Friday, 15 September 2017

First Week of School

We finished our first week of school! Some highlights include math doubles games, learning to measure, and buddy time with our Grade 1 buddies in room 8. We hope that we have another great week after the weekend!

Doubles Game with Friends
Measurement Activity with Friends
More Measurement with Friends

Organizing Classroom Library
Buddy Time
Buddy Time
Buddy Time
Buddy Time
Buddy Time
Buddy Time

Tuesday, 7 March 2017

March Report Cards

As report cards are sent home again tomorrow, here is a timely post about the use of the March report card. 

Both November and March report cards are interim report cards which describe a student's progress related to year end goals for his/her grade level. Please take a look at the post in November regarding general information about interim report cards. 

The information in the following link clarifies some common misconceptions about report cards:

Additional information about a few specific subject areas is included below:


Assessment of problem solving in math was addressed in the November post.
In the area of mental math, students are expected to meet specific goals by the end of the school year in the areas of fact fluency and use of mental math strategies including estimation.

For grade specific outcomes please copy and paste the link below into your browser and click on your child's grade for his/her year end goals. Students in both Grade 4 and 5 need to demonstrate fact fluency in addition and subtraction as well as a strong grasp of estimation and the mental math strategies taught in class. As we work on multiplication and division, Grade 4 students will need to be able to recall multiplication and related division facts up to 5 X 5 and demonstrate an understanding of division facts up to 9 X 9 using a variety of mental math strategies. Grade 5 students will be expected to recall multiplication and related division facts up to 9 X 9.

English Language Arts and Social Studies:

Students are expected to think deeply and critically at higher levels in Grade 4 and 5. This includes deep comprehension strategies when reading, viewing, and listening, such as asking questions about format, purpose, and style when reading texts and responding to reading and research independently both orally, in writing, and by representing understanding through artwork, movement, etc.
Being able to "decode" by reading the words at higher levels does not ensure comprehension, thus students needs to show consistent and independent practice of strategies such as asking questions; making connections between themselves, texts, and the world; making predictions; and noticing and empathizing with characters. Assessment of reading includes evaluation of students' written responses to reading, observations of comprehension and critical thinking strategies, conversations with students about these strategies, and a small amount is based on a students' reading level or benchmark.

Students who actively question information and form arguments to support their opinions and preferences show very strong critical thinking and communication skills. Students in Grade 5 are expected to demonstrate these skills with greater independence and sophistication than in Grade 4 as they set goals for themselves as readers and researchers. 

As always, families are welcome to meet with teachers to discuss questions or concerns about their child's progress.

Literacy Stations and Word Work

Nearly every day after our last recess, our class has Literacy Stations. During this time we work on writing independently, catch up work, reading alone or with someone, listening to reading via Raz-Kids on the iPads, literacy work with an adult, and working on our spelling work called Word Work.

We have nine Word Work stations with each based on using a different intelligence. Howard Gardener, an American developmental psychologist, identified nine types of intelligence years ago, and educational practice has shown that learning using a variety of types of intelligence helps our brains make more connections between ideas and skills. Miss Cichosz created the stations after reading Dr. Jennifer Katz's book, Teaching to Diversity, and discussing ideas with our divisional literacy coach. Our nine Word Work stations include:

- Naturalist (Nature Smart): students find letter tiles in a sand bin using tools, like archaeologists, to spell their practice words

- Musical-Rhythmic (Music and Rhythm Smart): students use their spelling words to write a song or rap

- Logical-Mathematical (Number and Reasoning Smart): students make a word code using numbers to represent each letter and solve a message by adding or multiplying the numbers for each letter

- Existential (Big Question/Meaning and Life Smart): students find the meaning of the words by using a dictionary site on the iPads and writing the definition on the window and then on their dictionary pages

- Interpersonal (People Smart): students work together to guess their spelling words and to spell them by playing charades or hangman with a partner

- Intrapersonal (Self Smart): students create a story or comic about their own lives using their spelling words

- Bodily-Kinesthetic (Body and Movement Smart): students carve their spelling words into Play-Doh

- Visual-Spatial (Art and Picture Smart): students create word art using their spelling words, such as word graffiti or words including letter characters with arms and legs

- Verbal-Linguistic (Word Smart): students write a short story, poem, letter, etc. using their spelling words

We enjoy learning our spelling words in such diverse ways!

Throw Back to December Holiday Gifts

In December, our class made faux stained glass art to give to our families as gifts. We traced and added onto designs with sharpie on plastic overhead pages. We then painted the pages, waited for the acrylic paint to dry, and flipped the pages over onto aluminum foil in a frame. After you flip the plastic page the sharpie lines are revealed on the other side of the paint; when placed over the foil the art looks like stained glass! We loved making such festive art for our families.

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Buddy Time

Happy new year! The next few posts will be in quick succession as I apologize for not posting in a few months and need to catch up!

