Sunday, 11 February 2018

Week 21 & 22: Feb 5-16

We had a very busy week last week, and have more events coming up next week. Here's what we did last week:

Monday - we had an amazing and educational field trip to the Museum of History in Hull. We visited the Canadian History Hall exhibit, the Dreamworks Animation exhibit, the Grand Hall, and the Children's Museum. There was so much to see and do! The children were so interested in everything, and were very well behaved. 

Tuesday - we spent a block in the Makerspace, building and creating our musical instruments from recycled materials. Most students are finished now, and have presented them and taken them home. They were great! We also had a very important safety presentation from Hydro Ottawa, about electrical safety and conservation. The students listened well, and learned a lot. They each came home with a bookmark with a web contest on it that they can enter to win a tablet.

Wednesday - we attended a Saint Walk - Mrs. Moorman's class each researched the life of a saint, then dressed like that saint and told the story of their life briefly. The younger students walked around, sat in front of a "Saint", who then came "alive" and told their story. It was very interesting!

Thursday - we attended another Saint Walk, this time presented by the students in Mrs. Marchant's class and Mrs. Zurwerra's class. We also went sliding, once the temperature warmed up a bit. It was a great day for it, lots of fresh snow and some warm sun! Thank you to those who remembered to send in their helmets!

Friday - the students had a Faith Buddy Block and shared ideas on how to spread kindness throughout the school. Some students were given heart lanyards to wear, and to pass on to other students when they saw them doing something kind. We also did a really fun STEM challenge involving delivering a Valentine's package safely down a zipline that stretched the entire length of the Learning Commons. I think the winning team exceeded 7 metres! Great job!

This week:
Wednesday is both Ash Wednesday and Valentine's Day. We will be having our Ash Wednesday liturgy at 9:30 a.m., should any parents or grandparents want to join us. If students want to bring Valentines, there are 14 students in the morning class, and 21 in the afternoon class. We will exchange Valentines in the morning only. 

Report Cards will be coming home on Friday.  Please don't hesitate to contact myself, or any of the other teachers, if you have concerns about your child's progress. 

Monday is Family Day! Enjoy your day with your family!

Sunday, 28 January 2018

Week 20: Jan 29 - Feb 2

We were very lucky to be one of the few classes able to take advantage of the snowshoes last week! They arrived at St. Clare around 10:00 a.m., we had our turn on them from 10:45-11:45, two other classes had a chance to use them, and then the weather turned awful! Tuesday was freezing rain, so nobody could go outside. Wed was very cold and the rest of the week was very icy. Now the snowshoes have moved on to the next school - I hope they have better luck with the weather! The schoolyard and the snowhill are both very icy at present. We will NOT be going sliding on the hill between St. Clare and Arc-en-Ciel until we have had a significant amount of fresh snow to cover the hard ice. It would not be safe to take them sliding, even with helmets. 

On Thursday, we had a very interesting and informative presentation from the Public Health Nurse, Shanna Osborne, about the dangers of tobacco use and smoking. During the presentation, she inflated pig lungs that were healthy, and pig lungs that had been exposed to the same chemicals found in tobacco. While most students found this interesting, and asked many relevant questions, some students did find it somewhat upsetting. They may want to talk to you about how to keep their lungs healthy, and if you are a smoker, they may want to talk to you about quitting. There are many resources available from Ottawa Health, and from your family doctor, should you wish further information.

With the bus cancellation day on Tuesday, and a PD Day on Friday, we didn't have a lot of instructional time last week! We will have to work extra hard this week to make up for it. Here's what we have planned:

Science: we will be wrapping up our sound unit with a few final experiments, then will plan our culminating task for assessment. Ask your child where the noisiest part of our school is, and how many decibels they measured it at. Ask them where the quietest area of the school is, and what it measured at. See if they know what noise pollution and light pollution are, and what we can do about them.

Math - we are learning about time and elapsed time. While most students are able to tell time using a digital clock, using an analogue clock is a challenge. Take a few opportunities throughout the day to ask them what time it is, using an analogue clock. Ask them how long until dinner time? If we plan to arrive at the hockey rink at 6:10 p.m., how long of a drive is it? If we need to arrive at church before 11:00 a.m., and the drive takes 25 minutes, what time should we leave?  Making time a part of everyday life gives it a meaningful connection to them.

Language Arts - we are finishing up our procedural writing unit. 

Phys Ed - we are still learning badminton skills, it's a lot of fun but very challenging! 

Health - we will be reviewing the information from the public health nurse on keeping our lungs healthy

Arts - we will have a presentation from a facilitator from the National Gallery program called "Looking at Pictures" on Wednesday. The students will have the opportunity to delve into various works of art from the gallery, and explore the techniques the artist used, the meaning behind the painting, the use of colour and shadow, etc. It is usually a very interesting and educational hour!

Upcoming events:
Don't forget - next Monday, Feb. 5, all grades 1-6 students will be going to the Museum of History in Hull. I have permission slips from all but one student, and the students who have not yet paid for the trip have been reminded to do so. We have 2 parent volunteers coming with us - thank you Mr. Q and Mrs. F! - any other parents who wish to accompany us will need to drive themselves to the museum (or carpool with another parent) and pay their own admission as only 2 parents are covered per class and the busses are full. It should be a very busy, fun-filled, educational day!

Parent Council has organized a Winter Dance on Friday, Feb. 2 from 6-8:30 p.m. at St. Peter's High School gym. Come on out and bring your dancing shoes!

Sunday, 21 January 2018

Week 19: Jan 22-26 - Miss Anderson's Last Week!

This will be Miss Anderson's last full week in the classroom as our Teacher Candidate. She will pop in on Wednesdays for a couple of weeks, but this is her last week of practicum. She has been a valuable addition to the class, and has planned many interesting and engaging activities for the children over the last several weeks. We will certainly miss her! 

The highlight of last week was watching a presentation by Rag and Bone puppet theatre and the choir entitled, "The Dolls' House". It was very entertaining! 

Monday morning we will be going snowshoeing for phys ed class. We will have an opportunity to try out some lightweight aluminum snowshoes and walk around the park behind the school for 45 minutes or so. We are lucky to get our turn in before the freezing rain on Monday evening and Tuesday! 

My morning class was introduced to the dangers of tobacco health lesson in class on Friday. Your child may have questions they would like to ask you about the topic. The public health nurse will be in the school on Thursday to do her presentation on the dangers of smoking and tobacco use, and will be able to answer many questions then as well. 

My afternoon class has completed Unit 1 and 2 of Fully Alive, which means we are ready to begin Unit 3: Created Sexual Male and Female. Fully Alive is a Family Life education program sponsored by the Assembly of Catholic Bishops of Ontario. In Theme 3: Created Sexual, Male and Female, the students learn that each person is precious, we are all made in the image and likeness of God, and created in a loving relationship.  Each year builds on information from previous years, and is given at an age appropriate level.  The terms used and topics covered can be found here, in each grade's letter from the ACBO:
Grade 4 Parent Letter
Please read the letter and discuss the topics with your child, so that they can be prepared.  We will begin the week of Feb. 6.  Don't hesitate to contact me if there are any questions or concerns.

We will NOT be going sliding this week, our long gym class will be snowshoeing as we only have access to the snowshoes for this week. As well, the hill will be exceptionally icy after the thaw/freeze cycle we have had recently, and the freezing rain expected Monday and Tuesday will only make that worse. We will see what the hill conditions are like next week, and let you know at least a day or 2 ahead so that you can send helmets. 

Language Arts: We have been working on Procedural Writing and Sequencing. I'm sure you heard about the cheese sandwich making and the jello! The students are currently working in pairs to read and retell a Fractured Fairy Tale in a sequence of 6-10 steps, then put those steps in a Google Slides presentation or a Pixton comic and present it orally to the class.

Math: We measured linear distances using mm, cm and m; measured capacity using ml and L, and measured mass using g and kg. We have also been converting measurements (from ml to L and back, cm to m, etc). We also linked volume to capacity by sinking some centicubes in water and measuring the displacement, which showed us the capacity of the cubes, then calculated the volume by counting them, or by multiplying length x width x height. 

Science: Students had the opportunity to take sound meters around various locations in the school and measure the level of sound in decibels. They also experimented with bouncing sound waves - what makes a good sound reflector and what absorbs the sound waves? 

Don't forget - Friday is a PD day!

Sunday, 14 January 2018

Week 18: Jan 15-19, 2018

What a busy week we had last week!
-Monday we started playing badminton in gym and made our New Year's resolutions
-Tuesday we played dozens of different musical instruments and learned about pitch and vibration. The students also gave me verbal instructions about how to make a cheese sandwich, and learned that they have to be specific in their directions! It was very funny - ask them to tell you about it!
-Wednesday we went sliding for phys ed in the morning, in a lot of fresh snow, and enjoyed hot chocolate afterwards! We also estimated and measured the capacity of various different containers by filling them with coloured water and pouring it into a graduated cylinder to measure.
-Thursday was our first "Snowday" due to freezing rain. We only had a few students, and so combined with Mme Corriveau's class and Mme Gauthier's class for the day.
-Friday we followed the directions for making Jello, and each group made their own flavour. It is in the fridge, ready to eat!

This week, we will continue with measurement in math, by estimating and measuring the mass of various objects. We will also be continuing with procedural writing in language arts, and our sound unit in science. 

Sunday, 7 January 2018

Week 17: Jan 8-12 Happy New Year!

Image result for For unto us is born a savior

I hope everyone had a very Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year, in spite of the very cold weather we had throughout the holiday!

Speaking of the weather, it looks like the upcoming week is going to be warmer, and snowy! It might be a good time to go sliding on the hill behind the school for phys ed. In order to go sliding, I will need a signed permission slip from a parent. Please indicate whether your child will need a helmet to go sliding (recommended), and whether they are allowed to have a cup of hot chocolate afterwards (Carnation brand, made with hot water only).  You can print and sign a copy of the permission slip here, if you wish, to send in with your child. A hard copy will be sent home with your child on Monday if you haven't sent one in. If possible, I would like to take them sliding on Wednesday, as it will be not too cold, and we will have fresh snow. 

Report cards will be coming home the week of Valentine's Day, so we will be spending time catching up students who were away due to trips or illness, completing assignments and wrapping up units. Here is what we are are hoping to complete:

In Math, we have a few students who missed some graphing activities, and some who missed the perimeter and area work. We will also continue with measurement using linear measures (mm, cm, m); measures of mass (g, kg) and measures of capacity (ml, L). 

In Science, we completed the light experiments and will be concentrating on the properties of sound in our Light and Sound unit.

In Language Arts, we have a few little things to complete, then we will be starting a new unit on sequencing. Students will be asked to write a set of 6 instructions on how to do something, illustrated by pictures. In the past, students have written instructions on how to shoot a one-timer, how to wrap a present, how to bake cookies, etc. If you would like to take a set of 6 pictures at home and upload them to your child's drive in preparation for this activity, you can do so at any time. If you don't have access to a camera or smartphone at home, students will have the opportunity at school to take pictures using an ipad. 

The Public Health nurse will be in the school to give an interactive presentation about the dangers of tobacco use and smoking to the Grade 4 students on Thursday, Jan. 25, so we will be talking about this in Health class in preparation for her presentation.

Sunday, 17 December 2017

Week 16: Dec 18-22 The Third Week of Advent

Today marks the third week of Advent, when we celebrate the joy of the impending birth of our Lord! We are hopeful, we are peaceful, and now we are also joyful. The students will participate in our third Advent Celebration on Monday at 1:30 p.m., and our fourth Advent Celebration (Love) on Thursday morning at 10:00. I hope that you and your family have a wonderful Christmas holiday, and safe travels.

