Sunday, October 1, 2017

Weeks five and six--look at us grow!

Happy October!

Autumn is one of my favourite times of year! I love all the rich colors and the crunching of the leaves, the cool evenings and crisp mornings, and of course the spirit of gratitude as we look toward celebrating Thanksgiving!

Bell Times:

It has come to my attention that not everyone is aware of the bell times. We have a morning warning bell that goes at 8:15. Students gather at the doors at this time and are invited in shortly after. 8:20 is when the official bell goes and that is when we begin! Students often have a warm-up activity upon entering the classroom, therefore I encourage all students to be at school for the 8:15 bell so as not to start the day running behind. Dismissal is at 3:10 Monday to Thursday and on Fridays we dismiss at 11:35. Thanks! 

Sneak Peek at the Next 2 Weeks:

Language Arts:

The Top 100 Words tests have gone over so well that we are done! Only a few students have a few words they are still working on, so I will be working directly with them to master those few and we shall continue on our way toward focusing on ‘Commonly Used Words’ (watch for lists coming home on Tuesday).

 We have wrapped-up our first novel and review of reading comprehension strategies! Students learned that reading is thinking! I will continue encouraging students to use the strategies we have learned in their daily reading practice in order to continue reading growth. Parents, feel free to have conversations with your child about what he/she/you are reading! Ask your student about the following strategies: predicting, visualizing, questioning, making connections, summarizing, identifying the main idea (tell what happened in ten words or less), checking predictions, and making judgements.


This week we are continuing our study of double bar graphs by constructing them! Soon we will be creating survey questions and options and then conducting surveys by going to different classrooms in our school. Once data is gathered (that's right: first-hand data) students will return to our classroom to graph their results. It is very likely that we will also begin the second section of this unit: Probability next week!

 A quick note about Facts Fridays:  It is clear that many of our students are taking the time to work on their facts at home every night--the evidence is in the accuracy and speed at which they are experiencing increased success in this weekly activity. I’m proud to report that 11 out of 23 students (3 were absent) demonstrated growth this week over last! We are graphing results and many are excited to see how they are growing. We will begin revisiting each of the times tables again this week...Keep up the effort at home, it's worth every minute!

Always on the look-out to make multiplication easier for students, I shared another strategy I learned recently:

The 6 Trick:

1) Take the other number you are multiplying and hold up that many fingers (i.e. 6 x 8, hold up 8 fingers).

2) Count by 5's on each of those fingers (40)

3) Go back and count those same fingers by 1's (8)

4) Add together, et voila! (40 + 8 = 48)

*Students: to show me you've read the blog, come and explain/demonstrate the 6 trick to me on Monday ...I see a scholar dollar in your future! :)

Social Studies:

Wow! Students LOVE taking on mapping challenges on the smart boardespecially if the Mission Impossible music is playing!

Over the next couple of weeks students will be focusing on the provinces, territories and their capitals in preparation for an upcoming quiz! Students should know where the provinces and territories are located and which capital city belongs to which province/territory!

I would like to invite students to check out an excellent resource for which passwords are required to access:

If you are prompted for a username and password use these:

username: stmmh

password: student

Simply scroll over and click on an area of Canada and then choose from the video clips that become available on the right hand side of the page! Enjoy!

The election is only two weeks away! Students will have the opportunity to learn about municipal elections this week and will meet a candidate for city council as well as a candidate for school trustee! We want to be informed citizens in this democratic process, so our job is to find out as much about each of the candidates as we can before we have the chance to vote next week!


Our review will continue next week, but this week we are spending time thinking about and listing things for which we are grateful in preparation for a Thanksgiving (l'action de grace) activity. My list has already begun: I am grateful I get to spend my days with an amazing community of sweet young souls!

Looking ahead:

Corn Maze:

Our Corn Maze field trip takes place this Friday October 6th. Thank you to all the drivers who are volunteering to take us out to the maze and have some fun helping us navigate our way through it! Students should dress appropriately for the weather (check the forecast!) with good walking/running shoes and come prepared for some great teamwork and fun!

Extra-Long Weekend:

We are looking forward to a long weekend for Thanksgiving (no classes on Monday), with an additional day (Tuesday) for teachers to do some professional learning. After that long weekend, we will see everyone on Wednesday October11th!

Home Alone Program

As part of our Wellness Education, beginning on Wednesday October 11th, all grade five students will be participating in a Home Alone program. This program is comprised of 4, 1 hour presentations and delivers essential learning so that students are better equipped to make safe decisions while at home alone. Topics include: fire safety and planning, internet safety and strangers, what to do in emergencies, basic first aid information as well as personal and family responsibilities.

Any questions about the program may be forwarded to our Making Connections worker, Tammy Vollo:

Let’s have a terrific couple of weeks!