Weekly Digest

Dear Parents/Guardians,

Our read-a-thon was a huge success!  Not only did we break our goal of $1 000, but our total of $1 225 is an all-time high for funds raised in my career as a teacher!!  I was impressed with last year’s haul, but this year we went even further.  Thank you for your support!  All the funds go directly back to the students through resources and programs.  We’ll sort out when the rewards are given and I’ll communicate any necessary information to you via Dojo.  In the meantime, I’ve asked the students to talk to you about what items you could provide for the pot luck (appetizers, mains, desserts, drinks, cutlery/plates/napkins).  No commitment yet, just a feeler so we don’t end up with 30 bags of chips…😉

On Wednesday, we had a heart-to-heart about homework and the importance of responsibility.  Sadly, there were 22 cases of incomplete homework this week, all handed out on Wednesday.  Time is always provided to get work done; it all depends on your child’s work pace and ability to focus during that time.  If you’re seeing “homework incomplete” deductions on your child’s Dojo report, please develop an after school routine to ensure he/she is finishing what is expected.  Unfinished work puts gaps in learning and eventually has an impact on assessments.  Many of the low scores in last week’s word study test can be attributed to incomplete homework and a lack of studying.  Homework is posted daily on the blog too so you can confirm what is due by checking in here.

Speaking of tests, we have a quiz in social studies on Tuesday.  We’ve spent a large portion of our first unit learning about mapping, as it relates to continents and oceans, countries and their location, and more recently, global trade activity.  Students need to review the contents of their SS duo tangs, preferably daily, so that this information sinks in.  Also, some students will have a second shot at last week’s math quiz.  Having gone over their errors with them individually, we noted that many marks were lost to careless errors (forgetting to regroup, for example), or failing to read instructions or word problems carefully.  Those students were given a blank copy of the test to try again as practise for Monday.  Please check in with your child to see if he/she is among that group.  I’ll post the answer key to the quiz this weekend so they can check their “redo” of the quiz.

Finally, we’re off to the airport on Wednesday morning.  After the bell rings, we’ll do a quick attendance check and head straight for the bus.  Please ensure your child is at school on time as we cannot wait for late arrivals.  We should return during the 11 o’clock hour.

Have a wonderful weekend!  The warm weather seems to be lingering around…

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Weekly Digest

Dear Parents/Guardians,

I trust the long weekend was a restful and thankful one.  We couldn’t have asked for better weather!

One thing I’ve noticed this month has been a high rate of incomplete homework.  As the graph below shows, this week alone we’ve lost 44 points to incomplete homework.

Click to enlarge

Students are always provided class time to begin and possibly complete the assigned work.  Only when time runs out does it become homework.  Even when students finish other tasks early, they’re encouraged to finish outstanding homework before engaging in free time activities.  Last week, I was dismayed to find that only 11/30 students completed a map assignment in social studies. Two periods (and several catch up periods) were allocated over a span of eight days.  Check your child’s Dojo report and see if homework completion has become an issue.  Setting aside a time, place and routine is necessary for ensuring that students complete their work on time.  Thank you for your support.

Our Read-a-thon is almost complete.  We’ve crested the $600 mark, earning two of the three chosen rewards; but the final reward is another $300+ away.  I’ve had contributions from about half the class.  Please ensure your child participates in some way, both for the sake of a worthy cause, and to participate in the rewards that are earned.  As I’ve stated before, please contact me if there’s a reason why your child cannot participate in the read-a-thon.

Next Friday, will be the actual read-a-thon with a morning walk to Sadler’s Pond (expect to see a permission form next week).  Parents are welcome to join us; I would love to have at least two parent-chaperones with us.  We should return by 10:15 so you’ll still have the rest of the day to yourself.  Simply indicate your interest on the permission form at the bottom of the page and I’ll confirm with you by Thursday.  Upon return, we’ll spend the rest of the day living up to our pledges by reading, reading and reading.

In addition to the Sadler’s Pond permission form, you’ll also receive a second one for our trip to Windsor Airport on the 25th.  There is no cost for this trip, but I will need at least two chaperones to join us.  Please indicate your interest on that form if you’re free to attend.   Both forms (Sadler’s & airport) should come back to the school together to avoid any confusion.

On Monday, we’ll be having a quiz on addition and subtraction.  An extra practise sheet is available under the homework post here on the blog if you’d like your child to get some addition practise (answer key is included).

