October 23 week at a peek

Dear students and families,

Here are some photos from “Nature Enthusiast Thursday.”

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What a terrific week with a series of firsts!

  • We enjoyed our first meeting with our little grade 2 care partners.
  • Highlights of education week for our class were “Wonderful Rainbow Wednesday” (see our blue and purple mini-portraits soon to be displayed in the school) and “Nature Enthusiast Thursday.”  A big thanks to Mrs. Fulton and Mrs. Pawluk for coordinating the special education week activities for our school!
  • Lesson 1 spelling lessons and spelling tests happened last week.
  • “Me, Myself and I” writing project began last week.
  • First day in the classroom with the mini computers was Friday.  Students began Read Theory.  Students took Read Theory usernames and passwords home and are encouraged to do more Read Theory at home.  Read more about Read Theory here:  Read Theory parent_flyer

This week, we look forward to:

  • more 1-on-1 reading with Ms B.
  • spelling lesson 2
  • signing out 2 books at the library (1 fiction, 1 non-fiction)
  • lockdown practice
  • popcorn sale
  • completing paragraph drafts of “Me, Myself & I” project

Extra-curricular Opportunity . . .

  • For those of you interested in becoming a library helper, please bring your form back this week!

Homework

A few notes about homework:

  • I give a reasonable amount of class time to get tasks done; I make plans for the class to complete a certain amount of work in a certain amount of time.  I often adjust the original time frame if students are working hard and need more time.
  • Due dates are most often flexible.
  • Due dates for large projects (example:  “Me, Myself and I”) have smaller checkpoint dates (jot notes/ideas, rough draft, proofreading and published copy).  These checkpoint dates are guidelines so the final project will be complete in a timely manner.
  • If a student cannot complete everything by the checkpoint date, s/he needs to make a reasonable plan and share it with me so the entire project can be completed.  Students need to talk to me if they have difficulty with the guideline dates.
  • Homework should not keep students up past bedtime and cause undue stress to students and family.
  • At the same time, work needs to be completed in a timely manner.
  • Students copy due dates daily into student planners; these dates may be adjusted from dates previously posted on the blog – that is the flex factor.
  • Please contact me with any questions/concerns about project due dates.

Writers’ Workshop Project

Students will work on our writers’ workshop project – “Me, Myself and I” – over the next 2 weeks.  This writing project will be part of every student’s V.I.P. of the week display.  As well, I will assess student progress through this writing process.

  • Students selected 5-9 topics to write a 5-9 paragraph autobiography about themselves.  The published form of this autobiography will be part of each student’s V.I.P. of the week display on our class bulletin board.
  • Working ahead on this project at home up to the paragraph draft part is fine.  As well, students may ask family members about details about birth facts and their early years to include in the project.
  • Remember who your audience is – teachers and classmates.  Only share information you are comfortable sharing with this audience.

    Due Date

    “Me, Myself and I” Must Include . . .

    Tues., Oct. 24 ideas/jot notes/plan (web or list)
    Fri., Oct. 27 draft (double-spaced, single-sided, one page looseleaf per paragraph)
    Mon., Oct. 29 proofread by self and another (see “Quick Student Writing Checklist”)
    Nov. 3-6 published copy (best handwriting, printing or typing) ready for the V.I.P. bulletin board (see writing rubric for marking criteria)
  • Once we complete “Me, Myself and I” autobiographies, we move to “phase 2” of the V.I.P. project – the biography.
  • Students were asked to commit to biography subjects by October 23 so our librarian can have print materials and possible web links ready for student research when we begin this project in 2 weeks.

Halloween

IMG_5540Creative Commons License Steve Baker via Compfight

We are a week away from Halloween.  We have varying levels of Halloween participants in our classroom – some members are enthusiasts and plan to trick-or-treat, some plan to wear costumes, while others do not participate in festivities on the day.

We will all attend the afternoon school literacy assembly.  Over the course of this week, we will discuss activities that everyone can enjoy comfortably.  As usual, it is a school day.

Halloween and our differing views on its observances offers us an excellent opportunity to put ourselves in someone else’s shoes and be tolerant and considerate of the practices/views of others.

Costumes

In our school, students may choose to:

  • wear a costume for the day
  • wear orange and black or
  • come to school in regular clothing.

If you do choose to costume on October 31, please keep the following guidelines in mind:

  • Costumes sometimes are different at school than when trick-or-treating:  a)  School dictates that costumes are not bloody or gory (so not scary to younger students and so staff do not mistake the costume for a medical emergency).  b)  Costumes may not include real or fake weapons of any kind.  c)  Costumes should continue to make sure that students are tastefully covered.
  • Masks need to make sure good vision for the wearer (safety issue).  Students must be extra aware when a staff member tries to get their attention and need to show their face/remove their mask when asked to by a staff member (safety issue).
  • If a costume or any part of a costume causes a problem in class (distraction, blocking the view of another, safety issue or inability to do school work), the student will be asked to remove the costume or part of the costume.
  • We have an assembly in the afternoon (an opportunity to see other costumes) but keep in mind that Halloween and the days that follow are school days.

After Halloween . . .

  • In the days that follow Halloween, I do not expect to hear the rustle of candy wrappers or to see Halloween treats in the classroom.
  • Please restrict treat eating to break time and please be sure that wrappers end up in the garbage.

We will go over these guidelines in class.   🙂

Spelling this week!

Everyone works on lesson 2 spelling this week.

  • Spelling lessons are introduced on Tuesday with assignments and weekly tests due on Thursday.
  • Grade 6 students have a class to work on spelling on Tuesday; grade 5 students have a class on Tuesday and another on Wednesday to do spelling.
  • For the first unit, I will mark all assignments until the expectations are clear.  Students need to hand in the completed spelling lesson assignment of the week on Thursday at the latest.
  • Once I mark the lesson, corrections may take a few days to complete (Friday and Monday).  By Tuesday of the following week, outstanding corrections from the previous week need be complete so students can move forward to the next lesson and keep up with weekly assignments.
  • Students work independently on spelling assignments.  To help with our organization, I copy them on different paper colours.  The 3 spelling groups are:  purple (some grade 6s)buff (some grade 6s) and white (grade 5s).  It looks like I chose good fit spelling programs for everyone.  We will continue with these groups until the end of the first unit and I will reassess the groups then.   🙂

For those of you who like to prepare early, here are this week’s spelling lists. :

Here’s a look at week 8 . . .

Monday

  • phys. ed. a.m.
  • band a.m.
  • library p.m. (sign out 2 books!)
  • Homework due:  tell me who your biography subject is (famous person, hero, family member) – someone you admire and who inspires you (a few students still need to let me know who this person is)

Tuesday

  • band sectionals a.m. (flutes first, clarinets second)
  • Homework due:  spelling lesson 1 (gr. 5), all jot notes (“Me, Myself and I”)
  • spelling lesson 2 work time

Wednesday

  • phys. ed. a.m.
  • band a.m.
  • Homework due:  gr. 5 math to end p. 10; gr. 5 handwriting to end of clock climbers
  • school lockdown practice p.m.

Thursday

  • lesson 2 spelling assignments due
  • lesson 2 spelling tests
  • band a.m./non-band activity with functional life skills class   🙂
  • popcorn sale a.m. recess ($1/bag)

Friday

  • arts ed. with Miss Hall a.m.
  • phys. ed. a.m.
  • writers’ workshop p.m.
  • “Me, Myself and I” – draft of paragraphs due

What are your favourite activities at school this week?

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October 23 week at a peek
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