January 11

WEEK 18th 9th JANUARY – 13th JANUARY


This has been a wonderful week, we have been busy working on a number of new things. We have introduced our Poetry unit for writing and for reading we are focussing on Literacy Circles and Reading Strategies. We also worked on our final ideas about perimeter and area and concluded the week with our summative assessment. We are keen at getting on with this new term and discover many new things. We are very excited about our Grade 5 Exhibition and we will make sure each student is empowered to do their very best for this experience.


Our current unit is measurement and we have been learning many new concepts and mathematical understandings about perimeter and Area. Our work has been focussed on practical ways we can measure and determine the perimeter and area of places like zoo enclosures. We concluded the unit by working on a Summative Assessment. This time we have tried a different approach and our assessment has focused on definitions, examples, characteristics and non-examples.

We had our friends from Grade 6 to come and share their learning of Negative and Positive Numbers with us. They share a number of board games that challenged our students to think about equations and possible solutions to different word problems. It was very encouraging to see how 5S students were able to make clear connections about Integers.


We have started our new unit – LITERACY CIRCLES. This approach to reading will allow our students to use their acquired reading strategies previously taught throughout the year.  We have 5 reading groups and they are working on a specific novel and each student takes a role for the day. The conversations are very engaging and each student is well focussed on sharing with the rest of the group.

What Are Literature Circles?

In literature circles, small groups of students gather together to discuss a piece of literature in depth. The discussion is guided by students’ response to what they have read. You may hear talk about events and characters in the book, the author’s craft, or personal experiences related to the story. Literature circles provide a way for students to engage in critical thinking and reflection as they read, discuss, and respond to books. Collaboration is at the heart of this approach. Students reshape and add onto their understanding as they construct meaning with other readers. Finally, literature circles guide students to deeper understanding of what they read through structured discussion and extended written and artistic response.

Perhaps the easiest way to understand what literature circles are is to examine what they are not.


Literature Circles are . . .
Literature Circles are not . . .
Reader response centered Teacher and text centered
Part of a balanced literacy program The entire reading curriculum
Groups formed by book choice Teacher-assigned groups formed solely by ability
Structured for student independence, responsibility, and ownership Unstructured, uncontrolled “talk time” without accountability
Guided primarily by student insights and questions Guided primarily by teacher- or curriculum-based questions
Intended as a context in which to applyreading and writing skills Intended as a place to do skills work
Flexible and fluid; never look the same twice Tied to a prescriptive “recipe”




This week as part of our Writer’s Workshop we have started looking at how we can express our emotions, personal experiences, hopes, feelings through POETRY. First, we look at questions related to poems









Where do poets get their ideas and inspiration?

We are using the Writing Process to collect ideas, select ideas, draft and then publish. Our first poem was based on our own experiences and it was called WHO AM I. The students shared their ideas and the results are very moving and creative too.



This week we have been working with a number of experiments so each student is able to fully understand the concept of TRANSFERING and TRANSFORMING ENERGY. We have used the Scientific Methos as a preparation for this and new week we will be looking at completing our Summative Assessment.

We also had mISS Katy who is been helping us with Library skills to use in our inquiries. Her focus this week has been on citing sources of information and selecting the most important ideas within a primary and secondary source of information. This is greatly helping us with our preparation for our Exhibition later on the year.


A Special Guest

As part of her Personal Project, Lisa Ito, a year 10 student, visited grade 5 this morning to run a science-based workshop with all the girls.  The purpose of her visit was to encourage more young girls into STEM field studies.

We began the session be drawing a scientist.  Interestingly, most of us drew male scientists! There were a few ‘ahas’ around the room as we realized what we’d done!  POINT MADE!

Lisa introduced us to STEM research.

What is STEM? – Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics

She also presented:

  • Notable female figures in the STEM fields!
  • What problems might women in STEM face?
  • Why is it important to have more female scientists?

Lisa provided many interesting facts from her research…

  • Girls tend to lose interest in math and science at age 8.
  • Less then 25% of engineering degrees are awarded to women
  • (In the US) 45% of science related degrees are awarded to women, only 22% of these are engineers
  • (In the US) 24% of CEOs are women
  • Scientifically, girls are bad at science – FALSE
  • From 1990 to 2011 female engineers have decreased FALSE
  • Girls perform just as well as boys in school TRUE

We also looked at a collection of toys and identified which were more advertised for boys or girls?

We discussed – 

  • How we think the different values of these toys, set an expectation for boys and girls?
  • How we think this affects the interests of boys and girls?

The toys that are most likely to be educational and to develop childrens physical, cognitive, artistic, and other skills were typically categorized as neutral or moderately masculine.

We viewed and had many discussions after viewing related videos:

What were the videos were talking about?  How particular videos made us feel.  Any personal experiences, on being steered away from math and science?

  1. Inspire Her Mind – Verizon Commercial
  2. The Effects of Gender Roles on Women in STEM (0:44 – 1:58)
  3. A Mighty Girl
  4. Olivia Hallisey and Ann Makosinski

Well done and thank you to Lisa for a successful and informative session.  I’m sure the grade 5 girls would appreciate the opportunity to share their thought on this session with you.


  1. Next week we will be starting again with collecting fruit for the Chiku Center – please bring a fruit next week
  2. We are starting our new UOI unit – HOW WE EXPRESS OURSELVES (Focus: Japanese culture and our own)
  3. P.E. gear on P.E. days, please
  4. Service Day next Thursday – please bring your gloves


Posted January 11, 2017 by saezm in category Uncategorized

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