If you and your child(ren) haven’t yet purchased spirit wear this year, this weekend is your last chance.  This year we’re celebrating EPS’s 10th anniversary with a commemorative shirt.  This, along with all the spirit wear logos, were designed by yours truly.  In addition, 6M benefits from some of the profits for projects throughout the school year so it’s a win-win!  Go to this website to place your order.  Do not pay for shipping; items will be sent to the school.  Happy shopping and happy weekend!

Weekly Digest

Dear Parents/Guardians,

Monday’s returned word study test was a surprise to some.  Fortunately, there are many more like it in the future and at least the students know what to expect.  The format will always be the same; just the words and grammar concept will change.  Our List Two words are rather lengthy this time (all with prefixes) so spelling might be more of a challenge.  I’d encourage review of the words nightly for safe measure, and practise using them in sentences to solidify meaning.  We had a pretest today, which gave the students an idea of how well they know those words.

There are two weeks left in the school’s read-a-thon.  As a class, we decided on a goal of $1 000 (which would break last year’s all-time record of $961).  If we should reach that goal, we’ll do a class pot luck lunch.  Other incentives include a pajama + movie + popcorn for raising $600, and a free block of time for games and electronics if we reach $500.  Since all students will benefit from these rewards, I’m going to insist that all students participate in generating funds.  Even $5 is a contribution.  Please contact me if there’s a reason why your child is unable to participate in this year’s fundraiser.  All funds raised go directly back to the students in the form of classroom iPads, paid busing for field trips, sports equipment, and support for clubs and school activities.  Thank you for supporting this worthwhile cause.

We’ll soon be working our way through two by three digit multiplication and one by four digit division with whole numbers.  I did a small diagnostic of grade five questions relating to these two operations and it’s clear we have some work to do.  Students are encouraged to practise math facts regularly.  Mastery of these frees up the brain for more complex problems like 852 x 49.  While we’ll begin with practising facts, much of the emphasis will be on more complex questions like those above.  There are plenty of apps and websites out there that would make practising this skill more engaging.  Even some of the questions I’ve assigned in Prodigy are related to this.  Like anything, your child will become better with practise.

Wishing you all a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend!

Weekly Digest

Dear Parents/Guardians,

One month already in the books!  Many students seem to have fallen into routine and reacquainted themselves with the day to day rigors of school life.  Although our Student of the Month look-for was responsibility, the skill itself needs to carry forward.  I’ve already had a few students forget homework, gym shoes, etc.  Some have even claimed that their parent didn’t pack it for them.  I’m of the belief that students should be taking care of those duties; that’s the whole idea behind the Reminder Binder; to be responsible for your work and to be organized.

In social studies, your child has some homework to do, mainly because it’s a task that needs to be done at home.  As part of our unit on Canada and the World, we’ll look at goods we acquire via trade.  Using the sheet provided, have him/her search the house for things their are either made in Canada, or come from some other part of the world (I’ve limited them to two items from China and two from Canada; the onus is to find a variety of products from various parts of the world).  One of the best places to look is your kitchen cupboard (canned goods are often a good start).  This work is due for Tuesday.

Students had their first crack at Prodigy, a web based, math-centered video game.  Many have played before and a handful were able to transfer their old accounts to our class this year.  While there will be time to play Prodigy at school, students are welcome (and encouraged) to play at home too.  I customize the questions to reflect what we’re learning in class so it helps reinforce those new curriculum expectations.  Some time next week we’ll have a short quiz on place value and numbers to one million.

Looking ahead in math, we’ll begin focusing on the four operations. Usually, addition and subtraction present few problems but multiplication and division are often the stumbling blocks. While we’ll spend a little time reviewing our multiplication tables up to 12 x 12, I encourage you to have your child practise on a nightly basis if it’s an area of need. Questions in Prodigy will also reflect this skill if you want to let your child “play” while learning.

Look for the October edition of Mepham’s Monthly on Monday, which will highlight some of the things we’ll be exploring in the month ahead. Enjoy your weekend.

Weekly Digest

Dear Parents/Guardians,

Yesterday’s Terry Fox Walk was a smashing success!  Mr. Paulton rallied us around his truck where the donations were coming in.  As I mentioned on Dojo, we brought in just over $100; it was approximately 20% of the entire school’s collection!  The walk itself was hot and sticky but considering Terry ran a marathon a day, I doubt anyone was complaining.

