In the Loop October 4, 2020

Assignments for the Week: With the exception of the TEAMs assignments, this list of assignments pertains to the in-class students of Division 17.

Language: This week students will get a new spelling list of challenging words for their grade level. They will have a quiz on half of the words on Friday. On Monday students need a rough draft of their interview ready to peer revise. On Tuesday, they will learn about how to edit their work. Final drafts of the interview are due on Friday. Finals should be neatly written in ink or may be word-processed. (I am absolutely fine with parents being involved in the writing, including helping with word-processing, but obviously, the student’s work should be his or her own.) We will also work on critical reading skills for fiction: connecting and predicting. Regular home reading and in-class reading are essential to this work. Encourage your child to talk about the connections with his or her reading and then ask: How does the connection better help you understand human nature or the novel?

Math: Students will work on individual math progress and have a grade-level problem-solving assignment.

Socials: Last week, students began Peoples’ History, a reading assignment for practicing and developing non-fiction reading comprehension skills. For Friday, October 16, grade 4s should complete 4 sections, grade 5s should complete 5 sections and grade 6s should complete 6 sections. We will also begin preparing for a parallel provincial election during the week of October 19 with a look at the history of voting rights in Canada.

Botany: Last week, did some hands-on work to learn the differences between deciduous and evergreen trees. This week, Ms. Lucas, Ms. Griffiths and I will begin a rotation with our classes focusing on botany lessons (classification and the timeline of plants) and the Great Stories.

TEAMs: On Friday I posted the third TEAMs assignment: to downloading and posting an assignment. Each Friday an assignment is due and a new one is assigned. As a reminder, these assignments are for practicing online skills and they are assessed as part of their ASTD (Applied Skills Technology and Design) mark. I am expecting that if students want to chat online they will do so on an outside-of-school medium.


  • Monday, October 12: Thanksgiving holiday. No school for staff or students.
  • Tuesday, October 13: Forms due to the Office: Online and printed forms (sent home last Thursday (10/1) afternoon) are due.

People’s History: This week students were introduced to some immigrants from Canada’s history, including escaped enslaved people, Chinese railroad workers, and Ukrainian settlers, through a mixer activity. Just like we learned so much from the experience of people like Phyllis Webstad (whose story launched Orange Shirt Day), we will be focussing our immigration study on the stories of common people whose stories are a rich part of the Canadian experience. Non-fiction skills are an important part of this work as we will be working with primary documents (like personal accounts and documents) and text features (like maps and photographs).

Outdoor Learning: Thanks to Ms. Lucas who urged Ms. Griffiths and I to organize an Outdoor Learning Day during our last professional day. We had a glorious day last Friday with a busy schedule and the company of some of the online students. The day included: time for a class meeting and game, and then time with the whole group: singing “O Cedar Tree” (something like this), study of cedar trees (botany), silent reading, creative writing and a game (camouflage). I was impressed with how cooperative and flexible students were with working outside as well as how well they worked with the larger pod of classes. We are brewing plans for another Outdoor Day.

Mindfulness: We have been practicing mindfulness in a variety of ways at school, including taking the time for mindful breathing and singing everyday.

  • Breathing: After recess each day we spend a few minutes on mindful breathing. Some of the techniques we have worked on include: aligning our bodies to open our lungs, breathing in through our noses, making our exhales longer than our inhales, visualizing, and box breathing. You may be interested in this <a href="http://<iframe src="; width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">podcast on the benefits of mindful breathing.
  • Singing: We have also been singing everyday to build our lungs and boost our mood. The first songs were teacher-choice; the latest have been student-choice (as long as they are sing-able and have appropriate words). Some of our songs include: “count on me“, “Ob-la-di, Ob-la-da”, “If you want to sing out“, “better when I’m dancing,” and “Jolene

Published by gretchenbartlett


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