This Week at School

This past week the students worked harder than ever. I am so proud of their willingness to try new things and to take on risks in their learning.

Language Arts:

Reading: Book clubs have met with members of other groups to work on questioning and discussing their books. It was awesome to hear their conversations. They have also started a talk show interview with their character(s) that they are recording on the iPads. There will be time to continue working on their talkshows in this week though we will be continuing on with their reading in their groups.

Writing: Almost all of the students have finished writing their sideways stories and are receiving final peer edits and feedback. In Art, we illustrated our character for our story. This week we will finish them up and move on to the colour poetry.

 

Science: We started looking at why we need to protect our environment. We will continue this at the beginning of this week then move on to designing and building our wind machines.

 

Math: The students wrapped up their unit on Measurement with Mr. L and the quizzes are showing a fair amount of initial success. This week students will begin their unit on Geometry.

 

Social Studies: We have completed our study on the regions of Canada with our socratic circles. Unfortunately, my iPad filled up quickly so I only have 1 clip of the first socratic circle but I will finish up my feedback for the students and send that home with the students hopefully by Friday or early next week. The students did quite well and are quickly learning the language of a polite discussion. The feedback that the outer circles gave was amazing! They worked so hard on preparing for their circle and encouraging participation from everyone. Great work! This week we will start our Critical Challenges.

 

Health: We are working on documenting our lunches and the food we eat. We will continue this more next week as this week was a busy week. This will be a focus for us. Coming up next week, students will be asked to shop with their parents for groceries and take inventory of what is purchased. More details will be sent home.

 

Art: This week we will be focusing on the outdoors – as long as the weather cooperates. We will work on observing and bringing in details of an object we see outside while looking at texture, colour and shape.

 

French: Students worked hard on their reading skills this week by partnering with French 7 as well as on their own. We will continue working on our reading strategies and fluency. This week, I will be making recordings of the books for the kids to listen to and compare to their own reading.  Here is an example of one of our groups. Great work Cassia and Josh.

 

9 more weeks of learning. Keep up the hard work everyone! I am so proud of all that you do.

Back to our regularly scheduled programming

Hello! Thank you for all your support during Trickster. It was a huge success and an amazing learning opportunity for students.

Language Arts:
We are finishing up our story writing – Sideways Stories from Greystone. Our big focus was on the introduction and our conclusion. They students have been working quite hard on them and going through multiple rounds of feedback. This week we will work on editing them with a peer before we share them with the other classes across North America who are also working on their versions of the story.

We will begin poetry next week by starting with the rainbow/colour poetry. Students will learn about the different kinds of poetry and be asked to write their own to share via twitter and their blogs. http://yollisclassblog.blogspot.ca/2015/04/twitter-time-color-poems-clrpoem.html

We are continuing our Levelled reading with our book clubs. The kids are really enjoying the variety of activities using the skills and habits of a good reader. This was shared on Google Drive with your including continuums for assessment.

Social Studies:
We will be doing our first Socratic Circle on Wednesday block 4 and then Thursday block 4 if all goes according to plan. Students have completed their ranking and evidence sheets and additional research for their region. Students really enjoyed the practice socratic circles.

This week we will also continue working on researching the political parties and candidates in our riding. Tomorrow I will be reaching out to the candidates to see if they would like to come in and do a question period with our students. Details TBA. Students are also going to be doing the Vote Compass activity to see where their personal views fit within the political spectrum. http://www.cbc.ca/news2/interactives/votecompass/alberta2015.html

Next week we will start our critical challenge about Rating the Impact of the various groups in Canada. Mr. Letendre’s class will be working through the same Critical Challenges as well.

Science:
5A has started working on learning about different things to do with climate change and protecting our environment. We will be creating CSIs about a different topics we have researched and read about. 5F will be finishing their temperatures before starting this.

Next week the students will be given a challenge to design a mechanism to measure wind direction. I will be heading to the Eco Station in Edmonton to pick up recyclables for them to use in making their mechanism.

French:
We are going to start working on our reading strategies and fluency. We will be selecting books on tuesday and continuing to practice on Friday. Next week we will be starting our clothing unit with learning the vocabulary. Students have asked to do a fashion show to show their understanding of the words for clothing items.

