In the Loop January 17, 2021

Notice: This week’s photos show off the amazing indoor spaces in our new school!

Assignments for the Week:

  • Language: First drafts are due first thing on Tuesday. Students will peer revise their drafts using a rubric that focuses on important elements in narrative writing: character, setting and conflict. There will also be an etymology assignment. Only grade 6s have a quiz this Friday.
  • Math: Students will continue to focus on fraction work for their individual math. There is a possibility that there will be no problem-solving assignment this week since it is a short week.
  • Culture (Science): This week students will design and conduct their own experiment to test the effect of surface texture on force.


  • Monday, January 18 is a Professional Day. There is no school for students.
  • Friday, January 29: Report cards are sent home with students. For students in Division 17 last year, the format will look slightly different, but they will still be in print–not digitally sent home. For families in Option 4: I believe the office is arranging a pick-up day for families. Stay tuned for more information.

Writer’s Workshop: Deep concentration is such an important part of writing–so is sharing our work within our writing community!

Hands-on Science: On Monday, we explored factors that affect force. For one exploration, a group of students sprinted 7 (flat) metres in front of the school, then the same group sprinted 7 metres up our central school staircase. (We did two trials for each sprinter.) Which sprint was faster? Which had the steeper slope? Next, a group of students separately pushed an empty milk crate a set distance down the hall. They repeated the same distance with a full (and heavy) milk crate. Which pushing effort took longer? Which had the greater load? In addition to discussing ways we could have better designed the experiment, we looked at ways to organize the data to make it meaningful (that is, easy to analyze). Here is a great example:

On Thursday, students continued to explore slope and load by keeping all conditions constant, except for one. By having one variable, students could draw conclusions about the effect of slope and load on force. This is not to say that we did not identify flaws in the experiment. We will be picky scientists, always thinking of ways to collect good data!

Fitness Testing: Students aced the plank fitness test. Here they are in action–and check out our beautiful new gym!

Art: Students used their colourful creations from last week (coffee filters + colour markers + water) to layer vibrant landscapes. Stay tuned for their final works.

I couldn’t help but notice inspiration on my ride to and from work this week:

The Great Stories with Ms. Griffiths: Ms. Griffths has colourfully and meticulously been presenting the Montessori Great Lessons since last fall. As you may know, The Five Great Lessons are: The Coming of the Universe and Earth, The Coming of Life, The Coming of Humans, The Story of Writing and The Story of Numbers. An important part of the primary curriculum, the version of the stories told at the intermediate level is much more sophisticated.

Here, Ms. Griffiths is presenting a story from the Tseil Watuth people about learning from the animals and treating women with respect. It is part of the “Quest for Civilization” story in which students learn about, in Ms. Griffiths words, “the milestones humans need to reach in order to attain civilization such as permanent settlement, specialization, government, etc.” Obviously, the students are learning the last of the five, “The Coming of Humans.”

Democracy in Action: Last week, in addition to our class meeting, students showed citizenship by voting…on what to name our class bell. The idea came from students, and, given current events, we are never too young to learn to practice democracy!

In the Neighbourhood: On Friday’s walk, we were lucky to have a dry morning and to run into a furry friend.

Published by gretchenbartlett


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