Friday, January 19, 2018

Week of January 22-26


Sneak Peek at the Week:

Language Arts:

This is a big week because we will be kicking off our Word Power (or what we would recognize as spelling). Students will be placed in groups according to their spelling level and will be monitored as they move through the lessons to see if their group best suits their abilities. Students will be introduced to the program and how it will work and get started in their groups this week. Parents, please look for a letter coming home that will explain ‘Operation Word Work’. The first lesson assignment is due this Thursday (no exceptions), and the quiz will take place next Thursday.

We also plan to finish our fiction stories and begin some reading exploring the topic of ‘Civil Rights’.


Learning how to tell time in French will wrap up on Monday with a quick quiz. In order to prepare, students are encouraged to practice counting by 5’s in French (cinq, dix, quinze, vingt, vingt-cinq, trente, trente-cinq, quarante, quarante-cinq, cinquante, cinquante-cinq), it would also be wise to review terms such as: et quart, et demie, moins le quart, etc.

Our next focus will be on spaces/rooms in the school! Check out Lucie’s first day at her new school:


Students have been doing well working on their multiplication facts and I encourage them to continue spending time with these! It is obvious which students have been putting in extra effort. There is steady improvement and according to my records, a whopping10 students achieved their personal best on Friday! Way to go, crew! I’ve had a couple of students ask for worksheets and I promised to send along the following link where you can generate your own in preparation for our next multiplication mania challenge on Friday:

We will be putting these multiplication skills to work this week with more complex multiplication challenges right after we prove we can handle more complex addition and subtraction!

Social Studies:

Our ‘What’s Happening Wednesday’ presentations were kicked off in grand style last week and got our class thinking and discussing current events and related issues. We look forward to many more over the coming weeks!

We are very fortunate to have Ms. Mandy Plain Eagle, our First Nations, Metis and Inuit Liaison, join us this week to help us learn more about our First Nations and the history of Canada through a ‘Blanket Exercise’.

We will be studying one of my favorite poems written about the north this week and taking another trip to the Arctic to wrap up this unit! Bundle up!

Planning ahead

Wednesday is Hot Lunch day!

Thursday is ‘Backwards Day’! Students are encouraged to consider what they could do backwards (while being safe, of course) on this day. Challenge to scholars: to prove you read the blog, start a list of palindromes (I wonder how you could find out what those are) and present the list to Ms. B. on Monday morning before O Canada! Let's show our MMH Spirit for our Spirit Assembly which is set to begin at 10:20 in our gymnasium.
Thursday is ULTIMATE LUNCH day! Students have been studying healthy eating habits and have learned how to read food labels. Students are invited to plan, help shop for, pack, and bring their 'Ultimate Lunch' on Thursday of this week!

OUR YEAR-END TRIP TO CALGARY IS A GO! With 98% of families in support, I’m pleased to report that our grade five teaching team is going ahead with the planning of this trip. It is scheduled for June 20th. We will be sending out more information (including cost and volunteer requests) after Easter.


Last year I had the opportunity to attend a workshop on ‘mindfulness’. Simply put, mindfulness means ‘paying attention on purpose, in the present moment with qualities like compassion, curiosity and acceptance’ (Shamash Aladina). The world around us is becoming increasingly busy and our thinking is often interrupted by this busy-ness in one form or another (i.e. technology). The concern is that people young and old are less able to hold their attention for extended periods of time and often go about living on auto-pilot without being completely aware of their thoughts or the things that are happening around them. One video clip I found particularly interesting and worth passing along is linked below. If you have about 3 minutes, please check it out!

What the internet is doing to our brains: (strong title, but great message):

Let’s have a terrific week!

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Week of January 15-19


In the rear-view mirror

What a great and busy first week back! While I expected to see signs of tired that would inhibit our ability to do our best learning, I was happy to see most students demonstrating a great deal of ‘Christmas Magic’ even though we had a few too many indoor recesses! While we still have some work to do, our group is coming along beautifully! I can’t wait to see what they show me this week!

Sneak Peek at the Week:

Language Arts:

Last week students wrote a Word Power (what is commonly referred to as spelling work) screening assessment. This assessment will be used to create groupings of like-levelled spellers for our Word Power focus. We will launch the program next week with a lesson and an assignment, with a quiz to follow the next week.

This week will be a busy one in Language Arts as we celebrate the life of Martin Luther King Jr. and begin learning about civil rights. (Students, to show Ms. B. you've read the blog, present her with a note that explains who Martin Luther King Jr. is on Monday before O'Canada!) We will also continue working on our fiction writing, and of course, we will be reading!


Last week students learned some new vocabulary and wrote New Year's resolutions in French! We also experienced 'la fete des rois', a French cultural celebration also known as Epiphany. This week we will continue our study of the school, with a focus on telling time.

Check out the links to practice with time in French by clicking on the French tab above!


Transformational Geometry is really quite challenging! This unit will wrap up this week and then we will head into more complex multiplication and division studies!

I am noticing some significant growth in many students with their multiplication facts, way to go! It is clear that some students are working on these every night as their scores and times are continually improving. Keep up the super effort, grade five, and get ready for a Multiplication Mania coming your way on Friday!

Social Studies:

Wow! Breezy has been busy travelling all over our great country, and the postcards are rolling in! We are enjoying them as we read about the places, locate them on our map and determine which region of Canada they are located in!

Last week we were introduced to our current events projects (What's Happening?) and signed up for presentation dates (all Wednesdays). In order to keep the projects 'current', students will receive their forms to begin working on their projects one week prior to their presentation date (a reminder note with student’s presentation date should have come home last week). Although this project is completed at home, students are welcome to come see me anytime with any questions, concerns or needs!

This week we will take a trip to Rankin Inlet!


Mr. Kollias has requested a reminder about the Science Quiz taking place on Tuesday of this week. Let’s study and knock his socks off!

Have a terrific week!

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Week of January 8-12

Happy New Year and welcome back to school! I hope everyone enjoyed a wonderful holiday break full of rest, relaxation and fun. We plan to keep the fun going with some exciting activities and great learning as usual! Students, please remember that Ms. Bourassa will be on the lookout for “Christmas Magic” all month long! Remember that Christmas Magic is what happens to grade five students over the holidays that shows they are no longer at the beginning of grade five! Students, to prove you read the blog, please present Ms. B. with a note before O’Canada on Monday detailing one thing you plan to do to demonstrate ‘Christmas Magic’!


*Thank you for your wishes and generosity at Christmas! I’m the luckiest teacher because I get to spend my days with the most amazing group of learners in the school!

*Thank you to all our stocking sewing helpers: Grandma Gerri, Grandma Manser, Mrs. Reeves, Miss MacRae, Ava’s mom, Trevor’s mom, William’s mom, Berkley’s mom, and Maxwell’s momwe couldn’t have done it without you!

*We would like to send a special thank you to all our swimming drivers who took time out of their busy schedules to get us to and from the pool before Christmas. What an awesome outing!

*Another bouquet goes out to the families who contributed to our Christmas Party snack on the last Friday before the break. Thank you to Trevor, Anabelle, Parker G, Taylor and Maxwell for supplying our delicious and nutritious snack!

It’s Winter!

*Wow, we dodged the frigid cold of Christmas, but there’s still plenty of winter on the way! Calling all warm jackets, mitts, toques, scarves, snow pants and other winter gear! For the greatest amount of fun, students should come to school dressed for the weather every day this month because whenever we have the chance, we will head outdoors to be physically active. Some of our Fridays will include outdoor winter activities, running may even be an option if there is no snow or ice on the pathways! Being warm and dry will make this experience a very enjoyable one!

Sneak Peek at the Week:

Social Studies:

Wow! Breezy has been busy travelling all over our great country, and the postcards are rolling in! We are enjoying them as we read about the places, locate them on our map and determine which region of Canada they are located in! Students, there is a pile of postcards waiting on my desk!

We are headed back to the Arctic Region of Canada to wrap up a scavenger hunt and even hope to take a trip to Iqaluit this week!

What’s Happening? (Current Events Project)

In order to help develop responsible and active citizenship, a very important part of the Social Studies curriculum is the awareness of current events. Parents, as was mentioned previously, please encourage your child to read a newspaper, watch the news and become knowledgeable about the events occurring in our world. It is always a good idea to take a few minutes to follow up or discuss these events with your child to find out what they are thinking and feeling. This week we will be introducing 'What's Happening Wednesdays' (our independent current events projects) that will be starting next week! Please note that all preparation for this project will take place outside of school time at home (if this presents a problem for your family, please let me know). Students will sign up for a date to present and during the week preceding their date, will be responsible for:

*choosing an event happening within that week prior to the presentation (this could be as simple as buying a newspaper and choosing a story of interest or going online to find out ‘What’s Happening’)

*researching the story to learn as much as possible (students should attempt to become a bit of an expert on the topic)

*presenting the information to the class in whatever way it may best be understood and remembered (i.e.: poster, tri-fold, PowerPoint, play/re-enactment, etc.) in 5-6 minutes.

*Please note that a very detailed outline will come home to directly assist students in their preparation when their date is ‘just around the corner’.


We will be celebrating the New Year by learning some vocabulary and writing resolutions in French! We will also learn about a French cultural tradition by celebrating 'la fete des rois' on Wednesday. Scholars, be sure to explain to your parents what this is all about--if you don't want to wait until Wednesday to find out, perhaps you'd like to do a little research

Language Arts:

After sharing our holiday activities with each other, students can look forward to brainstorming and writing resolutions for the new year! Now that we are in our new year, we will turn more of our attention to word work (spelling). This week will focus on evaluating where students are with a couple of quick assessments so that we can determine learning groups and then next week we will walk through how the program will work!  

Reading Rocks!

What are you reading right now? What are you reading next?

One of the most important goals we have in Language Arts is to develop a lifelong love of reading. Improving our reading skills is something we can all do and will be a focus for our class through January. To get better at reading, we must read more! Students must, at all times, have a novel at their desks for reading time as we will be taking time to read whenever possible. We will also spend some time searching out our ‘next reads’ so we are always ready to pick up another book!


The next couple of weeks we will be focusing on transformational geometry (shapes in motion) before we jump headfirst into more complex multiplication. That’s right! Students have two more weeks to sharpen their multiplication skills in preparationand two more rounds of Multiplication Mania to look forward to as well!

It's going to be a great week!

 (That's Ms. B. when she celebrates student success with Christmas Magic:)

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Friday, December 8, 2017

Final Two Weeks before the Holiday Break

Season's Greetings!

Our 'Christmas Presence' is requested at school this week! Students, if you haven't packaged up your items and wrapped them in Christmas paper to set under our tree, please do it soon! We will begin opening later this week!

Sneak Peek at the Next Two Weeks:

*It’s our Christmas Concert on Tuesday! Students are encouraged to be at the College Drive Church at 6pm. Our rehearsals are at school on Tuesday afternoon; extra guests (those who did not get tickets) are welcome to come watch in the gym beginning at 12:30!

*We hope to finish our stockings this Friday. Thank you to all our helpers who have joined us and plan to join us this week. We couldn’t do it without you!

*Next week (final week before Christmas) will be busy with carolling and mini-assemblies in the gym every day (mornings: Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, and at 12:30 on Tuesday afternoon in combination with the Spirit Assembly).

* Tuesday, December 19th is Red and Green Day! Students are encouraged to dress in Christmas attire or anything red and green!

*The evening of Tuesday December 19th is ‘The Magic of Christmas’. This is a mini-concert showcasing the efforts of our choirs and hand bell performers. It begins at 6:30 in our gymnasium.

*It’s hot lunch on Wednesday, December 20th!

*We are looking forward to going swimming at the U of L on the afternoon of Thursday, December 21st! Thank you to all the parents who have already responded, we are looking for one or two more. (If you sent your note back last week, we are absolutely taking you up on your offer! Thanks!)

*Friday December 22nd is our final day before the Christmas holidays. Students have the option of wearing their pajamas as we will enjoy the carolling and then will watch our Chris Van Allsburg movie to wrap up our author study. It will be interesting to see how the books and movies are similar and how they are different. (If you haven’t already done so, please return the permission note as soon as possible.)

Language Arts:

We will continue exploring the works of Chris Van Allsburg with special focus on spotting figurative language. We will also be doing a special writing project using The Polar Express. If your family owns a copy of this book and is willing to lend it for our use this week, we would love to have as many copies as possible. Please send it to school on Monday or Tuesday (with your name on it) and we will return it to you as soon as we are finished this week. Thanks!


Our Geometry unit began last week with students becoming familiar with a lot of tricky vocabulary (horizontal, vertical, parallel, intersecting, and perpendicular lines, opposite and adjacent sides, right angles and congruent shapes as well as specific shapes including: square, rhombus, trapezoid, parallelogram, rectangle and kite). Students, to prove you've read the blog this week: before O'Canada on Monday morning, present Ms. B. with a note explaining what shape the tables in our classroom are AND how you know they are that shape (what attributes prove this?) After a review of shapes and their attributes, we will focus on sorting shapes according to their attributes, we will look at symmetry and then hope to leap into 3-D objects right before Christmas!

Try out these sites:

Social Studies:

Our introduction to the Arctic Region began last week and students will be continuing to explore this region through a scavenger hunt and study of the inuksuk.

Check out the following clip explaining what inuksuit (plural form of inuksuk) are:


Soon we will be turning our attention to the Christmas season learning some vocabulaire de noel (Christmas vocabulary) in order to allow us to do some fun activities next week!

Christmas Party Snack Reminder:

Thanks to those who have offered to bring snacks on the morning of Friday December 22nd:

Muffins: Anabelle and Trevor

Fruit Platters: Brynley and Parker G.

Juice and Napkins: Taylor

Goodies: Maxwell

Have a wonderful couple of weeks!