In January, we began our Emotional Literacy program. Through stories, games, art and activities we have been learning how to identify emotions, listen to each other and share our feelings appropriately during work and play. With the colder weather, there have been many opportunities to practise our self-help skills as we dress and undress for outdoors quickly, learn to zip zippers and keep our coat areas neat and tidy. This month in Numeracy, we will be focusing on location, money, Number Talks and single digit addition and subtraction. In Literacy, we continue practising sight word recognition and letters and sounds of the week. We are working on sentence format, focusing on initial letter capitalization, finger spaces between words and end punctuation. This month, our Catholic Graduate Expectations will focus on how we care about others around us. We will be reading and learning about how to express love and respect to our families, communities, God and ourselves
It’s Fraction February for the primary division! The most important thing is for students to begin to build meaning using concrete examples and materials and not by introducing the symbol alone. Children’s experiences with slicing, splitting, distributing, measuring and combining quantities are meaningful to them and problems that are based in these experiences are a rich source of meaning for fractions. Grade ones begin dividing whole objects into parts and identify and describe equal-sized parts of the whole using the fractional name halves or fourths (or quarters). Grade twos will determine through investigation the relationship between the number of fractional parts of a whole and the size of the fractional parts. Additionally, they will regroup fractional parts into wholes and compare fractions using concrete materials. Grade threes will divide sets of objects and identify the parts using fractional names (e.g., one half, three thirds, two fourths or two quarters). In Literacy, Mrs. Loveday’s grade one class will also be learning about visualizing. Students will gain confidence in making images in their heads while reading multiple and varied types of text. They will be active in “drawing” images in their minds in association with words they have read. Students will learn that our personal experiences shape the pictures we visualize while we read. Ms. Manley’s grade ones and twos will also be working with visualizing. Good readers use the five senses to create images of the text before, during and after reading. These images are drawn from personal experiences that assist them in creating pictures and movies in their minds. Often, readers use all their senses when they create pictures (I see…, I hear…, I feel…, I smell…, I taste…). As students visualize, they go beyond the words on a page and read between the lines (infer). Ms. Zettel’s grade twos and threes and Mrs. Whiteford’s threes are building on their inferencing skills which helps students take information from the text to support a deeper understanding of the author’s message.
Students engage in the mathematical process of problem solving when learning across all five strands. It allows students to reason, communicate ideas, make connections and apply their knowledge and skills. This month, the grade four students in Mrs. Da Silva’s class will be solving problems involving the multiplication and division of one-digit whole numbers and apply this knowledge to multiply and divide two-digit whole numbers by one-digit whole numbers. Mrs. Weinstein, Mrs. Renda and Mrs. Egan’s students will be working on their measurement skills this month. They will estimate, measure and record quantities using the metric system, some of which will require conversions when problem solving.
When students write frequently, they become better writers. As they explore different forms of writing, they learn it can be creative, experimental, challenging, exciting and fun. Mrs. Da Silva and the grade four students will investigate the elements of persuasive writing to convince readers to agree with their position on a topic. This form of writing requires a strong introduction, well developed and organized arguments and strong word choice. Student’s in Mrs. Weinstein, Ms. Renda and Mrs. Egan’s classes will be deepening their understanding of poetry this month. They will not only be reading and interpreting poems but also writing poems using vivid and figurative language to enhance the interest of the reader.
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 ‘reflecting’. Good problem solvers regularly reflect on their own thought processes. This helps them recognize when a technique they are using is effective and if it is not they try a different strategy, rethink the problem or search for related content knowledge to help. Students are directed to try different ways to find answers and reflect on whether it is reasonable or not by considering the original problem. Reflecting helps students make important connections and internalize a deeper understanding of mathematical concepts they are involved with. In Mr. Amorim’s class, students are exploring transformations. They are using technology and manipulatives to investigate translations, reflections, rotations and dilations of different shapes which are visible in the world. Ms. Carvalho’s class (grades seven and eight), are continuing with Algebra and investigating integers to solve expressions and equations. They are modelling real-life linear relationships graphically and algebraically to solve problems. In Mrs. Griffith’s class, students are working on Patterning and Algebra. They are representing linear growing patterns using diagrams, concrete materials and graphs. They are translating statements of mathematical relationship into algebraic expressions to solve for unknown values (For a collection of triangles, the total number of sides is equal to three times the number of triangles or s = 3n) and using them to solve real-life problems. In Language, the intermediates are working on report writing. They will present factual information in the third person with an objective voice. They will incorporate quotations in their report and edit carefully for tense errors as well as use proper sentence structure, grammar, spelling and punctuation. Newspapers will be available to students each day to read and to model their work on.
As part of the Reading programme, Mr. Amorim’s class are continuing their exploration of the novel ‘A Wrinkle in Time’ and are focusing on character development. Ms. Carvalho’s students are focusing on using text features in non-fictional resources to deepen their understanding of the content. In Mrs. Griffith’s class, students are focusing on summarizing and paraphrasing important information as part of their newspaper unit.