April 12, 2019

What happened this week in 5B?!

Dear 5B parents and the wider community,

Today is the day before our much-anticipated Spring holiday! However though the excitement that’s typical around a holiday is abuzz in the hallways today, we have had a busy week full of hard work leading up to it.

This week we completed the class guided inquiry into World War II. So as a class, we studied the main events in WWII, so students could understand the key concept of connection through seeing how this war affected so many countries and its effects were far reaching. We learned through our guided reading novels, as well as through class picture books and other secondary sources about the persecution of the Jews, and why they were so ill-treated. The conversations and discussions we had surrounding this sensitive period of time in history has been eye-opening for our class.

Now using the same structure that we have used as a class to examine World War II, students this week chose another time period or historical event to complete their independent inquiry on. Due to the long holiday, and the various events following it, our class time to work on their inquiry is limited. Thus, students have been working with extra effort this week to make the most of the time they have in class to begin their research. Some of the time periods/events they chose include: The Spanish Flu, The Fall of the Berlin Wall, Colonial Hong Kong, Colonial India, The Normans, The Vikings, the Opium War, The Black Death, etc. Some of their key questions guiding their inquiry include:

  • How might the Opium War have changed the course of history? – Brianna
  • What would have happened if the Normans never started?
  • How did Britain decide to rule India? – Shreya
  • How might the Korean government have been like back then? – Emily
  • Why did they build the Berlin Wall? – Lee
  • Although the Black Death was a terrible epidemic, killing millions of people globally, could there have been some benefits? – EmmaRose

Students will use a range of strategies to research and organize their research based on the questions they have generated. Sketchnote methods such as the Cornell method, and the Brick-road approach are what they should be using to record their research. On May 2nd and May 6th, students will present their research in the form of a Google Slides presentation or poster board. Students are currently completing timelines similar to the ones I mentioned above, but now for their own time period/historical event.

Concurrent to our unit of inquiry summative, we are also working on writing a historical fiction story based on the real events from their time period but created around nonfictional characters. Our first stage in this process is to brainstorm a list of possible setting, characters, problems and resolutions that could take place in this period of time, or during this event.  To help inspire imagination, I asked the students to look up image(s) from this time period – and to use this as a launching pad to develop ideas. The focus for their historical fiction stories will be on how well their character is developed and how well they can use the sequencing planner to enable their ideas to flow. These two areas have been our focus during our guided reading and during our class read-aloud of the Night Diary.

Following the break, students will kick into high gear in completing these two summatives as well as getting ready for their Student Led Learning Reviews. Please be aware that due to the nature of these conferences, these cannot be rescheduled to another day. However if you are unable to make it to this conference, let me know ahead of time and I can arrange to have all the materials sent home with your child so they can talk about their learning with you then. A follow-up meeting if desired can be arranged afterwards.

Thank you to all the parents who sent in treats for our Easter Party and for all your planning and concerted effort to ensure a smooth and happy party!

What the students have done in Visual Arts (From Ms. Sandul)

For the current art project the students viewed videos about the Cottingley Fairies, a true story that happened in the early 1900s.

The short version is this story is that two young girls supposedly took photos of fairies and the photos became famous and people believed in fairies. Even the author Doyle, who wrote the Sherlock Holms stories believed that the photos were real and articles were published about them. Before these women died in the 1980s they confessed that the photos were fakes and that they made cutouts of fairies for their photos.

The students are creating their own creatures that they will photograph to look like real creatures!

Phones in the Lower School (Message from Mr. MacPherson)

Please be reminded that the Lower School has a strict “no phones” policy. Students are not permitted to use their phones during the school day. When students arrive on campus in the morning, phones must be safely stored. Students can use phones after dismissal at the end of the day.

Here are some key dates for after we return from the April Break:

  • Wednesday April 24th: Students return from break

  • Thursday April 25th: Chinese Field Trip from 9:30 AM – 2 PM

  • Friday April 26th: SLLR online booking period ends

  • Wednesday May 1st: No School – Labour Day

  • Friday May 2nd: Student Led Learning Reviews all day

  • May 8, 14, and 17th: Spring MAP Testing

That’s all for now. Have a wonderful and safe Spring Holiday, relish this uninterrupted time with your child!


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