Snapshot: October 23-28, 2017

Dear Knights,

Even though this was a full, five-day week, it flew by so quickly! We recognized Orange Shirt Day this week, following an assembly with Mme Waters last week, where we learned that Every Child Counts. The entire school engaged in an interesting discussion about what we learned and why it’s important. At Ness, we’ll continue that discussion throughout the year. 

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A highly recommended anthology!

Students in English (7F1/7F2) finished independently identifying the Four Ingredients of Narrative in a short story called “BABYSITTING NIGHTMARE” by Shannon Hale, from the FUNNY GIRL anthology. We will use these ingredients in our own writing very soon, so I am pleased to see how easily students were able to identify them! Strong reading leads to strong writing, and vice versa, so we have begun writing a “Slice of Life” narrative every day. In these short pieces, students write about something that happened that day or the day before. We will eventually spin one of these into a bigger piece. Writing voluminously in this manner – like how we read every day for 10 minutes in class – will strengthen students’ writing muscles. Finally, we published our Humans of Ness piece. Look for those at Student-Led Conferences in November!

In French (7F1), we studied the structure of a texte explicatif by reading one about hurricanes (les ouragans). Analysing the structure of a texte explicatif will help us later write our own. To make sure we understood the article, we used a reading strategy called Les 4 fantastiques, which involves four powerful reading strategies: Predicting, Questioning, Clarifying, and Summarizing. Next week, we will try these strategies with an article in our groups and then on our own. We are also 80% finished typing our Il faut absolument visiter… text, which will be assembled into a class book of great activities to do around the Winnipeg area. I also have been completed reading evaluations with every student to pinpoint their strengths and areas for improvement. Finally, we played a fun verb review game! Check out the video clip at the bottom of this post.

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Working on Les 4 fantastiques in our book nook. The chart at the right is the work we did together as a class; on the wall, sentence/thought prompts.

That brings us to Mathematics (7F2). This week, we continued our study of patterns and relations by learning how to draw the graph of a relation. At this point, we are very close to finishing this first foray into functions, but we will continue to practice our learning as we move on. That means another quiz is coming up! Details will be shared next week with students. The next topic on the menu is rational numbers: Fractions, decimals, and percentages.

Happy reading!

M. J. Sorokowski


Snapshot: October 16-19, 2017

Dear Knights,

It is almost time for our first field trip! Permission forms and a letter were sent home on Thursday; please return these as soon as possible to homeroom teachers, as the event is Thursday, October 26. Parents and guardians interested in volunteering are invited to contact Mme Champagne or Mme Hurd (please see information letter). We will watch the French movie Belle et Sébastien 2: l’aventure continue as part of Cinémental and to support our French language and culture learning. (“What’s the movie called in English, Monsieur?” “Nothing! It’s a movie made in French!” “There’s movies made only in French?!”) 

In English (7F1 & 7F2) this week, we continued working on our comedy scenes and came up with some presentation parameters. We will decide this week when to present them. We also learned about the Four Ingredients for Narrative: Snapshots, thoughtshots, exploding the moment, and dialogue. We practiced finding each of these ingredients in two texts – these texts suffered “death by highlighter” because they were almost completely highlighted: the four ingredients are truly everywhere in narrative!

In French (7F1), we finished writing our texte explicatifs about a local attraction, and students began typing their drafts on the iPads and using BonPatron to make corrections. We still have lots of revision and editing to do, and the projects are coming together wonderfully. We spent some time this week reading a texte explicatif about French-speaking kids from around the world in order to work on reading comprehension and critical thinking. Finally, students, please don’t forget that CFOO-B will take place Tuesday instead of Monday.

Finally, in Mathematics (7F2), we worked on writing algebraic expressions and using them to solve problems. Students also received their first major test back. As discussed in class, rewrite opportunities are available for all students no matter the grade (as we aim for mastery); the test should be returned to school, signed by a parent or guardian, and then the student and I will devise a review-and-rewrite plan.  This week, we’ll continue with our pattern work and learn how to graph a linear pattern. We will also continue to practice our multiplication strategies before moving to division.

