Snapshot: January 22-26, 2018

Dear Knights,

Our school was treated to much talent this week, with the Art Exhibition and Band and Choir Concerts taking place on Wednesday. I was pleased to attend both and marvel at what our Knights can achieve!

We powered forward in English (7F1 & 7F2) this week, finishing our enumerative paragraphs (which are now due). We also read an article about caffeine and energy drinks to learn about text features, which include headings, sub-headings, photos, graphics, captions, and more. We learned how we can use text features to make predictions and check our understanding while we read non-fiction texts. This week, we will study how the caffeine and energy drink article uses sequential and enumerative structures to organize its information.

In Mathématiques (7F2), students wrote a quiz about adding integers. I also had the opportunity to work with a group of students who needed a bit more fraction practice. It is so important to have a good understanding of…

  • What fractions are and how to write them
  • How to create equivalent fractions
  • How to reduce fractions to their simplest terms
  • How to compare fractions
  • How to order fractions

We will continue to review these concepts in small groups and one-on-one until every student has mastered them. Meanwhile, some other students pushed their brains to the max by working on some challenging questions. This week, we will learn how to subtract integers.

Finally, in Français (7F1), we read the next section of Les prisonniers du zoo and checked our understanding by finding a variety of details in the text. We also completed a review of la féminisation, or how to write the feminine version of common nouns. To practice our listening comprehension beyond our novel study, we listened to another episode of 1 jour 1 question and watched an episode of Raphaël, citoyen du monde. This week, we will have another set of presentations by CFOO Group A, which I am sure will be entertaining as always.

Happy reading!

M. J. Sorokowski

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Snapshot: January 15-19, 2018

Dear Knights,

First, I’d like to thank all students who submitted their sequential paragraphs in English (7F1 & 7F2). They were very well written and showed an excellent understanding of the structure. This week, we started to learn about enumerative structures, which is another one of the structures students are already quite familiar with. Creating a graphic organizer proved challenging for some, as it was a bit difficult to decide the main idea and to remove superfluous details from our point-form graphic organizer. We’ll continue working on this skill this week.

Being able to create a graphic organizer from texts is very helpful, especially as students begin to take more tests and exams. Graphic organizers allow students to organize information visually, which usually will help them recall that information more easily.

This week in Français with 7F1, we continued to read Les prisonniers du zoo. We also reviewed verbs and began “Le grand prix de verbes.” CFOO Group B delivered great presentations – we were treated to some snacks and some magic! I’d like to thank all the students who created excellent visual supports for their presentations.

Finally, in Mathématiques with 7F2, we began integer addition using math manipulatives (two-coloured counters) and pictures. This week, we will transfer our learning to a more symbolic form and will practice using a number line to find the sum of two or more integers. We also continue to review and demonstrate our understanding of the competencies for the Grade 7 Mathematics provincial assessment, which we have been working on since the beginning of the year.

I hope everyone had an enjoyable and productive week.

Happy reading

M. J. Sorokowski

Snapshot: January 8-12, 2018

Dear Knights,

Happy New Year! We had a great first week back together, having jumped right back into our routines.

In English with 7F1 & 7F2, we began our new unit: Feature Articles and Non-Fiction Texts. First, we will learn about text structures. Being able to recognize text structures will help students better comprehend the non-fiction texts they read. We have introduced an image and graphic organizer for each structure to help students visualize how the content is organized. Once students are familiar with how each structure appears in writing, they will be able to apply these structures to their own writing. We started easy, working with one structure students know well – the sequential structure. Almost all the students have written or followed how-to or instructional texts in the past (like recipes), so it was helpful to start with something students are already good at recognizing.

In other English news, we began a new read-aloud: Red Kayak by Priscilla Cummings. We will continue to have discussions with our partners and groups as we enjoy this mystery. We also introduced some modifications to our reading workshop, and students have more time in class every cycle to read their self-selected books – which opens some more time for me to work one-on-one and in small groups with every student! The New Year will also see us begin a weekly language study, focusing on word morphology and roots. Knowing and using a variety of Greek and Latin roots will help students decode more complicated words they encounter in their fiction and non-fiction reading.

In Français with 7F1, we began our first novel study, Les prisonniers du zoo. We also presented our information texts about animals, which we finished researching and writing in December. Group A presented their CFOO presentations, and we look forward to Group B’s coming up next!

Finally, in Mathématiques with 7F2, we did a bit of review and wrapped up our unit on decimal numbers, fractions, and percentages. Though we are moving on, we will continue to see each of these concepts, as we will practice calculating percentages (e.g. 25% of 400) and performing all four operations on decimal numbers. There is a quiz on Monday about fractions (comparing and ordering). Our next unit involves looking at integers, building on what students learned in Grade 6.

It is somewhat remarkable sometimes all that we are able to accomplish in a week! Kudos always goes to the excellent students in 7F1 and 7F2 for pursuing excellence.

Happy reading,

M. J. Sorokowski