Friday, June 19, 2015

School Year End Post

Reflecting on our year:

This year we welcomed new grade 4's 5's and 6's to our class.  They added new experiences and points of view to our school.  Miss Colby and Miss Hughes spent a lot of time trying to get the class to stay on topic, since all the students in the class are friends and really like to talk. This year, we learned a lot of new information.  We feel like we learned a lot about Math (which some students have not fully appreciated yet) and French.  Many students like French.  This year was more challenging than any of the other years we have been at the JAGLA.  Below are just some of the things we did this year.

Things we organized for the school:

  • Supported the grade 7/8 Food Drive
  • Clothing drive for GoodWill
  • Lemon-aid stand for Because I am a Girl
  • PanAm Games Day

We volunteered and participated in

  • Terry Fox Run
  • Office helpers
  • Kinder helpers
  • Library helpers
  • Winter concert (T'was the Night before Christmas)
  • STEM Fair
  • Parenting centre

We went on trips:

  • We Day
  • Baking with mentors
  • Science Centre field trip
  • Forest Valley
  • Kearny
  • Track and Field
  • Girls in STEM at U of T
  • Taking IT Global
  • Mandarin

Class Projects:

  • Writing portfolios
  • Homeless report
  • Book Museum
  • Science project: Kites, biodiversity, machines...

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Urban Voices

Urban voices

In February, many students submitted poetry to the Urban Voices poetry contest held by the English Language and Literacy Department of the Toronto District School Board.  Only one student, in grade 4, won a spot in the poetry anthology book.  She will be reading her poem, I am a girl, tonight, Thursday June 4th, at the Scarborough Civic Centre.  Her poem is published below. 

I am  a girl
To the girls who are able to read this.

I am a girl.
I am a girl who has a right to education.
Who has a right to freedom.
Who has a voice
I am a girl who will strive to get anything accomplished.

We are girls who will do anything to be who we are.

They are girls
They are girls who don’t have a right to education.
Who have no right to freedom
Who have no voice
They are girls who strive for freedom

They are girls who will do anything to be who they are.


Grade 4

Upcoming Events:
PA Day: No school on Friday June 5th
Track and Field day: June 8th at Birchmount StadiumGrade 6 luncheon: June 16th at the MandarinPanAm Day: June 17thLast day of school: June 25th

Friday, May 29, 2015

Winding Down?

Often people think that June in school means that we are winding down the years activities, but that is not true!  We are still moving full steam ahead.

Here are some of the events we are planning and attending in June:

PanAm School Games: We are planning and hosting the event at Highland Heights Jr. P.S. on June 17th.  We have a lot of ideas and we are already planning what we want to do.  Here is the Padlet we worked on.  (Ms. Smith's 7/8 class also contributed ideas).

Track and Field:  Almost half the class is on the track and field team.  They are training during morning recess and lunch.  The track and field day is on June 8th at Birchmount Stadium.

Parenting Centre: Some students want to take on more responsibility and further develop their leadership skills by volunteering in the Parenting Centre.  We are creating a schedule for students who want to volunteer during morning recess.  Students will volunteer Monday to Thursday until the end of the school year.

We are so excited for June!

Thursday, May 21, 2015

A Day Outside

Wednesday May 20th

It was a cold and windy morning, but the sun came out, and warmed us up a bit.  We spent almost the whole morning outside participating in our schools' track and field day.  Many students had fun at the Just Dance station; which wasn't a real track and field event, but helps us keep warmed up for the others.  It was hard work and it was difficult to keep warm outside.

In the afternoon it had warmed up quite a bit, but it was still really windy.  This was a challenge because we had Visual Arts outdoors.  Our Art period was inspired by Jackson Pollack, who we have been learning about in our Abstract Art unit.  Some students dripped paint onto their 'canvases' with their hands, while others flung paint onto their work with elastic bands, and paint brushes.  Many used more than one method of getting paint onto their paper.  It was very messy, and the wind made it difficult to keep our art in one place.  Although one student said that her after her painting was flipped over onto the grass it actually improved her artwork.

