Thursday, November 3, 2011

Going Wild with Mrs. Gamble!

Mrs. Gamble is a real sport. She will do anything to keep our students reading at home! This year our theme is Get Wild About Reading, and Mrs. Gamble is taking it seriously.
The top readers from each class were given a reward this week. Two lovely ladies in Grade Three gave Mrs. Gamble a real "wild" hairstyle yesterday! Here's a peek at their work - maybe they have a future career planned???



Today, Mrs. Gamble took a real plunge! She will be donating her hair to Locks of Love, a charity that provide wigs for cancer patients. For her big hair cut, she let the top reader in each class cut off a chunk of her hair. Now that was a fun assembly!

This guy was really worried about the abilities of Mrs. Gamble's stylists!



But they did a pretty good job!
Halloween came and went on Monday. Phew, it was a busy day filled with lots of fun and really great costumes. Here's a few photos to check out!



Have you ever thought about (I mean REALLY thought about it) the one thing you do better than other people? It isn't that easy a question. It turns out that people are often too shy to brag about themselves - when I thought about this question, I really struggled to come up with something. I could think of a billion different things my friends, family or students are amazing at, but not one for me!
Then it hit me.
Tomato sauce.
I am soooo good at making tomato sauce. I don't have a recipe. I just throw whatever I feel like in the pot. It always turns out great! I have never claimed to be a chef - I am pretty much an awful cook, but my tomato sauce is really, really tasty. The smell of all the ingredients bubbling on the stove is one of my favourite scents. I don't even mind scrubbing the little splashes of sauce off the burner later! Sometimes, when I am really curious about what it will taste like, I will grab a spoon and give it a slurp. It never fails - I always burn my mouth. I guess that's the price you pay when you are a GREAT tomato sauce chef!

What is your special talent? What is that one thing you do really well? Describe it using lots of details in a comment. I am excited to learn - maybe we can trade skills!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

I heart Sesame Street! Always an awesome message.


I was at the Connecting Globally Conference in Edmonton on the weekend and we talked  A LOT about how to empower students to be the best global citizens they can be. Craig Keilburger from Free the Children and Samantha Nutt from War Child were the keynote speakers, and they were so inspiring. Kids really can change the world, and as adults we not only have to encourage them, but give them the tools to get there as well. That is going to be one of my big goals for this school year!

How do you want to change the world?

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

It's a bird! It's a plane! It's...

When I was a kid, my all-time favourite superhero was She-ra, Princess of Power. Now, you kids might not know about this AMAZING superhero, but take my word for it - she was the coolest woman ever!!!
She was amazingly strong, able to lift boulders with ease, and she could do anything her superhero twin brother, He-Man could do.
I would always watch She-Ra and think to myself, if I could have any super power, what would it be? I always came back to having the ability to breathe underwater. I loved swimming and this way I would be able to do it without worrying about coming up for oxygen! I could swim to the depths of the ocean, find treasure and discover sea creatures that had never been seen by human eyes.

What super power would you like to have? Super speed? Invisibility? Mind control? Or would you choose something totally different?
Tell me all about your dream super power. What would you do with your power? Would you use your powers for good, evil, or just for fun? Why would you choose it?

Autumn Means Amazing Art Work!

Here are some photos of  the leaf prints we made today. They turned out so beautiful, and the kids had great fun experimenting with paints and textures. Enjoy!





Sunday, October 2, 2011

Well, tomorrow is a day off for the students, but us teachers will be hard at work learning about some new and exciting changes that are coming to Alberta Education in the future. Hopefully these changes are going to help us to do an even better job of meeting the needs of all learners.

This is a video made by the Alberta government discussing some of the changes coming to our education system.



For more information about the new Education Act, you can check out the link below.
Alberta's New Education Act

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

This week is a bit of a crazy one!
Tomorrow, the Grade Threes head to Extendicare to meet their reading buddies for the first time this year. This is such a great experience for the students and the residents. After participating in this relationship for a few years now, I have seen firsthand how much the kids can learn from interacting with the residents.
Thursday is (I am still not so sure why) one of the kids' favorite days of the year: Picture Day! Maybe it's all the nicely combed hair and big smiles? That really great "fresh start" feeling? Hmmm....
Kids, let me know what is so great about Picture Day!
That same day, Belinda Crowson will be visiting MRES from the Galt Museum. She will be talking to Grade 4 and 5 students about stories from Alberta's past.
Friday we have (of course) our weekly spelling test. There will also be a special Alberta Arts Days presentation to the Grade Four and Five students.