Math:
Students will be working on Capacity this week and will have a checkup with Mr. Letendre later this week. They will then begin our Geometry unit.

Health:
We have done a Q focus on “What we are eating” and will begin journaling our lunches this week or next week. This is related to the letter sent home with report cards.

Our journey after Spring Break

I hope everyone is having a wonderful spring break! I love this time of the year because it is a time to relax and rejuvenate for a lot of awesome learning to come. If you have not yet seen our Term 2 learning video, please take the time to watch it with your child. We are so proud of the work we are doing. Here’s where LC 5A is headed after the break.

Language Arts:

Reading – Now that we have learned a little bit about our books and met our reading groups we will start our Book Club activities and reading schedule. Each group has been assigned a book at their level to read together and completed a variety of activities that fall under the habits of a good reader that we worked on over Term 1 and Term 2.  We will be meeting 2-3 times a week. We are also still working on Sideways Stories from Wayside School as our Read Aloud.

Writing – We are continuing to work on our Sideways Stories from Greystone. The stories are coming along well. Most students are starting to work on or edit the middle of their story so we will look at criteria for rising action, the climax and falling action. As a class we will continue to use Click Clack Moo and re-write it as an exemplar.

 

Math:

Students have finished working on Volume and will be moving on to Capacity with Mr. L as the work to complete the measurement unit. Once we finish this unit, students will begin Geometry, which we have included in our workbooks. We will be continuing to work on our POW journals as well.

 

Science:

Students are wrapping up their study of Temperature and Clouds for our weather unit this week. They will have the chance to watch the grade 7 French weather reports on Thursday.  I am also hoping to join our grade 7 buddies for a measuring temperature lab.  Students are to continue recording the weather in the agendas to put into their science books.

 

Social Studies:

We are working on our socratic circle prep. Students are learning the language and habits of the participants of a socratic circle through short examples. We pause and work on the language as we go. The students are enjoying learning through doing. I will keep working with them on these skills this week and if we have time during our Trickster Week.

This week we will be working on ensuring we have selected our region and have enough supporting details and reasons for our socratic circle on “Where you should move”. Students are taking on the role of “Tourism and relocation” specialists for their chosen regions.  Most students have finished ranking the regions now and have selected the region they feel is the best region to live in. Many are also working on a mini persuasive piece to help them with their Socratic Circle.

I would like to live broadcast our socratic circles using Periscope. If this is not possible, I will be recording them and sharing via video on our blog and twitter for Parents to see.

 

Learning Day:

On Friday, April 10, Greystone will be hosting a learning day to share with other teachers, principals and learning coaches from our district and others as to the learning that happens at Greystone. This means that we will be sharing some of our thinking strategies as well as our feedback loops with our guests. Students will have a chance to talk to our guests and share their learning during 2 classroom visits. For me, this is our regularly scheduled learning. We are doing the same activities we would with or without guests, only at a slightly different time. For more information, here is the link to the ERLC site.

Art:

We will wrap up our Falling Backwards art and do the EyeSee art this week. Prior to spring break, we had the opportunity to do a music appreciation art piece with Mr. Petchel. We were to draw what we heard. They are now posted in the music room.

 

Health:

We have started looking at the food we eat. Students came up with a Q Focus using the statement “What we are eating”. They are really engaged in the project and I think they will like the documentation of their food as well. We will start documenting during Trickster Week.

 

Trickester Theatre Global Inquiry:

Students are very excited about their performance. As stated in the letters home and our most recent blog post, there is an evening performance component on April 17 at 7:30pm  and we would love if you could come watch your child’s performance. If not, please ensure that your child has a ride to and from the performance. We are very excited to perform to the school and our parents. Thank you for your ongoing support and understanding. If there are any questions, please let me know. Most of the week leading up will be about our global inquiry into the rights of everyone. I will be updating twitter and the blog regularly with pictures of the process. We are doing black light theatre which is very exciting.

 

Trickster Theatre Ticket Information

Hello,

Your child’s performance with Trickster Theatre on April 17th at 7:30pm is a ticketed event, so please purchase your tickets through me. Tickets are $5/ person. This event is not only a great way to celebrate and support your child through his/her Trickster Theatre experience, but to also bring our Greystone community together within our school. We would like to see as many people as possible at this event, so please invite extended members of your family. If you are unable to watch the final performance in the evening, you are very much welcome to watch your child perform in the daytime dress rehersal show. The specific time is still to be determined.

As this is a school wide event, and a homeroom effort, it is important your child is at the school to showcase their hard work. If you are unable to attend the event, please ensure drop-off and pick-up for your child on the night of the performance.

Below are links to see examples of some of Trickster Theatre’s work with other schools. 5A has chosen to further explore the theme of Everyone Has Rights. The process so far has been very engaging, and we can’t wait to further investigate this global issue.

Here are some sample videos of performances Trickster has helped students develop.

https://vimeo.com/56517326

https://vimeo.com/114386615

We look forward to seeing you there! Thank you for your cooperation and support!

Additional ticket information:

* If you have more than one child attending Greystone and they are within different performance times, purchasing one ticket for the entire evening is sufficient. Also, the Greystone student watching his/her sibling in a performance will be admitted into the show free of charge.

* Volunteers will receive a complimentary ticket to attend their child’s show. We are still in need of volunteers; on the ticket form I sent home, below is a volunteer form if you are interested. Any amount of time on any day throughout the week is greatly appreciated.

Our Term 2 Learning Update

Each time that I listen to the students talk about their learning, I am amazed and proud at their growth and their ability to explain their learning using the vocabulary that we use in class. Seamus and Cailynne had the opportunity to speak with Mrs. Cameron about feedback and how it helps us grow in our learning. When Mrs. Cameron told me the story, I was so impressed with their description. They described like climbing a staircase and each feedback loop allowed them to move to the next step. It was phenomenal to hear. I have since used that example to explain to teachers in other districts about the work that we do.

For this video, the students put together their ideas. My job was simply to hold the camera still and put photos and video together in a format we could share.

LC 5A learning for term 2 from Courtney Albrecht on Vimeo.

I am so proud of the students and can’t wait to see what Term 3 brings in our #bestyearever

Tracking the Weather

For the next month, LC 5A and 5F has been asked to record the following information for our Weather unit.

  • Current Temperature
  • Daily Temperature High
  • Daily Temperature Low
  • Sunny, Windy, Rain, Snow, ect. (what you see/feel)
  • Clouds – What type of clouds do you see?
  • Location (if you are not in Spruce Grove or the Edmonton Area)

Students can record this information in their agenda or using their tech to put into their weather books at school. As a class, we will be recording the weather together on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. It can be as easy as looking up the information online and standing outside for a few seconds.

Thank you for your support!

 

 

 

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March 9 – 13 Learning update

Before I start our learning update, I just wanted to pass along compliments from Ms. Sontag, our substitute teacher on Monday. She said that LC 5A showed a huge amount of respect for her as a teacher in our room. They were kind to each other, supportive and willing to work hard. I am so impressed! I know we have an awesome community in our class but it is great to hear other people.

Language Arts:

Writing –  We have been working on our introductions to our original stories. I have some students who are only writing 1 paragraph, a couple writing 2-3 and one who has written me an introductory chapter. It is awesome to see students push themselves in their learning. We will wrap up our introductions this week and start our rising action. The kids are very excited about their stories and putting in a lot of work. We are taking it one step at a time to make sure we are adding good details that will help our grade 3 buddies are engaged in our writing. We are currently using Click Clack Moo as our group writing piece to model expectations and create criteria for our own writing. Here is what we have written for our introduction. You can follow along with our writing here.

 

Reading – We are working on our read aloud of Sideways Stories at Wayside School. As we read, we will be getting into collaborative writing groups to write our own Sideways Story. We so far have talked about them being short, related to each other and only about 1 thing. Students are very excited to share with the other classes doing this.  Here is our shared doc if you would like to find out more about the project.  We will be getting into our book club groups next week and picking our books. Any suggestions for books would be appreciated! Here is our brainstorm doc.

 

Mathematics:  The kids have been working with Mr. L on area and perimeter. They are doing really well with this and I saw great work from both classes on Friday when we had Math together. The students spent some time this week looking at how we measure area and perimeter and also how area and perimeter are related. The students had some time to use unit cubes to build various rectangles with a given perimeter, various rectangles with a given area and various rectangles with a given perimeter and area. On Monday they will be moving on to volume.  One of the coolest things I heard this week was one of our students teaching another student what area and perimeter were. When I asked how it went, she told me “By teaching someone who didn’t know what we were doing and having to come up with a way that would make sense to them, I realized was teaching myself and making sure that I understood. I think I taught myself as well!”  As a class, we have become so awesome at helping each other and sharing, it is awesome to see all levels of learning come together and work to make sure we are all participating and understanding to the best of our abilities!

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Science:  

Students will be asked to record the high and low and a brief description of the weather outside until the end of Spring Break.  I will provide a sheet for this. It will be really awesome to see them temperature in different places on vacations as well!

We are also going to start Cloud Art to learn about the different types of clouds. A few of the students came up with the idea to use cotton balls to create the clouds and then use things like rain drops, sun beams, ect. to write about the clouds as a mini student-led activity. I thought this was awesome so we are going to give it a try. I will be getting cotton balls on Tuesday after school. If you would like to do this please email me and I will pick up some for you as well.

Josh Classen was in to talk to us about weather and being a meteorologist. He was fantastic at talking about the concepts we will be learning and explaining them in a way that made sense to everyone. Now that we have this background knowledge, we will have a better understanding as we discuss in class!

 

Social Studies:

Students just wrapped up compiling their group’s information into a nifty handout for their jigsaw. We are going to create our listening activity on Monday, Jigsaw on tuesday and rank the regions on Wednesday and Thursday. We’ll talk about Socratic Circles on Friday and we’ll do a practice one. On Monday and Tuesday next week we’ll prepare to do ours on the Wednesday blocks 3+4! If anyone would like to come and observe them, Please let me know and I can let you know times and details of when your child will be doing their persuasive discussion. I would love a volunteer to film them for me.

 

Health: 

The students and I have been talking about healthy choices such as not having a slurpee for breakfast and that Ms. Albrecht shouldn’t wait until nutrition break to eat her breakfast. We are going to be starting an inquiry into the food we eat. Ms. Ariss is working on a letter to send home to parents explaining our inquiry and how to support your child’s learning.

 

Art:

Art Fridays are becoming quite popular in our class. Every Friday afternoon, we are going to be doing art to finish off our week. This week, we were lucky enough to have a special guest. The kids loved working with Mrs. Morris (Ms A’s mom!!) on our Falling Backwards art. Most are getting started on painting, a few are finishing drawing and a couple have completed their art. I will be getting a ladder to put them up on the moveable wall this week.

This week will wrap up the Falling Backwards piece. Those who have completed it will be working on “Eye see” art.

 

Trickster Theatre – Artist in Residency:

We have a very passionate class. They really poured their hearts into our theme development. After a lot of discussion, and going back and forth on Women’s Rights and Child Labour, our class realized that we really just wanted to make sure that everyone has equal rights.

Our Sub -Theme : Everybody Has Rights

Our Guiding Questions:

  • Why do some people think that they are more important than others?
  • Why do we let people take advantage of other people?
  • Isn’t this like an extreme case of bullying and we are all bystanders if we don’t create awareness?

Possible sub-topics to explore:

  • Women’s Rights
  • Children’s Rights
  • Minority Rights

 

What does it mean to be a citizen?

Last week, I made a comment to the students that they were all citizens in our classroom. I forget what the reference was about but the students accepted this and continued on. As I was writing something down, someone called out “What does it mean to be a citizen?” The dictionary definition of “a legally recognized subject or national of a state or commonwealth, either native or naturalized.” wasn’t entirely all that helpful to us. As their teacher, I wasn’t even sure how to explain that definition. so I wrote the question on the board and asked the students to think about it over the weekend.

