I have lost my voice and possibly my hearing but worth it for a tremendous afternoon up at SFU cheering on their NCAA women’s basketball team against Hawaii State University… too bad it wasn’t an away game. It was a close game and our students represented Cap Hill honourably with their respect and energy. Some students even walked away with free tshirts and other swag! A huge thank you to parent volunteers without which it would not have happened.
There is talk of a December game and all the grade 4/5 classes at the school attending! I’ll keep you posted.
This week we had our fist grade 5 student French presentations as well as the final Human Body Corporation statements. I am impressed with the willingness to try out a new language and with the level of understanding of different body systems that many students showed. They will find out next week who will be fired from the corporation.
We have also begun examining students personal values and will be working with them to explore legends and how cultural and community values are conveyed though oral histories. We even had the suggestion of a special edition “Legends of the uncharted classroom” that we might decide to publish later on.
Updates for next week:
Moustache Monday, first school wide theme day
Cupcake sale Wednesday, supporting gr. 7 camp fundraising
Clearly we are having too much fun as I forgot to post last week! Probably because it was a blur… We started the week with a visit from Mr. McKillop, the district ADST (applied design skills and technology) teacher. He guided us though an exploration of angles, variables, charts, graphing slope as well as a whole day of simple machines, teamwork and collaboration. Students were able to follow the design process to solve a problem and identify different simple machines as well as how to best utilise them in their individual machines. After lunch we combined all the machines together into one giant Rube Goldberg machine and although we never did get a perfect run through, the yells and woops of excitement after our last run showed that much was gained from the experience.
We also survived Halloween! Most students came in costume and we had fun connecting our costumes to different peoples LiD topics in the class and forming a giant spider web.
Top Picks is becoming a successful class initiative where students can review a novel and recommend it to the class. In our class meeting today several students took the time to acknowledge and thank others for the recommendations. We are absolutely working towards a culture of avid readers in our room.
Grade 5s are in the process of creating their own mini French lessons for the rest of the class. They are practising public speaking and leadership while taking ownership for their own acquisition of a new language. Many grade 4s have been joining in when finished other work and their passion and curiosity is contagious.
We have officially released our first class publication! First editions of Tales from the Uncharted Classroom all went home today. Please take some time to browse though it, we have some amazing emerging writers in our class and they deserved to be celebrated. Also keep in mind that we are all in different stages of writing development and this book is not meant as a comparison but as a way to honour the effort that students have been putting into their work.
Before heading into this long weekend we dove into disease transmission and herd immunity. This may lead to more questions at home and possibly a more hygiene conscious child (or not). It was fun watching students simulate the outbreak of the flu virus with immunised and non immunised individuals being pelted with foam spherical objects.
It was lovely being able to open the blinds in our class and have the natural light streaming through. It also provided us with the opportunity to get outside to do some math and art activities. We were inspired by Andy Goldsworthy to get outside and find the resources for our creations in the world around us. This activity not only involves design, planning, communication and patience but also requires a keen sense of observation. Definitely google him to see some inspirational work and check out our Instagram page to see student examples. (email me if you need the username).
We also started our volleyball unit and have some naturals in the class! Students may have sore hands/arms but progress was good. On the physical activity theme we have been offered a chance to watch the SFU NCAA women’s basketball team in action against the Hawaii state team, notice coming home tomorrow and we will be looking for drivers for the 16th of November.
Students have worked so hard on their French projects and their efforts paid off with much praise and investment! We set up the class like a international tourism fair with booths that people could visit and then invited other classes in (each visiting ‘diplomat’ received $500 to invest in foreign tourism). The reception from other teachers and students was so positive and I am sure that many people now have new French speaking destinations they might want to visit one day, personally Vanuatu is now high on my list.
We also started editing our writing from these first 2 months of school in order to put together our first publication! The class voted and came up with the title Tales from the Uncharted Classroom Vol 1 and that will be heading out to the public in just over a weeks time. I am blown away by their writing and I hope parents and friends delight in reading their stories as much as I do.
That’s all for this week, more adventures to come!
The highlight of last week was definitely the hip hop show on Friday! Students worked so hard on their routines and it came together in an amazing way. While filling out some self evaluations many students wrote that they enjoyed doing the 70+ person synchronised wave as well as the theme of avengers and the kind teachers. We are so fortunate to have been able to have those talented dance instructors with us for the two weeks. Some students also wrote that they would have liked to see the teachers dancing as well and they got their wish as a few of us did a surprise routine at the end.
Also last week we began working on the core competency of communication. Students reflected on their communication style and are testing their skills on a series of mini communication challenges. After one challenge student were able to identify things they had done to demonstrate good communication such as “when I had an idea I waited until I had my group’s attention then shared it” and “someone had an idea that I was sure wouldn’t work but I listened and gave it a try and to my surprise, it actually did!” These are essential life skills and I am so proud of their willingness to be open to one another.
We have continued to work on the circulatory system as a class and have dived into the specifics of blood, Erythrocytes and Leukocytes, blood types and transfusions. Their questions are amazing, here are a few from today:
How strong is a red blood cell wall?
How come humans can’t get oxygen directly though their skin?
How do white blood cells know to go after old red blood cells and not new ones?
If there is a virus in your blood how does a white blood cell know to kill it?
Do humans and animals both produce red blood cells in their bone marrow?
And the list goes on… Many are inspired to integrate our science unit into their LiD research and find connections to blood and cells as well which is awesome!
Oct 9th – Thanksgiving (ask your child about the science of happiness video we watched in class)
Oct.11 – Photo forms due,
– LiD ceremony @2pm
Oct 13th – Hip Hop performance in the afternoon, parents are welcome and students should remember to wear red shirts and dark pants.
Oct 26th – Photo retakes
We missed several students who were away this week and I hope everyone has a restful and healthy weekend so we can hit the ground running next Tuesday. We elected Mabell as our new Prime Minister this month and Jocelyn as Vice, we also started making codes of ethics for our clubs and started scheduling meeting and expectations. Plant club will begin their first project of succulent propagation next week and tea club will begin on Wednesday. Those students interested should bring a mug and a box of herbal non caffeinated tea to share if they are able.
We dove deeper into the circulatory system this week learning about the structural differences between veins and arteries and how oxygen is delivered and exchanged in our bodies. Students had the option of seeing a real pigs heart to visualise the double pump cardiac system.
We have also begun to explore descriptive sentence structure and personal expression though our I am from poems. In creating one for the protagonist Seepeetza in our novel study students are demonstrating their understanding of her experience in the residential school system and at the same time are able to contrast it with their own lives.
Hip Hop lessons will take place for the next two weeks and we are so fortunate to have instructors from http://1-Vibe.com in to teach our whole school! They would like students to practice over the long weekend so you can find the instructions in a video here… maybe they can even teach their parents.
Take care and thank you for being part of our amazing community.
Last week was a short one but a good one! We accomplished many things including our first official field trip and meeting our pen pals from Suncrest. First I would like to thank all my lovely students for making this trip such a positive and engaging experience. It was fantastic seeing eager faces bolting around science world and exploring with new friends and I hope this is the first of many off campus adventures we take together. I would also like to thank our 3 parent volunteers, they were essential in keeping things running smoothly and making sure no one got lost along the way.
As with all things in life our trip was unpredictable. We had a bit of a late start as our bus did not arrive on time however spirits remained high and we made it in time for our Imax and workshop. The human body movie provided us with an in-depth view of several of our body systems and I particularly liked the camera view of blood pumping from inside the heart! (still not sure if it was real footage or not.) We got to take in some vitamin D and eat our lunches outside with our pen pals, I am really proud of those students who took advantage of this opportunity to really get to know their partner a bit better.
After lunch we spent some time in the body works exhibit, the forces and motion exhibit and then the math exhibit. It was awesome to see students playing with gears and angles to complete puzzles and games. Our workshop was all about ratios and students participated in hands on representations that illustrated the concept including the whoopee cushion walk. We also learned about measurement and scale using cubits (the length of your forearm) and discussed the advantages and disadvantages to similar systems.
Besides our trip we started our first french project where students will be representing various french speaking countries at a tourist fair later in October. In class we also began discussing clubs that may take shape this month and LiD! Students will officially be given their topics at our LiD showcase later in the month and if you would like to learn more about it please check out the LiD category on this blog for more information.
Coming up this week: we are starting our hip hop unit in gym with professional dance teachers coming in to teach us! I am also sending a notice home about a possible private class instagram account. I love sharing pictures of our in class learning and I think this could be the perfect platform. Here’s to a great week!
It has been lovely meeting some of our parent community this week and being able to put some faces to names, please let me know if you wanted to meet but did not get a chance and let’s find a time.
We are off to a good start on our human body unit, students explored the scientific method while testing the effect of the enzyme amylase on different foods. We also recreated part of the digestive system and questioned the effect of stomach acid, more body systems next week!
