Happy Sunday Everyone!
I’m back to blogging! I never meant to stop actually! Things got really, really busy while I was taking my first university course last term, so I’m taking a break from my classes and doing two courses this summer instead. It is always a difficult decision to stop doing something you enjoy but it’s also difficult to make space for everything we like to do! Instead I am just shifting things around so I can get to it all…in time!
Well 2019 has come in like a blizzard…literally! First we got so much snow and now we are living in a deepfreeze! I met a friend at the airport for lunch today and laughed at how the parking metres need to wear ‘winter coats’. Only in Winnipeg!
Here is what we’ve been up to since the New Year!
-We’ve finished Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone! I really enjoyed sharing this special book with all the students. Whether they’ve read it before or this was their first time hearing this magical story, students were hooked! We will be watching the movie soon! Perhaps as soon as Wednesday, January 23! We have a volunteer baking some “sorting hat cupcakes” and some requests to dress in the Harry Potter theme. The students and I will do some more planning tomorrow (Monday) and will let you know official plans ASAP!
-We’ve been doing LOTS of writing! The students did their 3 writing assessments (narrative, informational and persuasive). This gives us a benchmark of the growth made since last time we did these three assessments and also directs our lessons moving forward. We’ve also wrapped up four “Writing Craft Workshops”. Each student has rotated though four stations (3 lessons per station) that was led by Helen, Stacy, Ms Solomon or myself. The students learned about “The First 4 Words”, “Telegram Notes”, Topic Sentences” and “Gems That Make Writing Sparkle”. Doing these workshops have helped improve our students’ writing…especially informational writing.
-Word work in the form of spelling high frequency words with 122 & 126 has come to an end for now! The students have been working hard on learning to spell the most commonly used words in reading and writing. These words are becoming our “No Excuse Words” for spelling. IF you know how to spell them then you shouldn’t be making errors and when you do make an error you should be able to find it as you edit your own work!
-Subtraction is in action! The students are doing a good job working with subtraction. They are making connections with place value and regrouping. We are also working hard to develop instant recall of our subtraction facts. Using flashcards at home for subtraction (and addition) is very helpful for those students who are not able to recall the facts in 3 seconds or less. It only takes a few minutes each day. You can even make it a game!
-Ancient Civilizations are being discovered! Our research projects are in full force! Ask your child what civilization they are learning about their guiding question(s).
-We have a new volunteer! Handa, a retired teacher, is coming to our school three afternoons a week to volunteer with the 3/4s! She is spending some time reading with us and helping with projects. What a kind thing to do! Reading aloud to others is a great skill for the students to have and they really enjoy doing it! If you haven’t listened to your child read for awhile see if you can make some time to hear how far they’ve come!
What’s Coming Up:
-Book orders were submitted last week and hopefully will arrive by Friday!
-We will be starting a new read aloud book…Crenshaw! There is a giant, talking cat…what’s not to love?!
-We will finish up our subtraction books and do an assessment to see what we still need more practice with!
-Ancient Civilization Book Clubs start this week! The students have chosen what they’d like to learn most about and we were able to assign them to their first or second choice. The 4 civilizations we will look more in depth about are: the Vikings, Japan, Maya and Egypt. We will do 4 lessons and at the end will do a Maker project so groups can teach each other about the civilizations. *Most students are learning about a civilization different to what their research project is about.
-As we finish up our research we will be ready to write an informational piece. We can put all our Writer’s Craft Workshop lessons to work!
-I will be sending home spelling words this week. These are words that I have found in each student’s Writer’s Notebook and are individual for each student. Starting next Monday (January 28) I will assess the students on their words. The reason I am sending them home is so you can work on them at home too if you want to. We will continue to work our way through the Fry’s Word Lists (high frequency words). If you would like a copy of these words for home please let me know 🙂
-Murray will continue to work on Genius Hour projects on Tuesday while he is with the 123 students and I am doing Friluftsliv with other classes in the school. Students are at different stages of their projects which is great. Some students enjoy working on their project at home as well as at school which is great too. Any questions regarding Genius Hour can be directed to Murray 🙂
-We will take all of our ideas about “Why the Jets Should Read to us” as part of the Reading Takes Flight program and submit a group writing piece. Maybe this is the year that we are chosen!!
-By popular demand we will do another round of dance choreography! The students enjoyed creating a movement piece to a holiday song in December and have been asking for round 2! Ask and you shall receive!! What will they come up this time?!
Until next time,