Our third week of school was fantastic! Read on for a sample of activities from the past week.
We welcomed Co-op Student Brent from our local high school this week. Brent was in Class 6F a few years back and is eager to work with our school community again. He will be working in our classroom every morning until the end of the high school’s first semester.
We are also welcoming Parent Volunteers into our classroom. Thank you to parents for replying to my request for volunteers. It is ideal if parents are able to choose a regular day and time to come work in the classroom. Please send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org to confirm your day and time. Thank you so much!
We also welcomed HWDSB Math Facilitator Mrs. McCrory twice this week. Mrs. McCrory will visit classes throughout our school as well as other schools in our cluster, too. On Wednesday, Mrs. McCrory led a math lesson on the SMARTboard to explore the patterns created by multiples on a 100’s-chart and to discover common multiples (e.g. Spiders have 8 legs and ants have 6 legs. There are a group of spiders and a group of ants. The groups have an equal numbers of legs. What is the least number of spiders and ants in each group?).
On Friday, she led a lesson on arrays. Students used small square tiles to explore factors of numbers from 1 to 36. Here is an example of the three possible arrays for the number 6:
Students outlined the different arrays for each number on coloured grid paper and we created a HUGE anchor chart.
Students answered questions (in their math notebooks, which came home on Friday) and used the anchor chart to understand all of the factors of the numbers 1 through 36…..and of, course, the corresponding multiplication facts.
Here is a close up the different arrays for students to review if they wish:
In Literacy we continued to set routines in place for our 20 minute daily Independent Reading Practice. In independent reading, it is important for students to have a purpose for reading. This reading time is an excellent opportunity for us to practice our metacognitive awareness in the form of Reading Comprehension Strategies. Some examples of comprehension strategies are: Visualizing, Inferring, Questioning, Determining Importance, Summarizing, Re-reading, Responding Emotionally, Connecting (text to self, text to another text, text to the world) and Monitoring Comprehension (using one or more strategies as necessary when students recognize they do not understand what they are reading). We are currently practising Inferring and this is a follow-up to our whole-class lessons where I have modeled inferring during read alouds and a follow up to activities where students have practised using inferring on their own. We also use independent reading for pleasure as a transition activity before announcements and directly following both nutrition breaks.
We have continued our extention activities with the book “Voices in the Park”. After working with the concept point of view and modeling the comprehension strategy of inferring, we have moved on to writing. Students are writing their own “chapter” to “Voices in the Park”, this time in the voice of one of the two dogs. This was also extended to an art/literacy activity where students began to illustrate a page for one of their written sections, including the devices of metaphor and imagery in their illustration. Many families were able to get a sneak peak into this activity at Meet the Teacher Night on September 22nd. “Voices in the Park” is a very rich text, with themes of Social Justice woven in with the inclusion of the characters Smudge and her father. It is an absolutely beautiful book.
I have also begun the process of completing Diagnostic Reading Assessments (DRA) for each student which is required in our board. At the end, I will communicate individual results to students and parents and also a plan for improvement.
We are preparing a short and fun rhythmic body percussion song for the month end assembly on Wednesday. Class 6F has fantastic male and female singers — WOW!!
Students have two art periods in our five day cycle with Mr. O across the hall. This week they finished work on negative/positive space and artworks are on display in the hallway outside our room. Beautiful!
Monthly Character Award Winners for September….
Congratulations to Luke, Eric, Paul, Karys, Hailey and Emily. Awards will be presented at the month end assembly.
Class Website – 6F Learning Community
If parents and students have not already done so, please visit and bookmark our class webpages. These pages are updated and revised regularly and are another great place for information on class activities. There is an alphabetized index and the pages are also used as a reference point for some student assignments and online activities. There is lots to explore there! 6F Learning Community
Our draft time table can be found here: 6F Draft Timetable 2010-2011
The week ahead….
In the upcoming week, we will be setting up routines for using our HWDSB First Class accounts. First Class, as parents may know, is a secure online school board community. Students will learn to create and post websites, use email and chat features, all in a supervised setting. Students used this tool last year in Grade 5 as well. In Math, we will be continuing Multiples as well as exploring Prime and Composite Numbers and Mental Math Strategies. To get an idea of my long range plans, The HWDSB suggested delivery plan for Grade 6 math can be found here: Math Delivery Plan Grade 6 HWDSB. Topics are not covered in the exact order of the delivery plan. Term 1 ends early in 2012 and Term 2 ends in June.] We will finish our writing activities, DRA assessments and will begin our Social Studies unit on Canada’s Links to the World. We also have Physical Education or Daily Physical Activity (DPA – 2o min.) each day, and lots of music!
I have had the opportunity to interview or casually speak to almost every set of parents so far this month. I’m all about positive and proactive communication — if parents would like to share concerns or ask questions, they may do so through their child’s agenda (checked daily), by phone or through email.