We finished up our Athens unit and marks for the test, their group myth project, a day in the life of an Athenian man, woman, Metic, and Slave, and the debate on direct vs. representative democracy will be in PowerSchool by Monday, March 9th. We are now learning about the Iroquois Confederacy and learning how to analyze current event political cartoons.
- March 19th (1:30 - 4:30, 5:30 - 8) & 20th (8 :00 - 12:00, 1:00 - 3:00) are parent and student-led conferences. These will be run similarly as last time, with sit down conferences held in Mr. Pendergast's room and student activities and reflections in Mrs. Clowes' room. We look forward to seeing all of you then!
- Last day before March break: March 19th. This will be a Friday schedule, students will be dismissed at 12:40pm.
- Classes resume on March 30th.
Have a great week!
Hello 6-7 families!
The students have been working hard on their novel studies and are all at different points in the process. Some are still reading, while others are creating projects and videos based on what they read. They seem to be enjoying the process which is great!
In Social Studies, we are finishing up our Ancient Athens unit and will move onto the Iroquois confederacy soon. We will complete our Athens unit with a debate on direct vs. representative democracy, a role-play of the Athenian assembly, and a quiz on Wednesday.
We began our PAT prep on Friday by analyzing poems and looking at the complexities of multiple-choice questions and how best to approach them. This will be a focus during our core blocks as we move forward.
- February 25th - spring picture day
- February 26th - Pink Shirt Day (https://www.pinkshirtday.ca/about)
- February 26th - Ancient Athens quiz
Have a great last week of February!
I hope everyone had a lovely long weekend. There is not a lot to report this week. We watched the myth projects that students made with 6-6. They were very fun to watch! We had some technical difficulties with two groups and are trying to work out how to view those.
We continue to work on the novel study. Some students are finished their books and onto the projects, while others are still reading and answering response questions.
In Social Studies, we continue to learn about democracy in Ancient Athens and will be doing role play of how decisions were made back then. We are also working on comparing and contrasting democracy then to democracy in Canada today.
We will be starting PAT prep this week with some practice questions, learning how to read and answer multiple choice, and discussing what we need to know for the content. We did a fiction pre-assessment writing piece on Friday that we will be working on to improve for the written PAT.
- Homework: readworks.org story
- Spring photos on February 25th (I believe that French students are also at the Cabane à Sucre this day)
- February 26th is Pink Shirt Day
This week, the students are working a lot on their presentation skills. Today, they presented their small group slides to a group of 8 or 9 students and will receive and reflect on feedback from students in their group to help them improve in their next presentation. We talked about what constructive feedback is and how it can help someone improve when it is done well. Students will also be presenting their Greek mythology skit with 6-6 tomorrow. We are very much looking forward to the videos and plays that students present! We will finish out the week by working on our novel studies and learning more about Ancient Greek decision making.
- Homework: reading a story from readworks.org and answering the questions.
There are many students who are not completing this homework. It does not take long and is a good way for students to read and think about what they are reading. I also have access to their answers and can see areas where they may need to focus on in their reading comprehension. This is a valuable tool for both the students and the teacher.
- No school on Thursday and Friday due to Teachers’ convention and on Monday due to Family Day
Have a great long weekend!
Hello 6-7 families!
Happy February! We are officially halfway through the school year. I find this half of the year flies by and we still have so much work to do. At this point in the year, I like to have the students provide me with a report card of how they think I am doing and what I can do to improve (it seems only fair that they get to give me grades as well!). I got some really valuable feedback from the students and will be incorporating their suggestions as we move forward, such as more sharing circles, group work, and mind maps. It was great to get their feedback and I hope that we can make some positive changes going forward with the information they gave me.
