December Messages from the classroom

Principal’s Message

November was another great month.  I would like to thank all the staff for their dedication of supporting and leading our student’s education.  There were several events and activities in November which make Holy Family a vibrant place of learning.  There were  trips to Laurel Creek, guest instructors from the University of Waterloo, Intermediate Girls basketball tournament, Remembrance Day Liturgy, book fair, and the Grade 8 Mount Mary retreat and our monthly mass.  Our monthly Umbrella Project themes are progressing well.  Decembers theme is “Self Compassion”.  Please see our website for information on this theme.

One of our school goals is to increase the communication between home and school.  In November this included progress reports, parent interviews and a monthly classroom memo posted to our school website.  Research shows that parents reviewing teacher assessed assignments and work positively impacts student commitment and success.  We encourage you to ask your child to share their work with you and use the teacher feedback to acknowledge what was done well and what the next steps for improvement are.  All  assessed work should provide you and the student with this feedback.

We began the Advent season on Dec 2nd.  At school we are preparing for the celebration of Jesus’ birth.  Every Monday we will have a Liturgy in our gym to introduce and reflect on the week’s Advent theme.  In addition, we  have daily classroom prayers and reflections for teachers and students to discuss.

We have some festive events scheduled for December.  The Christmas concert is scheduled for Wednesday December the 12th.  To accommodate our growing numbers the night is separated into three performances.   We respectfully ask you to only attend the division performance of your own child(ren) to provide room for all.

Early Years (EY) concert begins at 4:30 p.m.

Primary division (Grades 1-3) at 5:15 p.m.

Junior division (Grades 3/4-6) at 6:00 p.m.

WE ARE LOOKING FOR PARENT VOLUNTEERS TO SUPERVISE STUDENTS WHILE THEY ARE WAITING FOR THEIR PERFORMANCE AND AFTER UNTIL PARENTS PICK THEM UP.  PLEASE CONTACT MR. LONGO AT THE SCHOOL IF YOU CAN GIVE YOUR TIME.

On December 20 we will have our annual Christmas Turkey Dinner for staff and students.  This event happens with the generosity of No Frills and the volunteers who prepare the food.  If you are able to give your time to supervise on the day or prepare some of the food please contact Sabrina Henhoeffer at shenhoffer1@gmail.com.

I wish you and your family a Peaceful and Restful Christmas Holiday

Mr. V. Longo

JK/SK

Ms. Jardine, Mrs. Simpson & Ms. Floto

In Math, we have been learning about sorting and shapes. We discovered that we can sort by colour, shape and size. We have been learning our 2D shapes and we enjoy sorting our shapes. We are excited to make a winter picture using different shapes! In Language, we really enjoy finding words that start with the letter of the week to add to our Letter of the Week Chart. We love reading the room to look for words that start with the letter of the week! We are learning to use our Word Wall to write words and sentences in our journals. We read the book The Polar Express and loved it. We decided to renovate our house centre and transform it into The Polar Express. It looks amazing! Check out our website to see updated pictures. In Science, we have been studying ice and snow. We experimented by making ice by putting water in the fridge, freezer and outside! We are excited to make fake snow and play with it in our sensory bin! We will learn more about snow and snowflakes this month.

 

Miss Butter & Mrs. Lichti

Dear Parents,

Below is a summary of what we have worked on in November and what we will be learning in December. For a more in-depth summary of our learning, please refer to our classroom newsletter.

Math

Through November we have continued working on representing numbers in different ways (e.g. ten frame, using our fingers, drawing pictures, tallying, etc.) with our numbers of the week (we have now covered 0-8) and various other numbers in our centres. This is a theme that we will continue through December and the rest of the year. We also completed a unit on sorting and patterning which we will revisit throughout the school year. In Geometry, we have studied the difference between 2-D and 3-D shapes and different shapes that fall under these categories. We will continue to look at their attributes (e.g. number of sides, corners, faces, etc.) and identifying real world items that are these shapes. We will then move into our unit on Surveying and Graphing.

