What’s up this Week (April 13-17)

Happy Easter everyone! Did anyone else enjoy Easter dinner with a computer sitting at their table (my parents have joined virtually). This is such a strange time and I know that everyone is reacting and dealing with the new normal a little differently.

I am expecting some students not to complete all the work. I am expecting some parents to say “we don’t have time to do school”. I am expecting that some weeks will be good and some weeks will be bad. I did send an email earlier today so, once again, stress that I am open to providing alternatives to those who feel like the workload is too much at this time.

Here is what I am asking students:

  • stay in the loop (students should be checking their school email daily) – please set a notification on your device to remind you
  • keep me in the loop (email me if you are having problems, want to share something that you did or that happened, want to meet up to work on a problem/task together)
  • ensure self-care (get outside, be active, be reasonable with the amount of time you spend on school work)

Grade 7 students are being assigned approximately 10 hours of work across all subjects. This works out to about 2 hours per day. If students are working more than this, they should consider emailing their teacher. Your teachers are here to support you as best as we can.

Here is a possible schedule (for those that like organization):

Monday
– 20 to 30 minutes of math
– 20 to 30 minutes of reading/English work
– 20 minutes of PE
– 60 minutes of religion
Tuesday
– 20 to 30 minutes of math
– 20 to 30 minutes of reading/English work
– 20 minutes of PE
– 60 minutes of french
Wednesday
– 20 to 30 minutes of math
– 20 to 30 minutes of reading/English work
– 20 minutes of PE
– 60 minutes of science
Thursday
– 20 to 30 minutes of math
– 20 to 30 minutes of reading/English work
– 20 minutes of PE
– 60 minutes of social studies
Friday
– 20 to 30 minutes of math
– 20 to 30 minutes of reading/English work
– 20 minutes of PE
– 30 minutes of music
– finishing up stuff for any subject tasks not yet complete

Please remember that this is the first time that we (teachers) are teaching this way and we are going to make mistakes. By you reaching out and letting us know what is (and what isn’t) working, it is a great help.

Academics

Math

The focus this week is on percents. Students should be working on those tasks in the yellow section (Module #2) of the “Proportions, Percents and Similar Shapes” math workspace. In order to help students organize their time and not be left with a ton of work to do at the end of the week, I have organized a suggestion timeline – found HERE.

Although we will not be having a google meet this week, students who are having difficulty are encouraged to email me to set up a quick meet so that we can discuss the topic together.

English

Students should be finishing their novels for their book club in preparation for our final meeting next Monday (April 20). They should also ensure that they have completed the book club package for each of the weeks based on the schedule HERE. I will be asking students to send me a scan of their book club packages early next week.

Religion

Our focus this week is on community. Students should go to the “Religion – At Home” workspace to see this week’s task. They are working on the yellow section during this week. For those students who did not yet complete last week’s task (the red section), they are encouraged to also work on that if time permits.

Science

This week students will be working on an online lab involving dissolving and solubility. The question in the lab is “Does temperature affect the speed that a solute dissolves?”. Students need to complete a hypothesis which addressed this question, complete the online simulation and record the results in the table, create a line graph either on paper or using google sheets, and answer 5 analysis questions using a google form. All of the resources for this task (including helpful text pages and videos) can be found in the “At Home – Science” workspace in the green section.

 

Thanks!

What’s up this Week (April 6-10)

Hello everyone! I am so proud of those who made it through the modules of the volume and surface area workspace. Phase 2 of “at home learning” is starting on Monday and things will be a little different. Firstly, the amount of work will be increasing. The government is suggesting that teachers should be planning around 10 hours of school work per week (so essentially 2 hours per day). It would be best if students can block off a couple of hours during the day with which to complete the assigned work. Creating and sticking to a routine is high encouraged.

With the exception of English where we will be continuing our book clubs, I plan to use Hapara workspace to deliver the content and resources for all subject.

Everyone should have received an email from the school outlining Phase 2. If you have not read it yet, please take the time to review the contents.

In an effort to make things easier to access for students and parents, our intermediate team has created homeroom virtual agendas. Each Sunday, a link to the upcoming agendas will be sent out. The agenda will contain a summary of all work assigned from ALL subjects (not just those I teach). Click HERE to view a summary of the assigned tasks for the week of April 6-10.

Academics

Math

I am asking students to NOT continue working through the resources in the Volume and Surface Area workspace (this includes any MathSpace tasks). The time for completing those tasks is now complete.

Starting tomorrow, we will be launching into a five-week unit on proportions, percents, and similarity. Each week, I am hoping that students can complete one module. They should be budgeting around 2 hours a week (so around 20-30 minutes a day).

Click HERE for a day-by-day timeline the students could use to help keep them on track.

 

English

Students should continue to complete their assigned readings and jobs for our book clubs. Check out more info below:

Every Monday, I meet up with book club groups to chat about their book, discuss the tasks for the week, and touch base as to how everyone is doing. Invitations for google hangouts have been sent out to book club groups (can students please RSVP to the invitation so I know who to expect). Each meeting will be a minimum of 15 minutes in length but can go longer if needed.

The schedule for book club meetings is as follows:

Book #1: It’s Trevor Noah: Born a Crime (Adapted for Young Readers)
Group Members: Aaliyah, Carter, Isabelle, Matteo
– Meeting starts at 12:30 pm

Book #2: A Monster Calls
Group Members: James, Natalie, Ryan
– Meeting starts at 12:50 pm

Book #3: New Kid
Group Members: Mathias, Bailee, Talat
– Meeting starts at 1:10 pm

Book #4: Escape from Aleppo
Group Members: Abby, Bridget, Julien
– Meeting starts at 1:30 pm

Book #5: The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise
Group Members: Caitie, Gabby, Krista
– Meeting starts at 1:50 pm

Book #6: The Crossover
Group Members: BJ, Jacob, Isabel M
– Meeting starts at 2:10 pm

Book #7: The War that Saved my Life
Group Members: Caleb, Isabel G, Kyler
– Meeting starts at 2:30 pm

 

Science

Now that we are in Phase 2 and (hopefully) everyone is starting to adapt to this new “normal” we will be adding content from all subject areas. A science workspace has been created to help guide students through the topics.

This week I am hoping that students can:

  • Read Section 2.1 and 2.3 in the textbook
  • Watch the posted video on Solutions
  • Once you are comfortable with the content, complete the concept questions on the google form
  • OPTIONAL: Complete the experiment (Making Rock Candy)

 

Religion

This week is Holy Week and although we will not be observing the holiday with our community, I am still hoping that families can find time to reflect.

Speaking of allowing for time to reflect and connect, the focus this week in Religion will be on family. Each week, I will be selecting one Catholic Graduate Expectation with which to explore. I will be assigning one task for students to complete. These will be simple tasks with the idea of having students stop, think, connect, reach out, and/or practice gratitude.

Students can access the task outline and other resources by visiting the Religion – At Home workspace. 

 

I recognize that parents and students will most likely feel overwhelmed with information during this time. It is important for everyone to focus on mental and physical health before academics. It is my hope that I have created workspaces which allow students to access and navigate the topics in a straightforward manner. If there are any questions, please reach out to me.

Take care – I miss you all!

What’s up this Week (March 30 – April 3)

***PLEASE READ THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION – It is important for all students to ensure they know what is going on and what tasks are being assigned in this new online learning environment.***

Hi everyone! Hopefully everyone is healthy and finding creative ways to keep busy while stuck in our houses! My family is doing a lot of drawing, puzzles, lego, and basketball. We are also trying to keep up with our school work.

I really enjoyed touching base with those that joined in for our video chat last Tuesday afternoon. I see that many of you are working your way through the posted math workspace and I look forward to chatting with everyone tomorrow during our first round of book club meeting.

I do recognize that not everyone is in a situation where online learning is possible. Please reach out if you need specific tools as it doesn’t look as though the situation will be changing any time soon and it will be beneficial for everyone to get setup as soon as possible.

