Weekly Update: Sept. 8

What an awesome first week of school we had! I’m pumped to be teaching such a great class that is filled with curious learners. It’s going to be a great year!

Here is what is up for this week:

  • Reader’s Workshop (ELA)- We are working on setting up Reader’s Workshop. This week we will be discussing “Why do we read?” and starting to log our reading in our notebooks. We are working hard on the making connections reading strategy (text to self, text to text and text to world).  By the end of the month we are going to be teaching this strategy via videos and skype to two other classes in North America to begin our participation in the Global Read Aloud reading the book “Fish In a Tree”.  Students are heading to the library tomorrow for our weekly book exchange. Any student with over $10 in fines cannot take out books (they will be able to borrow from my classroom library)– notices were sent home with students on Friday. Questions can be directed to the public library staff.
  • Identity Unit- We are introducing our combined ELA/Health/Art unit on Identity this week. We will be looking at our personal values and character traits by exploring short stories, poems, and visuals to eventually help us create an art project and an interview porject based around this theme. We will also be participating in the SuperYou program to develop our own superheros and learn the importance of being empowered.  The book “Fish In A Tree” for the Global Read Aloud fits perfectly with this theme as well.
  • Math- Students should be finished their Figure Me Out Assignment by Wednesday. Many students took it home over the weekend to work on it. We are starting on our first unit on Numbers (large numbers over million, multiples, prime/composite numbers, factors, and order of operations) later this week. Math is divided up so that students learn a concept, practise the concept, and then complete an exit slip to show me what they know. Students will have the opportunity to redo and show again and again each task.  As I explained (to a lot of jubilation) we will not be having tests or exams in math this year–everything will be demonstrated through assignments, exit slips, and projects. As we get deeper into math, I will be setting aside extra help time for students depending on the need.
  • Social Studies— Social Studies this year is learning all about countries along the Atlantic Ocean and looking at human rights, quality of life, sustainable development, and communities. To start us off, we are working on our geographic thinking and mapping skills. To get to know the countries along the Atlantic better, we are donating money through Kiva Mircofinancing Loans. As I explained to students, Kiva is a tradition that I have done with every single class I’ve ever taught, and because  the loans from previous classes were paid back so we have a lot of money to spend! (Note: students do NOT need to bring their own money for this project.)  We will be selected individuals in countries located on the Atlantic Ocean, mapping our recipients out, and as we go through the year learning about the geography, economics, and quality of life in each country.  After we complete this assignment, we will be looking closely at different types of maps and what they can tell us about a country.

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