Administration Curriculum Newsletter Message
Our start up this year has been tremendously successful and we are delighted to be working with you and your children. As we move into the 2019-20 school year, our teachers and staff continue to support the primary values of the Calgary Board of Education: Students come first, learning is our central purpose, and public education serves the common good.
As you know, most of our grade one through five classrooms are comprised of combined classrooms this year. Already, we are observing the many benefits this philosophy of education provides for students; things such as: increased self-esteem, more cooperative behaviour, better attitudes toward school, increased pro-social behavior, demonstration of leadership, increased independence and enriched personal responsibility. Research, including collaboration and consultation with other colleagues within the Calgary Board of Education shows that students in combined classrooms perform as well or better than those in single-grade classes in math, language arts, science and social studies. Our teachers are embracing this opportunity to expand their knowledge and expertise in all curricular areas and are excited to provide creative and personalization of learning to all students. Please review the attached curriculum newsletter provided by your child’s teacher that outlines curricular objectives, assessment practices, and examples of tasks your child will be participating in throughout the course of this school year.
We are fortunate to have a variety of professionals consulting and assisting some of our students and staff, based on individualized student profiles. For example, in Kindergarten through grade five, some students benefit from the support of Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, and Speech Language assistance. Additionally, we are pleased to announce that the Calgary Board of Education has provided additional system support in the areas of Literacy, Numeracy, and Indigenous Education. The Literacy and Numeracy Strategists expertise will be shared amongst multiple schools in our area. Our Indigenous Learning Leader, Michaela Mistal, will be in our school two days per week working with some of our students. She will be supporting Indigenous Education and academic performance through working with Indigenous students, as well as supporting the strength and diversity of Indigenous knowledge systems within our school.
As always, your child’s classroom teacher is your key contact within the school who is happy to chat with you regarding anything related to your child. When our agendas arrive (they are on order), we encourage you to communicate daily important items that pertain to your child. If you need to speak to your child’s teacher, please leave a message through the office and they will return your call. Mr. Bennett and Mrs. Wright are also happy to collaborate as a member of your child’s learning team, we have an open door policy and will be delighted to set a meeting with you if you wish to have a conversation with us. When you come to the office or call in with a question, our office staff, Mrs. Pangia and Mrs. Rosebrugh are always eager to assist you.
All the staff of Abbeydale School look forward to a successful year collaborating with you and your family!
Tresa Pedersen Wright Greg Bennett
Principal Assistant Principal
In music, there are 3 specific learner expectations in the curriculum that are required for all students to learn, regardless of grade.
Concepts and Skills are then divided further into different categories. Musical concepts are rhythm, melody, harmony, form and expression. Concepts are built upon each year in a cumulative format. When students are in grade 5, they continue to work with and remember concepts that were taught in grade 1.
Skills used to develop these concepts are singing, playing instruments, listening, moving, reading (and writing) and creating.
It is important to teach these concepts and skills in a variety of ways. I like to plan 2 – 4 different activities in one lesson. This keeps students interested and always alert.
Some examples of activities that are used throughout all grade are:
accompanying singing games with non-pitched percussion instruments (ex. drums, rhythm sticks, triangles) and barred instruments (ex. xylophones, metallophones and glockenspiels)
movement activities that allow students to explore different levels
listening and drawing activities
note reading using flash cards
rhythm writing using popsicle sticks and rhythm cards
simple rhythmic and melodic compositions
o Students are given simple words from known songs, where they use them to create their own patterns and then add instruments to create melodies
recorder and ukulele in grades 4 and 5
We look forward to partnering with parents/guardians to make this year fun and successful for all students.
Our focus for the school year is “Caring Kindergarteners” we will be learning what it means to be caring and then use these skills throughout different focuses. We will be starting the year with Caring about ourselves.
Our kindergarten program is play-based, in which students will learn most of the curriculum outcomes through centres and other play-based activities. Literacy is a main focus and is integrated into most centre activities. You can support your child’s literacy learning at home by establishing a routine of reading each day. Talking, drawing and printing their name are also important skills that children can practice at home.
Students will become familiar with the letters and sounds of the alphabet, learn that writing communicates a message, and begin to communicate through drawing and printing letters. Students will learn about story by listening, retelling, and creating their own stories.
Students will count and represent numbers up to ten. They will measure objects by comparing length, weight and volume. Students will learn to sort objects and understand patterns.
Citizenship and Identity
Students will learn about what makes them and others unique, as well as learning how to contribute to a peaceful and cooperative community.
Environment and Community Awareness
Students will learn to care for the environment and the ways that they use their senses to interact with the world around them.
Personal and Social Responsibility
Students learn to become independent and how to care for themselves and those around them.
