In the Loop October 14, 2019

I hope Division 17 families have had a relaxing holiday weekend.

IMG_2120IMG_2121 2Assignments for the Week:

  • Language: This week students have Home Reading due Friday and a spelling test–only for students who have missed words. Students will continue to make preparations to present their First Nation story during the week of October 15.
  • Math: We are working with patterns in grade-level problem-solving. Students will also have individual math work to do. The simple expectation for students with their individual math work is that they are to “make progress”. Looking at the work they complete each week, I determine whether they should practice or build on their skills.
  • Culture: Students have planned their group presentations on First Nations topics and now are creating their materials and practicing these lessons that they will give during the week of October 15.
  • Student Vote: The bulk of our week will be spent preparing ourselves to vote in the school-wide parallel election on October 16 and 17 as well as to set up and run the polling station in our classroom. See more below on last week’s activities.


  • Wednesday, October 16 and Thursday, October 17: School-wide election (Student Vote)
  • Monday, October 21: Election Day: I encourage families to take their children with them to the polls on this day if you haven’t already participated in advanced voting. (Monday, October 14 is the last day to participate in advanced voting. See this link to find your local polling station.)
  • Monday, October 21-Friday, November 1: FSA Testing: Grade 4s will be participating in FSA testing for five sessions (about an hour each) during these two weeks. The schedule is not yet finalized.
  • Tuesday, October 22: Field trip to the Museum of Vancouver. I will pass out field trip forms at conferences next week. I am looking for one more volunteer for this field trip. Please be reminded that we will meet early in the classroom (8:35) and students will need their Compass Cards (if using them) on this day.
  • Friday, October 25: Professional Day. This is province-wide so all public schools in BC will not have school on this day.
  • Friday, November 1: Vaccinations for Grade 6 students only. Please return the vaccination schedules that were sent home last week.

Goal Setting Conferences: Thank you to all the parents who came to goal-setting conferences last week. Students did a fantastic job of articulating their goals for the year. It felt great to work as a team with parents and students.

Student Vote: Last week we began with a video outlining democratic principles that outline our rights and responsibilities in a democracy.IMG_2101 2 We then explored our own values through an activity called Voting With Your Feet. Students moved to spaces in the room (“Agree”, “Disagree”, “Agree But…”, “Convince Me”) in response to political value statement, such as:

  • “Only Grade 6s and 7s should be allowed on sports teams at Maple Grove.”
  • “Students who participate in Fridays for the Future (the Climate Strike) should not be allowed to make up missed assignments.”
  • “Government employees should not be allowed to wear religious symbols, including headscarves.”

I was impressed to see how thoughtfully students considered their values and others’ arguments, in some cases, changing or clarifying their positions.

We also simulated the voting process and discussed the value of a democratic decision-making system (v. consensus or dictatorial). There was also much discussion of our results since there was no clear majority.

We began to look at the positions of political parties with an online tool, Vote Compass. Here is the youth version (only available through the Student Vote website–scroll down to find, in purple, “Vote Compass: Canada Youth Edition”). There are also collected highlights from the debates, if students would like to watch (see “Leaders Debate Clips and Videos”) ranging from 11 to 17 minutes.

Singing With Buddies: This week we began learning the song that we will sing with all the Montessori classes for the Remembrance Day Assembly.

Published by gretchenbartlett


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