Word study is now underway.  Students are given 20 list words, but the focus is on usage and meaning (unlike our spelling dictations of old).  I also weave some grammar into the two-week cycle.  Students will have a practice test (called a pretest) on Monday, and a real test on Friday.  Students are encouraged to get to know their list words well.

In math we’ve been dabbling with numbers up to the millions; mostly by playing games but also doing old fashioned paper work.  Coming up, we’ll look at the four operations of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division.  I always tell my class that math is everywhere.  I encourage you to help keep their mental math skills in check, whether it’s a ride home from the apple orchard, hockey practice or dinner time talk.  Math is better learned in casual discussion if you ask me.

Looking forward to meeting you all at tonight’s Welcome Back BBQ at 4:30.  Happy Autumnal Equinox (tomorrow)!

Weekly Digest

Dear Parents/Guardians,

We’re already two weeks into the school year; wow, that was fast!  We were minimally affected by reorganization so it looks like 6M is here to stay!  We’ll be adding one student on Monday but otherwise, we remain intact.  Now we can get on with the curriculum and dive into all the content we need to cover.

Thank you to the vast majority who’ve signed up for Class Dojo.  I hope you find the app useful for keeping in touch with the goings-on in 6M.

Book order catalogs from Scholastic were handed out this week.  I’ve asked for any interested buyers to submit their orders by Tuesday.  If you plan on writing a cheque, please make it payable to Scholastic, not the school or myself.  There is also a feature to pay directly online.  Just search for my account on the Scholastic website.

Speaking of books, the goal this year is to read 40 books (at school).  Many seem to have embraced this challenge and are already on to their second or third book already!  I can guarantee that most of the children will read more this year than ever before.

Please note that next Friday is a Ministry-directed PA Day, so there is no school for students.  Our Welcome Back BBQ takes place on Thursday from 4:30-6:30.  Looking forward to seeing you then!

Have a great weekend!

Weekly Digest

Dear Parents/Guardians,

Welcome to the “Weekly Digest”, where you’ll get a breakdown of the goings-on and the up-and-coming in 6M.  This post will appear every Friday (or Thursday in the event of a holiday) and is a great way to stay in touch with what we’ve done, where we are, and where we’re going.  Welcome, and thank you for taking the time to read.

Speaking of reading, you should have received a paper copy of the September newsletter.  However, I’ve posted a digital copy here just in case.

I’m pretty certain it was a successful week to start the school year.  Students appear to be smiling and upbeat each day so I’ll take that as a sign.  Space is a little tight but we’ll have to make it work.  Hopefully whatever you’ve heard so far is good.  This week has been about getting back into learning mode and reacquainting with routines.  The real work will start next week!

Students need to have a binder and a set of dividers for Monday.  This will serve as the Reminder Binder, which you can read about here on the blog.  If you’re unable to provide one by Monday, I can provide it for your child.  The Reminder Binder will travel to and from school with your child daily and will hopefully keep them organized throughout the year.

Thank you for jumping on board with Class Dojo.  This app will keep you up to date with your child’s day-to-day performance, and you’ll get a weekly report sent to your inbox every Friday.  Please take a moment to read the Parents Corner, here on the blog, to learn more about what the points mean.  Students never really know when they’re earning (or losing) points – that doesn’t need to be a public issue.  But suffice it to say, I give more than I take away and negative points are usually a last resort.  The Messenger side of the Class Dojo app is my main form of communication.  It’s simple and it doesn’t intrude on your day like a phone call might.  Likewise, don’t hesitate to contact me using the Messenger service.  Beyond that, there is also Class Story, where I upload photos and videos, often in real time, of what’s going on in our classroom.  You’ll see some photos and two videos already, which you’re free to “like” and comment on if you so choose.  Best of all, it’s private.  Only those parents connected to my class can see these images and information.

Many thanks for returning the information package that was sent home on the first day of school.  I realize it’s a lot to read and review but necessary at this time of year.  To the few remaining, please do what you can to have them in on Monday.

Once again, I appreciate the time you’ve taken to check out our blog.  It will have lots more to see and learn from in the weeks and months that follow.  In the meantime, consider browsing the Parents Corner where you’ll find some useful information about how things work in my classroom – especially the note about homework.

Enjoy your weekend!