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What's Happening

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Our Timberwolves reading program is in full swing! Students are participating in our first ever, whole school reading program by completing their home reading, and earning a ticket, then once every 2 weeks a winner is drawn from EACH CLASS to choose a book from our VERY FULL book cabinet. The books were selected by the students as ones they would like to win, funds have been very generously donated from our School Council to purchase the books.

In Junior High

Here is the what's happening for the website for science 7, 8, 9, and math 9!

In Science 9, students have been learning about how chemicals positively or negatively impact the environment. Students have come to an understanding that chemicals are naturally occurring or can be human caused with both influencing interactions with nature. Currently, students are finishing the unit by exploring the issue of carbon taxing. Rather than developing an uninformed opinion, students are critically thinking both the advantages and disadvantages of carbon taxing by researching multiple resources and perspectives. They will then develop their own reasoned judgement to support or refute a carbon tax and create a newspaper article arguing their case.

In Science 8, students have been learning about light and optics. Students have come to an understanding of how light and other segments of the electromagnet spectrum behave, as well as how various organism eyes have adapted. Using this knowledge, students attempted to get passed a motion detector without being detected. Students were creative with various approaches, such as using mirrors, refractive materials, and stealth. After several attempts, students could not accomplish the feat but have a better concept of how humans have made different technologies based upon these physic principles.  

In Science 7, students have previously explored the units ‘Heat & Temperature’ and ‘Planet Earth’. Students are beginning to start the next unit ‘Interactions & Ecosystems’. Using the principles from these previous units, students will apply their knowledge into a critical thinking piece of exploring which material type of juice container is the best to use for human activities, other organisms, and the environment. Students will be critically thinking both the advantages and disadvantages by researching multiple resources and perspectives. They will then develop their own reasoned judgement of which container is the best and create a newspaper article arguing their case.

In Math 9, students have been focusing on algebra and exploring polynomials. Students have begun this unit by understanding what is a polynomial and the terminology associated. In January, students will begin problem solving polynomials and relating them to corporate businesses. This will include how phone companies use them to sell phone plans or how other companies begin to market their sales promotions.

Grade Three

The grade 3 classes have had so much fun learning in June! One of our highlights, was going to the zoo and learning about many different animals. This was a wonderful culminating activity for our Animal Life Cycles unit. Have a great summer!

Grade Four

Grade 4 students have been using what they learned about dialogue, character and setting to create their own comics! One of our last week activities was to create your own avatar and comics using the website Pixton. Below is a class picture of 4A (see if you can spot your child). Students took home plants they raised from seeds for Father’s Day and had a pizza party with the money we earned from our recycling duties this school year. We have also been looking at Alberta in the past and using pictures of well known Edmonton landmarks to discuss how they have changed from the early 1900’s to now. It has been an amazing year of learning in Grade 4 and I wish you all a wonderful summer break and best of luck in Grade 5!

Grade Five

Grade 5 has had a busy month! In science we have completed our wetlands unit, and have enjoyed taking walks to the nearby pond to observe the things we learned about! We have been working hard to finish up our units in all the subjects and are excited for a fun last week of school full of field trips. We had a great time at the Edmonton Valley Zoo and the spray park, and are ready to move on to grade 6!

Grade 7

Students in Grade 7 have been engaged and dedicated to year end exams and projects. In Language Arts, students either wrote an Expository or Persuasive Essay as their June write-on, demonstrating how their writing skills and organization have improved this year. In Science, students shared their new knowledge of course content in a year-end Science fair; some elaborate and impressive displays were set-up and presented. Many elementary classes viewed the projects while asking some fantastic questions. It has been a busy yet focused time for Grade 7 students, who were proud to see their hard work this year has paid off. Way to go, all! 

In Grade 2

The grade 2 classes began the study of Boats and Buoyancy with a visit from Scientists and Engineers in the Classroom, through the Alberta Science Network.  Together, we conducted several group experiments to learn about why things float and sink.  We continued with classroom investigations through the design and creation of individual boats. We are looking forward to our visit to the Telus World of Science as a wrap up to Boats and Buoyancy and an introduction to Magnets.

In grade 3, we are in our Building with a Variety of Materials Unit in science. The students have built with Lego, reused materials and toothpicks. Our classes have had so much fun building and testing their designs.

We are starting our measurement unit in Math. The students will revisit the calendar, learn about units of time and measurement. The classes have also been working hard on finishing our narrative writing unit. In Social Studies, we have been learning about how people from around the world interact with the environment that they live.

What’s Happening Junior High

In Language Arts 8, the students have been learning about tone and mood. They have analyzed several pieces of writing to identify these elements and put together presentations for their classmates, in which they asked their classmates to identify the tone and mood portrayed in their favourite song lyrics. The students are setting writing goals for the new year and identifying strategies to achieve their goals. We are also beginning to enter the world of media and persuasive writing, where the students will explore the guiding question, “how do we use language to persuade?”

In Social Studies 7, the students have studied the events leading up to confederation to understand how Canada became a country. We look forward to beginning ADANAC, which is a confederation simulation game in which student groups role-play to simulate negotiations between fictional colonies to form a new country called Adanac. After completing the game, students will relate their experience to new learnings about Confederation, and the political agendas of each real colony.

In Physical Education students have been practicing sending and receiving a ball or puck with hockey sticks and have begun to have small scrimmages against one another. We have also been learning the game of handball in which students are limited to taking three steps and then passing to an open teammate. Students are looking forward to getting involved in badminton and a variety of Indigenous games!

In Math, the various grades have been focusing on different kinds of expressions and equations. In grade 7 we have been looking at how to identify expression and how to solve one step equations. In grade 8 we are able to take our math skills a step further into two step equations as well as identifying equations, solving them, and graphing our results.

In Social Studies 6, students have been learning and analyzing the structure of the Iroquois Confederacy and its impact on peacekeeping missions in Canadian history and present day around the world. To fully engage in Indigenous practices, students are creating their own Wampum Belts by weaving and beading towards a final product that promotes peace and strengthening bonds within society.

In Social Studies 8, students are studying the Renaissance Era and its impact on modern society. Students have selected Humanist thinkers of their interest and have created a replica or symbol of their work to display in a class gallery walk. The Statue of David, The Mona Lisa, The Prince and Sonnet 116 are a few examples of Art and Literature researched, interpreted and presented.

In Language Arts 7, students are focusing on strategies used in various forms of media. Students are working through a project called “The World Through Images” and are presenting images that have had a lasting impact with a focus question of: “what window to the world does this image offer?” Some examples of themes or topics discussed are: ability, conflict, mystery, irony and adversity. Students are also reflecting on how photographs and visuals help us further understand our world.

Grade 5 News

The grade 5B class ended last year with an exciting field trip to Telus World of Science. They had an excellent introduction to Electricity and Magnetism. Students have been hands on in creating simple, series and parallel circuits in class. The focus for math will be finishing our math unit on measurement and learning about geometry next. As empowering writers, the students are continuing to write elaborate stories.

Grade 4 News

As the season of Advent and Christmas came to an end, students presented interactive displays to share their learning of how we can deepen our faith during the Advent season! It was wonderful to see how each student used their creativity to represent their faith and understanding.

In language arts, students are working on completing book reviews where they will complete a slides presentation convincing their classmates that their book is a ‘must read’.

A selection of these books will be put on display in the grade 4 classrooms to encourage them to explore new genres of literature.

We have had a great time learning how to use analog, digital and 24 hour clocks in the month of January. There were many hands on experiences provided for students to explore this unit.  

Students in Grade 4 participated in an INSIDE EDUCATION learning experience where they were able to use devices to check the air quality within our school and compare their findings.

November's Events

As the snow fell and the weather got colder we enjoyed learning so many new things.  Here are some examples of the awesome learning happening at our school:

We have been busy in Kindergarten! In October, we learned about the season of Fall and did a Pumpkin investigation to study about pumpkins. We talked about and drew the many blessings we have in our lives that we are thankful for. Halloween was a fun day with our fabulous costumes and school parade. The month of November had us learning about Peace and how we can be peacemakers, following in Jesus’ footsteps. Our smiles were bright and beautiful for our class picture day and we were dancing up a storm learning how to dance with our in-school dance residency. Our first full day field trip day was a success and we thank all of our parent volunteers for participating. We are looking forward to December and the season of advent and learning the Christmas story!

Grade 1 has been a very busy place! We have been busy preparing for the birth of Jesus by leading the school in our Advent celebrations and learning songs for both the celebrations and the Christmas concert. We have been busy finishing up our units on 2D and 3D shapes, learning about how the animals in our world prepare for the changing seasons in Science, and how we belong in our community in Social Studies. We can't wait to share what we know at the Demonstration of Learning, and then to celebrate Christmas with our classmates and families.

 And in Grade Three....

During the month of December the grade 3 classes and grade 3/4 are working on paragraph writing to create friendly letters. The main recipient of our letters will be our class Elf on the Shelf! The students are very excited to have such a delightful pen pal. Have a Merry Christmas!

October's Events

What a wonderful month of learning!

In the Junior High we have started off the year learning how to get around and change classes. We welcomed three new teachers to our Junior High team. Ms. Mundy, Mrs. Gervais and Mr. Boutette. We are very lucky to have such great teachers join our learning team!

