Tuesday, 12 February 2019

Week 22 - Feb 11 - 14

Three straight Snow Days to start your week, eh? This is unheard of, by the way... I do not ever remember consecutive days off due to snow, either as a teacher, or as a student. (Of course, my student days were back in the old times just after the last ice age. We walked ten kilometers to school - up hill both ways - in chest-deep snow with mountains of textbooks in our backpacks. We were tougher back then!)

Anyway, the extra days off, added to the Pro-D day on Friday means you've got yourself a one-day week. Here's what we'll try to do:

First, our Thursday field trip to Bowker Creek with Sydney from Eagle View Tours will be postponed. Conditions will be too sloppy and cold, so we will reschedule. Stand-by for more information on when this will be rescheduled.

Your Holes discussion will be delayed to next Wednesday. This will give you plenty of time to do the work you need to do to be super-prepared for this next discussion. I will also be giving each of you a challenge this week related to Holes. Stay tuned to FG for a Super-Mission related to the work you have been doing, and will do about this novel.

In Math, we will begin wrapping up our look at division. I expect by the middle of next week we will be ready to move on.

In Social Studies, we will prepare to set sail on a voyage of discovery.

Valentine's Day is on Thursday.

That's it for this week, folks! Enjoy!

Sunday, 3 February 2019

Week 21 - Feb 4 - 8

It has been a chilly start to February! Brrr! We've got an exciting week ahead...

In Math this week we'll pick up where we left off with your Math groups work. We'll also continue to explore the idea of division, with leftovers (remainders).

For Social Studies, we will finish constructing our islands, and we will learn about the other countries. We'll establish trading partnerships, and we will set out on a voyage of exploration. Here's what I've been keeping secret about our little made-up world: the year is 1500. This is the early days of the great age of exploration. New worlds await brave and motivated explorers as they set off into the unknown. They sail tall ships, and have some pretty great technology on board. But this is well before the digital age. GPS? Not a chance! We'll learn how to make sense of our location in the world, how to survive long voyages into the vast unknown oceans, and what to do when we get there - wherever "there" happens to be.

 In Science we will again turn to a map - a Google map of the Salish Sea, actually. Get your web-search skills tuned up! You will help to build an information-laden digital map of some of the places we may pass by on our field trip this week.

We've got a little field trip this week. Our "Floating Classroom" heads off on Wednesday. This should be an awesome excursion. With the chilly temperatures predicted, you'll need to dress warm! I'll be asking you to take an inventory of the plants and animals we encounter on our trip... The artifacts we will be making will be based on the things we see and what we can learn about them over the next few weeks.

Speaking of Ocean Animals (are you sensing a theme?), you have a Writing task ahead of you. Last week you took some notes about an Ocean Animal. This week, you'll begin writing about your animal in your own words, based on what you jotted down last week.

Holes continues this week. Will you be prepared for your group's discussion? What do you think about the movie so far? Remember, for those who haven't yet seen the movie, please, please wait until we've finished the book before you view it.

On Thursday there will be a special presentation for the school by Dufflebag Theater.

Friday will feature Walkies and Chess. What a great way to wrap up a busy week!

Tuesday, 29 January 2019

Week 20 - Jan 29 - Feb 1

It is a short week, gang. I hope your Pro-D Monday was awesome. Here is what is up for Week 20:

On Tuesday, Sydney from Eagle Wing Tours delivered a preview of next week's field trip. Who's excited? I know I am! Stay tuned for info arriving in parent in-boxes this week about next Wednesday's boat trip.

In Math we will stretch our thinking about Division. Most of you showed me that you really "get it" so far. As a group, we're ready to move on. Well done.

For Social Studies this week we will finish putting together our awesome islands. We'll complete the "About Our People" booklets, and we'll begin to examine what each island has, and what they each lack. We'll chat about what we could do about this. Do we establish mutually beneficial trading partnerships? Do we act like a bully and take what we need from others? Are we willing to risk war to get what we want? What will we do with an unfriendly or hostile neighbor? There is much to explore, here!

Science will build on what we're learning about adaptations. We will look at interdependence of species, and how they interact with the non-living features of their habitat.

