Hi everyone! This has been a very interesting and unusual week!
We hope you’ve been able to pick up your belongings from school. You will see that we added a Student-Led Celebration form so you can share your amazing work with your parents at home. For your Secret Blog Question over the break, think about the favourite part of your learning that you shared with your parents and what you are most proud of this term. You can e-mail (or g-mail) your answers to us!
A HUGE thank you to all of our caring families who took one of our classroom plants home to care for. We are not surprised since kindness is such a big part of our community. Please email either Ms. Coutts or Mrs. Lake to let us know which plant you adopted – then we will know where they all are! (Better yet – send us a selfie with the plant!)
In your desk trays, we added a handwriting booklet of the lower-case letters we haven’t yet completed along with all of the capital letters – with step by step directions! Have fun learning each new letter and challenge yourself with practice words (and names of your classmates) for each one!
You will notice we tucked your assessment form for your Social Studies Regions project into your Student-Led Celebration form. Take a look at this and have a discussion with your parents - you can access your project on your Google Docs or G-mail if you would like to. All other projects that were handed in were also put with your belongings.
We put your beautiful pastel art work in the front of your Creative Journals along with your poems. If you haven’t finished your landscape we hope you are able to get some pastels and finish them at home. They are stunning! Spring arrived on Thursday, March 19th at 9:49 pm and hopefully you’ve been able to get outside and enjoy some fresh air and some beautiful Grassland landscapes of your own!
We are thinking of you and your families – you are in our hearts and we are missing all of you very much! Take care of one another. We will be in touch after Spring Break.
Ms. Coutts and Mrs. Lake
We met as a school staff this morning and we are currently awaiting clarification from the CBE as to the next steps for our community of learners. We want you to know that we will be keeping you informed as soon as we hear more details and new information.
At this time, personal belongings will be kept safe at school. For critically important personal belongings, such as medication or eye-glasses, please contact the school and we can make an arrangement for pick-up from the office.
Please know that we are thinking about all of you at this time. Remember to take care of yourselves and take care of each other. Read books, play games with your family and spend some time outside in the fresh air. We miss you all and will be in touch when we have more to share.
This week has been very productive and we have completed our poetry, typed it up on the computer and are almost ready to put it on our bulletin board! On Friday, we worked to finish our pastel pictures to go along with our poems but we still need a bit more time for the finishing touches.
The new design challenges we had this week involved moving our pencil kits. First, students were challenged to come up with a way to move their pencil kits from one end of their desk group to the other using anything in their desks. Students came up with many different types of rollers – pencil crayons, glue sticks and pencil sharpeners. Next, students were challenged to use K’nex to build a vehicle that could move their pencil kits across the floor. Working in partners, everyone was busy collaborating and building and we look forward to finishing them next week.
As a way to celebrate our novel study on “Ticket to Curlew” students are creating a “Memory Walk” in their Creative Journals. They chose 10 key ideas that stood out for them from the 18 chapters and they are working on representing those ideas using only pictures. A “Memory Walk” in a visual format is a great way to summarize events and brings back the story when you look at the drawings. For your Secret Blog question this week, tell your parents about your memory walk and your favourite picture to draw (that might include what you are most looking forward to drawing if you haven’t gotten to that box yet). Then write it in your Learning Log.
Continue to check the CBE website regarding any changes to regular school operations due to the Coronavirus issue.
- Library on Monday – bring back books.
- Parent-Student-Led conferences are cancelled next week.
- Answer the Secret Blog Question in Learning Logs
After re-reading “If You’re Not From the Prairies” book and watching a beautiful slideshow of landscapes to match the poem, We started to experiment with poetic language of our own. This week we have begun to create our own stanzas (or verses) about the region we researched and will be choosing our favourite one next week. We also reviewed (or introduced to our new students) the different types of sentence starters in our Writer’s Toolbox. The word lists provided and the structure of the sentences in our Toolbox are helping us to create very descriptive couplets.
We’ve started to learn about techniques to use when working with oil pastels. This week we worked on depicting different kinds of skies and how to blend colours together to create clouds, sunsets or stormy looking skies. We will continue next week with additional pastel techniques for creating landforms and vegetation. This weekend, we are asking students to locate a landscape picture that best represents their geographical region of Alberta. This can be an old calendar picture, an image from a magazine or something off the internet that can be printed out in colour and brought to school on Monday. If you do not own a colour printer, please send the image to us and we will print it out at school. This photo will be used as a reference and something to guide students as they create the pastel picture to go with their poetry.
While we worked a bit with simple machines at Telus Spark using the Rigamajig parts, we started our school based learning by challenging our students to a “roller race”! It’s one of the “simplest” machines that several others are based on. For your Secret Blog Question, tell your parents how you did in the roller race – what was challenging and what worked well. Then write about it in your Learning Log.
- Library on Monday. Bring back books.
- Find a landscape picture of your region and bring it or send it to your teacher for Monday.
- Answer the Secret Blog question in your Learning Logs.
We continued to work on number patterns and how they are used in math to solve problems. Much of number learning, such as multiplication, is easier if you can recognize patterns. The goal is to identify, represent, describe and extend number patterns. We focused on placing information in a table, finding patterns in the numbers and writing a pattern rule.
This week we read a beautiful picture book called, “If You’re Not From the Prairie” by David Bouchard. In this book, award winning author David Bouchard shares poetic language that shows with the reader the power of the wind, the sweep of the sky and adventures on a cold, winter prairie night. Along with Bouchard’s poetry is one of Canada’s foremost prairie artists’ Henry Ripplinger’s stunning paintings that showcase the beauty of the prairies. In the upcoming weeks, students will be writing their own poetry based on the region of Alberta they researched. They will also be learning different types of pastel techniques in order to create their own image to match their poetry.
On Wednesday, our school recognized Pink Shirt Day which began in 2007 when a student in Nova Scotia was bullied for wearing a pink shirt to school. It has since been recognized annually worldwide as a day to stand against bullying. Mrs. Duncan’s class hosted an assembly that reminded us of the power of kindness and taking care of each other. We also had a presentation from a representative of the Heart and Stroke Foundation about a program called, “Jump Rope for Heart” at this assembly. In this program, students learn to protect their heart and brain health, the importance of helping others and getting active. More information about Jump Rope for Heart will be coming home in the next few weeks. For the secret blog question this week write down in your Learning Log what you did on the weekend to keep your heart and brain healthy and what you did to fill someone’s bucket with kindness.
1. Library on Monday, bring back all books
2. Answer the Secret Blog Question in Learning Logs
This week in math we continued to use the Frayer model to help us organize and communicate our thinking when focusing on number patterns. Patterns occur regularly in mathematics and as students learn to analyze patterns, they develop powerful reasoning skills that will help them to make sense of mathematics. In the next few weeks our focus will be on:
- investigating and describing patterns in tables and charts
- extending number patterns
- using concrete materials to display patterns
- writing and solving equations
Patterns occur in many different forms. Encourage your child to look for patterns around home and talk about them. For the secret blog question this week find 1-2 patterns you see around you. You might see them in your house or outside in nature. Once you find them write about them in your Learning Log.
Here’s a game you can play with your child that creates a pattern of words that expands:
Expand the List Word Game
Think of words to describe a cat or other animal. Each player repeats the words said by previous players in the correct order, and adds a new word at the end of the descriptive list.
The first player starts by saying, for example, “My cat is an adorable cat.” The next player must repeat this but add a new descriptive word. For example, “My cat is an adorable, black cat.” A player is out of the game when he or she cannot repeat the list or fails to provide a new word.
We finished our research about how to dispose of Hazardous household waste in Calgary and we began representing what we found out in our Creative Journals. We look forward to sharing this valuable information with our parents during student-led conferences which are in a few weeks.
Since learning how to write “fat questions” as a Discussion Director we now have four different roles we can take on while discussing a chapter of our novel study, Ticket to Curlew. We previously learned about the roles of being a Connector, Vocabulary Enricher or an Illustrator. Each person in the group takes on one of the roles which really helps focus or discussions. We have already had three group discussions using separate roles and just completed our first group assessment form to give feedback to our group members. We looked at how prepared each member was, how well they participated and how focused they were during the discussion. We will be sharing our assessments with our group members on Monday.
- Library on Monday, bring back all books
- Return Young Writers’ Conference form if interested
- Pink Day / wear a pink shirt on Wednesday
- Answer the Secret Blog Question in Learning Logs
Happy Valentine’s Day!
Thank you for supporting your child’s learning last weekend by filling out the Hazardous Household Waste survey. We’ve had some good discussions at school about this topic and we have been on the City of Calgary’s website researching how to properly dispose of our household hazardous waste in our communities.
Wednesday was the last class day to work on our Social Studies region projects. Some students will need to spend time over the long weekend finishing up their projects so they can be handed in on Tuesday, February 18th. Remember, that you can access anything on Google Drive fromhome if you need to.
