Assignments for the Week: We are just wrapping up for the year with holiday events, the Winter Concert, and, of course, projects for our First Nations Fair on Tuesday. In addition, we will do some collaborative math problem-solving, social-emotional learning and a fractions pre-assessment to determine math work for the new year. Alls this work will be done in class, so there should be no homework (besides the project).
- Monday, December 16: In-class guest speaker on aboriginal law after recess.
- Monday, December 16: “Release the Rhythm” performance assembly in the afternoon.
- Tuesday, December 17–Celebration of Learning: First Nations Fair: We are excited to share with you what we have been doing this term as a class, and with our individual research. This open-house event, which includes the other Montessori intermediate classes, will run in the classroom from 1:00 to 3:30. (Students may leave when school ends; they are not expected to stay until 3:30.) As a reminder, this “Celebration of Learning” is one of the 5 times (including goal-setting conferences, student-led conferences, and the two written report cards) when I will be “communicating student learning.”
- Wednesday, December 18 and Thursday, December 19: Secret Santa gift exchange. This is a student-run event. Students should bring a gift (maximum value $15–it can be homemade or re-gifted!) by Monday, December 16.
- Wednesday, December 18: Winter Concert Rehearsal in the afternoon.
- Thursday, December 19: Winter Concert: As you know, there will be an afternoon and evening performance. Attendance of the evening concert is not compulsory but students should let me know if they will not be coming. Tickets were sent home last week with the youngest sibling.
- Friday, December 20: The final day of classes of 2019. It is likely that we will watch an (educational!) film and enjoy some potluck snacks.
- Monday, January 6: School begins in 2020.
Field Trip to Mixed Nuts: We always enjoy this holiday tradition. Getting to and from was a wet adventure. Thank you to the parents who chaperoned.
Human Rights: Just like students know basics like punctuation rules and multiplication facts, they should be able to spot human rights violations when they see them. They did just that last week when they looked at discriminatory laws targeting First Nations people in BC. These students are empowered to make sure that the wrongs of the past are not repeated.
First Nations Resources: We are grateful for the fantastic First Nations resources in our school library. Stacks and stacks of First Nations stories were available to us earlier in the fall. Recently we enjoyed Fatty Legs, a memoir by Margaret Pokiak, for the personal history but also for its beautiful use of figurative language. Since September we have relied heavily on the locally-published, From Time Immemorial as an authentic and honest history source, that has inspired our own historical-creative work.
Social-Emotional Learning with the Zones: The first part of our health unit has been to identify emotions using the framework of the Zones curriculum. Students had insightful and sophisticated responses to the question, Why is it important to be able to identify emotions? They spoke about the importance of managing their own emotions and understanding others’ emotions. Over the course of last week, they recorded the “zones” of their emotions. On Friday, we looked for patterns, noticing our energy level was lower in the morning (due to sleepiness) and higher after a lunch break (play time and eating). We also discussed situations that were appropriate for each zone, for example at school, we should strive to be in the green zone, at a party we might be in the yellow zone, after losing a pet a person might be in the green zone, and a child who got lost might be in the red zone.
Maple Grove is a Little Greener: We still have a ways to go (finding a place for hard plastics; reducing waste overall by using reusable containers), but we are better informed, organized and committed to putting waste in its place. We are grateful to Ms. Lucas, Ms. New, and Division 18 who educated us during last week’s assembly and who regularly take MG’s soft plastics to London Drugs to be recycled.
It Feels Good to Give: Generous hearts and busy hands helped to put together care bags last week. Ms. Adams and a few students will deliver them next week to the Lookout Society’s Power Street Getaway.