For this second week of home learning, the focus will continue to be on Math and English, as well as our own well being. Please read below for more details on what I am hoping students can be completing at home in terms of their academics.

Academics

Math
This week, my hope is that students will continue to work through the Volume and Surface Area workspace. Students can access the workspace HERE (they need to use their school account to access the material).

My suggested approach for working through each module is as follows:

  1. Watch the videos (found in the 1st column)
  2. Try out the MathSpace lesson (found in the 1st column)
  3. Take 20 minutes to try some of the online practice quizzes and interactive games (found in the 2nd column)
  4. Complete the practice worksheet (found in the 4th column)
  5. Watch the answer key video for the practice worksheet (found in the 4th column). If students are unsure of any of the answers on the worksheets and/or how to solve specific problem, they can:
    1. Ask a friend or family member for help
    2. Try TVO Mathify to receive 1:1 real time tutoring (https://www.tvomathify.com/students)
    3. Email me for help
  6. Complete the assigned MathSpace task(s). They will need to achieve a minimum of 70% in order to pass this stage.
  7. If there is an assessment, complete it and submit for feedback from the teacher.
  8. When the students has completed all of the required elements, they can submit the “I finished the Module” doc. At this point, I will check over their work and if successful will move them on to the next Module.

I would suggest that students set aside approximately 30-45 minutes a day (not counting the weekend) to work on this math workspace.

We will be finishing up the Volume and Surface Area workspace this week and a new unit “Proportions and Similar Shapes” will be launched on Monday, April 6.

English

For the past week, students should have been completing their first set of assigned readings and jobs. Check out more info below:

Invitations for google hangouts have been sent out to book club groups (can students please RSVP to the invitation so I know who to expect). Each meeting will be a minimum of 15 minutes in length but can go longer if needed.

Even if students have not completed the reading or the work associated with this week’s assignment, I am hoping that they will still be able to join us. All meetings will be occurring tomorrow (Monday, March 30).

The schedule for book club meetings is as follows:

Book #1: It’s Trevor Noah: Born a Crime (Adapted for Young Readers)
Group Members: Aaliyah, Carter, Isabelle, Matteo
– Meeting starts at 12:30 pm

Book #2: A Monster Calls
Group Members: James, Natalie, Ryan
– Meeting starts at 12:50 pm

Book #3: New Kid
Group Members: Mathias, Bailee, Talat
– Meeting starts at 1:10 pm

Book #4: Escape from Aleppo
Group Members: Abby, Bridget, Julien
– Meeting starts at 1:30 pm

Book #5: The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise
Group Members: Caitie, Gabby, Krista
– Meeting starts at 1:50 pm

Book #6: The Crossover
Group Members: BJ, Jacob, Isabel M
– Meeting starts at 2:10 pm

Book #7: The War that Saved my Life
Group Members: Caleb, Isabel G, Kyler
– Meeting starts at 2:30 pm

Thanks in advance for your questions and suggestions for how this online learning experience can be improved. Please let me know if you have any questions on concerns.

In the meantime, stay healthy, active and creative!

Book Club Roles – More Info

As you all know, the book club meetings will be held this coming Monday via video conference (students can expect a calendar invite at some point tomorrow). Click HERE to find more information on book assignments and roles. I have had some questions regarding the roles in the book club. I am hoping that this post will help clarify the expectation for each role.

Discussion Director

Your job is to write a list of questions that your group may use to discuss the assigned part of the book.  The best questions will come from your own thoughts, feelings, and ideas about this section of the book.  You will also need to write your answers to the questions.

The key here is to think of “thick” questions, not “thin” questions.

Think of starting your questions with these prompts:

  • Do you think…?
  • What might happen if…?
  • How would you feel if…?

During our discussion, you will ask your questions to the group and facilitate the conversation surrounding these questions.

Illustrator

Your job is to draw some kind of picture or create a visual representation such as a graphic organizer related to what you read in the assigned section.  It is best if you choose a pivotal moment in the plot to draw. Don’t forget to write some justification for why you chose to draw that particular scene.

