In the Loop January 26, 2020

IMG_3555IMG_3556Assignments for the Week:

  • Language: In Writers Workshop this week we will look at ways to improve our writing with figurative language. Students will respond to in-class prompts with the goal of having a draft of a chosen piece to peer-revise on Tuesday, February 4. There will be an etymology assignment, and as always, daily Home Reading. In Reader’s Workshop, students will record well crafted phrases from their novels.
  • Math: Students will have individually assigned math work and a problem-solving assignment.
  • Culture: We will look closely at measurement this week and then at the behaviour of gasses and solids. There will be a cumulative test on what we have studied so far at the end of the week.
  • Science Fair:  I have conferenced with students about their science fair proposals. Some students are on track; other students, as expected, will need to refine their plan with more research or, in the case of experiments, a more explicit procedure. This week students designing experiments should: continue to take research notes, write their purpose, procedure, list of materials needed and hypothesis, and create data/observation tables. It would probably be helpful to do a trial run of the experiment to see if it is viable. Students pursuing a big question should: continue to gather resources, read (a lot!) and take notes. They should also begin writing “Why I Chose this Topic”.  Please see the “Timeline for Science Projects” on the back of the science fair packet.
  • Health: Students showed in skits and discussion a range of strategies for regulating emotions (like anger). This week students should complete paragraphs on  “What is great about growing up?” and interview an adult on the same question. This week we will look more closely at the emotional and physical changes that come with puberty.
  • PE: During our basketball unit, please be sure your child has proper footwear on Tuesdays and Thursdays in order to participate in PE–even if it means brining a change of shoes during this wintery weather.


  • Monday, January 27: Assembly in the gym at 9:30.
  • Thursday, January 30: School-wide spelling bee after lunch. We will have an in-class written spelling test in the morning to select the students who will compete for our class. Students will not be marked on their test, nor will they be compelled to compete. However, if students are interested, they should practice orally using the list provided in early January.
  • Friday, January 31: Reports go home with students. These are the first of two written formal reports; the “summative” reports will be sent home on the last day of school in June. Please note that other assessments of your child so far this year have been communicated during goal-setting conferences (in October) and a celebration of learning (in December). The Science Fair (March 5) and student-led conferences (on April 6 and 8) are upcoming dates for “communicating student learning”, known as CSL. Please see the MORC (My Own Report Card) in the report envelope. It is your child’s self-evaluation of the term, and arguably a more meaningful assessment of the term.
  • Monday, February 3: Field trip to Science World: Please be reminded that students should: 1) be in the classroom at 8:30, 2) dress for the weather and walking, 3) bring Compass Cards as needed, and 4) bring a snack and lunch. We will be back by 3pm. We have three goals: 1) to participate in a hands-on workshop “Chemistry Matters”, 2) to see an Omnimax film, “Arctic Wonder”, and 3) to freely explore the museum. As a reminder, if your child brings a Science World membership card, I can reimburse about $5 of the cost of the trip. We are grateful to the Montessori PAC for subsidizing the cost of the field trip by one-third.
  • Friday, February 14: Professional Day–No school for students.
  • Monday, February 17: Family Day–No school for students and teachers.

Chemistry: Students drew conclusions about how thermometers work based on what they know about he behaviour of liquids in various temperatures. We took extra precautions and practiced what we learned about safety in the lab the previous week (in part, with this humorous video.

Health: Students presented strategies for achieving positive consequences from emotional triggers.

Drama with Magee Leaders: We began our first of many sessions of drama activities lead by the Magee leaders (including some MG and Div 17 alumni).

Math Games: We continue to devote time on Thursday mornings to learning new games that involve mathematical thinking. This week we looked at a classic (and a great one for using math facts): cribbage.

Published by gretchenbartlett


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