Weekly Update - January 21, 2022
This week the students have been working on their research skills. Most of the classes have learned about how to narrow our focus while searching for information on Google. Just because we know something, doesn’t mean Google knows what you are talking about. We have also looked at websites to determine if the website contains good information with reliable sources and how students can find this out using the 5 Ws. Finally, students have looked at how to take the information from a source and condense it into the most important information. They are learning about a method called Cornell Note Taking. Here is a link to find out more:
Cornell Note Taking
Students have also been working on developing their skills of finding the main idea in a piece of writing. We looked at different examples and discussed the difference between a topic, topic sentence, and a main idea. Students were given opportunities to practice this skill. As we move into more reading diagnostic testing in the next few weeks, students will apply these new skills.
Weekly Update - January 14, 2022
Happy New Year! It was wonderful to have students back in the classroom.
This week in humanities we have been taking a closer look at our research skills. As a class we have discussed what it means to use ‘reliable’ sources on the internet and have learned to modify our keywords when searching to ensure we are finding the most accurate information.
We have picked right back up with our class novel, Refugee by Alan Gratz. We continue to build our skills in recognizing different forms of figurative language, asking tough questions both during and after reading, identifying the ‘aha moments’ and working through lessons to help us feel more confident pinpointing the main idea of a given text.
Coming up next week, classes are going to take a virtual field trip to the Human Rights Museum where we are discussing how to become an upstander and the benefits to being one.
Weekly Update - December 10, 2021
This week we have continued with our novel study, Refugee. Each of the classes are at different spots in the novel, but we are all roughly half way through. We will finish up after we return from the winter break. The students have been doing a number of different activities that compliment our novel including sketch noting, video responses, discussing figurative language, and connecting current events to the events from the novel.
Part of our reading strategy development has also connected with our novel study. The students have begun to look at Notice and Note reading strategies to help them find a deeper connection to what they are reading. We are using these strategies while reading Refugee and making meaningful connections to the characters and plot of the book. Students are being asked to apply these same strategies to other material that they are reading.
Warning! Test ahead! Students have been learning about different types of government and the decision making process that goes along with them. We have also examined the pillars of Canadian democracy and made connections to our understanding of these pillars. Next week students will be writing a test to demonstrate their knowledge of this. Each class will be writing on a different day, so please be sure to check with your child to see when their test will be.
Weekly Update - December 3, 2021
This week in humanities we have been continuing to work through the novel Refugee by Alan Gratz. To support thinking about the novel we have been introducing reading strategies using a system called Notice and Note. Students have been working on the strategies with specific short stories and other media before trying to apply it to our novel Refugee. For example, we looked at contrasts and contradictions, and how they can help us notice something important has happened or is happening with the character.
Students have also been continuing to work on writing and different parts of the writing process, including brainstorming, planning, revising, and editing. They are practicing these skills in a variety of ways using opinion writing, reflection, journaling, and more.
Weekly Update - November 19, 2021
This week in humanities, we continue to read through and discuss our read aloud novel Refugee by Alan Gratz. Students continue to follow one character’s journey and as they listen they sketch these events on their world map. If your child misses any of the readings the link to the audio version is available on the Google Classroom. We just ask that students only listen to the chapters that have been assigned and don’t go ahead in the book.
On the social studies side of the curriculum we are now taking a closer look at the four pillars of democracy. What they are and how they impact our own lives. Students are also learning about the different kinds of leadership within a government and will be looking at the different types of governments and where they are used. For example, a dictatorship, oligarchy, autocracy, monarchy, or democracy.
Weekly Update - November 12, 2021
This week in humanities, students have been listening to and discussing our read aloud novel, Refugee. As they listen, students are following the journey of one character using sketch notes. If your child misses a day of the reading, an audio version is posted in their Google Classroom.
As a lead up to Remembrance Day, students completed art based on The Last Post. We learned about the history and significance of this bugle call as well as why we continue to use it in Remembrance Day ceremonies today. Students also worked on a Newspaper Quest using “Canada Remembers Times”, a yearly newspaper publication from Veterans Affairs Canada. Students learned how newspapers are organized and how to find information effectively using headings, captions, and the articles. If you have newspapers at home, having your children reading and interpreting information from them is excellent practice.
Weekly Update - November 5, 2021
This week in Humanities, the students continued their introduction to the novel Refugee. They finished up their refugee simulation activity in class where they had an opportunity to understand what it was like to be a refugee on the run. Students were also assigned the Backpack Homework Assignment to complete at home over the course of the week or weekend. We will be reviewing their assignments next week.
We also started reading the novel this week in class. Students will be using sketchnotes to track the journey of one of the characters in the book. This will help students to demonstrate their listening skills.
If you are interested in watching a book trailer, go to this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=89sO3y75hF8
Weekly Update - October 29, 2021
This week in humanities students reviewed their local government knowledge in preparation for a test that some classes wrote, and some will be writing early next week. Students will be able to show off their knowledge about what a local government does, how decisions are made, how to be involved, and what different roles are.