We have also started our novel study on the book “My name is Seepeetza”, based on the real life experiences of the author Shirley Sterling who lived through residential school system. We spent time looking at the emotion that the author implies in her writing though diverse vocabulary and detailed imagery. We are also starting to question this part of Canada’s history and are getting ready to search for deeper understanding.
Today the first round of pen pal letters were received, students were beyond excited and it was wonderful to hear exclamations of wonder and joy as they found out more about a potential new friend.
Our district has a wealth of fun resources and we have been fortunate enough to book the Imagination Playground for the next couple weeks and will be sharing it with the rest of the school. There are hundreds of blue foam blocks in all shapes an sizes and the best part is… no manual! We will be trying out a series of collaborative challenges with them, the first of which was to create a track that would roll a ball for as close to exactly 15 seconds as possible (one team managed 14.78 seconds!).
Tomorrow is Techworm Day so don’t forget your PJs and stuffies!
Our second week together as a class flew by. We have been writing to pen pals from the MACC 4/5 class at Suncrest (all of whom we will meet at our first field trip on the 28th!) and focusing on building our classroom community. Thank you to all the parents who have offered to join us on our first out trip, I will contact you on Tuesday to let you know who has been randomly selected to join us for this one.
I realize I am a day late on my commitment of Thursday posts… but trying to model my growth mindset so better late than never. We dipped into our first painting project with a bit of colour theory and a lesson on blending, we paired it with our group discussion on values and you will be able to see the final product at your intake meeting next week. Feel free to comment below something that you value in your everyday life, today I value kindness.
We have also begun an acts of kindness routine where everyone selects a random person in the morning and has to try and do something nice for that person at some point during the day. At the end of the day we reflect and try and remember the nice things people have done for us, an exercise in observation, acknowledgement and recognition. Day one we picked out only 5 acts but day two we are up to 11!
Students did some research and thinking about their own names and we have been discussing the importance of names, if they can dictate our personalities, should we be able to change them and how it feels when people get our names wrong or purposefully don’t use them. Students where quite divided and feel free to continue these conversations at home, they lead in to our first humanities novel study.
In other random news congratulations to Daphne who has been elected as our first Prime Minister and to Lucas who is Vice Prime Minister, we have a pet mouse named Scabbers, we started a book request list (and I already bought 3 books off of it) and we are totally ready to tackle 24h time.
Hello Bonjour and welcome! This will be my second year teaching in the MACC program and I am overjoyed to have the opportunity to teach some of my same students again as well as meet a variety of new faces. You may find this September came with some combination of nervousness, excitement, fear, joy or anxiety. Let me be the first to tell you that you are not alone, this is perfectly natural and I myself have felt all of those things leading up to this new year. Right now I just can’t wait to start building our new community together and getting to know both students and parents who are with me on this journey.
To my returning students: I missed you! I am counting on you to step up your leadership game and to be your wonderful selves and welcome our new classmates. Some things will be the same as last year and I will need your help to set the example for the 4s, such as how best to earn ‘points de genies’. However some things will be different and here I ask much more from you…. be open to change, be willing to move beyond what we built last year and add to it and alter it, all in the goal of building something even stronger.
To my new students: I am beyond excited to get to know each other better. We had a saying last year “Don’t poop on my sparkle” and it roughly translates to: respect everyone’s ability to be unique and awesome. This now applies to you! I hope you get to a place in our class where you feel free to fully express all the creative, goofy, dedicated, passionate sides of yourself and I hope you can come to celebrate and love all those sides of me and your classmates as well.
To parents: I love my job, I feel like I have landed in a dream world teaching MACC and my students have my whole heart. Thank you for being the multitasking wizards you all are, you nourish and inspire those smiles that walk through my door every day. I look forward to working together as partners in your child’s learning and sharing the ups and downs of their progress.
“Learning in Depth” is a simple though radical innovation in curriculum and instruction designed to ensure that all students become experts about something during their school years. Each child is given a particular topic to learn about through her or his whole school career, in addition to the usual curriculum, and builds a personal portfolio on the topic. To the surprise of many, children usually take to the program with great enthusiasm, and within a few months LiD begins to transform their experience as learners. The program usually takes about an hour a week, with the students working outside school time increasingly.
Learning in Depth (LiD) is an unusual program and tends, after the first simple description, to elicit enthusiasm from some people and hesitation from others. While the basic idea is quite simple, we think the potential implications of the program for students, teachers, and schools are profound.
More information on the program can be found here: