Messages from the Staff

Principal Message

The school year is progressing at its usual fast pace.  We are already at progress reports and parent interviews.   First Communion and Confirmation preparation have begun, the Grade 8’s will be going on their Mount Mary retreat during the third week of November, the Nutrition for Learning” program is well established,  Mrs. Schlotzhauer is preparing our Remembrance Day liturgy, Mrs. Hehn (library technician) is holding a book fair during parent interviews and we are beginning our new “Umbrella Project” theme of GRIT!

Our major fundraiser finished on the 31st of October.  Thank you to Mrs. Jarvis for spearheading our Halloween Dance-a-Thon. Mrs. Jarvis and the teachers began organizing this event in September.  This event wouldn’t have been a success without the generous donations and the time given by the parent volunteers and staff.   I am very grateful.  We will share the total dollar amount raised very soon.

As the cooler weather arrives I encourage you to remind your children to bring and wear appropriate clothing that will keep them comfortable for the day.  It is important for students to have indoor shoes to change into so that our hallway and classroom floors are kept dry and clean.  I know Mr. McPhate and Mrs.Gromeder appreciate our cooperation.

Now that our school year is well underway and we are deep into learning tasks and curriculum expectations I encourage you to review your child(ren’s) returned work and assignments. Teacher feedback and rubrics are important to know each child’s strengths, needs and next steps.   One of our school improvement learning goals is for students to communicate their knowledge and understanding orally and in writing.  Ask your children what they learned each day rather than what they did.  This will give you a good indication of their engagement and understanding of the day to day classroom lessons and tasks.

Sincerely,

Vic Longo

Principal

 

JK/SK

Ms. Jardine, Mrs. Simpson and Ms. Floto FDK

November: In Math, we have been learning about patterns. We have discovered that we can make patterns from colours, shapes, numbers and letters. We are learning how to label our patterns (AB, ABA). We will continue to practice making patterns. Ask your child to make a pattern at home! In Language, we have started our Letters and Sounds program. Check the classroom website at the beginning of each week for links to the Letter Songs we sing in class. These songs teach the sound or sounds that our Letter of the Week makes. This is great practice for at home. In Science, we have been studying leaves. We learned how to describe our leaves by colour, size and type. We practiced measuring our leaves. We have read many books about leaves and our favourite is called The Leaf Man. We made our own Leaf Men out of leaves and twigs! We visited the Pumpkin Patch and enjoy visiting our discovery table where we can observe, touch and measure different sized pumpkins and corn. In Religion, we are continuing to learn different strategies to cope with various emotions (e.g. sad, angry, scared) through our school’s Umbrella Project initiative. We enjoy using Christian Meditation to calm our bodies before we start the afternoon. Many friends have shared that after meditating, their body feels “peaceful,” “love,” “relaxed,” and “calm.”

Ms. Jardine, Mrs. Simpson and Ms. Floto FDK

 

Mrs. Sike and Mrs. Grimberg FDK

Writer’s Workshop

We know that when we write, it is often for very natural reasons. We write messages, lists, reminders, notes etc. I have introduced writing material (e.g. whiteboards) throughout the classroom. Children use clipboards to write during activities and during meaningful play. These messages and lists are then posted for viewing and sharing. We call it “Have a go writing.” To write messages, we use the skills of what we know about letters and sounds, as well as words we find in our environment. SK students often draw a picture and write simple messages, while JK students often rely on pictures of their ideas. I then write or record the message associated with the picture (sometimes they trace the writing). We always read back our writing.

Math

We engage in daily “number talks” to provide opportunities for counting, building fluency with small numbers, conservation of number, and develop one-to-one correspondence. We’ve measured around a pumpkin (with links and measuring tapes) and made patterns with pumpkins, leaves and Halloween stickers. We are now learning to graph by placing objects/pictures on a graph and classifying and comparing these objects using math language such as most, least, more, less.

 

Ms. Butter & Mrs. Lichti

Happy November! Please refer to our class calendar for important dates. Please see the hard copy of our newsletter for all the details of what we’ve covered and are going to cover this month. Math and Language are listed below.

Thank You’s and Reminders:

LIBRARY CHANGE: We will be switching our library day to FRIDAYS starting November 23rd until the beginning of February. This means we will NOT have library on weeks that we have a P.D Day.  Apologies for the inconvenience! There will be no library the week of the book fair (Nov. 8-12).

❖ Book Fair theme is “Enchanted Forest”. It will run from November 8th-12th. It will be open the evening of November 8th during parent-teacher interviews if you would like to peruse!

