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March 21st, 2019

Who’s ready for spring break? As we prepare to welcome back the sun in its full force, we want to wish all of you a happy family time during this spring break.

In English class, we will continue working on punctuation within the context of opinion writing. In preparation for this unit, we have been exploring subjects that will spark a desire in students to express their own views about a subject.

In Math class, students began to embark in their Landmarks project about Easter Island. In this project, students will cover several concepts from multiplication and division of decimals to measuring length, area and volume. In addition to these concepts, students will also explore the Rapa Nui culture and measuring system for length, area and volume.

In Spanish class, we continue focusing our class lessons in oral experiences centered in the Neuro Linguistic Approach. Students have finished filming their telenovelas! Their final products will be up in The Bounty Press after the break!

In Science, we started the chemistry unit exploring properties of water, like surface tension. As a warm up experiment, students will try to make paper clip float on water. This will be the perfect segue to start talking about the electrical bonds between water molecules. In this unit, student will explore other subjects like physical properties, chemical properties and types of reaction.

- What was your highlight of learning in the January to March period?

- What do you look forward to learning in the next 12 weeks left of school?

Websites to Explore:

Opinion writing for kids

Multiplication Games

https://www.multiplication.com/games/all-games

Division Facts

https://www.mathplayground.com/division01.html

March 6

Queridas familias:

It was great pleasure to see all the families during parent teacher interviews. I personally enjoyed to hear all the conversation the students were having with their parents about the concepts that we are exploring in the classroom.

In English class, students are wrapping up the last portion of their trickster theater. For this last portion, students are writing on a realistic fiction paper based on a futuristic picture prompt and, the small story by Isaac Asimov called “The Last Question”. In addition to this, students will continue sharpening their punctuation.

In Math class, students are continue working simultaneously in two units: Decimals and Fractions and, Measuring. In Decimals and Fractions unit, students will be learning how to transform fractions into decimals using long division. At this moment, its extremely important that student MASTER their multiplication tables. To increase a daily practice, several websites with video games for multiplication and division facts have been provided. In addition to this, students will have a daily pop-quiz of multiplication facts. Also, Sr. Valdebenito is running a Math support club every Tuesday at lunch break. Please remind your son or daughter to assist to Sr. Valdebenito's classroom if additional help is needed.

In Spanish class, we will start working on regular verbs. Besides learning how to conjugate this verb correctly, students have been practicing this verb in oral situations contextualized in the Neuro Linguistic Approach.

In Social Studies, we will be finishing our explorations of the Canadian regions, understanding the impact that weather and geography have in the development of regional cultural identities in the Canadian Shield Region and the Artic.

In Science, I want to apologize for providing an erroneous information. We will be staring the Chemistry Unit. The Wetland Unit will start in the middle of April in preparation for the end of May field trip to Telus Convention Centre in April. This week, parent will receive the forms for the March 19th, Earth Science Exhibition, at the Calgary Stampede.

Website to explore

Multiplication Games

https://www.multiplication.com/games/all-games

Division Facts

https://www.mathplayground.com/division01.html

The last Question by Isaac Asimov

https://www.physics.princeton.edu/ph115/LQ.pdf

The importance of humanities in education by the philosopher AC Grayling

https://www.physics.princeton.edu/ph115/LQ.pdf

Picture prompt for Trickster realistic fiction story

February 20th, 2019

Dear Families,

Can you believe that we are still “trickstering”? This week we started the second part of our Trickster Theatre residency. In this second portion, we will be focusing on using theatre movements to promote stronger writing in English and Spanish. In addition to this, in English class, students have created their own informational texts and set goals for improving this type of writing; we will be working on these goals, in incremental chunks, over the next couple of weeks.

In math, students continue to learn how to transform decimals into fractions and vice versa. They will also learn how to use tools, like the number line, to organize fractions in ascending and descending order. In measurement, we will start our Latin America landmarks project. In this activity, students will learn how to calculate the area of Chichen Itza using not only the metric and imperial systems, but they will also use the Mayan measuring system that includes Zapals, Kabs and Xoots.

In Spanish class, we are writing letters to our pen pals in Spain. We are also reading alone and with a partner with a focus on understanding and monitoring our comprehension when it breaks down. We are also discussing texts read aloud through a question and answer protocol.

In social studies, we will be finishing our explorations of the Canadian regions, understanding the impact that weather and geography have in the development of regional cultural identities in the Canadian Shield Region and the Arctic. And, we will be finishing up our Scratch projects on Global Goal #16 - Strong Institutions.

We have two special projects in the works at the moment. One is with Empatico (please refer to the consent form I sent home recently) and the other is titled "Moments to Remember". This last project addresses the issue of memory, specifically how can we preserve memories as we progress towards old age.

In science, we will be starting our Wetland Ecosystems unit in preparation for the upcoming field trip to the Telus Convention Centre in April. Also, as a warm up for this unit, we will be watching the scientific series One Strange Rock to promote the importance of the quality of the relationship between living and non-living component within ecosystems.

I look forward to next week's student-led conferences where students will have the opportunity to share their learning with you.

Here is a website you can explore with child.

Mayan Mathematics

Questions that you can ask your son or daughter to bring the school conversations home:

(1) What are some ways we can make memories last forever?

(2) What is the focus of our Scratch projects?

(3) Which fraction is larger, 1/2 or 1/3? Why?

Feb.7, 2019

Dear Families,

The last two weeks have been all about #WRAD19 or World Read Aloud Day. Students Skyped with 12 middle grades authors and were able to ask them questions about their writing process. We learned a lot and will be referring to this learning often in order to become stronger writers.

In math, students continue to explore fractions and decimals and the relationships between them. We will also explore the relationship between fractions, division, factors and area. Furthermore, we will continue our study into measurement (area and perimeter) and geometry through the position and motion of objects.

In Spanish we will study significant landmarks in Latin American countries, then consider them when solving math problems about perimeter and area. This month we are focusing on friendship as February is El mes del amor y la amistad. We have also started communicating with our grade 6 pen pals in Spain.

In English Language Arts, students will be finishing up their final drafts of their nonfiction pieces. We will finish reading our current read aloud, Full of Beans. Students are also starting to reflect, in writing, about books they’ve finished and/or abandoned.

In science and social studies we will be researching Goal 16 of the UN Global Goals to create solutions that we can test out and share with the world.

We have embarked on a special project around aging and senior citizens. More on this as it develops.

• What is Goal 16 of the UN Global Goals?

• What is one thing you learned from the #WRAD author Skypes?

• What question did you explore this week during the science focused Curiosity Time?

• Describe a fraction splat. What are you learning about fractions?

• What is the topic of your nonfiction writing piece?

Jan. 23, 2019

Dear Families,

This week has been all about Trickster! You are in for a treat tomorrow at the Trickster assembly. I hope to see you there!

In math, students will continue to explore fractions and decimals and the relationships between them. We will continue to study the following questions: What is a “whole”? and What is a "fraction"? At this stage, many children are still trying to make sense of wholes and fractions; we will continue to engage in lessons where this is the focus of the activity. Rather than start with an algorithm, we will emphasize conceptual understanding of whole numbers and fractions. Although this may be apparent to adults, it is something many kids continue to grapple with well into middle school. A strong foundation now will make this transition go more smoothly. Many of the activities students will engage in over the next couple of weeks are intended to help them develop a deeper and stronger conceptual understanding of fractions and decimals. We are also exploring equivalent fractions. We will create individual sets of fraction strips for use at school and at home. Furthermore, we will continue our study into measurement (area and perimeter) and geometry through the position and motion of objects.

In English Language Arts, students will continue to study features of expository and narrative nonfiction text to further reading comprehension and engagement. We will use certain texts as mentors for students’ own writing later this month and into February.

In Spanish Language Arts, we will be focusing our attention on the theme for the month of February, el mes del amor y la amistad, through stories, videos and spoken activities. Furthermore, we will continue to practice the correct use of verb forms we have been emphasizing thus far. We will focus on responding in complete sentences and on the structure of the Spanish language through theme-based lessons and activities. We will continue to engage students in read alouds, independent and partner reading, and structured conversations where students have the opportunity to use new vocabulary and grammatical forms in context. We will also pay attention to vocabulary for asking questions in Spanish.

In Social Studies we will be studying the experiences of indigenous groups in Canada and connecting that to the experiences of similar groups in Latin America. Students will have opportunities to appreciate similarities and differences among groups and experiences, as well as develop a greater understanding of identity - their own and that of others.

In science students will cement their learning thus far about electricity and electromagnetism by reviewing and revising a lab report, particularly their observations and conclusions, based on experiments they have conducted.

This week’s featured websites are: (1) Learning A-Z (Raz-Kids for Spanish reading). Please encourage your child to read on Raz-Kids for their nightly Spanish reading; (2) Biblionasium This website functions similarly to Goodreads, which is a website where adults can keep track of the books they read, post reviews, book recommendations, etc. Students know how to log in to both websites.

• What is a whole number? What is a fraction? How do you know? Give an example.

• What is a topic you know a lot about so that you can teach others what you know? What format might you use to write about it?

• Tell me about El Cielo de Afganistán?

• What Curiosity Time question are you working on this week?

Jan. 9, 2019

Dear Families,

Hola y feliz 2019! Welcome back to what promises to be an eventful and fast-paced six months for grade 5. Over the next two weeks, students will be finishing up the electricity unit in science by developing and implementing two experiments. Students will also write a lab report that will include a question to be researched, a hypotheses, a description of the experiment, and the conclusions reached after students conduct their experiment.

In math, students will be exploring fractions and decimals and the relationships between them. Many of the activities students will engage in over the next couple of weeks are intended to help students develop a conceptual understanding of fractions and decimals.

In English Language Arts, students will be studying nonfiction reading and writing in order to create an original nonfiction piece by the end of the month.

In Spanish Language Arts, we will be focusing our attention on typical foods in Spanish-speaking countries through stories, videos and spoken activities. Furthermore, we will continue to emphasize the correct use of the verbs “ser” y “estar” and reflexive verbs. We will add a focus on the imperfect past tense. We will continue to engage students in read alouds, and independent and partner reading.

In Social Studies we will start to shift our focus from the geographical regions of Canada to Canada’s role in major world events, such as WWI. Moreover, we will continue to address the big umbrella questions for this year: What is identity? What does it mean to be Canadian?

This week’s featured website is Polyup. This website was recently recommended by Jo Boaler, a British mathematics educator from Stanford University. Currently, Polyup is offering a math challenge that started this week and runs until the end of May.

Dec. 12, 2018

Dear Families,

The next couple of weeks are all about wrapping up and winding down before heading into a well-deserved winter break. Students will be completing assignments this week and next week. If your child will not be here through the last day of school, please let me know as soon as possible.

Next week your child will receive his or her first report card of the year. Remember that although this is a summative or final evaluation of your child’s progress thus far, we still have most of the year left for learning opportunities and growth. Therefore, it’s important that you have a conversation with your child about his or her report card. Take the time to read and reflect on the comments and set specific learning goals for the rest of the year. I will be reviewing this with students the first week back to school in January.

This Google Slides presentation will give you a visual understanding of the meaning of a 1, 2, 3 and 4 on the report card. I will review it with students as well. Remember that a 1 means your child has not yet achieved the expectations for the grade 5 Program of Studies in that subject area. A 2, 3, and a 4 indicate the degree to which your child has thus far achieved the learning intentions of the Program of Studies.

Although there is no requirement for homework during the holidays, I want to encourage your children to read and write a lot and to come back refreshed and ready to pick up where we left off.

I wish everyone a joyful and restful holiday. May you replenish your spirit with lots of family time. I look forward to seeing everyone in January!

1. What do you now understand about electricity that you didn’t before?

2. Write 3,456,367 in expanded notation.

3. What writing project are you working on now and why did you choose it?

4. What book(s) are you planning to read during the winter break?

5. How do you say “I like school”, in Spanish? (Remember to use the reflexive form of the verb and correct conjugation.)

Students have been set up for Epic!, Raz-Kids and Biblionasium accounts. They can use the last two at home for free. There is a cost for Epic!, but you will need to investigate that on your own.

Nov. 28, 2018

Dear Families,

It is hard to believe that this is the last week of November! Where did the time go? As we slide into December, I find myself reflecting on the progress your children have made thus far and how much more they will learn before the school year ends in June. As this is a season of celebrations, I want to honor and applaud this growth. I look forward to continuing on this learning journey with your children during the rest of the year.

NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) ends this week. Your children have written a wide variety of “novels” during the month and we will be finding small ways to celebrate their accomplishments during December.

In math, we will continue to work on levels of quality around concepts and skills, and success criteria for what constitutes quality work as per the expectations of the Program of Study. We will continue our exploration of strategies for solving division problems and we will explore the ways in which math is about noticing, describing and generalizing patterns and relationships.

In reading workshop, we continue to stop and jot down our thinking on sticky notes after reading for an extended period of time. Some students have already begun to write long on one of these sticky notes when they finished a book. More children are finishing books they start and when they abandon a book, they are clear about why they are doing so. Some titles are making the rounds in the classroom and the children continue to enjoy recommending books to each other. As we head into winter break, I will support the children in developing a stronger reading habit both at home and at school.

In Spanish, we are coming to the end of November as “Poetry Month”. We will continue to read poetry and write our own simple poems. Emphasis continues to be on communicating using complete sentences, correct grammar and sentence structure. We are also examining picture books in Spanish to help us determine the relationship between the illustrations and the text; this will help students make more appropriate choices when selecting books in Spanish for independent and partner reading.

In both science and social studies, we have started brief, small group debates on important social issues related to these disciplines. In science, we continue to explore electricity and the issue of climate change and global warming. In social studies, we have been learning more about the peoples that live in the various regions of Canada; we just finished watching a video about the Inuit of Labrador. Students will be getting back into their expert groups over the next couple of weeks to finalize their studies. They will be identifying and selecting a variety of ways to represent their learning to the rest of the class.

• Tell me about Buena Gente. How did the first season end? What new vocabulary did you learn?

• Tell me about the growing patterns with squares of 1, 4 and 9 total small squares each. What patterns did your class discover?

• Tell me what you know about climate change? Tell me what is still confusing for you.

• What did you learn about the Inuit of Labrador? What questions do you still have?

• What book are you going to read next? Why did you choose that book?

• What have you learned about yourself as a writer during NaNoWriMO?

This week’s website is Common Sense Media - Although I have recommended this site previously, I can’t recommend it enough! As you consider gifts for your children this holiday season, you may wish to review the adult and kid recommendations for digital devices, apps, games, movies, books and much more that are available here. Enjoy!

November 14, 2018

Dear Families,

We are looking forward to our field trip to Telus Spark this week as we dive into our combined electricity and magnetism unit in science. The children will be instructed by docents at Telus and will also have the opportunity to visit other exhibits in the museum with their group and parent volunteer.

During the next two weeks, the children will be finishing their NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) novels. So far, many of the children have exceeded their word count and are adjusting their goals for the remainder of the month.

In math, I will be exploring and constructing expectations with students regarding levels of quality around concepts and skills. As we complete this work, students will self-assess, set goals and create plans for meeting those goals with respect to number sense. We will extend this work throughout the year with respect to other strands of math. And, we will continue to explore meaningful and engaging ways for students to discuss math ideas with their classmates.

In reading workshop, we are stopping to write down our thinking on sticky notes as we read. We have started using these initial thoughts to write long about our independent reading. We continue to take 5 minutes of writing workshop to write silently off an image or a piece of text. The children enjoy sharing these quick writes with their classmates.

In Spanish we are focusing on poetry through appreciation, analysis and the creation of original poems. We will continue to emphasize correct grammar usage when communicating in Spanish, particularly during classroom conversations. We have started doing simple dictations to help students focus on the sounds of Spanish and to encourage intentional listening.

In Social Studies students continue to read narrative and expository books and textbooks, respectively to become informed about the regions of Canada. They are reading, discussing and thinking in their expert groups before taking notes on a Google Doc about what they are learning. In Science, we are exploring climate change and will be engaging in Socratic Seminars related to this topic. For the unit on electricity, the students will explore how electricity is created and will engage in various experiments to help them explore other important concepts.

• What are three things you learned in math this week? What is something you’re still confused about?

• Read me a few pages of your book in Spanish and tell me what you remember and understand about what you read.

• What is climate change?

• What is an atom? A proton? A neutron? An electron?

This week’s website:

http://www.hoodamath.com/games/

There are a variety of games on this site; some are better than others. Try to avoid games where time is a factor, especially if that causes anxiety for your child. Math is not about speed, but about thinking and explaining ideas and having fun in the process. Enjoy!

October 31, 2018

Dear Families,

It was a pleasure to meet all of you during parent-teacher interviews. I hope that you left with a better idea of how your child is doing so far in grade 5. If you have any lingering questions, please feel free to email me with your concerns.

During the next two weeks, we will continue to study and practice strategies for multiplying and dividing; multiplying with multiples of 10; figuring out high and low estimates while solving math problems involving multiplication (2-digit by 2-digit) and division (3-digit by 1-digit); and applying mental math strategies. We will continue to explore these and other concepts and skills using math routines such as Number Talks.

In Spanish we continue to emphasize oral language development and correct usage of the verbs “ser” and “estar” as well as the use of descriptive language when communicating. We have started viewing a new series called Buena Gente. The series is made up of short episodes with a brother and sister as the main characters. The subtitles in Spanish help students better understand what they are viewing. We are also having conversations to check for understanding and later drawing and captioning four important events of each episode.

In Social Studies, students are in expert groups for the six regions in Canada. They have identified the provinces, geographic features and natural resources of each. They will now engage in research to understand how the environment, physical geography and environment of each region impacts identity. In Science, we will be finishing our weather unit with a study of climate change. We will be starting our chemistry unit in the next couple of weeks.

• What region of Canada are you studying? What are some of the provinces in that region? What are some natural resources associated with that region?

