Heads Up

Welcome to Heads Up, your one-stop source for news about your son’s upcoming activities and events.

Message from Year 4

Hello from Year 4!

We have had a wonderful start to the school year, jam-packed full of Norval trips, team sports, curriculum exploration and play. 

Year 4 boys had an excellent time during their first Norval trip this year. We hiked around the property and did many different team-building activities. The Norval staff connected our trip with our current unit about Canada. The boys had a chance to explore different kinds of rocks during a group hike at Norval. We would like to acknowledge and thank the Norval staff for ensuring that our trip was a special one.

As part of this unit, Dianne Jojic visited both Year 4 classes to talk about geology and lead some hands-on rock cycle experiments. There are now many “rock hounds” among us and we look forward to inviting Ms. Jojic to lead more curriculum enriching lessons in the units to come.

This week we are wrapping up our Inquiry Unit into Canada. The boys have researched different regions of Canada and will create a short iMovie to highlight one of these regions. This unit sparked many interesting questions on topics ranging from the historical roots of this country to our political boundaries. Our upcoming Inquiry unit explores civilization and early societies.

In Language, we continue with our independent paragraph writing in our “Write Club.” Students have chosen writing topics and are creating a short paragraph describing their topic. We use our Write Club time to reinforce the paragraph-writing model. We have begun the guided reading groups where the boys will be working in small groups with a teacher to read a text aloud and explore various elements of literature. We’ve just finished an investigation into story structure, where we explored Canadian picture books to model characterization, setting and plot.  We will continue to enforce independent reading time as a Year 4 focus. Please continue to encourage your son to read at home for at least 1.5 hours each week. 

We’ve begun Unit 2 in Math where we will be investigating place value to the millions and multi-digit addition and subtraction. We explore different algorithms in Year 4 and we ask the boys to learn one well for each operation. If you are interested in learning more about the different algorithms, please click here.

As the cooler weather has arrived, please remind your son to bring his jacket and outdoor shoes to school. Unless it’s clearly raining, the boys go outside for all recesses.

Parent Speakers in Year 4

In the past, we have been very fortunate to have in parent speakers whose background connect to our Inquiry units. It can be a professional background, work you do through volunteering or personal experience. Most speakers will come into the Year 4 classrooms and share their experience for 20 to 25 minutes. It can either be an informal “Q and A” or a more formal presentation. Either way, the boys love hearing and learning from these “experts.” If you have any interest, please email Kathryn O’Brien (4O) or Karyn McCormack (4M).

Below is a brief description of our Inquiry units, timing and ideas for potential speakers.

Early Societies: Exploring connections to past societies (November and December)

Potential speakers: historians, archaeologists, anthropologists, archivists

States of Matter: Learning about the scientific method while exploring states of matter and properties of matter  (December and January)

Potential speakers: scientists, researchers

Human Body: Looking at the social, emotional and physical changes in our body (February and March)

Potential speakers: doctors, nurses, dieticians, personal trainers, psychologists, social workers, therapists, athletes,  or any individuals involved in health and wellness

Communication: Exploring ways we communicate (Throughout the year ending in April)

Potential speakers: artists, musicians, psychologists, individuals in film or television, writers, website designers, translators, individuals who have come to Canada as ESL speakers who would want to share their experience of learning a new language and experiencing a new culture

Biomes: Investigating different biomes around the globe and how humans interact and live within these environments (May and June)

Potential speakers: researchers, scientists, architects, individuals in the environmental field

Thank you for reading,

Karyn McCormack and Kathryn O’Brien

kmccormack@ucc.on.ca; kobrien@ucc.on.ca