Math

In the month of October, we have been 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 covered 0-3) and various other numbers in our centres. This is a theme that we will continue through November and the rest of the year. We have also studied various ways to sort and different types of patterns. Ask your child to make a pattern at home and be amazed—we are so proud of them! In November, we will be investigating 2D and 3D shapes.

Language

In the month of October, we started our Jolly Phonics program, learning letter names (upper case and lower case) and sounds (so far we have studied ‘S’, ‘A’, ‘T’, ‘I’). We have also been practicing sight word identification, especially for S.K students (so far we have covered ‘and’, ‘are’, ‘go’, ‘I’, ‘is’, ‘my’, ‘on’ & ‘the’). Students have enjoyed listening to and making connections to Thanksgiving and Halloween 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. We will also be starting our Home Reading program. Stay tuned for more information!

Thank you!

Ms. Butter & Mrs. Lichti

 

Primary

Ms. Gentile

We are all settling in to the routines and expectations of Grade 1! October was a busy month, where we focused on Gratitude and being thankful for what we have, including the new friends we are making this year.

The home reading program is a success! Thank you to all families for supporting your child in their love of reading. We have completed a review of all the single letter sounds, and will be introduced to the phonetic blends beginning in November, which hopefully will be evident in your reading together.

Although working with numbers is year long, we will be moving on from a numeration unit, and focusing on data management this month.

We are also learning about the roles and responsibilities we have in our lives, as well as our relationships, and how they impact others.

I look forward to speaking with you on Interview night, or once you have receive your child’s Progress Report.

 

Mrs. Shouftas

Dear Families,

Students have been doing a great job showing Gratitude at our school. Students got a chance to write down what they are thankful for on our school graffiti wall. Students will be encouraged to continue to show gratitude throughout the year. Next, we will be working on displaying GRIT at school. Grit is a skill about showing courage, perseverance and not giving up even we are having a bad day. Students will be given a chance to write down their Grit goals on a strip of paper that will later be turned into a chain and displayed throughout the school.

In Math, students have been working on adding and subtracting single and double digit numbers. Students were encouraged to break down larger numbers into “Friendly Numbers” which are multiples of 10, and then count or subtract by 10. For example, 53 + 25 = 10 + 10 +10 + 10 + 10  + 10 + 10 + 3 + 5. This method is an efficient way to add and subtract larger numbers as it is easier for students at this age to count by 10’s. Students are also able to add and subtract using methods that are successful for them. For example, some students counting up or down depending on the question, using number lines and hundreds charts. We will revisit addition and subtraction throughout the year.

In Science, students got an opportunity to use our school Chromebooks and research about different animal adaptations. When there is time at home, have students practice typing on Word as I would like to continue to use the Chromebooks for research in further inquiries. Next, students will be exploring their family traditions and celebrations in our Social Studies Unit.

Your Partner in Education,

Mrs. H. Shouftas

 

Mrs. Rice

Time flies when you’re having fun…and that’s exactly what we are doing in Grade 3! It has been another busy month jam packed with lots of fundraising, STEM activities, and hands on learning, like making our own butter! In Language, we continue to develop writing with detail and description. We focused some learning around ‘bats’, and all wrote detailed descriptive paragraphs. We also made a very descriptive ‘spooky brew’, focusing on the power of adjectives and following a procedure. We will be focusing some of our writing this month on Persuasive Letters. The Home Reading program started this past month, where the students have the opportunity to record their 20 minutes of nightly reading in a provided duotang. Every 20 nights of home reading earns them a small reward from our prize bucket! In Math, we are just finishing up a unit on Addition and Subtraction. We have also started multiple step problem solving. In November, the students will start a unit on Data Management  where they will conduct a survey using tallies, represent their data on a variety of graphs – bar graph, circle graph and pictograph,  finish by drawing conclusions using mathematical language. On November 19th, the students will experience some hands on learning that supports our Social Studies curriculum by visiting an Iroquois Village, as we go on a field trip to Crawford Lake. Please dress for the weather!! Lastly, just a friendly reminder to please look through and initial your child’s agenda nightly.