We had a very short week with the grade 6 ski trip to Nakiska. As mentioned last week, we have been working on a joint project with 6-6 on an ancient Athens myth that inspired the names for the constellations. Students picked a constellation and are now working on understanding the myth behind it and creating a script of their own version of the myth. Students can present their scripts in a video, animation, or in-class presentation. We will be seeing the efforts of the students’ hard work on Tuesday, February 11th. Additionally, we spent some time preparing and getting feedback for the small group presentations that will take place on Friday, February 7th and we watched the film Screenagers and had some small group discussions on the content. We will be following up on the film this week with some lessons and discussions around digital citizenship.
- Homework: Students are encouraged to read one story from https://www.readworks.org/ and answer the comprehension questions provided
- No school on February 13th and 14th due to Teacher’s Convention and on February 17th for Family Day
Have a great week!
Hello 6-7 students and families!
My apologies for not having a post last week. I spent a lot of the week not feeling well and was not able to get a post out.
The students have been learning about the roles of men and women and the various social structures of ancient Athens. They are working on writing paragraphs or creating a video diary of a day in the life of an Athenian man, Athenian woman, a Metic, and a slave. They are also working in groups of two with one or two students from Ms. Gerow's homeroom (6-6) on a Greek constellation/myth of their choosing, writing a paragraph using the 5 Ws (who, what, why, when, and where) to describe the story behind the constellation, and will then be writing a script of their own version of the story and will be performing it for their classes, either in person or through a video.
The students have also continued to work on their novel studies. Some students have asked if they can take their novels home and read them. I am totally fine with this as long as they remember to bring it back the next day.
We also continue to work on what a good presentation looks and sounds like and are getting ready to present to small groups the week of February 3rd.
On Wednesday, we will be watching a movie called 'Screenagers'. This movie will be shown to all classes throughout the week and there is a screening for parents on Wednesday evening. The version that the students will be watching is shorter than the parent version and geared directly towards the students. We will be doing lessons and discussions around the movie prior to and after watching it. Please see the link below and if you have any concerns with your child watching the movie, please email me and let me know.
Screenagers - the Next Chapter
If you are interested in coming to the parent screening, please follow this link to purchase tickets: Screenagers Ticket Purchase
Homework: we will be beginning a new homework reading system this week. I would like students to access https://www.readworks.org/ and pick a story to read and then answer the comprehension questions. For now, I would like them to read a minimum of 1 story per week (they are welcome to read as many as they would like). Each week I will assign more stories that they can choose from.
- Report cards available electronically on January 29th
- Grade 6 Ski trip on January 30th
- PD day on January 31st - no school
We are continuing our learning about political government and comparing it to what students know about local government. Today, we did a mock debate of action items that may be brought up in the Alberta Legislature. We will be moving on to Ancient Athens and the development of democratic systems this week.
Students have begun work on a novel study either individually, in pairs, or in small literacy circle novels. They are tasked at monitoring for new and interesting vocabulary while reading and answering reader’s response questions after each reading. At the end of the novel, students will complete various tasks to enhance their understanding of what they read.
On Fridays, we will be working on presentation skills and refining these skills through small group presentations and feedback sessions. The students chose a topic last week and are beginning to build Google Slides based on our lessons and discussions. In February, we will begin a new round of class presentations where students can apply what they have learned from our lessons and from their small group feedback.
Our weekly reading log homework will be changing, I will explain further next week the new format and expectations for this. Students are welcome to work on their final novel study project and Google slides for the small group presentations at home should they wish, but there is no expectation that they do so.
- No school Monday, January 20th - Non-Instruction Day
- Grade 6 ski trip to Norquay on January 30th
- Report cards released on January 29th
- No school on January 31st - PD Day
Have a great week!
The students have finished their Local Government mind-maps and will be doing a gallery walk of the maps on Tuesday. This will give them an opportunity to explain their design and to review the aspects of local government. They will also be given an opportunity to evaluate how they worked in their partnership and to answer some questions to see what they learned from the activity.
In reading, we continue to work on connecting to our lives in what we are reading. The students read for 20 minutes today and then were tasked at writing to me or telling me about how they could connect to their lives, another story (book/movie/TV), or to something they know of in the world. This is something that we will continue to work on this week to build strength in.
