School resumes Monday, January 5th, 2015.
Please enjoy our week in photos below.
We hope that everyone enjoys their winter break. We wish you a great holiday and a Happy New Year!
School resumes Monday, January 5th, 2015.
Please enjoy our week in photos below.
In addition to our week in pictures, please enjoy our annual Grade 4 Team Elf Yourself video!
In math this week the students worked on graphing the Tomatosphere data. The grade 4's were invested in the data they collected, constructing graphs with a desire to see how different types can show the data in a different light. Students saw that different types of graphs can communicate different information about the same data. After playing with the App "Numbers" and a graphing website they all came to the conclusion that not all types of graphs are appropriate for all types of data. Once the students understood that different graphs can convey different information about the germinating tomato seeds, the students chose to represent the Tomatosphere data with a line graph. The students ofwere required to be very specific with creating the graph using labels, a title, drawing the lines with a ruler as well as using the grid paper in their math journals. The most important aspect was to use the data accurately they had collected over a period of time for the Tomatosphere exploration.
In science, we began the process of solidifying the students knowledge of simple machines through Rube Goldberg games and with our "adventurous" Robot Twitch. In playing the game with Twitch they made notes on how the machines interact, react, and the various simple machine uses. Feedback was given on our science journals in order to keep up our skills and ensure our journals are a good reference for future investigations regarding simple machines. We will continue our exploration of simple machines and building things that move into the new year.
This week in Humanities, fourth graders began crafting their poems about Alberta. We started by reviewing the rubric we had begun to create at the end of last week. This rubric is attached below for your reference.
Poems will be due on Monday, December 15th.
Grade fours have also begun working on their inquiry in to how "Where you live affects How you live". Students have noted their first thoughts on this topic and have begun to share ideas around how best to investigate. We have been impressed with the quality questions and ideas that fourth graders have come up with thus far. This inquiry will continue into the new year.
Students were also involved in several presentations throughout the week as part of our annual Peace Festival Speaker Series (The Mustard Seed, Calgary Food Bank, AARCS). Peace Festival activities will continue throughout next week before our closing assembly on Friday, December 19th marking the beginning of our winter break. Many of these activities will require non- perishable food donations or small dollar amounts to participate.
SKATING MONDAY!!! (Please keep your fingers crossed for ice!!!)
Please bring helmets and skates in a protective bag for our skating on Monday. Skating will begin with intramurals at lunchtime and will continue into the afternoon topped off with hot chocolate. Please bring a mug for the hot chocolate.
Our Peace Festival preparations are in full swing at the school. Our school is known for our generosity and kindness in helping those in need. We have quite a few initiatives in place for the students to participate in leading up to the winter break.
1) Inn From the Cold are one of are charitable organizations we are supporting this year. Inn From the Cold provide emergency shelter and programs to homeless children, their families and others in need, with the goal of building healthy stable families and ending homelessness.
Our grade 7-9 Me to We elective are organizing a collection of the following items, and we need your help. These items have been identified as part of the Inn From the Cold’s priority list of items that are most needed. We have assigned each grade to bring in donations of a particular item as detailed below. We thank you for your support of this important initiative.
The Grade 4 students are responsible for supplying Diaper Wipes
2) The Mayor’s Food Drive - Please bring non-perishable food items. There will also be activities in which the students can participate in with admission being a non-perishable food item throughout the upcoming week and a half.
3) Sock Drive for the AARCS foundation - We are collecting gently used (Clean) long socks to make animal toys. Does your washing machine eat socks? Ever wonder what to do with that stray sock? Bring it to school and we’ll create something special for an animal in need. (You can include such items as t-shirts, pj’s, sweat pants, or blankets - preferably cotton or fleece) - The students will be making these during the Peace Festival gym activities.
4) Craft Market/ Movie Screening - Tuesday December 16 - The Happy Movie (Documentary)
Craft Market 6:00 - 8:00 pm (Items handcrafted from Nepal - toques, Mitts, purses, bags etc)
Movie Screening - 7:00pm (75 minutes in length)
The screening is being hosted by Pop Up Cinema: Pop up on a bean bag for the most memorable, comfiest, and snuggly night out cinema experience.
Blurb from the movie:
Does money make you HAPPY? Kids and family? Your work? Do you live in a world that values and promotes happiness and well-being? Are we in the midst of a happiness revolution? Roko Belic, director of the Academy Award® nominated “Genghis Blues” now brings us HAPPY, a film that sets out to answer these questions and more. Taking us from the bayous of Louisiana to the deserts of Namibia, from the beaches of Brazil to the villages of Okinawa, HAPPY explores the secrets behind our most valued emotion.
5) Skating - The grade 4 students will be skating at the community rink for intramurals on Monday, December 15th. We will also be keeping them out for period 5 (right after lunch). This will be a fun way to get all 100 students together and enjoy the outdoors. Students who wish to go on the ice need to have a CSA-approved helmet. Students must also confirm with their bus driver whether or not they are allowed to bring their skates and/or sticks on the bus. They must also bring a protective bag to hold their skates so that there is no danger of the blades contacting anyone or anything. While all outdoor activities during the winter are weather-dependent, all students need to be dressed appropriately for outdoor activities, weather, and conditions. If students do not have skates or helmets, or choose not to skate, they can play in the snow and do different activities outside. However, they must come with the class outside so dress appropriately!
6) Volunteers Required - Skating. We will require volunteers to help the grade 4 students at the ice rink to tie skates,supervision and make hot chocolate upon our return into the school. The time commitment will be from 12:00 - 2:00. Please email your homeroom teacher if you are able to help out. Thank you in advance! (You are more than welcome to skate as well)
7) Peace Festival Activities in the Gym - We all will have the opportunity to visit the planned activities in the gym next Wednesday or Thursday. Each class will sign up for a designated time. A lot of the activities will be asking for 50 cents or a loonie to create a project. We suggest that students bring loose change that will be donated to local charities. The Craft Market will also be available at this time to purchase the bigger items handcrafted from Nepal.
8) Spirit Week - Next week the Me to We Elective has organized another fun spirit week. The schedule is as follows:
Monday Dec 15 - Crazy hair/ hat day
Tuesday Dec 16- PJ day (Mrs. Melville’s favourite!)
Wednesday Dec 17- Charity Day (Wear pink)
Thursday Dec 18- Festive Clothing
Friday Dec 19- Formal day (Wear dressy clothes)
Thank you all for participating in making the holidays brighter for those in need during this festive season. We appreciate your donations and acts of kindness.
Best Wishes from the Grade 4 Team!
We are moving into the final two weeks of school before the winter break. It will become very busy with the Speakers Series and Peace Festival. The Speakers Series is based on global citizenship and service. The Peace festival committee organizes this event bringing in people from in and around the Calgary area to showcase their organization. In the past we have had guests from animal rescue organizations to those that aid the homeless in our city.
The focus for the Peace Festival is "Kindness" and all the activities will be centered around that theme. The grade 9 students organize fun ways for the school community to come together and interact in positive ways. We will send out more information in regard to the Speakers Series and Peace Festival as the information comes forward.
Thank you to all the parents, grandparents and siblings who shared their time and innovative approaches with the Sword of Knowledge extension POW questions. As mathematicians we are always exploring strategies that are the "right" fit for how our minds work. Some may find that their support people do things differently but end with the same result. We recognize that this is a wonderful discovery and appreciate how others work through a problem. Some students were thrilled to use the information that you shared with them, while others are still exploring other options for showing their thinking process. We encourage you to continue working through the math problems together to build that support system and for the students to recognize that "Parents are Partners" in their learning. As the school year progresses we will find more and more inventive strategies for all areas of the math curriculum.
In science, we continued to explore simple machines (wheels, axles, levers, pulleys, gears, inclined plane, wedge and screw), using the Lego and K'Nex kits. With this being the second week building the students are becoming more comfortable with the concepts of simple machines and how they interact with each other to form a more complex machine.
In Humanities this week, fourth graders submitted their Pic Collages showcasing what they think makes Alberta unique. Along with these collages, students submitted a self graded rubric and explanation.
Because students were so diligent in completing and handing in their pic collages, we were afforded time to begin brainstorming for our upcoming Alberta poetry assignment. Grade four classes were brought together (in groups of 50) and discussed the poem, "Sea Fever" by John Masefield. Students noted that the poem used strong word choice and the pattern of adjective+noun+verb to create vivid images in the readers mind. They also noticed that the poem used the technique of personification to give the ideas life. Students were then put into groups to develop word banks for each of the 6 natural regions of Alberta. Each group of 5 students was made up of group members from different classes. These groups were asked to decide on 4 nouns for each region and brainstorm as many adjectives and verbs for each noun as possible. These word banks will be used in the coming weeks to aid in student's development of Alberta poetry assignments. They will be posted in each Humanities classroom.
Students have been tasked with writing a poem that illustrates their understanding of strong word choice, adjective+ noun + verb sequence, personification and mood. Grade fours can choose how many regions are written about in their free verse poems but will need to include a minimum of 6 lines. On Thursday, we began developing a rubric together for this assignment.
In the coming weeks, we will also begin to explore the question "How does where you live affect how you live?"
The results are in! The space seeds are.... drum roll please.... V! We submitted our results to the Canadian Space Agency and received an email with the outcome of our investigation. Over 1600 schools have participated so far with only a 1% difference in the germination of the control seeds and the space seeds. All the students received certificates noting their participation as Space Farmers in this important study. For us this project is not over. Through data analysis we are exploring how different types of graphs and charts tell us different things about the same data. We will continue to learn about the Numbers app, bar and line graphs.
In Science, we began a new area of study with a hands on approach to learning. Our area of focus will be on simple machines. All students have been building with Lego or K'Nex to identify how simple machines interact to create complex machines. Students are also relating their creations to the simple machines we utilize every day. Drawing and diagrammatic sketching will continue to support our scientific exploration. Much like the explorers from days gone by.
During our time in Humanities this week, fourth graders finished their check-in surrounding their understanding of Alberta's Six Natural Regions. Students read 6 different case studies form our "Voices of Alberta" text and needed to identify which region was being described by the speaker. Students were able to use their notes on regions and Alberta maps from earlier this term.
After submitting their responses via Edmodo, grade fours were asked to consider what makes Alberta unique. Each class discussed and reviewed our province's landscape, special features, climate, wildlife etc.
Students are currently working on finishing up a pic collage that showcases all that is unique about Alberta.
These pic collages can include any number of photos (up to 30), so long as each student feels that it effectively represents Alberta. When handing in their finished collages, fourth graders have also been asked to grade themselves on a rubric that had been shared earlier in the week and to explain why they feel they have earned the grade they chose. This rubric is also posted below:
In the coming weeks, students will begin to further explore our use of Alberta's resources and land as well as experiment with poetry using our Alberta Pic Collages as inspiration.
*A NOTE ABOUT IPADS
Students have been welcome to take their iPads home each night for a couple of weeks now. There have been several instances where student iPads did not return to school after being taken home the night before.
It is imperative that fully charged iPads are available for student use each day. We ask that students become more diligent in packing their belongings for school the night before. We also encourage students to have strategies in place that can be of service to them when/if an iPad has been forgotten at home to ensure that they can be an active class member throughout time spent at school.
In Science this week we had a meeting of the minds. The scientist came together to share their data and discuss their conclusions. They began to realize that they need to support their thoughts with proof from the data they collected. All of this is about learning to support your argument. What is a difference between a conclusion and a hypothesis?
Our week in Humanities was spent exploring our six natural regions of Alberta and deciphering what information we can gain from pictures. Fourth graders began looking at 6 different Pic Collages- each crafted to showcase landscape, landforms, wildlife, unique features and resources and industries for each region. In groups, grade fours discussed what information they could gather from the collage before sharing with the class and adding to their notes.
We will finish up any regions that were not yet explored on Monday and wrap up this lesson with a Natural Region Check In on edmodo.
Students were also given time this week to work on their new and ongoing Writers Workshop projects, with several students sharing their creations with the class. Grade fours revisited their reading goals and set another weekly goal to focus on.
We hope that Parents and students enjoyed their time spent at Student Led Conferences and were able to share in some more valuable learning and sharing together. If anyone was unable to make the times on Thursday evening and Friday day, please feel free to ask you r student to bring home their iPad, journal and binder this week to share. Specifically, students shared their Student Learning Plans, which are currently housed on a site called "Pathbrite".
Enjoy the lovely weekend!
Fourth graders were very busy this week, despite only having three days to get things done! Classes revisited their Reading Goals and reading comprehensions strategies. Students will need to continue keeping these strategies in mind and continue goal setting throughout the school year.
