I’ve moved my classroom blog to mr.mcgaughey.ca

Today I moved the blog from the free hosting provider, Edublogs, to my own site at mr.mcgaughey.ca.  This move to a new permanent home gives me more space, and more flexibility how to present my website.   I’m still sweeping up the cobwebs and making sure that everything moved over smoothly, but it will always be a bit of a work in progress.  This will likely be the last post here at edublogs, so please be sure to follow me over to the new place.

A couple of months ago I realized that I have had a classroom blog for over 10 years.  This blog has existed in various forms using a variety of blogging platforms and software since 2003, and I had experimented with classroom websites for a few years prior to that.  With my new role as planning time teacher and librarian, I have not been very active posting to it the past school year, but that is still an accomplishment.  Over the years, through several changes of address and servers, many of the pictures and the links may not work properly, and the dates of the first couple of years seem to be out of sync with their contents, but the site as a whole still provides a window into my classroom, and a record of many of the activities I have done with my students over the past decade.

We Got an Email… From the International Space Station

 

Last month Mr. McGaughey wrote a song entitled: Countdown, The Ballad of Chris Hadfield. He teaches music and science to Ms. Graham’s grade 3 class and they asked to record it with him to send to Chris Hadfield.

Listen to the song on Soundcloud

or watch it on Youtube 

 

Lyrics:

Countdown: The Ballad of Chris Hadfield
Sean McGaughey © Feb 8, 2013
Key of G- 6/8 time moderate to brisk tempo

Growing up on the farm, Chris Hadfield would dream,
of soaring around in a flying machine.
As a boy Chris resolved that he would try
to go out and make his mark in the sky
As a scientist, pilot and astronaut
Chris still made music and never forgot
As he and his brothers would play their guitars,
His dream of bringing his songs to the stars,

He’s the first folksinger in space
Singing tunes far above the whole human race
He takes pictures and tweets as he orbits around
picking at 23 times speed of sound.

A Canadian proud who has travelled the world,
He takes time to tell all the young boys and girls,
To dream their own journeys beyond what we know
And make a bright future wherever they go.

He’s the first folksinger in space
Singing tunes far above the whole human race
He takes pictures and tweets he orbits around
picking at 23 times speed of sound.

When we finished the recording, the children also had a bunch of questions for Chris Hadfield. We emailed these questions to Chris.

April 5, 2013
Hello Commander Hadfield:
My name is Sean McGaughey. I’m an elementary school teacher at Bayview Public School in Midland Ontario and a singer songwriter. Last month I wrote a song entitled: Countdown, The Ballad of Chris Hadfield. I teach music and science to Ms. Graham’s grade 3 class and they asked to record it with me to send to you.
The students also had some questions for you.

  1. How do you deal with homesickness on the space station?
  2. Do you ever get annoyed being around the same people all the time?
  3. What is it like to wear a space suit?
  4. Have you recorded any kid’s songs in space?

 

Thank you for inspiring all of us. We hope you enjoy our song.

Sean McGaughey and Ms. Graham’s Grade 3 class

On April 9, we received this response from Commander Hadfield on the International Space station.

Chris Hadfield

Dear Sean and Bayview students:

Thanks for the song! I love it! That was really nice of you to write and sing it, and send it to me. And it turns out I CAN play G in zero G.

Answers for the questions:

  1. I talk with my family almost every day, and email too, so I don’t feel so far away.
  2. The only time I get annoyed is with myself. The other people are working hard and doing as well as they can, always.
  3. Space suits are very uncomfortable, stiff and bulky, like a snow suit combined with hockey gear and metal pieces. But really they’re a 1-person spaceship, so they have to be that way.
  4. Yes, I wrote and recorded a space lullaby for my daughter. It came out very pretty, and so did she.

Take care, make a point of learning and understanding things

Best from ISS!

Chris

Mr. McGaughey’s Class May Newsletter

April was a very busy and productive month in the Gifted Classroom. We completed several projects including the Lego Robotic Revolution, the Grade 8 Cardboard Boat races, the Heritage Fair history projects, and the Forest of Reading Novel Competition where each student had to read 5 (or more) novels.

 

We have a number of upcoming events in May as well.

GO Conference: Friday May 4

 

On Friday May 4, Mr. Trumpour and I are driving the gifted class students to the Simcoe County Gifted Outreach Conference at Lakehead University in Orillia.

 

We will leave the school at 9:00am after announcements. The conference runs from 10am- 3:15pm. We will be returning to the school about 4:00pm. Please make arrangements to pick up your child at 4:00 pm on that date.

 

Students will need to bring their lunches, drinks and snacks.

 

Monday May 7: Spring Picture Day: Remember to dress up.

 

Stratford Field Trip Tuesday May 8

Our class is excited to go to Stratford to see Much Ado About Nothing, on Tuesday May 8 at 2:00 pm. Mr. Trumpour, and myself will be driving. We will be leaving the school at 9:00am.

 

For lunch, pack a bag lunch. We will stop on the way to Stratford for a picnic lunch if the weather permits.

 

You may bring a gadget to use in the car, but it must be unused, silent and invisible while we are in Stratford.

