Mr. Potje's Grade 5/6

June 20, 2017 We are wrapping up our math unit on Probability.  We have had fun playing games with dice, coins, cubes in a big, decks of cards and spinners to learn about probability.  We have learned how to determine all the possible outcomes on tree diagrams to help determine which outcomes are likeliest to occur.  We will be having a short quiz next Tuesday to show what we know about what we have been learning with Probability.
We have been using ukuleles in class for a little over a week now.  Your child is getting experience learning how to tune a ukulele by ear and by using a tuner.  We have learned some strumming patterns and the C chord so far.  Hopefully by the end of the year students will be fairly capable to play many songs.  You may want to harness their interest in the ukuleles over the summer.  They aren't too expensive at around $40 each for introductory ones.

June 12, 2017 Some photos of some of our students playing probability games in class.


June 9, 2017  We have been having a lot of fun learning about Probability in math this week.  Ask your child about the probability games we've played with the paper bags, dice and coins.  Be careful though, they are getting pretty good at it and may try to take advantage of you with a probability game stacked in their favour (I told them to try!)
Congratulations to Keegan, Keaton, Kamil, Adam, Adrian, Beckham, Sloane and Makenzie who have made the Track Team and will competing at the Region Track Meet on Monday at JOA.  I'll be there with them running the event so we will have a Supply Teacher on Monday.
secret code = probability

June 6, 2017  We are wrapping up our Fractions and Decimals unit in Math this week.  We will be starting a unit on Probability in the very near future.  Grade 6's just finished their VIP Unit today with Constable Adams.  Ask your child about the mine Dance unit that we are doing.  It has a connection with Science believe it or not.

May 29, 2017  Lots of exciting things happening.  They Blue Jay game is on Wednesday!  In Media each student is working on an advertisement.  Please ask to see the assignment outline in their notebooks for more info.  We worked on them today and will have class time tomorrow and then they are due on Thursday.  We are wrapping up our Math Unit on fractions and decimals and will have a quiz next Wednesday.  In Science Gr6's are starting a unit on Electricity and Gr5's on Properties of and Changes of Matter.

May 12, 2017  Ask your child about the Social Studies Project we started working on yesterday and today.  Students have a choice of 6 different activities.  They are designed to be fun to do and to provide an opportunity for students to demonstrate what they have learned in our Social Studies Unit.  Ask to see the Project Outline which is glued into their Social Studies notebook.  Students will be given class time on Monday and Tuesday of next week and their good copy is due on Wednesday, May 17th when they will be presenting it to the class.
HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY to all our wonderful mothers.  I hope I don't spoil the surprise, but hopefully your child has given to you, or will give to you on Sunday, a special craft their made here at school.
Have a great weekend!

May 9, 2017  We have been working on our new unit in Math which is on Fractions, Decimals and Percents.  So far we've been working hard on understanding how to draw, label and identify equivalent fractions. For example 1/2 is the same as 4/8, 12/24, etc.  We have also been learning how to state fractions as mixed numbers and improper fractions.  For example 2 1/2 is the same as 5/2 or 5 halves.  If possible try to find places in your daily lives where fractions come up and see if you can use that instance to talk about the above concepts.
In Social Studies, the Gr 5's continue to learn about early Canada, focusing on Aboriginal Peoples and the Explorers that first came to Canada.  Ask them about some of the things they've learned about Aboriginal Peoples and some of their customs (The Three Sisters, Alliances, Trading furs, Longhouses, Wigwams, Clothing).  Gr 6's continue to work on investigating groups of immigrants that came to Canada.  Ask them what they know about Irish, Chinese and British immigrants, Black Loyalists and what life was like for them.
In Family Life we will begin the unit on Human Sexuality this week.  I have sent home a letter to let you know some of the things that we will be discussing.  Please read it carefully and promote discussion with your child as they likely will have some questions that my be to shy to ask about at school.
Secret code = Go Jays Go!

April 28/17  We said goodbye to our Student Teacher, Miss Desousa on Tuesday.  We will miss her and wish her well in her teaching career.
We are preparing for a Math Quiz which will be on Monday.  We have been reviewing key concepts yesterday and today.  Ask your child to see the Math text and the review questions that we have been working on for an idea of some of the questions that will be on the quiz.
In Media, we have been discussing the features of newspapers.  Please try to spend some time with your child looking at newspapers and observing their features (sections, headlines, what are ads and what are news stories).  We have been speaking quite a bit on finding reliable sources of media.
Have a nice weekend.
secret code = media

April 19/17  We had our final Rosary session with Mrs. Poynter from Holy Spirit Church today.  Next month will be the school-wide Mary Celebration in our gym.
In Language we have just finished working hard on a short story, focussing on using strong paragraphs that are indented, and developing the plot, character and setting.  Tomorrow we will be editing the stories and we will begin Publishing them on Friday using the laptops and Google Docs.  In Social Studies, Gr 5's continue to be learning about First Nations people.  Specifically we have been learning about their homes, clothes and oral traditions.  Gr 6's continue learning about why many people have chosen to come to live in Canada.  We are starting to focus on specific groups that came to Canada like the Black Loyalists from the US, and Irish and Chinese Immigrants and how they got along with existing settlers and First Nations peoples. 

April 12/17  We have began new units in Social Studies. Gr 5's are learning about First Nations and Europeans in New France and Early Canada and Gr 6's  are learning about Communities in Canada Past and Present.  In Language students have been learning about making Power Paragraphs which have a good intro and supporting details in each.  We are getting ready to write a story so have been reviewing the elements of Plot, Characters and Setting.  Ask your child what they are planning to write their story about.

April 7, 2017  We are wrapping up our Science unit.  Yesterday and today the students were working on preparing a study sheet to use for studying for the quiz.  Most are finished, but some need to finish on the weekend and show it to me Monday morning before our quiz.  Please support your child and ask to see their study sheet.  Help them study by asking them questions about the important terms and concepts on the study sheet.

April 5, 2017  Gr5's are working on measuring capacity in Math.  For homework they are to find one small and one large container, measure their capacities in mL, and then predict how many small containers can be dumped into the large container and compare that prediction to the actual results.  Ask to see their notebooks tonight for a chart to fill out while doing this at home.

March 30, 2017 Our students have been having fun learning about improv, scripts and reader's theatre with Miss De Sousa during our Drama lessons.  They are beginning to write a script in small groups and the preparing to perform it for the class.
In Science the Grade 5's have learned about the Digestive, Respiratory and Circulatory Systems in detail. Ask your child what organs and body parts are in each system and what their job it.  The Gr 6's have been learning about Vertebrate and Invertebrate animals.
Secret code = blood vessels

March 27, 2017 We have begun a new unit in Math on measurement.  Gr 5's will be learning about time and dates using SI Notation (HH:MM:SS, YYYY MM DD), capacity and volume, temperature and mass.  Gr 6's will be learning about mass, capacity, volume, surface area, and volume of triangular and rectangular prisms.  Today I returned the Geometry quizzes that were written just before March Break.  Please review the quiz and the corrections your child has made, initial it and return ASAP.  
We have had Miss De Sousa in our class full-time now since our return from March Break.  Miss De Sousa is a student teacher from Lakehead University.  She will be with us until April 30th.  She is currently teaching a Drama Unit to our class.

March 10, 2017  We finished off a busy week with a Math Quiz today on measuring and constructing angles, triangles, polygons and 3D shapes.
We had a lot of fun parading our masks at the Carnaval Assembly this morning and then a bit of a cold afternoon outside with our Carnaval events.  We came in a bit early as the wind was really starting to pick up.
I hope you and your family have a restful and relaxing March Break to fuel up for a great spring together.

March 1, 2017 This week was Ash Wednesday, which begins the season of Lent. We have discussed in class the significance of Lent.  On Tuesday we had pancakes, and then on Ash Wednesday we began our personal mission to give up something or challenge ourselves to consistently do something good each day until Easter.
Keep up the great work on the Canada Games Challenge.  Try to do the activities at home.
In math we are working on Geometry, focusing on constructing angles and shapes with precise measurements of sides and angles.
In Science, the Grade 5's are learning about the systems of our body and the important organs, tissues and cells involved with each system.  The Grade 6's are learning about Living Things and ways that we classify all Living Things.
Have a great weekend!
Secret Code = scalene

Feb 28, 2017  We continue to have lots of fun being active in class with the Canada Games Activity Challenge.  Ask your child what his/her favourite activity has been so far.  Many students are completing active challenges at home.  We are in a tight race with Mrs. MacDonald's and Mrs. Dunbrook's class to see who is most active and gets the most points, so please encourage your child to participate at home.  Here's a few pictures of us in action.

February 22, 2017  Term 1 Report Cards went home today.  Please return the bottom half of Page 4 to indicate that you have received your child's report card.  There are many suggestions on it to help you child continue to improve at school.
We watched the movie version of Mania Magee yesterday and today and it was a good lesson in how books often differ from movies.  The students enjoyed contrasting many of the similarities and differences.  
We continue to enjoy doing the Canada Activity Challenges at school.  Mrs. Dunbrook and Mrs. MacDonald's class are also doing it.  We are currently the leading class in our school but these other classes are gaining.  Doing the "Training" sessions at home earn your child and our class Bonus points.
Secret code = Grayson

February 17, 2017  We continue to have fun and being active with the Canada Games Activity Challenge.  There are "Training" sessions each night for students to do at home.  They are intended to be fairly easy to do and ideally are done with the whole family.  Each activity completed at home earns each student and our class extra points.  Completion at home is contingent on the honour system.  Please make sure your child does the activities fully in order to earn the points.
Congratulations to Emma and Annabel for representing our class so well at the Speech Competition in our school gym today.  Both speakers did very well and are to be commended for the hard work put in to do such a great speech.

February 14, 2017  Congratulations to Adam, Stefano, Emma, Annabel and Jacob for doing such a great job with their speeches.  All 5 presented today and Emma and Annabel have been selected to present their speeches in the gym on Friday, February 17th at 1:15pm.
We started the Canada Games Challenge today in class.  We did a relay race and some yoga.  16 of our 24 students have successfully registered and are now earning points and able to do extra challenges at home.  It's not too late if you have not registered your child yet.  Look for the email from the Canada Games Challenge and register so your child can have some extra fun.  Those note registered will still participate in class but won't be able to earn points etc and be able to do the challenges at home for extra points.  
Here we are in action doing the relay and the yoga:

cd game 1

February 10, 2017  Please find below a class list of our students for those students that are interested in doing Valentines this year.
Mr. Potje's Class List of Names

February 9, 2017  We've been having fun doing many hands-on activities in Science this week.  Gr 5's have studied how some simple machines like ramps, pulleys and levers help reduce the effort needed to do a job.  They are currently building a structure to help protect an egg.  We will be testing them early next week.  Gr 6's have been investigating properties of air and had fun today trying to build a Tumblewing that demonstrates how LIFT helps things fly.  The instructions are from the website below.  Gr 5's are welcome to try this at home as well.


February 6, 2017  Today we had a fantastic presentation from some representatives from Queen's Park in Toronto.  They came to teach our students about Queen's Park, how government works, how the legislature works, and we even had a mock debate on a new law to build a sports complex.  The presentation was capped off by a visit from our MPP, Ann Hoggarth.  It was a great opportunity for our students to continue learning about Government.  See the photos below for some of the highlights of the presentation.

queens park
We began showing and discussing the commercials that students were asked to find and discussing the important media features of each.
Students that are presenting a speech will be doing so on Friday morning of this week.  Up to two students may be chosen to represent our class at the Division speech contest in our gym on Friday, February 17th at 1:05pm.

February 2, 2017  We have been studying Media the past few weeks and this weekend's homework is to watch a commercial for a fast-food restaurant on TV or over the internet and analyze some of the features of the commercial.  That's right, this weekend's homework is to watch TV!!!  All students have a form to fill out regarding the commercial they choose.  I will do my best to locate each student's commercial, show it in class and each student will discuss the important features of the commercial.
I am happy to share with you that we have a Student Teacher that will be working in our class over the next few months.  Miss De Sousa will be in our class on Wednesday's in February and then in our class full-time after March Break for 5 weeks.  
Also, please look out for an email about the Canada Games Activity Challenge.
PA Day tomorrow.  Have a great weekend!

January 27, 2017  I'm looking forward to sharing with you the results of our Math Quiz early next week.
Today we had a Free Throw Competition in our gym.  Travis, Beckham, Makenzie, Adam, Stefano, and Emma represented us well as you can see in the photos below.

free throws

January 26, 2017  I'm looking forward to our students showing what they know about Number Patterning on tomorrow's Math Quiz.  We did our final review today.
We had a Mass today in our school gym and continue to read through our novel study of Maniac Magee.  Students have been taking turns reading the parts of the characters and narrator in class.  This novel has many fun and entertaining parts, but also deals with the issue of people of different races getting along.  It takes place in the 80's in a town in the US where blacks and whites do not traditionally get along well.  Ask you child for more info, or better yet, have them bring their novel home to show you.

January 23, 2017  We are wrapping up our Math unit on Patterning and will be beginning to prepare for a quiz that will be on Friday, January 27th.  We will be doing review questions on Wednesday and Thursday of this week.  Ask your child to bring their Math notebook and textbook home if you want to see the things we have been working on.
Thursday we are having a School Mass in our gym.  Family members are always welcome to attend.  Please sign in at the Office to receive a Visitor's badge if you do come.

January 19, 2017  The Grade 4 to 6 classes are offering the opportunity to do speeches for those students that are interested in doing this.  Students showing interest were given a sheet today with some information and important dates as follows:


This year speeches are an optional activity for Grade 4-6 students.  If students choose to do a speech they will given some guidance in class and offered opportunities to work on it over a few lunch recesses with teacher support.  Most of the work necessary to prepare for the speech will be done independently on a student’s own time.

Those choosing to do a speech will have the opportunity to say their speech in front of the class and then most likely a few from each class will be chosen to say their speech in the gym in front of the Grade 4-6 classes.  In past years we have been able to select students to continue and represent our school in further competitions.  We are hoping to provide that opportunity again this year.  More information will follow in the future about this.

If your child chooses to do a speech here are some guidelines and dates that are recommended to follow to be successful:

Topic Due: week of Jan 16th (Speech Outline sheet given once topic is determined)

Speech Outline Sheet Due: week of Jan 23rd (or sooner if possible)

Rough Copy Due: week of Jan 30th (teacher will review it and offer tips)

Refining/Practicing: week of Feb 6th

Date of Class Presentation: week of Feb 13th

Date of School Competition: to be determined 

Length of Speech -> 3 to 5 minutes

January 13, 2017  We continue working on number patterns.  Here's a bonus few for you and your child to try:  
1, 4, 7, 10, 13, ___, ___, ___ 2, 6, 14, 30, 62, ___, ___, ___
We have also continued our novel study of Maniac Maggee.  We have learned that he is an orphan and has ran away from his Aunt and Uncle's because they were always arguing.  We've learned many stories about Mania so far that seem to be a bit more legend than fact.
Have a great weeekend!
Secret Code = Auston Matthews

January 9, 2017  Welcome back and Happy New Year!  We started a new Math unit today on number patterning.  We also chose our 10 Spelling words for this week.  Ask your child what they are.  We began a Novel Study of the book "Maniac Magee" by Jerry Spinelli.  Ask your child what we have learned about Maniac Magee so far (many things that seem untrue or mythical).  It's a great book that I think our students will really enjoy.  It's most effective to have your child keep at the pace of the class and to not read ahead.  
We started a new session of the Reader's Hall of Fame today.  It will last until March Break.  There are 9 weeks so students need to get 9 points by then.  Keep up the great reading at home!

December 22, 2016  We had a great day wrapping up 2016.  I returned the Math Quizzes today and students worked on corrections to the parts they had trouble with.  Please ask for it, review, sign and put back in their Agendas to be returned the first week back to school.
I will have the Science Quizzes to share with you the first week back as well.
I wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas.  Hopefully you and your family find some time to slow things down, spend quality time together and get some rest.
See you in the New Year!

December 20, 2016  We completed our Math and Science Quizzes this week.  I look forward to sharing how your child did in the near future.

Tomorrow we have a Mass at Holy Spirit Church and will be taking a bus over at 9:15am.  Some members of our class will be helping to lead the Mass.  All family members are welcome to attend.
Please find a very exciting permission form in your child's bag today about a future field trip on May 31st.  Permission forms must be returned by this Thursday.  Money will be collected in the new year.
We started making a Christmas craft today.  I'll keep you in suspense because it may be a gift for you.  You're only hint is that it involved sewing.  Yes, sewing!  Your child now knows about about sewing!

December 16, 2016  We did review questions in Math for our Quiz on Monday.  We also worked on our Study Sheet for our Science Quiz on Tuesday.  Ask to see your child's study sheet and help your child begin preparing for the Quiz by studying with the study sheet.
Have a great weekend!

December 13, 2016 We are starting to wrap up our units in Math and Science.  The plan is to have a Math Quiz on Monday, December 19th and a Science Quiz on Tuesday, December 20th.  We will be review for Math at the end of this week and preparing for our Science Quiz on Friday and Monday.  Students will be completing a Study Sheet Template again for Science.
All students have been working on the Published version of their Christmas story.  They look amazing.  They are typing into a Google Doc that can worked on and shared at home, at school. or anywhere you can access the internet.  I strongly encourage to have them show you their finished product as they are quite impressive.
Just a reminder for those coming to the Lessons and Carols service, we are meeting at Holy Spirit Church at 6:10pm tomorrow night.
Secret Code = advent

December 9, 2016  We practiced for our Lessons and Carols service that's coming up on Dec 14th today.  We sound great!
In math, Gr 5's continue mastering Area and Perimeter of rectangles and Gr 6's have been working on Area and Perimeter of Parallelograms and Triangles.
In Science Gr 5's have been continuing to learn about Energy Sources, both renewable and non-renewable and Gr 6's have been learning about characteristics of the Sun, Moon.
We will be wrapping up the current Math and Science units by the end of the month and having a quiz on both just before the Christmas holidays begin.
Have a great weekend!

December 8, 2016  On Thursday, December 14th our class will be participating in our school's Christmas Concert at Holy Spirit Church.  We will be doing a song within the Lessons and Carols worship.  Students are asked to be brought to the Church at 6:10pm.  They will take off their coats etc. and leave with their parents.  Parents are asked to take their seats in the Church as students will be sitting together near the front of the Church.  The service will be from 6:30-7:30pm.  Thank you to those families that have already returned their permission forms.  We hope all students can come, but understand if there is a conflict at this busy time of year.  If your child cannot make it, please still return the form ASAP so we can plan accordingly.

December 1, 2016  We continue to work on Area and Perimeter in Math.  Recently we worked through a method to find Area of Parallelograms.  Ask your child how (A = b x h). 
We are also working on a creative writing story using Christmas as the setting and it is a story that has a problem encountered and a solution.  The focus is to be adding description words in the story, specifically adverbs and adjectives.  Rough drafts of the story are due on Friday, December 2nd.
Grade 5's have been talking about Energy Transformations (electrical to light and heat energy) and Grade 6's are exploring how the sun affects seasons on earth. 
Secret Code word = adverb

November 24, 2016  Today we had Rob Hefferman from the County of Simcoe, Emergency Management Department to speak with our class about tips and strategies to be prepared in case of emergencies such as tornadoes, floods, snowstorms, etc.  Homework this weekend is to make a survival kit for your home. Ask your child to show you the brochure that they received today to help you create an emergency plan and kit.  Those who complete it at home can fill out the entry form, return it to me and be entered in a chance to win a 72-Hour Emergnecy Preparedness Kit.
We've also been talking about Advent this week as this Sunday is the first Sunday of Advent. We talked about how Isaiah was first told by God that He would send his Son and how Advent is the time of preparation for the coming of Jesus.
We will be attending Advent Liturgies each Monday morning during Advent.
In Math, we used Geoboards to help learn Area and Perimeter (ask your child what a Geoboard is and how we used it today).
Have a great weekend!

