We had a great time this morning and the grade 7’s put together some excellent stations. This year the theme was movies and the stations included The Avengers, Mission Impossible , Minions, Cars and Inside Out. The students cheered each other on and the hour was filled with smiles and laughs. So happy the weather cooperated!
Here is a brief summary of what we have been up to in May! One month to go before they are officially grade fives 🙂
Writing- Design a Donut 🍩 Descriptive/Persuasive writing
In this writing assignment the students were asked to design their own unique and delicious donut. The students were excited right off the bat. We took part in a visual tour of several donuts from around the world to get our imaginative juices flowing. Part one of the writing process was very fun to say the least : ) The students were also asked to use persuasive writing techniques to convince people that their donut is the best. They used many techniques to help “sell” their donut. Strategies included special deals, unique features and ingredients and even celebrity appearances! The students drafted their initial copies for part 2 of the process. The writing was fantastic. After editing and making revisions, students published their writing. See some samples below. Each student will present their donut to the class later this week.
Literature Circle Wrap Up
The students finished their novels this month and had very successful group meetings! They enjoyed the process and really impressed me. We utilized the new outdoor classroom over the past 5 weeks. What a great addition to Carr! As a final review each student completed a Story Map outlining the essential elements of their book.
For most of May the students were learning about data management. They learned about types of data, collecting data, and reading and interpreting graphs. They explored pictographs, bar graphs, double bar graphs, stem and leaf plots, and learned the terms range, median and mode. Recently we have just begun a unit on fractions. We also used one of our math periods for some math games to reinforce some skills. Math Noodlers was a hit!
Science this month was very involved and the kids were super engaged in the learning! We have been continuing to learn about energy from the Mystery Science resource. In summary:
“This introductory energy unit will encourage students to think about the energy that things need to move. Students will explore how energy makes things go, from powering vehicles to moving one’s body. Students will experiment with rubber bands to discover the relationship between how much energy is stored in a material and how much is released. They will investigate the role that hills play in making roller coasters move and the energy transfer that happens when two objects collide. Students will realize that thinking about the world in terms of energy helps them make sense of how and why things speed up and slow down. Hands-on activities focus on engineering, testing hypotheses and using results to develop their ideas.”
– Mystery Science
We have started some drama exercises for Fine Arts. The kids have been great! They all seem comfortable and confident presenting. It has been very fun so far.
We had the pleasure of hosting Elevate Ultimate this month. They ran two clinics for each class. The kids had a lot of fun and learned some great throwing and catching skills. I foresee some great Ultimate players in the future!
After work Options
I continue to be impressed by the options students choose if they finish their work early. They have show such maturity this year. Here C is working hard at his keyboarding skills. He will be faster than me in no time!
Occasionally the students like to work while laying down on the carpet. This group shows how focussed they can be! Sitting, standing or laying down, the kids have found their groove this year #hardworkers
Since March was a shorter month this mashup has been combined with April. We have been very hard at work!! Here are some of the highlights 🙂
Fine Arts – Nature Fairies / 3D Paper Butterflies
Fairies – We decided to bring some of the outdoors, inside. Each student explored the school grounds and found two leaves that had fallen. We wanted to incorporate nature into our art again. The leaves were the anchor for the fairies and acted as their wings. Students then viewed some samples to look at features and sketching techniques. Their creations turned out great.
Butterflies – We used paper strips to bring colour and texture to a butterfly design. See some pictures of the students during the process and the final products below.
We made the jump to multi-digit multiplication. Just before the break the students were practicing multiplication of three-digit by one digit numbers (i.e 347 x 5). They learned how to solve these equations using expanded notation as well as the standard method. Students should be able to estimate products as well (347 x 5 rounds to 300 x 5 = 1500).
We also started to work on division in April. Students learned about sharing and grouping, and how to use long division to solve problems.
We were able to complete a Spring themed Science experiment before the break. The kids were super engaged! We looked at why flowers “move” and how they bloom in Spring. Each student should have brought home a nice card with a blooming flower attached. The students also took turns being amateur inventors. They had to save our friend “bobby” (a bobby pin) from a crash landing by inventing a paper device to slow the fall. They worked like inventors and the creative process was fun to see.