I hope you are enjoying the weekend!

M. Sorokowski

Snapshot: October 10-13, 2017

Dear Knights,

I mentioned in class yesterday that we’ve been back to school for 25 days, and the reaction was mostly, “That’s it?!” Indeed, it feels like we’ve been back for much longer, and I believe that’s because of how quickly we have settled back into the year and adjusted to the routines and expectations of a new grade. Everyone in English immediately starts reading (many of you have already read a whole book, if not more!), and, at the beginning, of math class, everyone gets immediately to work on the daily mental math question. These routines help us use our time together most effectively. Thank you, Knights, for continuing to demonstrate respect and responsibility.

2017-10-11 10.02.46-1.jpgThis week in English, students received feedback on their
Humans of Ness pieces and typed them on the iPads. It will be easier to revise and edit with the use of technology, and we are very close to publishing. Our criteria are that the pieces are short, are conversational, and reveal something truthful and essential about the person. I am looking forward to seeing our published work. In addition to writing, we learned about our first Speechtastic presentation, which will be a group performance of a comedy scene. We’ve decided groups and will rehearse next week. The goal of Speechtastic is to help students improve their public speaking skills; this first group performance will allow for vocal experimentation while embodying a character. We will find a way to share these performances with families (perhaps we’ll record them!).

In French, students in 7F1 began to write about a local attraction or activity. We completed some research on the iPad about the place, what you can do there, how to get there, when you can go, and how much it costs to get in. We are now working on morph our notes into a short texte explicatif, which we’ll assemble into our first class-published book. CFOO-A presented on Friday (so many good jokes!) and we began a review of common verbs ending in -ER. Finally, some students finished their Karaté de verbes bonhomme, but some are still missing.

2017-10-11 13.54.51.jpgFinally, in Mathematics with 7F2, we had our final unit test on divisibility. Some students did not finish during the provided time and will have the opportunity to finish it next week. As indicated in the course outline, students are welcome to redo assessments if they did not demonstrate mastery; we will address this on a case-by-case basis. We also began our next unit on Patterns and Relations. Students reviewed vocabulary and then learned how to write an expression algébrique for a situation. They also learned how to replace une variable with a value to find the solution to an expression algébrique.  

You will notice that many assignments have been inputted into PowerSchool. Please contact me ( anytime you have questions. I will also be reaching out to every family over the next two weeks.

Until then, happy reading!

M. Sorokowski

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Snapshot: October 2-6, 2017

Dear Knights,

Thanks for another great week! It is such a pleasure to come to school every day to work with all of you. I am constantly impressed by your insights into what we’re learning. You continue to live our four values: Respect, integrity, responsibility, and excellence.

In English with 7F1 and 7F2, we finished the first draft of our Humans of Ness personal narratives. We also completed our first “What’s Going on in this Picture?” activity. Students infer the story behind the image by considering clues from the image, what they know, and tidbits from group and class discussions. WGOITP and Film Friday will alternate every week. I also began to read both classes Gordon Korman’s new book RESTART

The French 7F1 Group B did a great job with their CFOO presentations. We have increased our French reading stamina to match that in English; we now read most days for 15 minutes at the start of class. Our next writing project is underway, too. We began by brainstorming a list of local attractions and activities, which we will eventually assemble into a book and share (hopefully) with new Manitobans who speak French

In mathematics with 7F2, we had our first quiz on divisibility and spent much of the week reviewing and preparing for it. Students will get their results Tuesday, and the marks will be posted on PowerSchool. We began to solve mental math questions using multiplication. Our next unit is just around the corner: Patterns and relations – one of my favourites! We also played a number of review games, including Jeu de la pyramide, based on the TV Show Pyramid. In partners, students need to describe a math concept to their partner, who must name it. We agreed this is a great way to review vocabulary.  

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I hope everyone enjoys the long weekend with friends and family. Happy Thanksgiving and Happy reading!

M. Sorokowski