Jun. 21st, 2015

stresskitten: (Default)
My Term 3 overview, to be sent home with the final report cards:

Wow. This last term has just sprinted by. Third term, despite being shorter than usual due to the rocky start to the year, was packed full of learning, activities, and fun. This has been a truly awesome class, filled with laughter, growth, and really sweet kids. I will miss those moving on to other teachers next year a lot.

In Language Arts, we covered a huge range of topics this term. We finished up our Fairy Tale unit and presented our plays to both our own class and Mrs. Campbell’s Grade 6/7s, as well as watching the Fractured Fairytale Plays that they produced. We studied quotation marks, the rules for capitalization, and word choice. We developed our descriptive writing and our paragraph writing, studied categorization, and explored idioms and other metaphoric language. We finished editing our NaNoWriMo stories and practiced our keyboarding skills. We worked on intensive Journalling to improve our writing fluency. We studied text features and using them to access information in non-fiction texts, and worked on our reading comprehension strategies. Finally, we worked on a Poetry Unit this term, culminating in our Poetry Café where students presented a poem that they really appreciated.

In Socials, our main topics were the Western Explorers and Mapping. We examined the lives of these explorers and their routes. We also talked about the impact Western Explorers had on the First Nations people, and what the lives of the European explorers were like. The idea of a world without electricity, satellites, or the combustion engine was challenging for them to picture! We took a trip to Fort Langley to see first-hand what life was like in that era, and back at school we made Bannock and also made soup using hot stones to heat the water, as was done by the First Nations people of Canada, and many other civilizations the world over. One of our focuses this term was on note-taking, especially on discovering the main ideas of various paragraphs in our text.

In Science, we focused heavily on the Scientific Method. We worked through the process of the Scientific Method, identifying vocabulary terms, strategies, and the importance of thinking this way in order to increase our knowledge of the world. We talked about how to control for variables in experiments, about independent and dependent variables, and about recording and reporting our data and drawing accurate conclusions. We also talked about the topic of Sound; how it is made and transmitted, and how it can be changed by various factors in our environment. We also, on our excursion to Boundary Bay, touched on habitats and an appreciation of our natural world.

In Math, we finished up our unit on fractions. We read and modeled basic fractions, improper fractions, and mixed numbers, as well as adding and subtracting fractions with a common denominator. We examined decimal numbers and 1/10ths and their relationship. We also looked at perimeter and area, and the relationship between them in squares and rectangles. We examined graphing - specifically tally charts, pictographs and bar graphs - and how to accurately read them and how to draw a graph to convey information. Stress was laid especially on choosing an accurate scale and correct labeling of the graph with titles and axis labels. We worked on the basic concept of division, as well as strategies for long division and why they work, and finished up our term looking at how to logically figure out all possible answers to a question with multiple answers.

In Physical Education, we continued with our wide games, especially the class favourite “Everybody’s It Tag”, as well as looking at jump rope. We had the gymnastics equipment available and we explored our individual skills, working on increasing control over our bodies and our confidence levels. We had a tennis instructor come in and were taught the basics on how to handle a racket and control a tennis ball. Towards the end of the year, we had our yearly field trip to the outdoor pool in Central Park where we went swimming. We also learned and practiced the basic rules for California Kickball.

In Health and Career Education, we continued with our Second Step program, moving from our first two units on Empathy and Emotional Self-Regulation to Problem Solving. We also talked a little about the Zones of Regulation, the idea that we have an ideal level of energy to be at in order to be successful in our tasks, and the strategies we can use to keep us at that level, not too slow/tired and not too energized/upset. We also worked on self-assessment of our work using criteria and addressed diversity in our school and our world with presentations around Pink Day, including our presentation to the school of vignettes to illustrate the text of the poem “Truth” by Barry Wade.

In Art, we looked at complimentary colours and the use of Ovoids in Aboriginal Art. We used plasticine to make textured art-work, looking at those textures as a way to portray the three dimensional reality of our world in a two dimensional art space. In both cases, artist’s statements were created to explain the thinking of our artists in how they used colours, materials, and space. We also worked on how to present our work, creating decorated good copy of various poems they had written.

In Music, Division 10 continued in their development of musical skills and good musicianship through singing, listening, movement, literacy, instruments, and performance. They showed active participation and respect for the contributions of others during activities, discussions, and performances. They learned the history of the ukulele and how to read TAB (TAB is a way of writing notes used for fretted stringed instruments like ukulele, guitar, banjo, etc.). They learned how to play a major scale, short songs, and how to strum chords on the ukulele. They also learned how to play the folk dance “Caimarusa”. During the final part of term, they experimented with percussion instruments.

It has been an incredibly busy and enjoyable year. I don’t think my desk ever managed to be clean enough for me to see it, as I was spending far too much time having fun with Division 10 to manage time to tidy. This class, with its constant curiosity and unwillingness to accept basic answers, its relentless pursuit of full understanding of a concept, and its incessant sparking of tangential thoughts, has been a wonderful challenge and a constant source of joy. Have an excellent summer, and we’ll see you September 8th.
stresskitten: (Default)
None of these are my "best" printing or handwriting, since all were being used to stream of consciousness. Was interesting to actually look at my writing, though, and realize why I write the way I do.

 photo Handwriting_zpsflbk2hjv.jpg

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