Physical Skills and Well-Being
Students will acquire the physical skills necessary to learn more complex games and sports throughout their school years. They will develop healthy habits for an active lifestyle.
Students will explore a variety of materials and processes to create art, as well as express themselves through drama and music.
Throughout the year we will be supporting students learning by collecting data and recording observations. We will be writing anecdotal notes, completing formal assessments on taught skills and knowledge and completing the Early Years Evaluation (EYE). This information will be shared with families through an EYE report, two school report cards and two student led conferences.
Attached is the EYE assessment plate that we will use to observe your child’s skills and gain insight as to areas we can support your child over the course of the school year.
The full kindergarten curriculum can be found here:
Our goals this year are for kindergarten students to become kind, independent, curious, and happy members of Abbeydale School and community.
Thanks for your support!
The Kindergarten Team (Mrs. Cruz and Mrs. Romaines)
Grade 1 and Grade 2 Curriculum
This year many students will be learning in combined classrooms. When possible, the grade one and two curriculums will be taught together.
For example, in Science, both the grade ones and twos are required to explore and investigate through activities to develop questions, solve problems, interpret and reflect on what they are learning. This year the students will work on a hands-on building project that will cover the grade one unit of ‘Building Things’ and the grade two topic of ‘Boats and Buoyancy.’ All students will engage in learning about various materials, components, its purpose and construct a final product. Another example is in Social Studies, where the main focus in each grade is learning about belonging, different communities and community history. The grade ones main focus will be on Abbeydale/Calgary while the grade twos will be learning about three other communities in Canada.
● Letter sounds and sight words
● Independent writing in sentence form
● Reading “just right” books
● Listening and responding to literature
● Metacognitive strategies
● Expanding vocabulary
● Independently writing short stories and paragraphs
● Reading and responding to “just right” books
● Listening and responding to literature
● Metacognitive strategies
● Patterns and Relations
● Shape and Space
● Number (addition and subtraction with answers to 20)
● Patterns and Relations
● Shape and Space
● Number (addition and subtraction with answers to 100)
● Statistics and Probability
● Creating Colour
● Seasonal Changes
● Building Things
● Needs of Animals and Plants
● Exploring Liquids
● Hot and Cold Temperature
● Buoyancy and Boats
● Small Crawling and Flying Animals
Citizenship: Belonging and Connecting
● My World:Home, School, and Community
● Moving Forward with the Past
Communities in Canada
● Canada’s Dynamic Communities
● A Community in the Past
Assessment will be ongoing throughout the year. Various methods such as observations, daily work, student conferences, Fountas and Pinnell reading assessments, subject interviews and exit slips will be used to help guide your child’s learning.
Guided Reading and Guided Math
During literacy and math blocks, we will be targeting specific reading and math skills through guided reading and guided math groups. During these times, the teacher will work closely with small groups of 4 to 5 students who are working on similar skills. Students will have the opportunity to observe the teacher modeling a skill, practice with the guidance of the teacher, gain independence, and master the skill before moving on.
Technology is integrated into all subject areas. We will be learning to log onto a computer, use Google programs such as Word to type, using the iPads and various education apps, starting the Raz-Kids reading program, and exploring with Ozobots.
For Health, we are using the Second Step Program for building skills for social and academic success. They will learn about emotion management, problem solving, skills for learning and empathy. As a school community, we are focusing on respect for ourselves, others and school. We will also look at the benefits of healthy choices and safety.
In gym we have been focusing on positive relationships and team building. We encourage the students to recognize the strength that all of their classmates have and work towards leading a healthy lifestyle. We will introduce these through units such as cooperative games, soccer, basketball, floor hockey, kickball, badminton, volleyball, dance, outdoor activities and gymnastics.
In art, students will explore the 4 main components of visual learning: Reflections, Depictions, Composition, and Expression. Art will be incorporated into projects in all of the major academic areas (Language Arts, Science, Social Studies and Math).
We look forward to a great school year ahead!
Mrs. Evans - Gr. 1
Ms. Comeau - Gr. 1/2
Ms. Heighton - Gr. 1/2
Ms. Rajan-Qamberi - Gr. 1/2
Ms. Tsay - Gr. ½
Grade 3 and Grade 4 Curriculum
Being Albertan: A Citizen’s Role in Our World
In our blended grade three and four classroom we will be focusing on conceptual understanding and the skills and attributes that carry on across curriculums. We will begin by exploring what it means to be a citizen and the impact we have on the world around us. Through the first few weeks of our term we will be exploring Alberta’s geography, geology and paleontology. We will explore a variety of rock types, fossils and formations, discuss their importance through the lens of both Alberta’s indigenous peoples and geologists.
