Feeling the Love? - February Update

Wednesday, January 31, 2018 2:13 AM

What a ride. Hard to believe that not even a month ago we were on our winter break. What holiday? What sleeping in? What unbelievable powder at Big White and Silverstar? I was planning on sending this out yesterday but ended up too angry at Frolik for shooting the puck at our own goalie, leading to 3 goals in 53 seconds for a loss. I had to breathe and pace and not say angry things. Anyways, here is your February update, as well as a Term 1 update from Phys. Ed, French, and Music. Sorry it’s a long read this month…

Important Dates

Wednesday, February 7th – Winter Walk Day

*Monday, February 12th – 2nd Immunization

**Wednesday, February 14th – Valentine’s Day Celebration (pm)

Thursday, February 15th – Monday, February 19th – No school (Teacher’s Convention, Family Day)

Wednesday, February 21st – Olympics Day (wear red, white, or Canada gear)

Thursday, February 22nd – Fun Lunch (Subway)

Thursday, February 22nd – Movie Night (Coco)

Wednesday, February 28th – Pink Shirt Day

*With the second immunization, our school nurse has asked us not to remind the students of this date, as it seems to increase their anxiety waaay more than necessary. I will leave it up to your discretion as to whether you discuss this with your child beforehand or not, however we won’t be talking about it with them at school so that they don’t sit there obsessing about it for weeks.

**We will be celebrating Valentine’s Day the afternoon of February. Your child is more than welcome to bring in Valentines for each student in the class, however this is optional. I only ask that if they do bring in Valentines, they bring one for everyone in the class so no one feels left out. I have attached a class list for each student in room 17.

Language Arts

We are moving through our current novel study on “The City of Ember” at a great pace and are currently at a very exciting and integral part of the plot. Please have your child relay these exciting events at home so that they can receive more practice in using their comprehension and listening skills.

We have begun a new unit in writing where students will be creating their own “stuck stories” after being inspired by these projects. Students will create their own miniature photographs to go with their story using an item they have chosen from the classroom, or at home. We have discussed what makes a stuck story so effective, and we are currently reading and watching different selections of stuck stories. Once students are very familiar with the format, they will begin planning and writing their own.


With our unit on Number Concepts out of the way, we’ve begun working on Shape & Space (aka Geometry). We began by reviewing the basics of geometry, with regular vs irregular polygons as well as different types of lines (parallel, intersecting, perpendicular, horizontal, and vertical). We’re looking the relationships between sides and angles and how they help determine different shapes. Next we will explore quadrilaterals and types of triangles. This will set us up to focus on the meaning of “dimensions” as in 1D (a line), 2D (a shape), 3D (an object) and how they affect/dictate the units we use in measurement.

With a solid understanding of types of shapes and objects, we will move on to transformational geometry. We’ll be working with the three types of Transformations (Translations, Rotations and Reflections) which is a lot of fun as we get to throw different types of Polygons around in different, random directions. You can also check out some of the class notes that the students will be using.


We had a great presentation this week from Inside Education about Electricity and Energy, and students were interested to learn about the different natural resources that are used around Canada to power our electrical devices. Here’s an overview All About Electricity. We’ve reviewed and explored issues of electrical safety, types of circuits (series vs. parallel), the way we draw electrical schematics using symbols and lastly, the way we can work with different types of resistors to control the flow of electricity. We’re nearing the end of the electricity unit and students will then apply their knowledge to the building of electric cars. Bring on the drag races. If anyone has some sweet NASCAR racing jackets we could borrow for race day, that would be awesome (like for real).

From there we will then explore the world of magnetism. We will look at what it is, how it works as well as the different types of magnets that exist in our world. This will culminate with students building thier own magnets by harnessing the power of electricity to make controllable electromagnets.

Social Studies

We are currently working through two different topics in Social Studies. After exploring our museokit on Newcomers, students are now creating their own version of Newcomer posters, used to convince immigrants to move to the “Last Best West”. We are also continuing our unit on the geographical Regions of Canada, as students are currently learning about the Canadian Shield, followed by the Arctic, Interior Plains, and Cordillera. Students are also creating art pieces that represent each region, and these will look quite lovely when framed altogether.  

Report Cards

I hope you have all had time to read over this term’s report card with your child and thank you to those who have returned the envelopes. We have had an excellent first term, and I trust that you were able to learn a lot about your child. Our curricular direction this term has been guided by the learner outcomes set by Alberta Learning in the programs of study for our grade. All programs of study are available to parents via the Alberta Learning website, but for your convenience I have attached the Year-at-a-Glance document through this link: Grade Five At-A-Glance. I also sincerely hope you take the time to read the curricular updates I send home each month, and use them to help guide your nightly chats with your child. Through term two, we will continue to build upon our knowledge of topics for each subject discussed in term one. In addition, we will delve into the remaining topics as I prepare to report to you on term two progress in June. The grade five team is very proud of the tasks we design for our students, which allows them to engage deeply with learner outcomes. If you would like to discuss curricular direction at any time, do not hesitate to contact me.

The following are curricular updates for Music, Phys. Ed, and French.

Music - Mrs. D. Dymianiw

The grade five students learned to read, write, and perform simple and complex rhythms. They worked on appropriate vocal exercises to ensure proper singing tone. New songs and rhythms were introduced in the form of canon, round singing, partner songs, 2 and 3-part singing.  Various drumming techniques and rhythmic ostinato were taught while playing the Djembe drums.  In January, the students focused on time signatures, dynamics and dance songs.

Physical Education - Mrs. K. Barva

In Physical Education, there has been a focus on creating safe and equitable opportunities for students to participate in physical activities in a setting that incorporates communication, fair play, leadership and teamwork.  Students have acquired and refined basic locomotor skills (walking, running, hopping, jumping, skipping, etc), non-locomotor skills (balancing, bending, stretching, twisting, etc.) and manipulative skills (catching, receiving, bouncing, throwing, collecting, etc.) through watching demonstrations, practicing movements and participating in games.  Assisting students in developing and achieving their individual potential is the main goal of this program, as well as to help them realize the life-long benefits of participation in physical activity. Students have had many opportunities to work with partners and in groups.  This term, we have focused on being active, putting forth our best effort, working cooperatively in groups and having fun while doing so.  There has been an emphasis placed on citizenship, cooperation, acting in a safe manner and being a good role model.  A few examples of what has been happing in the gym are: fitness activities and goal setting, volleyball skills, cooperative games involving multi-levels of play, chasing and fleeing games, floor hockey, and outdoor games.

French - Mr. M. Jamroziak

In French we’ve been learning the alphabet, sounds, pronunciation, numbers and parts of the school. To help with pronunciation and reading new words in French we’ve been studying the alphabet, consonant vowel pairs such as ‘le’, ‘bi’, ‘ma’, and French sounds such as ‘ou’, ‘oi’ and ‘ch’.  We’ve reviewed strategies for French numbers such as counting by 10 - 100 to help us remember how to say numbers.  Finally, we began learning the different parts of the school such as words for the office and the staff room.


As always, there’s never a dull moment in the fifth grade. Thank you all for continuing to support your child’s learning at home. As always, please let me know if you have any questions at all.


Daniel Polsky
Grade 5 Teacher | Learning Leader
Fish Creek School |
t | 403-777-6400 | twitter