About Ms. Weir’s Class
Dear Parent(s)/ Guardian(s):
Your child’s success is very important to me and for this reason I encourage you to contact me with any questions or concerns. Please feel free to write a note in your child’s agenda and/or a phone call should you have any questions or concerns. The agenda is an important communication tool and is used to record class assignments, deadlines, tests, and any other important information. Please ensure that you check and sign your child’s agenda each night.
The following information is a brief outline of the programs and learning activities your child will experience throughout our year together. The Ontario Curriculum documents clearly identifies what your child is expected to learn in each grade and subject area. These Ministry documents can be accessed online at www.edu.gov.on.ca
Throughout this school year, your child will be provided with opportunities for spiritual, social, emotional, physical and intellectual growth in a safe, organized and stimulating environment.
An investigative, inquiry and problem-based approach where flexibility and open-ended experiences:
- incorporate 21st Century Learning Skills (Collaboration, Communication, Critical Thinking, Creativity)
- allow for students’ different perspectives, interests and learning styles to build a community of learners
- encourage students to reflect and communicate their thinking and strategies
- support the development of skills and strategies that are essential for higher level learning
- incorporate the relevant and timely use of technology support rigorous academic standards
- STEAM learning projects (in class) – Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math
- makes learning more relevant to students
- engages them more deeply in the learning process
- enables authentic, student-centred learning to take place
DIVERSITY & SOCIETY
- Science and Social Studies are viewed through the lens of the big ideas and form the context within which language skills, investigative research and integrated cross-curricular units are explored
- Big Ideas will be explored through our curriculum content
- Big Ideas are abstract and difficult to fully grasp. The understanding of these “big ideas” will change and develop over time.
Students will have the opportunity to experience a blended learning model classroom that will include activities such as small-group or full-class instruction, group projects, individual remediation, and pencil-and-paper assignments. When this model is implemented students may have the opportunity to rotate through centres set up specifically to increase their motivation, engagement and learning experience. In addition, students will experience a Flipped Classroom when they are able to learn curriculum online via the blog or other learning programs and work through the teacher-guided practice or projects in the classroom.
Creativity, critical thinking, communication, collaboration and problem solving are essential skills for students in the 21st Century. Therefore, providing opportunities for these skills are equally as important. Our class designates one day each week (or two) to enrichment. These days give students more time to focus and develop their learning. In addition, Enrichment Days provide opportunities for new experiences as well as nurturing and developing already identified talents. These Enrichment Days are student-led days, connected to the Ontario Curriculum and the 21st Century Competencies.
Enrichment Days provide an opportunity for students to study subjects in more details for the day, giving students an opportunity to develop additional skills such as teamwork, as well as encouraging students to take part in activities and challenges that are different to their normal everyday lessons. During our Enrichment Days, students have an opportunity to participate in:
- Genius Hour
- Mastering to new apps
- Creating movies
- Publishing original works
- Creating unique works of art or inventions
- Advanced learning
- Inquiry projects
Our makerspace area, is an area that allows for creativity and innovation to occur so that students can engage in learning experiences that allow them to make real life connections. For example, within this makerspace our students will have the freedom to design, engineer, fabricate, create, build and collaborate. Makerspaces provide students with a place to tinker and develop something that may not have been possible to create without a space with resources.
The program focuses on five major areas of knowledge and skills.
- Number Sense and Numeration
- Geometry and Spatial Sense
- Patterning and Algebra
- Data Management and Probability.
The five strands of math as outlined in the Ontario Curriculum will be uncovered through a variety of instructional methods. These include, but are not limited to, interactive SMART Board and teacher-directed lessons, hands-on experiences, projects, investigations, and videos, with the goal of increasing math confidence and developing a real conceptual understanding of mathematical concepts.
A variety of resources will be used, such as Nelson Math, the JUMP Math program, Hands on Math, Online Math Programs, just to name a few.
The Nelson website is www.nelsonk8math.com and it has additional information for parents and practice for students.
Our math lessons incorporate both a three-part math lesson and the four-step math Problem-Solving Model. A three-part problem-based math lesson includes an introduction to the lesson or problem, time to explore all possible solutions to the problem, and time to summarize and share strategies as a whole group. This model of instruction emphasizes group work and collaborative learning. It will be applied across all five strands of Mathematics.
Language Arts (Literacy)
Oral Communication – participate in individual and group oral presentations, dramatizations, book reports, personal biographies, as well as formal speech presentations – model oral reading skills for JK/SK Learning Buddies
Reading – read independently for personal enrichment and information and knowledge – read a variety of fiction & non-fiction texts – participate in novel studies, literature circles, and develop critical reading comprehension strategies and skills
Writing – integrate written skills – e.g. grammar, capitalization, punctuation, paragraph development, and parts of speech – develop the ability to clearly express thoughts, feelings, and ideas – write for a variety of purposes and for varied audiences – apply spelling strategies to their own writing
Media Literacy – demonstrating, identifying, and creating a variety of media texts
Some ideas for at home reading and writing activities are: writing a letter to a friend, writing a to-do list, reading a variety of texts, i.e. the newspaper, comics, non-fiction, fiction, the manual to an appliance, a recipe etc. and discussing what you have written or read with a family member.
Science Investigations are organized into four Science strands set out in the Ontario Curriculum.