We will continue exploring Alberta from a scientific and economic perspective through exploring our tourism industry and natural resources and the impact these have our Alberta’s people and the environment. Our grade four students will have the opportunity to dive deeper into Alberta’s quality of life, economy, resources, celebrations and traditions. Simultaneously our grade three students will discover and explore these topics from the perspective of citizens of Tunisia, Ukraine, Peru and India. After having their passport stamps in each country and region, our groups will report back on their experiences. In exploring Alberta’s history, celebrations and traditions our paleontologists will also unearth, examine and recreate art styles and mediums found from artists in Alberta’s past. Toward the end of the year, the historians will reflect on their own family heritage through creating their own family portrait with a variety of art mediums.
As we continue our exploration we will take on the roles of environmentalists through exploring the impact of waste in our world and how we can limit our carbon footprint. As we examine recycling and composting strategies we will extend our research into plant growth, life cycles and the important role plants and the environment paly our world. As our grade four mentors dive deeper into plant and organic matters, our grade threes will explore habitats, preservation and stages of growth for a variety of endangered species as we re-stamp our citizenship in Tunisia, Ukraine, Peru and India. In both areas students will be recognizing the important role plants and animals play in our world.
As our year progresses and students continue to examine the impact they are able to have on the lives of the people around them, they will develop their citizenship and collaboration skills through extensive group work and exploration of materials. Both grade three and four engineers in training will need to work collaboratively to create a bridge and a vehicle capable of transporting natural resources across the mountainous train of south western Alberta. Teams will need to work together in order to ensure the bridge and vehicle meet the specifications of the project engineer. Our engineers in training will have plenty of opportunities to test materials, research and document best practices required complete their mission.
Lastly, engineers in training will collaborate to create an audio and light/shadow show to share with members of their school community. The show will involve a variety of homemade instruments, sounds, lights, and handmade puppets. Each team will work together to create a concept for their show; advertisement, story, journal, educational etc. and will be encouraged to reflect on their role as a global citizen.
Health and Physical Education
Students will continue their journey through the Second Step program and develop their empathy and further understand the world around them. As a class, we will be discussing personal wellness, safety, how to develop healthy personal relationships and making strong life and learning choices. Health units are meant to create conversations around being a good person and choices that can show your respect for other citizens and your community. In addition, to basic gross motor skills (skipping, jumping, throwing) students will learn the importance of fitness, movement and effective communication while engaging in a variety of cooperative sports (dance, gymnastics, basketball, track and field, soccer baseball etc.).
-Journal and letter writing in response to world issues found in our essential question
-Research and recording skills through the use of text and technology
-Reading while exploring and utilizing metacognitive strategies
-Connections – I can connect to something I did/said/ heard… Someone once told me that…I once read something about….
-Asking Questions – I wonder..
-Visualizing – I notice…
-Making Inferences – I think…because…
-Determining importance – the main idea…
-Examining a variety of authors, media and materials
-Checking for understanding and reflecting on literature
-Organization of writing, legibility, cursive writing and keyboarding
-Grammar and punctuation through a variety of personal writing activities
-Story writing – character, setting, beginning, middle and end
Guided and Independent Reading
-Participating in “Joy reading and writing” in which students select a text to read independently or at a whisper with a peer, or writing about any topic in their free writing journals
-Participating in leveled guided reading groups in which the teacher selects a level appropriate text and promotes surface and deeper level comprehension. Reading levels will be assessed using Fountas and Pinnell bench mark assessments.
-“How would you…?” “Do you agree…?” “What would have happened if…?” “What effect does…?” “If you were…what would you…?”
-Support in identifying “good fit” books – when students are reading independently, they should require support for less than five words per page (five finger rule). Students are encouraged to read for about 15 minutes at home and will be able to bring home two books from our school library each week. We encourage you to read with your child as well to support their fluency and check their understanding. This could be right after school, reading to younger siblings before bed or even while you’re making dinner. The number one question we receive from parents; “Is there anything we can be doing at home?” The answer is always “Read!”
Math and Number Sense
Through the use of developing conceptual understanding of topics, we will be infusing math strategies and topics throughout our development of citizenship and identity. Students will explore height and weight through an engineering lens and statistics, data collection and decimals from a humanitarian’s perspective.
In grade three and four students will explore place value and numbers to 1,000 and 10,000 respectively. Grade three students will begin to explore the relationship between multiplication and division while grade four students will reaffirm their understanding and begin memorizing facts to 7x7.
We will also be introducing our grade three students to strategies for telling time on an analog clock and improving the fluency of our grade four students. Other topics include; mental math strategies, fractions and decimals, 3d shapes, estimation using numbers and pictures and addition and subtraction.