I had the fortune of being at a fundraising event with a number of politicians, so I decided to ask them what their ideas were so I could bring back thoughts and quotes from them. We also reached out to Cst. Lucas to see what his ideas were on the subject of citizenship. I posted the question on social media, and here are some of the answers we received:

Be a participant, be involved, educate yourself on the rules, the game is bigger than you and know what you are doing. The ultimate is not win or lose but to be a part of it. In voting, vote no matter who you vote for.
– Richard Feehan, candidate for Alberta NDP, Social Worker

Belonging, community, people who are born here and the people who choose to come here. As we braid together the two stories that is how we build our new country and our Canada of tomorrow. Responsibility to be a citizen and be an active citizen. Voting and knowing what you are voting for. Keeping up on current affairs, let your elected representatives know how you think. Relationship and have to tell because they don’t read minds.
-Laurie Blakeman, Liberal MLA

Have a responsibility to each other and you can get done more together rather than alone.
– Ben Henderson, Edmonton City Council

Contributing to the community you live in, interested in the voting process and voting when you have the chance
– Michael Phair, former Edmonton councilman

To me a citizen is a member of society.  Citizenship is being recognized as that member. To me we should all strive to be “Contributing members of society”.  You can still make an impact on a larger scale even though you have never left Spruce Grove.  You need to think about what you want the world to look like.  I always think of the golden rule.  “Treat other the way you want to be treated”

If I was to use the example of cleaning up the environment.  Your impact at home, in school and in your community will effect the rest of the world.  It may be on a small scale but it will impact the other citizens around you.  We cannot control what others do, but we can control the example we portray to others through our actions.

We are all citizens and role models for each other whether we choose to be or not.  The only question is “Are we a good role model or a Bad role model?”

– Cst. Lucas, Community Liaison Officer, EPS

Actively involved, taking responsibility and providing input into anything that would affect their daily life. Maybe not all the definition, but an important piece I think.

– Danna Hawkes, Broxton Park Teacher

With all of these answers, we then pulled out some key ideas. (Shown in purple in the picture below) We broke into groups, discussed and added our own ideas of what citizenship meant to us as Grade 5 students (shown in blue in the picture below).

Citizenship Brainstorm

Mr. Petchel also joined us to talk to us about the importance of voting. We talked about how not voting means that you don’t have the right to complain and that not voting means that you could allow 1/3 of the population to pick someone to represent you that 2/3 of the class disagreed with.

Here is how we represented this:

We have 23 students in our class with 2 students who were away today. Those 2 students represented the people who were not eligible to vtoe.

We had everyone wearing blue jeans sit down. These represented the people who were “Unable to make it to the polls” – too busy, mobility issues, out of the country, ect. We then asked the students who did not have their shoes on to sit down. These represented the people who “don’t care” or “didn’t want to vote”.  This left 13 people. 1 student chose to spoil their ballot because they didn’t like either candidate (represented by the only person wearing a hat).  7 people decided to vote for Mr. Pechtel and his promise of Ukulele music (represented by the people on the right side of the room) and 3 people decided to vote for Ms. Albrecht who promised to try to make sure we have Art every Friday (represented by the people standing on the left side of the room).

12 people voted for a candidate, 1 person expressed their thoughts – that makes 13 people in our class who voted and 9 who did not. For voter turn out, 62% (13/21) of the eligible voters is higher than recent voter turnout in Alberta.  We also found out that 7/23 people in our class made the decision for us. That was less than 1/3 of our class who chose someone to represent us even though he had the majority or the votes that were cast.

Mr. Pechtel then made a decision to take is promise of Ukulele music further and said everyone had to sing a song and play all the information in every class. A lot of students complained. If they were sitting down, they had to stop talking. This left the 3 who voted for Ms A, the 1 who spoiled their ballot and 3 Mr P voters complaining. 7 people who had a right to complain wasn’t very much and now we were stuck with no Art at all, we had to hypothetically all learn to play ukulele and listen to Mr P sing about regions of Canada. That wasn’t a good thing but we let a minority pick someone to represent the majority who disagreed with this rule.  The students suddenly realized that this was not good and why we need to take advantage of our right to vote and  perform our civic duty to do so.

