January 17th - 21st
We continued reading the novel Front Desk this week. Students completed sketchnotes as they read to identity key characters and important ideas. This will be helpful to look back on as the novel moves on. Students completed a P.O.V. writing activity where they wrote a letter from Mia to her cousin Shen back in China, trying to incorporate as many details about her life as possible.
In Social Studies, classes were introduced to the six different regions of Canada. Ask your student if they remember what they are!
January 10th - 14th
In our first week back to school, students were introduced to our new novel read: The Front Desk by Kelly Yang. Mia Tang, the story's protagonist, is a 5th grader when she begins working with her parents at the Calivista Motel in Anaheim, California. The book describes the family's first year managing the hotel including little daily occurrences, diversity issues and the building of community at the motel. Students have listened to the first few chapters and completed a setting activity. Ask your student about what has happened so far!
This week in Humanities, classes worked hard to wrap up all on-going units. Four classes presented their Genius Hour projects and wow, were they ever amazing! From hockey and dinosaurs, to brains, plants, computers, and soccer, (and more!), students showed their passions and interests. Congrats to all the students that participated and conquered their first presentations.
Make sure to read over the break but most of all, relax and recharge. We will see you in the New Year!
Imagination Island projects are looking amazing! Students have put their own creativity in this project in the way they are representing their knowledge. This week, some classes finished up the project while others will continue into next week.
A few classes will have their Genius Hour presentations next week (Wednesday). They have been very busy wrapping up their research and building their projects. Ask your student about their work!
November 29th - December 3rd
This week in Social Studies, students were introduced to their final project "Imagination Island." In this project, students are to choose 5 different landforms and 5 resources to place on this own original island. Then, they have to place three cities in areas where they feel would best benefit the survival of those cities. Students engaged in the planning process this week and will continue onto their good copies next week.
In Language Arts, the driverless car writing wrapped up with a lively debate. Students learned about the general process of a debate and how to debate fairly. Both sides put up excellent arguments and rebuttals. Ask your student how it went!
A few classes have also been working on their Genius Hour Projects. Genius Hour is a time where students chose a topic of interest, created a big question, will complete research to answer their questions, and finally create a project to demonstrate their knowledge. Ask your student what their topic and big question is!
November 22nd - 26th
In Social Studies, students explored the importance of natural resources and landforms in connection to the development of cities. Students created their own Survival Island with specific requirements of how many resources, landforms, and energy sources they could have. Ask your student if their island was voted "Most Survivable."
In Language Arts classes were introduced to the issue of automomus driving. They were asked to envision a future where self-driving cars are the norm and car ownership is obsolete. After watching an informational video, reading an article, and engaging in numerous discussions, students were asked to chose a side of for driverless cars or against them.
Classes wrapped up their learning about Remembrance Day events through discussions and final written assignments.
Students continued developing their understanding of landforms and were introduced to natural resources. Students learned about the types of natural resources found in Canada, which ones are renewable vs. nonrenewable, and what resources are used for energy.
Student continued learning about Rememberance Day this week. On Wednesday, the Grade 5's and 6's were honored to have a presentation from Private Benedek, who is in the primary reserve at 41 Service Battalion here in Calgary, AB and has serve as a weapon technician for more than four years. Ask your student what they learned!
Classes continued working on their French Roast writing by converting their edited work into a finalized copy. Ask your student where they are at in this step.
Classes have begun learning about Remembrance Day in class this week. Some students listened to a heroic story about a pigeon called "Little Abigail" (based on the true story of the pigeon Mon Cheri) in World War One, learned about the important Canadian battle at Vimy Ridge, and discussed the importance behind honoring and celebrating Novemeber 11th. Classes have also been working on their own art pieces to symbolize this day and their learning.
In Social Studies, students continued to learn about numerous landforms. Ask your student to name at least five different landforms and how they would describe each.
October 25th- 29th
Characters are beginning to come alive in Language Arts! The French Roast writing is in full swing, with students starting to write their first drafts using the senses and storyboard they previously brainstormed. Students have also learned how to use a C.O.P.S checklist to aid them in self and peer editing, as well as the rubric to determine where their work is and how they will be assessed.
In Social Studies, classes continued working on and completed their compass rose art. They look amazing! Some classes were introduced to landforms found on maps, such as mountains, rivers, deserts, and more.
October 18th- 22nd
In Language Arts this week, classes continued their work with French Roast. Students worked on pulling out key details of their character based on the five senses: touch, hear, taste, see, and smell. Some classes also started working on their storyboard. The storyboard is used to plan out their writing as they draw and note what events happened with their character and in what order. This will make it easier for them to remember details about their character when they begin their first writing drafts.