In addition to this, students also continued to brainstorm and record Social Studies questions and divide their inquiries into "Thick" and "Thin" questions. Thin questions could be answered quickly by looking in a book or using the internet. Their thick questions are those that will need further research and discussion during our inquiry into Alberta this year.
Grade fours have also been busy preparing their Student Learning Plans to be showcased at next weeks upcoming Student Led Conferences. Students have been using Pathbrite as an online portfolio tool to document finished and ongoing projects that correspond to our Exemplary Learning Framework ( PDF below).
Report cards will be sent home on Monday afternoon with students. Our Student Led conferences are a time for your child to take you through their learning thus far at Connect. Conference times are Thursday, November 20th from 4pm-8pm and Friday, November 21st from 8am-1pm. There are no classes scheduled next Friday. Visiting the conferences should be flexible as your child will be responsible for touring you through their classrooms and there are no formal interviews with teachers.
In math this week, we began by reviewing our math assessment. We discussed how to improve our work. We determined that we could improve by showing our work, double checking our solutions, making sure we understand what the question is asking before trying to solve it, and carrying and borrowing with addition and subtraction. We then went over strategies for carrying and borrowing and how that relates to place value.
We also received a new POW called "The Sword of Knowledge". It was awesome because it was a challenge. We got to chop off dragon's heads and tails until the dragon was slain. There were different ways to solve it and we had to figure out how many chops of our sword it took to kill the dragon. The dragon had 3 tails and 3 heads and we only had 1 sword. It wasn't easy and we really had to think. If we chopped off 1 head, 1 head would grow. If we chopped off 2 tails, 1 head would grow etc etc. Please look at the POW below. How many chops does it take for you to solve it?
In science, most of us finished up our science reflection, turned it in to Edmodo, read our feedback and replied with a comment. If this is not done it is now past due!!!! We also got to do a Plant crossword puzzle. It's HARD!!!!!
(Hint: Most of the solutions are on Mrs. Melville's word wall)
Math/ Science blog written by 4.3 Students
In science our tomato plants are taking off … We are continuing to log our data and to look for any emerging patterns in the plants growth. When asked if we can tell which seeds came from the International Space Station, a student replied that we need more evidence. The class quickly agreed.
This week in Humanities, fourth graders continued their exploration of what information can be gathered from looking at different maps. After completing this work in small groups, students were asked to complete a short check in on Edmodo asking them to explain at least four things they learned about Alberta or maps. In addition to their Social Studies work, students also reflected on their reading goals that they have been working on for the past 2 weeks. Grade fours were asked to think about whether or not they felt that had made progress with their goals and what strategies they would like to focus on next. Students were also wonderful audience members during our Connect Remembrance Day ceremony on Thursday morning. The theme was 100 years since World War 1; we hope that you will take the time to ask them about their impressions and perhaps talk about this important holiday as a family.
iPads and chargers have been sent home with fourth graders over their long weekend. We are asking that parents take some time to explore Edmodo accounts with their child. Be sure to check your child's Identity Artifact Keynote assignment, along with their feedback and graded rubric. A reminder to students that this rubric cannot be seen when accessing the assignment through the app; you need to login to Edmodo through your safari browser.
Enjoy your weekend.
Science and Math are tightly woven with the Tomatosphere Experiment, as we have been making scientific observations in order to support our predictions (hypothesis). Collecting the data required the students to create charts that met specific criteria. The hope here is that we see patterns that may eventually support our predictions. As well, our observations may help us identify which tomato seeds spent 22 months in space.
All the students at Connect Charter School have been introduced to Pathbrite, a website portfolio to support their Student Learning Plans. With this portfolio they will be sharing their work which aligns with the Exemplary Learning Framework.
The Me to We and Mini Me to We electives are collecting candy to be donated to children in the hospital. If you happen to have leftovers or the students collect too much, the elective students would love your donations. Please bring the candy to school next week and give to the homeroom teacher. We promise not to eat it!
In Humanities, fourth graders have been active in beginning their inquiry into Alberta's Natural Environments. Students began the week by sharing their photos of themselves immersed in our province's natural environments and identifying where in Alberta their picture was taken. Classes placed pins or stickers on a large map of Alberta to illustrate where we have travelled. Students also spent time looking at different maps of Alberta and deciding what information the map was giving them about Alberta and about readings maps in general. This exploration will continue into next week as well.