In April we began a unit about energy. During the activities students were encouraged “to think about the energy that things need to move. Students will explore how energy makes things go, from powering vehicles to moving one’s body. Students will experiment with rubber bands to discover the relationship between how much energy is stored in a material and how much is released. They will investigate the role that hills play in making roller coasters move and the energy transfer that happens when two objects collide. Students will realize that thinking about the world in terms of energy helps them make sense of how and why things speed up and slow down. Hands-on activities focus on engineering, testing hypotheses and using results to develop their ideas.” – mysteryscience.com
We focused on the “infer” strategy in our workshops. These lessons were guided using some recommended books for teaching this strategy. We have many strong readers who make great inferences. We make inferences by using text clues and connecting them to our background knowledge. This is often referred to as “reading between the lines”. We are now moving on to Literature Circles. Students will be placed in small novel groups.
Literature Circles has begun! We have four groups for this round. The novels are The One and Only Ivan, Thomas and the Dragon Queen, Because of Winn Dixie and The Lemonade War. The books have been divided into 5 sections. Each week we read (Tuesday), respond (Wednesday) and meet for discussion (Thursday). Each student selects a “role” and completes this in school. It is very important that every student finishes their role to support the group for discussion and sharing on Thursday.
The literature circles roles are:
a. Discussion Director
c. Artful Illustrator
d. Friends of the Character
e. Word Wizard
f. Literary Luminary
We have been reading about early exploration in our Social Studies text this term. Students are learning about what influenced explorers such as Christopher Columbus and John Cabot to head out on the sea. We have also began reading about the early relationship between Aboriginal cultures and the European explorers. I have also loaded the class with non-fiction books related to our topic for students to choose from if they wish to learn even more.
Fine Arts – Optical Illusion
We discussed illusions in this art class and learned a technique using lines where we can create a 3D image. Each student traced their hand and then used lines and gentle shading to create the effect. Some samples are below.
Health and Physical Education
I introduced the class to the sport of Handball! They picked up the game very quickly and have played well. The students have displayed great teamwork, effort and determination.
Applied Design, Skills and Technology
In our last session the kids were challenged to build a tower. They were asked to try and make the tallest tower possible. The criteria:
- It must be free standing
- you only get 3 pieces of 81/2 x 11 paper
- you get 30 cm of tape
We discussed different techniques that could be used. Students could roll, cut or fold the paper in any way possible. The groups were asked to communicate and work together cooperatively. Each group was given a chance to plan, build and redesign. Here are some highlights of the process and their results. The kids showed a lot of excellent communication skills and creative thinking. Those two core competencies were definitely on display!
Library time 🙂
Each Wednesday we visit Mrs. Booth in the library. She introduces new literature to the students and shares important information. This month she supported our learning about the Infer reading strategy and guided the students through a great read aloud: “The Magpie Song”, by Lawrence Anholt.
After work options
Sometimes students finish their assignments and there is extra time left in the period. I always want the kids engaged in learning, so I have several options they can choose from to enrich their experience. Chess is a great game and popular amongst some of the kids. They quietly have matches with each other on the carpet at times. Some other examples students can choose from are: Typing practice, coding, reading, sudoku puzzles, and logic games (Rush Hour).
February is in the bag! The students worked very hard this month and have been completing a variety of assignments. They have a lot to showcase for you for their at home student led conference! Here is a quick summary of our learning and “window into the classroom”.
We have recently started to learn cursive in class. We use it as a short warm up in the morning (10 min). I alternate between cursive and Sentence of the Day when we begin at 9:00. The kids have been ultra focused and are doing a great job so far.
I received more compliments on these last two pieces than any of their previous work! They have been so focused and engaged during art this term. This class rocks! We used some small paper cups to create 3D flower vases. We used a Q-tip and a variety of paints to created the petals. According to one staff member they resembled Zinnia’s : ) Every student created a beautiful piece. See some samples below or check myBlueprint for your child’s work.
The students have been finishing up several poems this month. I have been impressed with their efforts and engagement. Each student will be presenting their anthologies to you next week. They wrote a Cinquain, Diamanté, Quatrain, Haiku, Adjective in Detail, and two free verse poems. Here is a glimpse at a few poems and anthologies.
Health and Physical Education
I introduced the class to Kin-ball! This is a new item at Carr and offers so many activities. It is very engaging and the students loved it. The actual Kin-ball game can be seen on YouTube. It takes a lot of athleticism and cooperation to play. The kids were amazing.
We finished off a unit in Geometry 📐. The students learned about 2D shapes, angles, parallel lines and different quadrilaterals. Tests will be sent home soon. See some sample exercises below. We are now returning to multiplication and will be covering how to multiply larger numbers.
We have continued to use the “Our Beginnings” text to explore Coastal First Nations culture. The students have learned about their communities in the past, how they acquired food and clothing, and some information about their belief systems and artwork. Here are some student samples of illustrations they created of a Haida, Coast Salish or Kwakiutl community.
We wrapped up our unit on Sound and have used a resource titled “Turn it Down!” to expand on our learning. The book taught the students about noise pollution, sound hazards and even how the ear works. We read through the book together, took notes and the students will communicate their learning by building a fact filled dodecahedron! Hopefully these will finished for their student-led conferences. If not, they will be brought home just before Spring Break.
Should There Be Zoos
We have finished reading the book and have just finished writing our essays! The kids have worked so hard!! They each wrote a six paragraph essay answering this question. A lot of research and planning was needed. They went through the entire writing process on their own with my guidance. They should be very proud of their writing. Here is an amazing sample:
We have had a great start to the new year in Division 6! Here is a quick peak into what we have been up to in the classroom. For individualized posts please refer to your child’s myBlueprint eportfolio.
We have started a poetry unit to cap off our lessons on Word Choice. We began with a piece called “The Best Part of Me”. This also tied in with the Positive Personal & Cultural Identity core competency. The students were asked to think of one of their body parts and why it was meaningful to them. The goal was to go beyond the obvious (ex. My eyes help me see) and really look at what you value and what makes you unique. The writing was very good and in some cases quite powerful. See some samples below.
The students were also introduced to two poetry formats. The first was a Cinquain poem and the second was a Diamante. Both poems have a distinct structure. Once all the poems are printed, they will be showcased in a bound Anthology they can keep for the future. I am really excited to see more of their poetry.
We launched a critical thinking reading unit using the book “Should There Be Zoos?” This is one of my favourite units to teach. The kids get very engaged in the readings and we have some amazing discussions based on the material. The book contains eight articles written by a grade four class with the help of the main author Tony Stead. Four of the articles are for zoos, and four of them are against. They each use persuasive writing to try and sway the readers to take their side. We use non-fiction reading strategies to read each article one at a time. The students have been practicing writing summaries on each one after the reading is complete. When we finish the entire book the students will answer the question by writing a persuasive essay!
We used oil pastels a lot this month. The students created some excellent 3D bubbles to symbolize “floating into the New Year”. These were featured in a past post. We also created some fireworks to ring in the New Year. Fireworks are used in many countries to celebrate occasions. We decided to use oil pastels to draw a scene of our own. The kids used blending and smudging to create a reflection on the water below the fireworks. They turned out great!
We are learning about sound. The kids have been all ears so far! We have completed two mystery science inquiry questions so far. Both involved some great hands-on experiments to help them understand and explore the concepts. They have looked at how sound travels and how we can “see” it. Ask your child if you can hear a scream in space and why!
We finished up our unit The Resourcefulness of the Inuit. We are now using a different resource and will begin learning about Aboriginal communities close to home. The chapter we are currently reading is titled “Where Cedars Meet the Sea”. We also completed a thematic art lesson where the students made Raven collages based on the book Raven: A Tricksters Tale from the Pacific Northwest.
One of our focuses in this area has been on coding. We use the code.org site and all students are signed up with accounts. They have been very keen so far. Each student has an individualized account and they progress through each course at their own pace. Coding takes patience, logical thinking and helps develop problem solving skills. At times the students are collaborative and share in the process. It has been great to see and guide them through.
