR breaths during the day. And, I know, I just know that tomorrow is going to be great!

Ms. Hughes

P.S. Have you been wondering about spelling words this week? Well, I didn't get them handed out so have decided to take the week off! I will give them out on Friday to be reviewed in class on Feb 15.