This year we will also be incorporating opportunities for leveled guided math sessions to provide students with teacher led conversations around new concepts and challenges. Students will be assessed through verbal conversation, interviews, written assessments and demonstration of skills using manipulatives.
Art will be intertwined throughout our regular programming through family portrait water colour art, sewing puppets for our light, sound and media production, and through sketching and exploring textures. As humanitarians we will also be searching for ways to use our artistic talents, skills, and abilities to help other people in our world.
Ms. Joanna Swett – Gr. 3 / 4
Ms. Katreena Lowry – Gr. 3 / 4
Grade 4 and Grade 5 Curriculum
LANGUAGE ARTS - We will be focusing on reading skills such as:
*Asking leading questions that will enhance meaning
*Making personal connections and connections to text
*Building background knowledge through looking at picture cues
*Using post-it notes to encourage, reflect or make inferences to text as they read
*Defining importance in literature
*Using self expression and creative writing strategies to write different types of poetry
These strategies will be modeled by teachers to the students and practiced throughout the year. The students are expected to use them during their guided reading groups.
Discussions around “Just right” books will take place and students are encouraged to choose books at their reading level. They are expected to read 20 minutes nightly at home to enhance comprehension and fluency. We will incorporate our metacognitive strategies during our novel studies and shared reading in class. They will be responding to the text by making personal connections and relating to the main character. The students will be working on summarizing the main ideas within each chapter and creating a representation in their visual journals.
MATH - In math we are covering a variety of units such as:
*number concepts (including decimals) also using a variety of strategies to figure out the equations (drawing symbolic representations, making groups, using pictorial representations, expanding numbers and regrouping). We will incorporate problem solving skills all through the year in every math strand. We also will be incorporating inquiry based projects throughout each unit as a form of assessment.
*measurement- understanding what unit of measurement is most effective and understanding relationships between standard and non-standard units
*statistics and probability
*shape and space - geometry
*patterns and relationships
SCIENCE & SOCIAL STUDIES
Our essential question this year is, “How does the land shape us?” This question is going to guide us in creating meaningful tasks that encompass the Social Studies and Science curriculum for our combined classrooms. We will revisit this question throughout the school year. In chemistry the students will be asked to bring in experiments from home to share with the class. They will be expected to explain how this relates to chemistry and changes within reactions of solids, liquids and gases. We also will look at weather patterns and relate the chemical and physical changes. We will also do many experiments and challenges during class time.
During electricity and magnetism and building devices, the students will be challenged to design an electrical security system that will incorporate a buzzer, light bulb and a motor that will all activate when their box is opened. They will work collaboratively in groups to achieve this. They will be expected to use simple and complex circuits as well as wheels and levers. We will be using Ozobots and Lego Mindstorms.
Other units covered his year include wetlands, plant growth, waste in our world, light and shadow and weather. We will be looking at some of these objectives in correlation with our visit to outdoor school.
Students will be given the opportunity to tell stories of “Canadian Historical Icons.” The students will participate in: debates, large group discussions, and working in small groups. Each opportunity contributes to their appreciation and understanding of Alberta’s and Canada’s history, people and stories thus contributing to their own sense of belonging and identity.
We will look at human needs and classify them into the categories of Survive and Thrive. Then we delve further into how these categories are met in each geographical region.
HEALTH - We will be focusing on respect for each other, ourselves and the school. We have been discussing how our actions have consequences which could be either positive or negative. The students will work towards developing an awareness that their words and actions impact others’ lives in crucial ways, which can be remembered for years to come. We will be practicing effective group work skills and valuing the opinions of everyone. We are using a program called, “Second Step,” that focuses on these skills using a visual and interactive approach. We will be introducing many virtues with the students and how these contribute to becoming a positive citizen in our community. We will also cover the Alberta Health curriculum for Human Sexuality.
ART - Our focuses this year are on composition of shape and space, reflection, depiction and expression of art. We will be exploring shading, recognising and applying dark and light values. We will integrate art into all subjects during the school year.
PHYSICAL EDUCATION - In gym we have been focusing on positive relationships and team building. We encourage the students to recognize the strengths that all their classmates have and work towards leading a healthy lifestyle. We will introduce these through units such as track and field, soccer, basketball, floor hockey, kickball, badminton, volleyball, dance and gymnastics.
ASSESSMENT – For all subjects, students will be assessed in many ways. We will be gathering formal and informal assessments through co-created rubrics for projects and writing, self-reflections, peer and teacher feedback, conversations, observations, anecdotal notes, exit slips, quizzes, tests, and through inquiry-based projects.
We look forward to a great school year!
Mrs. Brandy Park – Gr. 4/5
Ms. Rita Kohli – Gr. 4/5
Ms. Sydney Palmer – Gr. 4/5