Monday, November 1, 2010

The day of the Living Dead

Just when you thought it was safe to leave your house....

I entered the class this morning, and thought that perhaps the students had suffered mass head trauma the night before. Everyone was sitting quietly at their desks, and most even had their agendas open. I could almost hear crickets.... glucose withdrawal is a heck of a thing! This resulted on one of our most productive days in a very long time, seeing us wrap up book reports, complete an entire lesson in math, introduce Rememberance Day, and much more.

The day began with a great math/journal writing activity about Hallloween. We estimate the amounts of candy obtained and consumed the night before, and reflected on our favourite elements. Then, prior to our Book Report presentations, we did a verbal/visual review of the evaluation rubric I am using. This made it very clear what would be expected, and what the reward for various levels of work would be. I evaluated the presentations based on Content, Personal Expression/Conviction, Articulation and Use of Visual/Audio aids.

I also took into consideration things like eye contact, volume, and their responses to questions posed by their classmates. The result was a morning of consistently good (often excellent) presentations that kept the whole class engaged. If your child is expressing any concern about how to plan and execute a presentation (they should have a lot of new ideas and perspectives after today), you might want to use this site for some pointers.

We worked on a new subtraction technique in math, bringing us up to Lesson 9. This means that students can now work on the review sheets in their Yellow DuoTang (math) up to and including Lesson 9. We will go over these sheets next Monday, the same day we will do our practice math test. The "actual" test has been scheduled for Tuesday, November 9th. If your child is having issues with any of the questions or concepts on these sheets throughout the week, please let me know ASAP so I can go into more detail in class. Also, it is worth working on multiplication facts where time allows.

Our Scholastic orders (yes, the ones from September) have still not arrived! My last contact with the company gave me the impression that there has been a delay, and that they are not shipped (as I had previously been told). I will contact them again this afternoon and update the class tomorrow. On a brighter note, books on back order from the Book Fair have arrived and will be distributed soon. Also, proofs from Picture Day have arrived and were sent home today.

A few more notes:
  • Students have each been given 1 of our spelling words for the week, which they are to define and use in a sentence on the card provided. These are due tomorrow (Tuesday) for use during the week.
  • Students have been asked to find out any connection their family may have to war, peacekeeping, conflict or other aspects of Rememberance Day. The goal is that we begin to relate these concepts to our own lives and realities.
  • The last two Student of the Week Blog Posts are nearing completion, and should be posted soon. The 2 remaining "Friendship Play" videos will be posted tomorrow after I have changed their encoding.
  • Our ArtsSmarts project this year involves photography and a short excursion out of school. We will try to do this by the end of November.
  • A cake made by the mother of one of my students is featured on Mr. Dawe's "Principal's Blog"! Check it out at:

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