We have many presentations coming up this Friday. Henry, Omar, Yeseong, Sara N., Mohab, Ava, and Yejun will be presenting their current events articles to the class. All students are welcome to work on their presentation and/or get help from me during lunch hours this week. Last Friday, Alex presented to the class on the topic of US school shootings and how many have occurred since 2009 compared to Canada and other countries in the world, and Teddie presented about the importance of trees in our world and what we can do to minimize our use of them.
Reminders for the week:
- Band students have a concert at 6:00 pm on Wednesday
- Friday is Pajama Day. To participate, students are asked to bring a non-perishable food item or $2 to be donated to the food bank.
Last week and this week the students have been working on learning about the various aspects of local government. They will gather the information through various sources and then will make a mind-map with a partner. We will be working on this throughout the week, some students may need to work at home on taking notes from Chapter 5 of the textbook to help them with their mind map. The chapter and note templates can be found in the Google Drive under Local Government.
In language arts, we are working on powerful reading strategies and have started with connecting to our lives. We are reading the book 'Loser' by Jerry Spinelli as a class and I am modelling connecting to my life as I read. Students are then tasked to read something of their own choosing and to attempt to connect what they read to their own lives, sharing with classmates at the end of reading time. We are also working on learning how to read non-fiction texts using the acronym THIEVES and taking notes using the Cornell note taking system.
On Friday, we will have current events presentations from Sarah H., Teddie, Paulo, Yeseong. Last Friday we learned about Wexit from Kiki, Vaping from Nayla, the 300 temporary teacher layoffs by CBE from Sarah W, and information on kidnapping and being safe around strangers from Summer.
Have a great week!
Hello 6-7 and families!
It was so lovely to see all of the families here over conferences, thank you to everyone who came out to meet with Mr. Pendergast and myself. Please email if you have any questions between now and March, when we meet for the next parent-student-conferences.
This week we will continue to work on learning about local government and its various branches and responsibilities. We will also be working on powerful reading strategies and effective writing techniques.
On Friday, we have Kiki, Nayla, Sarah W., and Summer who will be presenting their current events article. I look forward to learning from them!
Have a great last week of November!
My sincere apologies for the delayed post. I thought I had hit save on my blog post Monday night but must not have and nothing was posted.
Last week the students edited their research projects based on comments I had left for them and some have been presenting their research to the whole group or a small group. It is great watching these presentations, as students are taking feedback from the current events presentations and applying it to these presentations. The small group presentations were a great opportunity for students who feel less comfortable presenting and for audience members to feel more comfortable in asking questions. Everyone has done a really great job so far!
We have also been learning from our current events presentations. On Friday, we had a presentation from Sam on Remembrance Day and a presentation from Judy on the dangers of smoking. Graeme talked to us about the protests in Hong Kong on Monday. I love that students are teaching each other about current topics and learning from each other. They have also been learning from each other about the various ways we can present information and what is engaging and effective for learning.
I look forward to seeing everyone at parent-conferences. If you haven't booked yet, please do so through the link below. You will book a 10 minute conference with me and Mr. Pendergast and have the opportunity to come to my room before or after that conference for a student-led portion.
Hi grade 6 students and families!
Not a lot to update this week. We are still working on the research projects - students handed them in and now I am providing feedback and they will have an opportunity to adjust their project based on that feedback before I assess it. I will be asking if any students want to present their research to the class or to a small group.
We had four current events presentations from students yesterday. We learned about spoofing calls from Mya, a man who was charged with multiple gun and drug possessions in Calgary from Macy, about the plastic crisis from Cash, and about the California wild fires from Callum. On Friday, we will have presentations from Judy, Sam, Graeme, and Yejun. I look forward to learning from them as well!
