Can you dig it? - October Update

Thursday, October 11, 2018 2:03 PM

Welcome to October. We’ll see if we ever decide to have fall or just move right into winter. That said, we’ve got football, playoff baseball and NHL hockey - full on trifecta of awesome. In the classroom, things are flying and we’re having an awesome time. Here’s an overview of what’s coming down the pipe.

Important Dates

Tuesday Mornings (7:40-8:40am), October 2 - December 19 - Grade 5 Code Club

Wednesday, October 17th - Photo Residency 

Thursday, October 18th– Fun Lunch (Opa) & Spirit Day (Crazy Hair Day)

Friday, October 19th– Field trip to Fish Creek Park for Photo Residency (weather permitting)

Tuesday, October 23rd – Photo retakes

Friday, October 26th– PD Day (no school for all students)

Wednesday, October 31st– Halloween Celebration (pm) 

Language Arts

We just finished reading “The Case of the Graffiti Ghoul”, and since everyone loved it so much, we will continue with another Marty Chan book, and the sequel to “Graffiti Ghoul”, which is “The Mystery of the Mad Science Teacher”. Hopefully your child has been sharing some of the hilarious adventures of Marty and his friends. This month in writing, we will be focusing on improving our paragraph-writing skills, by working on topic and concluding sentences, as well as the supporting sentences in between. 


We are continuing with our Number Concepts unit. We have moved from place value and took a look at rounding numbers (up to millions). Students are expected to know both front-end rounding (5728 becomes 5000), as well as benchmark rounding to the nearest ten, hundred, thousand, etc. (5728 becomes 6000). With this under our belts we’ve begun our review of our basic operations (addition, subtraction, multiplication and then division). This particular area is where we notice basic facts knowledge comes most in handy, so please ensure your child is practicing every night. For each operation you can find resources, videos and explanations on the Math Resources page.

For each operation we will be teaching for mastery, focusing on the use of basic skills to reinforce known algorithms, ultimately building confidence in each student. In doing so, they will be confidently able to engage with and solve each question. With this in mind, there’s lots of practice involved and you’re all encouraged to support this at home with the good old 1-2 combo of basic facts review and practice questions. For a review of the algoritms used in class you can check out these Khan Academy videos (addtion, subtraction, multiplication and division). With that handled, you can check out for as many practise sheets as you like. 


We are continuing to look at Alberta’s wetlands. We really enjoyed our field trip down to Fish Creek Park 3 weeks ago, as the students had a chance to explore the wetlands, as well as complete some other outdoor activities. Over the month of October, we will be studying the four different types of wetlands (General, Swamps, Fens, Bogs, Marshes) invertebrates and vertebrates, plants and creatures found in wetlands, as well as animal adaptations. We will also focus on human impact on Alberta’s wetlands.

Social Studies

We are continuing our mapping unit by looking at cardinal and intermediate directions, 7 continents, 5 oceans, hemispheres, as well as latitude and longitude. You and your child can practise the use of latitude & longitude using this interactive resource. Once this is complete, we will start our unit on the six geographical Regions of Canada.

Photo Residency

We had our last session with Lindsay on yesterday and so now it’s time for us to bring it all together and apply all the skills we’re so carefully developed. On Friday, October 19th, we are planning to head down to Fish Creek Park with Lindsay, where students will put all their new knowledge to use. Of course, this field trip will be weather-permitting, but right now it looks like the the order we put in for awesome weather went through - should be a beauty.

As always, please let me know if you have any questions or concerns. We’re having an awesome time here and so thank you all for your continued support - it really does make a difference.


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