• What are the 5 most common strategies for solving math problems? Describe one of them.

• Give a low estimate and a high estimate for the following: 33 X 25.

• Explain to your parents the first two episodes of Buena Gente.

• What are you writing during writing workshop?

In my updates here, I will be posting one or more websites that students can use throughout the year.

This week’s website is as follows:

Newsela takes real news articles and rewrites them so that they are appealing and appropriate for kids. You can adjust the difficulty of the article for your child through a drop down menu.

Last, but not least, students are expected to read every night in Spanish and English. Any other home practice will be on an as needed basis.

Oct. 17, 2018

Dear Families,

And...it’s spring! LOL! Enjoy the next ten days or so of balmy weather ‘cause the snow will be back before we know it!

The next two weeks in math, students will continue to explore patterns and practice strategies for multiplying and dividing whole numbers. We will further extend our number sense and computational skills through math routines that allow students to discover how numbers work. In addition, students will explore common strategies for solving math problems, including drawing a picture, looking for a pattern, and creating an equation. Students are learning to use pictures, numbers and words to explain their thinking when solving a problem. In science, we are finishing a weather project; students will be sharing their persuasive Google Slide presentations on Seesaw, soon. We will also explore climate change and extreme kinds of weather. We will keep track of and describe the weather in Calgary while studying weather patterns. In social studies, students will study a particular region in expert groups in order to teach the rest of the class what they’ve learned.

In reading and writing, we will deepen our study of the elements of fiction and how these present in different genres of fiction. We will also prepare for #NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) which takes place during the month of November. In Spanish, we continue to focus on oral language development through description of objects, attention to proper verb conjugation, and semi- and structured oral practice in authentic contexts.

What region will you be studying in social studies and why?
What are you learning about weather?
What is one takeaway from math class today?
What makes you keep reading a book?
Tell me about the story you are working on during writing workshop.

In my updates here, I will be posting one or more websites that students can use throughout the year.

This week’s websites are as follows:

Common Sense Media is a useful website for parents and students to explore reviews of apps, books and movies by adults and children alike. Any time you are not sure of the appropriateness or value of a video game, for example, check out the reviews on Common Sense Media for guidance.

National Geographic - Kids and Wonderopolis | Where the Wonders of Learning Never Cease … are great sites for kids to research topics that they’re interested in. The children are familiar with Wonderopolis; I will be sharing the National Geographic site with students later this week during our Curiosity Time.

Last, but not least, students are expected to read every night in Spanish and English. Any other home practice will be on an as needed basis.

October 3, 2018

Dear Families,

I hope that you are staying warm and dry as we bypass fall and slide full on into winter mode! Although the first snowfall of the season often wreaks havoc on our schedules and throws us off for a few days, students are having a good time playing in the snow again.

Over the next couple of weeks, we will extend our study of number sense, which includes an understanding of number relationships. We will deepen this understanding through exploration and practice of patterns and strategies in multiplication and division of whole numbers. This will be done by solving problems and mathematical expressions, and playing math games. We will continue to explore the regions of Canada and the people and places that characterize each region throughout the year in order to answer the questions: Who am I? and What does it mean to be Canadian? In science, we will further investigate climate, and make connections to the climate in the different regions of Canada.

During the next couple of months, we will explore fiction writing and reading. This includes, but is not limited to, the following genres: fantasy, realistic fiction, science fiction, and graphic novels. Students will explore the characteristics of different genres in fiction and write short pieces in at least two of these genres. In Spanish we will continue to emphasize oral language development through structured and semi-structured conversation activities. Students will practice a variety of comprehension strategies for reading by applying these to their English and Spanish independent reading books. We have started reading Amal Unbound by Aisha Saeed, which is this year’s pick for the Global Read Aloud  in the middle grades. Our class has partnered with a class in Colorado who is reading the same book. We will connect in a variety of ways during the next 6 weeks. This week we had a Google Hangout to discover each other’s geographical location.

• What is the stop and jot or stop and sketch strategy? Why do we do it?

• Solve for 25 X 26 using mental math strategies. Explain how you solved this problem.

• What are parallel lines?

In my updates here, I will be posting some websites that students can use throughout the year.

This week’s websites are as follows:

Greg Tang Math has math games and challenges for the entire family.

Epic! provides your child with great titles to read in Spanish and English. The app is free for use in the classroom. At thome, the first month is free. After that, there is a \$7 monthly fee.

Spanish Playground: Spanish for Kids can be used to support your student’s Spanish language development through play, games and other activities.

Last, but not least, you will be getting updates from Seesaw whenever there is something new to view on your child’s page. This will normally happen once a week. Let me know if this is not the case.

September 20, 2018

Dear Families,

I hope that you have had a smooth transition to the new school year. Our class is up and running! Students are taking responsibility for communal spaces and their own personal property. We are reading, writing, doing math and learning more about our place in the big multicultural landscape that is Canada.

Over the next couple of weeks, we will continue our study of number sense which includes an understanding of number relationships and computational skills. We will delve into the regions of Canada and the people and places that characterize each region. We will start to wrap up our unit on personal narrative writing. Students will be asked to extend one of the small moment entries from their writers’ notebooks. In Science, we will continue to explore climate and make connections to the climate in the different regions of Canada. Students will continue to explore a variety of comprehension strategies for reading by applying these to their English and Spanish independent reading books.

• What are some characteristics of personal narrative writing?

• What is the difference between plot and theme?

• What is the definition of a verb?

• What is the difference between the verbs “ser” and “estar” in Spanish?

• How many tens, hundreds and thousands are in 100 000 and 1 000 000?

• What are different ways to make the numbers from 1 - 20 using only four 4’s and any combination of the four operations?

In these twice monthly updates I will be posting two or three websites that your children can use at home for practice, reference or research. See below for this week's selection

Math Before Bed – Nighttime or Anytime Numeracy will provide some nightly conversation for the entire family.

StudySpanish.com can provide practice about the different uses of the verbs "ser" and "estar" in Spanish.

Finally, scroll down for some pictures of our cloud gazing and identification exercise.

Cheers!

Elisa Waingort

Room #20

.

