Week 38

For this weekend, it is important that you spend time looking through your notes you have been taking in Social Studies.  Please make sure that you have answered all of the questions you generated previously and that you can fully articulate and explain your understanding of your biome and its organisms, the threats facing your biome, how those threats relate to the materials economy, and the solution you have come up with.  Remember that the solution can be something that already exists or a completely new idea.  Your problem and solution will need evidence to support it.  The evidence could be in the form of graphs or charts, statistics, or other types of data.  The problem solving rubric you will be graded on is in your Social Studies Resources folder.  Please check their to make sure you have the information needed to support each part on the rubric.
Starting in all core classes on Monday you will be working on the Relationships project.  You will need to have your research ready for Monday so you can begin planning out and drafting your script.
This will be a busy week but if you spend some time reviewing (and completing if necessary) your research notes this weekend, you will feel less stressed and more accomplished by the end of the week.

Week 37

I hope that everyone is having or has had a good weekend (depending on when you read this).  In English this week, we are finishing up our presentations and spending some time practicing before giving them on Wednesday (Phillips HB) and Thursday (Freeman HB).  The script writing process and the presentations are our performance task for English.  This project will give the students all the knowledge they need to complete the script and presentation for their TED Talk next week.

In Social Studies, the students are continuing their research this week.  Most time will be spent on gathering ideas for solutions that they can focus on during the script writing stage the following week.

Please refer to the homework slideshow that I sent out on Friday for more information about these task.

Week 36

I apologize for the late update.  This week, the students have already written their Materials Economy assessment. For the rest of the week in Social Studies, they will be using their understanding of the materials economy to help them research information related to their biome for their upcoming Relationships transdisciplinary project.

In English, students will work to finish their scripts this week for the Genre Wheel presentations, and they will work on the visual aspect.  They will be presenting them next week.


I have been sending home homework updates as we have more of it lately as we near the end of the term.  Please check those updates and speak with your students about the upcoming assignments.  This will help to keep everyone “in the know”.

Have a great week!

Week 35

We have another short week this week.  In Social Studies this week, we will continue our research into the materials economy culminating in a test next Monday.  In English, students will take their research and begin to write scripts that they will use for their presentations.  I sent out an email with a link to a slideshow that has more information about this week and beyond.  Please check that for the most up-to-date information.  As always, please feel free to email me with any comments, questions, or concerns.  Have a great long weekend!

Week 33

I would like to thank everyone who came to the Future Forecast Product Convention this past week.  The students were very excited to show off all that they have worked on over the past month or so.  It was a great success!

This week is the first of 3 that will be short.  This week, in particular, will only have 3 days of in class learning.  Thursday is Activity Day and Friday is the start of our 4 day weekend.  In order to prepare for this Monday’s English class, students have been asked to choose one of their Genre Wheel books to  bring in.  This book should be their favorite from the project.  Over the next few weeks, students will understand why they liked the book so much, what others think about it, and then they will give a persuasive presentation to convince other Grade 6 students to read their chosen book.

Speaking of reading, students will continue to be given some time to read independently during class but we still hope that students will read for approximately 30 minutes every evening.  This past week we looked at some reading statistics and I think many students formed new goals for the next month of the Genre Wheel project.

In Social Studies, we will continue our study of the materials economy.  This week we will focus on production.  On Wednesday, students will participate in an interactive learning activity called the Trading Game.  It is a great way for students to understand how supply and demand works and how production fits within the materials economy.

Have a great weekend!

Week 32

We have a packed week this week as we officially end our 3rd quarter performance task and begin working with our 4th quarter content.  To that end, all parents are invited (see my email) to our Future Forecast convention showcase this Wednesday.  There are different times for Phillips and Freeman home bases, so please feel free to email me for details.

Our new interdisciplinary unit is called Relationships.  This is a unit that builds learning in each core subject area throughout the quarter until the final couple of weeks where students will take their learning from each subject area and apply it to solve a real world problem.  This builds off of the product designs done in the Future Forecast, but this will be in the form of a TED Talk given at the end of the year.

In English this week, we will introduce the next (and final) part of our Genre Wheel project.  This task is a persuasive presentation where students will use a variety of texts (including their chosen novel) to convince other Grade 6 students that their favorite Genre Wheel book is the perfect choice for a new Grade 6 student.  The skills developed and nurtured here will apply to the final performance task of the year: The TED Talk.

Also in English, we have just started a new read aloud book that connects to our unit theme of relationships.  The book is called A Long Walk to Water.  It was written by Linda Sue Park.  Its both a true story and a fictional narrative as she weaves in the true story of Salva Dut and that of a young fictional woman named Nya.  It is a fascinating story about life in the Sudan during the revolution in 1985 and more recently during 2008.  I encourage you to ask your child about the book!  Some of the more interesting things they have learned so far relate to life in the Sudan and how terrifying Salva’s life turned after his school was attacked and he was forced to flee.

In Social Studies, we are going to begin our study of the materials economy.  This will begin with a viewing of the excellent video called The Story of Stuff.  Please feel free to watch this at home in order to understand what students are learning in the classroom.  By the end of the week, we will have developed a brief understanding of the whole process in the materials economy and we will spend a more focused lesson specifically on the extraction phase.

Have a great weekend!

Week 31

This week will be a busy one with students preparing their advertisements and finalizing their presentations for their Future Forecast project.  They will be presenting Wednesday April 20th.  I sent an email in regards to parents coming to see their presentations.  If you would like to come see all of the hard work that they’ve been doing please send me an email.

Starting this week, students will be conferencing with my during tutorials and library time.  They will be comparing and contrasting two books that they have read for Genre Wheel considering the elements of fiction.

On Friday, students will complete a short assessment where they will answer a series of questions related to their global issue and product.

At home, please ask your students about their work in Genre Wheel and Future Forecast.  For GW, ask them about the books they have chosen and why.  For Future Forecast, I’m sure they would love to explain the global issue their group chose and the product that they decided to create to help solve it.

Have a great week!

Week 29

We have a short week this week as our spring break begins on Thursday.   In our interdisciplinary unit, the Future Forecast, students will be working to finish up their research early in the week.  Once the research is complete, they will be working together to truly understand the causes and effects of the global issue they chose.  They will begin to understand how the past led to the present concerns with the issue, and then they will project what they believe the problem will look like in the future.  Once they have done that, they will start to determine possible solutions to the problem before finally settling on one.  Students will eventually present this project on April 20th.

Wednesday is International Day at school, so students are encouraged to wear clothing that represents their heritage (it could be more than one country!) or their house shirts.  My hockey jersey is ready and waiting.

Also on Wednesday, we will introduce the second part of the Genre Wheel project.  Students have spent a lot of time reading a variety of books.  I have checked in with them about the numbers they have written and I do have an up-to-date list for students who are curious.  The second part of this project will involve the students comparing and contrasting two books from different genres that they have read.  They will need to prepare notes in advance (compare/contrast brain frame, for example) that helps them to understand the similarities and differences in the elements of fiction in the two books.  For example, they could compare/contrast a nonfiction text about medieval history to a historical fiction novel set in the same period.  Or, they could compare/contrast a fantasy and a science fiction novel.  They could also compare and contrast two novels in different genres written by the same author (Alex London for example).  Some genres do lend themselves more favorably to comparing and contrasting, so I encourage you to ask your student questions about the books they have read in order to help them make some good choices.  We are introducing this before the break so they will have a chance to get a new book and read it (or, at least, some of it) during the break.  We will be scheduling our conferences once we get back from the break for the month of April.

I hope that everyone has a safe and enjoyable break!

One thing I want my student/parents to know…

Thank you to everyone who came out to the Student Led Conferences.  I think they were a great success.  I loved listening in on the conversations students and parents were having.  Also, thank you to everyone who filled out the quick survey question I sent out before the SLCs.  I had some of the answers up on the board during the conferences.  I have taken both the student and the parent answers and put them into a word cloud.  The larger the word the more often it appeared in the responses!Apple Word Cloud

Week 28

This week we will have our Student Led Conferences.  These conferences are great opportunities for students to demonstrate their learning throughout the year.  They have been busy working on their e-Portfolios in order to prepare for these conferences.  If you cannot make the SLCs, please ask your student to show you their portfolio at home as they have put in a lot of work!

We are now into our Future Forecast project and students are busying working in teams to identify a problem, research it, and then create a product to positively solve that problem. Throughout the week, they will be researching their global issue by creating questions and determining the best places to answer them.  This might include you!

We will also have a sentence structure and dialogue quiz this week.  It will be on Tuesday for Phillips HB and Wednesday for Freeman HB.

This should be a fun week filled with learning and reflection!

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