Language

In the month of November we continued working on our Jolly Phonics program, learning letter names (upper case and lower case) and sounds. We have also been practicing sight word identification, especially for S.K students. Please check calendar or Google Classroom to see what letter and which words we are working on. Students have enjoyed listening to and making connections to Remembrance Day (stories about peace) and winter books. Going forward we will continue our letter of the week, identification of sight words and making connections to the stories we read in class.

Wishing you and your family a safe and wonderful Christmas!

 

 

Mrs. Grimberg and Mrs. Sike

Writer’s Workshop

Daily writing is in full swing in our classroom which enhances reading and literacy skills. We are writing everyday in some form or another. We will be posting ‘great ideas’ prompts on our Writer’s Workshop wall to refer to, however the children are rarely without an idea to write about. We keep our written pieces in a writing folder which will come home at the end of the year. From great accounts of our daily life events (e.g. what I did on the weekend, exciting places to go, being sick, my pet, my collection or talent etc.) to using writing strategies to relay the message (what you think you can write, draw a ‘quick pic,’ have-a-go writing, read back your writing) we are all learning the power of the written word. Also ask your child about ‘writing the room’ on whiteboards during language centres. We are all awesome authors!

Math

We have wrapped up our formal learning/exploration of sorting and are moving onto our investigation of shapes! We will be exploring the properties of shapes, similarities and differences, shapes in the world around us and working through problem solving involving shapes. Hands on learning at its finest!

 

Primary

Schlotzhauer

It’s hard to believe that Christmas is almost here! We have come a long way in our learning in Grade 1 but still have lots to do. Don’t forget our trip to Benjamin Tree Farm is Wed. Dec.5th. Please make sure your child has snow pants and a hat and mitts as some of our time will be spent outdoors. Please note our class picture will finally be taken on Dec. 6th, in the morning. I will not be giving out new words for dictation tests in the last week before our holidays. This will resume again in the new year. Please note on the calendar a few class prizes from the Dance-a-Thon in the last week of December. Students may bring in something to show and share if interested, there will be some electronic game time and there will be a stuffy/pillow/blanket & treat & movie day. If you wish to purchase books from the book order as Christmas gifts, please just write me a note and I will give you a call when they come in to make pick up arrangements.

Curriculum at a glance this month;

Math – Data Management with a focus on collecting, showing, comparing and analyzing data       in tallies, pictures and bar graphs.

Religion – Advent, the Road to Bethlehem

Family Life – Families and Love

Social Studies – Different Neighbourhoods and some globe skills including mapping, legends and symbols

Literacy – The big focus this month is a Media Project that also includes Visual Art, Oral Communication and Writing. Students will be designing and advertising a New Christmas Product. Success Criteria and a Rubric will be sent home the last week of December after they have presented their work. All work will be completed at school, although; they may wish to bring something in from home to spice up their presentation. Showing and discussing advertisements at home from print, digital, audio and visual would reinforce what we are doing in class with a focus on messages, why companies advertise and how they grab our attention and make us want to buy their products. In Reading we will also be taking a closer look at story elements and retelling a story identifying a beginning, middle and end.

Merry Christmas! and Enjoy Your Family Time Together!

 

Miss Esbaugh

November was a busy month in Miss Esbaugh’s classroom! Students did very well with the supply teacher that was in for 2.5 weeks. Data management was covered in Math, giving students the opportunity to create and analyze various forms of graphs. We are currently working on telling time to the hour, half hour, and quarter hour; temperature will our next focus. Letter writing was our focus in Language, and we practiced by writing friendly letters to our families and staff members at school. We have now moved onto procedural writing (writing instructions for how to complete a task). We are just wrapping our our current Science units (Energy for Grade One, and Liquids and Solids for Grade Two). We will be switching to Social Studies for the month of December. We are looking forward to celebrating Advent, going to Laurel Creek, and going to Benjamin Tree Farm! Please continue to check D2L for daily updates. Thank you!

 

Ms. Gentile

I cannot believe that December is here already! We have been doing a lot of amazing learning in our class this month. Thank you to all the families at home who are continuing to practice WWWs with their children, the improvements in our Writer’s Workshops have been exciting to see! Thank you, also, for being diligent with reading and returning the Home Reading folders, I will continue to monitor progress, and send home books at your child’s appropriate reading level. Also, thank you for sending in the information needed for us to complete timelines of important events in our lives – they were a lot of fun to create and share! In math we will be practicing both exploring time through months, days, analogue and digital clocks; as well as beginning to investigate 2D shapes and 3D solids. In Religion we will be participating in school and class-wise activities, both learning and celebrating Advent. I look forward to seeing our classroom families at the Christmas concert on Dec. 12! Merry Christmas.

 

Mrs. Shouftas

Dear Families,

We have had quite a busy month! Students learned what it means to have GRIT. Students gave it their all this month to learn new concepts and try new things.

In Social Studies, students are learning about traditions and how Christmas is celebrated around the world. Students enjoyed sharing their family traditions around birthdays, Easter, Christmas and various other special days.

In Math, students have been learning about 2D and 3D shapes. Students learned about naming and sorting shapes. They made 3D shapes with a partner using tape and straws. Students used shape nets to create many interesting shapes.

In Language, students are learning how to retell a story using the words first, then, next and finally. Students are also learning about the elements of a story which include the identifying the characters, problem, solution and main ideas of a story.

In Religion, students are learning about various Catholic Saints. Students were given a project that is to be completed at home about researching a Saint of their choice. Students will present their chosen Saint to the rest of the class on Thursday, December 6th.

On Wednesday, November 28th, three University of Waterloo students came to our class to demonstrate medieval simple machines. Students had the opportunity to build and explore catapults, a drawbridge (pulley) and ramps (inclined plane).

Next, we will be getting ready for Christmas by learning about the Advent season. We will also complete art activities related to Christmas.

Parents, please provide your children with the necessary eating tools that they will need. Our classroom has been going through many spoons and forks. If you have any plastic spoons and forks to donate to our classroom that would be great! Please continue to practice adding and subtracting with your child. We will review and revisit important math concepts throughout the year. I look forward to seeing all the families at our Christmas concert on the 12th. Take Care!

Mrs. Rice

This past month, we focused on building our GRIT in our classroom and community. Congratulations to Andrea, Jaime and Lauren for getting brag tags and being recognized for this virtue. In December our focus is Self-Compassion, so with the chaos of this festive month, we ask that all take it easy and be good to yourself. In Language Arts, our focus has been on persuasive and letter writing. The children have applied for a Reindeer position at the North Pole and are trying to persuade Santa, through strong language and evidence from their experiences, that they are best suited for the job! The students have all chosen a novel to read for their Cereal Book Report that we will be starting next week. Please encourage your kids to read 15-20 minutes every night. In Social Studies, we are finishing up our Units on First Nations and Early Settlers in Upper and Lower Canada. We had a fantastic experience at Crawford Lake and learned so much about how our First Nations people survived hundreds of year ago. The students are now completing a poster project on one aspect of Early Settler life, obtaining information from PebbleGo. In Math, we continue to develop mental math subtraction through Number String routines. We are also completing a Data Management package by conducting Christmas surveys and graphing our data on 3 different types of graphs. We will also be starting some 3-D Geometry before Christmas break. December often flies by so quickly because it is such a busy and fun month. I wish all of you restful and joyous holidays over Christmas holidays!

 

Mrs. Gruber

There is much to look forward to in Grade 3/4 in the coming weeks.  The class is busy preparing for our School Christmas Concert on December 12th and are excited to perform for you.  Mrs. Valant and Mrs. Radisic are helping the children prepare their acts, so I am sure it will be a great show!  We have also begun preparing our hearts for the Advent season by starting our new unit in Religion where we will learn more about Advent and the importance of this time of waiting where we prepare to celebrate the birth of Jesus.  In Writing, we have also started a Christmas-themed activity in which the students will be attempting to use persuasive writing skills to convince Santa to hire them as Reindeer workers.  Ask your child which job he or she is applying for and the skills they have that make them the best Reindeer for the job!  In Reading, the class is doing a great job reading their chapter books to prepare for the Cereal Box Book Report assignment that was introduced earlier this month.  Beginning next week, your child may be asked to do some of their reading at home so that they can stay “on track” with this assignment.  I will write you a note in the agenda if your child should be doing some home reading.  In Mathematics, we are focusing on patterns in addition and subtraction.  This will be a short focus and we should be starting a new unit on Geometry in the month of December.  I would like to wish you all a safe and fun-filled holiday.  Merry Christmas to all!

Junior

Ms. Jarvis

December has snuck up so quickly and we are excited for all of the fun things we have going on for the Christmas season.  Along with all of the fun, we will continue with our curriculum and here are the things we are focussed on for December.

  • Science – we are continuing to work on our Habitats and Communities unit. Students will be learning about food chains, food webs and how we all impact their environment
  • Math – our main focus right now is on addition and subtraction of 4 digit numbers with a continued focus on explaining our thinking and communicating it clearly
  • Reading – we are working hard on finding evidence from the text when answering questions and explaining it clearly and fully
  • Writing –  we are going to continue working on our research projects on the animal of their choosing.  We are working on topic sentences and putting information into our own words

I am also excited to host an activity for parents and families in the classroom before Christmas too if everything works out. Keep an eye out for more information.

I hope everyone has a wonderful December and a Merry Christmas!

 

Mrs. Kalbfleisch

Hello Everyone!

Here are a few of the things going on in Grade 5 this coming Month! We are finishing our unit on Multiplication and will circle back to it later on in the year and add division and some more elements of Number Sense. We need to have a break and apply some of what we know to our other units in Math. Measurement is next and we will add a Christmas flair.

We have some great art projects planned during Art. We will be preparing for the birth of Christ in Religion with reconciliation and talking about the real gifts we share as a Catholic community.

We look forward to seeing you at the Christmas concert on Dec.12th!

Ms. McLeod

It has hard to believe that it is already December and Christmas Break is soon to come! For the month of November, the students displayed great perseverance towards our school theme of “Grit”.

This month we will be focusing on the following things:

Writing: narrative writing, as well as, continue with report writing (and how to effectively use the chromebooks to help us with this)

Reading: we are continuing to work on finding evidence from the text when answering questions and explaining it clearly and fully. We will also be looking at summarizing. Finally, we will be looking at memoirs some read alouds, to connect with personal narratives.

Math: fractions, locations and transformations and patterning

Science: Biodiversity (end assessment) and starting our second unit “Flight”

Social Studies: Canada’s Interaction with the Global Community (specifically looking at organizations around the world that help with global issues) and taking a closer look at how it connects to our read aloud “A long walk to water”

Art:the element of space

Health: healthy eating

Gym: basketball

Important dates in November:

Dec 7: PD Day

Dec 12: School Christmas concert

Dec 21: last day of school

Ms. McLeod

Intermediate

Mrs. Hurren – Portable One

Twas the weeks before Christmas when all through the school not a student was working, except for the Grade 7’s in portable one – but clearly, they are not working on rhyming!

This week we expectantly welcome the season of Advent with excitement and joy, challenging ourselves to take some time to be still and pray in preparation for Christmas. Ask your son/daughter to share with you the relevance of the colours on our advent wreath and why this is an important time of waiting. The end of November brought with it the end of our “Fish in a Tree” novel study and we are working on demonstrating an understanding of the novel by creating a personal interpretation of the theme. We will be working through language centres in December, focusing on inferring. In Math, we have wrapped up Data Management and have begun our unit in Measurement. This is giving us an opportunity to revisit working with variables as we get messy with formulas. No more wasted Christmas wrapping paper – you will have an expert in your house thanks to our surface area calculations! We are diving into our next major battle in History and will be uncovering more about conflict and change in our country’s past. All of our hard work in our drama unit is coming to a close with our Portable Theater Company productions of various children’s Christmas stories. Our actors will be performing for some very excited little friends in our JK/SK study buddy class. Our monthly focus is self-compassion and the students have been challenged to practice positive self-talk and to celebrate the extraordinary gift that each and everyone of us is!

