During September, our class reviewed math concepts, completed the PRIME numeracy test (which identifies strengths and needs in the area of number sense) and began to move forward with the Grade 5 and 6 math program. We are currently finishing up our first major math unit, which deals with large numbers and decimals.

Our math program follows the Simcoe County District School Board’s Course of Study.  The Course of Study summarizes key principles and learning expectations in the Ontario Mathematics Curriculum and provides a teaching sequence, timeline, and list of tools and lesson resources needed to cover the expectations.

This is a sample of the Grade 5 Course of Study Overview
and the outline for Unit 1. 

There are similar documents for Grade 6.

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At the beginning of each topic in our regular Grade 5 and 6 math program, students complete a diagnostic test assessing how well they remember the math concepts they learned in prior grades. Guided Math Groups are created based on the results of the diagnostic tests.  These groups meet once a week.

Review, through small group Guided Math and Guided Math homework, makes it easier for each student to build upon his/her knowledge during our regular Grade 5 and 6 math program. The resource for Guided Math is Dr. Marion Small’s Leaps and Bounds: Toward Math Understanding for Grades 5/6.

http://blackdeer.edublogs.org/files/2012/09/cover56-1dcx49i.jpg

After completing the weekly work with his or her group, each student may use any additional time during our weekly Guided Math period to play math games.

These are the math books, games and enrichment activities
available in our classroom.


Here are some of the 15+ math games that are stored in the green bin (above).

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Our daily Grade 5 and 6 math lessons follow a three-part lesson format.  It includes:

  1. A “minds-on” activity that serves to review a familiar math concept or introduce a new one;
  2. A lesson and opportunity for partner- and independent-practice;
  3. An opportunity for the class consolidate understanding by discussing new insights gleaned from the lesson.  Consolidation sometimes includes creating a note, in the form of a definition, rule or procedure that students copy into a math journal, for future reference.

Resources for our daily Grade 5 and 6 math lessons are listed in the Board’s Course of Study. They include “Nelson Math,” “The Super Source Math Resource” and the Ontario Ministry of Education’s “Guides to Effective Instruction in Math, Grades 4-6.”

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From time-to-time, each student is asked to answer a math question on a piece of paper called an “exit card.” Exit cards indicate how well each student has understood a particular math concept that we have been studying.  Students who have difficulty answering the question, or who ask for additional assistance, are offered extra tutoring.

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 HERE ARE SOME MATH RESOURCES YOU CAN USE AT HOME

Thank you for visiting the class, via our BLOG.  If you have any questions or comments, feel free to e-mail me:  mblack@mail1.scdsb.on.ca or to add a comment to this page.

1

By Allisa and Megan

We dance in our classroom almost every day.

Sometimes we dance to take a break from sitting. We dance to songs on Mrs. Black's MP3 player. When we do this, students get to make up dances and lead the class.

Here we are (Megan and Allisa) with Ashley, leading the class during a dance break:

The boys love to lead our dance breaks too:

We have also been dancing during this month's Arts periods. We have been participating in a Wii game called Just Dance, using Mrs. Black's Wii and the classroom projector. When we play, we have to dance along to what's on the screen.

We take turns using the remote, which gives the person holding it a score on how well they did. Isaac holds the record for dancing to the song Kung Fu Fighting. His score was 7000 points.

Here are some pictures of us dancing with the Wii:

Dancing at school is really fun!

Thank you for visiting the class, via our BLOG.  If you have any questions or comments, feel free to e-mail me:  mblack@mail1.scdsb.on.ca or to add a comment to this page.

In addition to studying Biodiversity (Grade 6) and The Characteristics and Needs of Living Things (Grade 1), this fall the Science Buddies are also studying  Electricity (Grade 6) and Conservation of Energy (Grade 1).

Today, the Grade 1's and 6's got together to play a game in which the group identified activities that save and waste energy.  Part of the game involved having buddies cross under a limbo bar, which was raised if a buddy-pair chose a card listing an activity that saves energy and lowered if a buddy-pair chose a card listing an activity that wastes energy.

The students learned some important lessons about conservation of energy and had a lot of fun in the process!

Today’s learning activity was part of Lesson I in The David Suzuki Foundation’s publication, “Connecting with Nature:  An educational guide for grades four to six,” which is keyed to the Ontario Science Curriculum.  This document can be downloaded for free at:  http://www.davidsuzuki.org/what-you-can-do/connecting-with-nature-education-guide/

Science Buddies will not be meeting again until November/December, at which time the Grade 6's will invite the Grade 1's to help them explore electric circuits using batteries and bulbs, and build birdhouses as an outreach project related to the Grade 1 Characteristics and Needs of Living Things unit.

Thank you for visiting the class, via our BLOG.  If you have any questions or comments, feel free to e-mail me:  mblack@mail1.scdsb.on.ca or to add a comment to this page.

by Jenna D.


This is me, writing this BLOG post!

The first month of the year we were doing drama.  We have also done a little bit of dance.  This month we are doing Visual Art with wavy paint lines and character traits about ourselves.  This was a good starting art piece because everyone could be successful.  Everyone worked very hard on their art piece.  We had to be very careful that we didn't get our colours smudged together.  We had to use permanent marker to outline the letters and the wavy lines.

We made Success Criteria.  It looked like this:

Here are some of the kids working:

Here is a sample of some of the finished art:

This art project can be found on Jennifer Runde's BLOG, Runde's Room.

Thank you for visiting the class, via our BLOG.  If you have any questions or comments, feel free to e-mail me:  mblack@mail1.scdsb.on.ca or to add a comment to this page.

Today, the Grade 6 students met with their Grade One Science Buddies for another outdoor session.  The objective of today's field work was to celebrate the biodiversity that exists within our schoolyard.  Students started by completing a nature scavenger hunt.  They looked for a wide variety of habitats, plants, insects, spiders, birds and mammals on the yard.

After the scavenger hunt was complete, the Grade 6 students each took a field guide and looked up information about a species he or she found on the yard.  The Grade 6's then read that information to their Grade 1 buddies.

The final part of our biodiversity celebration involved drawing the species that Grade 1 and 6 buddies had read about in the field guides.

Today’s outdoor session was adapted from Lesson G in The David Suzuki Foundation’s publication, “Connecting with Nature:  An educational guide for grades four to six,” which is keyed to the Ontario Science Curriculum.  This document can be downloaded for free at:  http://www.davidsuzuki.org/what-you-can-do/connecting-with-nature-education-guide/

Thank you for visiting the class, via our BLOG.  If you have any questions or comments, feel free to e-mail me:  mblack@mail1.scdsb.on.ca or to add a comment to this page.

Today our class spent the morning Literacy block reading and analyzing news articles from the National Post, Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, Toronto Sun and Orillia Packet and Times.  These are the Learning Goals for this lesson:

Students were arranged in groups of three.  Each group chose a "hard news" story from one of the newspapers, and analyzed it using the criteria on the left (click on the image to enlarge it).  A "hard news" story is one that is tied to an event and/or has a sense of urgency attached to it.

Here are the articles that students analyzed today.  Topics included Justin Bieber, Omar Khadr, a new four-way stop in Orillia, the last run of the Northlander Train, a difficult decision to be made by a Blue Jays player, a firefighter tribute in Toronto, and a bombing in the Middle East:

After completing their analyses, groups shared their findings with the class.  Students discovered that almost all news articles include "the five W's" (why, who, what, when and where) and provide additional quotes and information.  Often, this extra information helps readers to feel a connection to the people in the story.  Students also discovered that some articles report just the facts or provide readers with a variety of different perspectives on an issue, while other articles seem more like persuasive writing, attempting to make readers take one side or another on an issue.  This last insight led to a lively discussion about the various ways that Omar Khadr has been portrayed in the media.

In our next media literacy session, students will apply today's learning to the task of writing their own news articles.  I'm hoping to entice some of them to write news for the class BLOG.

Thank you for visiting the class, via our BLOG.  If you have any questions or comments, feel free to e-mail me:  mblack@mail1.scdsb.on.ca or to add a comment to this page.