December was a great month for learning about the season of Advent. We learned about the true meaning of Christmas as we prepared our hearts and minds for Jesus’ birth. After attending the movie “The Star”, our Kindergarten rooms were buzzing with excitement as students sought out opportunities to re-enact the Christmas Story with their peers, shared Bible stories about Jesus’ birth and made comparisons between the movie and the Bible in their play activities. Rooms 10, 11 and 12 enjoyed working together as an Early Years community to rehearse and lead the song “Away in a Manger” at our school Sing-a-Long. In Numeracy, students will focus on identifying and ordering numbers on a number line, number talks, single digit addition and subtraction and measurement concepts related to height and capacity. In Literacy, practising sight word recognition, letters and sounds of the week will be emphasized. We will focus on printing our names with initial letter capitalization followed by lowercase letters and target spacing, capitalization, end punctuation and sight words in our sentence writing. We are excited to begin a new Emotional Literacy program this month. This program will draw attention to identifying and communicating feelings with peers in play and social interactions. We will learn through stories and role play activities.
Mrs. Loveday and Ms. Manley’s students will sort, identify, describe (grade one) and classify (grade two) two dimensional shapes and polygons. Additionally, they will locate and name lines of symmetry and compose and decompose polygons! Young learners identify two-dimensional shapes by their general appearance. For example, students recognize that an equilateral triangle is a triangle because “It looks like a triangle”; however, they do not think about the properties of the shape (e.g., three sides and three vertices) as they identify it. For this reason, young students will be less likely to identify a scalene triangle as a triangle as it does not match their image of what a triangle looks like.
Mrs. Whiteford and Ms. Zettel’s students are exploring the centimetre, the metre and the kilometre and how they are used to measure the length, width and height of an object. Standard units of measurement (cm and m) are used to measure the perimeter of two-dimensional figures. Help your child by giving him/her a metre stick and ruler to measure the lengths, widths and heights and perimeter of a variety of real world objects and establish benchmarks for these measurements.
In Literacy, the grade ones and twos will begin a writing unit on procedural or “how to” texts. They will include transitional words such as ‘first’, ‘then’ and ‘next’ to signify a change in instruction. The boys and girls will continue to work in literacy centres as their teacher works with smaller groups on guided reading. In Ms. Zettel’s class, students are focusing on the strategy Asking Questions, learning how to ask questions before, during and after reading. They will use the concepts of who, what, where, why, when and how to help recount the events within the text. Mrs. Whiteford’s class is working on inferring (reading between the lines). The children will continue to respond to readings by answering questions to demonstrate a deeper understanding of the text they have read. In Writing, identifying and correcting spelling errors as well as revising writing will continue to be a focus. At home, encourage your child to read over his/her written work and make necessary changes. This is an important habit and skill all writers must develop.
As we return to the classroom, students in grades four through six are working on the strand of Data Management in Mathematics. Students in grade four are collecting data by conducting surveys, recording responses in tally charts and displaying results on double bar graphs. The grade fives are also collecting survey data to compare two related sets of data. Grade six students are learning how to collect, organize and interpret data in charts and different types of graphs such as scatterplots, bar graphs and stem-and-leaf plots.
Procedural writing provides readers with step-by-step instructions for how to do or accomplish a task. This form of writing focuses on sequencing and the use of verbs. The grade four students are concentrating on using proper format and including transition words such as first, next, then and finally. In grade five, students are investigating the importance of procedural writing in their daily lives by looking at cookbooks and instructions for games/Lego. In grade six, students are using their knowledge of language to use precise vocabulary to explain instructions procedurally.
In the Intermediate division students, continue to work with the seven key processes in Mathematics (problem solving, reasoning and proving, reflecting, selecting tools and computational strategies, connecting, representing and communicating). Students use these processes when learning new concepts and procedures, practising skills and solving problems.
This month, the focus is on providing opportunities for students to represent mathematical ideas by using concrete materials, diagrams, numbers, words, charts, graphs, tables and symbols. Representing ideas in a variety of ways helps students model and interpret problem situations, understand mathematical concepts, clarify and communicate their thinking and make connections between related mathematical ideas.
In Mr. Amorim’s class, students are exploring how to substitute numbers into variable expressions, evaluate algebraic expressions and solve equations using inspection and guess-and-check with and without technology. In Ms. Carvalho’s class, the grades sevens and eights are learning to represent linear growing patterns using concrete materials, graphs, algebraic expressions and equations. They will model real-life linear relationships graphically and algebraically and solve simple algebraic equations. In Mrs. Griffith’s class, students are working on solving problems involving integers. They are working with thermometers, number-lines, integer discs and symbols to deepen their understanding. They will use their understanding of integers as they begin to evaluate algebraic expressions.
In Language, the intermediates are working on essay writing. They will be focusing on using proper sentence structure and linked paragraphs to create writing pieces which share information in a well organized and coherent manner.
As part of the reading programme, Mr. Amorim’s class is continuing their exploration of the novel ‘A Wrinkle in Time’ and are focusing on character development while Ms. Carvalho’s students are focusing on summarizing and paraphrasing information as a part of the research process in History. In Mrs. Griffith’s class, students are reading a variety of poetry selections to identify interesting vocabulary, and the use of simile, metaphor and personification which are used to express feelings and experiences.