I hope you had a wonderful extra day with your family! This past week felt like an incredible one that energized me on many levels. In the classroom, it felt like we experienced so much great learning together and the love, care, and collaboration I noticed was heartwarming. On Friday morning, I was blessed to have the opportunity to present at a neighbouring Burnaby school on social emotional learning. The title was:
I am passionate about building deeper connections as well as equipping and empowering students with skills to do the same as part of their social emotional learning. One of my most favourite and impactful activities is the Spider Web activity. Here’s the activity: Share something you love about being in our class.
I started us off by saying that what I love about our class is each person. I love everyone in our class because of their kindness and they just bring me such joy. Then each had a turn to share why they love being in our class before they passed the yarn across the circle. It created a powerful visual of how we are connected and how our interactions affect each other.
Then I asked them all to stand up. This was to represent how when we say and do positive things, we rise and lift each other up. When we sat down, I started shaking the web and gave an example of an unkind statement. They could see that the rest of the web was shaking too. This was to demonstrate that just ONE unkind act affects the whole community. This was such a powerful visual.
I followed this activity by reading The Energy Bus for Kids by Jon Gordon. He has an adult version of the book that I highly recommend too called The Energy Bus. This is a story about staying positive and overcoming challenges. If you’d like to check out the book, I found a video on YouTube with Jon Gordon reading the book himself!
I also shared this simple graphic. I noticed that I was sharing this with my own kids at home when they were young and with students in my classes so I eventually created this. How we interpret a situation is a choice. When we choose a positive lens, it will lead us to a happier disposition. While it is important to feel our raw emotions, after some time, we can learn to not allow ourselves to get stuck in negativity and instead, to let go of those feelings that don’t serve us well anymore. We need to practice our self-discipline to protect our hearts.
I started reading a book written by Adam Grant called Hidden Potential: The Science of Achieving Greater Things. It was published a month ago and has already received a lot of attention. Here’s a quote that so resonates with me:
“You can’t tell where people will land from where they begin. With the right opportunity and motivation to learn, anyone can build the skills to achieve greater things. Potential is not a matter of where you start but how far you travel.” – Adam Grant
There are 4 character skills that lead to reaching your potential and achieving greater things:
- Proactive: How often do they take initiative to ask questions, volunteer answers, and seek information from books, and engage in learning outside class?
- Prosocial: How well do they get along and collaborate with peers?
- Disciplined: How effectively do they pay attention and resist the impulse to disrupt the class?
- Determined: How consistently do they take on challenging problems, do more than the assigned work, and persist in the face of obstacles?
This week, we talked about these character attributes and focused on learning about and practicing self-discipline, in particular.
How you can support at home: Use these character skills words at home. Encourage your child to practice and demonstrate self-discipline. Let me know if you decide to read this book too! I’d love to have a conversation about it with you! 🙂
Science In-class Field Trip
On Thursday, December 7, we are excited to have OWL in the Classroom present to us! This program follows the BC Science Curriculum and covers the following two Big Ideas:
Students will have the opportunity to safely meet two live raptors in our classroom – one owl and one hawk/falcon/turkey vulture, depending on the raptor that is available at the time. My daughter had this experience when she was younger and she absolutely loved it!
The cost for the OWL in the Classroom program is $6 and can be paid on School Cash online. Please pay and fill out this online form as soon as possible. Thank you for your support!
Last week, we learned about the transfer of thermal energy: conduction, convection, and radiation. Please ask your child to teach you these concepts!
- conduction (touching — e.g., hold an ice cube)
- convection (current — why do we hang mittens over a heat source?)
- radiation (through space by a wave — e.g., heat from the sun)
We are mathematicians.
We reviewed the difference between odd and even numbers. The key is looking at how the number ends (in the ones place). Please review at home with this Ron Brown song called Even or Odd. You can do this by coming up with random numbers and ask your child to tell you if it is an odd or even number.
We also learned how to round numbers to the nearest ten. Please review at home. Grade 2s should be able to demonstrate they can round 2-digit numbers to the nearest 10 while grade 3s should be able to round 3-digit numbers to 1000. We watched a song on YouTube that showed us an image that helps us remember that any number that ends in 5 and above, you round UP to the nearest 10.
We continue to reinforce place value concepts like comparing numbers using < and > symbols. Each student brought home a pink < and > symbol last week to practice at home.
How to support at home: Take out a deck of cards to create random numbers. For grade 2s, give your child two 2-digit numbers like 59 and 83. They should be able to compare the two numbers and tell you which one is bigger and use the correct symbol and why (We compare the number in the tens place so 83 is larger because there are more tens). For grade 3s, give your child a 3-digit number. Many students were excited to be challenged with bigger numbers that went into the hundred thousands! One of the curricular competencies in math is to communicate mathematical thinking so this is great practice to explain why.
Continue to have your child practice addition and subtraction facts so they can become more fluent with accuracy. In case you missed a previous post with this recommendation, if your child has an iPad at home, please download Math Tappers. It’s free. Have them practice different sums up to 20.
We noticed that a number of students were not using prepositions correctly and confused about when to use “in, on, at” in sentences so thanks to Ms. Yaremko, our ELL teacher, we had an engaging, interactive lesson!
Using the anchor chart, students worked in partners to sort the silly sentences under “in, on, at” headings. Ask your child about this fun activity!
We are musicians.
Mr. Turpin has been working hard with our class and Mr. Kenney’s class in preparation for the Winter concert. I noticed that some students can really use some extra support at home to learn the words to our songs so please practice. Have fun by practicing with them! 🙂
Here are the links to the two songs we will be performing on Tuesday, December 12:
EPIC at home
Just a reminder that your child has access to Epic anytime from 7 am to 3pm so on Mondays and Fridays when there is no school or when they are sick at home. Seb has shared with me that he reads books on Epic before school! All students have access to over 40,000 high interest books. Their passcode is the first four digits of their pupil number. Keep this in mind over the winter break which will start on Friday, December 22.
Please note that our last day of school in 2023 will be on Thursday, December 21.
This week felt like such a productive week of learning and growing together as a classroom community. The small gestures of care and kindness your children show each other and how well they work with random partners to learn together was heartwarming. Thank you for reading these weekly blog posts and for your continued support at home. I love and appreciate how your children are such keen learners!
With much joy and gratitude in my heart, Ms. Chan