Number Facts Check Up

A few days ago the students in 4-5 did a series of sheets to test their basic number facts fluency. I am sending these home today to share. At the top of the sheet you will see the total time it took your son/daughter to complete and their score on each page.

The media has been sharing the concern over students not knowing their basic number facts. This becomes a particular problem in the upper grades when they start solving larger more involved problems and figuring out basic equations like 81 divided by 9 will slow them down. If your son / daughter took quite a bit of time to complete e.g. more than 47 minutes and /or got quite a few equations incorrect, I would recommend that over the summer they continue to practice their basic number facts. They can continue to use free and engaging websites like “fun brain” or you can purchase workbooks at Indigo, The Dollarstore or any of the Teacher’s Stores. A little remediation here will pay off in the longterm. Please feel free to call if you have any questions.

2D Geometry Homework Week of May 23

I have sent home homework this week that gives the students a chance to practice measuring angles using a protractor. Some of the grade 4 students have chosen to use the traditional protractor and are managing this. Otherwise, they use a protractor that I made that has them compare angles to benchmark angles (0, 45, 90, 135 and 180 degrees). I found a modified protractor for the grade 5s which I have sent home for the homework. Quite a few children are having a hard time with the two sets of numbers on the traditional protractor.

I have modelled using protractors on the overhead, projector and in small group but some students just need supported practice to master this skill. If you have time please sit down with your son / daughter and measure some angles together. The homework is due Thursday this week as we are running behind in our math program and need to speed up. They will have another exit card on measuring angles and sides this Thursday.

Social Studies – History

We have started our final social studies unit. The grade 4s are learning about Early Civilizations 3000 BCE – 1500 CE and the grade 5s are learning about First Nations and Europeans in New France and Early Canada up to 1713.


To start the unit, the whole class has been doing a guided inquiry about the Vikings. We have learned about the different Viking explorers who came to Early Canada. Bjarni Herjolfsson is believed to be the first European to discover Canada and Leif Erikson is widely accepted as the first European to explore Canada.

The students started using the HUB this week. They can sign on using their user name and password to read articles that I have placed into our folders to use for research. Mrs. Heaver visited the classroom this week and showed the class how to access books to read online. They need to see me for their OEN number in order to sign out ebooks. Their OEN number is at the top of any of their report cards. They can sign out books from home. Allan A. Greenleaf has access to 1000s of books online!

Visit from an Expert in the Field

We  recently had a visit from Brenda Van Ryswyk from the Halton Conservation Authority. She was instrumental in getting the Halton Region to take proactive and positive action to close King Road in order to help the endangered Jefferson Salamander. The grade 4 students learned about Habitats this year and did an inquiry project to learn about an endangered species. The students were very excited about her visit and had many questions.

A huge thank you to Mr. Hughes and Fyfe for arranging Brenda’s visit. Please use the link below to read about the salamander and Ms. Van  Ryswyk’s  work to protect it.



Division Re-write

I have prepared a re-write exit card. Students who scored below a level 3 or B will write the re-write on Friday. I have been reminding students to work on their multiplication and division facts at home to prepare. We have been working on division and multiplication in class this week. Next week we will be starting new learning.

House Keeping Items

Our DVD player has stopped working. If you or anyone you know is upgrading and wanting to get rid of a used DVD player we would love it.

We are also on our last box of kleenex so if you are able to send in a box – great! If you have already sent in kleenex in the past please disregard.

If you are cleaning out your garage and have extra balls that you would like to part with we would love donations of used soccer, basketball, football and tennis balls for our recess bin.

Expert in the Field – Guest Visit

Dr. Galsworthy came into the classroom today and talked with us about his work as an engineer. He works with a team of engineers who test structures, particularly skyscrapers against the force of wind. He helped us learn more about how forces like tension, compression, shear and torque are at play within bridges and skyscrapers. We learned that engineers design these structures to carefully keep these forces in balance so that the bridge or skyscraper can stay strong and stable. It was exciting to learn about the Jeddah Tower which is under construction in Saudi Arabia and will stand more than 1 kilometre tall. WOW!!!A huge thank you to Dr. Galsworthy for helping us learn more about Pulleys and Gears and Forces Acting on Structures.


Oral Communications Festival

Junior and Intermediate students at Allan A. Greenleaf have a great opportunity to gain experience writing speeches and speaking in front of an audience. Students can participate in an oral communication festival at the end of February (the specific date will be shared soon). Students will need to work on their speech writing at home. We will have students deliver their speeches within our class for evaluation before the whole school competition. Students can practice in from of classmates and the teacher will their are drafting their speech.

The first place winner for each division will move on to compete at their Family of Schools’ Competition.

Rules Summary

Speech Content

The contents should be informative and must be the work of the contestant. There can be some element of research; e.g., 10% must be reflected in the prepared speech; however, it must not be a verbatim copy of some other work. Information sources might be the Internet, books, media or people. Each speech needs to be submitted in a word document. Hand written speeches will not be accepted. The file name for each school needs to include the student’s name, the title of the speech and the name of the school. Junior level speeches should be between 2 and 4 minutes long.


Questioners will ask three questions of the participants. The questions will be written by a committee and read by a questioner.

Audio and visual Aids

● Microphones and lecterns may be used.  Visual aids of any kind are not permitted.

Are you ready to make a speech?

How to pick a topic

It is important that you keep the following points in mind:

● Who is your audience?

● What could be appealing to the audience?

● How much do they know about your subject?

Consider any of the following ideas:

● Use your own personal experience to tell about something

● Choose a topic you find interesting and are wondering about

● Interview a person who is of interest to you.

● Relate a current or historic issue in which you have an interest, using a variety of

informative sources.

● Share a topic you feel passionate, excited and/or concerned about.

● Discuss a topic of social importance to you, your community or the larger global



Gather lots of information. Use resources such as library books, reference books, newspapers, the internet, museum, people and other media. Then choose special ideas that your audience would like to hear about. Remember, your speech should be informative original and show some evidence of research

● Break your speech into three parts: an introduction, the body of the speech and the closing.


● Be aware of your audience. Acknowledge them in your introduction. An audience makes up its mind very quickly. Once the mood is set, it is difficult to change it, which is why introductions are important. Within the first few sentences of your speech, it should be very clear to the audience what the focus/topic is. It is not advisable to say, “Today, I am going to talk to you about…” or “My speech is about…” Try to be creative! Capture your audience’s attention.

Main Body of the Speech

● Decide what you are trying to do; tell a story, convince people that you have a great idea, inspire people with tales of courage or loyalty, give special instructions or share information of interest to people.

● Select your information critically and creatively to best support your topic.

● Organize the contents in a logical, sequential, and meaningful order. Use your own


● Try to engage your audience.


● The ending does not present any new information; however, it should reflect the

overall key ideas of your speech and be memorable.

Special Points

Set the main points down on small index cards, but remember, an audience loses touch with the speaker when he/she is constantly checking his/her notes. It is helpful to memorize the beginning and ending. Know your topic well and just talk to the audience. An audience won’t know about your spelling, but they will know if you mispronounce words or use them incorrectly.

Look at your audience. Remember to smile at your audience (unless your speech is very serious). A little humour can add to the effectiveness of delivery, but it is a speech, not an act

Most speakers have stage fright. There is no cure for this. In fact, it usually helps the speaker.

At the conclusion, smile at the audience, stand back, and wait for the applause and the questions.

Below is a link to previous communications festival speeches. It is great idea to watch these students from our board and pick up successful strategies from them.

Social Studies Inquiry

The children have watched videos of adults and children sharing their perspectives on important issues facing Canadians. The grade 4s are focusing the Environmental Stewardship (using the Earth’s resources responsibly) as it relates to these issues. The grade 5 students are focusing on responsible citizenship – Canadians learning about issues and voicing their opinions about concerns. Ask your son / daughter to share their inquiry topic, questions they have and what they have learned so far  with you.

We are spending a lot of class time using iPads and computers to read and watch news coverage of these issues. Similar to when we did inquiry in science, children are allowed to bring their own iPad or laptop to help with their research but only if you are comfortable with this. It would be a great help if children could have their own earphones in a ziplock bag to use in the classroom and when we go to the computer lab.

So far the children have been generating thoughtful questions and are very interested in their topics. Exciting to see!