We sent book order forms home last week. Please feel free to look at the other book orders that are on-line at Scholastic.ca as you can order from any of them. If you are paying on-line, remember to order through “Tracey Coutts” account even if you are in Mrs. Lake’s class. The deadline for orders is Tuesday, February 18th. If you order over $30 on-line you can choose a free book worth $7 or less using the code CLIFFORD.
For the secret blog question this week write down in your Learning Log what you did with your family to celebrate Family Day. We hope you have a wonderful long weekend.
1. No school on Thurs. Feb. 13 or Fri. Feb. 14 because of Teacher’s Convention or on Mon. Feb. 17 because of Family Day.
2. Book Orders due Tues. Feb. 18th
3. Social Studies region projects due Tues. Feb. 18th
Hopefully by the time everyone is reading this, you already know there is homework for the weekend that involves active participation by parents! As the letter in the Learning Log states, it is important that students have parental assistance to complete the survey of Hazardous Waste in your household. You may also discuss where these products are kept in your house and why. If there are any categories of symbols that you do not have in your house, just leave it blank. Thanks for your help!
For the Secret Blog Question this weekend, discuss with your parents why the hazardous waste symbols are pictures (not words) and then write your ideas in your Learning Log. Since we discussed this in class, you should already have a good idea of the reasons and be ready to write them down.
Next week has only three school days so the deadline for working on our social projects in class is quickly approaching. We have three more class times (about 45 minutes each) to work on them at school. After that time, you are welcome to finish up at home over the long weekend. Since many projects are being done using our Google Drive account applications, it can be accessed and completed at home using the same passwords and process for logging in. We would like everything handed in to us by Tuesday, February 18th.
Since Valentine’s Day is on Friday during Teachers’ Convention we would like to celebrate this day of friendship on Wednesday instead. Students have already taken home class lists if they are going to give out valentines to their classmates and we have discussed the importance of including everyone on the list. This year as part of our Waste in Our World science unit, we discussed bringing a reusable or a decorated container to collect our valentines in instead of using new materials. Tupperware, gift bags or empty tissue boxes can all make great valentines containers. Make sure to bring them in on Wednesday, February 12th along with your valentines.
We sent new book order forms home on Friday. Please feel free to look at the other book orders that are on-line at Scholastic.ca as you can order from any of them. If you are paying on-line, remember to order through “Tracey Coutts” account even if you are in Mrs. Lake’s class. The deadline for orders is Tuesday, February 18th. If you order over $30 on-line you can choose a free book worth $7 or less using the code CLIFFORD.
Finally, we know that Friday early dismissals are a change in routine from the regular school days and are aware that brothers and sisters that attend other schools may be dismissed at different times. On Friday, we had many parents pick up children early without notifying the school or teacher ahead of time. This causes us to interrupt our teaching to try to quickly make sure Learning Logs are complete and all materials and notes required are ready to be taken home. We consider Friday afternoons to be an important learning time and ask if you have appointments to please let us know with a note in the Learning Log so we can be better prepared. Thanks for helping us out with this.
- Library on Monday – bring back all books from home
- Complete your Hazardous Waste survey with parents by Monday
- Last class day to work on Social Studies project on Wednesday, February 12th
- Bring in a container and your valentines on Wednesday, February 12th
- Answer secret blog question in Learning Log for Monday
- No school next Thursday, Feb 13th or Friday, Feb 14th for Teachers’ Convention or on Monday, Feb 17th for Family Day.
This week started with Mrs. Ryskamp reading to our classes to celebrate Family Literacy Day. While students should be reading for at least 30 minutes per day as part of their homework expectations, we also strongly encourage reading aloud with a family member to strengthen decoding skills, fluency and expression!
With our social studies research notes completed, we have all begun our Alberta Regions Project as described in the sheet that went home for children and parents to discuss together. Many students have chosen to use one of the applications on their Google Drive account to present their information. This allows access at home if they choose to do any work there. We have reminded students to try to be as independent as possible (we know how much parents like to help!) and do the work on their own. We always insist that parents should be aware when students are using technology at home, especially if they are using the internet to search for images to include in the project. We do encourage parents to supervise that part of the process. We have computers available to us until Feb. 12th and are hoping that projects will be done by that time.
In Math, we have re-visited the strategy of using a Frayer model to solve word problems. This allows us to break the task into manageable parts and keep our calculations neat and organized. For this task, we have four boxes used for estimating, two different strategies and a sentence that explains the meaning of the answer. The question is written in the center. For your blog question this weekend, use a full page in your Learning Log to draw the Frayer model and solve this question:
On the first weekend of summer, 3578 people came to enjoy a sunny day in Banff. On the second day, 4636 came to spend time in the town. How many visitors came to Banff over the weekend?
