Beginning this week, students will be assigned a specific set of words that they will be working with. The words of the week are words that students are expected to know in grade six. On Fridays, students will be tested on ten randomly selected words of the week. Although students will be working with these words in class, they are also encouraged to practice these words outside of school.
Each of this week’s words has a short a (ă)or short e (ĕ) vowel sound.
The /ă/ sound is the vowel you hear in the first syllable of the word apple.
The /ĕ/ sound is the vowel you hear at the beginning of the word egg.
Words of the week (Nov 13-27):
In preparation for Remembrance Day, the students in class 6A have been studying the poem “Got Your Back” by Autumn Parker. After analyzing the poem as a class, students broke off into groups and created tableaus to represent the unique perspectives of the child, spouse, parent and soldier. The poem is written below.
“I’ve Got Your Back!”
I am a small and precious child, my dad’s been sent to fight…
The only place I’ll see his face, is in my dreams at night.
He will be gone too many days for my young mind to keep track.
I may be sad, but I am proud.
My daddy’s got your back.
I am a caring mother. My son has gone to war…
My mind is filled with worries that I have never known before.
Every day I try to keep my thoughts from turning black.
I may be scared, but I am proud.
My son has got your back.
I am a strong and loving wife, with a husband who had to go.
There are times I’m terrified in a way most never know.
I bite my lip, and force a smile as I watch my husband pack…
My heart may break, but I am proud.
My husband’s got your back…
I am a soldier, serving proudly, standing straight and tall.
I fight for freedom, yours and mine by answering this call.
I do my job while knowing, the thanks it sometimes lacks.
Say a prayer that I’ll come home.
It’s me who’s got your back.
In Writing, students are working on composing descriptive paragraphs. So far, students have written a descriptive paragraph on a haunted house. This week students are writing a description of what the word peace means to them. Below is the checklist that students are using to help guide them as they are writing their descriptive paragraphs.
Descriptive Writing Checklist □ I include a topic sentence to introduce my ideas
□ I include details about what I see □ I Include details about what I hear □ I include details about what I smell
□ I include details about what I taste
□ I include details about what I feel with my hands
□ I include details about what emotions I feel
□ I include a conclusion sentence to “wrap up” my ideas
□ I use “strong” and “juicy” words and expressions to enhance interest □ I use transition words between sentences (example: also, then, next, finally) □ I check my work over with C.U.P.S.
A reminder that this Friday is a P.A. day for parent-teacher interviews. There will be no classes for students. If you are interested in meeting with Ms. Allan or myself, please let us know as soon as possible.
Last week we watched the video below of Hamiltonians doing a small act of kindness by bringing coffee or tea to bus drivers around the city. After we watched the video, students brainstormed a list of people who they appreciate in their lives, as well as a list of small gestures that they could do to say “thanks” to these individuals. Below are just some of the ideas that the class came up with:
Smile, say “hello”
Ask how his/her day is going
Give a hug/handshake/high five
Offer to get him/her a drink
Offer to help with what he/she is doing
Hold the door open
What small thing have you done today to show someone that you care?
Interview request forms went home with students today. If you are interested in having an interview, please return the form by Tuesday, October 31. I am looking forward to meeting with each of you to discuss your child’s progress so far!
On Tuesday, October 31 during the last two periods of school, Bennetto will be hosting a Halloween dance for grades 6, 7 and 8 students in the large gym. Students will be able to purchase a ticket for $2 at Ms. Vandervinne’s door this Friday or Monday morning during first nutrition break. Pop and chips will also be for sale during the dance. Students will be able to wear costumes for these two periods only. A classroom will be available for those students who choose not to attend the dance.
Yesterday students wrote a paragraph about a hypothetical “Get Active Day” that they had planned for the school. Today students took a look at four answers to that same question (not written by students in our class) and were asked to determine which answer they believed was level 1, level 2, level 3 and level 4. Students then had to justify their answer with specific examples. The class displayed their work on chart paper and shared their ideas with their peers. Next week students will take a look back at the paragraph that they wrote and assess their own writing. They will then determine how they can improve or “bump up” their original paragraph.
Last week we started to talk about the zones of self regulation. We took turns pulling emotions out of a container and placing them into the right zone. Below is a picture of our progress so far. This week we will be discussing strategies to go from one zone to another. Green zone is where we want to be!
Blue Zone: Running slow (sad, bored, tired, sick)
Green Zone: Good to go (happy, calm, feeling ‘ok’)
Yellow Zone: Caution (frustrated, worried, silly)
Red Zone: Stop! (mad, angry, terrified, out of control)
As a class we read the story Punctuation Takes a Vacation and we were reminded of what a disaster writing can be when there isn’t any punctuation! We certainly do not want punctuation to take a vacation in our class, so we have been practicing writing and editing sentences with proper punctuation. Below is our anchor chart of all of the different types of punctuation that we may come across and/or need to use.
The class has started to discuss the word “mindful” and what it means to be mindful of one’s self and mindful of others around us. We’ve begun to look into how our brains work (including specific parts like the prefrontal cortex, the amygdala and the hippocampus) and how our thoughts and feelings affect our behaviour. Our goal is to learn strategies to calm our minds, focus our attention and become more aware of ourselves, others and the environment.
Below is a video that we watched explaining how we might feel or act when we are in a negative emotional state and ways that we can calm our minds.
The students then created their own “Stress Release Toolbox” which is a list of strategies that they can use if they are feeling angry, sad, nervous, scared, stressed, etc. Students are encouraged to use these strategies both inside and outside of school. As the weeks go on, we will continue to participate in activities that help us to become more mindful and teach us how to positively influence our own brain development. I encourage students to talk to their families about what they have learned about focusing attention, social-emotional learning, and brain development as we continue to explore these topics.
At the beginning of the school year, the class examined each of the six learning skills and discussed how they can achieve “Es” and “Gs” in each area on their report card. Students completed a self reflection as they listed two learning skills that they think are their strongest (along with reasons why), as well at two learning skills that they feel they need to improve on the most. The students included specific goals as to how they are going to improve on these learning skills. We will be discussing their goals frequently over the next few months and referring to the checklist below.
Two goals that I believe everyone in the class can work toward is:
1) Choosing productive work spaces (i.e. sitting/working with people who will not distract them, choosing a quiet area in the room to work);
2) Using classroom time wisely (i.e. staying on task, completing work within a given time frame).
In literacy, students have been working hard on writing proper, detailed paragraphs. We have been using the “Star Idea” model to help organize our ideas. Below is an image of the graphic organizer that we have been using, as well as a checklist of what students need to include in their paragraphs in order to be successful. If students are looking for something to do after school or on the weekends, they are encouraged to use this model to write their own paragraphs.
We have had a wonderful start to our school year so far! This blog will be my main form of communication for families. I will post updates of what is happening in the classroom, as well as important dates to remember. Please subscribe to this blog by clicking the “Follow” tab on the left hand side and entering your email address.