Oh! And below you get to see the first half of a collaborative project the Grade Threes are working on. They are trying to use art to teach others about the Tunisian desert.
So far, it looks great! We will show off the finished project later!



Sunday, September 25, 2011

This weekend was filled with lots of fun in Lethbridge. A new exhibit opened at the Southern Alberta Art Gallery, and the first annual Word on the Street festival took place downtown as well. Here's a photo of me "driving" the bookmobile down at the Word on the Street festival!

You can find more information about the SAAG and Word on the Street at the links below!

www.saag.ca
http://lethbridgeword.wordpress.com/


Thursday, September 22, 2011

Talk to me!

Hi Grade Threes!
The blog is great for checking out what we are up to, letting your parents be more involved in the classroom antics, and finding great games to play at home. But it's also a fun way for us to communicate with eachother. Today, we will learn how to comment on blog posts.

This week we became marine biologists and travelled to coral reefs in art class. I would like you to tell me another place you would like to travel to, and why you want to go there. You can comment on this post by following these steps:

1. Scroll down to the bottom of this post and click on "comments."

2. Write your message in the white box - remember to build strong sentences with capitals and periods.

3. Click on the dropdown menu and choose "Anonymous."

4. Press "Post Comment."

And you're done! Thanks for sharing!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

A Couple Inspired Art Projects!

I forgot to share these paintings the Grade 2s and 3s created last week. They were inspired by the book "Giraffes Can't Dance," a great story about a gangly giraffe that finds his moves!



Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Math in the Sunshine!

The weather was just TOO GREAT to miss out on this afternoon! We decorated the front sidewalk with some number sentences and patterns - maybe we can teach people a thing or two!


More Kiva Loans!

We have recently made 2 more loans through Kiva!
Francisco lives in Peru and he is involved in growing bananas, citrus fruit, and coffee.  He loves farming, especially planting his fields. Francisco is a father and grandfather, and his family is his reason to live and work. He is going to use his loan to purchase coffee and banana seedlings, as well as fertilizer.

 We also made a loan to Jacques in Rwanda. He is going to use his loan for fertilizer to grow rice. He wants to grow lots of rice so he can help his family in the future. The students in Grade Three wanted to help Jacques and so he can help his family because many people in Rwanda are hungry.

If you want more information about Kiva, check out www.kiva.org.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Time is flying by! I have not been very good about updating the blog the past couple of weeks, but I think now that those first hectic days are over, we are getting on a better schedule (hopefully).
This week is going to be lovely. The weather looks great for the rest of the week, which always puts the kids (and the adults really) in a better mood.
On Friday, the elementary school will be joining with the high school for the Terry Fox Run. This is a great way to celebrate a true Canadian hero. The kids will also be having their spelling test on Friday.

On another note, one of the Grade 4 students brought a friend to class today! Look closely at her hand and see if you can find a very cute and fuzzy caterpillar!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

It has been only one week of school, but I sure feel like the Grade Threes and I are getting to know eachother very well already. This is a class filled with kids of all different personalities, and I love it!

This week, we are learning how to represent numbers to 1000 using different ways - using blocks, numerals, number words, models, and algorithms to build BIG numbers. Everyone is finding really creative ways to show off their understanding of numbers.
In Social Studies, we are just beginning to understand one of the big ideas for the year: quality of life. We will be learning about what makes other kids around the world feel safe, comfortable, healthy, and happy. We are beginning our inquiry in Peru this week! The Grade 3 Social Studies program is soooo fun. We are going to have a blast learning about kids from Peru, Tunisia, Ukraine, and India.
We also started our spelling units this week. The first spelling test of the year is on Friday. If you are looking for a fun way to practice your spelling words, check out my Spelling City website at www.spellingcity.com/nfreel.
Have a great week!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

One Day Down!


Wow! The first day back was a real whirlwind. I had a great time, and I hope the kids did too. The new Grade Three class seems like they are going to be a blast this year. Here's our first class photo of the year!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

This is a great article for parents with some tips on packing healthy (and tasty) lunches. I find packing my own lunch one of the most DIFFICULT things about heading back to school. This article gave me some ideas for myself!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Back to School We Go!

