Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Class Update

May 26th, 2016 No comments

I can’t believe the year is almost over!  It seems just like yesterday the kids walked into the grade 5 hallway with trepidation and anticipation in their eyes.  There has been so much growth this year, physically, emotionally, and academically.  I am so proud of the kids accomplishments and their willingness to continue to work hard through the last few weeks of school.

We have been working very hard on our social studies task, the Change Museum.  The task sheet, rubric, and research can be found in the students social studies folder online.  This has been a long process beginning with book clubs on biographies of people who have change the world.  After reading their chosen biography the students researched online through website and videos to answer some challenging questions.  On Thursday June 2nd you are invited to take a look at the students hard work in our Change Museum.  A email was sent out at the beginning of the week with times.  The venue will be our class.

In English class we have completed our book reviews.  I was extremely impressed with the kids efforts and use of persuasive langue and transitions in their writing.  We have stated a new class read aloud entitled Fish in a Tree by Lynda Mullaly Hunt.  Readers of all ages can identify with the protagonist Ally, who feels like she dose not belong in school and no one truly understands her.  The kids have been begging to read multiple chapters a day, so with this enthusiasm we will surly complete the book by the end of the year.

If I do not get the chance to say goodbye I hope everyone has a safe and relaxing holiday.  There are a number of families moving on this year please keep in touch and all the best with your move and transition.

Joanna McElhinney


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Class Update

March 3rd, 2016 No comments

Busy times here in English/Social Studies.  Since the CWW trip to Subic Bay the kids have been really working well as classmates and I have noticed a great change in terms of maturity and independence.  Here is a snapshot of what we have been working on.

The students have completed their second narrative and I am excited to do some comparing to their first story earlier this year.  There has been marked improvement in paragraph and sentence structure.  We will be sharing these stories in Student Led Conferences in a few weeks.

We are well into our book club meetings.  I have been very impressed with the students and their diligence with their homework.  The group discussions have been stimulating and rich in detail.  There are two more meetings before we finish our books.  Next week our meeting will be on Monday instead of Tuesday because of MAP testing.  Also quiz number 2 is due as well as the reading response.

We have had presentations for our adaptation task this week.  We decided to have live presentations because the Aurasma videos were not loading on the IPads.  The presentations have been very insightful and honest.  It has been nice to see the kids doing a live presentation.


  • MAP testing will be next week Tuesday and Thursday.
  • Student Led Conferences Wednesday March 16th (half day for the students)
  • Holiday March 24th – April 3rd




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Class Update

February 7th, 2016 No comments

The kids have been busy working on their narrative stories.  I have been very impressed with the efforts to improve on their writing from their previous writing piece they wrote in October.  More attention paid too editing and revising has really empowered our young writers and the stories have come to life.  This will be the final week to revise and edit their stories.

Our first “official” Book Club meeting will begin on Tuesday Feb. 9th.  The groups are excited about the upcoming discussions and the enthusiasm about their books has been encouraging.  For each meeting the students are required to have a predetermined chunk of reading completed and a reading response written and ready to share.

This week in Social Studies I will be introducing a new performance task focusing on their adaptation to Middle School.  I have dropped a copy of the task sheet and marking rubric in the kids folders.  This project will have the students reflecting on how they have adapted to Grade 5 and who has supported them throughout their transition.

We are getting closer to the climax of our class read aloud, “Out of My Mind”.  Over the past few weeks we have enjoyed using the text as a way to practice our reading responses and remind ourselves that “Reading is Thinking” and the work readers do while they are reading.

CWW is quickly approaching, please contact myself or Ms. Melwani if you have any questions.


Take care,


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Get that mind working again!

January 3rd, 2016 No comments

We have all had a long and well deserved break!  Our minds need to be stimulated and recharged.  Here are a few games that will get you thinking and your mind working!

Memory challenge

Letter scramble

Word Mahjong

Word memory match

Crossword puzzle

Word scramble


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Class Update

November 19th, 2015 No comments

What a crazy week here at ISM and for Manila.  The APEC convention has sure rearranged and challenged our regular schedules, however with the grace and flexibility of our population we have managed to get by!  Here are some updates about what is happening in class.

In reading, we will begin looking at non-fictional texts and the elements of non-fiction text.  The students will read a number of articles and we will discuss the different reading skills you need when reading non-fiction.

In writing, we have begun poetry!  We have a variety of poets in our classes and I like to refer to us as the “Living Poets Society”.  During this unit study on poetry we will study a variety of poems looking at their purpose and meanings.  We will look at the language poets use and how they get their messages across effectively.  A main goal of mine is to encourage more experimentation when writing/creating poems.

In social studies we have begun our cultural/ancient civilization unit.  Next week students will be given their performance task, where they choose an ancient civilization and research the features of that civilization.  They will then be expected to write a newsletter reporting on their civilization.

Ms. Mac


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GRAPES – The Big Ideas of Social Studies

November 18th, 2015 No comments

Using this link work together with your group to make a quick presentation to explain one aspect/feature of the acronym GRAPES.  You will have 15 minutes for this activity.

1) together look at the slide show to get a better understanding of the concept of GRAPES

2) brain storm with your group what you think your letter represents (come up with one definition)

3)  make a list of examples that can represent your ideas

4) choose one person to represent your group and share to the class

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From Nomads to Farmers

November 10th, 2015 No comments

If you are interested in watching the video “From Nomads to Farmers” you can use this link.

You may want to think about these questions after you watch it.


1) How is surviving as  group easier than trying to survive alone?

2)  What are the factors you need to consider when deciding where to live?

3) List one invention of the Mesopotamia time period and explain why it was a turning point in people lives.

4) How do societies grow and organize themselves?


Ms. Mac


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Social Studies Performance Task

October 13th, 2015 No comments

We have extended our end of the quarter for our social studies performance task.  The due date for this task is October 21st.  Below you will find the task sheet and marking rubric.

My best advice for you is to start early.  There will be time in class to work on this, however you will need to do some research at home in order to complete it on time.  I suggest you follow the following guidelines:

1) Decide on where you want to go and what land forms, cities or sites you want to explore.

2) Research your spots and find distinguishing characteristics about each place.

3) Decide how you will present.

4) Write your script.

5) Begin making your presentation.

Social Studies Task – Vacation Itinerary

Vacation Itinerary Rubric

PT Scaffold with sentence frames – Vacation Itinerary- Mac

Email me any questions or concerns you may have.

Ms. Mac

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Classroom Update

October 12th, 2015 No comments

The end of the quarter was October 9, but because of many long weekends, MAP testing, and the Wellness schedule we will be taking a couple of more weeks to wrap up things we have been working on this quarter.

In reading, we continue to use strategies we been learning about and apply them during independent reading time. It is an expectation that students also read at home every day for 30 minutes.

In writing, we have been busy working on our pre-writing skills for our realistic stories.  Take the time to ask your child what they will write about and what is the message of their story?

In social studies, each table group made a Google Presentation about landforms and presented it to the rest of the class. We are taking what we have learned about maps and landforms and creating a vacation itinerary for our geography unit. The task sheet and rubric can be found in your child’s social studies folder on Google Drive.

I am looking forward to meeting with parents during the next two weeks for conferences. Please contact the office if you have not signed up already.

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Landform Presentation

September 30th, 2015 No comments

You and your group will be responsible to create a Google presentation on the landforms you were assigned.
For each slide you are expected to have:

  • a definition (in your own words) of the land form
  • a picture of the land form
  • the name and location of an example (mountain- Mount Treblant, Quebec Canada)

Use this website to start your research.

You will be presenting either this week or next.

Ms. Mac


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