Sunday, 10 September 2017

Week 2: September 11-15

We had a great first week back at school! What a wonderful group of Gr. 4 students I have this year! We are settling into our room and adjusting to new routines. Here's what we did last week:

In Phys Ed, we played some cooperative games to help us build community and learn teamwork! We played 2 games this week, Rescue and Sinkerball, both designed to encourage students to help their teammates to overcome obstacles.

In Science, we had a brief introduction to our first unit, Pulleys and Gears. We looked through pictures to find examples of things that use pulleys in our everyday lives, and posted them on a Padlet. We then experimented with pulleys, string, spring scales and weights to see what we could discover!  Next week, we will build and use fixed, moveable and combined (block & tackle) pulleys and discover how they give us mechanical advantage when doing work.

In Language Arts, we made Summer Selfies - little "snapshots" of our summer with short descriptions. These are posted on the bulletin board outside the classroom, take a look on Wednesday night if you are able to attend Meet the Teacher / Curriculum Night!  Next week, we will begin our first Strategy Unit, Self-Monitoring, with the read-aloud Catching the Moon.  It is one of my favourites, based on the life of Marcenia Lyle, also known as Toni Stone, who was the first woman ever to play professional baseball in a men's league.

In Math, we have been working on the Week of Inspirational Math activities put out by Jo Boaler from Stanford University. Her research into brain science and how everyone can be good at math is inspirational! The videos and activities that she and her team develop help students learn that speed is not as important as thinking deeply and making connections when it comes to math. We will be completing the activities this week, and moving on to the Numeration strand.

In Religion, we completed the first Samaritans on the Digital Road lesson produced by the school board. This short series of lessons is grade specific and intended to teach the children good digital citizenship, and good citizenship in general. We have a few more lessons to complete. There is a new Religion programme this year, which was just received in the school, so I will be reading it over and implementing it very soon.

As part of the New Pedagogies for Deep Learning, we will partner up with the other Gr. 4 class (Mrs. Marchant's class) to do STEM challenges on a biweekly basis. STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. Students are given a challenge, or problem to solve, and some simple materials to solve it with. They must work as a team and use their Creativity, Communication, Collaboration, Critical Thinking, Character and Citizenship skills to find a solution to the problem. We started this week with a cute problem, Saving Fred. The introductory video is here: here, and the problem is laid out here. Ask your child what solution they came up with, and how successful they were! Also, check out the pictures posted on Twitter in the sidebar.

A few more notes to remember:
*library day will be Monday; your child will have the opportunity to borrow a library book each week and return it the following week

*thank you to everyone who sent in kleenex and other assorted supplies! Please remember to send indoor shoes if you have not already - we have phys ed 3 times per week - Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, so clean non-skid running shoes are needed those days.

*your child came home with a number of papers and forms on Wednesday last week, please sign and return them as soon as possible if you have not already. The package contained :
  • a school year calendar -for your reference at home
  • a checklist of forms - to keep you organized!
  • a Student Verification Form (white) - please verify the information, make any necessary changes, sign and return with your child
  • the Acceptable Use of Technology Agreement - read it over with your child.  Both your child and yourself need to initial and sign both sides, then return it to school.
  • Informed Consent for Student Participation and Acknowledgment of Risks - please read this form carefully, complete, sign and return
  • Permission letter  - to go on Learning Walks and to the park at Arc-en-Ciel, please sign and return
  • Volunteer Form (purple) - please sign if you are able to lend a hand in any area!
* Unless you indicated otherwise, your child also came home with a box of chocolates to sell as part of the School Council Fundraiser. There are many awesome prizes to be won by students who sell the most boxes, and everyone benefits from the purchases made from the funds raised! Please support this initiative by selling chocolates at your place of work, or to family and friends. Children are not to go door-to-door. If you would like more boxes of chocolate to sell, drop a note to the school or send me a note through the blog and we will send more home.

*Most teachers will not be using agendas in the junior grades, we will be making use of classroom websites and blogs to pass along information. You can follow my blog by subscribing at the bottom of this page. If you want your child to have an agenda for their personal use, there are some available at the office.  
Mme Corriveau has her blog at 
Mme Gauthier has her blog at
Mr. Karpinski's blog is forthcoming

Please feel free to drop me a line or leave me a message using my parent contact form on the side of the blog.  If your child is going to be absent, or late, or you would like to set up an appointment, or you just want me to be aware of something that may be affecting your child, it's easy to reach me.  

I look forward to seeing you all at Program Night on Wednesday at 6:30, starting in the gym. Afterwards, I will be in Room 110.

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