Happy New Year! I was delighted to see the students back in class yesterday and loved listening to the most memorable moments of their break. Based on what I heard, I know that everyone had a fantastic winter break.
I would also like to take this opportunity to thank you all for the thoughtful gifts and cards I received before and after the break. I appreciate your support and kindness.
I spent the winter break recharging my batteries and thinking about where I’d like to go next with the students. Here is a brief summary of some of the things I would like to accomplish during the next few weeks:
1. Book Club: our weekly meetings will start this Thursday. Although most of the work will be done in class, your child may at times need to read at home to ensure he/she is prepared to discuss the readings in class. Yesterday, everyone received a text to read in English (on Temple Grandin or Pelé). Today and tomorrow, we will be discussing expectations and have a practice run for the first meeting.
2. Livromanie program: soon we will be receiving a series of French novels, which were chosen by a group of French Immersion teacher librarians from Vancouver. I am very excited about this program as it allows us to discover new French books. The Livromanie program is offered to all intermediate French Immersion schools across the district. Once I have a chance to read the books, I will have a better idea of how I would like to use them with the students. Stay tuned!
3. Social Studies: we will continue learning about residential schools. To complement this area of study, the students are also working on a picture book inspired by Fatty Legs, a novel we read in class this past fall. As it is a big project, it is taking a lot longer than I expected. I am taking advantage of this opportunity to conference individually with every student but as a result, it is slowing things down. Each conference lasts between 20 and 30 minutes but I see how valuable it is for everyone. While I conference with the students we discuss word choice, sentence beginnings as well as punctuation. I am already seeing some good progress with those that I have met.
4. Writing on Kidblog: all students are encouraged to blog once per week (in class) and to comment on their classmates blog posts. To learn a bit more about online etiquette we viewed the following video.
If you would like to read your child’s writing, ask him/her to log in for you. Please keep in mind that you may see many mistakes being made. This is part of the writing process and completely normal at their grade level. As I want the students to experience something positive when blogging, I do not correct every mistake they make. I do, however, bring up commonly made mistakes and will occasionally comment on their blog posts to encourage them to dig deeper or to highlight a few things they could be working on.
5. Mathematic routines: these will continue taking place this term. If you would like to know more about the importance of these routines, here is a great blog for you. I have also enrolled in a series of inspiring workshops led by Janice Novakovski and am excited to continue exploring these routines with the students.
6. Mathematics: the students will soon be learning (or reviewing) long division. Most of them seem to have mastered their multiplication facts by now but to ensure your child is ready for this next step, I would appreciate if you could also spend some time reviewing these at home.
7. Fine Arts: I’d like to explore perspective drawing next, once everyone has completed their watercolour illustrations for the Fatty Legs picture book.
This is all I can think of for now. I know there is a lot more than this but I hope this post will give you a better overview of what your child is currently learning and doing in class.
Thank you for your support,