On Friday the conference bookings will be opening for November 21 (4pm - 8pm), November 22 (8am - 1pm), and November 25 (10am - 12pm and 1pm to 4pm) on Friday, November 15th. More information will come regarding how to do this. If there is a reason that you cannot meet during this time, please let me or Mr. Pendergast know and we will arrange something out of those times (for those who have already contacted us, we will be in touch this week).
Hello grade 6-7 and families!
This week we will continue to focus on our research projects and on some activities for Remembrance Day. The Remembrance Day assembly will take place on Thursday, November 7th at approximately 10:40am. The grade 6 students are working on art pieces right now that will be displayed in the gym during this assembly.
I am working hard at assessing the persuasive letters and oral assessments we did for our work around the Student Vote and general election. I have many videos to watch and will try my best to get that information in PowerSchool as soon as possible.
I only received two reading logs today for homework, and in checking past weeks we are missing many students' logs (also there are many with no name). A reminder that you can read anything at all and log your time and/or pages. I'm more concerned about you reading, not about the time or pages, so if you would rather simply record the title of what you read that is fine with me. Some reminders around the reading log: it is not enough just to read something, you also have to reflect on your reading. We will be working on connecting, inferring, questioning, visualizing, transforming, zooming in (non-fiction), and determining importance (non-fiction) while reading over the next few weeks and that should help with student responses and summaries. A summary tells me what the author said and a response tells me what you think about what you read - if you are unsure of the difference please let me know and I will clarify. I have put reader's response suggested questions in the Google Drive folder for your reference. Reading is a very important skill in life and helps us in many other subjects! We will be beginning literature circles next Wednesday that will build on the skills learned in class, reading at home will help to enhance these skills as well.
I am away for training on Friday this week and Tuesday morning next week. If you are a student presenting your current events article this Friday and would be willing to change your presentation date to Tuesday afternoon during our core block, please let me know (I will try to remember to ask you tomorrow).
- No school on Monday due to Remembrance Day
- Parent conferences will be held November 21, 22, and 25 - if you would like to request an interpreter for your interview, please let either Mr. Pendergast or myself know.
I can't believe we are already in the last week of October! I was away a couple of days last week because of a terrible flu that my kids have caught and will be away tomorrow as well to take them to the doctor. We are lucky to be able to get the same substitute teacher for all three days! When I returned on Thursday last week, I came to the realization that many of the students still needed some guidance and learning around the Student Vote process and interpreting the general election information, and therefore changed the oral assessment planned from last Wednesday to this Wednesday. Students can review the questions for that assessment in the Google Drive Humanities 6-7 folder under Federal Election, titled Questions for Oral Assessment. They were given two opportunities to review those questions last week and I will give them a few minutes to prepare on Wednesday before we create the videos and share them in Iris.
On Friday, we had the first set of students to present their current events articles to the class. Ty, Nick, and Ollie did an amazing job! We learned about the harmful effects of vaping, the potential consequences of Alberta having no Liberal MPs, and cautions around the legalization of cannabis edibles. Two of them lead us into great health conversations about the effects of smoking and on what it can do to the body. We watched a couple of videos from the exhibit Body Worlds today so the students could see a real life example of how smoking can affect your lungs. Some students seemed very interested in Body Worlds - the animal exhibit is currently at TELUS Spark if anyone is interested in exploring that!
Last week, the students began a research project on a topic of their choosing and media to present it in. In this project, we are working on gathering information from outside sources, learning to reference and cite these sources, and organizing the information and presenting it in our own words. I'm already learning from the beginning part of the research process through the questions students are asking, and I can't wait to learn more through their finished products!
A few reminders for this week:
- Picture retakes on Tuesday
- YouthLink field trip on Thursday (no costumes)
- No school on Friday due to a system-wide Professional Development (PD) day
A new update to come in November!
Hello students and parents!
We have an exciting week ahead with analyzing the election results and learning about resiliency through a Live Different Presentation.