It was very interesting to see the different building projects and inventions that were created at Telus Spark Science School. Students identified a problem that existed in the world and then designed a tool that could help to solve the problem. They are now able to take their projects home and may have negotiated how to “share’ the projects with their partners.
Finally, report cards are going home on Thursday. This is a great time to reflect on all of the successes and hard work that have gone into the first half of grade 4. Also think about the goals that can be set as we go forward towards Student Led Conferences in March. Before we know it, students will be headed off to Middle School – time goes so quickly!
- Return report card envelope (signed by parents so we know it was received) then we can re-use it in June.
- Library on Monday – bring back all books from home
- Sound Kreations Dance Residency next week during regular Phys. Ed. times
- Class photos on Wednesday, February 5th – practice your smile!
- Answer the Secret Blog Question in your Learning Log
This week most of us finished up our research on one of Alberta’s regions. A project sheet was sent home on Thursday for parents to read through and discuss with their child. Please have a discussion about which project choice best suits their learning style. After chatting, both parent and child need to sign the project page which is due on Monday.
We also sent home our Math independent quiz showing addition and subtraction computation and problem-solving skills as well as the different ways to represent numbers up to 10 000. Please review this quiz and sign it as well. A highlight of our week was learning a new game called “10 000” (ten thousand)! We have been waiting since the beginning of grade 3 to teach this game to everyone once they had the skills they needed for working with larger numbers. Since the rules are in their Math duotangs along with the quiz – you are welcome to try playing a game together (if you can locate 6 dice).
Both classes were excited to get back to reading our novel, “Ticket to Curlew” after attending Telus Spark Science School. Our focus while reading this chapter was to teach students how to write a “fat” and juicy question about the text that could spark interesting conversations in a small group. Open-ended (fat) questions cannot be answered with yes or no, single words or even a short phrase. They need to be thoughtful and often involve opinions about the characters or events of the novel. We will have a chance to try this out next week.
For your Secret Blog Question this weekend, think about your learning and something that was important or new to you that you experienced this week. Write your own “fat” question and then answer it in detail in your Learning Log.
To build on our learning from grade 3 about culture and celebrations, we read a book on Friday called “The Great Race” which tells the story of how the order of the Chinese Zodiac animals and years were determined. To anyone celebrating this weekend, we wish you a very happy Chinese New Year! (…and a special thank you to one of our students who gave us the gift of good luck in a special red envelope!)
- Library on Monday, bring back all books
- Social Project Sheet and Math Quiz signed by a parent and returned on Monday
- Report Cards go home on Thursday, January 30th
- No school for students on Friday, January 31st (PD day for teachers)
- Write and answer the Secret Blog Question in Learning Log
This week we celebrated the winter season by learning “Bonhomme de Neige” in French! If we are able to learn the words by next week, we may have an opportunity to sing it at one of the morning caroling assemblies. We’ve also been practice saying the date and learning numbers up to 20.
Everyone now has their Secret Santa name so they know who to buy or make a gift for that has a value up to $10. Students can start bringing in their wrapped gift with the name of the person they are giving it to on Monday. Remember to NOT put your name on it because we want it to stay a secret for a few days. Putting your wrapped gift into a plastic or cloth bag will help to keep it a secret when you bring it into the classroom. All gifts must be at school by Tuesday so we know we have all of them here. We will also continue our holiday sock tradition next week along with some other special days that the whole school will be involved in if they’d like to participate. (See below in Reminders)
For our novel study this week, we had a chance to read Chapters 8 and 9 and write a Connector response. This is the same as a personal response but has only two connection paragraphs. Then students needed to write a thoughtful question related to each connection that they could ask their group members to start a good discussion. This is the next “role” that students may be responsible for when we begin Literature Circle discussions.
On Thursday and Friday, we used all of the information that we had gathered about how nature takes care of its waste and drew a complete food chain in our Creative Journals. Then we added the 7 definitions of the parts of the food chain that we drew. This was a good review of our science terms (producer, consumer, herbivore, carnivore, omnivore, decomposer and food chain). Have a conversation with parents about these terms this weekend.
We have been reviewing the step by step systematic approach to taking jot notes from informational material using our social studies textbook, Our Alberta. We are taking notes as a group about the Canadian Shield Region of Alberta to prepare students for their independent research on one of the other geographic regions. We may have a chance to start this next week – or it may have to begin in January.
We continued to work with numbers up to 10 000 this week and were recognizing patterns in numbers using skip counting. For the Secret Blog Question this weekend, write these two patterns in your Learning Log and fill in the blanks with the correct missing numbers:
- 5165, 5175, 5185, _____, ____, 5215, _____
- 3425, 3450, ____, _____, 3525, ____, _____
For a challenge question, make up your own pattern using numbers up to 9999!