We decided that if there is an election called this spring, even if we can’t vote, as citizens, we need to be informed about what is happening and help inform people who can vote such as our parents.  As their teacher, I am excited to see an election plays out in a room of grade 5 students but as a voter and citizen, I am excited to see a room full of engaged and active citizens who know more about voting and being citizens than some adults do.

This all lead up to what was going on in the world and the start of our inquiry into global issues and global citizenship but this lesson that started with the frustration of a terrible dictionary definition was one of the best conversations we have had as a class – and we have a lot of powerful conversations in our room.

Where we are headed for March 9 -13

Language Arts

Reading – We have finished reading our Literature Circle books. The students will be working on a Film Trailer about their books with their group. We have also finished reading our Traitor as our read aloud. We will be starting Sideways Stories from Wayside School as part of a collaborative reading project with several other schools. We will begin our Book Clubs before spring break.

Writing – We are starting to write our introductions to our stories this week. The students and I are rewriting Click, Clack, Moo to practice writing each part of writing through the Story Mountain. The kids will be starting their planning for their introduction to their own story this week. After reading a number of stories, the kids have realized that the introduction explains who is in the story – the main character(s), where the story takes place – setting, and the initial problem that sets the story in motion. We will be working through co-creating criteria, feedback loops and edits for our work.

 

Social Studies

The students are compiling their research and jot notes on their expert region into a Google Doc. The students are creating a hand out they can share with other students while they jigsaw with the other groups to find out about their regions. We will then begin some additional research on cost of living, wages and other important information so that we can then rank the regions and decide “where to put the people”.

 

Science

Students have completed their units on Electricity, Mechanisms and Magnetism with a viewing activity and a silent conversation known as a Chalk Talk as their reflection on their learning. The kids have done some amazing work. Once we are done Measurement and Geometry in Math, we will be using our knowledge to build and wire a house suitable to live in one of the regions of Canada.

This week we are starting weather. Students had a task last week to write what they knew about weather. On Thursday, we will have a Josh Classen from CTV News in to present to our students about weather systems, highs and lows, and being a meteorologist.  The weather unit will require students to track the weather, temperature, highs and lows and precipitation.

 

Math

The students and Mr L began our Measurement and Geometry unit in math. The students discussed measuring length by talking about how millimetres, centimetres and metres are related. The students got to estimate measurements outside of the classroom to begin these talks. They also discussed tools to measure, such as metre sticks, tape measures, and rulers. I had the opportunity to teach a lesson to the kids about moving between millimetres and metres using the stairs method. They did great with this and they are quite excited about this unit.  They will be moving on to perimeter and area on Monday.

Health

The students and I have completed the 7 Habits. We will be moving on to looking at the food we eat starting with an inquiry into sources of food and “Is Organic all it is cracked up to be?”. This will require the students to track their eating habits, go grocery shopping with their parents and look at ingredients of some of their favourite foods.

Art

The students have completed their dragon art. We are going to begin an art project called Falling Backwards looking at line, shape, composition and use of water colour. Some of the other classes have started this project and they are looking amazing.

Artist in Residence

During the week of April 13 – 17, Trickster Theatre will be transforming Greystone. We will be looking at global citizenship to support the theme of “Greystone Goes Global”. The kids and I will start exploring the questions of “What does it mean to be a citizen?” and looking at the answers of a few politicians I recently met as well as “What’s wrong in the world?” looking at global issues right now. We will be looking at the website kidsgoglobal.com and looking at twitter, the news and magazines to see what issues the kids feel passionate about. This goes well with our Current Events Wednesdays initiative we will be starting this term. Thank you to those who have volunteered already. If you would like to volunteer, please let me know. I can send home the letter again as well.

Other notes:

– I am away on Monday at a PD session in Edmonton

– Locker clean up: I will be sending home anything not needed at school. I ask that the students not bring anything unrelated to their learning.

– Don’t forget indoor shoes! With the melting slush, you may want to consider keeping spare socks at school as well.