Students have had the opportunity to participate in new option classes, as well as a new project based learning class every Thursday. Students are excited to have the chance to choose projects that they are excited about, and continuously work hard each Thursday. In Phys Ed Leadership the students have gotten to visit the Velodrome and learn about biking, in Foods students have learned how to prepare and cook gluten free meals, and in Computer Science students are able to identify the principles of design and have used them to create their own products! Some after school activities have been offered to our students such as cross country running, volleyball as well as choir.  

There has been so many new learning experiences for our students in Junior High. We are excited to continue our journey throughout the rest of the year! Thank you to all of our Junior High students who continue to be leaders in our school and work hard to create an environment that is inclusive and comfortable for everyone!

Language Arts (Grade 6-8)-In Language Arts, all students recently wrote a Narrative Story (write-on) in response to a picture prompt. To promote interest in books, each student will be completing a Book Talk, where they share highlights and information about a book they recently read. The Grade 8’s composed some beautiful poetry, titled “Where I’m From”, where they described details, memories and products associated with memories in their lives. The Grade 6, 7 and 8 classes are also working on quick writes in their writer’s notebooks, where they are practicing daily writing to improve their fluency.

In Social Studies, the Grade 7 classes recently completed the inquiry: “what kind of society did the French colonists create in their North American colonies?” The students created a pamphlet which was designed to convince Europeans to come to North America as colonists.

Foods Option- The students in our CTF- Foods option have been cooking up a storm. They have been learning about basic food skills and have cooked: toad in a hole, microwave mug cakes, nuts and bolts snack mix, as well as pita pizzas. Students in CTF-3, our inquiry based option class recently completed a Gluten- Free challenge where small groups of students each chose a gluten-free recipe to cook for some special guests, as well as their classmates.

Grade 5

What a great start to the year for the grade 5 classes! In grade 5, we have been creating stories and expanding our vocabulary during daily 5 groups, such as journaling, story writing and reading. As the weather progresses from fall to winter, so has our knowledge of clouds and precipitation. We’ve done research and created projects based on the formations and types of clouds. Canada is a beautiful country, because of it’s vast diversity in physical regions. In social studies, we’ve started learning about the regions, climate and natural resources across Canada. We looked at art by Canadian artist Ted Harrison, and created Canadian landscape pictures based on his work using oil pastel. What a great country we live in!

September Happenings

September has been such a busy month.  Here are some updates from our lower elementary.  Come back next month for more updates!

What's Happening in Grade 2A, 2B & 2C
The Grade 2 classes have been working hard on building a community of learners. We have enjoyed taking a tour of our school and utilizing the large and small gym and the beautiful chapel. We were so excited to meet many families at “Meet the Teacher” night and are looking forward to this year. We are all part of God’s family and have discussed how the Parish, School and Neighborhood are all part of our community.

In Language Arts we have been working on building our reading stamina so that we can begin our Daily 5 structure of reading and writing centers. The students know how to pick a “just right” book for them and how to read independently. Students are writing in a “Writer’s Notebook” and every Friday they send home a special letter to their families and get so excited to read their response.

In Math, students are working on patterning. The students have been pattern detectives and building double attribute patterns. They know that the “core” needs to be repeated 3 times in order to be a true pattern.
In Science, we are beginning to explore the “Hot and Cold” unit and have many exciting experiments to come.

In Social Studies we are building on our understanding of what a community is and will be learning how to map and use cardinal directions to describe where things are located.

In Grade 3

In grade three, we have been working on picking just right books and identifying added details in the Author’s writing. Students have started working on comprehension, café, accuracy, fluency and expanding their vocabulary through our Daily 5 centers which include (word work, buddy reading, independent reading, reading to the teacher and listening to reading). In patterning, students have been working on number patterns. This includes counting forwards and backwards up to one thousand. Students have also been working on extending and creating their own increasing and decreasing patterns with a given pattern rule. In Social Studies, the grade three students have been introduced to the four countries they will be investigating this year while working on their mapping skills. In Science, the students have been learning about the layers of the Earth as well as how to categorize rocks into the three main categories of igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic. We have been focusing on cooperative games and moving around safely during gym class. In Religion, we have learned that we are all a part of the larger Catholic community and as members of the community, we should work together to reach our goals. During health class this month, we have focused on how we will treat the students and staff of St. Thomas Aquinas school.

Thank you so much to everyone who worked so hard to get our garden ready for the summer!

Thank you to Dreams for Kids for your donation of $750! Which supplied a lot of our building supplies and soil.

Thank you to Ellerslie Gift and Garden Center for supplying us with an abundance of plants.

Thank you to the St. Thomas Aquinas PAC for working so hard on our compost fundraiser.

Thank you to the staff and their families for working so hard to create our space. And finally, thank you to the students who planted and watered all of the plants. Have a great summer everyone!

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