 

Our play begins at 2pm. Please dress in good clothes appropriate for the theatre. We have discussed appropriate behaviour for the theatre and watching the play.

 

After the show, we will have time for a break and snack in Stratford. Please provide your child with money for a fast-food meal for supper.

 

We will be returning to Bayview School between 9 and 10pm. We will arrange a phone tree to let you know when we are about an hour from Midland, so that you can be at the school to pick up your child.

 

Phone Tree: When we are approximately an hour from town, we will call so you can be at Bayview School to pick up your child.

 

Wednesday May 9: Jump Rope For Heart. Please remember to bring in your pledge forms.

 

Tuesday May 22-Thursday May 24: Grade 8’s are in Ottawa.

 

Monday May 28- Wednesday May 30: Grade EQAO: Grade 6 testing will take place on these 3 dates from 9am-10:35 am. Please ensure that your grade 6 child is at school on time do not schedule any appointments on these dates.

March Gifted Class Newsletter

March and April continue to be very busy in the gifted class with several trips and projects planned. Our junior and intermediate debates went very well last month, and our class mural walk of downtown Midland was a good introduction to the planning for our Heritage Fair project.

Gifted Class Open House Postponed until further notice

The Gifted Class Open House was postponed on February 29 due to inclement weather and rescheduled  for March 20.   Due to unforseen circumstances, it is being postponed again until a date later this spring.  We will keep you posted when this date is scheduled.

Skiing in the Schoolyard is cancelled:  The Skiing in the schoolyard activities which were scheduled for tomorrow, Friday March 9 have been cancelled due to the lack of snow.

Forest of Reading

By now, you should have read at least one book for Forest of Reading.  You will need to read 5 novels by April 24 when we have a special trip to the school board office to see one of the Red Maple nominated authors.  The cost of this trip will be about $15.   I will continue to give you about 30 minutes daily to read your novels, but they will also need to read a bit at home in order to complete all the novels in the assigned time.

Heritage Fair  April 25

We continue to prepare history projects to present at the Simcoe County Heritage Fair on April 25 at the Simcoe County Museum.  By now you should have your project topic chosen and your research and notes should be well underway.  When we get back from March Break, you will need to focus on writing, building and preparing your display and presentation.


Robotics Revolution- March 30

On Friday March 30, we will be attending the annual Simcoe County Robotics Revolution.  The day consists of teams of 2-3 students solving a series of challenges using the lego robotics kits with some time to get to know students from the other county gifted classes.  Students will need to bring their lunches with them or arrange to purchase their lunch at the school board cafeteria. More information and a permission form is attached.

Simcoe County District School Board Grade 8 Cardboard Boat Races April 3

On April 3, from 9:00-2:20 pm.   I am accompanying a team of four Grade 8 students to the SCDSB Grade 8 Cardboard Boat Races at the Midland YMCA.

 

The cardboard boat races are for students who have an interest in design and construction.  Working in teams of four, students are given two hours to build their boat with the supplies provided.  Teams then proceed to the pool for the speed and weight competitions.  The challenge for the team will be to come prepared with a plan to build and race a cardboard boat in the YMCA pool, using materials provided.  Lunch will be provided at this event.  Full rules for the competition are attached.   Your child will need to bring a swimsuit because several of the activities are in the pool.  There is no cost for this event.  I will send home a permission form with the Grade 8 students who are attending.

GO Conference: May 4-  Information about the GO conference in Orillia will be sent home closer to the event date.

Stratford Trip:  May 8

It has been a tradition in the Gifted class to make an annual trip to Stratford to see a Shakespeare play.  The preparation for and watching of the performance touches many areas of the curriculum: from Language Arts, to Drama, Visual Arts and Music.   This year we will be going to see Much Ado About Nothing,  on Tuesday May 8 at 2:00 pm.     Mr. Trumpour and I will each be driving a carload of students to the performance.

The cost of the trip will be $25.00  per student.  More details and a permission form are attached.

 

Grade 8 Ottawa Trip:  May 22-24.   Final Payments due by March 23.

 

I am also arranging for a couple other projects and special events this spring, and there will be field trips in the integrated classes as well.   This spring is proving to be a very busy and active one for the students in the gifted class. I will also post this newsletter and our upcoming events on the class blog at http://mcgaughey.edublogs.org.

Thanks,

Mr. McGaughey

 

February, March Newsletter

We have finished the first two terms of the school year and things are going well in the Gifted Class. Report cards go home this week, and I am pleased with the progress that all of my students have made this term.

Over the next few months, we have several activities and projects planned.

Intermediate Math Olympics

On March 5, we have the Intermediate Math Olympics at the school board office. I will send home a permission form for this event shortly.

Forest of Reading

This year, from February to April, all my students are participating in the Red Maple, or Silver Birch reading programs at our school. They will need to read 5 novels by April 24 when we have a special trip to the school board office to see one of the Silver Birch nominated authors. The cost of this trip will be about $15. There is a note from Mrs. Hamelin attached which further explains this program. I will be giving my students about 30 minutes daily to read their novels, but they may also need to read a bit at home in order to complete all the novels in the assigned time.

