We conclude our Lenten journey and joyously celebrate our Risen Lord during the Easter season. We will learn more about Easter through stories, songs, art and dramatic play. We will work toward the understanding that we are believers and we will strive to live our lives like Jesus through our actions and words. In Literacy, we are finishing our Jolly Phonics sounds for letters of the alphabet and are working on vowel combinations and digraphs (e.g., sh, ch). Journal activities will focus on sentence writing, capitalization, punctuation, letter spacing and printing letters on the line. We are adding sight words to our sentences and learning to stretch out words to hear and print their individual letter sounds. We continue learning to print our last names using correct letter formation. In Numeracy, we are working on collecting survey data and graphing the results. We will also practise positional words and apply them to our daily routines and activities. Special activities this month include a visit from Pottery-to-Go and a field trip to Laurel Creek Nature Centre.
In grade one and one/two, students will be working on operational sense (addition and subtraction). Students will work towards counting on instead of counting all when combining quantities. Visual representations and manipulatives (e.g., the number line for counting strategies; the hundreds chart or base ten blocks for operations with larger numbers) will be used in helping students develop a deeper understanding of operations. In grade two and three, students will relate multiplication and division to real-life situations using a variety of tools and strategies. Students will build arrays to deepen their understanding of grouping numbers to improve their skip counting skills and to visualize that multiplication consists of combining equal groups (e.g., 2×3 means two groups with three objects in it). In Literacy, Mrs. Loveday’s and Mrs. Manley’s classes will focus on making inferences before, during and after reading a story. Inferencing is a foundational strategy and a prerequisite towards higher order thinking and 21st century skills. The children will be taught to use clues in the text and pictures to explain their thinking. Mrs. Whiteford’s and Ms. Zettel’s classes will continue to work on the elements of paragraph and narrative writing with a focus on supporting details. Students are developing strategies (e.g., numbering supporting details, rereading their writing before submitting it, using the Word Wall and Dictionaries) that they can use independently to improve their writing.
As a division, we are revisiting summarizing and applying this skill to non-fiction texts in Science and Social Studies. When readers summarize, they condense the big ideas of a text in their own words to make it more meaningful and easier to recall. To show their understanding of what they are reading, students answer comprehension questions that require them to make connections, inferences and provide their opinions on characters, topics and themes. To be successful, students are practising going back to the text to gather evidence (examples) that support their thinking. Students in the Junior division will be finishing their current math units and will be moving into transformational geometry. When working with transformational geometry, students refine their spatial reasoning abilities as they translate, rotate and reflect images using manipulatives as well as visualization strategies. In Grade 4, students will identify and describe the location of an object using a grid system with a focus on performing reflections. Grade 5 students will focus on translating and reflecting shapes that require more than one step. Students in Grade 6 will identify, perform and describe rotations of 180°, translations and reflections while completing multi-step transformations.
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 ‘communicating’. If students communicate their steps and answer questions about how they reach an answer, then they have a better understanding of the topic. Grade eights are looking at real-life questions which involve ratio, rate and percent. Grade sevens are investigating transformational geometry and how it is used in our daily lives. Students are using Knowledgehook as on on-line resource to explore and improve their understanding of math concepts. In Language, Intermediate students are working on persuasive writing. They are gathering ideas to support their point of view on a topic and organizing the information to present the information in the most effective way to convince an audience. As part of the Reading programme, they are using inferencing skills to gain a deeper understanding of an author’s message. Teaching students to use this technique will encourage more critical reading and enjoyment of text.