We wrapped up our measurement unit with a test yesterday and now we’re back to number sense, particularly fractions, decimals, ratio, and percent. In literacy, we’re engaging in a cross-curricular research task with social studies. Students have chosen an important Canadian to research and, after consolidating said research, will design a poster highlighting that person’s life and significance. Check in with your child to see who he/she has chosen.
VIP will come to a close next week and I’ve asked all the students to bring in their community hours sheets that were provided in the fall. If I recall correctly, the forms need to bear signatures to validate the community hours. Please have them sent in on Monday (if not already), thank you.
It would appear that the warm weather of the season is here. This would be a good time to add (or replace) a water bottle for the classroom. Warmer weather usually results in thirst and the desire to go to the fountain. Water can be readily kept in the classroom and limits time out of the classroom. Thanks in advance.
Students have completed their Life Is Good t-shirt designs and the 15 examples below were shipped off to Boston for the Design-A-Shirt Contest. This means that $15 was donated to children’s charities via the LIG Kids Foundation. Perhaps one of these designs will be a contest winner. Which one is your favourite?
Another field trip in the books, in what will likely be a record year for field trips! (At least two, possibly three still to go!) Thank you to those who were able to join us at Adventure Bay today. Expect to see photos sometime in the next 24 hours.
Cancer Awareness Week has officially been launched. We’ve all been touched by cancer in some way, some more than others. Students were given a small envelope for a donation, which can be returned any time up until Friday. Every coin adds up so even the smallest of contributions helps. Students are also encouraged to wear yellow on Friday in support of the Canadian Cancer Society’s annual campaign.
Many students have completed their Vimy soldier research but a few have some finishing up to do. I’ve added the links to the homework post so that they can finish off for Monday. The next step is to create a post card of thanks that will be laminated and prepared for delivery this July when I return to Vimy Ridge. I also plan on writing an article about this experience and submitting it to Our Canada magazine. With any luck, we’ll be published a second time!
Have a great weekend!
On the heels of the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge, the students took some time this week to research a fallen soldier from that battle. They started by looking up a Canadian soldier on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website. They then took that name to the Canadian Library and Archives website to find their soldier’s military service record. It was interesting to watch their reactions as the person behind the casualty was revealed. Several were surprised to see how young they were, and I sensed many began to connect with the man they were researching (which was the whole point). We also watched a documentary about 40+ soldiers from Vimy whose remains were never found. I’m glad that they were able to see the human side of war and, hopefully, develop a deeper meaning about their sacrifice. We’ll continue into next week consolidating our data and making plans for how to take their messages with me to France this summer. (See last week’s Digest if you’re not sure what I mean about that.)
Next Friday is our trip to Adventure Bay. I’ve had several parents volunteer to chaperone, which is appreciated. I’ll send confirmation messages to those parents via Dojo early next week. In preparation for the day, students obviously need a swim suit that would be conservative or acceptable for school. Keep in mind, however, that the students will be dealing with rushing water and “wardrobe malfunctions” can happen. So, ensuring that suits are firmly fastened will ensure no embarrassing moments. Towels, plastic bags for wet clothes ,and a lock to secure valuables complete the necessities for the trip. I’ll leave lunch up to the students. The concession stand will be open but like last year, the lines and wait time will be long. Bringing their own lunch is encouraged to avoid missing out on the fun or going hungry. Students cannot bring outside food into the water park, but it can be eaten in the lobby areas or, possibly, one of the rental rooms upstairs (still awaiting word on that). We leave at 9 and return before the dismissal bell.
Looking ahead, we’ll wrap up measurement this week with a unit test on volume and area. Then it’s back to number sense with decimals, fractions, ratio, percent, etc. Social studies will take the form of a research assignment to discover the Canadian identity (coupled with a cross-curricular biographical study of great Canadians in literacy). Electricity in science will bring us into early May and, very soon, we’ll begin Survivor – Mepham style in PHE. Lots to look forward to in the home stretch to June!
Enjoy the four day weekend (assuming you’ve got one)! By the way, Saturday is your final day to order spirit wear so get yours before it’s too late!
Today I took some time to revisit the topic of Vimy Ridge with the 100th anniversary looming this Sunday. It’s an event that’s near and dear to me and no student of mine, in my 18 years of teaching, has made it through the school year without learning about it. While history books will tell you Canada became a country in 1867, the Canadian identity was sparked by those young, brave lads who stormed the ridge on April 9th, 1917. I have been fortunate to have visited the battlefields and cemeteries in France and Flanders, including Vimy, and look forward to a return this July. I encourage you to take some time with your child on Sunday morning to watch the media coverage of the centenary of this great moment in our history. Ordinary men doing extraordinary things. Here’s a link to the CBC which has some impressive, interactive media on their website if you want to explore together.