Portable One Shout Outs: Congratulations to our Girls’ Basketball team and our Boys’
Volleyball team!

Math Challenge:

 

I wish all of you a safe and relaxing Christmas break – I look forward to seeing everyone in the New Year!

Merry Christmas!

 

Mr. Vuylsteke

Hello Grade 8 families!

December is here and Christmas is just around the corner. There are many exciting things to look forward to this month leading up to the holidays. The season of Advent is a time for hope and waiting, and the Grade 8s have the privilege of leading this month’s Advent school mass. We will be working with our FDK buddies to prepare for this celebration.

We wrapped up November with our retreat to Mount Mary.  I hope the students have shared their memories and reflections from this truly uplifting experience. I have posted a few pictures on our google class site and will be sharing the full album with all students.

With the start of a new month, we have wrapped up our math unit on square roots and pythagoras. Please look for the unit packages coming home and be sure to sign and return. Unit 4 focuses on the measurement of circles and cylinders. In Science we will be finishing up our look at cells and moving towards an indepth look at water systems. We are continuing our look at the road to Confederation in history, and in Language we will be focusing on inferencing through literacy centers. In media literacy, we kicked off the month with the Supreme Court of Vuylsteke in session as the students researched and took a stance to debate the Trans Canada pipeline expansion.

This month we focus on the virtue of self compassion. We will explore what it means to honour our own humanness, and practice positive self-talk taking ownership for our actions. Please be sure to take some time for yourself over the holidays, and celebrate all we have to be thankful for. Merry Christmas!
-Mr.V

 

Planning Time

Mrs. Valant’s December   

Dear Families,

First of all, I would like to share with you that this month’s Umbrella Skill is SELF-COMPASSION. During this month, we will be focusing on treating ourselves with care and understanding instead of harsh judgement. Many of us feel that being self-critical pushes us to do better; however, self-criticism actually reduces our self-confidence.

All of our classes have been preparing for the Christmas Concert and each class is very excited to share their dancing, singing and recitation talents with you!

** Just a few reminders…

1) If your child is unable to attend the after-school performance, please let myself or the classroom teacher know in advance.

2) Please bring your child(ren) to school 15 minutes before his/her performance time and in costume as indicated on the note that went home.

Early Years Performance 4:30 p.m.

Primary  Performance 5:15 p.m.

Junior Performance 6:00 p.m.

3) Early years children are dropped off at the early years door and will be met and guided to their classroom by a teacher.  Primary & Junior students use the main entrance stairs and then go directly to their classroom.  Grade 3 to Library, Grade ¾ to Room 3, Grade 5 to Room 2.

4) Please promptly pick up your child at his/her classroom and only stay for the performances wherein your child(ren) are involved.

**For any further details regarding the Christmas concert, please see the Holy Family NewsWire sent out and dated November 15th.

*************************************************************************************************************

This month’s main focus has been Arts driven throughout all classes and divisions.

All of our classes have discussed the importance of facial expression, (Do I look like I’m enjoying myself?), voice projection, (Am I speaking/singing loudly enough?), enunciating, (Am I speaking and singing clearly?), knowing our physical place on stage, how to breathe properly when singing (from our diaphragm), knowing our cues, (e.g. I say my line before/after this phrase, I start my dance portion of the song at the instrumental interlude, etc.), following the song tempos, (Am I singing fast enough? Or am I singing too slow?), singing in proper pitch and in continuing with last month’s Umbrella Project theme of grit, not giving up easily, persevering, and practicing often. There is no such thing as, “I can’t! Simply, I can’t YET!”

I have thoroughly enjoyed working with your children to create varied performances for your enjoyment at the Christmas concert next week!

I would also like to take this opportunity to wish you all peace, love, joy and happiness this Christmas season, and all things wonderful in the New Year!

Many blessings,

Mrs. Valant

News from the desk of Mrs. Afonso-Magolon

Dear Family,

Self-compassion is this month’s Umbrella Skill.  During this month, we will focus on treating ourselves with care and understanding instead of harsh judgement. Many of us feel that being hard on ourselves is motivating, but self-criticism actually reduces our self-confidence.

