Sunday 23 October 2016

Class Updates

Asalaamu'alykum Dear Parents, 

Below are the updates on what happened last week (Oct 17th-21st).

Islamic Studies: To refresh our memories, we re-read Prophet Adam (as) story, shared our thoughts on what shaytaan did to earn Allah's anger and how Adam (as) and his wife (Hawa) earned Allah's forgiveness. Together we made a comparison chart illustrating Allah's promises and Shaytaan's promises. We learned that Shaytaan promises us nothing but fear, anger, hopelessness and jahannum while Allah (swt) promises us the exact opposite: peace, tranquility, happiness, hope and jannah. Then we focused on how we can reach jannah. I made the "cell-phone" analogy to help them understand the concept in a realistic manner. Everything we buy comes with an instructional manual, for example a cell phone. If I ever wanted to know how to work it or how to fix it I would refer back to the manual written by the maker of the phone. Likewise, we as Muslims have a manual as well and it's the Qur'an (word of Allah). If we are lost, need guidance and need to fix our problems we refer back to the Qur'an to help us because Allah (swt) created us and only He knows us better than we know ourselves. Alhumdulilah it was a healthy and engaging exchange of thoughts.

Gym: It was all fun and games in gym class this week! We had a great time trying out some new structured routines and activities. To assess them in their gross motor skills (hand-eye co-ordination, balance and throwing) and sportsmanship I had them start with a fun warm up called BRCR (bear walk/running course/crab walk/running course). For hand-eye co-ordination they did a toss-kneel-catch activity on their own followed by 2 partner activities focusing on balance and sportsmanship: a push-up high 5 and a game called "Grab it!" In our second gym class (after the warm up) we played a co-operative game called “The Hoop Pass”. The class was split into two teams, essentially the goal of the game was to encourage teammates to work together to achieve a common goal. To wrap it up, we played another game called "Race to the End!" an upper-body/balance activity in which students had to line-up in push-up position. The first person in each team started off by handing a small ball to the next person in line and then cross over to the end! If the ball fell, the team had to start over. 

Math: In our math classes this week, we continued learning about repeating patterns using a grid. Students were shown a train of snap cubes with 4 colors that repeat, they identified the core (smallest part of a pattern that repeats itself/can be used to make a prediction of what happens next). They created their own patterns using a grid in their math activity books. We moved on to creating 2 patterns using 4 attributes (things that change in a pattern such as shape, position, color and size). To demonstrate their ability to describe patterns using attributes, they worked in groups and used pattern blocks to create 2 of their own patterns using different attributes. While presenting they pointed out 4 key elements about their pattern: the kind of pattern they made, the core, how many times the core repeated and attributes that are changing. To consolidate their understanding on this topic they worked in pairs to complete a "My Patterns Book", in it they came up with a repeating pattern, identified its core and the attributes changing. Finally on Friday we moved onto growing patterns, it was a brief introduction but the concept was made clear. 

Language: We studied the difference between linking verbs and action verbs. Apart from learning previously that verbs show action, we now know that they can also link ideas together (do not show action). When verbs link ideas together they are called linking verbs. They include all forms of the verb "to be" (am, is, are, be, being, been, was and were). After describing the difference and taking up examples, students were able to distinguish between the two verbs. Action verbs explain what something does and linking verbs explain what something is. Independently they completed 2 worksheets and I took it up as a class. Next week I will introduce journal writing inshaAllah. I will give them writing prompts of their interest and they will practice writing 5 sentences (to start with) using what we have learned so far in grammar (nouns, common and proper nouns, action verbs, linking verbs, as well as c.u.p.s.)

Spelling: Alhumduliah the 4th spelling test was taken up on Thursday. I do realize I did not send home the spelling books for signatures yet, inshaAllah I will distribute them Monday morning first thing. In their spelling workbooks, students learned the short vowel "e" sound and worked on 4 related activities. Their next spelling test is once again on Thursday, October 27th: set, help, yet, bread, belt, tent, said, bed and sell. 

FOR BONUS MARKS: Paradise, empathy, kindness, eleventh and twelfth.

Art/Math: I had an interesting art activity lined up for them on Friday. I introduced the "Name Design" and modeled it. It is basically their first name written out in bubble letters at the center of a sheet of white paper. The space surrounding their name had to be filled in with a variety of lines and shapes. The challenge was to fill in the whole paper! They were encouraged to try different types of patterns, using lots of interesting designs and colors. No spaghetti coloring was allowed! They could only practice neat coloring techniques. It tied in very nicely with their lessons about patterns from math class. MashaAllah they did a wonderful job but will be completing it by next week inshaAllah. 

Science: A book on orcas/killer whales was read to students in an effort to explore interesting facts about a specific mammal. As a class we reflected the five characteristics that classify orcas as mammals. Then independently students work on a "Mammal Report" showcasing their understanding. They wrote 4 different interesting facts about orcas, drew a picture and shared it with the class. I briefly introduced our next set of vertebrates on friday: BIRDS. InshaAllah we will be continuing our learning in more detail next week with a special insight into owls.  

Library: During our library period last week, our wonderful librarian Tr.Nancy taught the students some very important information about different parts of a book such as title, author, illustrator, spine, spine label, call number, barcode etc. The importance of keeping the library organized was also discussed. Alhumdulilah students are getting more and more familiar with the proper procedures for library use. It would be most beneficial if you remind your child to keep the books that they have checked out in good condition and to bring them back in time inshaAllah.  

Homework packs are due Thursday, October 27th.

JazakAllah kahyr.