It was another busy week at NCS! Students were excited to meet Kenneth Oppel Tuesday afternoon as we have been greatly enjoying his book "Silverwing" in class. It was interesting to hear how Mr. Oppel came up with the storyline, his characters, and real places that inspired scenes from the book! Students also wrote their monthly letter home today so please review it with your child this weekend.
In math this week, students received their number concepts test back on Monday which went home in their assessment duo tang. Parents are asked to initial any tests/quizzes, rubrics, etc. that come home in the duo tang and students will return them to school where they will be stored. We also started work on patterning concepts and realized that patterns are all around us! In their math journals, student worked on the question "What is a pattern? Show some examples." We watched a Bill Nye video called "Patterns" and worked on some "What do you think?" questions around patterns and then discussed them as a class. Students worked on identifying different patterns using hundred charts and then stating the pattern rules. We used the laptops on Thursday to go on the website "Prodigy" for students to practice their math skills. We learned about symmetry, asymmetry, and the line of symmetry before working on an art activity today in which students needed to draw the other half of a spider. A good activity as we look forward to Halloween next Tuesday! Students will have a quiz on Monday to demonstrate their understanding of rounding, estimating, and mental math strategies. Students were encouraged to take home their marked practice sheet from this week to review over the weekend.
In science, students received their waste home project on Monday (see the previous post below with all the attachments). I was able to connect with students today to check-in on how their project is going and offer suggestions as they move forward. Students are reminded to fill in their logbook regularly as they work at home. Projects are due on Monday, November 6th along with the question sheet and logbook.
We also discussed items that are sold with excessive packaging and how wasteful this is! Students shared stories of items they had seen in stores that had too much packaging and they discussed ways packing materials could be cut back. We read the article "The Packaging Explosion" which discussed the history of where packaging goods originated from. Students answered questions about the article and thought of ideas to reduce packaging in products. We also looked at our banana peel experiment one month after we last observed it. It was covered in mold but was still there which demonstrates how slowly items decompose when sealed in plastic. Students were shown a banana peel from the same experiment from September 2012 and it was still in there (but a lot smaller). We made comparisons between our banana in a plastic bag and garbage sealed in a plastic liner at a landfill. The lack of air, movement, and decomposers can greatly delay or stop the decomposing process. We'll keep the banana peels in the classroom and observe them throughout the year.
Have a great weekend!
Students were given a home project today to demonstrate their learning of our unit "Waste and our World." They are asked to reuse waste materials to produce a new and useful product. The project letter, question sheet, logbook and assessment rubric are attached below. All sheets except the rubric were also sent home with students today in their agendas. The project, question sheet and logbook are due in class on Monday, November 6th where each student will present to their peers. I’m looking forward to seeing the finished products!
Waste & our World Home Project Letter
Waste Project Assessment Rubric
In math this week, students wrote their number concepts test on Monday which will go home after the weekend for a parent signature. We continued work on estimating sums and also learned some mental math strategies to utilize for addition. The strategies students learned and practiced in class were: front-end addition, break up & bridge, finding compatibles, and compensation (see the strategies below). Students are getting better at using the best strategy for any given addition equation. We will have a short quiz on rounding, estimating sums and mental math strategies on Monday, October 30th so we'll continue to practice and reinforce their skills next week. We will also be starting patterning concepts on Monday.
Both classes were also introduced to the math website "Prodigy" yesterday and were very excited to start playing in class! Students wrote their username and password into their agendas so they can also play at home. As a teacher, I can track their progress and assign them topics to work on that we are currently studying during class time.
In science, we discussed and learned all about landfills and the role they play in storing our garbage safely. Students learned we have three landfills in Calgary: Spyhill, East Calgary and Shepard Landfill. We will be visiting the latter next April for a field trip as well as visiting the new compost facility. We spent time discussing how a landfill works, and the positive & negative aspects of landfills. Students will be introduced to a home project this Monday which will help wrap up our unit and demonstrate their learning of reducing waste. Look for information coming home about their project, as well I will write a blog post with all project attachments.
Enjoy your weekend!
Click on the link below to start playing "Prodigy!" Follow the instructions and put in the class code on the whiteboard. Write your username and password into your agenda. Then start playing and have fun!
Prodigy Math Game
In math this week, students reviewed and practiced number concepts in preparation for their test next Tuesday, October 17th. Students took home a practice sheet on Tuesday to complete at home and we went over the answers yesterday in class. They were encouraged to ask questions and seek clarification if needed, and review and practice their skills over the weekend if needed in preparation for their upcoming test. Students are always allowed to take their notebooks and duo tangs home as long as they are returned the next school day. We also discussed and practiced how to estimate sums to 10 000, and we worked on solving problems using estimation. Students played the games "The 18th Hole" and "Addition War" during class time to keep practicing their basic addition skills. We will be learning some mental math strategies for addition next week which will help with acquiring their facts.
In science, students learned about what composting was (organic recycling) and the process of composting in more detail. We read the book What’s Going On in the Compost Pile? and learned about what can and cannot be put in a compost pile outside, and a vermicomposting bin inside. A good compost bin should have a mix of brown stuff (dead leaves, pine needles, newspaper, & twigs) and green stuff (fruit and vegetable scraps, plant or grass clippings, weeds, coffee grounds, & egg shells), and be turned every few days. We learned an important part of the composting process is access to oxygen and moisture, and of course decomposers! We looked at the Calgary Waste & Recycling Services website on what can and cannot go in the green carts. Students learned that although meat, bones, dairy products and oils for example can go in the green cart, they should not be put in an outdoor bin. This is because the new compost facility composts organic waste very quickly due to it's very high heat (55 degrees Celsius) and therefore can kill any harmful bacteria or odors as opposed to an outdoor bin. We watched some videos about composting including the one below about why we are composting in the city of Calgary. We also looked more closely at nature's greatest recyclers---the worm! Did you know that worms have five hearts, and no eyes, ears or nose? Ask your child for more details about these amazing creatures!
Have a great long weekend!!
A review and practice sheet for number concepts was sent home today with students. They are to complete the questions and return it on Thursday to go over the answers in class. There will be a test on number concepts on Tuesday, October 17th. The sheet is attached below for students who are absent or if the sheet is misplaced.
Number Concepts Review and Practice Sheet
In math, students learned how to compare and order numbers to 10 000, and specifically how to place numerals on a number line. They created their own numbers lines in class to practice this skill. We played a game called “Target 3 000” for additional practice. Students were also introduced to “Sudoku” and worked in pairs or individually to solve the number puzzles. Students were shown and then played some fun basic fact websites to practice their computation and number skills during class time. We also reviewed and practiced rounding numbers to the nearest ten, hundred and thousand. This is an important skill to know when estimating numbers.
In science this week, students continued to look at what is biodegradable and what is non-biodegradable in our environment. We had a discussion about what it means for something to biodegrade, and the time span it takes for natural and man-made waste to break down. Students were surprised to learn how long it takes for man-made objects like plastic and glass to totally break down in nature, and therefore realizing why it is so important to reuse or recycle these products! Last week, we went outside to search for man-made waste and compiled a list of the items we found and what it was made of. This week we looked at each item and made note of what could be recycled and if it was biodegradable or not. Students discovered that most items were non-biodegradable and sadly most were recyclable and should have been disposed of in a more thoughtful way. We studied our banana peel one week after the experiment began and recorded our observations. We saw the growth of mold on the banana peel and discussed the role of fungi as decomposers. We will observe the banana peel again in a month’s time and see if there's any further changes.
Have a happy Thanksgiving weekend!!
If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact me at:
Here's to a great year!
Need extra practice? Below are math printable e-books for extra practice at home:
Patterns and Algebra
Reading and Representing Whole Numbers
Addition and Subtraction
Multiplication and Division
Length, Perimeter & Area
“Math Makes Sense” Practice and Homework Book:
Can be found at the Virtual Learning Commons under “Student Links”:
Practice Problem Solving Questions
Multiplication Interactive Games
Hour of Code
Math Facts Games
Math Fact Fluency Activities & Games
Plant Growth & Changes:
Plant Growth and Changes Glossary of Important Terms
Plants for Kids
Easy Science for Kids
Plants Elementary Science
Wheels & Levers Resources:
Wheel and Levers Glossary of Important Terms
Simple Machine Facts
Simple Machines Interactive Sites
Light & Shadows Resources:
Light and Shadows Glossary of Important Terms
BBC Light & Shadows
How We See Things
Light & Shadow Activities
Waste & our World Resources:
Waste and our World Glossary of Important Terms
Recycle City Game