During our discussion, you will show the group your illustration and we will have to guess what part of the book you are trying to depict.

Word Wizard

Your job is to locate a few important words in your reading.  You will find the meaning of words that are puzzling, unfamiliar or very important to the story. If you come across a word that you have not seen before or are unfamiliar with its meaning, look it up and add it to your word list. The goal is to increase your vocabulary. Don’t forget to include the page number and paragraph number that you found the word

During our discussion, we will be playing a word game. You will give the page number of the word and read the definition, then the other members of your group will try to guess your word. Our goal is for all group members to understand the words in our book.

Passage Picker

Your job is to choose a paragraph or sentences to discuss with your group.  Your purpose is to help other students by highlighting something interesting, funny, scary, puzzling or important from the text.  Include your reasons for picking the paragraphs or sections you did.  Don’t forget to record the page number!

As you read if you come across a specific passage that speaks to you, inspires you, or makes you laugh – write it down!

During our discussion, you will be sharing the passages you chose and asking the other group members their thoughts on the passage.

Summarizer

Your job is to prepare a summary of the reading.  Don’t tell the whole story, just focus on the important parts.  The other members of the group will be counting on you to give them a quick statement that tells them about the story and the key points. Best advice for this position is to have the recording paper nearby when reading the book. At the end of each chapter, write down the major event that occurred.

During the book club meeting, you will share your top moments which should summarize the readings. Group members may debate certain events or suggestion other events to include in the timeline.

Connector

Your job is to find connections between the book you are reading and the outside world.  This means connecting what you read with your own life, to what happens at school or in the community, to similar events at other times and places or to other people and problems.

As you are reading the book if you come across something that makes you think of something that happened in your own life, or something that happened in another book, or that happened in the world, you can write that down as a connection.
When it says type of connection it means text-to-text which means the thing you thought of reminds you of something from another book, text-to-self which means the thing that you thought of reminds you of something from your own life, or text-to-world which means the thing that you thought of reminds you of something that happened in the world.

What’s up this Week (March 23-27)

New week, new experience: learning from home. As stated in my “Thought about this Pandemic” post, I will be sending out weekly posts to provide structure and to outline some learning goals that I am setting up moving forward.

My focus will be on math and literacy but I will occasionally share other resources as well.

Academics

Math
Yesterday, I released a student workspace for students to continue to investigate the measurement concepts we were discussing earlier in March. There is MUCH more info in this post but overall, I am hoping that students will be able to work through the resources independently.

My hope is that most students can make it through the first two modules by the end of the week, spending perhaps two days on Module #1 and three days on Module #2. Please watch the answer key videos as in addition to showing the answers, I try to incorporate some tricks and tips as well.

English
This morning, I posted a schedule and information related to the book clubs. I am hoping that students can complete the assigned reading and their assigned book club job as listed in the schedule.

We will be meeting up Monday, March 30 in book club groups to touch base and discussed the book.

Those looking for some other cool resources can check out the Harry Potter Digital Escape Room or learn writing techniques from Kelly Yang (author of the novel Front Desk).

Feature Resource – Draw Everyday with JJK

This has already become a highlight of social isolation in the Fischer house. Each day at 11 am, we sit down as a family and watch an episode of Draw Everyday with JJK. JJK is the author of several graphic novels including the Lunch Lady and Jedi Academy series. Each episode features a technique and a fun family game. Our whole family (6, 8, 10, and 11 year old kids + 2 adults) thoroughly enjoy this time and learning.

Here is a link to the first episode:

Please reach out via email if you have any questions. Have a wonderful sunny Sunday!

My Thoughts during this Pandemic

Today, I was sitting on my porch drinking a coffee and watching my kids play hopscotch, four square, and basketball in my driveway. Earlier in the week, we played board games and video games together. We have been cooking and cleaning and drawing and laughing together. All of our sports (and other activities) have been cancelled. Expectations are changing to focus on what is most important (and I’m not just talking about toilet paper) but perhaps the most glaring change in our household is that we have found something that we have been missing: time. Time for ourselves, time for each other, time for connection.

