I have felt so incredibly welcomed by the entire Fraser Wood Community. I am excited for an awesome year of learning and growth with your kids. This school year has seen us have a great start to our school year. Below is what we have started to learn about.
Lots of joy is found in reading a great book. Students are practicing choosing reading materials that interest them and are at their level to maintain their joy in reading. The ultimate goal is help create life long joyfull readers.
Each student has also set a personal goal of how many books they will read or more each month. Each of them then calculated how many books they will read in a school year. We then added up all our totals to find our collective goal of 990 books! Each student is recording the books they've read at the front of their Language Arts duotang. We did our first check in earlier this week and the students were excited to see we have already read 50 books collectively. We will be updating our totally regularly on our chart in the classroom.
Students have started learning about how to construct sentences with descriptive detail that supports their ideas on our class blog. It is a work in progress, but we are getting there. We are going to practice this throughout the year. They have also been practicing giving constructive, supportive, and specific feedback to others. We have just completed our second draft of our Top 5 things I admire about _________. We will finish our 3rd and final draft this upcoming week and it will be shared on our kidblog blog account. Stay tuned!
We have also started reading "The 14th Goldfish" as part of the Global Read Aloud project. We will be connecting with a grade 6 class next week via our blogs and possibly via Skype to discuss some of the themes. You can read more about the project at www.globalreadaloud.com. I am excited to unveil our connection to them soon.
We started the year exploring place value up to the millions and into the billions. Through playing games and practicing writing and reading numbers in standard and written forms we discovered the importance of understanding the value of a digit in a place value. For example:
23 456 987 -> 4 is not 4 but it is 400 000.
We then started learning about solving problems using a calculator and analyzing our solutions using estimation. Students learned using estimation helps us calculate approximate solutions using mental math rather than a calculator. This is useful in their everyday life. A few students struggled with this learning outcome, but we have lots of time to practice in class and out.
The last couple classes we have been learning about angles and being able to identify them in our environment. Students were able to go outside in partners with school iPads and take pictures of different types of angles. We then shared and analyzed them collectively in class wirelessly using Apple TV. Starting next week we will learning more about the parts of an angle, giving names to different types, and learning how to measure them.
I am introducing students to different learning outcomes from different parts within the Math curriculum right now. This is in lead up to a discovery learning Math project that integrates these outcomes and gives students opportunities to discover how they connect to each other. Stay tuned for what this fun project will look like.
This term has seen students explore and define a need and a want. We then participated in a critical challenge where students were asked to debate, reason, and determine as a class what would be the best 5 items to take with them if they were going to be abandoned on a tropical deserted island for 3 months. We started in small groups who created their individual lists, then formed bigger groups, and bigger groups before we got all of us together to debate and decide on our 5 most important items. We then engaged in a discussion and debate via Skype with a grade 6/7 class from another part of Surrey. Students found this challenging and should have posted their reflection on our their kidblog. Ask them to show you! :)
Next students compared a day in their life with the life of an 11 year-old child in another part of the world. Students then broke down their day into defined categories and are currently working on creating a double bar graph that will display their comparison. They are starting to see how each subject integrates with others (Socials & Math). Next week will see students take a picture of this graph and write an analysis of the comparison on their kidblog blog (Math, Socials, & Language Arts.) Stay tuned! :)
We have not started science yet this term. The plan is to complete our Social Studies unit and then dedicate that time in our class schedule to completing our Science unit.
Health & Career
We have started with class meetings to establish expectations in the room. This gives opportunities for the students to be an important part of establishing expectations for our community of learners.
Furthermore we gave also started analyzing 3 questions related to technology use in our daily lives. The questions are: Why is technology important? What do we use technology for? Why is it important to create classroom guidelines around technology use in the classroom?
Students are helping me establish our policy around the use of school and personal technology in the classroom with the hope of moving to a bring your own device (BYOD) culture in our classroom soon. By having a BYOD option in our class it will provide students greater opportunity to work collaboratively, think critically, be creative, and communicate purposely in an educational environment. BYOD moves us closer to possibly being one of the few 1:1 (student:device) classrooms in the entire district.
However with great opportunity comes great responsibility. Therefore it is important before we role this out into our classroom the kids understand how to use it safely and responsibly to support their learning. I look forward to introducing myself and discussing this further with you at our Meet The Teacher Night on Thursday, October 16th from 6-7.
Physical Education (PE)
Our students love to be active. The PE schedule has been created. We will have PE 3 times a week (Monday, Wednesday, and Friday). Monday and Wednesday will be our regular classroom blocks with Friday being our Health Hustle day led by our Vice Principal, Mrs. Tarnowski and involves the majority of our student population. So far we the students have learned new cooperative games while working on offensive and defensive strategies to play them. We will be soon starting movement skills involved with Volleyball.
The students have made their mark after we read Peter Reynold's "The Dot". They look forward to sharing it with you on their blog and on the wall when you visit on Thursday for Meet The Teacher.
It is sure to be an exciting year, and I look forward to sharing the learning journey with you and your kids. I hope to give periodic updates like this through the year. Happy Thanksgiving!