For Holes we will discuss Week 3's tasks, and then move into your next job and the fourth reading task. What awesome contributions are you going to bring to the discussion this week?

Chess begins this Friday afternoon! Yay!

Walkies will head out on Friday morning, as usual. Parents, it has been touch-and-go for having parent-volunteers a couple of times this month. If you are available, please let me know on Thursday if you are planning on joining us. Many thanks for continuing to support this program.

Enjoy your week, folks!

Monday, 21 January 2019

Week 19 - Jan 21 - 25

Sometime during Week 19, we will hit the half-way mark of your grade 4 or grade 5 year. Whoa! Can you believe that? Our week promises to be full. Here's the plan.

On Monday, guests will bring their talents and knowledge of Afro-Cuban music to our school. Each grade 4/5 class will get to experience a workshop with this group. Sweet!

The Maturation lesson will happen on Wednesday.

There will be an assembly on Thursday. Our class is involved.

Grade 5's and their families are invited to a Games Night on Thursday, 6:30 - 8:30. Sounds like fun!

Walkies on Friday!

For Reading this week, your second reading task is due. On Wednesday, we will meet with your group to discuss the thinking you have done. Remember to do your best to ensure you and your group value the work you have done. Come prepared with things to discuss! Listen carefully and respectfully to your team. Participate. Use the "Conversation Starters". Try your best to connect with what your group mates have done, and build your understanding of the book.

In Math this week, we'll continue to practice our division skills. Our practice should lead us into more challenging terrain. Parents, I'll try to make a little video to show the dividing technique I am having the students work with. Look for that here on the blog later on in the week

Socials will feature island-building (get your paintbrushes ready!), and creating a civilization. You'll get to answer some important questions about your people. What are they called? What language do they speak? Are they a peaceful people, or are they aggressive and war-like? Which other islands are they aware of? Who are their friends? Their enemies?

Science this week will look at how animals adapt to their habitats. Critters adjust how they behave so they'll have the best chance of survival. They also evolve their bodies - they physically adapt - to best suit their environment.

It sure looks like a busy week ahead!

Remember there will be a pro-D day next Monday.

Have a great week, everyone!

Monday, 14 January 2019

Week 18 - Jan 14 - 18

Well after a busy week in the classroom last week, when we launched all sorts of new things, we will pick up where we left off on Friday. In addition, a couple of specials will feature on two of our afternoons. Here's how it breaks down:

Tuesday: Needle Felting workshop with Renee Sala, 1 - 2:30 pm.
Thursday: Skating at OBRC; depart 12:45, return 2:48. (Parents needed for this. Please let Mr. Pite know if you can help!)
Friday: Walkies.

Note that our trip to Trafalgar Park has been CANCELLED for this week. We will pick this up again in February.

In Math we will continue to explore ways of showing and expressing division. Many of you will, at this point, benefit from a thorough review of your basic number fact families. If you know that 6, 7, and 42 make a "family", you know four basic facts:

6 x 7 = 42
7 x 6 = 42
42 ÷ 7 = 6
42 ÷ 6 = 7

We will look into "Fair Sharing by Equal Distribution" and compare that to what we learned last week about "Fair Sharing by Equal Grouping".

Reading over the next six weeks will feature tasks from Holes, by Louis Sachar. This is an awesome book. While it is entertaining, it also touches on some thought-provoking themes like how we punish youth for crime, loyalty, greed, and race. We will be looking at the book in six sections, and for each section you will have a different job. Your Lit Circle group is depending on you to do your job, and to have not only read the section, but to have thought about it and to make contributions to discussions. Our first discussion will happen on Wednesday morning.

We will finish "Sharks" this week in Writing.

You will begin building a civilization in Socials this week. Your team will be asked to decide on a decision-making process, select a leader, name your land, and determine the natural resource wealth of your people. You will also begin to construct your island. That's what the cardboard is for, folks! If you have any more of that double-thickness cardboard, please bring it in asap.

In Science we will continue our look at what makes an animal's habitat, and then explore how animals have adapted to best make their homes there.

Strings students: a little birdie tells me that you should be practicing for a short time a few times per week at this point. Some of you don't always remember to take your instrument home!

Music: Div 1 will be performing at an upcoming assembly, January 24th.

Last, I would like to welcome our new EA, Genevieve Prefontaine to our classroom. Genevieve will be here Tuesday - Friday, and Terrence will drop by our room on Mondays.

That's all for this week, folks!

Monday, 7 January 2019

Week 17 - Jan 7 - 11

Welcome back to the Division One environment, everyone. And welcome back to the blog. We've got an exciting term of exploration ahead! Things to look forward to include:


  • a Science unit about marine habitats 
  • that awesome field trip and related sessions with Eagle Wing tours
  • a unit of exploration, conquest and consequence for Social Studies
  • a literature circle exploration of a novel
  • division in math
  • more writing dress-ups
  • basketball
  • chess
  • ... and more!
Sounds awesome, right?

For this week, we'll explore some geographic terms and mapping ideas. Remember that I asked your folks to set aside any double-thick cardboard they might have collected recently. "Double thick" or double-walled cardboard is a sandwich of paperboard that, in cross-section looks like this:


Please bring this stuff in later on this week, if possible. Thanks!

In Science we'll begin looking at the elements that make up "habitat".

For Math, we will explore the idea of division, and how I wasn't kidding earlier in the year when I suggested that knowing our multiplication facts inside out and backwards would be very helpful! Hmm, do you think you could use a little more practice?

In Writing we will earnestly and passionately explore "-ly" adverbs. 

Walkies will happen on Friday, as usual.

Have a great week, everyone! And don't forget to cruise on over to the Daily Agenda page each day Mon - Thurs. for quick-hits of what is happening.

Monday, 17 December 2018

Week 16 - Dec 17 - 21

The Calendar tells me that we are in the final week before our Winter Break. I can't believe how fast time has flown. Term One is in the books, and we are well beyond a third of the way through our school year. Whoa!

I'll be brief this week. Expect some interesting activities mixed in with your Big Chill rehearsals and shows.

The winter or Christmas-themed picture books that you have been practicing represent our chance to reconnect with our Little Buddies. We'll do that before Friday. Fun!

In Math we'll spend some time reviewing, and being a Crime Scene investigator. Who stole that sleigh?

For Writing we will experiment a bit with Google Read and Write. And we'll get into the spirit of the season with a fun free-write session or two. We'll also spend some time reviewing parts of speech (again, you'll get a winter-themed activity for this).

Science will be seasonally-themed as well. Things might get messy!

Friday is looking like quite a day. Secret Santa's Amazing Race is an extended Walkies scavenger hunt. We'll do some classroom cleanup. There will be popcorn. There will be PJ's. There might be a movie... (if you want one, that is).

The Big Chill performances go down on Wednesday and Thursday afternoons. Parents, please check your tickets carefully. You will have tickets for only one or the other performance. Some of you will be here Wednesday. Others on Thursday. I saw a brief performance today of the song our class has learned. We sound great!

Have a great week, everyone!

Monday, 10 December 2018

Week 15 - Dec 10 - 14

With a mere two weeks to go before a well-deserved two-week break, you know that the holiday spirit is in the air. These can be tough days: you're asked to continue concentrating on schoolwork, remembering to mind your manners, and being sure you remain calm, respectful and aware and awake. Please do your best to bring your best self to school over the next fortnight (not to be confused with Fortnite), okay?

In Math we'll revisit Arrays. If your parents want a quick tutorial on how to multiply a two-digit number by another two-digit number using an array, have them check out the new video on the sidebar. This is grade five level stuff, folks. I'm hoping to check in with your knowledge again early in the week. We'll move on to more multiplication ideas later this week.

Your Funny Read Aloud plays went really well! Check out FG for feedback on how you, and your group, did.

For Reading this week you'll begin practicing your storyteller's skills. We'll each select a picture book that we will eventually share with our Little Buddies. If you have a favourite holiday-themed picture book at home that you would like to share, please bring it in.

We will explore great action words this week. Pairing awesome verbs together can add detail and impact to your writing. (We don't just "laugh", we don't just "sing", we do both with that "sleighing song, tonight!") We will break down another paragraph this week that you get to rewrite. You'll get one of four paragraphs, all related to a science topic. When you're finished, you'll be able to combine your paragraph with three others' paragraphs to create a full, polished essay. Whoa!

For Science we'll turn our attention to renewable energy resources.

Have you checked in with your FG profile lately. Have your folks seen what you've been up to? Take a couple of minutes right now to review your profile.

We have very few interruptions this week, folks. Unlike last week, we'll feel like we've made some progress by Friday.

Term 1 Reports go home on Friday. Stay tuned, parents, for an email about those. In it, I'll explain what it is you'll be receiving at the end of this week.

Walkies on Friday!

Enjoy your week, all!

Monday, 3 December 2018

Week 14 - Dec 3 - 7

Welcome to December! We've got a busy week ahead. As always, please keep tabs on what is coming up by checking in here on the blog, the Daily Agenda, and the Calendar page.

First, a correction! The green form I sent home with you had the wrong date for Soapstone Carving. This activity will be on Thursday, Dec 6th, in the afternoon. Thanks to all for paying the $12 for this one.

Second, Skating! It is on Tuesday afternoon. Don't forget to bring your helmets, warm clothes, and good shoes for walking! Many thanks to parents who have offered to join us for the walk and to help tie skates. We will depart as close as possible to 12:45, and should be back at the school at 2:48.

Third, Trafalgar Park! We are heading out to the park on Wednesday morning for another round of planting and the like. It is predicted to be quite chilly overnight and into Wednesday morning. So again, please ensure you are prepared for the weather!

Also happening this week: Your Funny Read Aloud Play performance will happen on Wednesday afternoon.

Walkies will go ahead on Friday morning.

The Make Sale is on Friday. We will put the finishing touches on our contributions over the next few days, when we can squeeze it in.

In Math this week we will explore array models of multiplication. Quick, can you define an array? What shape is it? What do the dimensions of that shape represent?

Science will focus on Forestry this week. We'll look at the our forests as a resource. How do we manage that resource? In what ways do we use this resource?

That's all for this week, folks!

Monday, 26 November 2018

Week 13 - Nov 26 - Nov 30

Well Hello! We're finally back to a full five school days this week. With only four weeks to go before your winter break, our schedule is starting to pack up with extras. Stay tuned to the calendar here on the blog.

Parent business first: On Monday, tickets for the Winter Concert were sent home with your eldest or only student at the school. Two tickets per family, and they are colour-coded to one performance date. Please see Jess's weekly update from last Thursday for more info.

On Tuesday this week, a form will come home about Soapstone Carving. As in years past, Kent Laforme will bring his expertise to our school. Our date for this session is next Wednesday. You will have received an email already from the school asking for payment. These forms must be returned by Friday this week so we can let Kent know which animals to prepare for us.

Okay, on with the kid stuff. On Monday this week we began speaking about salmon, fish farms, and the issues revolving around this much prized resource. This is where Science meets Social Studies. We will spend a bit more time looking into aquaculture and try to make an unbiased decision about the fish farming industry as it currently is in BC. (Wait, that doesn't sound like kid stuff! Look at you... talking about "adult" issues. This one is complex and controversial. But does that mean you, as a kid, don't have a say? That you shouldn't care?) More to come...

In Math this week we'll continue to look at multiplying strategies. I'm noticing that many of you could use more practice with your basic facts. If you struggled with 8 x 4 today (in the context of 8 x 40), then you perhaps don't know things well enough yet. Expect some more practice, and some strategies to help you when you simply can't remember. We will also look at arrays as models for multiplication. We'll eventually build up to how we can use arrays to solve two-digit by two-digit multiplication problems.

You'll continue to work on your Read Aloud plays this week. What about your play are you working on? Tone of voice? Volume? Fluency? Avoiding the giggles? I will schedule performances for these readers' theater plays for early next week. Stay tuned.

For Writing, we will begin another paragraph write on Tuesday. Our goal will be to have it complete by Friday. That will include reading and key-wording a paragraph, brainstorming some extra language to include (adjectives this time), writing a rough draft, editing it, and finally writing a final draft to be handed in. That's the process, and diligent students will be able to get it all done in class. Will you?

We'll work on another challenge with Scratch this week.

Walkies returns on Friday! Hooray!

Enjoy your week, everyone!