My friend shared this saying with me this morning and I want to pass it along to everyone:

Now, I am truly blessed to have a job where I do not have to leave my house during this pandemic. Several jobs do not have this benefit. My wife, an emergency doctor, does not have the luxury of time at home with the kids that I do. Her schedule has increased in time and stress. The foreboding anxiety surrounding her job and her exposure to sick patients is always floating around in the back of our minds.

Early this weekend, I sent out two posts:

  1. A Math WorkSpace for Volume and SUrface Area
  2. A Schedule for the Book Club Roles and Timelines

The Ontario Government has also released an online collection of resources (although there is very little for grade 7 students). There are endless posts on social media about schedules and activities and learning opportunities that parents can include while “homeschooling” their children. It can be overwhelming.

Here is what I want all of you to know is: do what is best for you.

It looks as though the school year will not be resuming any time soon. With the latest announcement by the Federal Health Minister, two months of social isolation is in store and personally, I wouldn’t be surprised if the 2019-2020 school year is effectively finished. Therefore, I am planning long term.

As long as my family is healthy, I will continue to create and facilitate math workspaces for the remaining units in our year. I will continue to create and implement writing tasks and reading experiences to enrich students’ learning at home. I will send out ideas and links related to coding, art, science and music. I will continue to send out a “What’s up this Week” post each week to provide some structure and familiarity to those who need it. I will be available to provide support to my students and their families.

Each family needs to make the decision that suits them best. In the long term, missing 3 months of school will not have long-term effects. We will move on together.

Personally, I will be planning activities and providing a structured day for my kids because that is what works for us and I have the advantage of being at home. If parents decide that they plan for their child not to complete any of the work that I am assigning, feel free to let me know and I will not put any pressure on them.

Wishing everyone health and happiness moving forward.

Peace,

Ian

Book Clubs

On the Friday before March break, each student received a book and a book club package. I did email all parents of students not at school that they could pick up these resources at the front office but understand if it was not possible. Since we didn’t have a lot of warning that we would not be returning, I had to throw things together pretty quickly.

In any case, my plan moving forward is to have certain chapters/pages of each book assigned each week along with specific “jobs”. Then, each Monday, I will be meeting up with each book group for a 20 minute book club chat using Zoom. This will give us a chance to touch base with each other and share our thoughts about the book. Students should have their weekly reading AND their assigned weekly job(s) completed before the book club meeting.

Here are the reading and job schedules for each book (for those that did not pick up a copy of the book from the school, I have included links to purchase the book):

Book #1: It’s Trevor Noah: Born a Crime (Adapted for Young Readers)
Group Members: Aaliyah, Carter, Isabelle, Matteo

 

Book #2: A Monster Calls
Group Members: James, Natalie, Ryan

 

Book #3: New Kid
Group Members: Mathias, Bailee, Talat

 

Book #4: Escape from Aleppo
Group Members: Abby, Bridget, Julien

 

Book #5: The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise
Group Members: Caitie, Gabby, Krista

 

Book #6: The Crossover
Group Members: BJ, Jacob, Isabel M

 

Book #7: The War that Saved my Life
Group Members: Caleb, Isabel G, Kyler

I’m really looking forward to chatting with everyone about the books!

Math Workspace (3D Measurement)

Hi everyone,

I hope that everyone is healthy and finding things to keep them thinking and being creative during this time of home isolation. As mentioned before the break, I will be setting up some units for my students to work on while at home.

For math, we will be continuing in our measurement unit. The focus will be on volume and surface area. I have created a student workspace that will guide students through the various modules. As students complete each module and indicate they are ready to move on, I will open the next topic.

I understand that students may not necessarily be following a fixed schedule and therefore I am hoping that this format will allow students to complete the work at their own pace with little to no direction from their parents.

Students should have the goal of completing the entire workspace within the next two weeks. For a general timeline for completion, consider the following:

  • Module #1: Prisms and Non-Prisms (Red) = 2 days
  • Module #2: Volume of Prisms (Yellow) = 3 days
  • Module #3: Nets and 3D Shapes (Green) = 2 days
  • Module #4: Surface Area of 3D Shapes (Blue) = 3 days

Here is a video which will explain the workspace and how I am hoping students can use it to directed their learning while at home.

