Update for Friday, September 25

In math, we reviewed decimals and place value. This was a review of grade 6 material, but based on a diagnostic assessment, students needed to review this content. In grade 7, they need to know place value between billions (1 000 000 000) and thousandths (0.001). Most students have a worksheet to complete that they did not finish in class.

In Art, we continued to work on our “Behind the Mask” projects. Students will have another two days on that next week.

In Science, we introduced the concept of ecosystems. Most students chose to do independent reading to learn about ecosystems, communities of living things, and biotic and abiotic elements of ecosystems. Students were assigned five questions, but can choose their best two responses to submit to me for marking. This assignment has been posted in Google Classroom.

In reading, students had time for some individual silent reading and then we discussed how or when it was appropriate to abandon books.

In writing, we worked on a goal setting activity. Students were encouraged to come up with a SMART Goal that they could work on through the course of the term or year and identify some specific steps they could take to achieve their goals.

At the end of the day, I have students time to work on finishing up some of their incomplete work.

Please note, you will be able to see due dates, etc. and students will be able to link through to the Google Classroom assignments using the Calendar page on this blog.

Update for Wednesday, September 23

We are wrapping up our Week of Inspirational Math and students should be sharing the results of their last assignment tomorrow. They were assigned the task of sharing a graph that communicated something along two axis. You can download the graph we used as an example in class below to see the kind of product I’m expecting from students.

In history, we continued our discussion about why it was important to study history and discussed the difference between primary and secondary sources when investigating history. Students have a short assignment that will allow them to demonstrate they understand the difference between primary and secondary sources.

In language, I distributed Android tables that students can use to supplement the computers we have in class. I have enough tablets for each student to have their own while we occasionally need to share computers (I use an alcohol wipe on a computer before it’s shared). These are better than the computers for taking photos of students’ work that’s done on paper and upload it to Google Classroom. They can also use it if they happen to be the person who does not have a personal computer on a specific day.

In PhysEd, we continued working on our individual fitness unit. Students appeared to do better in their 12-minute walk/run self-assessment than last week. They are self assessing by measuring the distance they walk/run over the 12 minutes and also recording their heart rate.

Please try and return the student index cards and start up package as soon as possible. If you haven’t yet indicated your consent for the use of the various digital tools that I’ve requested (or didn’t get the email), you can find it here.

Updates for Monday, September 21

Parents/Guardians – if you are considering switching to the elementary virtual school (online), you must fill out this form before Tuesday, September 22, 2020 at 7 pm. You should have received an email about this last night.

Also, please return the student index cards, indicating any information that needs to be updated and the school start up package.


Math – We are about to wrap up our Week of Inspirational Math and students left the class with a couple of challenges to work on. They should work on these for homework and be prepared to share tomorrow morning.

Health – We began our first health unit, looking at healthy eating.

Language – Students were given access to YRDSB’s eBook Library and shown how to search for, borrow and return books. The advantage of this site over EPIC is that it has a wider range of reading material (especially for intermediate content) and students are not blocked from reading books from this site after 4 pm. We worked on some grammar exercises and began a cycle of Writer’s Workshop too.

Hope everyone has a great night!

Update for Thursday, September 17

School start up packages have been sent home today. Please review, sign and send back as soon as possible.

In math, we continued with our Week of Inspirational math and made use of a couple of new tools to help us show our work. Brainingcamp has a collection of virtual manipulatives that student can use to show their work/thinking and play around with mathematical ideas. Knowledgehook allows them to share their work with me and the class. We’ll continue on with our patterning work tomorrow.

We had a huge phys-ed period (100 minutes) and used it to improve on our personal fitness assessments yesterday. We were much improved in our physical distancing! We also looked at the components of fitness and practiced some of the activities that we can use to test our fitness over the coming weeks.

In language, we did some community building activities and continued on with our First 20 Days of Reading and Writing program.

Looking forward to seeing everyone tomorrow!

Update for September 16

Today was our first day with a full class. It was great to have more students in the class and see and hear them talking to each other.

In math today, we took on a challenge called Growing Shapes. We looked at many different ways of imagining and naming the growing patter. I left students with the challenge of trying to use what they noticed about the growing pattern to develop a strategy to figure out how many squares would be in the 100th case. They can work on this for homework. We will discuss what they found out tomorrow.

How many blocks would there be in the 100th case?

In history, we began with a discussion about what history is, why we should study it and how we know what we know about the past.

In PhysEd, we began our personal fitness unit with a self-assessment. You may have seen us going around the walking path beside the school. One of the things that we are still getting used to is maintaining a physical distance between students of 2 m when outside. Students are permitted to take their masks off when they are outside and able to maintain a 2 m separation. Some students are not comfortable taking their masks off and that’s OK too. I only ask that everyone participate to the best of their ability under the conditions we have to deal with.

In reading we started an interactive read-aloud based on the novel Refugee. We identified the necessary conditions for thinking while reading and made many connections to background knowledge and sometimes family experiences.

We also worked on some community building activities within the classroom. We want to build a community where we respect each other, feel seen and contribute to each other’s positive school experience under challenging conditions.

Update for Monday, September 14

Math: We’re working through a week of inspirational maths activities to get us accustomed to working mathematically again and trying to develop a growth mindset for mathematics.

French: with Mr. Guirguis

PhysEd: We talked about our learning targets for the first unit of study (personal fitness) and how to ensure we are successful in meeting them. We also discussed how we could safely participate in physical activities outside (running) around the track.

Drama/Dance: with Ms. Reid

Language: First 20 Days of Reading – developing expectations for independent reading, accessing EPIC books for kids, and reading interest survey. First 20 Days of Writing – rules for writing workshop. Letter to Mr. Monahan.

Parents: Please check your email for consent to use several technology tools/resources.

Our Classroom

I’m sure many parents are wondering what our classroom looks like in this era of physical distancing. I’m lucky enough to be in a larger classroom and have been able to space all of our desks out with 1 meter between the edges of the desks. That means all students are a little more than 1 meter apart.