Thank you to everyone who was ale to attend! It was a wonderful evening.
Our High Park Spring Showcase was another celebration of the Arts. During the Winter Showcase we celebrated Drama and Dance, so this time around we celebrated Visual Arts as well as Language Arts.
Our video celebrates Reading, Writing, and Oral Language (speaking & listening) - the discussions that we've had during our unit of Science & Social Studies exploration about drinking water access issues in Ontario's First Nations communities.
See bit.ly/wateraccessinquiry for previous blog posts.
Understanding Earth and Space Systems: Air and Water in the Environment
*Social Studies Curriculum*
People and Environments: The Local Community / Global Communities
Our watercolour habitat painting on oil pastel resist, with pencil crayon animal illustrations, celebrates the eco-systems that we've been learning about.
Understanding Life Systems: Needs and Characteristics of Living Things / Growth and Changes in Animals.
Our pencil crayon Google Doodle Design celebrates #Canada150 and our visions for our country's future.
Understanding Earth and Space Systems: Daily and SeasonalChanges
*Social Studies Curriculum*
Heritage and Identity: Our Changing Roles and Responsibilities / Changing Family and Community Traditions
People and Environments: Global Communities
Together, all of the 'Arts' that you will saw at the Showcase represent a message shared by Justice Murray Sinclair:
We will watch. We will listen. We will show respect.
Did you see the Earth Day Google Doodle?! I couldn't wait to share it with the students.
It begins with a little Fox that's dreaming about the state of our planet.
He wakes up with a jolt because he realizes that our planet is in trouble; the fish are swimming in polluted waters, the icecaps are melting ...
BUT - he's decided that there are actions that he can take to help. He sets out to plant some seedlings ...
... and he meets some friends along the way.
We clicked through the images together as a class and talked about what we saw:
- what was happening in the pictures?
- what were the animals thinking and feeling?
- what message was the illustrator trying to share?
Wordless Books are great for inferring and creating deeper understanding. Check out this Reading Rockets article for more info on why and how to use them. Also, check out the list of Reading Rocket's Favourite Wordless Picture Books.
Some of my favourites are:
The Girl and the Bicycle
The Boy and the Airplane
The Lion and the Mouse
Feel free to make a copy of the Earth Day Google Doodle Doc I created and use it to tell your own stories!
Our first week of Term 2 Homework whizzed by - thank you for supporting your children with this new routine and responsibility!
Please remember that the focus of this homework is:
Our homework program is meant to help students better their skills and confidence in different areas of learning. Feel free to practice the areas that you wish to improve on, but please also try to take risks and encourage a balance of all the activities you may choose from.
✔️ I will try to do 10 – 30 minutes of “homework” each night to practice independence.
✔️ I will try the tougher activities more than once to practice GRIT (perseverance + motivation).
✔️ I will work in an organized space that helps me maintain focus.
✔️ I will pack my duotang in my own backpack when I am finished to practice responsibility.
Questions & Concerns:
"The instructions say to focus on one goal but the letter home outlines to do at least four of the activities weekly. Should the focus be in one area but mix up the activity?"
While the students are encouraged to take part in many different learning & 'homework' opportunities throughout the week, it's best if they put extra focus and attention on one specific goal (it makes it more achievable). For example, if the goal is to learn 3 new words from the 100 Most Frequently Used Words list a student can still ride their bike as 'physical' homework and help cook dinner as 'other' homework, but they might spend 2 or 3 times practicing the new words.
TIP - check off all the words on the 100 Most Frequently Used Words List that you already know!
"We have a busy schedule and homework every night is hard to do."
This homework program celebrates all the wonderful learning opportunities that you're already taking part in! If you 1) play on a sports team on Mondays, 2) practice an instrument on Wednesdays, 3) have a play date scheduled on Thursday - then don't worry about sitting down to complete the log on those days. Use your 'off days' to sit down, spend some time together to reflect on what you've done and complete the log (the more traditional type of 'homework').
TIP - if your child submits their duotang on Tuesdays, then the next day spend a moment checking my feedback and to quickly set your new goal for the next week.
Thanks for your ongoing support at home. Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns!
TDSB's Homework Tips and Resources
Parents/guardians are a key part of finding homework success. Some tips on what you can do to support your child include:
Click to learn more about the TDSB Homework Policy
*This Blog Post is written in large part thanks to our student teacher from the ICS/OISE Program at Uof T, Amanda Santos (@amandasantos_ed & www.learningstem.ca)
This year, the HPAS theme is “Food for Thought” which investigates poverty, inequality, and discrimination. Over the course of the year, we've learned about the water cycle, different types of communities, written stories which illustrate our own personal connection to water, made predictions as to how our lives might change if we didn’t have clean water (see previous blog), and then we watched a video of First Nation community members being interviewed about what it is like to not have clean water. Students then created new questions in response to that video, continued to inquire about types of water pollution and causes including mining, how we get clean water to our tap and brainstormed possible ways we can help those without access to clean water.
Watch Amanda's video: How Do We Get Clean Tap Water?
We took some time to ask students 1) What's something new you've learned 2) Are there any questions you still have? and 3) Is there an action that you think we/people should take?
We started to talk about what we should do to help these First Nation communities who don’t have clean water and we emphasized that this problem is very complicated; for many generations, the Indigenous peoples of Canada including First Nations have been treated very unfairly in many ways, and one of those ways is by not have clean water to drink. It is going to take many years and many people who care (US - the grade 1s and 2s at HPAS!) to change things so that ALL people can have clean drinking water from their tap. We learned that this process of making things better with the indigenous peoples of Canada is called Truth and Reconciliation; Truth means learning the what actually is happening and Reconciliation is learning about how we can make it better.
It can be hard to learn about such sad and scary things that are happening in our country, but our students were brave and did an incredible job watching, listening, and showing respect. So what was our next step?
There are many people who don’t know that there are Canadians who are sick and who are dying because they do not have clean drinking water; to help raise awareness we can share what we have learned with...THE WORLD.
To consolidate and to communicate our learning about water access in First Nation communities, we participated in a group writing exercise ... we wrote a letter to post here on our website, telling people what we’ve learned, questions we still have, and actions we think we should take:
We welcome your comments, questions and hopefully some answers to our questions as well!
Please click the comment box at the bottom of the blog.
After that, to continue raising awareness and to encourage people to visit our website to read our letter, students wrote tweets that were sent to specific people and groups:
Please visit our Twitter Page to reply to, retweet & like students' tweets
* update *
We are raising awareness:
We were Re-Tweeted by @LifeStraw - our post may have reached 5,000+ people!
Some Indigenous organizations have seen and liked our tweets. They appreciate our learning and sharing and might bring this information to their advisory groups!
Some TDSB teachers have seen and liked our post - they might bring this information to their classrooms and their students!
Some TDSB Learning Coaches have seen and liked our post - they might bring this information to their Learning Centres (other schools, principals, teachers and students)!
Some #HPAS Parents have seen and liked our post - they might be continuing the conversation at home with their children and sharing with people they know in the community!
In our Room 108 Classroom Community, we foster an engaging, respectful and caring environment. I aim to balance a consistent program with flexible responsiveness to students' individual needs.