October 23, 2016

Couple of weeks in review

Sorry for the late post this evening. I attended a technology conference related to education this past weekend and have learned so many new things that I can't wait to share with the classroom.

Firstly, I would like to give a big thank you to all the parents who have given me feedback regarding homework. This is very valuable information for me. Students will complete their first round of homework on Monday and I am excited to read their reflections.

This past week, we began our launch into patterning. Here are some of the expectations students will be learning about with patterns. Below are some games and videos students can watch as reinforcement.


  1. Patterns represent identified regularities. There is always an element of repetition.
  2. Patterns can be represented in a variety of ways (i.e. pictures, words, graphs, sequences, tables).
  3. Some ways of displaying data highlight patterns.
  4. By identifying the element of repetition, one can make predictions related to the pattern
GOAL: I can classify, extended and describe patterns.
GOAL: I can represent a pattern in different ways (e.g. as a table, in pictures).
GOAL: I can make predictions related to a specific pattern.
In language we have been working on creating digital citizenship video's with a message about being responsible on the internet. Please check back later this week to watch some of the videos when I upload them!

As part of our WeSchool initiative, we are still collecting non-perishable food items until the end of October. The students are completely driving this campaign with a set goal of 1000 food items. Please help them meet their goal by bringing in those cans!

I wish you a great week, and check back in later this week to see some of the student videos.

A. Porcari

October 16, 2016

Homework begins this week!

Homework begins this week! Please check my earlier post to read about homework this year. I will send out a parent survey in two weeks to get some feedback from parents to see how this is going.

A. Porcari

October 9, 2016


I would like some thoughts around the issue of home"work". A few weeks ago, at meet the teacher night, a few of us spoke about homework and what that will look like this year. I was open and honest with you in that I have read a lot of articles over the summer, and more and more research has supported that 'traditional homework' has done nothing to improve students' academic performance or their ability to think and learn.  What if homework looked different?

One article I read was by Peter Cameron, a grade 6 teacher in the Thunder Bay area who weighs in on his approach to homework. Take a read here...

"My views on homework have changed and evolved over my 20+ years of teaching. I’ve arrived at the conclusion that traditional homework has done nothing to improve my students’ academic performance or their ability to think and learn. In fact, I believe it’s  had somewhat of the opposite effect. When homework piled up, stress increased and students came back to school tired, overwhelmed and burnt out. I also found that students who had little support from parents or guardians with their homework (whether it be assisting them or encouraging them to get it done) tended to come back with it incomplete. This created a large gap in learning for my students who weren’t able to complete their homework.
Today, homework has evolved to home ‘share’. My students are now tasked a couple times a week to share a piece of writing with a parent, solve or explain their solution to a single “real math” problem  or create one of their own. Parents are encouraged to write comments on their child’s work and initial it after their child has shared it with them.  The result? Home ‘work’ is getting done much more consistently by all students within my classroom. Parents say they feel more involved in their child’s learning and the stress level within households has diminished. "
What if homework looked something like this?
I am very interested in parent feedback. I will introduce this homework over the course of the next two weeks. After two weeks, I will send out a survey to see thoughts on this approach to homework. A thank you to Peter Cameron for sharing his work and thoughts around this subject.
Your partner in your child's education
A. Porcari

October 2, 2016


October is here...we have completed one month of school already! We begun our Monday with a group gathering of all grade 6 students. We will meet weekly on Monday's for a block to discuss and plan events around social justice. This past week, students were introduced to the WE Schools project. Excitement was buzzing! Students were introduced, through video, to Craig and
Mark Kielburger and their journey to bring awareness to global and social issues and the founders of WEDay. Students were grouped into teams and they had the opportunity to discuss and research either a local or global issue. This week, we will present this information to the whole group and we will decide on one local and one global issue to support. We will brainstorm ways to address or bring awareness to these problems and begin to affect change..STAY TUNED! #BE THE CHANGE

We continued to discuss being a digital citizen and the positive and negative power the internet can have on us. Students looked at issues that included "friending," to sending inappropriate texts as well as the digital footprint they are leaving every time they post on social media. This week students will begin to create short comics to present to the school to demonstrate how to be digital citizens.
Sorry for the late post today, we had our annual CIBC Run for the Cure. STB raised over $11 000 dollars for this cause. It was a very special day, STB earned top elementary school fundraiser for 10 years in a row. Way to go STB community!

We ended the week with our annual Terry Fox Run! We thank all students for raising funds for cancer research this past month. Here is a picture of the students getting ready just before their run. I wish you all a great short week! PD this Friday! 


A. Porcari