Heritage Fair

In March and April we will be preparing history projects to present at the Simcoe County Heritage Fair on April 25 at the Simcoe County Museum. We will be working in partnership with the Midland Public Library when preparing these projects. As a kickoff to this project, we are going to do a history walk of Downtown Midland and it’s murals on Wednesday February 22. We will have lunch here at 12:05, then walk downtown at about 12:30. At the end of our mural walk, we will stop at the Midland library to warm up and discuss plans for the project. We will be walking back to the school in time for dismissal at the end of the day.

Further information about the History Fair Project is attached.

Gifted Class Open House

On Wednesday February 29 from 4-5 pm we will be hosting a Gifted Class Open House for parents and students interested in enrolling in the gifted class in the fall. I would like to have some of my students stay after school to share with prospective students what it is like to be in the gifted class. If they stay that day, they will need to be picked up at 5pm.

 

Quest Art Projects

The Quest Art Gallery is returning to Bayview for Art Projects. The Junior students will be creating relief self portraits on the afternoon of February 24, and the Intermediate Students will be making mandalas on the afternoon of Friday March 2.

Rocks and Rings: At the end of February, the Midland Curling Club is presenting Rocks and Rings to all our classes as part of the Phys-Ed program. Our Juniors will be participating on Monday February 27 at 2:25 pm, and the Intermediates at 9:45 am on Tuesday February 29.

Cross Country Skiing on the Schoolyard:

On March 9, our class will be participating in cross country skiing on the our schoolyard, presented by Mountainview Ski Club. The cost of this event is being covered by Bayview Parent Council.

Gifted Outreach Conference

On May 4, we are planning to attend the annual Gifted Outreach Conference hosted by Laurentian University in Orillia for Simcoe County Gifted students.

I am also arranging for a couple other projects and special events this spring. I will keep you posted as they are arranged. I will also post this newsletter and our upcoming events on the class blog at http://mcgaughey.edublogs.org.

Thanks,

Mr. McGaughey

 

Upcoming Events in the Gifted Class

January is well underway and we have been busy in the gifted class.

The students had alot of fun reasearching and writing their Top 10 lists of 2011.  These should be completed and handed in by today.

We are nearly completed the numeracy unit we began in December.  We will have a math test on the unit next Wednesday January 25.

We have several special events planned in the coming months.

 

 

February 9 is the Junior Debater Forum at the school board office in Midhurst.  The Intermediate Debaters forum will be on February 17.  We will be preparing for the debates for the next three weeks in class. I will be sending home a permission for the debates next week.
On March 5, we have the Intermediate Math Olympics at the school board office and the lego Robotics Revolution will be held on March 30.
In March and April we will be preparing history projects to present at the Simcoe county Heritage Fair on April 25 at the Simcoe County Museum.
On May 4, we are planning to attend the annual  Gifted Outreach Conferencehosted by Laurentian University in Orillia for Simcoe County Gifted students.

 

I am also arranging for a couple other projects and special events this spring.  I will keep you posted as they are arranged.

Thanks,

Mr. McGaughey

Wednesday December 14

Tomorrow, the juniors and I will be going to Codrington school in Barrie for the Junior Math Road Rally. We will be leaving the school at 9 am and returning in time for the buses at 3:15.

The intermediates will be with Ms. Young all Day.

Work on:

1)  Read up to the end of Stave 3 in A Christmas Carol.

2) Work on your Christmas Carol Package.  –  Take some time to work on your Victorian Christmas Story.

3) Math:  Work on your Fractions worksheets.  (Chase- finish your algebra test and fractions pretest).

Have a good day.

A Christmas Carol

This December, my intermediate students and I are reading,  A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens.

Here are links to the Librivox audiobook of A Christmas Carol (dramatic reading)

December 5-9 in the Gifted Class

December is well upon us and everyone is getting excited for the start of winter and the holiday season.

Monday was the due date of our points project.  I will return the marked projects by next Monday at the latest.

Monday we had our math tests for the patterning and algebra unit.  If you still have not completed all assigned tasks, please complete them by Friday.

We are beginning a new math unit this week on numeration.  The grade 5s and 6s will be working with addition, subtraction, multiplication and division of whole numbers.

The grade 7s and 8s will be working with addition, subtraction, multiplication and division of fractions and decimals.

We have begun a seasonal novel study.

My Juniors are reading, The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson, and I am reading them The Legend of Holly Claus.

The Intermediates are reading the original version of Charles Dicken’s, A Christmas Carol, and comparing it to adaptations in films, television, radio and video games through the last 150 years.

Upcoming Events:

Friday December 9:  Winter Sports Spirit Day:  Come dressed in clothing representing a winter sport.

Tuesday December 13:  Lockdown Practice.  A note is going home on December 7 explaining this.

Tuesday December 13:  Our class and Mrs. Jaiko’s Class are having a hot dog lunch for winning Trumpour’s Trivia in November.

Wednesday December 14:  Mr. McGaughey and the Grade 5’s and 6’s are going to the Junior Math Road Rally at Codrington School. A note is going home on December 7 explaining this.