Practices are well underway for the Christmas Concert and the children are very excited about sharing their gift of song and dance with you on Wed. Dec. 12.  Just a few reminders:

1)  Please do your best to ensure your child is at school every day to practice.  If your child is unable to attend the after-school performance, please let me know or the classroom teacher.

2) Please bring your child(ren) 15 minutes before his/her performance time and in costume, as indicated on the note that went home.

Early Years Performance 4:30 p.m.

Primary  Performance 5:15 p.m.

Junior Performance 6:00 p.m.

3) Early years children are dropped off at the early years door and will be met and guided to their classroom by a teacher.  Primary & Junior students use the main entrance stairs and then go directly to their classroom.  Grade 3 to Library, Grade ¾ to Room 3, Grade 5 to Room 2.

4) Please promptly pick up your child at his/her classroom and only stay for the performances that you have children in.

EARLY YEARS

Physical Education & Healthy Living

Our focus this month in Physical Education will be to continue to demonstrate hand-eye coordination in movement by throwing, catching and target skills. They will practice independently, with partners and in co-operative games.  The children will also be learning new Christmas themed co-operative games.  In Healthy Living, the children will learn about the importance of oral hygiene.

The Arts

The children will have fun dancing and moving creatively to Christmas songs.  We will also be engaging in some simple dramatizations to emphasize using our face and body expressively.  This month the children will be learning some new and traditional Christmas songs.  They will have more opportunities to use instruments to reinforce the beat and rhythm to the songs they learn.  Of course, we will continue to practice daily for the Christmas concert.

GRADE 1

Physical Education & Healthy Living

In Physical Education, we have discussed setting personal goals during our cardio warm ups to build up endurance.  This month we will continue working on throwing and catching different sized balls and rolling balls to targets. In Healthy Living, we will be identifying the 5 senses and learning how they function.

The Arts

The children will play drama games and engage in role play by focusing on the drama element of character.  They will be encouraged to adopt the thoughts, feelings and gestures of the characters they play.  We will also be spending a lot of time learning and practicing a song and dance for the Christmas concert.  The children will continue to sing, in unison, Christmas themed songs and use instruments to accompany simple songs.

GRADE 2

Physical Education & Healthy Living

In Physical Education, we are building up our endurance by warming up with line exercises.   This month we will continue working on throwing and catching in varying ways (i.e., underhand, overhand); with a variety of balls and from a variety of levels (e.g., standing, sitting, lying down).  We will play games that incorporate throwing and rolling to targets. In Healthy Living, we will see the effects of acid (i.e., vinegar) on an eggshell and how similar effects happen to our tooth enamel when plaque mixes with sugar to create acid.  We will be discussing proper brushing and flossing techniques and other ways to maintain good oral hygiene.

The Arts

The children will be working in small groups to practice Christmas skits.  They will learn about the elements of drama needed to make their play a success with a focus on the element of role/character.

We will continue to spend a lot of time learning and practicing a song and dance for the Christmas Concert and participate in singing other Christmas songs.

I would like to wish you all a magical and blessed Christmas and a safe and healthy New Year.

Sincerely,

Mrs. Afonso-Magolon

 

Special Education

December ~ Special Education – Mrs. Mash

Now that Progress Reports have gone home and Parent-Teacher interviews have occurred, I hope that you have had an opportunity to celebrate the successes that your child has made. Even a small increase in ability should be recognized and highlighted. Your child is working hard and the benefits are starting to show. Hopefully confidence is building as well.

I have had the opportunity to speak with some parents about their child’s progress (i.e.,  Empower Reading Programs, Speech-Language sessions, etc.,  and I love to share accomplishments made in the classroom with home. Please feel free to contact me at the school at any time if you would like to connect and find out how your child is doing. If I am not able to answer your questions, I will direct you to someone that can.

Here’s to a happy and joy-filled holiday season.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!!

Mrs. Mash

Special Education Resource Teacher

 

 

 

 

 

 

By |2018-12-10T14:55:05+00:00December 5th, 2018|News|Comments Off on December Messages from the classroom