Wow!
Summer is almost over. I really cannot believe it! I have had SUCH a great summer. I have done some travelling, going to Vancouver, Nelson, B.C., Montana, and Edmonton. I was able to do some kayaking, lots of reading, and LOTS of relaxing with a cup of coffee on the patio. But I guess everything has to come to an end some time...


So, teachers are officially back in the school on Monday, though all the staff at Milk River Elementary has been busy getting everything ready this week. We are all very excited to see the kids again!


Students, you are back to school on Wednesday at 8:30am.


I am really looking forward to this school year. See you soon!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Only Ten School Days Left!



The year is winding down very quickly, and with that comes lots of special events to keep track of...
Here is the rundown for this week:


On Monday, the Grade 3s will celebrate the end of the school year with their Pre-K buddies at the Kinsmen Park. They had a wonderful year making friends and reading together - hopefully that relationship will continue next year!


On Tuesday, the Grade 3s write the second part of the L.A. Provincial Achievement Test, which focuses on reading comprehension. Everyone needs to get a good night's sleep and a healthy breakfast, so they can show off all their skills.


Our final trip to visit the residents at Extendicare will be this Wednesday. And rumor has it a special guest will be there as well!


Hot lunch is this Wednesday. We also go on our first school swim in the afternoon, so students need to make sure they bring their swimsuits and towels on that day.


Thursday is our last Provincial Achievement Test, this one checking students' understanding in math concepts.


Wow! Lots going on this week. I know that everyone is very busy at this time of year, but remember that is still important to eat right, exercise, and get a good night's sleep! It really helps to make the days easier as the school year winds down.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

An Awesome Global Celebration!

Wow! The Grade 3s and 4s had a great day yesterday. Mrs. Garber and I hosted a global celebration for the students, where we celebrated the four countries we have been studying in Social Studies throughout the day. Students made some amazing crafts, held a global awareness bake sale, and overall had a wonderful time.
Our bake sale was an astounding success! The Grade 3 and 4 students really outdid themselves. They raised $250, which we will use to adopt 6 endangered animals from the World Wildlife Federation. This is such an awesome feat for a small group of students in a small school. This shows how much heart our little school has.
Thanks for a great day kids!

P.S. Sending out some good luck vibes to our awesome 4-H kids who will be participating in the Show and Sale in Lethbridge this weekend. Have a great time!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011



Don't forget Grade Threes and Fours! Tomorrow is our Global Celebration and Bake Sale. If you would like, you can bring some treats to sell at the bake sale tomorrow. All the money we raise will be used to adopt endangered species from the World Wildlife Fund. Thanks for all your hard work in Social Studies this year - you really deserve this special day.


If you would like to learn more about the World Wildlife Fund and what you can do to help animals around the world, visit www.wwf.ca.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Another Kiva loan!



One of our borrowers was able to repay some of his loan this weekend, so we were able to reloan that money today.



A loan was made to Yophesi in Uganda. He is a 24 year old teacher who is unable to afford his cost of living on his teacher's salary. Yophesi hopes to increase his income by purchasing a maize mill. Read more about Yophesi below!



Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Watch 'em Hatch!

Mrs. Wehlage sent me this great link to a very cool website. David Papp, a teacher in Edmonton, found a robin's nest in his backyard and decided to share it with the world by setting up cameras so that we sould watch the birth of the little babies! The pictures are taken every minute and are posted in real time from 5am to 10pm each day.

They haven't hatched yet, so keep watch!
http://birdcam.ca/

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Fun Times in Lethbridge!


We had a great time on our field trip today! Here are some photos of all the fun!







Saturday, May 21, 2011

Grade 3 Field Trip on Thursday!

Hi there!
Our Grade 3 field trip to Lethbridge is this Thursday, May 26th.
Here is an itinerary of our field trip:
- 9am – Leave MRES
- 10:15am – arrive at the SAAG
- 12pm – walk to Miss Freel’s home for a BBQ lunch (Miss Freel will provide)
- 1pm – drive to Westwind Gymnastics
- 2:15pm – leave Westwind Gymnastics
- 3:15pm – arrive back at MRES

Some important things to remember:
1. Bring a jacket and wear comfortable walking shoes (no flip flops, etc.). We will be outside for a portion of our field trip.
2. We will be doing some art work at the SAAG, so please wear clothing that is “art-friendly” - nothing too fancy!
3. Wear comfortable, loose fitting clothing for gymnastics (no denim). There is a change room at the gymnastics building if students wish to change their clothes.
4. No need to worry about lunches – Miss Freel will provide lunch.
5. Please do not bring any money or electronics. We will leave these items at school.