November 22, 2016 We are continuing to work on Perimeter in math.  Today Grade 6's learned the formula for regular polygons.  Ask them how to do it (# of sides x length of one side).  Grade 5's were working on measuring using non-standard units.  Ask your child what non-standard units they could use to measure (a stride, their shoe, their wrist, a hockey stick).
We began reviewing some grammar concepts today, specifically what nouns and verbs are.  Tomorrow we will be focusing on descriptive words - adjectives and adverbs - as we prepare to write a story which will focus on being very descriptive.

November 16, 2016  Today we had Mrs. Pointon from Holy Spirit Church come into our class to pray the Rosary with us.  Many students volunteered to recite prayers and readings.
In Religion, we have been talking about the Apostle's Creed and the Nicene Creed.  Ask your child what the difference is (the Apostle's Creed was written by the Apostles and the Nicene Creed was written by a bunch of Bishops 325 years later and added a few more things to the things we as Catholics believe).

November 11, 2016  We attended our school's Remembrance Day Assembly today in our gym.  The grade 8's did a great job.  We continued in class to discuss Canada's contributions to world peace.  We talked about WW1, WW2, the Korean War and Canada's peacekeeping missions.  All students received a poppy as well.
This afternoon we attended a presentation by Mrs. Milligan's brother Greg who works for Microsoft.  He talked to the Grade 5's and 6's about careers in technology.  
Have a great weekend!

November 9, 2016  Today we began our unit on Measurement.  We brainstormed in small groups ways to measure area and perimeter of small, medium and large objects.  See the picture below of our students in action.
We've also been talking about Canada's Military contributions to prepare for Remembrance Day.  We will be having an Assembly on Friday here at our school.
And lastly we talked a bit about Aboriginal Peoples and the treaties they have with the Canadian Government as this is Ontario Treaties Recognition Week.  Ask your child what a treaty is and what they may remember from our discussion today.  More info can be found at the following link:
Treaties Recognition Week

Secret code = Treaty

November 8, 2016  We had our quiz on Graphing and Data Management today.  I look forward to sharing with you how your child did soon.
We will be starting a new unit in Math soon on Measurement, focusing on perimeter, area, and choosing the correct units of measurement when measuring things.

November 4, 2016  The grade 6's are studying early civilizations' methods of telling time, specifically a Sundial.  Ask your child about the masking tape that we've put in our entrance to the school from recess.  We have been marking the angle of the shadows at different parts of the day to demonstrate how we can use shadows to tell time.
Grade 5's are learning about the 10 different forms of energy.  So far we've talked about Sound, Heat and Light energy.
We will be having a wrap-up quiz on Tuesday of next week on our Math unit on Data Management.  Specifically calculating mode, median and mean and accurately displaying data in bar and line graphs.  We will review a bit more on Monday before the quiz.
Have a great weekend!

November 2, 2016  Today we started our new unit in Science. Grade 5's will be studying about Conservation of Energy and Grade 6's will be studying about Space.  I look forward to some exciting activities related to that.
Check out the St. Bernadette website to see some of the students from our class reporting on exciting events happening at St. Bernadette.  As well, many students from our class have been volunteering to read our prayers and readings on the morning announcements.  A great way to practice public speaking skills.

November 1, 2016  Today we used the iPads and laptops to create a graph using last night's Halloween candy haul for data.  Students were asked to make a tally chart for five types of candy.  Today they recorded their estimate and at home tonight they are asked to count the actual amounts of each candy.  If possible at home, students are asked to enter the actual data into their Google Sheets and create a double bar graphs with proper titles.  If this is not possible to do at home I will arrange to have some laptops available on Friday.
Most students did very well on the Social Studies Quiz yesterday.  They have been marked and students have made their corrections and will be bringing them home tonight to be looked over by you, initialled and returned tomorrow.

October 28, 2016  All students have completed a study sheet to help prepare for their Social Studies quiz on Monday.  Please ask to see it and help your child study for our quiz.  It's important to know that quiz marks aren't the only form of assessment.  Regular participation in class discussions and daily work are other very important parts of assessment.
Have a great weekend!

October 27, 2016  We had a full day today starting with our visit to Holy Spirit Church.  It was a cool, but nice walk there and back.  The students were great!  The Youth Services Minister Bev, led us on a scavenger hunt throughout the Church and then gave us a tour to make sure we understood all the different areas and some important ways to show respect in the Church.
It was a great chance for students to see behind the altar, the confessional, the vestaments rooms and more.  Ask you child what their favourite part was.
And then in the afternoon we had a visit from Michael Wade the author of the novel series "And Then It Happened".  Most of our students have read at least one of his books.  His main message was that anyone can be a writer (he used to be a prison guard).  He was very motivating and inspiring for our students.  Ask your child about the toilet paper (he had some trick toilet paper that you cannot wrip - using it as example of finding something funny that you can write about!)
We continue to prepare for our Social Studies quiz that we will have on Monday.  All students were told to bring their notebooks home tonight for you to see some of the things we have been discussing.  They are currently completing a study sheet.  They will be given some more time to complete it in class tomorrow but were encouraged to work on it some more at home tonight.
See the Photo Gallery to the left for pictures of our exciting day.

October 26, 2016  We had a great trip to the YLCC camp yesterday.  It was a beautiful, sunny day, but quite cool.  Most students dressed appropriately for the weather but a few were a bit cold at times.
We enjoyed the camp staff there as they lead us through 3 rotations => Archery, Teamwork skills (building a spaceship) and fort building.  We had a great taco, salad and fries lunch as well.  Please see the Photo Gallery link to the right for some photos of our day.
Today we began preparing for our Social Studies quiz.  Each student is making a study sheet of the very important terms and concepts we learned in this unit.  Of course anything that came up in our classroom discussions is fair game for the quiz.  There will be matching, fill in the blank, multiple choice and short answer questions.  The quiz will be on Monday.  Please ask your child to see their study sheet to see what we've covered and use it to help them study => ask them a term and have them tell you what's on the study sheet.  Or have them ask you to see if you know what the terms mean and if not have them explain it to you!
Tomorrow morning we are going on a walk to Holy Spirit Church.  We will be getting a tour of the Church and doing a scavenger hunt to discover all the important parts.  We leave just after announcements and will return in time for our regular lunch.  Morning snack will be provided at the Church.  Make sure your child dresses warmly as it will be chilly.
Today we had Mrs. Pointon from Holy Spirit Church come to our class for the Rosary Apostolate.  She will visit once a month to help prayer the Rosary.

October 24, 2016 Tomorrow is our exciting field trip to the YLCC in Orillia.  Students are to come to school at the regular time.  We will take attendance and then directly board the bus.  We will be back at approximately 4pm so students parents must have their own arrangements for their child to get home (most will just walk or you can meet your child here at 4pm).
Smart things to bring are healthy snacks, water, hat, mitts, extra socks, layers of clothing with an outer layer that's good in case it rains.  Lunch will be provided.
Looking forward to it!

October 21, 2016  Grade 5's talked about political parties and elections today.  Grade 6's talked about the economy, trade, imports and exports.  We are getting close to wrapping up our Social Studies unit.  We will begin preparing to show what they know on a quiz next week.
Most students seem comfortable with finding the Mode, Median and Mean of a set of data.  Any extra practice at home wouldn't hurt, including the example in yesterday's entry below.
Have a great weekend!

October 20, 2016  We continued working on finding the Mode, Median and Mean of a set of data.  Here's a set of data if you'd like your child to try a Bonus one at home.
Mr. Smith's class had a Math quiz.  It was out of 20.  The marks for his students were: 15, 16, 18, 5, 20, 15, 13.  Find the Mode, Median and Mean.
Thank you to the parents that returned their YLCC trip Permission forms.  We are going to YLCC in Orillia on Tuesday, Oct 25th.  YLCC provides opportunities for students to have fun outdoors doing activities that build character, team work and interpersonal skills.  It is a great opportunity for our class. 
Next week we are also going on a walk to Holy Spirit Church on Thursday, Oct 27th in the morning.  We will have a chance to look closely at the parts of the Church.  We will be back in time for our regular lunch so please send your child to school as usual, just being aware to dress for the weather to walk to and from the Church.  We are going with Miss Milligan's class.
And in the afternoon we are fortunate to attend a visit by acclaimed author Michael Wade, author of the "And Then It Happened" novel series.  So a busy week next week indeed!

October 18, 2016 Today in Math we focused on finding the Mode, Median and Mean of a set of data.  Ask your child what each is (they have explanations of each in their Math notebook for reference).
We also use the iPads and Google Chromebooks to do some more research on important concepts that we are studying in our Social Studies unit.  Ask your child what terms they were researching today (Gr 5 -> Cabinet, Cabinet Ministers, how many Cabinet Minsters in the Ontario Provincial Government and Canadian Federal Government.

October 14, 2016 All students have had their Math Quiz returned to them now.  I have spent time with each student to look over the parts that they had trouble with and to make corrections.  You should see those corrections attached to their quiz.  If you haven't done so already, please sign and return your child's quiz ASAP and return to me.
We started a new unit in Math on Data Management.  This unit will focus on taking data and putting it accurately into various graphs - line, bar, circle, pictographs as well as analyzing data that is presented to them in these various graphs.
Many students have presented their project for our novel study The Courage To Try.  Most have shown great creativity and have presented it to the class.
I will be away on Monday coaching our Flag Football team and look forward to returning to a good report from the Supply Teacher about how cooperative and welcoming our students have been.
Have a great weekend!

October 11, 2016 We chose our new Word List for this week.  Ask your child what words they are working on.  We also worked on our Courage To Try project.  They are due tomorrow when we will start presenting them.  Our students also went to an assembly in the gym - The Ned Show.  Ask them what it was about and what messages they heard.
Math quizzes will be returned tomorrow and sent home for you to see.  Please look it over and review with your child some of the concepts they had difficulty with, then sign and return the quiz.
Secret Code = Donaldson is amazing!

October 7, 2016  We had our Math Quiz today and I look forward to sharing how your child did next week.  In Language each student has a unique small project to do based on our novel study "The Courage To Try".  Ask them what their project is.  They will have one more work period on Tuesday, but may need to complete some of it at home.
Have a Happy and restful Thanksgiving!

