Monday, 16 April 2018

Some Upcoming Dates

Here is a link to a letter outlining some upcoming dates over the next few months. The rest of the year is going to be quite busy in Grade 6!

Snow Day, Holy Trinity, JA Program & Math Night

Happy Snow Day! Hard to believe this is the middle of April. Hope everyone is safe today.

This is going to be a busy week in Grade 6! On Tuesday, we are going Holy Trinity for Transition Day, which students always enjoy. We will be doing a tour of the school in groups, and then watching a presentation by the students of Holy Trinity. We should be back at St. Anne between 1:30 - 2:00. 

On Thursday from 6:30 - 8PM is our St. Anne Math Night. This was a very enjoyable evening last year, and I expect it will be just as much fun this year. During the Math Night, parents and children will have a chance to do some activities that students do in our classes. Mathnasium will be here this year as well with some games and door prizes. Looking forward to seeing you there!

On Thursday, the grade 6's will also be having volunteers come from the JA Program to teach us about Marketing and Business. Here is a description of the program from their website:

JA Be Entrepreneurial Junior (Grades 5 & 6) This is an interactive and engaging one-day program that introduces Grade 5 & 6 students to the fundamentals of starting a business and the opportunities and challenges of being an entrepreneur. Through key entrepreneurial concepts, including product, service, and competitive advantage and target market, students develop an understanding of how businesses thrive. 

Lately we have been practicing reading and writing for EQAO by completing an EQAO practice test each week. We have been writing the test one day, then taking up and self-assessing the next. After students have seen a good quality response, I ask them to try to improve it. After, we do the same process for writing samples. In the assessment folders, you will see the original answers on the practice tests, and the improved (hopefully!) answers on a lined piece of paper attached. For homework the next few weeks, we will be doing some reading assignments in a program called This website allows students to read an article, and then answer some multiple choice questions, followed by some short answer questions. This is excellent practice for EQAO.

In math, we have been continuing to learn about ratio and their relationships to fractions, decimals and percents. When working with more complicated problems involving fractions, I try to ask students to relate their responses to decimals because they can be easier to compare, and perform operations with. At this point, students usually begin to get a little confused by all the different ways we represent fractions (i.e. mixed numbers and improper fractions, decimals, percents, ratios). They need a good deal of practice to remember how to work with all of these. For homework, I will be assigning Mathletics for students to practice concepts we are going over in class. I highly recommend students complete any other assignments in addition to this. 

In science, we are getting to the end of our units on Conservation of Energy (Grade 5) and Space (Grade 6). We have begun a final project for each grade. The Grade 5's are designing a house that is energy efficient, and the Grade 6's are writing a report about a feature of space, and then constructing a model of it in the classroom. I imagine this will take a few weeks, after which we will have a test. I will send home their worksheets beforehand so that students can study. 

Have a great week everyone. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at school any time. 

Sunday, 8 April 2018

What's Coming this Week

We have been working hard in math learning about fractions and decimals. As part of this unit, we learn about calculating percent, as well as ratio and rates. We learn that a percent is simply another way to express a fraction, which is always out of 100. I show students how to change a fraction into a decimal by dividing the top number by the bottom, and then multiplying by 100 to make it a percent. Also, we learn that we can use equivalent fractions to turn a fraction into a percent. For example, 4/5 can be made into 80/100 by multiplying the numerator and denominator by 20, which makes 80%.

We will continue practicing percent this week by learning how to find the percent of a number, for example what is 80% of $20. Students need to simply multiply $20 by 0.8 in order to determine the amount. We will also be looking at how to find the original amount when given a percent - for example, $15 is 75% of what amount? In this case, students need to divide the two amounts (i.e. $15 / 0.75).

Later in the week we will be learning about what a ratio is and relating them to fractions and decimals as well. Finally, we will be learning about what a rate is and practicing many questions to explore this concept.

In language, we are getting ready for EQAO, which is occurring towards the the end of May. We will be reading some selections from old tests and practicing how to respond to reading questions in as much depth as possible. The two selections we will read this week are an info-fiction piece and a poetry piece. In the process of reading these, we will learn about some of the features and characteristics of each of these types of writing.

One way that can help students to respond to text in depth is to use a system called ROPES. This method is an anagram to help students remember the important elements to use in a response:

  • R - restate the question
  • O - opinion or answer
  • P - proof from the text
  • E - another example from the text
  • S - Summarize, or explain how your examples relate to your answer (why are they good examples?)
We have been practicing this method all year, and while it doesn't guarantee an adequate response, it does help students to have a place to start when answering questions. 

We will also be writing some persuasive paragraphs this week. We wrote one last week, and learned how to write with some greater detail when only writing a single paragraph. Most of the writing sample we have done this year have been longer, and the EQAO testing often asks students to write a single paragraph that has sufficient detail, so we will practice this a little longer before moving on to longer pieces for review.

In Science, we have been learning about Space for the grade 6's and Conservation of energy for the 5's. This week, I hope to finish covering the major concepts and have students begin a project to wrap up the unit and show their learning. We will have a unit test once the project is complete. These projects will be finished at school, and not assigned for homework.

In music, we have been learning about some famous composers, the instrument families, and have begun learning how to play the recorder. We will be continuing to learn the recorder until the end of the school year.

Thursday, 22 March 2018

Decimals in Depth

In math, we have been learning about how decimals relate to fractions. Here is a link to a slideshow I went over with the students to show how fractions and decimals are alike and different:

Introduction to Decimals

We have also learned how to compare and order decimals. Students found this very easy and are very good at it. Here is the lesson I went over with students to explain how to compare and order decimals:

Comparing & Ordering Decimals

Next week, we will begin looking at rounding decimals, using estimation, and then get into performing operations using decimals (addition, subtraction, multiplication and division). 

Kingdom Club Bake Sale

Monday, 19 March 2018

Palm Splitting on Friday and Grad T-Shirts

Welcome back! I hope everyone had a restful March Break. The rest of this year is sure to fly by!

Easter is only a couple of weeks away. In preparation for the Palm Sunday Mass next weekend, grade 6 students will be helping to split palms in the Learning Commons on Friday morning. Students usually quite enjoy this activity.

Another exciting event coming up is the sale of our Grade 6 T-shirts. I have attached a picture below of what they look like, except that there will be a large "18" on the back, which will be filled in with the signatures of all our grade 6 students. This is a nice keepsake for students who are leaving from grade 6 and moving on to middle school.

Students will have a chance to try on a few sample shirts to determine a size that fits well. We will have them write their size down in their agendas if possible to make ordering easier.

T-shirts will be available for order through School Cash Online. The cost for the youth sizes is $13, and adult sizes are $15. Taxes are included. The deadline for ordering will be April 7th. There can be no extensions for late orders as the company will only do one run of T-Shirts.

A note will go home when T-Shirts are available for sale through School Cash Online. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at the school any time.

Thursday, 8 March 2018

Comparing and Ordering Fractions

Today we are learning about how to compare fractions. There are basically 4 methods to compare fractions, and here are the ways. We will make anchor charts in class tomorrow for comparing fractions: