Weeks 21 Poems have been a focus for providing a springboard for our writing and reflecting on our Catholic virtues. Listen to this multi-student podcast of one of the poems we’ve discussed… Don’t Quit.
HomeSHARE- Parents, do you have a favourite poem? Share and discuss it with your child!
Weeks 19 and 20 We have spent the past two weeks reading and studying the Secret Path by Gord Downie and Jeff Lemire. Mr.C was very impressed with all of the work and learning that resulted from this learning journey. The content was heavy and at times difficult, but Mr.C truly appreciated how all of the kids took this story and turned it into something good. We were all inspired by Chanie Wenjack and he made a difference in our lives. Read our full blog post ‘Walking the Secret Path’ and be inspired by all the students’ work!
HomeSHARE- Parents, visit ‘Walking the Secret Path with your child. Have him/her share their work and explain their take aways.
Weeks 17 and 18 We have been reading a variety of text and media sources as we work through our new Social Studies units. The students are continuing to working on using text features to help them be more effective, efficient readers. Students have also continued to work on picking out important details from text, summarizing and drawing conclusions. Below is the first part of the students’ Google Classroom tasks:
HomeSHARE: Kids, share your Google slide deck with your parents and explain to them what your most interesting findings have been so far!!
Weeks 15 and 16
After our class read and responded to Mr. Peterson’s Blog “Code A Snowflake” our class was inspired to try coding snowflakes ourselves! This simple activity lead us into an 8 day long inquiry on snowflakes. All of our Christian Living, Reading, Writing, Art, Science, Media Literacy and Math was inspired from the snowflake. Read about our incredible inquiry and view the students’ amazing work by visiting: “The Snowflake”.
During reading, we focused on reading non fictional texts for understanding, while researching about how snowflakes are formed. The students also read a variety of snowflake poems and wrote how the poem resonated with them.
HomeSHARE: Kids, share your snowflake research or poem response with your parents!
Students spent this week reading and researching non fiction texts to find the religious symbolism behind Christmas symbols (eg the wreath, Christmas tree, candles, candy cane, etc.).
HomeSHARE: Parents have your child share their favourite Christmas symbol and its meaning with you!
The students have been learning about text features of non fiction writing. They are using the text features to help them to better navigate books and internet sites when researching information on a variety of topics.
HomeSHARE: Parents ask you child what some of the text features of non fiction text are. Select a book on navigate a web page, have him/her identify the text features and explain how it helps them to understand the writing.
All of the students enjoy reading their own self-selected book each day during our Independent Reading time.
HomeSHARE: Parents, have your child share what they are reading with you. Have them tell you about the main character, setting or plot.
Weeks 10 and 11
Our focus for the past two weeks has shifted from fiction to non fiction writing. We have started to research about people who have made a positive difference in the world. A great discussion came about simply by Mr. C googling the name “Craig Kielberger”. This is what we found:
We were amazed by how much can be learned about a person by just simply typing in a name and clicking a button. We also talked about the power of the internet to share good (or bad) news. This resulted in a discussion about our digital tattoo. We call it a tattoo instead of a footprint because when we put something on the internet it is difficult to remove.
HomeSHARE: Discuss what a biography is with your child. Have them tell you about another difference maker he/she has learned about through reading.
We spent this week listening to the story The Legend of Sleepy Hallow. The kids used their visualization and listening skills to use jot notes to record their visualizations of the main character, Icabod Crane (students focused on appearance, personality and personal facts). The kids also visualized what it would feel, sound, smell and sound like if they were living in the town of Sleepy Hallow. Students then created an art piece to accompany their visualization of either Icabod Crane or Sleepy Hallow. Two examples are below. Watch our Art Corner for all art work coming soon.
We finished reading our incredible book ‘Paddle to the Sea’. It was an incredible journey! We learned a lot about our surroundings, the Great Lakes and Eastern Canada. We also felt like we really knewthe main character “Paddle”. The students listed everything they knew about the main character, focusing on his personality, appearance and personal facts in their Reading Response Journals. We enjoyed the National Film Board’s video. As the kids watched, they added to their list.
HomeSHARE Have your child tell about the one of Paddle’s personality traits that they most respect. Why do they respect that trait in Paddle? Ask your child what they enjoy more, the book or the film.
We’ve continued our journey with Paddle as he slowly makes his way to the sea. Mr. C has been modelling how to read with appropriate voice and expression. At one point in the novel, Paddle experiences a ship wreck in Lake Superior. This prompted Mr.C to play the “Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald”
Mr.C challenged the kids to demonstrate their understanding of the song by drawing, writing a letter, descriptive paragraph, etc. Their work was incredible.
