June 20th - June 24th
This weeks students worked hard on completing their quadrama's and their Genius Hour Projects! Students presented their quadrama's to classmates and reported on what they learned about the significant Canadians and events. Some classes also presented their Genius Hour projects, which ranged from Stars, to a lego re-creation to a WW 2 battle, to the Northern Lights. All the students did amazing and should be proud of all their efforts!
June 6th - June 17th
We finished Love That Dog this week. Students analyzed the changes Jack experienced throughout the unit of poetry, made connections between his poems, the poems he is reading, and his life, and how all of the led to a big reveal. Without any spoilers, ask your student about the connections first and then what happened!
In Social we have been very busy working on a research project. Students were given choices of significant Canadian people and events in our history. They were asked to find out why they/it was important, how people and Canadian's were impacted, and how is the person or event remembered through symbols and their legacy. After their research was complete, students created quadrama's to represent their information in a unique way.
May 30th - June 3rd
We started a new novel called "Love That Dog" by Sharon Creech. This novel will tie in with our unit on figurative language and poetry. This is a book about a young boy named Jack and his journey and discovery of poetry. Ask your student what they have learned about so far, what poems they have created, and how they feel about the book!
In Social Studies, students found out the results of the American Revolution and what life looked like for the Loyalists who made their way up to the province of Quebec, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and Nova Scotia. Classes were also introduced to two figures who were key factors in confederation: John A. Macdonald and George-Etienne Cartier.
May 23rd - 27th
Continuing with our figurative language unit, students were introduced to poetry! Classes began by learning about the parts and elements of a poem. We also looked at three different poems, from people like Kid President and Shane Koyczan, and had discussions about the meaning of the poem, emotions evoked, purpose, and more. In addition, classes looked at different types of poems, such as haikus and acrostic. Students practiced creating their own examples of these as well.
Classes began learning about the events leading up to the American Revolution after the British won the Battle of the Plains of Abraham. Students learned about the Patriots and Loyalists, and why someone might choose to become one or the other. Finally, students had to determine what side they would be on if put into that position.
May 16th - 20th
In Language Arts, classes continued learning and reviewing figurative language. Students participated in various activities such as creating their own examples in nature, a blooket, and an escape room. Some classes did a check-in to see their level of understanding of the unit, while others will complete this on Tuesday.
In Social Studies, some classes visually represented their WWYD choice on an informative poster. Students had to utilize titles, headers, and key vocabulary to organize their learning. Other classes participated in a debate. Ask your student what they chose and why!
May 9th - 13th
In Language Arts, students started learning about figurative language! In grade 5, students are expected to be able to identify, create, and explain six types of figurative language: simile, metaphor, personification, onomatopeia, hyperbole, and alliteration. Classes worked through a figurative language toolkit to begin developing their understanding. Ask your child what they know so far!
In Social Studies, some classes continued working on their diary entry of a habitant. A few classes even got to make it old fashioned: by dying the paper with tea and ripping the edges. They look nearly authentic! Other classes were posed with a "What Would You Do?" challenge. Students had to decide if they would rather be a habitant, a coureur du bois, or a member of the Company of 100 Associates. They had to back up their choice with specific reasons as well as arguments against the others.
May 2nd - 6th
In Language Arts, classes completed the CARS and STARS assessment (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 completed five different types of readings to see their levels of comprehension. As this was the last round (we did one at the beginning and middle of the year), we will be analyzing the growth we have seen over the course of grade 5.
In Social Studies, students worked on a webquest about life in New France. They found answers to questions regarding the social class of habitants and seignuers, how food was gathered and preserved, as well as communication and transportation. Some classes took this knowledge into a perspective writing piece of a diary entry from a habitant.
April 25th - 29th
In Language Arts, we worked on an assignment called The Invention of Lego. There were three parts to this assignment. The first part had students putting specific events in the proper order. The second part asked students to identify a topic sentence to give focus for an informative paragraph. In addition, finding three facts to support their topic sentence with exlanations of their importance. Finally, students got to show their creative side by creating their own lego and writing a story around their creation.
In Social Studies, students participated in reading comprehension activites around the fur trade and early life in New France. Students engaged in conversations around the importance of the fur trade, who and what was involved, and what did it lead to.
April 18th - 22nd
In Language Arts, some classes were introduced to an interactive, gamified reading program called Dreamscape. Students used this program this week to see their level of understanding of figurative language, including alliteration, similes, and metaphors.
Students reviewed and discussed the six important events learned last week, starting from pre-1608 to 1759. Students answered comprehension questions for each and engaged in an exciting activity. Do you enjoy code breaking? Scavenger hunts? Then this comprehension activity would be you. Students had to find the 6 important events, the description of what happened, and the consequences of each, on slips of paper hidden around the room. Then they had to place them in the proper order and sequence. Finally, they used a code breaker to determine the secret message. Ask your student if they were able to break the code!
April 11th - 15th
Front Desk projects are now due! Check in with your student to ensure they have completed this assignment.
Our final round of March Madness began this week with students creating book trailers for their chosen book. They were to use text, pictures, and audio to create an understanding and wanting to read their book.
In Social Studies, students learned about Samuel de Champlain and the first permentant settlement of Canada, the Filles du Roi, the fur trade, and more, through video and discussion. Students began tracking these events using a timeline, and critically analysed what happened because of the people/events.
