What’s up this Week (December 2 – 6)

With three weeks left until Christmas break, I know that everyone is getting excited for the season and for the break. It is important for students to keep on pushing up until the last day as our philosophy is to wrap up our current units of study before the break so that:

  1. students do not have any work to complete over the break
  2. students can start with a new topic in January

Here is a list of upcoming events and deadlines coming up in the next few weeks:

  • December 2 = SWYK: Solving Algebraic Equations (math)
  • December 11 = Internal Forces Lab DUE (science)
  • December 11 = Forces and Loads Quiz (science)
  • December 12 = POV Podcast DUE (english)
  • December 13 = Centre of Mass Lab DUE (science)
  • December 19 = Movie Day (find permission form HERE)
  • December 20 = Nativity News Project DUE (english)
  • December 20 = Modal Student Project DUE (math)
  • December 20 = Tower of Terror Reflection DUE (science)


Just a note that students were given a red duotang which contains all of their math assessments from the year. I had them bring it home Friday to show their parents. Also, the online assessment trackers have been completed updated and now contain assessments from three strands (check the tabs at the bottom of the sheet to toggle between strands).

On Monday, students will be writing their unit assessment on Solving Algebraic Equations. Students should have completed the review questions and checked them using the video answer key HERE.

On Tuesday, we will be launching into our final unit before the break: Data Management. As we have been using data tables and graphs throughout the year in both math and science, this unit will focus on trends in data, making conclusions from data, as well as determining the central tendency of a set of numbers.

The focus this week will be on bias in survey questions, samples and in graphs as well as reading bar and line graphs.

Here are some additional resources that students can use to complement their learning in class (I do not expect students to complete all of the resources below but rather use the ones they need to clarify any misconceptions):


For the next three weeks we will be looking at journalistic writing. This week, we will be reading several news articles to look for similarities in format and techniques. Then, student groups will be summarizing an article on a possibly divisive topic and providing their point of view on the topic. Then, groups will be putting all of this into a podcast.

Shout out to the parents who are commenting on their child’s writing and ensuring that they are up to date with their KidBlog postings (see this post for details).


Last Friday, students posted their Kindness Challenges. On Monday, students will watch the challenges and choose 3 that they plan to achieve throughout the month of December. Also, with the first of advent coming up this weekend, we will be discussing the concept of “hope” and look for passages in the bible that relate to hope.


This is a big week for science as we missed a few classes last week and therefore are playing catch up. We will be discussing types of structures as well as forces (both external and internal) and loads on structures. We will be completing two investigations this week as well as starting our summary sheets. The “summary sheet” will be our featured study technique this science unit. In the first unit, we used terminology cards to help us learn the important concepts. In this unit, students will be creating a one-page summary note of all the concepts in the unit. They will be allowed to use this resource on tests and quizzes.

Students looking for reinforcement on this week’s science concepts can check out the following:

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

Reading and Writing

Since I have been writing a lot about math and science, I thought I would send out an update on language.

I believe that reading and writing are the most important, fundamental skills that a student can have. Several students expressed their disinterest in reading and writing during the first few weeks of school and therefore over the past three months, I have tried to promote reading and writing in small manageable (hopefully enjoyable chunks).


Now that we have completed our read aloud of “The Bridge Home”, I am asking that students ensure that they have a novel at school to read each day. I will be giving 15-20 minutes each day for students to curl up and read a novel of their choice.

Starting next week, I will be conferencing with students about their novel as well as their attitudes and routines surrounding reading.

Students should also be reading regularly at home and I am inviting students to sign out books from the class library and take them home as well to read.


We have been doing a lot of writing through science labs and investigations, blogging challenges and written reflections following specific experiences. Most of this writing can be found in the KidBlog portfolios. A super HUGE thanks to those parents (and other family members) who have taken the time to go online to read their child’s writing and comment. Knowing that they are writing for an authentic audience is extremely motivating.

A highly encourage parents to take 30-minutes in the next couple of days to sit down with their child and have them share some of their posts.

Since the start of the year, students should have the following in their KidBlog portfolio:

  1. Welcome Post
  2. Awesome Post
  3. 100WC #1 (The Door)
  4. 100WC #2 (“I heard them before I saw them”)
  5. 100WC #3 (“… it looked just like a glass of water…”)
  6. GRA Reflection Chapters 1-7
  7. GRA Reflection Chapters 8-15
  8. GRA Reflection Chapters 16-23
  9. Symbolism in “The Bridge Home”
  10. GRA Reflection Chapters 24-35
  11. GRA Reflection Chapters 36-44
  12. A Reflection on the Amazon Deforestation Hangout with Shelby Riskin
  13. The First Page of the Dystopian Fiction Novel Challenge
  14. 100WC#4 (5 words)

They have also completed one larger writing exercise (Recount) which can be found in their student workspace.

What is Coming Up

Today, students completed a diagnostic test on grammar usage. The results from this will allow me to group students who are making similar errors and work with them in a small group setting to resolve these errors. I am finding that the major roadblock for many students in conventions (spelling, grammar, capitalization, punctuation) and organization of their writing. This will continue to be a focus throughout the year.

Tomorrow, students will be writing a second diagnostic assessment, this time on reading comprehension. Similar to the grammar assessment, I will be using these results to target specific skills with which students may be lacking.

Then, in the three weeks leading up to Christmas, we will be looking at journalistic writing. Students will be reading news articles and examine how these pieces are constructed. We will also look briefly at headlines, “fake news” and tabloids, and sensationalism.

Their final project will be involving the Nativity Story. Students will have to construct a news page from the time of Jesus’ birth. For a complete outline of the project, click HERE.

Thanks (as always) for your support. As a parent of four school-aged kids, I know how difficult it is to find the time to sit down and review your child’s school work. The home-school partnership is so integral to the student’s success and I want to express my deepest thanks in advance.

What’s up this Week (November 25-29)

Last week we finished up topics/units in science, english and math so we are starting with some new content and ideas over the next days.

Here is an overview of some of the upcoming deadlines and events:

  • November 27 = Check In: One-Step Equations (Math)
  • November 29 = 100WC#4 due (English)
  • November 29 = Kindness Challenge Video due (Religion)
  • December 2 = SWYK: Solving Algebraic Equations (Math)


This week, students are learning how to solve one- and two-step algebraic equations. They will be writing a SWYK on this next Monday (December 2). Students can expect to have practice work assigned each day this week (from their orange duotang). I plan to give plenty of time in class for students to complete their work and check their answers.

Those students looking for more practice and reinforcement should check out Goal #3 and #4 in the student workspace.


On Monday, students started to work on their fourth 100 word challenge. They are to post their writing in KidBlog. I am hoping that students can get their posts up by Wednesday so that I can conference with them and help them improve. We will also be starting some grammar activities as I still see several students lacking the use of punctuation, capitalization and correct spelling despite using the computer. Also, we will be starting a unit on news articles on Wednesday.


On Monday, we launched our “kindness project”. Students had to brainstorm simple acts of kindness and develop one of their ideas into a challenge for their class members. Each student will be making a challenge video using FlipGrid, then students will choose 3 challenges to take on over the next 4 weeks.


We are starting our second unit: Form and Function. This unit is an extension of the grade 5 structures and stability unit as we will be focusing on building stable structures while looking at the relationship between the form of the structure and its function. We will be going deeper into concepts such as forces, loads, and stability.

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


What’s up this Week (November 18-22)

Last Friday, students were working on finishing up a few projects before the weekend. I did give them an extra period to complete the work and several students took advantage of the extra time. As displayed on the class twitter account this included:

  • Mystery Number Algebra Project (Parts 1, 2, and 3) – due Monday
  • Substitution homework (math) – due Monday
  • MathSpace Tasks – due Monday
  • Final Reflection for the Bridge Home (on kidblog) – due Tuesday
  • Bread Mould Lab – due Wednesday

Here is a rundown of what is coming up:

  • November 18 = Mystery Number Algebra Project – Part 1, 2 and 3 DUE
  • November 20 = Mystery Number Algebra Project Final DUE (math)
  • November 20 = Bread Mold Lab DUE (science)
  • November 21 = Ottawa 67s Day
  • November 22 = SWYK: Writing and Evaluating Algebraic Expressions


This week we will be continuing with our unit on algebraic equations. The focus will be on writing equations from rate scenarios (e.g. A babysitter charges a flat fee of $5 per job booked and an additional fee of $3 per hour. Write an algebraic equation to determine the total cost (C) of the babysitter for “n” hours. Use your formula to determine the cost for 11 hours.)

We will also be practicing substituting values into expressions and finishing up our algebra project. Students can expect to be complete three tasks from the orange homework duotang this week and will be writing a SWYK on these topics on the Friday.


With the completion of our novel study last week, we are going to jump back into the 100 Word Challenge as well as starting some online grammar practice using a site called “no red ink“. We will also be starting our unit of summarizing and points of view.


With this being kindness week, we will be launching our Kindness project which involves students identifying and reflecting on acts of kindness in their lives.


On Monday, we will be speaking via skype with biologist Shelby Riskin about the deforestation occuring in the amazon rainforest in Brazil. Here is a link to more information about out chat. We will also be peer editing our bread mold labs during class on Wednesday.

Remember that on Thursday, students will be going to the Ottawa 67s game!!!

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

What’s up this Week (Nov 11-15)

Let it snow! With the weather getting cooler, students are reminded to bring warm clothes for the recess. I still see several students walking around in t-shirts (remember: Being cold isn’t cool).

This week is a shortened week due to the PD Day on Friday. Here is a rundown of what is coming up:

  • November 11 = Remembrance Day Assemblies
  • November 11 = Making Sandwiches for Shepherds
  • November 13 = Check In: Writing Equations
  • November 13 = Part A and B of Algebra Project DUE
  • November 14 = Final Reflection for The Bridge Home DUE
  • November 15 = PD Day
  • November 20 = Mystery Number Algebra Project DUE
  • November 21 = Ottawa 67s Day
  • November 22 = SWYK: Writing and Evaluating Algebraic Expressions


This week we are focusing on writing algebraic statements from words. For example, “four less than a number is eleven” would be written as n – 4 = 11. Student should be aware of the different words for addition, subtraction, multiplication and division as well as those tricky words like “more than”, “less than”, “half” and “divided into”.

Here are some resources that student could use if looking for clarification OR if they are absent from class:

Also this week, students started their Mystery Number Project. For more information on this project, including instructions and deadlines, click HERE.

New Math Homework Initiative

I have found that some students are not regularly completing homework (paper-and-pencil and MathSpace), very few students are actually checking their homework with the posted answer keys, and some students are just leaving their incomplete homework on the floor before they leave the classroom!

Here is the plan… each student has been given copies of ALL of the assigned homework for the entire algebra unit. They have already placed these sheets in an orange duotang. When I assign a sheet for homework, students will write the due date on the top of the sheet. Students are expected to complete the homework, use the posted answer keys to mark the homework (and try to determine how to fix any mistakes they may have made) and circle questions that they still do not understand (we will take these up the following class).

Consequences for not completing homework are:

  • 1st time = $30 out of their bank account and email to parents
  • 2nd time = $30 out of their bank account and phone call to parents
  • 3rd – 5th time = $30 out of their bank account, email to parents, lunch detention
  • 6th time = $30 out of their bank account and parent conference

I do not assign very much homework and students need to get into a routine of completing homework regularly before moving to grade 8 and beyond. If you have any questions about the above, please do not hesitate to email me anytime.

We will be finishing off our novel study this week. We have 5 more chapters to read, a final kidblog reflection to write (and provide feedback to our friends in Chicago), and a 1-page novel summary project to complete. Class time will be given for all of these tasks but if students are absent or fall behind, they are more than welcome to complete the work on their own time.


On Monday, we will be making sandwiches for Shepherd. Thank you so much to all those who provided donations. I am hoping that the students helped out around the house to earn the $. Mrs. King and I dropped off the 600 sandwiches to Hope Living in Kanata to many appreciative volunteers and residents. We hope to continue to partner with this local unit of Shepherd of Good Hope throughout the year.

Time permitting, we will be launching into our Kindness Project this Wednesday. If there is a snow day, then we will postpone this until next week – more info to come!


For the next two weeks, we will be investigating sustainable actions that we can take at home and at school. We will begin by conducting a personal audit of the energy and resources that we use and compare our results to the average human. We will also be conducting an audit of the school to gauge the amount of plastic water bottles that are used one-time before being discarded. Then, students teams will work together to determine concrete actions that we can do in our school to improve our results.

