Friday, January 26, 2018

Week of January 29-February 2


In the rear-view mirror

It was ‘ultimate lunch’ day on Thursday last week, and what a difference was noted from the first day last fall when we launched ‘Operation Lunch Inspectors’! Students are now more aware of how to properly fuel their bodies and brains for optimal health and wellness, and they were very proud to show off their healthy choices. One student made the following comment, “Shouldn’t EVERY day be ‘ultimate lunch’ day? Don’t we want to fuel our bodies and brains well each and every day?”

Something different this week

In an effort to explore some options, our lunch hour will look a little different this week. We will be eating inside from 11:45-12:05 before our outside play: 12:05-12:25. We are curious about how this will go and will seek some feedback from students and adults in our building about preferences to help us make decisions moving forward.

Wednesday, January 31: Bell-Let’s Talk Day

Jan 31 (next Wednesday) Bell is hosting the “Let’s Talk” campaign designed to bring awareness to mental health and to reduce/remove the stigma. Mental health affects us all; I invite you to take a few moments to view a series of clips (including ways to help) that may help us better understand mental health:

We will be learning more about positive mental health in this and upcoming weeks.


Sneak Peek at the Week:

Language Arts:

Last week's kickoff to Word Power (or what we recognize as spelling) went off without a hitch! Students were very engaged working with their words and sorting them according to various rules. I am very proud to report that almost every student handed in their assignment completed and on time! This week students will get their assignments back, work on corrections and study their words in a variety of ways in preparation for the final assessment on Thursday. Please know that in addition to the list words, the final assessment will include a few words from the Frequently Misspelled Words List (column #1).

This is a very exciting week because we will be launching ourselves into our whole-group novel study: Underground to Canada! This week's opening activities will really ignite our thinking and our emotions! Parents, please know that because this novel focuses on slavery and takes place in the southern and northern United States in the mid 1800’s, there will be some discussion around some difficult topics including the treatment of slaves and the hardships they endured while living in slavery as well as escaping to live a life of freedom. Because the author, Barbara Smucker, is incredibly gifted and ‘paints detailed pictures’ for her readers, students may experience some emotion as they begin to understand the lives of slaves. I know that above all else, students have always learned great gratitude while reading and may come home with extra hugs for their parents because they live a very safe life, have a nice home to live in, clothes to wear, food to eat and comfortable beds to sleep in. It’s an incredible read, one students will likely not forget, and I can’t wait to share it with them! If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me.


Our focus for this week is ‘places in the school’. Students will learn how to name areas of the school before labelling a map of MMH (en francais, bien sur!)

Check out Lucie’s first day at her new school:

Students can soon look forward to learning about the life of a voyageur in preparation for Friday February 16: ‘le festival du voyageur’!


Wow! All the multiplication studying efforts are paying off! 14 out of the 22 students in attendance on Friday scored their personal best! Way to go! Last week students learned a neat strategy in case there are still some tricky multiplication facts they don’t have automatically, it’s called Finger Multiplication. Students, teach your parents this neat strategy!

Beginning this week, we will focus on our first complex multiplication strategy:

a)   Annexing and adding zeroes

i.e.: 7 x 800 = ?

Think 7 x 8 (ignore the zeroes) = 56

Then add the zeroes you ignored earlier: 5600

7 x 800 = 5600

Our second strategy which we will tackle is called:

b)   Halving and Doubling

i.e.: 32 × 5 is the same as 16 × 10

(10s are easy to work with, so if we double the 5, we must ‘half’ 32)

16 x 10 = 160, so 32 x 5 = 160

Parents: A concern I’ve heard voiced year after year is that the math our students are learning is different from the way ‘we’ learned it. For the most part this is trueand thank goodness for that! Back when I learned more complex multiplication, there really was only one way taughtand we were in trouble if it didn’t work for us. We now recognize that we all learn in different ways and it is our intention to provide our students with many approaches to learning in the hopes that we catch more learners and allow more success. I can promise you that in the years I’ve taught these different strategies, greater success for students has been evident. Where we seem to hit some difficulties, however, is in communication of these strategies to our parents who play an important role in affecting and reinforcing childrens’ learning every day. Worry no more! During this unit, students will be challenged to become teachers! It is widely known that in order for anyone to be able to teach something, they must have a good grasp of the knowledge and skills first. Parents: please be on the lookout for your lessons (this is your child’s homeworkit should take no longer than 5-10 minutes) that will start coming home this week. There will be three parts to the mini-lesson:

a) an explanation of the strategy,

b) sample questions for the student-teacher to demonstrate the strategy and then

c) questions for the student (parent) to do using the strategy taught. At the bottom of the lesson there are areas where the student-teacher and the student (parent) must sign. These ‘lessons’ must be returned to school the following day for a homework check. We will be reviewing this process in class, so your scholar should have a clear understanding of how this will work when they bring home the first lesson this week! Good luck and good learning! (and thank you for your time and patience!)

Social Studies:

We will take a little trip to Iqaluit this week before we wrap things up with an ‘end of the unit assessment’ on Thursday. In order to prepare, students should study their scavenger hunt as well as notes from each of the trips we took to the Arctic (Chillin in the Arctic and Following the Inukshuk).

Have a wonderful week!