 

Mrs. Schlotzhauer

Dear parents,

I am looking forward to meeting you and discussing your child’s progress during our interviews scheduled on Nov. 8th. If you have not already done so, please hand in your yellow interview sheet requesting a time. I have a clear pastic lid from a snack container left here. If it’s yours please let me know and I’ll send it home with your child. We have finished our Science Unit on ‘Understanding Life Systems and Needs’. A few pages will be sent home in their agendas which you may keep at home. If you would like to see the whole duotang, just write me a note and I will send it home but please remember to send it back to school. We will now break from Science and begin a unit in Social Studies on ‘Neighbourhoods’. We will be beginning a new unit in Family Life, ‘Living in Relationships’ with a look at feelings and getting along. In Religion we will be beginning a new unit in on ‘The Road to Bethlehem’. Our class is scheduled for morning prayers the week of Nov. 12th. Please look for a copy of the morning prayer in their agenda with their assigned date. Please have your child practice reading this out loud to you and return it with them on their assigned day. They will be assigned as table groups so no-one will be reading alone. We will soon be finishing our Math unit on ‘Number Relationships’. We have been working hard on using 5 & 10 frames and 2-part mats (10 counters on 1 part & extras on the 2nd part). Students should be familiar with their numbers 0 to 20 and be able to compare and describe them (ex., 7 is 2 more than 5 and 3 less than 10, 15 is 10 and 5 more). Our next Math Unit will focus on telling time to the hour and half hour, understanding basic seasonal temperatures and identifying and counting coins in small amounts. I have seen lots of progress and improvements in student’s reading and writing abilities. They are beginning to tell their stories in written form with a focus on readable writing, printing on the lines, leaving appropriate spaces and adding lots of letters to bigger words. They have recently written a Halloween small moment story. Please look for these to come home soon and do send it back to school when finished sharing. Our next focus will be checking for proper letter formation, adding punctuation and sounding out words. Please remember to keep rehearsing new words that come home weekly in the agenda. Many students are still not mastering these on dictation tests. Please also remember to send in the Reading Log once a week so that recognition may be given and we can chart progress in class. Continue to add the All – Star Reading Strategy to the back of this duotang. Also please remember to return the Shared Reading duotang every Monday.

Some students will also be participating in a reading for our Remembrance Day Assembly on Nov. 8th. These students will be bringing home a copy to practice and they will be reading it together with their Gr. 6 Book Buddy as I know there may be challenging words and they may be feeling nervous that day.

Please see the calendar that was previously sent home for other events.

If you have any questions or concerns please don’t hesitate to contact me here at school.

Sincerely,

Mrs. Schlotzhauer

 

Mrs. Gruber

November News in Grade 3/4

October was a fantastic month in our classroom!  Everything from setting and achieving classroom goals (Be Bucket Fillers, and No Saying “I Can’t”), to ending some units and beginning others!  It has certainly been a busy but rewarding month.  In Religion:  the class has finished our unit on the Saints and have recently been exploring a new topic; Free Will.  The students are very interested in the topic and have enthusiastically participated in discussions so far.  We are looking forward to diving deeper into this unit.  In Literacy:  we wrapped up an in-depth unit on Inferencing.  The class benefited greatly from the support and guidance of our Literacy Coach, Mrs. Sommerton.  Our Inferencing activities have led nicely into our next focus; Poetry.  So far the class has written 3 types of poems and we will continue this focus into November.  In Social Studies:  the Grade 3s are working on final mini-projects about the Early Settlers, as well as a small play that we will be performing for the other Grade 3 class within the next week or two.  Your child would benefit from practicing their lines at home over the next few days.  In Math:  the class is finishing up their Data Management unit and will be starting a unit on addition and subtraction in the coming days.  They have been preparing for this unit all year by participating in Number Talks, so I expect that many will feel confident in their skills as we learn and practice concepts such as “borrowing” and “re-grouping”.  I look forward to seeing you at Interview Night, or talking to you by phone after you have received your child’s Progress Report Card!

Junior

Ms. Jarvis

November has quickly arrived and with that the kids are well into established routines and our classroom has come together nicely.

Writing – we are finishing up our friendly letter writing unit where students actually got to send their letters to the people they wrote to. Hopefully we get a few letters back for the students. We will be headed into a large unit on research projects which will align with our first Science Unit – Habitats and Communities.

Math – We are continuing to focus our problem solving strategies and showing our thinking really clearly. Within our units, we will be looking at Data Management, Addition and Subtraction and finishing up Patterning.

Science – Habitats and Communities is one of my favourite Science Unit to teach and we will be exploring food chains, different habitats and their impact on each other. We will also be going to Laurel Creek and doing some fun activities based on this unit on Nov 13, 2018.

Thank you for all your support for the Dance A Thon…. the kids did a great job and had a great day!!!

Ms. Jarvis

Grade 4

 

Mrs. Kalbfeisch

November in Grade 5

I hope that we have all recovered from the excitement of Halloween and are back to some sort of routine after the sugar wears off! We have just about finished our games project and are excited to share them with each other here at school. That will open up our time in language to respond to questions more effectively in Reading and in Writing. We will use evidence from the text to back up our opinions. In Mathematics we are moving on to multiplication and division. If you wish to take home a practice booklet just let me know, there are a few left and I will make more. We will be talking about sacrifice and making connections to our war veterans so be prepared to have some meaningful discussions in the coming days. Enjoy the change of season and remember to encourage proper outerwear as the weather is unpredictable.