The students have also started to use their Office 365 accounts. They were very patient during our first lesson! This was a huge step for some of them who hadn’t used technology much last year. They can now access their documents online using their student email address (firstname.lastname@example.org) and password. We have been typing our poetry using Microsoft Word. They were also introduced to some of the basics of Word. They will be very ready for grade five!
Many students also continue to practice their keyboarding skills using typing.com. I am impressed with their level of interest and work ethic. So many of them are choosing to type when they have finished their other work!
Health and Physical Education
We have been learning basketball 🏀 skills this term. We have worked on our fundamental dribbling, passing and shooting skills so far. With spot shooting they learned the acronym B.E.E.F to help them remember proper technique. Check out the dribbling and shooting form below!
We are busy learning our multiplication tables. To supplement the JUMP math program I have been using some games and activities from Kim Sutton’s program. Below are some highlights of the musical 🎶 math drills. Random numbers are called out every 8 seconds on a variety of musical tracks. The students then record the answer. We focus on one number at a time. Students are also given “strategy time” after each form to fill in any blanks if needed.
Many of the students have really started to challenge themselves in their reading. It is wonderful seeing the class dive into novels more and more. Mrs. Booth our school librarian is also holding a book reading contest. Each class is trying to read as many novels as they can. We are doing well! Best of all, the kids are enjoying what they are reading. Here are some popular recommendations from myself in case your child is looking for their next read!
The class used oil pastels and some highlighting techniques to create a beautiful bulletin board! Some groups even chose to work together. Each student created an array of 3D bubbles. We watched some bubbles in slo-motion and observed the wide spectrum of colours that were visible. We looked at where the light hit and how to highlight each shape. Every student did an amazing job. Many students shared their individual artwork on their myBlueprint eportfolio. Check it out to see a closer view!
December was a fun and festive month! The kids were also busy “wrapping up” projects and learning a lot.
The students finished their biography reading projects. We covered many strategies and the kids did a great job. We also continued our sentence of the day warmup. Almost everyday at 9:00 the students edit a sentence and try to fix all the mistakes. We also used some of the Canadian Reader articles to help boost our nonfiction reading strategies. The last article was about the amazing Joey Moss.
We finished up our unit on measurement. Students learned about measuring length and mass. They should be familiar with milligrams, grams, kilograms, millimetres, metres, centimetres, kilometres, and decimetres.
We also spent some time introducing our multiplication tables by playing Multiplication Four in a Row. Students were given a table to use to help them. After a few rounds many students had already picked up many of their basic facts. We will be learning multiplication strategies and working towards memorizing the whole table after the break.
We finished our unit titled “The Birth of Rocks” This explored four inquiry questions which the students answered after viewing videos and participating in hands on experiments.
1. Could a volcano 🌋 pop up where you live?
2. Why do some volcanoes explode?
3. Will a mountain last forever?
4. How could you survive a landslide?
In this lesson students used their engineering ideas to come up with a solution to protect a small city from a landslide.
“Snowmen ⛄️ at Play” – Each student drew from the perspective they were lying on the ground and gazing up at four snowmen who had come to life during a snowfall. The students did a great job and had a lot of fun creating these images. They payed careful attention to detail and added their own creative features to each snow person.
Collaborative Festive Trees🌲 – The students were so engaged while making these! This was designed to have the kids work cooperatively and creative a decorative tree for the class to celebrate both Christmas 🎄 and Hanukkah 🕎 . They traced their hands to personalized each one. All the leaves are copies of their handprints. Once the tree was assembled they created decorations to add. They were displayed on the windows and in the hallway.
Applied Design, Skills and Technology
The students next building assignment was to create a bucket tower using only 15 straws, 1 m of tape and a 30cm piece of string. They were tested using weights so each tower could be measured in how many grams it held. They all did very well! The process was three sessions. Design, Test, Redesign. Each group was evaluated on their communication skills and creative thinking. I was impressed with the level of cooperation.
We began coding! The kids were very focused and seemed hooked on coding right away. We use the code.org site and the students are progressing individually through courses C or D. Our introduction involves the students working in partners to code a dance party!
Champs this month!
We have started to practice our keyboarding skills using the online resource typing.com. The students are very keen and have already started on the beginner program.