October 5/16  We began preparing for our Math Quiz that will be this Friday morning.  It will be on all the things we have been learning this year so far.  I have assigned some review questions today and will do so again tomorrow.  If you are interested in seeing these to help your child prepare for the quiz, ask your child to bring home their math textbook and notebook.
Gr 5's talked about Municipalities and rural and urban today.  Gr 6's about Human Rights and the United Nations.  Ask them more details about what they learned today.  If they can't give you details it's a sign your child needs to listen more carefully to our discussions and make connections to what is talked about in class.

October 4, 2016  We have wrapped up our work on 2x2 digit multiplication and will now start preparing for a quiz on Friday.  We will spend Wednesday and Thursday reviewing important concepts.  
We did a fun Drama activity today using ideas from our recent novel study "The Courage To Try".  Each student had a role and had to play close attention to make sure to be ready to execute their role at the right time.  I took a short video of it and you can view it by clicking on the link below.  Ask you child to explain their role and how it all worked.

October 3, 2016  We continued working on 2x2 digit multiplication today as well as choosing our 10 unique Spelling words for this week.  Ask you child what there 10 words are.

September 29, 2016 We had some great success with our lesson on 2x2 digit multiplication this morning.  Most students are now comfortable and successful solving these.  A few are getting close and I will continue to help them next week.  Ask your child to show you how to do a questions like:  45 or  56
     x36 28
We just completed our novel study of the book "The Courage To Try".  Ask you child what is was about (a student doesn't like running and wants to get out of running in the school Terry Fox Run, but after learning about what a hero Terry Fox was, she decides to try her best!).  Ask them who the author of the book is (Mrs. Potje).
We had fun completing our Terry Fox Run at school today.  The weather held out.  Students ran laps collecting a stamp on a map of the provinces of Canada for each lap they completed.
Have a great weekend!

September 28, 2016 Today we worked on 2x2 digit multiplication (ex: 46x39).  This is a big leap for Grade 5 and 6's and can be tricky.  I first introduced it by teaching how to break it up: first do 40x39 then add on 6x39.  Again, quite tricky for some, but many seemed to catch on.  We will continue working on this concept over the next few days and I will be teaching a few other ways to solve questions like this.  Practice at home would be very beneficial for most of our students.
Tomorrow is the Terry Fox Run at St. Bernadette.  We will have an Assembly and then run around Marsellus Park.  Please send in a Toonie for Terry if that is something you want to support.
Tomorrow night is the Open House.  Classrooms will be open from 5-6:15pm and then the gym, library and common areas of the school will remain open until 7:00pm for pizza and socializing.  I look forward to seeing as many parents as possible.

September 26, 2016 Today we chose 10 new unique Spelling words and then put them into sentences.  Gr 5's are working on multiplying by multiples of 10, 100 and 1000 and Gr 6's are working on determining prime and composite numbers.
Tomorrow is PICTURE DAY.  All students get their individual and class photo taken.  You have the option of ordering extra prints, so if you'd like, you can send your child dressed up a little nicer if you think you may want to order prints.

September 23  Today we reviewed how to do single digit division and how to find the 4 related facts (example: 4x3=12, 3x4=12, 12÷3=4 and 12÷4=3.  We also reviewed how to list multiples of numbers and find the common multiples between numbers.
We had our Spelling Test and went to the Library where students were allowed to take out books.
Have a great weekend!
Secret Code = Go Canada Go!

September 21/22  I've been away these past two days sick at home.  I look forward to returning and hearing how well our class worked with the supply teachers.

September 20th  We worked on using rounding to estimate today.  We rounded numbers to the nearest 100 and 1000 then added and subtracted them.  
In Spelling we put our 10 words into definitions.  This is sometimes a difficult task depending on the word.  Good advice is to put the word into a sentence to help determine what it could mean.  If that doesn't work, try finding it in a dictionary but make your definition using your own words.
We continued using iPads and Google Chromebooks to research St. Bernadette.  Students will present their research to the class in the future.

September 19th Today we reviewed the basics of subtraction and used the Place Value blocks to help demonstrate.  Students were assigned 3 questions out of the textbook and given a reasonable amount of time in class to do them.  It is not my intention nor do I purposely give homework.  It's almost always the case that a student is not using their time in class as well as he/she should.  If you find that your child is getting lots of homework, please have a chat with them to see if that's the reason and help encourage them to use class time more wisely.  Sometimes students struggle with certain concepts and even though they are using their time wisely in class, do not have enough time to finish. If this happens on a regularly basis I would adjust the amount required.   In other cases, students are just very thorough and it takes them a bit longer to complete tasks.  Please always feel free to get in touch with me if you have any questions about this.

September 16, 2016  In math today I modelled how to add two 3-digit numbers together using Place Value blocks.  Ask your child what a unit, rod, flat and cube represents (1, 10, 100 and 1000 units).  We then did some practice on paper.
Many students finished their good copy of their Summer Story on bristol board today.  Those not finished were asked to complete it at home on the weekend.
Thank you to those families that returned the big stack of forms from the school Office sent home yesterday.  If you haven't already, please fill those out as soon as possible so we don't have to keep chasing them down from your child.
Yesterday, some Grade 8 students came to our classroom to explain a raffle that we are doing at St. Bernadette to raise money for water bottle filtration stations in our school.  Please see the note sent home yesterday and consider donating something to our "Spa" basket.  Ticket can be purchased for our gift basket and other class gift baskets at the Open House.
Have a great weekend!