It’s going to be a great day!

Super Fun Math Games

It's the long weekend, and I know some of you are out and about camping and having a great time... for those of you stuck inside, here are some fun sites I came across.

Arcademic_Skill_Builders

Iboard_Math_games

Have a great holiday!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Yesterday the Grade 3s and 4s went down to Writing-On-Stone for a great field trip. Juanita took us on a great tour of the rock art at the park, we had a picnic lunch, scrambled around the hoodoos, and created some great pieces of art.

Thanks to everybody down at Writing-On-Stone for a great day. We had an amazing time. People in Southern Alberta are so lucky to have such a wonderful place to visit in their own backyard.



Check out this great video of Writing-On-Stone!


Tuesday, May 10, 2011



I cannot believe it! It is finally starting to feel like spring outside - the grass is getting greener, sandals are coming out, and I can relax on the patio with a cup of coffee. I love this time of year!



How can you tell spring is here? What have you noticed (smells, sights, sounds, tastes, or touches) which prove to you that is finally time to put those boots and snowpants away?

Thursday, May 5, 2011

We have a busy month coming up in Grade Three, so I thought I would give you a quick outline of all the special events in May.




Wed. May 11th is Hot Lunch Day. Forms are due back on Friday, May 6th.

Thurs. May 12th is the 50th Anniversary Celebration for M.R.E.S. All parents and former students are invited to attend this fun event from 1:00 to 2:30. The Grade Threes will be presenting a poem that they wrote as a class about M.R.E.S.

Tues. May 17th is the Grade 3 Provincial Achievement Test for Writing. Students will be writing a story based on a picture prompt at 9am. ALL STUDENTS MUST BE AT SCHOOL THIS DAY. Please make sure your child gets a good night’s sleep the night before and a good breakfast, so they are ready to do their best work and show Alberta what great writers they are.

Wed. May 18th is the Grade 3/4 field trip to Writing-On-Stone. There was an error on the school calendar, so please make sure you alter the date on that calendar from Monday the 16th to Wednesday the 18th. Thanks to all the parents who volunteered their help on this day. I will send more information about this trip closer to the date.

Mon. May 23rd is Victoria Day, so there is no school for students. Have a great long weekend!

Thurs. May 26th is the Grade 3 field trip to Lethbridge. The class decided they would like to go to the Southern Alberta Art Gallery, have lunch at my home, and visit the Westwind Gymnastics Club in the afternoon. I will be sending home a permission form next week for this trip. I am hoping to have a few parent drivers that would be willing to accompany us.

Phew! It’s a busy month, but it’s going to be a fun one. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact me. I cannot believe this school year is coming to an end so quickly! Thanks for all your help this year. I really appreciate everything you do in support of your children and this school.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Dreamtime Paintings by the 3/4 Class

The Grade 3/4 Art class just completed a challenging project. We learned about the Australian Aboriginal art style of dreamtime paintings. Artists use dots, lines, crisscrosses, and waves to create intricate pieces of art that tell stories about their history and beliefs. Students were encouraged to model their own paintings on this technique. All of the kids put a lot of effort into their work, and are very proud of their finished products. Here are just a few examples. Come to the school and check out the rest on our bulletin boards!




Wednesday, March 23, 2011


Earth Hour is almost here!


I am so happy that the Grade 3 and 4 classes are so excited to celebrate Earth Hour this year. This is a great way for us to show our committment to helping conserve energy to protect the Earth.

We have decided to have our own Earth Hour tomorrow. The Grade 3 and 4 classes will be celebrating by having a Lightless Lunch, and an Earth Hour party, at which students will play board games.

Remember, Earth Hour is this Saturday, March 26th from 8:30pm to 9:30pm! Turn off that non-essential electricity! Play some board games, relax, and enjoy the dark for an hour.


If you like the lantern I created on this blog post, check out the link below to make your own Earth Hour lantern.



Monday, March 21, 2011


Happy Monday!


We have a pretty quiet week coming up...

Remember to study for your spelling test - all of the words are up on Spelling_City.

Book orders are due back on Friday. Check it out with your parents because there are some great deals in there!


This week, the Grade Threes are working on fractions in Math - scroll down a few posts for a few good math games that deal with fractions.

The Grade Four class is multiplying two and three digit numbers. Any multiplication games (online, card games, etc.) would help you to practice.


And on a side note... today is World Poetry Day! Celebrate by checking out one of my favourite poet's website - this is the link to the Shel_Silverstein website.


Have a great week!

Thursday, March 17, 2011


Wow! My brain is filled with some new and exciting ideas! I had a great day in Bow Island today learning about new ways to use technology in the classroom. It is always so much fun to see all of the interesting things these awesome teachers are doing. I learned some cool new ways to use cameras in the classroom, new websites to create presentations, and (my favourite session) educational ways to use IPods in the classroom.

One fun site someone showed me was http://clayyourself.com/. This is a "just for fun" site that allows you to build yourself in claymation.
Have fun!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Hey there Threes!
Today, I would love for you to tell me a place where you might use fractions in real life. Describe a situation when it would be important to understand fractions.

After you have posted your comment, you can play the games I have linked below.

Have fun!

Cross_The_River
Bowling_For_Fractions
Fraction_Name
Parts_of_a_Whole

Monday, March 14, 2011

Hey kids!
It's going to be a short and sweet week!
No spelling test this week... but that doesn't mean you can't do some other stuff at home! If you are looking for something to do...

1. READ! Remember Grade Threes, Mrs. Gamble has challenged you to read your hearts out this month. Prove to her you can do it!

2. Play some math games. Play the fractions games in Math 3 Under The Sea to learn more about our new math unit on fractions. Or, play some card games at home with your family - they are fun and a great way to practice your math skills.

Have a great week!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

AISI PD Day Links

Hi there Grade 2 and 3 teachers!
Here are some links that might be helpful to you today while you work on some differentiated activities.

delicious.com/nfreel - This is a link to all of my bookmarked websites. Check it out if you are looking for some new games, activities, or teacher resources.

http://education.alberta.ca/teachers/program.aspx - Alberta Program of Studies

http://www.differentiatedinstructionactivities.com/ - This is a site with some good ideas on how to incorporate differentiated instruction into your classroom.

http://exchange.smarttech.com/#tab=0 - The Smart Exchange site is Smart's official lesson sharing site.

learnalberta.ca - Learn Alberta has great activities, especially the critical challenges in Social Studies.

http://www.nelson.com/nmf3otr/default.html - If you use the Grade 3 Math Focus (Nelson) resource, this is the site you can find all the activities and lesson plans in PDF format.

http://www.nelson.com/mathfocus/grade2/otr/default.html - This is the Grade 2 Math Focus site.

http://education.alberta.ca/teachers/resources/cross/making-a-difference.aspx - This Alberta Learning resource is an excellent resource describing different strategies to meet the needs of different learners.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


So, the movie Up is easily one of my favourites. And I always thought, "Well, I know that could never REALLY happen, but it's still a cool idea..."


Until today.


One of my friends sent me this link.... You really need to check it out!


Saturday, March 5, 2011

Kiva Update...



It has been over a year since we had our Coins for Kiva penny drive. In our penny drive, we raised about $250, which we loaned to people around the world who were trying to develop businesses. Through repayment of loans by these great entrepreneurs, we have been repaid $228 - almost the entire amount we started with. By reloaning that money we started with, we have been able to loan over $425 in total.

Here is some information on our newest borrowers:

Mary Waithera Karuma has practiced farming in Olkalou for the last 10 years. She is 53 years old, single, and the mother of one child. She paid all her previous loans well and in good time. She plans to use the loan amount to buy fertilizer and potato seedlings.In the future, Mary hopes to buy more land and practice large-scale farming.


Alen Avetisyan lives in the Shvanidzor community in the Meghri region of Armenia. He is married and lives with his wife, daughter and his mother. Alen is a history teacher working in the local school. Unfortunately, while in the Army, Alen had a tragic accident and lost his leg. The family’s main income comes from the orchard that Alen keeps.It is with great love and care that he grows various fruit trees, selling the produce to the wholesalers and local market traders. He will use this loan to purchase young trees, fertilizer, holding stands for the trees, fencing materials and diesel to transfer the future produce.