It was super messy, and we got a lot of paint on the doors, wall, bathrooms, and ourselves as we brought in our work.  Mr V. (our custodian) could have gotten super angry at us, but he chose not to, and was very patient with us.  He helped us clean up our mess, and gave us spray bottles and rags to clean our hand prints off the school, and laughed it off.  He said the important thing was that we had fun.  We are very thankful for Mr. V!

Upcoming events

  • School based Pan Am Games on June 18th
  • Track and Field day (TBA)
  • Class Pot Luck lunch June 25th 
  • EQAO has been postponed
  • 5 weeks left of school
  • Last day of school for students is June 25th

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

The Busy Month of May

STEM fair and Novel Museum

Some of projects at our Novel Museum
We worked very hard last week to prepare for our STEM fair and Novel Museums.  Two groups from our class are finalist for a STEM fair prize.  Their inquiries were: "Why do people like chocolate?", and "What would happen if there was no gravity?" After the STEM fair we set up our Novel Museum outside of the library for the whole school to see.  Some of our classmates were disappointed that their novel museums were vandalized by other students.  A small number of students from the building took artifacts from the displays; mostly food items, and some of the artifact descriptions.

Science: Kites, Bridges and Toys

A grade 6 student's plans
We are coming to the end of our units on Force.  The grade 6's are designing, building and testing kites.  The grade 5's are going to begin designing bridges today, and will be testing them next week.  The grade 4's are almost ready to begin work on making a wind up toy.  Almost everyone is excited to be building something.

Upcoming Events

  • Sports Day and Pizza lunch May 15th: wear your favourite team/sports gear 
  • Track and Field day May 20th 
  • Taking IT Global presentation May 21st (some students will be participating in sharing our work around child marriage)

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Girl Issues: Child Marriage

*Reminder: these posts are written by the class as a shared writing activity.  The words and sentence structures are their own thoughts.  (They impress me all the time.)

Girl Issues

We have been working on a big project for a teacher program called TakingITGlobal.  This project focus' on social justice.  As a class we decided to take action on a problem which is occurring in some parts of the world.  The problem we are addressing is child marriage.  Child marriage is when children, mostly girls, are married at a young age.  As a result girls are being made to drop out of school, and have babies when they are still children themselves.  Many girls die during childbirth or develop health problems such as Fistula. Fistula is a problem with your bladder.  See video below from

We are holding a pink lemon-aid fundraiser; the money raised will go to the Because I Am a Girl organization.  The assembly will inform the school about child marriage, and the fundraiser.  There is a group writing and producing a PSA (public service announcement) about this issue.  They are hoping to show it at our assembly, but are not sure it will be ready in time.  There is a group that has written a pitch for our action to share with teachers to inform them about what our class is doing and how our class is taking initiative.
Picture of our silence sense poetry

On April 16th we participated in the Free the Children Day of Silence.  We wrote sense poetry about silence, and posted them on a wall outside of our classroom.  In the afternoon we watched Girl Rising.  Two chapters in the film were about child marriage.  It really surprised some students how un-affectionate some parents could be to their daughters.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

The Busy March

We have had a busy March.  It started with a trip to Kearney, and ended with our trip to Forest Valley.  The grade 4/5/6's all finish large and small science projects.  The grade 4's researched and designed a habitat for a Giant Sea Bass.  The grade 5's researched the effects of radiation on the body, and the grade 6's designed and built a waterfront area that meets the needs of the community and promotes biodiversity.

All month we worked on organizing our clothing drive.  We collected 2.5 bins worth of clothes.  We feel a bit disappointed because it did not meet our expectations.  We were hoping that we would get more donations from students and the neighbourhood.  We think that next time we try something like this, we might collect more if we make it a competition.  Although we did not collect as much as we wanted, we are glad that we were able to support Goodwill in a small way.

Upcoming Events:

  • Earth hour Saturday March 28th from 8:30-9:30 pm
  • EQAO Parent Information Night April 1st
  • International Day of Pink Wednesday April 8th
  • 'We are Silent' April 16th 
  • Science and STEM fair in May
  • EQAO is in the end of May
  • PanAm school event in June