HomeSHARE: Parents, listen to the song with your child. Discuss its meaning, What do you learn/”take” from the song?
Conflict is an inevitable part of life. We all experience it. Sometimes conflicts are little bumps in the road (minor conflicts) and other times, they can be huge mountains (major conflicts). The ways in which we approach conflict can determine our outcomes. All fictional texts have conflicts as well. There are always major and minor problems, it is how the characters approach these conflicts that make the story exciting, interesting and rewarding. We can learn much from the characters in a story, just as we can learn a lot from the people in our own lives and how they approach conflict.
HomeSHARE: Parents, have your child tell you about a conflict that they have had to deal with in their own lives. How did they resolve the conflict? Could they have resolved it in a different way? What did they learn from the conflict?
This week we continued to read “Paddle to the Sea” and focused on reinforcing our ability to visualize while reading. We realize that when we use all five senses and take the perspective of the main character, we get so much more out of the text. We took the perspective of Paddle, the main character in our book. Mr. C read two chapters, with very different settings. One took place in the midst of Lake Superior and the other, in a woodland marsh. As Mr.C read, the students took jot notes about how Paddle may feel and what he might see, smell, hear and even taste.
We also learned that when we use our five senses we experience life more fully and in doing so we become better writers. Mr.C brought in crab apples to share, but challenged the kids to use their five senses to describe them, using strong adjectives.
HomeSHARE: Challenge your child to use his/her five senses to describe something at home or around your neighbourhood. Encourage them to use strong descriptive adjectives!
We spent the week working on writing effective summaries.The children loved sharing a verbal summary of their own self-selected book with their parents!
HomeSHARE Wednesday: Parents, we spend at least 20 minutes a day reading our own self-selected books…..
Your child’s task tonight is to summarize a book they have read (or are reading) in class to you. Please take a moment to listen to your child’s summary. Were they effective at summarizing their book? Enjoy!
We are working on writing effective summaries. We understand that a good summary retells a story in our words, but only includes the most important details. A summary should answer the 6 questions: Who?, What?, Where?, When?, Why? and How? It should also be clear and concise. Mr.C challenged his students to write a summary of the story “Paddle to the Sea” thus far.
HomeSHARE Tuesday: Parents, your child will read their summaries to you tonight. Have they done a good job of summarizing “Paddle to the Sea” for you? Please discuss the summary and book with your child, give them feedback and initial their summary.
This week we had a lot f fun working on the reading strategy visualizing when reading. While reading “Paddle to the Sea”, Mr.C challenged the students to work to really listen carefully to the descriptive words in the book to help them gain a picture (or even video) in their mind’s eye. This take focus, concentration and good listening (or reading) skills. It helps when we use our five senses when visualizing! Below is the success criteria for visualizing.
HomeSHARE: Have your son/daughter share their visualization with you!
Mr. C has been teaching the students that a good reader is like a good investigator. A reader collects information and evidence to build knowledge and understanding and to make inferences and conclusions. We don’t just read text; in fact we read everything around us. On Thursday Mr. C shared this picture with the class:
The kids looked at the information they were presented with an jotted down all the evidence they believed was important in helping them answer the question.
Homeshare Before scrolling any further, gather evidence from the photo and come to a conclusion as to what you believe I was doing on Thursday morning. Discuss with your child. Did you both gather the same evidence? Did you both come to the same conclusion?
Below is Brooklyn’s initial answer based on the evidence she collected. I provided some feedback to help students what a well developed reading response entry looks like.
After students came to their own conclusions, based on the evidence I provided in the first photo, I gave them with more information. Based o the new photo I shared (see below), I challenged the students to either confirm their conclusion or change it based on the new evidence.
Below is Brooklyn’s revised answer, with feedback.
Homeshare Look for a photo that your child is not familiar with. Do the same activity as I did with the class. Challenge your son/daughter to look closely at all of the evidence in the photo to make inference and conclusions.
PADDLE TO THE SEA
Paddle has made slow but steady progress in his journey to the sea! As we follow Paddle’s journey we learn more about the main character and his surroundings! If you were to describe Paddle, what three words (adjectives) would you use? Why?
Home Extension Parents, ask you child to summarize the book thus far for you!
In keeping with the theme of journeys and adventures, Mr.C started reading “Paddle to the Sea” with the class. **Parents, ask your child who created Paddle, where he was created and where he is on his journey to the sea!