April 4th- 8th
Students continued to work on their final projects of Front Desk. Is has been so interesting seeing students understanding in such creative and unique ways!
Most classes also presented their interviews for March Madness round three. We saw students become hosts and characters from a variety of books and really bring their personalities to life. It was difficult to determine the contestants for the final round, but they have been made! Ask your student how it went!
In Social studies, we encouraged critical thinking of cause and effect through a class exercise involving important moments in Canada's past. Students look at ten photos of events and had to determine what they think was happening, and then what happened after because of it. This frame of thinking will help students as we determine how the events of Canada's past affected and shaped today.
March 28th - April 1st
We introduced and began brainstorming our final projects for Front Desk. Students had 5 choices to pick from: an interview of a main character, diary writing, alernate ending, sketchnote, and an essay to win a motel. They will continue working on this next week.
Students have also been working hard on their interview writing. They have planned, written a rough draft, completed a good copy, and had time to practice with a partner. Presentations will be happening next week in order to determine who will be advancing to the final round of March Madness.
Classes were also introduced to our next Social Studies unit: Canada and stories and ways of life. Students were asked to think, brainstorm and discuss three critical questions: Why should we learn about Canada's past, what do you think is important to know about Canada, and what do you already know about Canada?
March 14th - 18th
We finished ourbook! We loved reading the end of Front Desk this week and finally finding out about Mia, her family, and all the other characters. Mia's story doesn't end here though. The sequel, Three Keys, continues Mia's journey. Ask your student about their thoughts on the book. When we are back from break, we will complete our novel study through a final task to summarize student understanding of important themes, ideas, and concepts discussed during the book.
We also continued our March Madness Tournament this week with round two: book report. Students had to create a proper book report on their tournament book choice. Then, students analyzed each book report in comparison to a rubric about the characters, setting, plot, book critque, and recommendation. The March Madness Tournament continues to round three: the interview, after break!
March 7th - 11th
In Language Arts, we are nearing the end of our novel study of Front Desk! A lot has happened in this book that is exciting, but what will happen in the end! Ask your student what they think. This week, some classes started a task titled "If I Owned a Motel" to replicate Mia entering an essay contest about the same topic. If I could visit some of these motels that students are coming up with, I would!
In Social Studies, we wrapped up our last area of our Regions Unit but discussing and looking as case studies for quality of life. Next week, classes will have a unit test on everything we have covered thus far. Check out your google classroom for slideshows or study guides.
February 28th- March 4th
In Language Arts, students put together their character traits and examples to begin their rough copy of their character trait writing. Students were able to utilize their notes/brainstorming pages, the book, and their peers to come up with three paragraphs, each with a different trait and two examples each. Some classes were able to engage in a self and peer review process using C.O.P.S and begin typing up their good copy.
In Social Studies, classes finished learning about the Indigenous Peoples found in each region. Ask your student one fact that they learned. In addition, some classes began their understanding of quality of life. What does that mean exactly? What are the indicators? What examples can we point to to prove our answers?
In Language Arts we continued learning about the character traits displayed by the characters in Front Desk. This week, students focussed on finding the best examples possible for each trait. In total, they are expected to have three diferent traits, with two examples per trait (for a total of 6 different examples). With their choices of examples, students were asked to add more evidence by using the book.
In our regions unit in Social Studies, we finished up our jobs section and made connections between the landforms and resources. Then we began learning about the Indigenous People found in each region. We will continue this next week.
February 7th - 11th
Our focus for the next few weeks in Language Arts with our novel study is characterization. Students will be working towards a writing piece with a chosen character, where they identify three traits and provide multiple examples to support their choice. This week, students started brainstorming a variety of traits we might apply to given characters. For example, students often identified Mr. Yao as selfish or mean. We then worked towards explaining how did they know that about Mr. Yao from the book by looking at his words, actions, thoughts and feelings, and other character reactions. We knew Mr. Yao was mean because he always referred to Mia as 'the girl' rather than using her own name. We also knew he was mean because he did not allow Mia to use the pool of the motel in order to save money. Next week, students will identify a character they know the most about and start brainstorming traits for them.
In Social Studies, we learned all about the jobs of each region. After, we asked students to begin making connections between the region, landforms, resources and jobs. We discussed how every region has it's own unique landforms. From these landforms, we can get specific resources. In order to get those resources, we need certain jobs. We will continue to explore these connections next week.
January 31st - February 4th
In Humanities this week we continued reading "Front Desk" and discussed some important themes brought up in the book such as immigration, socio-economics, and discrimination/racism/stereoytypes. These conversations tied in perfectly with the Imagination Republic presentation we were lucky to watch on Wednesday. Students learned a lot about Black History Month and ways that we can support each other with inclusion.
In our Regions unit, students focussed on the resources found in each of the regions. Students picked a region and had to research 4 resources, what they are used for, and why it is important/unique to that region. Then students shared their expertise with their peers.
In this weeks reading of the book, Front Desk, topics included Uncle Ming and loan sharks, a safety concern for Mia and possible solutions, an angry Mr. Yao, and a dumpster diving Uncle Li. Ask your student to learn more!
Students learned about the landforms found in each region this week. Students are expected to know at least one key identifying landform that is unique to each region. For example, the Arctic has tunda, where as the St. Lawrence Lowlands and Great Lakes have the Great Lakes!
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.