We are almost organized for our Telus Spark Science School experience in January. Mrs. Lake’s class still requires several parent volunteers each day from January 13-17th to make her week a success. Please check your schedules and see if you can help out. As well, if you haven’t paid your $50 on-line for Science School, please do so by next week.
- Monday – wear your holiday socks! If you have any library books at home bring them back!
- Tuesday – wear your favourite holiday sweater, Secret Santa gifts need to be at school
- Wednesday – wear red and green
- Thursday – wear your pajamas, popcorn day
This week we completed a different kind of response to our novel study, Ticket to Curlew. Instead of writing a response we illustrated a response to chapter 7. We chose a scene from the chapter and then we made sure we had 7-10 details in our picture from the scene. After, we learned how to have a discussion based on our illustrations. We asked our group members to guess our scene and see if they could pick out any details. We ended with giving thoughtful compliments based on the illustration to each person. Eventually, we will be learning different roles throughout the rest of our novel study so we can then implement them later on when we begin Literature Circles.
“The ability to generate, read, use, and appreciate multiple representations of quantity is a critical step in learning to understand and do mathematics.” (Curriculum and Evaluation Standards for School Mathematics) In math, this week we focused on place value and representing numbers up to10 000. A thorough understanding of place-value concepts permits us to work with very large or very small numbers. Confidence in decomposing and recomposing numbers is an essential skill for computation. We are working on developing a number sense to know when an estimate is appropriate, when operations can be performed mentally and which strategy to use for computation. For the Secret Blog question this week, represent the number 6 387 in your Learning Log using the 5 different ways we practiced in our math scribblers.
On Monday, students will have a quiz on telling time, area and perimeter. Each student is bringing home their math duotang so they can review concepts and they each have a sheet on telling time that needs to be completed by Monday, if it isn’t already.
An important notice regarding Science School and volunteering is also coming home this weekend. We are so excited and can’t wait to go! Because we are going right after Winter Break it is important that we know who our volunteers are ahead of time. Please consider volunteering for this amazing opportunity - we would love to have you! We need forms returned by Monday, please. Acknowledgement of Risk forms and Media Release forms will be sent home next week.
1. Library on Monday - bring back books.
2. Math quiz on Monday.
3. Return volunteer form for Science School if you are able to help out.
4. Please pay the $50 fee on-line (or by cheque / cash) for Science School if you have not done so
5. Answer the Secret Blog Question in your Learning Log
Thanks to all of our families who were able to join us last week for Student Led Conferences. It is an important time for us to be able to share our accomplishments and set goals for the next two months. I know there are many parents who are probably curious about our “mystery artifact” and enjoyed taking part in our guessing game as we learn more about Alberta’s history through examining objects from the past. Our artifact was used to wash clothes before washing machines were invented. It was the beginning inspiration for the center agitator in today’s top loading washing machines…all you need is a big bucket, some soap suds and your muscle power!
This week we have begun to learn more about the different geographical regions of Alberta. For the Secret Blog Question this week, tell your parents which region you started learning about and a few things that you found out by looking through the textbook with your partner. Now write the region in your Learning Log along with some of the information you discovered. For a bonus question, see how many of the Environment categories you can remember (Hint: There are 6 categories and Landforms are one of them). We will share more about our research in the coming weeks.
Over the past couple of weeks, we have been spending time with our grade 2 buddies. We are interviewing each other to find out about our families, some of our favourite things to do and then drawing a picture together. Other leadership opportunities presented themselves this week when we were asked to help supervise the younger classes during our indoor recesses. We are very proud of the many ways our grade 4s have contributed to a positive school community.
Reaching out to our larger Calgary community, we designed some beautiful Christmas and birthday cards for the Meals on Wheels organization. The volunteers like to include a special card designed by students for the people who have meals delivered to them during this time of year. With the time and effort put into these cards, we know that they will fill the buckets of all of those who receive them.
Parents – we hope you have had a chance to check your work schedules for the first two weeks of January and will be able to volunteer for our Telus Spark Science School experience in the new year. Next week we will send out a letter asking you to let us know what days you might be available so we can start to organize our weeks. We require up to 5 adult volunteers per day to make our experience a success. If you do not yet have a Police Security Clearance and would like to volunteer, please contact our school office to get the process started for you. From there, you are able to apply on-line. Thank you as well to all of the parents who have paid the $50 fee for this amazing opportunity.
- Library on Monday – bring back all library books.