September 15, 2016  Father Tad from Holy Spirit Church was here today to celebrate Mass with us in our school gym.  
Students are working hard to Publish their good copies of their Summer Story on bristol board. All students are focussing on properly indenting their paragraphs and using creative rebus symbols intermittently throughout their stories.  We are looking forward to you seeing their stories at our Open House on September 29th.
In Math today we worked on writing numbers up to 10,000 for Grade 5's and up to 100,000 for Grade 6's into words and identifying numbers that are written in words.
On Friday's we have a Spelling test on each students' unique 10 Spelling words.  A little practice Thursday night at home is usually a helpful idea.

September 14, 2016  I have now had a chance to conference with all students to help edit their rough drafts of their Summer Story.  Ask your child what some of things were that we talked about in our conference together that your child is going to work on this term to improve his/her writing?
Tomorrow we have our first School Mass at 9:30 in our gym.  All parents and family are welcome to attend.  Please check in at the Office to receive your Visitor's badge.

September 13, 2016  Yesterday each student chose their own unique 10 Spelling words for this week.  Ask your child what words they chose.  Ask them how they had to choose them.  Students put each of their words into a sentence.  Sentences are to be about the length of their age (if student is 10, sentences should be about 10 words long).
Today students definitions wrote definitions for each of their 10 words.
Most students continue working on Publishing their story on a large piece of bristol board.  I have only a few more students to conference with.
Today we also had our first Reading Buddies with Mrs. Cameron and Mrs. Dyson's FDK Kindergarten class. Ask your who their reading buddy is and what they read to them today.
In math we are working on Place value and worked on a worksheet to sort large numbers.

September 9, 2016  We finished off a great first week today.  Most students got the good copy of their prayer done and hung on the wall in our classroom.  As well, most students have finished their rough copy of their summer story.  I have begun to conference with each student to help edit their story and will continue to do so next week.  Once I have conferenced with all students we will begin publishing our good copy on bristol board.
We had a short assembly to welcome all newcomers to St. Bernadette and saw a skit on perseverance, which is a trait that we will be focusing on a lot at St. Bernadette this year.
Please remember to sign your child's Agenda this weekend to verify the home reading they have done over the first week.  I will checking for their success on Monday.
Have a great weekend!

September 8, 2016  Today in Math we created a Glyph.  Ask your child what a Glyph is (it's when you use symbols to describe things).  We put these symbols on a piece of paper shaped as a t-shirt.  Ask your child what symbols we used (stripes to indicate # of siblings, pictures to indicate favourite subject, colour of sleeves to indicate gender, coloured dots to indicate how many siblings, large number on shirt to indicate birth month).  I have posted them up in our class for you to look at when you come to our Open House on Sept 29th from 5-7pm.
Here's a sneak peek below:
We also worked on the rough draft of our Summer Story.  We will be doing a Rebus Story.  Ask your child what that is (a Rebus Story occasionally uses symbols in place of words).  We will be doing this story as a Recount.  Today we talked about the features of a Recount.  For more information, check the link at the left, "Handouts/Notes/etc".  Each student has glued a copy of this into their Writing notebook.  We will continue working on our Rough Draft tomorrow.

September 7, 2016  Today we began the prewriting step for a story about some of the highlights from our summer vacations.  Students used a web to help plan the events that they want to talk about in their story.  Tomorrow we will use this plan to start our rough draft.
Please find a letter explaining the "Reader's Hall of Fame" that we use in our class.  The letter explains how students are requested to read 20 minutes each night and the RHOF is a little program to help acknowledge students' success with home reading.
Thanks to those families that have returned their forms and $5 for the Agenda today.  If you have not already, please send it in tomorrow along with the slip on the bottom of the RHOF letter.
Secret Code is "Go Jays Go".  Quietly mention this secret code to Mr. Potje tomorrow so that he knows you've checked the website.

September 6, 2016  We had a great start to our year together today.  We have 23 students in our class - 14 Grade Fives and 9 Grade Sixes.  Welcome to Thomas who is just starting at St. Bernadette this year.
Today we got a chance to get to know each other a bit better.  We spent some time talking about what prayers are and started brainstorming for a prayer we will be writing tomorrow.
Please find the September Newsletter in your child's Agenda and a note about sending in $5 for your chid's Agenda.  Please return the little cut-off part of the September Newsletter and the $5 as soon as possible.
Please bookmark this website and check it frequently as I often leave a note each day about things we've been working on or important information about things coming up.  Also, please send me a quick email to so that I have your email address for further communication when necessary.
Looking forward to a great year together.

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Mr. Potje's
Grade 5/6 Class Website

St. Bernadette's Catholic School

Barrie, Ontario 705-733-0459
Mr. C. Potje

Welcome to Mr. Potje's class website for the 2016/17 school year.  I am looking forward to a great year together in Grade 5/6.

Please Bookmark and check back with this website regularly as it will be updated often with calendar items as well as important information for parents and students.

I look forward to getting to know all the students and their families in our class throughout the year.

Please don't hesitate to contact me at the school by phone at 705-733-0459 or by email at

Mr. Chris Potje
Grade 5/6 Teacher