Thursday, 1 November 2018

habitats learning fair

Students presented their final habitat projects today. Every group used Google Slides to document two habitats: our yard and Mer Bleu Bog. They then had to explain the images using what we had learned about habitats. They had to show examples of food chains, animal or plant adaptations, the importance of the habitat for humans and how humans impact it.

The students chose to present their projects in a learning fair format whereby half the students presented their projects and the other half listened then we switched. Together we discussed some of the main ideas in all the projects. Tomorrow, we will reflect on our learning journey. We will also reflect on how our collaborations skills have improved (have they ever!!!)  and what we can yet improve on.

Next week, we will be working on our listening skills as we listen to very short videos which will give us a good overview of Canada's regions (which is our social studies focus)

Wednesday, 10 October 2018


Now that we've got a good grasp on self-regulation we are moving on to an equally important learning skill, collaboration. Collaboration is one of the global competencies or 21st-century skills that every learner needs. Our Ontario Catholic Graduate Expectations state that each student should be A Collaborative Contributor who:

(a) Works effectively as an interdependent team member.
(b) Thinks critically about the meaning and purpose of work.
(c) Develops one’s God-given potential and makes a meaningful contribution to society.
(d) Finds meaning, dignity, fulfillment and vocation in work which contributes to the common good. (e) Respects the rights, responsibilities and contributions of self and others.
(f) Exercises Christian leadership in the achievement of individual and group goals.
(g) Achieves excellence, originality, and integrity in one’s own work and supports these qualities in the work of others.
(h) Applies skills for employability, self-employment and entrepreneurship relative to Christian vocation.

For our part, we have just started discussing what it means to be an effective collaborator. We used this progression (similar to a rubric) from the deep learning framework to come up with our own ideas of how to collaborate, where we think we are (the blue highlight) and where we need to go. Some of our big ideas where:
  • having a clear common goal 
  • making a plan
  • making decisions as a group
  • having each member contribute equally
  • using each members strengths
  • conflict resolution when problems/disagreement arise
  • understanding (and eventually appreciating) points of view other than our own 

We will be writing our own student-friendly language rubric (en français!) at the bottom of the page. 

Wednesday, 26 September 2018

Les habitats et les régions du Canada

Résultats de recherche d'images pour « canadian habitats »
We are finally starting our first science and social studies units. Normally, I teach one unit at a time but these two have a lot of overlap so it will allow is to go deeper with our inquiries by integrating the subject. On our padlets below you will find overall expectations for both units along with links to games, articles, videos and whatever I can find that would spark student interest in the subject matter (good for review and exploration at home).

This week we will:

  • start to build our vocabulary tied to these subjects
  • practice describing pictures
  • draw animals in the style of totem art
  • keep practicing looking for or listening for les mots-amis (words that are similar to English) and les mots familiers (words I know)
  • naming and finding provinces, territories and physical regions of Canada on a map 

Monday, 10 September 2018

Terry Fox

Résultats de recherche d'images pour « Terry fox »

St. Gemma is once again going to participate in the Terry Fox run/walk. St. Gemma has raised an impressive total of $6,087.86 over 6 years. Last year the school raised $630.70. Our goal for this school year is going to be $800! This year we are offering online donation options. Please see the link below for the Terry Fox school fundraising page.

St. Gemma will also have 3 spirit days in the month of September to raise money for the Terry Fox Foundation. Students are invited to use cash online to make a donation. See Spirit Day link below. If we reach our goal of $800 Mr. Cinanni has happily agreed to get whip creamed with a cherry on top! There will also be fun classroom challenges.

Terry Fox School fundraising page:(click)

Our spirit days will be on the following dates:
  • Thursday September 13th : Crazy Hair Day
  • Thursday September 20th:  Spiffy Hat Day
  • Thursday September 27th: Wacky sock day (event day)

The Terry Fox event for this year is on Thursday September 27th.  The rain date will be on Friday September 28th. Our plan for the event day is to do the walk/run together as a whole school community. Parents are welcome to join us. The event will run from 2:30-3:30 pm.
Let’s keep Terry’s dream alive!

Who will you be running for?

Calme, alerte et prêt à apprendre

Now that we have gotten to know each other a bit we are going to work on getting to know ourselves. We will be talking about several deep questions such as;

How do I learn best?
What stresses me out and how do I deal with that stress?
How do I get my mind and body ready to learn best?

Essentially, we will be talking about self-regulation. According to Dr. Shanker (an expert in this field) Self-Regulation refers to how people manage energy expenditure, recovery, and restoration in order to enhance growth. Self-regulation skills have been shown to be one of the factors that best predict academic as well as overall success in life. Thus, this week we will really focus on defining self-regulation as a class but also trying to know ourselves and what strategies we need to work on to better be able to self-regulate and be calm, alert and ready to learn!

Want to know more check out The Mehrit center as well as Conscious Discipline.

Wednesday, 29 August 2018

La rentrée

I love the smell of freshly sharpened pencils in the morning! Whether you love or hate back to school it's here!

So happy to get to meet all my new grade 4 immersion students this week. Of course, we are working on routines and getting to know each other so we can get the year off to a smooth start.

Here is our September newsletter but it should also have gone home with your student.
Don't forget out meet the teacher night on

Tuesday, 12 June 2018

Wrapping up "les civilisations anciennes"

Résultats de recherche d'images pour « castles »We've spent a lot of time making catapults and building castles so we've moved on to inventions! As a final task, students are responsible for explaining an important invention from the medieval ages or ancient Egypt.

They should be able to explain:
how it was invented
what was it's purpose
what materials was it made of
who used it
what was its link to daily life
how was it influenced by the environment
what is it's legacy (what is its link to present-day life or inventions)

We have been working on presenting our learning in creative ways so I'm looking forward to something other than Google slides!

Résultats de recherche d'images pour « pyramides »Some groups have chosen to talk about:
- medieval weaponry and knights
- castles and siege weaponry
- pyramid construction
- egyptian agricultural practices/tools