In Social Studies this week, classes began exploring some of the main elements that occur on a map: the title, scale, latitude and longitude lines, legend/key, and compass rose. Students learned the purpose of each and real life examples. Next week, some classes will integrate art into their learning by creating their own unique compass rose.
In Language Arts, classes were introduced to the short animation, French Roast. At the beginning of 'French Roast' we see the juxtaposition between the two main characters. One poor looking man, the second a business man in a French restaurant. The 'posh' man loses his wallet and in order to save himself the embarrassment of not being able to pay he orders a plethora of drinks to hide his mistake. When the poor loking man re-enters the bar shaking a collection tin the 'posh' man waves him away but a frail old nun makes a very charitable donation. The man decides he will try to pay his tab by stealing from the old lady. However, the police arrive to foil his clumsy attempt. A twist in the plot leads to a humorous and interesting ending - with a not so swift getaway. Both of the main characters reveal their true colours; by the end of the animation we are left thinking that perhaps we should not judge a book by its cover. Students will be asked to choose one of the main characters to write a perspective piece re-telling the events. This week, students chose their character and started brainstorming ideas using the five sense. Ask your student who they chose!
In Social Studies, some classes continued learning, studying, and reviewing the important bodies of water, capitals, provinces, and territories of Canada, as well at the 5 types of maps. Check with your student to see about their map of Canada quiz!
October 4th- October 7th
All classes completed their CARS and STARS this week. Students reflected their results to see what strengths they currently have and made goals for which areas they would like to see growth from. Classes will work on targeting comprehension areas to help the students grow as readers.
In Social Studies, classes started a new unit on mapping. The first step is understanding and knowing the map of Canada by being able to identity and label all important bodies of water, capitals, provinces, and territories. Students did a variety of activities and games to help them remember these key details. Classes also explored five different types of maps: political, physical, climate, road, and historical. Students identified key features of each and discussed when and why you might need each.
September 27th - October 1st
In Language Arts, classes continued working on editing. Classes also begun a reading assessment tool called CARS and STARS (Comprehensive Assessment of Reading Strategies and Strategies to Achieve Reading Success). This assessment was designed as a diagnostic reading series for identification and assessment of reading comprehension and strategies. Students will complete five different types of readings to see their levels of comprehension. For example, do they show strengths in making predictions but have areas of growth for finding the main idea? CARS will continue next week.
In Social Studies, classes completed their crest art. This will be displayed in the classrooms and hallways. Ask your student how theirs turned out!
During Chimera time, classes have held discussions around Orange Shirt Day and Truth and Reconcilliation. On Friday, students wore orange ribbons and generated ideas for tangible acts of Reconcilliation. Students then chose a first step that they will do in part of the spirit and commitment to reconcilliation. This idea was written on a piece of orange paper and displayed on the windows as a visible sign to the community of our whole school commitment. Ask your student what step they chose.
Classes continued to work on the editing strategy of C.O.P.S to improve their writing through self and peer edits. All classes have now had the chance to visit our Learning Commons where books can be signed out. Ask your student about what books they have been reading and what day they go will typically go each week!
Students are working on writing explanations for their chosen symbols in each category. Students were also to represent their area of identity through a symbol, which they then explained their personal connection and why it was important to them. Some classes began their good copies by typing up their work after engaging in self and peer editing.
Learning about ways to improve our writing is an area that we will focus on throughout the year as it is important to grow as writers. This week, students were introduced to the editing strategy of C.O.P.S --> Capitals, Organization, Punctuation. and Spelling. Students were given a mini-lesson and had to complete various activities to practice a specific editing strand.
As a class, groups, pairs, and individuals, students brainstormed identity through four categories: DMC student, an Albertan, a Canadian, and themselves. Students were asked to choose one or two aspects of each category that has/will impact their identity the most. For example, a student might have chosen the Rocky Mountains to represent their Albertan identity as they spend a lot of time camping, hiking, or biking in the mountains. Ask your student which aspects of their identity they chose to be represented in each category.
This week in Humanities, students continued getting to know each other and classroom routines through various activities. Classes also began writing through free writing/choice boards and a written prediction with evidence through the activity "Origins." In "Origins", students watched a robot walking through a forest alone, when a train roared past. The robot noticed that the train had the same symbol on the side as they did on their body. The robot rushed to get onto the train, which led them to a dark factory that also had the same symbol. At this point, the students had to brainstorm reasons that if they were the robot, would they choose to go right back to the forest, or go into the factory. Ask your student what they thought, and then what the result was!
In Social, a focus for the next week centers around Identity. Students will be learning what identity is and exploring their own through the lenses of a DMC student, an Albertan, a Canadian, and their personal life.