Sunday, October 8, 2017

Oct. 8-12

TWiG5This Week iGrade 5

Welcome to week 9 of learning, exploring and having fun!!!


  • DEAR Assembly on Tuesday: On Tuesday, October 10 at 7:55 am, join us on the elementary lawn to Drop Everything And Read! Bring a book (and probably a hat or sunglasses because it will be sunny), and join the elementary students for some sustained silent reading. Please make sure to pack a book for your child/ren so they can get right to it when we start our reading. We hope you will join us. Modeling reading with your children is a great way to highlight the importance and joy of reading.
  • Promoting Writing with your Child: Christy Curran, a literacy consultant with extensive experience as a classroom teacher and coach, has returned to CAC. She lead a Coaching Institute with CAC teachers and coaches from other international schools in the region last week. This week, she will be teaching model lessons in classrooms, and running workshops for teachers and parents around the topic of writing workshop. We hope that you can join us on Wednesday, Oct. 11th from 2:00-3:00 in the first floor common room for a presentation for parents on how you can promote writing with your child. 
  • Family Picnic during lunch time on Sunday, Oct. 8th. You are invited to join your child for a picnic lunch. Please note that there will not be any hot lunch on this day. Students can bring their lunch or can enjoy their pre-ordered BBQ lunch.
  • MAP test results were sent home with students on Thursday. 
  • Challenge Series (CCS) - Grade 2 - 5 Students (Repeated Reminder)
    This year, the ES is offering a new lunchtime sports program called the Cairo Challenge Series. The CCS is a series of 5 events throughout the year for Grade 2-5 students. The five events are: 40m sprint (October), Cross Country race (December), Badminton (grade 3-5 in January), Long Jump (March) and 25m swim (May). All events are designed to recognize participation as well as excellence.
    The first event is the 40m sprint, occurring the week of October 8. The first and second rounds will be done by grade with top finishers in each heat progressing to subsequent rounds.
    • October 9 - Grade 2
    • October 10 - Grade 3
    • October 11 - Grade 4
    • October 12 - Grade 5
    • October 16 - Semi-finals for Grade 2-5
    • October 17 - Finals for Grade 2-5
    We hope that we have 100% participation! No sign up is necessary, students should just come to the track and we will be marking who is there at this time. On the day of your child’s races, please pack a lunch for them as there will be limited time to get hot lunch on these days. There will be an area for students to eat when they are not racing.
    We are very excited to get this program started. If you have any questions, there is additional information on our website or you can email Matt Lautenbach @
  • DRAMA ES Production: If you child is involved in the ES Production, please remind them that Sunday's practice will take place in the theater-student should go directly there. Their costume boxes are due this week. Thanks!!
  • CORE VALUE FOCUS: Responsibility
  • Global Math Week
    From the 15th to 19th October the CAC elementary school will be celebrating Global Math Week, the world’s biggest community mathematics event. The aim of the event is to unite one million students around the globe in a shared experience of joyful uplifting mathematics. During this week at CAC there will be a number of different mathematical activities going on for students and families to enjoy. These include:

    • During their math class that week, students will participate in the Global Math Week focus activity - Exploding Dots!
    • A Math Trail will be set up around the elementary school grounds. Students and families can complete the tasks during recess or after school and submit their responses each day. At the end of the week a display will showcase the most creative solutions.
    • A Problem of the Day will be posed to challenge our most dedicated mathematicians. Parents are allowed (and encouraged) to help!
    • A Parent Workshop will provide an opportunity for parents to share in the joy and fun of Exploding Dots alongside their children, and will share some tips for keeping the math fun going at home.

    The ultimate goal of Global Math Week is to change the way the world sees math. We want to help our students appreciate math as joyful, relevant, meaningful and creative. Join us in celebrating the wonder of math!

    Global Math Week Parent Workshop
    Tuesday 17th October, 8:30 - 9:30am
  • Halloween Party on Oct. 26th: details to come
  • Student Photos were sent home today!
Curriculum Corner

Reading Workshop: 

While teachers will continue to help encourage students to read with agency and independence (an important theme in Grade 5), that reading unit is now complete. Last week, students began a very exciting, and highly motivating new unit that will allow for some deep character work. Our essential question is: How can I read in a way that let's me grow deep theories about character development? We will begin by choosing an author(s) that we are interested in and who has written a number of books that are a good fit for us. Students will be reading several books by this same author(s) (not a series) over the next few weeks.
Students are expected to be reading at home each day for 25+ minutes. This is written as part of home learning and students are asked to record it in their Reading Logs. Students are also expected to be "stopping and jotting" as they read with at least 2 jots per chapter. Please see the example anchor chart for quick ideas about how students "stop and jot" at home.

The key point to remember in developing theories about characters is that readers must always be active readers, noticing and gathering evidence, (citing with page numbers) using various note-taking strategies. These can be in jot notes, "Boxes and Bullets" format or Post-it notes. They mark their best jot note with a *, then put 5 of their best together to make a "long and strong" entry in their notebook. Partner work is very important with theory-building, and opportunities are built-in to the week to discuss each other's character theories + evidence so far. By Grade 5, we are expecting conversations to go deep and long on one point before switching to another thought-provoking comment. Sentence prompts are provided to help learners develop this depth. Whole group discussions of the class Read Aloud and "Grand Conversations" also helps guide students to deep thinking conversations about characters.

Students visited the library for a 'BOOK SPEED DATING' activity so that students can 'get-to-know' some of the great authors we have represented in our library.

Writing Workshop: Opening the Doors to Poetry: Writing from the Inside Out!

This week we will continue the journey into the world of poetry by examining the essential question: How can I bring together language, technique and voice in poetry? This is an exciting unit as the title indicates: Opening the Doors to Poetry: Writing from the Inside Out! Students will be investigating the features of mentor texts (from both adult and children models), and then working to apply what they have seen to be successful with their own poem drafts. In particular, the work of Georgia Heard and Ralph Fletcher will guide us through various writing exercises and concepts. This week is all about "tuning in" to poems in order to provide inspiration for their own writing. By thinking about "what makes a good poem", students begin to see that anyone can write poetry. Georgia Heard invites us to see the world with a poet's eye through the five senses, and to "open the 5 Doors of Poetry" ...

  1. the HEART door… inner feelings, images, longings
  2. the OBSERVATION door… what we observe, what we’re amazed by, what’s beautiful in the world
  3. the CONCERNS about the WORLD door...telling the whole truth about what is going on around us in the world
  4. the WONDER door...being curious and having questions about the world, their lives, what they’re studying in school, the universe- whatever inspires or is unresolved
  5. the MEMORY door… reliving a past “slice of life” small moment from their lives

Students will be gathering seed ideas for their poems by brainstorming through the 5 doors. Why not have some fun alongside them and model starting your own "seed list of possible topics and ideas?!!
Math Workshop:
In Module 2, students apply the patterns of the base ten system to mental strategies and the multiplication and division algorithms. Please visit the following link to view some helpful Eureka tips for parents. TIPS for MODULE 2

A part of becoming an independent learner is knowing where you are and what you need. Teachers have encouraged students to come in at recess if they would like additional support and help in math. Parents can help by repeating this message at home. "Students who need extra math help should speak with their teacher and let them know so that they can arrange a time at recess". We are more than happy to help anyone who needs it!!
Social Studies:

*Please note that the library has a Grade 5 'visual tab' on its website to support our poetry and Social Studies units. They are filled with great resources. Check them out!

With our final Science assessment complete, we are beginning our new Social Studies unit called: World Development: A Case Study of Spain. Our essential questions that will guide our unit are: "How and why did the Spanish Empire influence the world? How have past empires influenced the world today?" An additional thought-provoking post thought is: Are all empires destined to fail?

Important Vocabulary:
Expedition, develop, conquer, resource, acquisition, development, conquistadors, empire, primary resource, secondary resource, influence, culture, Columbian Exchange, Age of Exploration, diffusion, advantage, disadvantage, evolve, civilization, & navigation.

Through various sources of information, students will develop their understanding of how and why countries such as Spain influenced the world. The particular focus is on Hernando Cortez and the Aztecs, although to understand the newly introduced idea of the Columbian Exchange, other empires such as the Incas and other conquistadores, such as Pizarro are referred to. 

Resources to support student learning: 

1. An excellent map and written introduction:

2. BrainPop videos can be viewed again and again, as needed to consolidate information at the following links:

A) The Spanish Conquistadors

Pictures of our WRITING CELEBRATION!!!
Thank you to those who were able to attend!

Circle Solutions
Students have participated in circles in their classes focusing on themes related to friendship and respect.  This is a time when we build social and emotional skills, as well as strengthen relationships and foster a classroom atmosphere of respect and kindness. Circles are held once a week and are planned in response to the needs of each class. 

Guidance Update: Listening with Attention

In Guidance students will focus on Listening with Attention.  
Listening with attention is different from merely hearing a person speak. It  is a skill that takes energy and practice. Students will spend time listening to their classmates, without interrupting. They will practice the following listening skills:

 1.     focusing attention on the speaker (facing the speaker, focusing thoughts       AND blocking out distractions in the environment)
2.      not interrupting
3.     asking clarifying questions
4.     summarizing what the speaker has said

Your partners in education,
LeeAnn Kasal
Bonnie Greene
Jonathan O'Sullivan
Caitlin Johnson

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