Our class has enjoyed spending time with our Grade 1 buddies. We have been learning about the Seven Sacred Teachings as well as the animals who are the Seven Sacred Teachers. We first began learning about the teaching of Respect in the fall and concluded our learning with exploration of the buffalo box as the Buffalo is the teacher of Respect. We handled different parts of the Buffalo and learned that these parts can be used to make different tools, such as needles, as well as items, such as drinking pouches and soap. We learned that traditionally, Indigenous Peoples use all parts of the Buffalo possible to show Respect for the animal and for the environment, instead of only using some parts and wasting the rest. The Buffalo brings the teaching of Respect because as long as Indigenous Peoples have been here, the Buffalo has sustained life by providing clothing, food, shelter, and expression through artwork.

We also began learning about the teaching of Love and that the Eagle brings us this lesson. According to the Seven Sacred Teachings, the Eagle has a unique relationship with the Creator and shows Love by protecting and guarding offspring. We expressed our Love through play and also created artwork that shows whom and what we Love. 

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Report Cards

November report cards are heading home tomorrow. Many families have questions about how the report card highlights their child's progress and how assessment is carried out. Continue reading for more information.

What is the purpose of the November report card?

Both the November and March report cards are interim report cards. These reports are snapshots in time which highlight your child's progress in relation to end of year school goals. The June report card details your child's final assessments regarding if he/she has met the end of year goals for his/her grade level. 


Report cards in math detail your child's progress in problem solving, knowledge and understanding, and mental math and estimation. These areas all have end of year goals. The grade your child receives on the interim reports (November and March) illustrate if your child is making great (4), good (3), basic (2), or limited (1), progress toward the end of year goals in each area.

In problem solving, individual problems are assessed using a rubric which is communicated and discussed with students. Mathematical discussions about the problems solved in class help students to understand what they need to do in order to improve their work. For the report card, the teacher analyzes a few problem solving samples from each student which represent his/her skills and abilities well. Students who consistently, systematically, and independently solve problems efficiently and accurately and communicate their thinking clearly and thoroughly show very good to excellent skills and understanding of problem solving (4). Students who need occasional prompting/reminders show good progress (3). Those who need occasional teacher or peer support in order to solve a problem using modeled strategies show a basic understanding (2) and those who require considerable and ongoing teacher support show a limited understanding (1) of problem solving.

English Language Arts

Report cards in English Language Arts detail your child's progress in the areas of Reading, Writing , Critical Thinking, Listening and Viewing, and Speaking and Representing. Listening and Viewing, and Speaking and Representing are assessed based on what is typical for children in Grade 4/5. While reading levels and individual assignments are important in assessing your child's progress and understanding, they are part of the whole picture. The teacher also bases assessment on the Reading and Writing Continuum, specifically in the areas of reading, writing, and critical thinking. You can copy and paste the following link in your web browser to read the continuum:

Social Studies and Science

These areas focus on both content outcomes (knowledge and understanding) as well as skills outcomes, such as research and inquiry, communication, design (Science), and citizenship (Social Studies). Students are assessed on how well they understand the concepts and information taught with a focus on developing skills focusing on finding and evaluating credible information, communicating their thinking, and applying their understanding through design (Science) and citizenship (Social Studies).


Students are assessed in the areas of reading, writing, and oral communication (speaking and listening comprehension). Students who can communicate independently are making very good progress in their French language skills (4). Those who need occasional prompting (3) are making good progress; while those requiring frequent modelling (2) are making basic progress. Students who are not able to communicate in French with support (1) are assessed as making limited progress.

Work Habits
This section reports on the student's learning behaviors both in and outside the classroom. Grades and comments address how well the student is managing his/her time, focus, and assignments, how he/she is interacting with others and the environment, and how actively he/she participate in lessons and activities. The purpose of this section is for teachers to report on a students' learning behaviors separately from his/her academic progress.

For more information please contact:
Art - Mr. Blake
Music - Mrs. Ryckman
Physical Education, Health, and Science - Mrs. Rogala
English Language Arts, Math, French, Social Studies, and Work Habites - Miss Cichosz

Sunday, 20 November 2016

Clan Systems and Treaty Teachings with Richelle Scott

We spent time with Richelle Scott this month, the Indigenous Education Teacher for early years in our school division. Richelle taught us about clan systems and treaties. We learned that each clan (group of people) in a clan system has their own dodem animal, qualities, and jobs and that every clan helps the other clans through the connections illustrated in the Seven Pointed Star. Each clan is essential to a balanced, happy, and healthy community, much like each member of a family helps the others.

Richelle also taught us about the treaties (promises/contracts) made between Indigenous Peoples and the newcomers from Europe. We learned that Indigenous Peoples negotiated the treaties when newcomers laid claim to the land where Indigenous Peoples lived. During these negotiations, First Peoples thought about the next seven generations and how to care for each generation, but often these treaties were not upheld and Indigenous Peoples have endured pain over the years. We will soon begin learning about residential schooling. The purpose of this learning is to understand the history of Canada, so that we can be aware of our role in reconciliation and, as we are citizens of Canada, that we are all treaty people.