For school-wide announcements (including information regarding the Yearbook), check out the Trinity weekly newsletter HERE.





Food Web Test (Friday)

In grade 7 science, we have completed the Interactions within Ecosystems unit. Students will be writing a test on the content of the second half of the unit (Food Webs) on Friday.

On Thursday, we will complete a series of review questions using a Jeopardy style game but there is still lots of studying that the students should be doing at their homes over the week in preparation for this test.

Like the previous mid-unit test, there are several terms students should be aware of and  should be able to identify and explain each term. On Tuesday, we will be making terminology cards to help students remember the various terms and definitions involved in this portion of the unit.  The following text pages and links will also be extremely helpful to reinforce the concepts from class:

Here is a rundown of the test and the concepts that students should know before writing:


Part A (Knowledge and Understanding)

  • Multiple Choice (14 questions)
  • Matching (9 questions)

Part B (Communication)

  • Paragraph answers (3 questions) – students will have the choice to write their answer or record themselves stating their answer orally

Part C (Making Connections/Applications)

  • Food web analysis (4 question)
  • Graphical analysis (1 question)


1) Classifying organisms in a food chain or web

  • Terminology: producer, consumer (primary, secondary, tertiary, quaternary), decomposer, detritivore, scavenger, carnivore, herbivore, omnivore
  • Example Question: In the food web, identify the secondary consumer and explain your choice.
  • Example Question: Which organisms in the food web can classified as more than one order of consumer?

2) Energy transfer in food chains and webs

  • Terminology: food chain, energy pyramid (pyramid of numbers)
  • Example Question: How much energy is passed onto the next organism in the food chain? What happens to the other energy?
  • Example Question: If grass creates 2300 kJ of energy, how much energy does the rabbit receive when it eats the grass? Explain.

3) Interactions within food webs

  • Terminology: equilibrium, carrying capacity
  • Example Question: Using the food web, explain three things that would happen if the grasshoppers were removed from the ecosystem.

  • Example Question: Come up with a scenario that could result in the following graph:


Students will have the entire 50-minute block to write the test. Those looking for even  more clarification/resources can check out Goal #3 of the Ecosystems workspace.

What’s up this Week (November 4-8)

As progress reports were distributed last Friday, the first round of Parent-Teacher interviews will be happening this Thursday. All interviews will be held in the gym (not in the classroom) and will be 10-minutes in length. Interviews are booked online using the link HERE. Furthermore, a reminder that Thursday will also be early-dismissal so parents should expect their child to arrive home about an hour earlier than normal.

Here is list of some other events and deadlines coming up:

  • November 4 = Presentation by Shepherds of Good Hope
  • November 7 = Early dismissal @ 1:20 pm (all grades)
  • November 7 = Parent-Teacher Interviews (7-8) starting @ 2:00 pm (book HERE)
  • November 8 = UNIT TEST: Food Webs (science)
  • November 11 = Remembrance Day Assemblies
  • November 11 = Making Sandwiches for Shepherds
  • November 15 = PD Day


This week our focus will be on ratios and rates. This is a mini-unit which will form the foundations of our larger algebra unit coming up next week. Concepts will involve writing ratios and proportions, solving simple proportion problems, and calculating unit rates. Students will be allowed to use calculators for this unit.

Students are encouraged to check out the following links for reinforcement and/clarification at some point in the week:


This is our second last week of our novel study. We will be continuing to read the book together in class and discuss the characters, symbols and ideas from the book.


On Monday, a representative from Shepherds of Good Hope will be coming in to teach us about their mission and programs. We will be raising money to purchase supplies to make sandwiches for their residents. We are hoping that each student can bring in a twoonie (or more) to put towards purchasing supplies for the sandwiches. Our intention is that students EARN this money through helping out at home. We will be using unit rates to determine how much bread, ham, mustard, and cheese to purchase in order to make our sandwiches. Sandwich Day will be next Monday, November 11.


On Tuesday, we will be reviewing the concepts taught by Mr. O’Neill over the last couple of week in preparation for the test on Friday (November 8). On Wednesday, students will be completing a dissection of an Owl Pellet in order to determine which organisms their specific owl consumed.

For school-wide announcements (including information regarding the Yearbook), check out the Trinity weekly newsletter HERE.