- Popcorn orders due Friday, Dec. 6th
- Pay $50 on line for Telus Spark Science School
- Answer Secret Blog Question in Learning Log
Even though we had a four-day week we were able to pack in a lot of learning! We also wrapped up our initiatives for our Canadian Veterans by packing up a huge amount of food and collecting the last of the money donations. Next week, we’ll let everyone know how much food and money was donated. Way to go Citadel Park School!
We continued to work on designing our Dream Schools in math and we began reviewing addition strategies for larger numbers. There are many ways to add bigger numbers such as using the algorithm, drawing base ten blocks on a place value chart, adding partial addends, expanded notation adding and using a number line. For your secret blog question this week complete the following 3 questions in your Learning Log using at least 2 strategies for each question.
1. 258 + 467 =
2. 164 + 656 =
3. 312 + 598 =
As we continue, with our numeracy we will be reviewing strategies for subtraction and then we will begin to work with numbers up 10 000.
We began doing some research in science this week on how nature takes care of its waste. By using a website about food chains, we have started to find out about producers, consumers, herbivores, carnivores, omnivores and decomposers and how they are an important part of food chains. We will continue this research next week.
Bonjour! This week we also started learning the French alphabet and numbers from 1 – 10. We are looking forward to sharing a fun French game with you at conferences next week.
On Thursday night and Friday morning of next week we will be welcoming parents and students into our classrooms for Student Led Conferences. For those of you that are new to us, that means your child will be your tour guide and will take you through some of the learning projects and activities they have been working on this term. Then you will have a very good understanding of how their skills and knowledge is progressing by looking closely at their work. Ms. Coutts and Mrs. Lake will sit down with all of the families at some point during the hour to review students’ progress as well and set goals for next term. Please book a conference on line and make sure you allow up to an hour to complete activities with your child and have a conversation with their teacher(s).
1. Library on Monday
2. Book your student-led conference on-line
3. Answer the Secret Blog question in your Learning Log
Our students have all become architects this week! In math, we are designing our very own dream schools. We have some guidelines we have to follow and we must include 4 classrooms, a regulation size gym, washrooms, an office and hallways to connect everything. Then we can add any other interesting features we want. We have to keep track of the area and perimeter of each element on a chart to ensure everything fits. We look forward to sharing these incredible schools with parents when we see them at student-led conferences which are in two weeks.
After reading chapter 5 of Ticket to Curlew we reviewed what is expected in a grade 4 level personal written response. Each response should include a minimum of 3 paragraphs that have a connection to the novel, a personal connection and some supporting details. After writing the response we use COPS to help us edit our writing. C – capitalization, O – organization (does our writing make sense), P – punctuation, S – spelling. By focusing on one aspect at a time we are able to edit our work more closely. Students will be completing a self-assessment on this response and teachers will also be assessing and giving feedback. Parents will have the opportunity to see these responses at our up-coming conferences.
This week we spent much of our time focusing on Remembrance Day and the importance of honouring our veterans. We were extremely proud of our student leaders as they made daily announcements for our school community, picked up food from classrooms for our Veteran’s Food Bank and for their incredible performance during our Remembrance Day Assembly. We would like to thank Cyril Blanchard of the Calgary Police Pipe Band for playing the bagpipes at our assembly. It was an honour to have him join us at our assembly and afterwards we enjoyed learning more about the bagpipes and the pipe band from him as he joined us in our classroom. For the secret blog question this week tell your parents how you felt about being leaders in our school for Remembrance Week and then write your ideas down in your Learning Log. On Monday, we hope each family is able to take a few moments to remember our veterans and all they have done to help Canada be the wonderful country it is.
1. No school on Monday – Remembrance Day
2. Fun Lunch is on Thursday, November 14th.
3. Bring back library books.
4. Food Bank items and poppy donations will be accepted until Friday, November 15th.
We have been learning how to read an analog clock (the one with an hour hand and a minute hand) over the last couple of weeks – most students are growing up in a “digital world” and digital clocks are the ones most familiar to them. This weekend, students can help their parents turn all the clocks back one hour and practice telling time on an analog clock (if you have one!)
We wrote a personal response to Chapter 4 this week and had a chance to reflect and make connections to being a settler in 1915. Many students wrote about looking for water and the process of digging a well in last weekend’s blog question. While many students commented that they had moved to a new house, city or even a new country, it is pretty hard to imagine coming to a new place and not even having a water supply!