Last Friday, the students had a chance to participate in a mock vote for the federal election. Everything mirrored an actual vote down to the ballots, boxes, and voting screens. It was an amazing opportunity for the students and we look forward to seeing if the Canadian Student Vote mirrors the Federal election results and if the West Ridge Student Vote mirrors that of the Calgary Signal Hill riding results. After voting, the students wrote me a letter to either compare and contrast at least two political parties and encourage me to vote for one, persuade me to vote for one party of their choosing, explain why voting is important, or tell me about three things they have learned about Canada. Students were given the choice of which letter to write based on how confident they felt about the subjects, and was a way to differentiate how I will assess the various diverse learners in our classroom. This letter will be assessed both for its social studies content and for the formatting for ELA. On Tuesday and Wednesday, students will be answering questions regarding what we have learned in the Student Vote process and why it's important to vote, in a video that will be posted to their Iris profile and can be watched from home.
Tuesday morning, all West Ridge students will be participating in a presentation from Live Different. We did some pre-lessons today and will also do some post lessons on this presentation. Please have a discussion together on this presentation and what you learned or what you felt was important about it.
The Halloween Dance is coming up on October 24th. The dance will be from 5:30-8:00pm and will feature DJ BRAY, a haunted house, prizes for costumes, crazy bread, floats, and much much more. You can buy prepaid tickets at the Raptor Shack this week and next.
Reminder to Nick, Ty, and Ollie - you are presenting your current events article on Friday. Go to the Google Drive Humanities 6-7 Homework folder if you need more information. We look forward to your presentations!
As I mentioned today, if you can, have the TV, radio, or a website loaded to follow the results of election tonight. The polls begin closing at 3:30pm MT with the last polls closing at 8:30pm MT. In what might be a tight race, it will be exciting to watch the poll results come in!
Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I hope you all had a wonderful weekend and were able to find some time to relax and unwind.
The students are working very hard on their political party presentations which will be shared on Wednesday and maybe Thursday of this week. The members of each group were asked to evaluate all of the members' contributions, including their own, in a survey today, and are prepared to present what they put together in a format of their choosing. Many of them will be presenting with a slide show to the whole class, one group will be showing a video they made, and another will be splitting up and each presenting to a small group before bringing everyone together for questions. As the students are presenting, the members of the audience will be taking notes that will help them to make their decision on who to vote for on our student vote day, Friday, October 18th. We will also be evaluating certain aspects from the debate on October 7th, writing and discussing about what we see and hear. They will then use both sets of notes to review one particular party of their choosing, and then write a persuasive letter trying to persuade me to vote for this party on October 21st. This persuasive letter will be used, along with the answers students provide to questions about the electoral system in a video (this will be posted to Iris), to evaluate some of their learning throughout the CIVIX student vote process.
I look forward to seeing what the students present this week! I will have an update on the Student Vote next Monday.
Hi 6-7 students and families!
I apologize for the delay in this post. My goal is to post by the end of the day on Monday, but on weeks where I have a class for my Masters course, that can sometimes be difficult. I will definitely have something posted on Tuesday, so please make sure to check on Tuesday if you don't see anything on Monday!
We are working hard on building a positive, caring, safe classroom community and one of the strategies for accomplishing this is by having classroom jobs. This not only helps the students to understand how to contribute to a functioning society, an outcome from the Social Studies curriculum, but it will also cover outcomes in the Health and Career & Life Management curriculum. The students came up with the jobs, while also giving me suggestions on how to make our classroom a more comfortable and caring space. I took what they told me and added cushions, blankets, lamps, and more plants to the classroom, and we are exploring the idea of getting a classroom fish. Finally, the students had an opportunity to envision their ideal classroom and wrote to me about it, using description and reasons for why the additions would enhance learning. There were a lot of fun suggestions, such as trampoline floors and basketball hoops.
