Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Week of December 19-23, 2011

Thursday HW
1.  Math HW Book pages 68-69
2.  Class party tomorrow afternoon.  We will be missing about six students from the group tomorrow due to early Christmas vacation departures.  Contributions to the party can be planned for based on about 25 people in attendance.

Tuesday HW
(Computer network issues prevented me from updating the blog yesterday.  My apologies!)
1.  Math Unit 4 Test tomorrow.  A test pack was returned today that should provide some guidance on areas for student focus in their study.
2.  Test pack given out today.  Please return during the first week back from the Christmas holidays.
3.  Our "Teammates" reading response went overtime today and I had to push back the Novel Study quiz to Wednesday.
4.  Our food drive efforts have resulted in our class taking the junior division lead!  Way to go boys and girls!  We had some really dedicated contributors and our class responded well to their examples.  Thank you very much for your efforts.
5.  On Friday afternoon we will have some snacks and a class party with a film.  I am bringing carrots and dip and popcorn.  Other students are bringing a range of items. 
(Heating and cooling are available at school but other classes may be using these facilities as well.  There is no way of knowing how much access we can count on.  We'll do our best to work around the circumstances, but foods that require limited preparation are probably best.)

Monday, December 12, 2011

Week of December 12-16, 2011

Friday HW
1.  Math Unit 4 unit Test on Wednesday December 21.
2.  Novel study quiz on the last half of the novels on Tuesday December 20.
3.  Book report reading.  Most of the class have said their books are finished.  I will provide some in-class time next week with an eye towards avoiding any sort of holiday homework.  We have had several in-class powerpoint periods and I am seeing many presentations that are at, or beyond, the halfway point.  Well done! 
4.  We have collected 56 food items so far for the food drive.  Thank you to
C. H. for his generous 23 item donation today.  Wow!  I did use this as an opportunity to challenge out class to seize the junior school lead.  We can do it!

Wednesday HW
1.  Math Quizzes 3 and 4 on Thursday December 15.
2.  Toy Drive items.
3.  Band and Strings concert tonight.
4.  Tomorrow is the long-awaited gum day from our Terry Fox Challenge.  Students should refrain from gum chewing during gym or French classes.  I asked the class to show some self regulation when it comes to how much is being chewed and to consider using sugar free gum for part or all of the day. 

Tuesday HW
1.  Math Quizzes 3 and 4 on Thursday December 15.  These cover the remainder of the Unit Four material.
2.  Math HW book pages 66-67.
3.  Novel Study quizzes on first half of the book on Wednesday December 14.
4.  Toy Drive items -- we now have three items for our two gift boxes.
5.  Food drive items.  The students have contributed quite a number of items.  Thanks!
Today I returned a diagnostic Math activity on multiplying and dividing decimals in word problems.  Each student has received a individual meeting and discussion about his/her work and a copy of my suggested strategy for the each solution.  Most students do not explain their work in clear, direct sentences and often they omit number sentence work altogether.  No students submitted what might be evaluated at the level 4 grade for these two problems.  Students should use the feedback to help study for the quizzes and apply this style to all future Math activities in any unit this year.
Our class Christmas event will have to be modified somewhat from my original plans due to a range of scheduled school activities and policies that would impact dates and food content.  We will have an afternoon film and game time on Friday December 23.  I will bring some carrot sticks and dip and some healthy choice microwave popcorn.  The students should bring along drinks and other snacks that have some healthy eating component to reflect the TDSB compliance with provincial guidelines to healthy food choices in schools.  No soda pop please.  From our school directive:
"80% of food/beverages are healthy options and generally have higher levels of essential nutrients and lower amounts of fat, sugar and/or sodium. 20% may have slightly higher amounts of fat, sugar, and/or sodium.

For more information please visit the ministry website: www.ontario.ca/healthyschools"

Monday HW
1.  Math HW book pages 64-65.  Long division style only -- no short division.
2.  Math Text book pages 153-54 # 1 to 6.  The class worked on this on Thursday with the substitute teacher and again with me today.
3.  Math quizzes 3 and 4 on Thursday December 15.  Several students will be away next week and I would like to get the final unit assessment done before they leave.  There is a junior concert on Wednesday night which about half of the class is attending.  Preplanning to study will be important for this group.
4.  Novel study quiz on the first half of the novel on Wednesday, December 14.
5.  Food Drive items.
6.  Toy Drive items.
7.  Book Fair starts tomorrow.  Junior classes can go to the fair in the Library at PM recesses for the rest of this week.
Today's homework club was host to five boys, who worked mainly on the Social Studies powerpoint and Bitstrips activities for French class -- well done! 
We had a word problem diagnostic in Math class on multiplying and dividing decimals.  I am finding that most students have difficulty organizing a structured solution, recording the number sentence work and writing a sentence that uses words from the problem.  A smaller subset have great difficulty writing neatly and clearly enough, leaving proper spacing to read the work.  This may be a problem linked to haste or to ability, but it is hard to tell.  I looked over the diagnostic and gave each student a model solution sheet for each problem as a guide.  Please look over your child's response and compare it to an exemplary model.  Word problem performance on tests are significant area of separation between level 3 and 4.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Week of December 5 - 9, 2011

Tuesday HW
1.  Novel Study questions up to the half way point in the novel by Thursday.  Students can take the books home but they must return them each day for in-class work.
2.  Please bring in food drive items or money for our school effort.
3.  Trading partners research is ongoing and should be in class everyday. 

Several students have no materials at all for the Trading Partners work for consecutive days now, and are relying on the laptops for research gathering.  This means that little time is spent making notes or creating the powerpoint in class.  There is a risk of falling behind with such a strategy.  Students were reminded today that books are also valuable sources of information which are not reliant on printers and inkjet cartridges for their availability.  We have a Library period on Thursday and students are strongly encouraged to look for books to sign out on that day.  Be sure to have all of your books returned so you can sign new ones out.

Monday HW
1.  Math HW Book pp. 60-61.
2.  Math Quiz Unit 4, Lessons 6 and 7 tomorrow.
3.  Please bring in food drive items for our school effort.  Thank you!
4.  Novel Study questions -- to the halfway point of your novel by Thursday.

About 15 students attended Homework Club today at lunch.  Chess Club forms  (every Tuesday at lunch) were handed out today.  The Chess Club begins next Tuesday December 13.