We are well organized for our Veterans Food Drive starting next week and we have 32 of our students involved in going to classrooms to introduce this important food project as well as collecting money for the Royal Canadian Legion Poppy Fund. If you are one of those students, make sure to practice your script over the weekend and BRING IT BACK on Monday – you will need it to do your presentation first thing Monday morning! To the other 17 people in our classroom who volunteered to help out, you will be given your announcements next week so you can be practicing the night before as well!
On Tuesday and Wednesday, we created some beautiful artwork to represent the poppies that grew on Flanders Fields after World War 1 ended. We will be displaying them at our assembly and keeping them in the Gathering Space as we continue to collect food items for our Veterans. If you are able to come to our assembly, we invite you to bring a food item along to add to our collection.
Now, for the Secret Blog Question – think about everything we’ve done this week and have a discussion with your parents. Now, think of your own Secret Blog Question that you believe most people in our class could answer and write the question in your Learning Log for Monday. Make sure you answer it, too!
Finally, we spent part of Halloween with our Grade 2 buddies and watched “The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown” all together in our classroom. It was so nice to share this tradition with them! As a reminder, please leave Halloween candies and treats at home next week. It is important that we stay focused and alert as we prepare for our Remembrance Day assembly and avoiding sugary lunches and snacks will help us do our best. Happy Halloween!
- Library on Monday - please bring back all library books
- Bring back your script for classroom visits on Monday
- Leave candy and treats at home please
- Start bringing in items for the Veterans’ Food Bank starting Tuesday
- Remembrance Day Assembly starts at 10:00 am Friday, November 8th
- Create and Answer your own Secret Blog Question in your Learning Log
On Friday, we are sending a letter inviting all grade 4 students to be part of our Leadership Club. We hope that you will read it over together and discuss which opportunities might interest you and what it means to make a commitment if you decide to take part. We are already looking forward to our leadership role with the Remembrance Day assembly and Veterans Food Drive.
In Science this week, we focused on taking jot notes while viewing a video about plant growth. This is a complex skill. Students were first given the 7 questions that we would like them to listen for in order to focus the note-taking process. Then we paused the video a few times so they could jot a few ideas down. The next day, they used their notes to answer as many of the questions as they could. After seeing how much information they gathered the first time, we refocused on what was missing, watched the video again and tried to fill in those parts on the question sheet. “Managing and evaluating information”, “constructing meaning and making connections through listening” and “creating understanding through a variety of media” are three of the descriptors on the report card that students are assessed on. Activities such as this one help to develop all three of those essential skills for future learning.
Our Math task this week was to look at the design of Sam and Pa’s house and figure out what the perimeter and area of each room was. Then we looked at another house plan and started to design a small doctor’s office. This is an effective way to add problem solving to our understanding of measurement.
Chapter 4 of our novel, Ticket to Curlew contained some very interesting information about what was important for the new settlers to Alberta to think about. In order to be able to live on this new land, they had some tasks that had to be done fairly quickly after they arrived. For your Secret Blog Question this weekend, tell your parents what Sam and Pa (and their helpers) had to do on their new land. Describe the tasks in your Learning Log and explain why it was so important.
- Library on Monday, return ALL library books
- Photo Retakes on Monday – dress your best!
- Halloween costumes on Thursday, Oct. 31st (afternoon only)
- No school on Friday, November 1st – Professional Day for Teachers
- Answer the Secret Blog Question in Learning Logs
Last week was very busy with our Indigenous residency and we continued to discuss our learning and document our thoughts in our Creative Journal. This has been a great experience that we will come back to over and over again as we begin to have a better understanding of Alberta’s history.
A big focus for us this week has been on building the skills needed for writing personal responses. A good written response to a novel can really help teachers to know the level and depth of students’ comprehension skills. We provided an example of a well written response paragraph for Chapter 2 of our novel Ticket to Curlew. After reading Chapter 3, partnerships were given a full three paragraph response with each of the sentences on a separate strip of paper. Their job was to put all of the ideas back together in a sequence that made sense – each paragraph including a topic sentence from the novel, a personal connection and supporting details. This was an excellent activity to help develop an awareness of the importance of clearly organizing their ideas when writing.
We had another opportunity to spend time with our grade 2 buddies this week – this time we taught them two Power of Ten card games to help them develop their number sense, basic facts and understanding of what numbers add to ten.
In Math this week, we focused more on standard units for measuring area. We calculated the area of a variety of rectangles, squares and more irregular shapes using square units (mostly centimeters). We continue to challenge our thinking by using measurement skills to solve problems. For your Secret Blog question this weekend, answer the following question in your Learning Log. If a piece of paper has a width of 5cm and a length of 8cm. what would the perimeter AND the area of the piece of paper be? Draw a picture, label the sides and calculate the area and perimeter for this piece of paper. For a challenge question, write the multiplication fact that helps you calculate the area of the paper.