# Sra. Elisa Waingort

March 21st, 2019

Who’s ready for spring break? As we prepare to welcome back the sun in its full force, we want to wish all of you a happy family time during this spring break.

In English class, we will continue working on punctuation within the context of opinion writing. In preparation for this unit, we have been exploring subjects that will spark a desire in students to express their own views about a subject.

In Math class, students began to embark in their Landmarks project about Easter Island. In this project, students will cover several concepts from multiplication and division of decimals to measuring length, area and volume. In addition to these concepts, students will also explore the Rapa Nui culture and measuring system for length, area and volume.

In Spanish class, we continue focusing our class lessons in oral experiences centered in the Neuro Linguistic Approach. Students have finished filming their telenovelas! Their final products will be up in The Bounty Press after the break!

In Science, we started the chemistry unit exploring properties of water, like surface tension. As a warm up experiment, students will try to make paper clip float on water. This will be the perfect segue to start talking about the electrical bonds between water molecules. In this unit, student will explore other subjects like physical properties, chemical properties and types of reaction.

- What was your highlight of learning in the January to March period?

- What do you look forward to learning in the next 12 weeks left of school?

Websites to Explore:

Opinion writing for kids

Multiplication Games

https://www.multiplication.com/games/all-games

Division Facts

https://www.mathplayground.com/division01.html

March 6

Queridas familias:

It was great pleasure to see all the families during parent teacher interviews. I personally enjoyed to hear all the conversation the students were having with their parents about the concepts that we are exploring in the classroom.

In English class, students are wrapping up the last portion of their trickster theater. For this last portion, students are writing on a realistic fiction paper based on a futuristic picture prompt and, the small story by Isaac Asimov called “The Last Question”. In addition to this, students will continue sharpening their punctuation.

In Math class, students are continue working simultaneously in two units: Decimals and Fractions and, Measuring. In Decimals and Fractions unit, students will be learning how to transform fractions into decimals using long division. At this moment, its extremely important that student MASTER their multiplication tables. To increase a daily practice, several websites with video games for multiplication and division facts have been provided. In addition to this, students will have a daily pop-quiz of multiplication facts. Also, Sr. Valdebenito is running a Math support club every Tuesday at lunch break. Please remind your son or daughter to assist to Sr. Valdebenito's classroom if additional help is needed.

In Spanish class, we will start working on regular verbs. Besides learning how to conjugate this verb correctly, students have been practicing this verb in oral situations contextualized in the Neuro Linguistic Approach.

In Social Studies, we will be finishing our explorations of the Canadian regions, understanding the impact that weather and geography have in the development of regional cultural identities in the Canadian Shield Region and the Artic.

In Science, I want to apologize for providing an erroneous information. We will be staring the Chemistry Unit. The Wetland Unit will start in the middle of April in preparation for the end of May field trip to Telus Convention Centre in April. This week, parent will receive the forms for the March 19th, Earth Science Exhibition, at the Calgary Stampede.

Website to explore

Multiplication Games

https://www.multiplication.com/games/all-games

Division Facts

https://www.mathplayground.com/division01.html

The last Question by Isaac Asimov

https://www.physics.princeton.edu/ph115/LQ.pdf

The importance of humanities in education by the philosopher AC Grayling

https://www.physics.princeton.edu/ph115/LQ.pdf

Picture prompt for Trickster realistic fiction story

February 20th, 2019

Dear Families,

Can you believe that we are still “trickstering”? This week we started the second part of our Trickster Theatre residency. In this second portion, we will be focusing on using theatre movements to promote stronger writing in English and Spanish. In addition to this, in English class, students have created their own informational texts and set goals for improving this type of writing; we will be working on these goals, in incremental chunks, over the next couple of weeks.

In math, students continue to learn how to transform decimals into fractions and vice versa. They will also learn how to use tools, like the number line, to organize fractions in ascending and descending order. In measurement, we will start our Latin America landmarks project. In this activity, students will learn how to calculate the area of Chichen Itza using not only the metric and imperial systems, but they will also use the Mayan measuring system that includes Zapals, Kabs and Xoots.

In Spanish class, we are writing letters to our pen pals in Spain. We are also reading alone and with a partner with a focus on understanding and monitoring our comprehension when it breaks down. We are also discussing texts read aloud through a question and answer protocol.

In social studies, we will be finishing our explorations of the Canadian regions, understanding the impact that weather and geography have in the development of regional cultural identities in the Canadian Shield Region and the Arctic. And, we will be finishing up our Scratch projects on Global Goal #16 - Strong Institutions.

We have two special projects in the works at the moment. One is with Empatico (please refer to the consent form I sent home recently) and the other is titled "Moments to Remember". This last project addresses the issue of memory, specifically how can we preserve memories as we progress towards old age.

In science, we will be starting our Wetland Ecosystems unit in preparation for the upcoming field trip to the Telus Convention Centre in April. Also, as a warm up for this unit, we will be watching the scientific series One Strange Rock to promote the importance of the quality of the relationship between living and non-living component within ecosystems.

I look forward to next week's student-led conferences where students will have the opportunity to share their learning with you.

Here is a website you can explore with child.

Mayan Mathematics

Questions that you can ask your son or daughter to bring the school conversations home:

(1) What are some ways we can make memories last forever?

(2) What is the focus of our Scratch projects?

(3) Which fraction is larger, 1/2 or 1/3? Why?

Feb.7, 2019

Dear Families,

The last two weeks have been all about #WRAD19 or World Read Aloud Day. Students Skyped with 12 middle grades authors and were able to ask them questions about their writing process. We learned a lot and will be referring to this learning often in order to become stronger writers.

In math, students continue to explore fractions and decimals and the relationships between them. We will also explore the relationship between fractions, division, factors and area. Furthermore, we will continue our study into measurement (area and perimeter) and geometry through the position and motion of objects.

In Spanish we will study significant landmarks in Latin American countries, then consider them when solving math problems about perimeter and area. This month we are focusing on friendship as February is El mes del amor y la amistad. We have also started communicating with our grade 6 pen pals in Spain.

In English Language Arts, students will be finishing up their final drafts of their nonfiction pieces. We will finish reading our current read aloud, Full of Beans. Students are also starting to reflect, in writing, about books they’ve finished and/or abandoned.

In science and social studies we will be researching Goal 16 of the UN Global Goals to create solutions that we can test out and share with the world.

We have embarked on a special project around aging and senior citizens. More on this as it develops.

• What is Goal 16 of the UN Global Goals?

• What is one thing you learned from the #WRAD author Skypes?

• What question did you explore this week during the science focused Curiosity Time?

• Describe a fraction splat. What are you learning about fractions?

• What is the topic of your nonfiction writing piece?

Jan. 23, 2019

Dear Families,

This week has been all about Trickster! You are in for a treat tomorrow at the Trickster assembly. I hope to see you there!

In math, students will continue to explore fractions and decimals and the relationships between them. We will continue to study the following questions: What is a “whole”? and What is a "fraction"? At this stage, many children are still trying to make sense of wholes and fractions; we will continue to engage in lessons where this is the focus of the activity. Rather than start with an algorithm, we will emphasize conceptual understanding of whole numbers and fractions. Although this may be apparent to adults, it is something many kids continue to grapple with well into middle school. A strong foundation now will make this transition go more smoothly. Many of the activities students will engage in over the next couple of weeks are intended to help them develop a deeper and stronger conceptual understanding of fractions and decimals. We are also exploring equivalent fractions. We will create individual sets of fraction strips for use at school and at home. Furthermore, we will continue our study into measurement (area and perimeter) and geometry through the position and motion of objects.

In English Language Arts, students will continue to study features of expository and narrative nonfiction text to further reading comprehension and engagement. We will use certain texts as mentors for students’ own writing later this month and into February.

In Spanish Language Arts, we will be focusing our attention on the theme for the month of February, el mes del amor y la amistad, through stories, videos and spoken activities. Furthermore, we will continue to practice the correct use of verb forms we have been emphasizing thus far. We will focus on responding in complete sentences and on the structure of the Spanish language through theme-based lessons and activities. We will continue to engage students in read alouds, independent and partner reading, and structured conversations where students have the opportunity to use new vocabulary and grammatical forms in context. We will also pay attention to vocabulary for asking questions in Spanish.

In Social Studies we will be studying the experiences of indigenous groups in Canada and connecting that to the experiences of similar groups in Latin America. Students will have opportunities to appreciate similarities and differences among groups and experiences, as well as develop a greater understanding of identity - their own and that of others.

In science students will cement their learning thus far about electricity and electromagnetism by reviewing and revising a lab report, particularly their observations and conclusions, based on experiments they have conducted.

This week’s featured websites are: (1) Learning A-Z (Raz-Kids for Spanish reading). Please encourage your child to read on Raz-Kids for their nightly Spanish reading; (2) Biblionasium This website functions similarly to Goodreads, which is a website where adults can keep track of the books they read, post reviews, book recommendations, etc. Students know how to log in to both websites.

• What is a whole number? What is a fraction? How do you know? Give an example.

• What is a topic you know a lot about so that you can teach others what you know? What format might you use to write about it?

• Tell me about El Cielo de Afganistán?

• What Curiosity Time question are you working on this week?

Jan. 9, 2019

Dear Families,

Hola y feliz 2019! Welcome back to what promises to be an eventful and fast-paced six months for grade 5. Over the next two weeks, students will be finishing up the electricity unit in science by developing and implementing two experiments. Students will also write a lab report that will include a question to be researched, a hypotheses, a description of the experiment, and the conclusions reached after students conduct their experiment.

In math, students will be exploring fractions and decimals and the relationships between them. Many of the activities students will engage in over the next couple of weeks are intended to help students develop a conceptual understanding of fractions and decimals.

In English Language Arts, students will be studying nonfiction reading and writing in order to create an original nonfiction piece by the end of the month.

In Spanish Language Arts, we will be focusing our attention on typical foods in Spanish-speaking countries through stories, videos and spoken activities. Furthermore, we will continue to emphasize the correct use of the verbs “ser” y “estar” and reflexive verbs. We will add a focus on the imperfect past tense. We will continue to engage students in read alouds, and independent and partner reading.

In Social Studies we will start to shift our focus from the geographical regions of Canada to Canada’s role in major world events, such as WWI. Moreover, we will continue to address the big umbrella questions for this year: What is identity? What does it mean to be Canadian?

This week’s featured website is Polyup. This website was recently recommended by Jo Boaler, a British mathematics educator from Stanford University. Currently, Polyup is offering a math challenge that started this week and runs until the end of May.

Dec. 12, 2018

Dear Families,

The next couple of weeks are all about wrapping up and winding down before heading into a well-deserved winter break. Students will be completing assignments this week and next week. If your child will not be here through the last day of school, please let me know as soon as possible.

Next week your child will receive his or her first report card of the year. Remember that although this is a summative or final evaluation of your child’s progress thus far, we still have most of the year left for learning opportunities and growth. Therefore, it’s important that you have a conversation with your child about his or her report card. Take the time to read and reflect on the comments and set specific learning goals for the rest of the year. I will be reviewing this with students the first week back to school in January.

This Google Slides presentation will give you a visual understanding of the meaning of a 1, 2, 3 and 4 on the report card. I will review it with students as well. Remember that a 1 means your child has not yet achieved the expectations for the grade 5 Program of Studies in that subject area. A 2, 3, and a 4 indicate the degree to which your child has thus far achieved the learning intentions of the Program of Studies.

Although there is no requirement for homework during the holidays, I want to encourage your children to read and write a lot and to come back refreshed and ready to pick up where we left off.

I wish everyone a joyful and restful holiday. May you replenish your spirit with lots of family time. I look forward to seeing everyone in January!

1. What do you now understand about electricity that you didn’t before?

2. Write 3,456,367 in expanded notation.

3. What writing project are you working on now and why did you choose it?

4. What book(s) are you planning to read during the winter break?

5. How do you say “I like school”, in Spanish? (Remember to use the reflexive form of the verb and correct conjugation.)

Students have been set up for Epic!, Raz-Kids and Biblionasium accounts. They can use the last two at home for free. There is a cost for Epic!, but you will need to investigate that on your own.

Nov. 28, 2018

Dear Families,

It is hard to believe that this is the last week of November! Where did the time go? As we slide into December, I find myself reflecting on the progress your children have made thus far and how much more they will learn before the school year ends in June. As this is a season of celebrations, I want to honor and applaud this growth. I look forward to continuing on this learning journey with your children during the rest of the year.

NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) ends this week. Your children have written a wide variety of “novels” during the month and we will be finding small ways to celebrate their accomplishments during December.

In math, we will continue to work on levels of quality around concepts and skills, and success criteria for what constitutes quality work as per the expectations of the Program of Study. We will continue our exploration of strategies for solving division problems and we will explore the ways in which math is about noticing, describing and generalizing patterns and relationships.

In reading workshop, we continue to stop and jot down our thinking on sticky notes after reading for an extended period of time. Some students have already begun to write long on one of these sticky notes when they finished a book. More children are finishing books they start and when they abandon a book, they are clear about why they are doing so. Some titles are making the rounds in the classroom and the children continue to enjoy recommending books to each other. As we head into winter break, I will support the children in developing a stronger reading habit both at home and at school.

In Spanish, we are coming to the end of November as “Poetry Month”. We will continue to read poetry and write our own simple poems. Emphasis continues to be on communicating using complete sentences, correct grammar and sentence structure. We are also examining picture books in Spanish to help us determine the relationship between the illustrations and the text; this will help students make more appropriate choices when selecting books in Spanish for independent and partner reading.

In both science and social studies, we have started brief, small group debates on important social issues related to these disciplines. In science, we continue to explore electricity and the issue of climate change and global warming. In social studies, we have been learning more about the peoples that live in the various regions of Canada; we just finished watching a video about the Inuit of Labrador. Students will be getting back into their expert groups over the next couple of weeks to finalize their studies. They will be identifying and selecting a variety of ways to represent their learning to the rest of the class.

• Tell me about Buena Gente. How did the first season end? What new vocabulary did you learn?

• Tell me about the growing patterns with squares of 1, 4 and 9 total small squares each. What patterns did your class discover?

• Tell me what you know about climate change? Tell me what is still confusing for you.

• What did you learn about the Inuit of Labrador? What questions do you still have?

• What book are you going to read next? Why did you choose that book?

• What have you learned about yourself as a writer during NaNoWriMO?

This week’s website is Common Sense Media - Although I have recommended this site previously, I can’t recommend it enough! As you consider gifts for your children this holiday season, you may wish to review the adult and kid recommendations for digital devices, apps, games, movies, books and much more that are available here. Enjoy!

November 14, 2018

Dear Families,

We are looking forward to our field trip to Telus Spark this week as we dive into our combined electricity and magnetism unit in science. The children will be instructed by docents at Telus and will also have the opportunity to visit other exhibits in the museum with their group and parent volunteer.

During the next two weeks, the children will be finishing their NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) novels. So far, many of the children have exceeded their word count and are adjusting their goals for the remainder of the month.

In math, I will be exploring and constructing expectations with students regarding levels of quality around concepts and skills. As we complete this work, students will self-assess, set goals and create plans for meeting those goals with respect to number sense. We will extend this work throughout the year with respect to other strands of math. And, we will continue to explore meaningful and engaging ways for students to discuss math ideas with their classmates.

In reading workshop, we are stopping to write down our thinking on sticky notes as we read. We have started using these initial thoughts to write long about our independent reading. We continue to take 5 minutes of writing workshop to write silently off an image or a piece of text. The children enjoy sharing these quick writes with their classmates.

In Spanish we are focusing on poetry through appreciation, analysis and the creation of original poems. We will continue to emphasize correct grammar usage when communicating in Spanish, particularly during classroom conversations. We have started doing simple dictations to help students focus on the sounds of Spanish and to encourage intentional listening.

In Social Studies students continue to read narrative and expository books and textbooks, respectively to become informed about the regions of Canada. They are reading, discussing and thinking in their expert groups before taking notes on a Google Doc about what they are learning. In Science, we are exploring climate change and will be engaging in Socratic Seminars related to this topic. For the unit on electricity, the students will explore how electricity is created and will engage in various experiments to help them explore other important concepts.

• What are three things you learned in math this week? What is something you’re still confused about?

• Read me a few pages of your book in Spanish and tell me what you remember and understand about what you read.

• What is climate change?

• What is an atom? A proton? A neutron? An electron?

This week’s website:

http://www.hoodamath.com/games/

There are a variety of games on this site; some are better than others. Try to avoid games where time is a factor, especially if that causes anxiety for your child. Math is not about speed, but about thinking and explaining ideas and having fun in the process. Enjoy!

October 31, 2018

Dear Families,

It was a pleasure to meet all of you during parent-teacher interviews. I hope that you left with a better idea of how your child is doing so far in grade 5. If you have any lingering questions, please feel free to email me with your concerns.

During the next two weeks, we will continue to study and practice strategies for multiplying and dividing; multiplying with multiples of 10; figuring out high and low estimates while solving math problems involving multiplication (2-digit by 2-digit) and division (3-digit by 1-digit); and applying mental math strategies. We will continue to explore these and other concepts and skills using math routines such as Number Talks.

In Spanish we continue to emphasize oral language development and correct usage of the verbs “ser” and “estar” as well as the use of descriptive language when communicating. We have started viewing a new series called Buena Gente. The series is made up of short episodes with a brother and sister as the main characters. The subtitles in Spanish help students better understand what they are viewing. We are also having conversations to check for understanding and later drawing and captioning four important events of each episode.

In Social Studies, students are in expert groups for the six regions in Canada. They have identified the provinces, geographic features and natural resources of each. They will now engage in research to understand how the environment, physical geography and environment of each region impacts identity. In Science, we will be finishing our weather unit with a study of climate change. We will be starting our chemistry unit in the next couple of weeks.

• What region of Canada are you studying? What are some of the provinces in that region? What are some natural resources associated with that region?

• What are the 5 most common strategies for solving math problems? Describe one of them.

• Give a low estimate and a high estimate for the following: 33 X 25.

• Explain to your parents the first two episodes of Buena Gente.

• What are you writing during writing workshop?

In my updates here, I will be posting one or more websites that students can use throughout the year.

This week’s website is as follows:

Newsela takes real news articles and rewrites them so that they are appealing and appropriate for kids. You can adjust the difficulty of the article for your child through a drop down menu.

Last, but not least, students are expected to read every night in Spanish and English. Any other home practice will be on an as needed basis.

Oct. 17, 2018

Dear Families,

And...it’s spring! LOL! Enjoy the next ten days or so of balmy weather ‘cause the snow will be back before we know it!

The next two weeks in math, students will continue to explore patterns and practice strategies for multiplying and dividing whole numbers. We will further extend our number sense and computational skills through math routines that allow students to discover how numbers work. In addition, students will explore common strategies for solving math problems, including drawing a picture, looking for a pattern, and creating an equation. Students are learning to use pictures, numbers and words to explain their thinking when solving a problem. In science, we are finishing a weather project; students will be sharing their persuasive Google Slide presentations on Seesaw, soon. We will also explore climate change and extreme kinds of weather. We will keep track of and describe the weather in Calgary while studying weather patterns. In social studies, students will study a particular region in expert groups in order to teach the rest of the class what they’ve learned.

In reading and writing, we will deepen our study of the elements of fiction and how these present in different genres of fiction. We will also prepare for #NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) which takes place during the month of November. In Spanish, we continue to focus on oral language development through description of objects, attention to proper verb conjugation, and semi- and structured oral practice in authentic contexts.

What region will you be studying in social studies and why?
What are you learning about weather?
What is one takeaway from math class today?
What makes you keep reading a book?
Tell me about the story you are working on during writing workshop.

In my updates here, I will be posting one or more websites that students can use throughout the year.

This week’s websites are as follows:

Common Sense Media is a useful website for parents and students to explore reviews of apps, books and movies by adults and children alike. Any time you are not sure of the appropriateness or value of a video game, for example, check out the reviews on Common Sense Media for guidance.

National Geographic - Kids and Wonderopolis | Where the Wonders of Learning Never Cease … are great sites for kids to research topics that they’re interested in. The children are familiar with Wonderopolis; I will be sharing the National Geographic site with students later this week during our Curiosity Time.

Last, but not least, students are expected to read every night in Spanish and English. Any other home practice will be on an as needed basis.

October 3, 2018

Dear Families,

I hope that you are staying warm and dry as we bypass fall and slide full on into winter mode! Although the first snowfall of the season often wreaks havoc on our schedules and throws us off for a few days, students are having a good time playing in the snow again.

Over the next couple of weeks, we will extend our study of number sense, which includes an understanding of number relationships. We will deepen this understanding through exploration and practice of patterns and strategies in multiplication and division of whole numbers. This will be done by solving problems and mathematical expressions, and playing math games. We will continue to explore the regions of Canada and the people and places that characterize each region throughout the year in order to answer the questions: Who am I? and What does it mean to be Canadian? In science, we will further investigate climate, and make connections to the climate in the different regions of Canada.

During the next couple of months, we will explore fiction writing and reading. This includes, but is not limited to, the following genres: fantasy, realistic fiction, science fiction, and graphic novels. Students will explore the characteristics of different genres in fiction and write short pieces in at least two of these genres. In Spanish we will continue to emphasize oral language development through structured and semi-structured conversation activities. Students will practice a variety of comprehension strategies for reading by applying these to their English and Spanish independent reading books. We have started reading Amal Unbound by Aisha Saeed, which is this year’s pick for the Global Read Aloud  in the middle grades. Our class has partnered with a class in Colorado who is reading the same book. We will connect in a variety of ways during the next 6 weeks. This week we had a Google Hangout to discover each other’s geographical location.

• What is the stop and jot or stop and sketch strategy? Why do we do it?

• Solve for 25 X 26 using mental math strategies. Explain how you solved this problem.

• What are parallel lines?

In my updates here, I will be posting some websites that students can use throughout the year.

This week’s websites are as follows:

Greg Tang Math has math games and challenges for the entire family.

Epic! provides your child with great titles to read in Spanish and English. The app is free for use in the classroom. At thome, the first month is free. After that, there is a \$7 monthly fee.

Spanish Playground: Spanish for Kids can be used to support your student’s Spanish language development through play, games and other activities.

Last, but not least, you will be getting updates from Seesaw whenever there is something new to view on your child’s page. This will normally happen once a week. Let me know if this is not the case.

September 20, 2018

Dear Families,

I hope that you have had a smooth transition to the new school year. Our class is up and running! Students are taking responsibility for communal spaces and their own personal property. We are reading, writing, doing math and learning more about our place in the big multicultural landscape that is Canada.

Over the next couple of weeks, we will continue our study of number sense which includes an understanding of number relationships and computational skills. We will delve into the regions of Canada and the people and places that characterize each region. We will start to wrap up our unit on personal narrative writing. Students will be asked to extend one of the small moment entries from their writers’ notebooks. In Science, we will continue to explore climate and make connections to the climate in the different regions of Canada. Students will continue to explore a variety of comprehension strategies for reading by applying these to their English and Spanish independent reading books.

• What are some characteristics of personal narrative writing?

• What is the difference between plot and theme?

• What is the definition of a verb?

• What is the difference between the verbs “ser” and “estar” in Spanish?

• How many tens, hundreds and thousands are in 100 000 and 1 000 000?

• What are different ways to make the numbers from 1 - 20 using only four 4’s and any combination of the four operations?

In these twice monthly updates I will be posting two or three websites that your children can use at home for practice, reference or research. See below for this week's selection

Math Before Bed – Nighttime or Anytime Numeracy will provide some nightly conversation for the entire family.

StudySpanish.com can provide practice about the different uses of the verbs "ser" and "estar" in Spanish.

Finally, scroll down for some pictures of our cloud gazing and identification exercise.

Cheers!

Elisa Waingort

Room #20

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