 

Ms. Mcleod

October has seem to go by just as fast as September! It was great to see our class focusing on our school theme for October (gratitude) through our discussions and actions in the classroom! A big thank you to all that have contributed to our dance-a-thon!

This month we will be focusing on the following things:

Writing: report writing and paragraph writing

Reading: extending our understanding by responding to short story questions, as well as, continuing with our novel study “A long walk to water”.

Math: area, probability and fractions

Science: Biodiversity (invasive species and how humans affect biodiversity)

Social Studies: Canada’s Interaction with the Global Community (specifically looking at organizations around the world that help with global issues)

Art: the element of form

Health: healthy eating

Gym: handball games

Important dates in November:

Nov 8- Remembrance Day Assembly

Nov 13- Class trip to laurel creek

Nov 16- PD Day

Nov 22- Mass

 

Intermediate

Mrs. Hurren

Time sure does fly when you are having fun, and we are proof of that in Portable One! We brought October to a close with descriptive Haunted House writing and reviewing healthy eating. Our Ecosystem design challenges were a huge success, demonstrating our solid understanding of the relationship between abiotic and biotic elements in our environment and the positive and negative impacts of human interactions. We will be hanging up our lab coats for awhile to dive into the past and explore conflict and change in Canadian history. Have your son/daughter share with you the significant historical figure they are ‘Becoming’ and how they have contributed to our past. In Math, we have begun our Data Management unit and will be graphing, inferring, justifying and communicating our way through different data sets. Our virtue focus for the month of November is grit and the students have been challenged to set and work to achieve various goals as we strive to improve our perseverance and resilience. In Religion we have been exploring our faith and working on building a deeper connection with God. We are using the novel “A Single Bead” to help with this discovery – ask you son/daughter to share a summary of this exciting and powerful story.

Portable One Shout Outs: Congratulations to everyone who worked to raise money for our dance-a-thon; it was a huge success!

Math Challenge: If it took 6 people 9 hours to build a barn, how long would it take 12 people to build the same barn?

I look forward to seeing everyone at our progress report interviews on Thursday evening!

 

Mr. Vuylsteke

Hello  Grade  8  Families!

November is here and is it ever a busy month!
On November 6th, Progress Reports will be going home. I encourage you to use these progress reports as a point of discussion with your child about both their strengths and areas of improvement. Going hand-in-hand with progress reports, Parent Interviews are set for Thursday, November 8th. I look forward to meeting with everyone (and I encourage the students to join)!

High School Transition – In October the student’s started their exploration of the pathways available to them as the prepare for Secondary School. We have been working in myBlueprint, an education planning website, designed to help with high school course selections, and career planning. As part of the ongoing transitional support, on November 14th, we will be travelling to Resurrection Catholic Secondary School to participate in the Grade 8 Orientation Day. There are also parent information nights scheduled at both Resurrection and Waterloo Oxford on Wednesday, November 28th.

Speaking of Parent Information Nights… we will be holding an information session in regards to our Intermediate Division year end trip on November 15th at 6pm in the library. We will be joined by a representative from Brightspark tours who will tell us more about the exciting excursion they have planned for us to our nation’s capital this spring.

Finally, don’t forget that the Grade 8s will be off to Mount Mary for our Spiritual Retreat from November 21-23. If you haven’t sent back the forms please do so as soon as possible. If there are any questions or concerns, as always, please get in touch.

We will be spending the month of November focusing on the virtue of Grit. Rather timely with our progress reports going out, grit is about our ability to stick with tough tasks and persevere.  We’re part way through Term 1, I encourage all the Grade 8s to rise to the challenge of the difficult goals they have before them, and remember that excellence in anything we do requires commitment, hard work and maybe even some failures along the way.

 

Planning Time

Mrs. Valant

November Notes from Mrs. Valant

This month’s Umbrella Project theme is GRIT.  Although this skill is being highlighted this month in particular, we continuously encourage each other to do our best, keep trying, and eventually… that determination pays off!

Phys. Ed.

This month in every Phys. Ed. class we will continue focussing on cooperative games. In addition, we will be working on our catching and throwing skills in isolation in stations and then put our skills to the test in game play.

Health

We will be presenting our Cultural dishes to the class this week as we look at combination foods and healthy vs. sometimes food choices. This activity is an extension of the Social Studies unit on Early Settlers and delves into our family heritage as inspiration for various dishes. Next, we will be looking at the differences between local and imported foods, processed vs. unprocessed foods and nutritional content of various packaged foods.