Finally, we completed a “beginning of grade 4” writing sample using a picture prompt as inspiration. Students had an opportunity to discuss ideas in a group of 3 or 4, plan out the events and then had 60 minutes to write a complete story based on the picture. This will be a good beginning sample as we continue to develop our writing skills throughout the year.
Ms. Coutts and Mrs. Lake’s classes have been busy preparing to host the Remembrance Day Assembly on Friday, November 8th. This is an important Leadership opportunity for all of our students as they will be responsible for being Masters of Ceremony (MCs), learning songs, playing instruments and setting the tone of respect for the rest of our younger audience members and family members who may be in attendance. We will be sending more information home about our assembly in future blogs.
- Library on Monday – return all library books
- Answer the Secret Blog Question in Learning Logs
This week we were so fortunate to have Spectrum Collective with us to learn more about the Indigenous way of life and experience parts of the culture of the Treaty 7 People through the program, “Around the Fire”. This residency allowed us opportunities to learn about Rhythm and Poetry (R.A.P.), contemporary dance (Hip Hop) and traditional dance and the connections between the two styles. We also had a chance to play a drum made from one of four animals that can be found on Treaty 7 lands.
To prepare ourselves for this residency, we built important background knowledge by reading pictures books about a girl’s experience in a Residential School as well as what it was like for her to come home again to her family. We also learned more about Treaty 7 by role playing what it might have been like for the people of the Blackfoot Confederacy to be part of the signing of the treaty with the Canadian Government in 1877. We all have a clearer understanding of why we start our assemblies by Acknowledging the Land that we now live on and call home.
For your blog question this weekend, spend time with your family talking about your experiences learning about the Indigenous People of Treaty 7, the sessions that you were part of and the things you are thankful for in your life. Then write a few of those positive things you are thankful for in your Learning Log.
Please enjoy your Thanksgiving long weekend and be grateful for the land we live on.
- No school on Friday, October 11 (PD day for teachers) or Monday, October 14 (Thanksgiving Holiday)
- Bring back all library books (in case we can schedule a library exchange time)
- Think about the person you chose for your compliment and appreciation over the weekend and we will have a class meeting on Tuesday so you can deliver the compliment to them
- Enjoy time and conversation with your family and answer the Secret Blog Question in your Learning Log for Tuesday, October 15th
Wow! That was quite the snowstorm that blew in last weekend. Looks like we’re back to some sunny fall weather for a few days, though! It was a good reminder to be ready for the changing season and most students did have boots, snow pants and mittens to wear.
This week we started our new novel study called, Ticket to Curlew by Celia Barker Lottridge. This story is connected to our study of the history of Alberta and will be an important part of our discussions and learning. As well, we had an opportunity to share some of the information we learned after browsing through our Alberta textbooks last week. For your Secret Blog Question this weekend, tell your parents some of the things you’ve learned about Alberta so far (either from the textbooks, each other or our novel study). Now write 2-3 sentences in your Learning Log about what you shared with your parents about Alberta.
As well, we started a read aloud novel (just for fun!) called Ragweed, by Avi. This is actually a “prequel” to the novel we read last year where we met Poppy, the deer mouse that lived by Dimwood Forest.
We have now learned how to form five letters of the alphabet in handwriting (cursive writing). This seems to be a pretty popular activity for most students. Eventually we will be using our handwriting skills to do our Learning Log each day.
In Math this week, we continued to explore the perimeter of shapes and have now started to explore area. Area measures the space inside a shape. It is usually measured in square units but we were using triangles with our pattern block shapes to determine its area.
We changed desk groups this week so we have a new plant to look after now. In each group, there is one student who researched the needs of the plant so they are now the “expert” and will be teaching the rest of the group how to take care of it. So far, we are pretty proud of our “plant mommies and daddies”!
We ended our week with a class meeting. Students delivered thoughtful compliments and appreciations to each other and took turns making sure all of our invisible buckets were full for the weekend!
Next week we are honoured to welcome Storytellers, Drummers and Dancers from the Indigenous Culture to learn more about the People and Land of Treaty 7 Territory. We will recognize and build on our understanding of the meaning of Orange Shirt Day and begin to develop an appreciation of their history and culture. We encourage students to wear an orange shirt (if they have one) on Wednesday, Oct. 9th and Thursday, Oct. 10th.
- Library on Monday – bring back all books
- Wear orange on Wed. and Thurs. (if you have it)
- Answer the Secret Blog Question in Learning Logs for Monday