Merry KrisMask - December Update

Friday, December 4, 2020 11:43 AM

Welcome to December. We’re two weeks away from a much deserved and well earned break. Also, what a week we just had - particularly with yesterday’s unfortunate accident. I’m grateful to hear that Pepper the Dog is doing well and is expected to recover. With the students having witnessed that, I’m just glad I was with them and able to take the time to debrief it. Anyways, with that great news we can rip right into the weekend and the awesomeness that we’ve got planned for the next two weeks. Here’s your update...

Important Dates

*Monday, December 7th – 11th – Stampede School (in-class)

Wednesday, December 16th – Holiday Video Call with HMCS Calgary

Thursday, December 17th – Spirit Day: Pajama Day

Thursday, December 17th – Last day of class before Winter Break (full day)

Monday, January 4th – PD Day (no school for all students)

**Tuesday, January 5th – School resumes (online learning January 5th – 8th)

*Thank you to those who have returned the media consent forms for Stampede School. If you have not already done so, please have these returned by Monday. Also, in the spirit of Stampede, if your child would like to rock some Western wear for the week, giddy-up, I’m 100% onboard with that.

**As you may have heard, students will be moving to on-line learning for the week of January 5-8th only (Monday is a PD Day). We are not 100% sure what this week will look like but once this is shared with us I will be sure to let you all know.

Language Arts

We are just over halfway through ‘Wonder’ and I’m hoping we will be able to finish up prior to winter break. We will also be watching the movie once we are done. Feel free to explore the links, resources and support material in the ‘Wonder’ section of the Language Arts page.

Fractured Fairy Tales: Our first creative writing unit of the year is based on Fractured Fairy Tales. After reading a selection of fairy tales and fractured tales, students learned the difference between the two and discovered the elements of each. For clarity, ‘Fractured Fairy Tales’ are just the normal stories that you know but with certain things changed or ‘fractured’ in some way. They have all now begun to plan and write their own fractured fairy tales and I’m looking forward to seeing the finished product. From what they have planned and shown me already, these will be some seriously funny stories. I encourage you all to chat with your child about what they’ve got planned - you won’t regret it.


We are currently working on concepts from our Data Analysis unit. Students have been practicing taking surveys of their classmates as well learning about different types of graphs, including bar graphs and double bar graphs. They have also learned the difference between collecting first-hand and second-hand data. Before winter break, we will be completing a ’12 Days of Christmas’ math task where students will be calculating the actual current cost of true love. In short, they will calculate how much it would cost them to actually give their true love the full “12 Days of Christmas.” The lesson at the end of this is that romance can be expensive. 

As mentioned in my earlier email, students had their December basic facts assessment yesterday. I will be reviewing these this weekend and they will be coming home on Monday for your review and signature. After Christmas, our focus will move to multiplication and division and I cannot stress enough how important it is to have a strong grasp of their basic math facts. If you are noticing weaknesses in certain areas, pleasepleaseplease have your child practice those facts each night. Every student has noted the clear impact that practising has made in their recall, confidence and ability to persevere in math.


We were very excited to kick off our Weather Watch unit with all the fantastic weather we’ve been having. It has made it a pleasure to go outside and check out what’s happening. Fingers crossed that it continues. We have begun discussing the relationship between climate and weather, what impacts climate and how we can predict weather based on where we live. As part of this, students are learning how thermometers work and the history behind the Celsius and Fahrenheit scales. We have also learned how warm and cold air moves around a room, why objects and substances contract and expand, and we explored the science behind airships and hot air balloons. We will take time to learn how we predict weather and how to read a weather report and decode the weather symbols that are, sometimes, as intelligible as the laundry symbols on our clothes. Students will learn about, and hopefully build their own, weather instruments and learn about the different types of clouds and what their shape tells us. You’ll very soon have your own David Spence living with you. For reference here is the vocabulary for the unit as well as the Weather Web Links. The best part of the Weather unit is watching some really cool videos about tornadoes and hurricanes - weather is awesome!

Social Studies

Our Social Studies topics are keeping us very busy these days! We have kicked off our unit on the Regions of Canada and, more importantly, we’ve begun our very own Amazing Race. Students are all on teams and as we move through the unit, they will complete various challenges, Pit Stops, Detours and Road Blocks just like in the show. It’s the real deal. Students were very excited to receive challenges this week on the Atlantic Region and we will continue this for all six regions. They will be making use of the Regions of Canada Resources and I encourage you all to take time to explore this with your child as Canada is one awesome place.

As well, we have been connecting with Sailor Third Class Liam Wright who is currently aboard HMCS Calgary. We are scheduled to have a video chat with him on December 16th and we look forward to hearing about their preparations for deployment and life aboard a Royal Canadian Navy vessel. Lastly, as previously mentioned, we are also participating in Stampede School all next week! It’s a full slate and we couldn’t be more excited about it. It’s going to be an awesome couple weeks.


Over the course of the last month, we have focused on some basic elements of the French language, including the alphabet, numbers up to 100, colours, and specific holiday vocabulary. 

Have a great weekend and I look forward to the awesomeness that is coming up in the next few hectic weeks. Bring It On!


Daniel Polsky
Grade 5 Teacher | Learning Leader
Fish Creek School |
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