We have a few special events planned for this week, and a few things to wrap up before the holidays. On Tuesday morning, we will be having a Christmas Craft morning, and volunteers are most welcome to join us to help the children assemble crafts. If you can spare an hour or 2 to help out, we would really appreciate it! We will start around 9:30 a.m. and be all cleaned up by noon. Thank you!

On Wednesday, we have a science test on the properties of light planned. If we don't get it out of the way before the break, some of the information might be forgotten in the Christmas excitement! Here's a quick study guide:

Light is a form of energy we can see.
The 5 properties of light are:
Here are the experiments we did to demonstrate each property:
1. We set up cue cards, 3 with holes in the middle and one with a target at the end. Then we aimed a flashlight through the holes to hit the target. We could only do it if the holes were lined up correctly, showing that light travels in a straight line.
2. We build a light maze with mirrors in a shoe box. Light went in one side of the shoe box, reflected around the box inside, and came out the same side. We could predict where the light would reflect to, because it was a regular reflection pattern.
3. We reflected light off smooth and crumpled tin foil, and compared the reflections of each.
4. We experimented with different coloured filters on our flashlights, and with colours and filters on here to discover the primary colours of light are red, green and blue.
5. We put a pencil in a cup of water, and observed that it looked bent. We also built magnifiers out of plastic cups, plastic wrap, and water drops.
We also used prisms to break white light into the colours of the rainbow - Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo and Violet. We talked about natural (fireflies, the sun) vs. manmade or artificial (flashlights, tv) sources of light; and light that gives off heat (fire, stovetop) vs. light that gives off little to no heat (glowsticks, LED bulbs).

On Thursday, we have a Christmas Sing-Along for all students. We have been practicing the actions to "Must Be Santa" as the song that we will lead, and we will join Mrs. Rayner's class in leading "Frosty the Snowman". It should be fun! 

On Friday, we may possibly have a pajama day!

Sunday, 10 December 2017

Week 15: Dec. 11-15 The Second Week of Advent

Image result for 2nd week of advent candle
Today marks the second Sunday of Advent - the Sunday of Peace.  We pray for Peace in all aspects of our lives - our homes, our schoolyard games, our communities and our world.  On Monday at 11:30 a.m., the junior students will participate in our second Advent Liturgy.

To help the students to participate in the loving act of sharing and giving during this time of Advent, they are invited to collect items to donate to the Shepherds of Good Hope.  At this time of year, there are many items the Shepherds need to assist the people who are staying at the shelter. The Grade 4 students are encouraged to bring in disposable face wipes and pocket sized kleenex packs. Thank you to those who have already sent an item or 2 in - you have helped to make someone's Christmas a little more comfortable and happy. 

With some snow already on the ground, and more in the forecast for Monday / Tuesday, don't forget to dress your child appropriately for the weather. There are many students still not wearing snow pants, hats and/or mittens at recess, and 40 minutes is a long time to be outside without proper winter wear! Also, many students have not had indoor shoes to change into. These are required - not only for gym, but also to wear in the classroom for safety. Thank you.

 A reminder that on "Snow Days" when the busses are cancelled, the schools are still open.  If you choose to have your child attend school on "Snow Days",  however, you are responsible for ensuring your child arrives to and leaves from school on time, dressed appropriately for outdoor play, and with indoor shoes as usual. Students go outside for recess as usual unless it is raining heavily or below -25, even when busses are not running. Kiss and Ride is not in operation during "Snow Days", therefore if you are picking your child up at the end of the day, you must park and come into the school to do so. Thank  you for helping to keep your child safe!

Upcoming events:
Wednesday is iWalk Day / Drive to 5! Walk to school or drive to one of the drop-off and walk locations - either the parking lot at Marcel Lalande park or at Arc-en-Ciel school. Hope to see you there!
Wednesday is also our Advent Mass, 9:30 a.m. Parents are always welcome to join us.