Category Archives: Writing

Brent and Sarah’s Magic Show

Brent (left) and Sarah (right) help Mrs. Sprague (centre) believe in her personal power, right before Mrs. Sprague made the water on her head disappear.

Today SJAM was visited by magicians Brent and Sarah (@BrentandSarah, on Twitter), who performed a great magic show with music, magic, and excellent messages.

Even before the show started, there was exciting music playing through the speakers, and several times during the show we heard music to add drama or seriousness.

Brent and Sarah each performed magic tricks like making water disappear, catching the spirit of SJAM, putting paper and rope together, and figuring out chosen celebrities and cards.

The show taught great messages like “anything is possible,“ “believe in yourself,“ “you’re not alone,” and “find your magic!“

The music, magic, and messages made Brent and Sarah’s show a great event for the whole school!


Dash Goes to the Office

By Class 3F

On Wednesday during period 1, Class 3F sent Dash the robot to the office to deliver the attendance. We programmed Dash using block instructions. We told Dash to go Forward, Turn Right, Turn Left, and to make sounds like Horse and Fire Siren.

The first time we tried our experiment, Dash went too close to the left walls and ran into the couch outside the office. The second time, Dash went right straight down the middle of the hall and right into the office. We had also programmed Dash to come back, however, it ran into the Grade 2 shoes just before it got home. The third time, the clip let go of the folder at the office carpet, but Dash made it back to the class perfectly.

When Dash gets to the office, it says, “The attendance is here! Please unclip the folder and press the white button.”  The white button starts the return part of the program. When Dash gets back to the classroom, it says, “Mr. Forgrave, I’m back!”

Next, we might experiment with having Dash:

  • Take a different path to the office;
  • Recognize if Ms. Wand is in the way
  • Say, “Excuse me!”
  • Learn to carry the attendance on its head and dump it on the floor.

We really like having Dash in our classroom. We all think Dash is really cute!

Here is the program we made:

We hope you enjoyed our video and our story! 

Our Visit with the Earth Rangers

By Class 3F
Karine and Emily from the Earth Rangers visited SJAM on April 6th

This morning during first block, students from SJAM  were invited to an Earth Rangers presentation in the gym, where Earth Rangers Emily and Karine shared live animals and videos to inform us about how we can save wildlife and the environment. Here are some of the things we learned.

Earth Rangers, by Adam, Lewis, and Jake M

Emily and Karine want to encourage us to help clean up pollution and be the “Leaders of Today.”  We can sign up at to raise money for Earth Rangers. Pollution is putting animals in danger. We can help by stopping pollution, by picking up trash. Be the Leaders of Today by joining Earth Rangers.

Emily shows us Millie, the Three-Banded Armadillo, who says “Hi” to the camera.

Millie, the Three-Banded Armadillo, by Peyton and Oliver

Millie is a three-banded Armadillo. Armadillos live in South America. Mille is an insectivore and we saw Millie eat meal worms. Millie is a mammal and has hairs underneath her armour. The hairs help her sense when something is nearby. When endangered, Millie curls up into a ball with her armour closed around her for protection.

Linus, the Harris Hawk by Maggie and Seamus

Linus the Harris Hawk lives in the desert in southwestern USA. Linus likes to eat rats, mice, and lizards. When he eats he flaps his wings to conserve energy. He uses his huge wings to pick up speed and he uses his sharp talons to catch his prey. Linus is a Harris Hawk. When Karine was holding Linus, she had a glove on her hand to protect her from his talons. Linus had brown, dark brown, and white feathers. His beak was yellow and curved downward. His wings were about as big as a kid’s arm. Linus can fly very high so that he can fly over mountains.  Read more about Linus, the Harris Hawk

Parks Canada and the Red-Knot Rufa, by AJ and Liam

Parks Canada is the largest conservation organization in Canada. One project they are doing is to help the red-knot rufa. A red-knot rufa bird can fly 30,000 kilometres a year. One bird is 22 years old and has flown 660,000 kilometres in his life.  They put bands on their legs. Canada puts white bands on them. They fly far south in the winter time.  We want to go swimming at Parks Canada.

Emily lets us get up close to Floyd, the Ball Python, courtesy of the close-up cam.

Floyd, the Ball Python  by Kael and Zayda

Floyd is a Ball Python. Unlike most snakes, he is not venomous. Floyd can also unhinge his jaw joints so he can swallow prey bigger than his head and body. He also rolls up into a ball when scared or endangered. Ball Pythons eat mice and rats. They are not an endangered species of snake. When ball pythons get tired of their mate, they kill them. Ball Pythons live in the savanna of Africa under large rocks.

“Vernal pool with a closed canopy,” from

Vernal Pools, by Layla and Paige

Karine and Emily showed us a video presentation about Vernal Pools. Vernal pools are seasonal ponds that are located in cool dark forests. They are very hard to find, but have their own little ecosystems, free from fish, because they are not connected to flowing water from streams or rivers.They are great breeding grounds for amphibians. Saving vernal pools is one of the projects that the Earth Rangers are promoting. So please save Vernal Pools now. Sign up today.

Bring Back the Wild, a project by the Pollinators Partnership.

Pollinators, by Liam D and Jacob T

Bees are one of the most important parts of our ecosystem. Bees are dying out, and so Karine and Emily are getting more people to join the Earth Rangers team. The bees and other pollinators collect nectar for honey, and while they do this, they also transfer the pollen from plant to plant. This helps fruit to grow. Bees pollinate 80% of our fruits and vegetables. During the spring, a queen bee will lay 1500 eggs per day and they are grown up in 25 days. Bees make honey for themselves to eat and also for animals and us. Honey can be used for many different things. Other important pollinators are bats, beetles, butterflies, and birds like the hummingbird. The Pollinator Partnership is encouraging people to create Pollinator Gardens. This is one thing we can do by joining the Earth Rangers.

Karine shows us Daisy, the Skunk. Daisy was very well behaved for all of us. We were glad.

Daisy the Skunk, by Ellen and Aiyanna

Daisy is a skunk. She only sprays as a last response. Her first warning is a hissing sound. Her second warning is to stamp her feet on the ground. If she curves into a U shape and lifts her tail, then you had better get away. If you don`t she can spray her stinky, oily smell over 6 metres. That would have got most of us in the gym. Daisy helps the environment by keeping it clean, and by spreading seeds around. Daisy knocked over a plastic garbage can to get at food. We should always keep our garbage covered, and leave our garbage inside at night time to keep it away from creatures like Daisy.

“So You Think You Are Smarter Than Your Students?”   Kids:3, Teachers: 1

The Quiz Show, by Camryn and Maya

Near the end of the presentation, Emily and Karine held a quiz show called, “So You Think You Are Smarter Than Your Students?”  Mr Forgrave (our teacher) and Mrs. Sprague were the two teachers who were competing against Dylan and Ayden, the two kids. One of the questions was `What kind of device do they use to get information about bats?  The teachers said an echolocation box but it was a Song Recorder.  Mr. Forgrave said that “the third question was hard!” The teachers did a good job, but the kids won! Yay, for the students! Everyone did a great job and they gave the two teachers and the two students pins that said, “I Love Earth Rangers!”  We all had lots of fun and everyone enjoyed it.

Joining Earth Rangers, by Adam, Lewis, and Jake M

Students can go to to sign up to become an Earth Ranger for free. You will receive an Earth Rangers membership card. By becoming an Earth Ranger, you can learn how to do local projects to help the environment, and you can do fundraising to help save the lives of animals. Go to and click the `sign up`button and create your account. Do it today!


Our “One Word” Project for 2017


Students in Class 3F have each selected a word to represent a goal or focus for the coming year of 2017. Each student has been working to explain their word in paragraph form, supporting their choice and suggesting how they might explore their word in the coming year.

We look forward to 2017 and all of the learning yet to come!

Hello to Class3F for the 2016-17 School Year!

Large Blog ImageStarting Tuesday, September 27th, we will be learning together in room 116 at Sir John A. Macdonald School as Class 3F.

Welcome to our new students and their parents! We are looking forward to a fun year of exciting learning! Grade 3 is a special year for so many reasons!

We will periodically post to Twitter at @3F_SJAM, and share on Instagram at 3F_SJAM.

Let the learning continue!

Awesome Summer Playday!


On Thursday, students and staff at Sir John A. Macdonald School had a wonderful day of outdoor water play activities. Students rotated through seven stations of fun that were planned, organized, and run by the senior students. The kindergarten, primary and junior students had a wonderful time celebrating the summer weather amid cooling splashes of water.

Drip Drip Drop
by Mit, Kyerah, Krish

#hyperlapse DuckDuckGoose #playday

A video posted by Andrew Forgrave (@aforgrave) on

One of the games we played was Drip Drip Drop. It is played like Duck Duck Goose but with a sponge that is soaking wet. Our game leader was Madison. In the game Drip Drip Drop, we were supposed to try to get everyone as wet as possible and try to have as much fun as possible! Instead of tapping students on the head and saying “Duck,” we dripped water on their head with a sponge. But when it was time to say “Goose,” instead we gave the sponge a huge squeeze and drenched that person with cool water. Following that, the two players would race around the circle to see who would get back to the empty space.

by Lyla, Rishi, Jaron

#hyperlapse Parachute FUN!! #playday A video posted by Andrew Forgrave (@aforgrave) on

One of the stations was the parachute. Gem was the leader who ran the games. The first game we played was shark attack. The game shark attack was cool because  3 kids (sharks) went under the parachute while Gem picked 3 lifeguards. The Sharks’ job was to pull other people under the parachute (which represented the water). The life guards’ job is to save the person that is getting pulled by the shark. We also played “igloo,” and “carousel.” Kids visiting this station had a lot of fun!

Water Balloons
by Brooklyn and Nathanyal

#hyperlapse Water Balloons #playday

A video posted by Andrew Forgrave (@aforgrave) on

In the shade of the trees, some of the senior students set up a Water Balloon station!  Some of the games we played were Toss the Balloon, Toss the Sponge, and Dump the Bucket on the Leader .The first thing we did was passing a water balloon to a partner but the catch was that if you dropped it, you would get soaked.  

Lemonade Stand
by Chelsea

Lemonade Stand and Central Control
Lemonade Stand and Central Control

After running and having fun, students had a chance to visit the lemonade stand. Morgan was the leader for the lemonade stand. After a refreshing drink of lemonade we had a hula hoop contest. Then we played with the balls and scoops! It was a lot of fun!

Over and Under
Reade, Raj, Giri, and Mr. Forgrave

  #hyperlapse Water Relay #playday   A video posted by Andrew Forgrave (@aforgrave) on

One of the most fun stations was the “Over and Under” Water Relay station. The station leaders were Stuti and Ryan . We used four bowls, two sponges, and water. We lined our two teams up in two rows, with one bowl filled with water at the front, and an empty bowl at the back. The person at the front would soaked the sponge in water from the bowl and then passed it over their head to the next person. The wet sponge moved back the line until the last person squeezed the water out into the empty bowl. We then repeated this until the front bowl was empty and the back bowl was fill. We had fun getting wet when the water dripped onto our heads!

Chalk and Bubbles and Skipping Ropes
by Cailtlyn, Miah, and Mahek


One of the fun stations gave students a chance to play with chalk, bubbles, and skipping ropes. Other than playing in the sun and running around we also had some time to cool down. We got to draw some pictures on the pavement with some different colors of chalk. We could also blow scented bubbles. For some thing else to do we could we could do some skipping. It was a nice station to cool off from all the running around and being in the sun!!

Bean Bag Tag
by Aashvi

#hyperlapse #playday Bean Bag Tag

A video posted by Andrew Forgrave (@aforgrave) on

One of the games was Bean Bag Tag Team and our leaders were Dhvani and Devin. There were bean bags lined up in the middle of the field. Two teams would send a runner to the centre when their number was called to try to capture a bean bag. If you got the bean bag, you tried to run back to your team before the other team grabbed your scarf. If they managed to grab your scarf, then you had to put the bean bag back and the other team got a bean bag. This was a fun game full of lots of running!


After the stations were completed, everyone gathered back beside the school wall where we took a group photo. Unknown to us, Mr.Mills (who was standing behind us) was getting a water hose ready, and once he was set, he sprayed us all with water to cool us down before we went back inside!

What a FUN day!

We Learn to “Swim to Survive”

On Tuesday, the grade three students from SJAM went by bus to the Aquatic Centre to go swimming so we could learn to survive in deep water. After changing into our swimsuits, we went to the big pool and did a swim test. Then, we put on red lifejackets, and practiced kicking and swimming to the deep end. Next, we practiced rolling into deep water, and treading water. After taking off the lifejackets, we played games in the warm therapy pool. We had a great day!
by Nathanyal and Mr. Forgrave

Class 3F and Class 3/2B went swimming on June 2, 2015 at the Quinte Sports and Wellness Center to practice to Swim to Survive. We got to the pool and everyone changed into their swimming clothes. When everyone was changed, we took the swim test. When everyone was done the swim test, we got arranged into groups. Our group did rolls which were pretty easy. Then, we swam to the shallow end and back, and finally we got free time. We had lots of fun!
by Aashvi, Raj, and Mahek

On Tuesday, June 2, Class 3F took a bus to the Wellness Centre for Swim to Survive. The instructors checked our skill level and put us into groups. Our group was Gary, Krish, Dairy, Reade, Miah, Lyla. After we made the groups, we tread water, rolled into the water, and swam 50 m. Then we went back on the bus and headed back to school. We had lots of fun!
by Giri, Krish, and Miah

The middle grouped learned swimming so we won’t sync. Rishi, Sharon, Abby, Addison, Carter, and Cal all practiced the front crawl and the back crawl. Then we did some diving and jumping. We did it at the Quinte Sports Centre so we can learn to swim. If we fall in the water by mistake we want to be able to get back out. We went by a bus so Class 3F and 3/2B could fit and we all could go at once. That’s why we went to the Quinte Sports Centre.
by Rishi and Sharon

On Tuesday the grade threes went to the Wellness Centre to do “Swim to Survive.” We learned how to roll into water, tread water, and swim. We started at the shallow end and swim to the deep end. We got to jump in the water and cannonball. Our group rolled into the water, swam to the middle of the pool, and treaded water. Then our group walked to the therapy pool. We were told not to pass the middle line because it was deep past there. We had an amazing time at the Wellness Centre. We can’t wait to go back next Tuesday!
by Kyerah, Caitlyn, and Chesea

On Tuesday, Class 3F went to the Wellness Centre for Swim to Survive. First, we had to do the swimming test. Second, we learned how to roll in the water. We treaded water for 10 seconds, then for 30 seconds, then we did it for 60 seconds. That’s what we did at Swim to Survive. We had fun!
by Reade and Lyla

About Swim to Survive


The Lifesaving Society defines the minimum skills needed to survive an unexpected fall into deep water. These are expressed in a skill sequence in the Canadian Swim to Survive standard:

  • ROLL into deep water
  • TREAD water for one minute
  • SWIM 50 metres

Swim to Survive is aimed primarily at children, but people of all ages should be able to perform the Society’s Swim to Survive standard.

More information about the Swim to Survive program is available from The Lifesaving Society website.

The Skyhawks visit SJAM!!

DSC03693Students at Sir John A. Macdonald School in Belleville were visited Wednesday morning by the Canadian Skyhawks parachute team. The team dropped from the sky and landed right in the schoolyard to the delight of all students and teachers.


Ground Crew

The ground crew organizer monitored the wind and the landing area. He signalled the plane to let the pilots know where the landing area was. He maintained contact with the plane via walkie-talkie. When the Skyhawks were ready to jump, he told us that the plane was dropping SkyHawks.

First Formation

The first three SkyHawks jumped out of the plane. As they got closer,  we were excited to see them do a really cool trick. They were coming closer in the sky and they joined together with two on top and one underneath. Then, the one at the bottom released a Canadian flag and red smoke. After flying through the air as a group, they separated so they wouldn’t crash on landing.

Successful Landing!

The  first  parachutist to arrive (the one flying the Canadian flag)  landed right on the red target spot! Before landing  they have to pull down on their controls to slow their decent.  After landing, they quickly gathered their parachutes and made room for the next team members to arrive.

Second Formation

Three Skyhawks jumped out of the plane and once they got closer they attached themselves together by holding each others legs to create a spinning circle. The men’s boots had red smoke coming out of the centre.  Once they got close to the ground they detached and each one landed safely .

Multi-Coloured Smoke Show!

The last group had pink, green, blue, and yellow smoke coming out to create a candycane-looking rod. The smoke was cool, fun, and beautiful!  Multi-coloured smoke is cool because when they fly around in the sky,  they make cool pictures. It was awesome!

Presenting the Skyhawks

"Skyhawks Salute," animated GIF by @aforgrave
“Skyhawks Salute,” animated GIF by @aforgrave

When the Skyhawks were done their performance, they stood at attention in a line. Then, they saluted us and we all clapped and cheered. At the command, they turned to their right and then marched off, while waving goodbye! It was a fantastic show!!

Meeting a Skyhawk and Packing a Parachute

After the Skyhawks had all landed,  they had to pack up the parachute so that it would be ready for their next jump. Each jumper packs his or her own parachute. We got to help pack the parachute,  and try it on.  Although it weighs 35 pounds, it felt like 80 pounds! It was very complicated to pack the parachute. but it was fun meeting our Skyhawk, Alexi! We had lots of questions for him, and he had lots of great answers!

Everybody with the Skyhawks

After the Skyhawks had packed their parachutes with the classes, our whole school took a picture with the them. Everyone huddled up at the baseball diamond so that we could all be in the picture. We all smiled and said “Skyhawks” as Ms. Wand took the picture.



  • Introduction, by Nathanyal and Mr. Forgrave
  • Ground Crew, by Giri and Reade
  • First Formation, by Sharon, Mit, and Rishi
  • Successful Landing, by Kyerah, Brooklyn, and Mr. Forgrave
  • Second Formation by Giri and Jaron
  • Multi-Coloured Smoke by Mahek, Jaron, Chelsea, Aashvi
  • Presenting the Skyhawks, by Aashvi
  • Packing a Parachute, by Miah, Caitlyn, and Mr. Forgrave
  • Everybody with the Skyhawks, by Lyla, Krish, and Raj 

Photos and animated GIFs by Mr. Forgrave.
Second Formation photo by Mr. Allery.
Everybody with the Skyhawks photo by Ms. Wand.


Wonderful Winter Snowshoeing!

By Class 3F

We are snowshoeing!

On Monday afternoon, Class 3F had a surprise opportunity to enjoy the winter snow by snowshoeing in the baseball field behind the school.

For many of us, this was our first opportunity to try snowshoeing, and it was a wonderful learning experience. Although we may have fallen down once or twice (or seven times!), we had a lot of fun!

We wrote the following instructions for others who may have not ever tried snowshoeing.

Instructions for Snowshoeing

  1. Be dressed for outside weather.
  2. Find a pair of matching snowshoes from the bag.
  3. Find a clear spot of your own to put them on.
  4. Putting on the snowshoes:
    a) put the snowshoes on the ground, teeth side down, bindings side up.
    b) loosen the 3 straps on each snowshoe (see photo)
    c) put one foot in one snowshoe.
    d) make sure your toe is pushed forward as far as possible (to the toe hole)
    e) tighten the top 2 straps over the top of your boot.
    f) make sure the heel strap is behind your boot and then tighten it.
    g) repeat steps c-f for the second snowshoe.
  5. Try walking. If needed, tighten the straps so your boots stay in the bindings.
  6. Have fun!
Snowshoe binding with two tops straps and one heel strap.
Snowshoe binding with two tops straps and one heel strap. The toe hole is at the front.