Guo Pei: Couture Beyond

 Today we visited the Vancouver Art Gallery to see the work of Guo Pei. Guo Pei is a Chinese couturiere who creates beautifully intricate pieces of fashion and art. In her work she tries to capture the history and symbolism found in Chinese culture. We learned about the importance of certain colours, such as yellow and red, and certain symbols, such as the dragon and phoenix, in her work. Some of us are learning the simple skills of hand stitching, so we can imagine and appreciate the time and skill it took to create these amazing pieces of art!

Welcome to Grade 4/5 in Division 6!

We have been back at school for about two months now. We are continuing to get to know each other and what is expected of us in grades 4 and 5. So far, division 6 has shown themselves to be a lovely group of kind, inclusive, and curious kids!  I am looking forward to a great year with you all!

Division 6 was asked: “How do you want to feel when you come into this classroom every day?”  After a process of narrowing down their thoughts, these are the feelings that were most important to them in a classroom…

safe, included, respected, calm, encouraged, positive, confident and successful


We will work together to uphold the values of our Class Contract every day!

How does the media affect our views of ourselves, each other, and the world?

We have been learning about different types of media and how the messages we see and hear affect our views, in both positive and negative ways.  Media messages can have a significant impact on us! When we constantly see images of tall, thin, rich, beautiful celebrities, we might begin to question things like beauty, wealth and success. We might begin to wonder how or where we fit in to a society that puts a lot of value into these qualities.  We might even begin to form opinions about groups of people because of the stereotypes that we see over and over again in the media.  

But we if we become more aware of these messages, if we think critically about what we are seeing and hearing, and if we develop our media literacy, then we will be better equipped to shape our own views of ourselves, each other, and the world. 

The students of Division 5 are working on a media inquiry project around a theme of their choosing.  Students have chosen to look at how media represents beauty, health/fitness, gender stereotypes, and stereotypes of teenagers.  Here is the project outline: Big question final task.  Note taking and resource pages can be found on our homework page. 

Parents, as you are watching TV, movies, the news, or commercials, please continue the conversation around media at home.  Here is a link to Canada’s Centre for Digital and Media Literacy.  It has great tips for parents, and lots of information kids can use for this project or their own interests.

We’re learning Capoeira!

This week we have had instructors from Grupo Axe Capoeira at Brentwood Park to teach us this Brazilian art form. Capoeira was a martial art developed by Brazilian slaves in the 16th century.  Because slaves were not allowed to show resistance, they disguised the martial art as a dance, and combined it with music and acrobatics. 

Here is an example of professional “Capoeristas”  

Parents are invited to watch students showcase their hard work on Friday afternoon in the gym.

Wishing you a very happy holiday!

I would like to wish you all a very happy holiday.  Whatever, wherever and with whomever you will be celebrating this holiday season, I hope it is one of love, laughter, and relaxation.  (I know I will be doing a lot of extra sleeping, reading, and probably some mindless TV watching!).

If I didn’t get a chance to speak to you personally, I want to thank you for all of the lovely gifts and cards.  It is not necessary, but your generosity is so very appreciated.  

Please have a safe and restful holiday, and I will look forward to seeing you all back on January 8, 2018!

Ms. Willis

Welcome to our blog!

It has taken a few months, but I have finally had a bit of time to get this class blog up and running.  I hope to post occasional updates about what is happening in Division 5, and have added a homework page. Please check your child’s planner regularly for homework and notices as we are not yet in a routine of updating this site daily.  


Coming soon…!

The day has finally arrived for the whole school to share their cardboard challenge creations.  Classes will be open tomorrow, Friday November 18, for parents, family members and the community to see what we have been doing.  District personnel and the media will be here too!  

Please join us from 1:30 to 3:00 to see what your child has been creating.  If you need to make other arrangements to see your child’s work, please contact me by email.

Yesterday a letter went home about a parent information evening we will be hosting on Thursday November 23.  We will be giving some information about the new curriculum, and what this will look like in terms of assessment and feedback on your child’s progress. The meeting will take place in the library from 7-8 pm.  Please return the form that went home so we know how many parents to expect.

November 29 will be our first skating session this year.  We are in need of parent volunteers to help supervise the walk up to the rink and tie skates for kids.  If you are not renting skates, please make sure your child brings their own on this day.  All students must wear a helmet, or they will not be permitted on the ice.  Also, please remember to dress appropriately for the weather and the rink on skating days!

The cardboard challenge is well on it’s way!

We are into our second week of creating and building our cardboard challenge projects.  Thank you to all of the adults who have been volunteering their afternoons to help keeps us focused and safe with the tools we are using.  

Here are a few teaser photos of what is to come.  We can’t wait to have you all join us for our official unveiling on November 18!

        img_1526    img_1525img_1521  img_1524

How will a growth mindset help us to learn Math?

Last week Division 6 reunited in one common Math class.  We began our joint venture with a week of “Inspirational Math”.  This week of lessons was designed by Stanford professor and author Jo Boaler.  Her website is a fantastic resource if you are interested in looking at it further.

Quite often I will hear students say something to the effect of  “I’m just not a Math person”.  We learned last week that there is no such thing as a “Math person”, just like there is no such thing as and “art person” or a “sports person”.  We are all capable of learning Math, if we are willing to put in the effort and persevere through our difficulties.  This week we also learned:

  • mistakes are an important part of our learning.  There is brain research to show that mistakes make more connections in the brain than when we get an answer correct.
  • Math is about depth, not speed
  • visual representations in Math are powerful
  • being able to see patterns in Math is important.  Math is all about patterns!

According to Jo Boaler, here is how you can help your child learn Math: