Glad to Be in Gr. 3
Ms. Barrington's Weekly Newsletter
September 27th, 2021
WELCOME TO GRADE 3!
Hello from Room 180! We are beginning another great year at Christina Gordon and so far it has been happy and bright! I want to apologize for this being our first newsletter of the year. Being absent the second week of school set me a bit behind, but we're back on track now! We have an awesome class and are already working hard. Thank you all so much for what you have done to prepare your students for school this year. We are very appreciative. You are all amazing!
Today you are receiving our first weekly newsletter. In our weekly newsletters you will be hearing about your student’s weekly learning. You will also find information about upcoming events that take place in our school and our classroom. You will usually receive this newsletter each Monday. Today's newsletter is a little longer than usual due to lots of beginning of year information, so thank you for taking the time to read it in its entirety.
Week in Review
Our first few weeks of school are officially over and we have learned a lot already! The students are beginning to settle into the new routines and are learning a lot about our classroom expectations. They are all making positive adjustments to their new surroundings, as well as to their new friends.
We have been very busy laying the foundation for the routines and expectations that will ensure a successful year as the students grow and develop into Grade 3 student leaders. Here are some of the things we have been learning:
- Literacy: In literacy, students have begun to practice what will become part of our Daily 5 routines. We are working on building our reading stamina and have practiced "Read to Self" (SQUIRT) and "Read to Someone," setting our routines and expectations as we go. Students are practicing selecting "Just Right" texts and identifying important text features (ie. book covers, illustrations). Students are being exposed to and practicing various reading strategies (ie. summarizing). Reading fluency (accuracy, rate, rhythm, and expression) has been modelled through our daily message, classroom book a day texts (see Instagram stories for daily updates), and our daily read aloud novel (ie. Sideways Stories from Wayside School). Students are practicing identifying and using punctuation marks (ie. periods, commas, question marks, exclamation marks, etc.) to guide reading fluency. Students are working on developing writing strategies (ie. drafting) and correctly identifying and retelling the beginning, middle, and end of a story.
- Numeracy: In numeracy, students have begun to explore identifying and using patterns to describe the world. Students are practicing describing, extending, comparing, and creating non-numerical patterns. To do so we have used: diagrams, sounds, and actions. Students have also begun to explore algebraic expressions, focusing on comparing and contrasting numerals and numeric expressions using the "equal" and "not equal to" symbols.
We have also introduced the first of the Seven Sacred Teachings we will be exploring this year - the Eagle (Love). Students have considered who they love and who loves them. Students have thought about how they can give and receive love. Students are working towards developing a culture of leadership in our classroom. Students have brainstormed and applied for Classroom Leadership Roles. Students are considering the importance of respect to our classroom community and how we can demonstrate that we respect ourselves, others, and the environment. Students are learning about Mindfulness practices and how their brains (ie. the pre-frontal cortex - owl, hippocampus - library, and amygdala - guard dog) impact how they learn and make decisions.
Students will be participating in the 'Take Me Outside for Learning' Challenge this school year. As such, we will be going outside rain, snow, or shine each Thursday so please make sure students come to school dressed for the weather. This week students began to explore what will be an ongoing Science outcome - being able to observe and describe the growth and development of an animal as it develops from early to more advanced stages (ie. Animal Lifecycles). Students will be caring for and maintaining several isopod colonies.
- September 28th - Orange Shirt Day
- September 29th - Lifetouch Fall Picture Day
- September 30th - National Day for Truth & Reconciliation (No School)
- October 4-7th - Terry Fox Walks
- October 7th - Inclusion Advisory Committee Meeting (7:30 pm)
- October 8th - Staff PLF #3 (No School)
- October 11th - Thanksgiving Day (No School)
AHS New Daily Checklist
During the September 23rd, 2021 COVID-19 update, Dr. Hinshaw provided clarity regarding the new AHS Daily Checklist. Dr. Hinshaw communicated that she has added a new recommendation for any unvaccinated or partially vaccinated individuals when there is a positive COVID-19 case in their household. The new recommendation is that any unvaccinated or partially vaccinated individuals (including children under 12) should stay home for 14 days when a person who lives in the same house as them tests positive for COVID-19. Please make sure that students complete the AHS Daily Checklist each morning before returning to school.
Absences Due to Illness
As many of you know, Alberta Health Services no longer reports to school districts positive cases of COVID-19. Instead, schools are to monitor student and staff absences. When the total student and staff absences exceed 10% of the school population, our school is required to report our rate of absence to Alberta Health Services. In this reporting, we do not share the names of individuals who are absent. As of September 23rd, our school has met or exceeded a 10% rate of absence by students or staff due to illness. We believe that clear, transparent, and fact-based information is important for families to have access to. At this time, there are no changes to our school or division plan. We are requesting that before you take your child to school each morning, please use the Daily Self-Assessment Checklist to monitor for signs of illness. If your child has new signs of illness or symptoms, the Alberta Health Daily Checklist will help you determine how long your child should stay home from school and whether you should use the AHS Online Assessment Tool or call Health Link 811 to arrange for testing. Students with fever, cough, shortness of breath, or loss of sense of smell or taste, must stay home and isolate for 10 days. They can return to school before 10 days if they have a negative COVID-19 test result. We are committed to keeping you informed with timely information and thank you for your support during this time. Please do not hesitate to reach out if you have any questions or concerns.
Terry Fox Walks
Students at Christina Gordon Public School will be having our annual Terry Fox School Walk during the week of October 4-7th, allowing for individual classes to complete the walk together as a classroom cohort. More information about individual classroom dates will be shared closer to the event. Please ensure students are dressed for the weather. Layers are always best! We encourage families to donate at: http://www.terryfox.ca/ChristinaGordonPublicSchool. Families can share the link and have students sponsored by friends and family who are near and far. Thank you for your support!
Inclusion Advisory Committee
-Adding Inclusive books to our Learning Commons
-Purchasing more adaptive equipment for students
-Creating a calendar to recognize special dates such as Autism Awareness Day, World Down Syndrome Day, etc.
-Planning a fundraiser for the Wood Buffalo You Can Ride 2 Adaptive Bike Program
-Making an Inclusion video series to share with staff and students
-Providing enlarged Core Boards to classrooms as a communication tool
-Raising funds and planning the equipment needed to build an Inclusive Playground at Christina Gordon (Check out the video on our Facebook Page)
This year, they will be focussing on the Inclusive playground, but are also looking for other ways to make CG the most Inclusive place to be. They will also be looking for someone to fill the secretary position. If you are interested in joining the Christina Gordon Inclusion Advisory Committee, please send an email to Karla Power at email@example.com.
- Please make sure you have clearly labeled any coats, hats, water bottles, lunchboxes, etc. that you send to school. It is your child’s responsibility to keep track of these items throughout the school day.
- Students are expected to read or be read to for a minimun of 20 minutes each night. Please make sure that students are returning books and book bags to school each day.
- Our classroom is participating in the "Take Me Outside for Learning" Challenge and as such will be going outdoors rain, snow, or shine each Thursday. Please make sure that students come to school dressed for the weather with appropriate footwear, hats, sunscreen, water bottles, etc. as needed.
- Monday, September 27th - Music
- Wednesday, September 29th - Physical Education
- Friday, October 1st - Music