We continue our work with CIVIX and are preparing for our student vote on October 18th. The students were randomly put into groups and are now working on researching one political party and their platform. They have the choice of how to present the information they find to their classmates, such as a poster, a Google slide document, a green screen presentation, or postcards for each student. These are due at the end of class on Tuesday and we will be sharing the information on Wednesday. We are also beginning to work on persuasive writing to lead up to a final assessment of students' knowledge of writing me a letter to persuade me to vote for a certain political party (could be the party they want to vote for or simply one of the parties they learned about through their research or classmates).
Notes for this week:
- No school on Friday (non-instruction day) or Monday (Thanksgiving Day)
- Many students are not handing in their reading logs - please make sure to hand in your reading log on the first day of the week! I will start keeping track of who is handing them in through PowerSchool.
- If you have not paid for the Rothney field trip yet, please do so as soon as possible through PowerSchool.
- If you have any magazines or newspapers that you would be willing to donate to our classroom for our reading shelf, we would love to take them! Students will have to read, analyze, and write an article for the ELA provincial achievement tests, and having many different examples will help.
- Stay safe in the snow!
I'm looking forward to the rest of the week with the students. Have a great long weekend, and I will have another update available on Tuesday.
We began this week with honouring Indigenous peoples and Orange Shirt Day by sitting in sharing circle and saying our names, where our ancestors are from, what energy level we were bringing to the circle from 1-10, and something that we are proud of from our culture. It was really neat to hear all about our different backgrounds and what makes us proud! Thank you to everyone who wore an Orange Shirt. I strongly believe that days like Orange Shirt Day and Pink Shirt Day are not a one day event, but are a reminder to live our lives with kindness, understanding, and empathy. We will continue with these themes throughout the year.
In the theme of empathy, last week we did a paper doll exercise where students worked very hard to make a paper doll of themselves. We then sat in a circle and discussed a time when we felt sad, upset, or not included at school and then passed the dolls clockwise around the circle by 3 people. After using an example from one of the students, I asked the students to crumple up the paper doll. Some of them had a really hard time doing this and ruining the work of one of their classmates! We then passed the doll 5 people down and I gave another example from the discussion. The students then had to stomp on the doll - unfortunately we had some students get carried away at this point and start jumping up and down on them and yelling. After a discussion on why that is not showing caring and respectful actions in the classroom, we passed the doll another 5 people and I gave one final example. This time, the students had to rip part of the doll. Now it was time to pass the dolls back to the owner, and for the owner of the doll to try to repair it. We had a discussion about how that doll will never be the same again, and about how we can relate this to our actions towards others. While calling a student a name, laughing at them, saying something unkind, or excluding others may seem minor to the person doing it, the person who is receiving those actions may be changed forever. As a final part to this activity, the students had to write about the following:
1) Describe a time when you felt sad, upset, angry, frustrated, or not included in school.
2) Make a pledge for how you are going to work on your actions affecting others, either positive or negative.
3) Write about how the paper doll activity relates to residential school experiences.
We also continue our work on the Student Vote CIVIX program and are getting ready to vote on October 18th. The students did a quiz to find out which party their opinions aligned with the closest, and we made a bar graph with the anonymous results. Based on the results, 36% of our opinions were closest to the Conservative Party, 24% to the Liberal Party, 8% to the Green Party, 4% to the People's Party, 4% to the NDP, and 24% were undecided.
For homework this week, please complete a new reading log and hand it in on Monday next week. Next week we will begin the Current Affairs presentations. The students will be signing up for a Friday time slot this Wednesday.
Tara Nelson from CTV Presentation September 26 Homework
**Please be prepared to share your answers with the class on Friday!
1. What are five things you learned from Tara Nelson?
2. What surprised you?
3. Where do the reporters get news ideas from?
4. How does a story come to life? List some of the steps and who are some of the people involved.
5. What are some of the jobs associated with a news station?
6. What are polling agencies? How can you tell it is a trustworthy poll?
7. What is fake news? What is it not?
8. What is balanced coverage and why is this important?
**If you can, tune in to CTV News at 6:00 (online at 8:00) and take notes on one issue Tara Nelson reports on tonight to share with the class!