Feburary Wrap Up

What a month! On Friday, when Alejandro told me he’d see me next month, I thought I managed to forget about a vacation until I remembered, it would be March on Monday.

I am so proud of the students this month. Here is a look back on what we did this month:

Reading – We have been reading in our Literature Circles. The students have been assigned roles to help in their discussions. I am so impressed with their ability to support each other and work together and hear about their reading. I’ve recorded their conversations at times and I’ve sat in on their reading. It is incredible to see students supporting each other and reinforcing their understanding at the same time.  We will be wrapping up our Read Aloud and Lit Circles by next week so we can start our next Read Aloud with our new friends from Ottawa and we can start Book Clubs.

Writing – We looked at the organization trait this month. We worked on organizing events and using both Sequencing words and Transition words to help order our events in a logical order and make sure our paragraph still flowed well. Incredible work from the students on their life events. We are starting our narrative writing now. We looked at introduction exemplars and realized that the things that all of them had in common was that they introduced characters and settings. They also ended with the initial problem or event that set the story in motion. The kids have created character profiles to “Show not Tell” about who the character is from their actions. We have also worked on our setting frames to create a setting from our story. We will review the story mountain next week and start out introductions soon after.

Social Studies – We learned about finding key information from a source, summarizing it and retelling it in our own words. We have also learned about using a secondary source to back up our information from the textbook or to find additional information where there were no supporting details. Students are learning how to answer guiding questions for their research to explain how life is in their chosen region rather than listing facts.  We are also working together to look at different ways of organizing our information so that it makes the most sense to us and the reader.

Math – Students completed the Multiplication and Division unit with Mr. Letendre this week and wrote their unit quiz. The biggest learning for some students was how to properly prepare for a unit test their results did not match their expectations. One big take away for students is to make sure they are doing their homework and taking advantage of supports given, such as learning lunch and review times. Reflections came home today with Mr. L’s marks and feedback. The kids will be starting their Geometry and Measurement units with Mr. L next week. Students have also continued to work through their Problems of the Week (POW) with Mr L and I. I am starting to see some very strong understanding of their learning. The focus of the POW is the reflection of their strategies and learning rather than the actual answer.  I love getting to work with the kids and read their reflections. It helps me understand how they think. Mr. L returns feedback to the kids after each problem so the kids can review prior to starting the next one.

Science – As you may have heard, we have been doing Electricity. I took a new approach with this unit. We used the workbook more so as a guide of what we should cover rather than how we would be working. We did a lot of experiments, hands on demos and even created our our lab test by working through the scientific method. We will be wrapping up the unit with a quick checkup to make sure there is nothing I need to review with them prior to moving on to our next unit.

“Science – In science I tested different objects to see if they were conductors or insulators how I did that is I made a circuit then put my testable object In the middle. I did this by my self because my partner was away. I learned that  many things are Insulators. Next time I would like to try different kinds of metals. I think my teachers taught me this because it was a fun way to learn science.” – Parker E

“Next is science, in science we are trying to figure out if are objects that we brought are either a conductor or a resistor. Its really easy and pretty cool. Me and my group did a candle and it was and intresting experiment to do. The candle holder was a conductor witch was cool. a conductor is when it lights up  and a resistor (or insulator) is when it doesn’t light up.” – Stephen P

 

These quotes from the blog  of our students shows me that the kids have a better understanding of how insulators and conductors work than if I was leading the instruction. In science I have taken the role of facilitator rather than teacher. This was a big risk that paid of huge.

Some other notable events in our classroom:
We have 3 new students in our class. Katana, Kieran and Nick. We’re so excited to have them as part of LC 5A. Katana has made herself right and home the past few weeks and we look forward to having Kieran and Nick who just joined us this week as part of our community!

Our Mystery Skype/Google Hangout with Shauna’s class from Ottawa was incredible! We are already getting set up to share some of our stories through our next Read Aloud and activities to follow.

We are so blessed to have Ms. Chiles who will be working with us on Mondays and Wednesdays starting in March. She is a student at the University of Alberta who graduates in December and is very excited to help facilitate all the important learning that we do in our class.

As always, here is our month in review from twitter as well.