The Arts

In Music, we are finishing up our unit on orchestral instruments, their prospective families and identifying the instruments by their sound and their characteristics, (i.e. contain strings, they are bowed, etc.) The Grade 3 class is presenting their musical instruments this week. This activity is an extension of the Social Studies unit on Early Settlers and delves into our family heritage as inspiration for their instrument choices. Thanks so much to Mrs. Offak for sharing her Croatian tamburitza talent and energy with our class last week!

Our Kindergarten class is currently presenting their version of “Five Little Pumpkins”. They have created their own cardstock puppets to enhance their recitation of the poem.

Our first priority in each class for the months of November and December will be working on presenting our families with extraordinary performances at our Christmas Concert!

**Interviews are being conducted this Thursday, November 8th. I will be available from 3:30 until 5:30 pm that evening for an interview if interested. Otherwise, I am very happy to schedule a phone interview to discuss your child’s progress in Phys. Ed., Health and The Arts.

 

Mrs. Afonso

From the Desk of Mrs. Afonso-Magolon

This month our Umbrella Skill is GRIT.  We will be discussing times when students persevered in their goals even in the face of struggle or challenges.  I will encourage students to take risks like getting up in front of the class to speak or perform during drama activities and remind them that even when things seem hard, they need to overcome challenges in a positive way.

Parent/Student/Teacher Conferences: If you would like to meet with me to discuss your child’s progress at school, please send a note with your child.  The classroom teacher will pass it along to me.  I will be available during the following dates and times:

Thurs. Nov. 8 from 8:30-9:00am, 3:00pm-5:20 pm

Fri. Nov. 9 from 8:30-9:00 & 3:00pm-3:30 pm

Physical Education:  The focus for the month of November in all classes will be on throwing and catching skills.  The children will use varying sizes of equipment and throw in varying ways (i.e., underhand, overhand).  We will work on these skills by rotating in stations and playing games.

Healthy Living: In addition to personal hygiene, the importance of oral hygiene will be discussed,  especially after Halloween when treats are abundant.  Depending on their grade, children will be bringing home a chart to record when they brush their teeth or maintain personal hygiene.  Please return these on the due date indicated on the forms.

The Arts: This month the children will explore sounds and create sound effects to poems, songs and familiar stories.  Grade 1 and 2 families: Have your child clap rhythm patterns for you to guess using quarter notes (tah), eighth notes (ti-ti) and quarter rests (shh).

Finally, please to remember to sign and return all rubrics the following day.

 

French

Madame Paquette

November is already here. I thought October went quickly. October was a busy month for our French class. We began “Quiz vendredi” where the students are quizzed about what was taught/done that week. We began a Writing assignment “activitée R.A.F.T.S.” that we are still working on. We also continued to look at and learn the unit vocabulary. This will make easier for the Listening and Reading tests coming in November. We will begin Listening and Speaking assignments/tests in the month of November as well.

Furthermore, our work in November will involve the beginning of the Christmas unit. This is my favourite time of the year.

There was an oversight on the yellow sheet that was sent home for parent/teacher interviews on Thursday, November 8th. If anyone would like to talk to me about French, I am available Monday to Thursday 9:00 – 9:30 and Wednesday and Thursday 3:00 – 3:30 the week of November 12th – 15th.

 

Special Education

Mrs. Mash

November ~ Special Education

November? What happened to October? I can’t believe we are already into the third month of school! The Empower Reading Programs are up and running at Holy Family School. The Decoding and Spelling Program; which focuses on our Primary students, is in full swing and participants have already been introduced to two reading strategies; The Sounding Out Strategy and The Rhyming Strategy. Both provide young readers with tools to help them identify the sounds in new words, blend the sounds together, and eventually read the word. Students are already meeting with success and are eager to transfer their new skills to the classroom and at home. The Comprehension and Vocabulary Program is new to Holy Family this year and targets students in the Junior and Intermediate grades. This program provides support to develop vocabulary and reading fluency. Both reading intervention programs were developed by Dr. Maureen W. Lovett and her team at The Hospital for Sick Children (Sick kids) in Toronto. For more information on these programs, visit sickkids.ca/empower.

For parents of students on an IEP, please sign and return the parent page of the document, which was sent home on October 15, 2018, as soon as possible to let me know that you have received your copy. Remember that an IEP is a fluid document; changes can be made at any time.

Mrs. Mash

Special Education Resource Teacher

 

 

 

By |2018-11-08T07:57:02+00:00November 7th, 2018|News|Comments Off on Messages from the Staff