Sunday, September 17, 2017

Welcome to Week Three!

Like the last one, this week promises to be filled with great learning and fun! Our priority is to stay rested and healthy so that we can do our best learning. We will be having conversations in class this week about how this is the time of year when we all start getting colds etc. from the adjustment back into the school year and we will be encouraging each other to take care of our bodies by staying hydrated (keep bringing those filled water bottles), with adequate sleep, exercise, and great eating habits.


This week we will focus on agenda usage. ALL students will be expected to:

a)   Write their agenda items daily (handwriting is strongly encouraged).

b)   Take the agenda home and have it signed/initialled by a parent --once each item has been addressed/completed.

c)   Return the agenda to school and hand it in after writing first thing in the morning.

*Students who do this daily and are successful for the entire week will be given a scholar dollar at the end of the week!

Meet the Staff Night

*Thank you to everyone who came out to 'meet the teacher' and checked out our learning space. It was great to see you all and I am very excited to be working with you this year!

*Thank you to everyone who signed up to bring snacks to our celebrations taking place throughout the school year. The list is almost full! We are looking for someone to bring vegetables and dip for Easter. Please let me know if you didn’t have a chance to add your name and I’ll put you down for something! Of course you don't have to be signed up in order to send something, we just want to be sure the basics are covered. A reminder of who signed up for what will be posted on the blog when we get closer to each celebration.

Yay! A Leadership Opportunity:

We have many occasions over the course of our year to demonstrate our leadership abilities as grade five students. One such activity will begin this week as we serve as student helpers in the classrooms of grade one, two, and three students during the eating portion of the lunch break (our class does it on Wednesdays only). Student partners will go out for their regular lunch recess and then eat their lunches with their assigned grade one or grade two or grade three classes and be available to help in whatever way they can (opening packages, reminding students to stay focused on eating, helping tidy etc.). Our classroom is full of wonderful leaders, what a great opportunity to help the younger people in our school!

Crossings Branch Library Field Trip: Thursday September 21st

On the afternoon of September 21st our class will be walking over to and taking a tour of the Crossings Branch Library! Knowing what a library offers and how it is organized is incredibly important! We are very excited about this trip because we value reading and want to encourage lifelong reading in any way we can! Students should bring their library card (or if you filled out a form for one, you will get your card on Thursday) so students can take out 2 books! Students, be sure to dress for the weather and wear good walking shoes!

Toonies for Terry

*As is tradition, we will be collecting Toonies for Terry to support The Terry Fox Foundation (there will be a jar on Ms. Bourassa’s desk for this purpose). Mike Mountain Horse has a goal of $3,000.00. Thats approximately two toonies/student, though any amount big or small is welcome. Thank you for helping keep Terrys dream alive.

*Join us on our walk to and around Nicholas Sheran Lake on Friday September 22nd if you can. We will leave around 8:50. 

*Students: Our school is known for having a special spirit, let’s show it by being great ambassadors of MMH during the walk. Let’s be sure to wear comfortable walking shoes and MMH gear on Frida as we guide our learning buddies and keep them safe during the walk!

A comment about our stretching exercises/yoga:

On Tuesdays we will take some of our physical activity time to stretch out our bodies and ready our brains for great thinking. In many years of teaching, this has proven very beneficial for students and their learning. Please know that the yoga poses we do are for the purpose of stretching and focusing on our breathing only, there are no spiritual or religious practices or intentions involved. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me. Students should wear clothes that allow for stretching and if they have their own mats and would like to bring them, they are encouraged to do so!

Sneak Peek at the Week:

Language Arts:

What is a homophone? Well, if you ask many, they might say that homophones are the reason English is one of the most difficult languages to learn! Encarta dictionary states:

A homophone is a word that is pronounced in the same way as one or more other words but is different in meaning and sometimes spelling, as are "hair" and "hare."

Our 100 most commonly used words includes many homophones. This week we will work to demystify the ‘They’re, their, there’ issue with creating sentences such as:

They’re playing with their dog over there by the tree.

We will continue to take a look at a few more from our list like you’re and your as well as to, two, and too, etc. and will take our first try at mastering the top 100 words on Thursday. Study, study my friends!

We will continue a more formal practice of 'Handwriting Without Tears' this week and will begin reviewing strategies of strong readers with our novel, Frindle!


Last week we reviewed addition, subtraction, multiplication and division strategies. From this review, and from previous years teaching grade five, I’ve learned that we need to spend quite a bit more time on our multiplication strategies! I believe our class is up for the challenge of improving these facts, so while we want students practicing all multiplication facts, we will give special focus to ‘mastering’ one at a time (one each night). We can eliminate the easier facts from too much further practise (0, 1, 2, 5 and 10 times tables) and have already attacked the 3’s and 4’s last week, so will begin working on the 6 times table facts Monday night. I am requesting/ strongly suggesting/desperately hoping that students spend a MINIMUM of 15 minutes each night reviewing and practising their facts. This could be done in a variety of ways: websites, flashcards, games, or simply spending time with 'frustrating facts' and developing strategies for memory to make them 'friendly facts'. For example, 8 x 7 = 56 always seems to be a tougher one. Students could spend some time creating meaning around this equation: "I notice that 8 and 7 are only one digit apart, and so are 5 and 6! (5,6,7,8)" Or for 9 x 8 = 72: "I know that 10 eights = 80, so I need to take one 8 away from 80 and that will get me 72." This also works for 12 x 8; "I know that 10 x 8 = 80, and 2 x 8 = 16, so I add 80 + 16 = 96!"

Students have been checking out sites and are encouraged to showcase their finds in class. A few old favourites include:

Are you a Math Magician?

Study Jams: Multiplication

Diaper Derby

I am encouraging students to continue asking themselves: “What am I doing to help myself get better at math facts?” Thank you, parents for supporting your child at home by encouraging their practice or by spending time directly helping them to review facts. Every little bit helps!

We will jump into our first math unit: Statistics and Probability this week, and by the end of our week your scholar should be able to:

*explain the difference between first-hand and second-hand data

* formulate a question that can best be answered using first-hand data, and explain why

* formulate a question that can best be answered using second-hand data, and explain why

* find examples of second-hand data

Social Studies:
We will open our study of Canada by finding out what students already know about our great country...and the world! Students will also be preparing for and giving a 1-minute presentation of 'My Special Place in Canada' on Wednesday (Mr. K’s class: Thursday). Though we will review expectations for the presentation in class, I've included the guidelines here in order to help students get set for success.

Guidelines for informal oral presentation:

1) Pick any location in Canada. It may be a spot you’ve visited, somewhere a relative or special friend lives or a place to which you would like to travel someday.

2) Be prepared to:

a) name the place,  

b) locate it on the big map of Canada and

c) explain why it is special to you!

3) Students may choose to enhance their one minute presentation with a picture or other souvenir/significant object.


Bonjour les amis et bienvenue a la classe francais! /;{

Last week students discussed viewpoints about why learning a second language is important. This week we will explore why Canada is bilingual and start through our review of concepts learned last year such as l'alphabet, les nombres, et les jours de la semaine!