What a wonderful start of the year we had in division 5! This is a fabulous group of kids and it looks like we will have a fantastic year together. Thank you all for returning my little questionnaire so quickly. It was very interesting to read all your answers and helped me know your child better! Before I tell you more about what we have been learning, I want to invite all of you to come meet me this coming Wednesday, September 19 for Meet the Teacher night. This will take place during the School Picnic. The class will be open from 5:30-6:30.
In our first 7 days together, we have been focusing a lot on establishing our daily routines for literacy and math, as well as creating a strong community of confident learners. A lot of our learning this week was centered on the Career Education curriculum, as well as the Positive Personal and Cultural Identity and Social Responsibility core competencies.
All about me cube
1) My Self-portrait and main qualities;
2) My Family and the things we like to do together;
3) My Strongest Intelligences;
4) My totem animal;
5) and 6) Choice topics such as: My Talents, My Hobbies, My favorite sport, My favorite animal, etc.
We will keep working on our cube over the next couple of weeks and students will take turns presenting their cube to the class.
Personal and social responsibility
Growth Mindset and Successful Learner Traits
We are also using the Successful Learners Traits Framework to highlight the traits that make people successful throughout their life. The successful learner traits are:
We have also started to discuss some of the mental math strategies that we use for addition and subtraction. Students assessed which addition and subtraction facts they knew already or could find using mental math strategies, and which ones they needed to develop strategies for. Students who knew all the basic facts for addition or subtraction were given a certificate today, showing that they can move on to the next math facts. Some students will already be working on multiplication facts, while others will keep working on adding and subtracting until they show mastery. I am encouraging students to use mental math strategies rather than learning all the facts by heart or counting on their fingers. For example, if a child knows that 7+7=14, they can use the "double+1" strategy to find the answer to 7+8=15. Or they can change 7+8=? to 7+10-2=15. Research shows that students who can mentally manipulate numbers in this way are more successful in math than students who can't.
Today, we challenged the class to use operations creatively. We used only the number 4 and the various operations to make equations for all the numbers from 0 to 20. The class found at least 2 ways to get to each number, as as many as 7 ways for some numbers! Ask your child for an example, and try to see if your family can figure out more ways to get to the numbers 0-20 using only 4s! Here are all the details if you want to try!
Homework and Agenda
- The most important homework is to spend 20-30 minutes reading everyday. Reading out loud for some of the time is recommended in order improve fluency and expression.
- Working on basic math facts for 10 minutes everyday is also expected. Students can work on this in different ways. I will keep teaching them engaging ways to practice that help them develop mental math strategies. I have posted resources for Multiplication in the Math Resources section and I will be adding resources for adding and subtracting as soon as possible.
- In addition to reading and math fact practice, there will be a homework duotang that goes home everyday. Students will receive their homework for the week on Monday, work on it throughout the week and hand in their duotang on Fridays. The type of work will vary from week to week.
- When students get behind in class and do not finish important work, it will be sent home to catch-up.
That was a long update... There is so much to communicate in September! You can use the comments to ask for questions that I might not have answered yet, or send me an email if you prefer!
I hope to meet you this Wednesday for Meet the Teacher Night!