The plan is to continue to release self-directed workspaces such as this one for the remainder of the time we are away from classes. Following the 3D Measurement unit, we have 3 remaining topics to cover in grade 7. I am hoping that by working through these online learning modules, students will have exposure and practice in all of the skills for grade 7 and therefore will not have too many gaps in their learning as they progress to grade 8.

Please let me know if you have any questions. Stay safe, stay home (if possible), and #FlattenThe Curve.

What’s up this Week (March 9-13)

One more week until March break and our goal is to finish up our current units of study so that we can all enjoy a deserved holiday. That means that this next week will have a few final assessments and so I am hoping that students haven’t already gone into vacation mode!

This coming week is also Spirit Week:

  • Monday: Matchy Matchy Monday (like Twin Day)
  • Tuesday: Denim Day
  • Wednesday: Walt Disney
  • Thursday: Vacay Day
  • Friday: St. Patrick’s Day

Here is an important list of upcoming events and deadlines:

  • March 9 = Mystery Mixtures Lab DUE (Science)
  • March 10 = TEST: Classifying Matter and the Particle Theory (Science)
  • March 11 = SWYK: Area of 2D Shapes (Math)
  • March 12 and 13 = Genius Hour Presentations (English)

Academics

Math
On Monday and Tuesday, we will be discussing finding the area and perimeter of composite shapes. Students can find more information on this topic in Stage #3 (green section) of the student workspace.

On Wednesday, students will be writing their SWYK on 2D Measurement. This will include finding the area and perimeter of basic geometric shapes (rectangles, parallelograms, triangles, and trapezoids) as well as composite shapes.

On Thursday and Friday, we will be looking at 3D shapes – specifically nets, isometric drawings, and points of view. This will be in preparation for surface area and volume which we will cover after the March break.

English

Students have been working on their passion projects over the last couple of classes. They will also have Monday and Tuesday to complete their work and prepare for their presentations. On Thursday and Friday, students will be presenting their projects in class. Also, this week, we will be having a “book tasting” where students will rotate through a series of tables where they can sample a variety of different books. Students will be asked to fill out a quick survey on each book. I will be using these surveys to coordinate book clubs following the break.

Religion

We will have one final class to conclude Theme 2 of Family Life. Following some class discussion, students will complete a reflection on KidBlog.

Science

Students will be writing a test on the first half of the Pure Substances and Mixtures unit on Tuesday. We will be completing an in-class review on Monday. On Wednesday, we will take on another STEM challenge. Students looking for more info on the test should check out this post.

For school-wide announcements, check out the Trinity weekly newsletter HERE.

 

Science Test – next Tuesday!

This coming Tuesday, science students will be writing their Concept Check on the first part of the Pure Substance and Mixtures unit.

Here is a rundown of the test and the concepts (and associated textbook pages) that students should know before writing:

TEST COMPOSITION

Part A (Knowledge and Understanding)

  • Multiple Choice (12 questions)
  • Matching (8 questions)
  • Fill-in-the-Blank (5 questions)

Part B (Communication)

  • Paragraph answers (3 questions)

CONCEPTS

1) Particle Theory

  • Terminology: particle, theory
  • Example Question: What are the five points in the Particle Theory?
  • Example Question: What happens to the particles when a substance is heated?
  • Textbook: 1.1 What is Matter

2) States of Matter

  • Terminology: matter, state, solid, liquid, gas, definite/indefinite
  • Example Question: How is the particle configuration different in solids, liquids, and gases?
  • Example Question: What does it mean to say that liquids have a definite volume but indefinite shape?
  • Textbook: 1.2 States of Matter

3) Classifying Matter

Students looking for some additional practice questions can refer to the additional REVIEW QUESTIONS here. Students are also encouraged to check out the WORKSPACE which contains additional resources to support these topics.

Happy studying!

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