We have also been doing introduction activities for the novel Refugee by Alan Gratz that we will be starting shortly. Students have started to be introduced to terms such as refugee, migrant, asylum, persecution, and more. Students participated in a refugee simulation where they formed "families" and then had to face obstacles in their journey to safety. The students had to make tough decisions about the limited objects they were able to bring with them.
Weekly Update - October 15. 2021
This week in humanities, classes have been focusing on the upcoming municipal election. Students researched and watched videos on the platforms for each of the candidates for city council in Ward 12. They presented the important topics of each platform to the class to help make an informed decision in the student vote, which took place on Friday. Students voted for a councillor candidate as well as their opinion on the fluoridation of Calgary water and adoption of daylight savings time year round. We will use these results to compare the student and actual results from the election. They will also continue their work on the local election by creating posters for the candidate they researched. If you are able, please talk to your child about their perspective of this upcoming election, and if possible, take them with you to vote on Monday, October 18.
Next week, we will be continuing to learn about how our local government works, including what decisions they make, how it functions, why it matters, and how everyone (including students) can have an active role in our own local government.
Weekly Update - October 8, 2021
Students have been doing some follow up work this week with understanding the differences between facts, opinions, perspectives, and bias. Students were given a chance to be part of a scenario where they were provided with different perspectives about a prospective skate park being built in the city. Students used this information to debate whether or not the skate park should be built. It allowed students to understand perspective and how different people form opinions and beliefs.
Students have also wrapped up their Lost Island scenarios this week. They were able to understand how these scenarios connected with real world issues. It allows students to think about how our mistakes of the past have implications for our future and how understanding our history is important. Students will complete their final reflection next week unless they have already completed it in class.
Weekly Update - October 1, 2021
In ELA this week students have begun to look into the differences between, and identifying, fact and opinion. Some of the important concepts that we will be looking at will also include the terms perspective, influence, and bias. Classes continue to have the opportunity to exchange their books in the Learning Commons - each week students are able to take out two books. We ask that one book stays in the classroom.
In Social Studies the student’s Lost Island communities have had to react to a variety of situations that have included outside threats; additional survivors; betrayal; and even other civilizations. They have had to work together and apply their previous laws and consequences to help resolve some of the situations.
There has also been a focus on Truth and Reconciliation this week as classes prepared for Truth and Reconciliation Day as well as our schools honouring of Orange Shirt Day on October 1st. Classes talked about the importance of recognizing and learning from history as a society moves forwards.
Weekly Update - September 24, 2021
In ELA this week, students have continued to work through their reading assessments. After reading a brief article, they answer twelve multiple choice questions touching on a range of different skills sets. These assessments will be used for the teachers to gain an understanding about where our students are at in terms of reading comprehension so we can identify their strengths and areas of growth. Classes have now had the opportunity to exchange their books in the Learning Commons – each week students are able to take out two books. We just ask that one stays in the classroom.
In soial studies, we are still stranded on our Lost Island somewhere between Canada and Hawaii. In our groups this week we made up rules and laws for our island and then came up with consequences for any of those who dare to break the rule. Working collaboratively students are learning the basics of what it means to live in a democracy and are working together to ensure their survival.
On Tuesday, students got the opportunity to work with Ms. Temi and Ms. Pamela to design a class charter. Students worked with their peers to collectively create a list of rights and responsibilities that they felt were the most important for their class.
Weekly Update - September 17, 2021
In ELA this week, students have been completing a series of reading assessments. After reading a short article, they answer a set of questions to demonstrate their comprehension of various types of texts. These assessments will be used to guide our instruction and reading tasks throughout the year.
In social studies, we have begun the Lost Project. Students took a fictitious trip to Hawaii. Unfortunately, the plane crashed and students had to swim to life rafts which then drifted to a series of islands. Working in groups, they are completing a series of tasks and challenges, all while imaging they are stranded together on their island. This project is an introduction to our democracy units as they work to make decisions together and discuss their thoughts and opinions.
Classes have scheduled trips to the Learning Commons each week. They may take out 2 books, and it is recommended that they have a book with them in class.
Weekly Update - September 10, 2021
We have had a great start to our humanities classes since the students arrived last Thursday. We started off by getting to the students by doing some community building activities. We are looking forward to this new group of students and new learning opportunities.
In ELA this week, the students started by writing letters to their future selves. They were introduced to proper letter writing format and provided with an outline of different topics that they can write about. These letters will be used as diagnostic assessment to see where their writing abilities currently sit. They will be collected and returned to students on the last day of grade 6. It is always funny to see what they wrote at the beginning of the school year and see how much they have changed.
In social studies, we have been looking at rights and responsibilities as they apply to their lives in school and outside of school. It has brought up some very interesting conversations about rights and how these have fluctuated over the past couple of years with the pandemic. The students have had lots to share in their discussions. We also discussed the difference between rights and freedoms and how they experience those in and out of school. Our ultimate goal will be to create a classroom charter of rights and freedoms which will be part of a presentation that we have scheduled for later this month.
Finally, students also had the opportunity to return to the Learning Commons! If their class did not go this week, they will be going next week some time. They were able to browse the library collection and sign out a book for class. So exciting to be back in the library again!