- Understanding Life Systems (Habitats and Communities).
- Understanding Standing Structures and Mechanisms (Pulleys and Gears)
- Understanding Earth and Space Systems (Rocks and Minerals)
- Understanding Matter and Energy (Light and Sound)
Social Studies is organized into two strands:
- People and Environments (Political and Physical Regions of Canada).
- Heritage and Citizenship (Early Societies, 3000 BCE – 1500 CE)
Scientists In Schools
- Pulleys and Gears – February
- Sound – June
The arts opens doors to creativity and has the power to engage students in their learning. The arts increases critical thinking, innovation and meaningful learning in the classroom. Reader’s Theatre, Art, Media Arts and Art Technology will be integrated through lessons and projects to enhance your child’s academic experience and 21st Century Learning Skills.
- develop their artistic voices and technical skills to represent/convey their ideas and feelings through their work
- develop their creative thinking and their skills of interpretation
- develop their understanding of the role art has played and continues to play in the adventures of being human around the world
The Arts expectations are organized into three areas of study: Drama and Dance, Music and Visual Arts. The three areas will be integrated across the curriculum in correlation to themes and subject content.
Religion and Fully Alive
The religion program (Come and See) emphasizes that we are all created in God’s image and loved as unique individuals. This is accomplished through activities, which include attending school liturgies and masses, prayer, storytelling, Bible study and reflection. Children will celebrate the religious significance of Thanksgiving, Advent/Christmas, and Lent/Easter.
The Fully Alive program is a family life education program that supports parents in fostering the development of positive attitudes towards interpersonal and social relationships, strong self-esteem, and moral development within the context of the Catholic faith.
Music – The music teacher, Mrs. Manion, leads a lesson every Monday at 12:35 – 1:05
Physical Education – (Mondays and Thursdays) Running shoes are mandatory for safety reasons.
Library – The children will visit the library every week. Our class library day is Friday.
Assessment and Evaluation
- teacher, peer and self-assessment and evaluation: Diagnostic, formative (ongoing) and summative
- tests, quizzes, written assignments
- student reflection, portfolio entries
- design projects, performance-based assessments
- novel studies, responses and interviews
- speeches and debates, problem-solving opportunities
The four Categories of Learning are outlined in the Ontario Curriculum documents for each subject. They can be generalized into 4 key categories across all subject areas and from grades1-12 to include:
- Application/Making Connections
- November – Elementary Progress Report Card (Interviews held)
- January (end of term 1) – Elementary Provincial Report Card
- June (end of term 2) – Elementary Provincial Report Card
Learning Skills & Work Habits
The development of learning skills and work habits needed to succeed in school and in life begins early in a child’s schooling. As students move through the grades, they develop and then consolidate their learning skills and work habits in preparation for postsecondary education and the world of work. In many subjects and disciplines in Grades 1 to 12, the development of the learning skills and work habits is further strengthened through the achievement of the curriculum expectations. Teachers will work with students and their parents /guardians to help them develop the following six learning skills and work habits:
- Independent Work
Each learning skill and work habit is evaluated on the report cards using the following scale:
- E = Excellent
- G = Good
- S = Satisfactory
- N= Needs Improvement
Homework Policy – Homework will only consist of work that your child did not finish during the school day, as well as briefly reviewing any learning videos or materials on the class blog or Google Classroom. In addition, your child might be encouraged to visit online learning program sites that will be very beneficial for student learning and growth. Students may also be encouraged to gather materials to bring to school to complete a project or experiment. Otherwise, there will be no formally assigned homework this year. It is my hope that this provides family, reading, extracurricular and play time in the evenings, as well as the opportunity for your child to get to bed early each night.
PLEASE NOTE: All projects will be completed at school and all homework (including French) is expected to be completed on time. If for any reason your child is unable to complete the homework because they are sick or do not understand the material please write a note in their agenda so that we can get them caught up during the school day or provide extra time to complete the work.
Personal responsibility, particularly as it relates to study skills, is taking charge of one’s own learning. Therefore, it is IMPORTANT that students learn to write down their homework and reminders in their agenda daily and that they show responsibility by completing their classwork and homework each day.
Personal Responsibility also implies completing assignments on time, studying for tests, taking the responsibility for one’s own learning mistakes or failures, and performing to the best of one’s ability. Personal responsibility recognizes the importance of parents and teachers as learning partners but puts the student in charge.
Determining a Report Card Grade
Teachers will consider the quality of all evidence for evaluation that has been collected over time using a variety of methods. The teacher will consider:
- all assignments for evaluation and tests/exams that were completed or submitted;
- evidence of achievement that is available for each overall expectation for a subject. Teachers will use their professional judgment to interpret the evidence and then will assign a letter grade or percentage mark.
Growing Success: Assessment, Evaluation and Reporting in Ontario Schools (Grades 1-12) is available from The Ontario Ministry of Education’s website.
Communication – Communication to parents is available on the Class Blog, FreshGrade, Remind, Google Classroom and through email. Please make regular visits to these sites often!
I consider it an honour to teach your child and I am dedicated to supporting you in nurturing your child intellectually, socially, spiritually and physically. If your child is experiencing difficulty in any area, you will be notified in a timely manner.
I wish to thank you for your support and look forward to a wonderful year.