In literacy, we’ve been focusing on non-fiction text and how to research carefully. In a cross-curricular activity with social studies, we’ll put those research skills to the test as it relates to Vimy. Next week, I’ll be showing the students how to look up the grave sites of some of our fallen soldiers who lie in the ground at the foot of Vimy Ridge. I’ll then show them how to access their chosen soldier’s military records so they can connect with the human side of soldiering: family members, hometown, age, fighting unit, etc. They will get to see these primary documents as they were completed over 100 years ago. Then, each student will draft a simple letter of thanks to the soldier they have chosen and I will bring it with me to Vimy in the summer and place it on their grave. It’s just one way of showing appreciation for their sacrifice in the name of the freedom we enjoy today – even 100 years on.
Spring photo orders went home this week and payment, if purchasing, is due by Thursday. Payment can be made online or sent to the school. Any items not purchased, all or in part, need to be returned.
Thursday is also the deadline for permission forms for Adventure Bay. I currently have one confirmed parent attending; and another has confirmed verbally through their child. I will need at least three parents to tag along. There is no charge to you and no need to swim if you’re not interested. Again, send me a message through Dojo or sign the chaperone section at the bottom of your child’s permission form.
Enjoy the coming warmth this weekend (they have snow in the GTA right now).
Yesterday’s Ropes Course was, in a word, awesome! Yes, the students had a great time being outdoors and climbing, but from a teacher perspective, the cooperation, encouragement and leadership was overflowing in both groups. It was impressive to see everyone, and I mean everyone, being so supportive of one another. I then reiterated that they don’t need a trip to demonstrate it every day. I hope the lessons learned, beyond challenging oneself, will carry onward through the year and beyond. Thank you again to the parents who joined us. Have a look at the photos below if you haven’t already.
My favourite company, Life is Good, is hosting it’s annual t-shirt design contest. Contestants are to show in graphic form, on a t-shirt template, what makes life good to them. While there are prizes for the top entries, Life is Good will donate $1 for every entry to children’s charities. More info on the contest is located here. In the meantime, your child will have to bring home his/her design and have you fill in the back page. You may enter your child’s design and form via the LIG website; via Instagram if you have an account; or I can do it for you at the school. Regardless, you need to complete the entry form and sign it, and you need to return the artwork to the school so I can assess it. Contact me if you have any questions.
We fell back into the usual routine fairly easily after a week off; almost as though we never skipped a beat. This is what I’d call the “final chapter” in the school year as we push toward June and ready ourselves for grade seven. A number of projects and assignments are on the horizon and, of course, there’s EQAO just a couple of months away. It will be June before we know it!
Wednesday is our trip to Gesstwood for the Ropes Course. Please have your child’s money, permission form and health/waiver in by Tuesday (if not already). A hearty breakfast and a nutritious lunch are necessary as it will be a busy day of walking and climbing. The weather for Wednesday, as of this moment, appears to be mild, sunny and 10 degrees Celsius. Layers are encouraged so students can adjust to rising temperatures through the morning. Rain will have fallen the previous day so expect shoes to get dirty, possibly wet. Keep your eyes on Class Story for real-time updates of your child “climbing toward success”.
Speaking of field trips we’re off to Adventure Bay on April 21st. More details will follow but I’m giving you the heads up if you’d like to join us. I need at least three chaperones but four or more would be best (you don’t have to swim either). Let me know if you’d like to tag along.
Here we are, March Break! I’ve tried to close out a number of units so that we start “somewhat” fresh when we return in one week’s time. It’s a break, so there’s no homework other than tidying up the Reminder Binder for the home stretch. Students have been asked to remove anything in Overflow and Assessments section. (If the binder is in rough shape, consider replacing it.)
Our return from the Break will be the most critical time heading up to June. Although most of what we’ve done since February will apply to the final report card, these next few months will have a greater impact. Students are encouraged to stay on top of things as we move closer and closer to the end of the year.
We closed out this segment with a fun day of French Canadian activities at our annual Carnaval Day. Students also got to engage in the second of three auctions over the year and pick up a few prizes.
Looking ahead, I have us officially booked for the Ropes Course at Gesstwood Camp on Wednesday March 29th. I will need at least two chaperones for this excursion. If you’re unaware, the Ropes Course allows students to climb trees with safety harnesses and a professional guide. It also encourages teamwork and goal setting. Although a costly trip, I’ve been able to get the bus paid for with a grant, and the $38 per student fee has been reduced to $15 thanks to leftover funds from the spirit wear campaign in the fall. (If your child can’t participate due to financial reasons, please contact me right away. We’ll make it work.) After the Break, a permission form will go home, along with a waiver form that asks for your child’s medical history. It can seem a little intimidating at first but I assure you, it’s merely for safety purposes; you need not worry. I’ve taken several classes there over my years of teaching and all has been well (mosquitoes have been the biggest problem, but I don’t expect that to be an issue in March).
Whether you’re traveling or staying home for the Break, I wish you and your family well over the next nine days.