Thursday, August 25, 2016

Welcome to Grade 6 2016/2017

Dear Grade 6 SJA Students and Families,

             I am happy and excited to inform you that I will be teaching the Grade 6 class for the 2016/2017 academic year at St. Jude's. I wish you a warm welcome to this very busy year. I hope that you have had a restful summer and are now eagerly looking forward to getting back to school. I apologise for the length of this email, but I hope that it will answer any questions that you may have.

                        I will be responsible for teaching your child their core subjects of English Language, Math, and 6 Units of Inquiry (UOI). The bulk of your child's school day will be around these three areas. The inquiry units are usually structured around social studies and science concepts. In this year's inquiry units we will be learning about electricity, air and flight, Canada’s First Nations and early European explorers, Canada’s place in the world (including trade), and Personal Health on the World Wide Web. Most of our English language learning (oral & listening, reading, and writing) and art expectations will be learned through the UOI. We are always looking for guest speakers that will visit the classroom. Please let me know if you have a connection to a specialist that would be able to visit our class to talk about this year’s UOIs, e.g. an electrician, a pilot, etc.

 St. Jude’s Academy Grade 6 Program of Inquiry 2016 – 2017

Who we are
Where we are in place and time
How we express ourselves
How the world works
How we organize ourselves
Sharing the planet
The Exhibition
Title: To Bravely Go Where No One Has Gone Before
Central Idea: Exploration has changed and will continue to change people’s lives.
Concepts: Causation, Change
Lines of Inquiry:
·   First Peoples and their interaction with the environment
·   Early explorers
·   The interaction between First Peoples and early explorers
Title: Personal Health on the World Wide Web
Central Idea: Being knowledgeable and engaging in safe practices will enable you to deal with challenging social situations.
Concepts: Perspective, Reflection
Lines of Inquiry:
·   Digital literacy and ethics
·   Personal and inter-personal skills that promote positive interaction
·   Personal safety
Title: Flight
Central Idea: Air has many properties that can be used for flight and for other purposes.
Concepts: Function, Responsibility
Lines of Inquiry:
·   The properties of air
·   Flying devices that use the properties of air
·   Societal and environmental impacts of flying devices that make use of the properties of air
Title: Canada in the World
Central Idea: A nation’s foreign policies influences how it interacts on the international stage.
Key Concepts: Causation, Connection
Lines of Inquiry:
·   Our country’s economic, political, social, and physical links with other countries
·   The role and impact of our significant people and leaders in the world
·   Our role in the international community
Title: How Shocking!
Central Idea: Society is responsible for how energy is used to sustain life.
Concepts: Form, Change, Responsibility
Lines of Inquiry:
·   Characteristics of current and static electricity
·   Transformation of energy
·   The impact of energy production on society and the environment

Your child’s specialist teachers for this year are Mme. Stella for French, Mr. Slyk for Gym, and Mr. Andrei for music.

Grade 6 is the culminating year of the IB (International Baccalaureate) PYP (Primary Years Programme). This year provides students the opportunity to showcase their learning, skills, and actions from JK to this year through a big group project called "The Exhibition". The Exhibition takes place on Friday, May 5, 2017. All students and families at SJA are invited to attend and celebrate this day with the Grade 6 class. Be sure to mark your calendars for this exciting event as your child will value your attendance and support during the day and evening presentations. Many of the tasks students do in our inquiry units during the year will be geared towards equipping them with the skills needed to do well in The Exhibition.

This is the second year that students will not be purchasing their own school supplies. There are a few things that SJA will not provide but that your child will need this year.

1. Devices, such as a laptop, tablet, or smart phone/camera for research, communication, and presentation purposes. We do have computers at SJA, however the Grade 6 class will be using devices more intensively. Students and parents will be notified through agendas and the blog about when we will need devices in the classroom and how they will be used. Laptops should ideally have software such as Microsoft Office as we often use Word, Publisher, Power Point, and Excel in class. Students will also need access to video creating software such as Movie Maker or iMovie.

2. Gmail account. Parents, please help your child set up an account, and watch your child practice signing in and out of the account to ensure they can do this successfully. Have them record their username and password in a safe place in case they forget these. We will be using Google docs in class to work on assignments (spreadsheets, word processors, slideshows, etc.) and to share and collaborate on tasks.

3. USB (Please label it)

4. Prezi account (Visit to sign up for a free account). Keep the username and password in a safe place.

5. YouTube account to post videos

6. 3-ring pencil pouch (to store stationery in binder)


As an IB school we value character development, an attitude of being a life-long learner, and showing action as a result of learning. The IB Learner Profile Attributes represent some of the traits we value at SJA. We strive to provoke our students to ask Big Questions - the kind you cannot Google the answer to. We encourage students and families to celebrate stories of action with us. If you see your child taking the initiative to ask questions and find answers on their own, please let me know. Send me an email or a picture that describes what your child is doing.

            There are some changes happening at SJA this year. The first is that families will need a FOB to gain access to the school building. Questions you have regarding this will be answered at the orientation night. Another change is that our daily routines will be regulated by a 10-day cycle. Following the class blog and checking your child’s agenda will help you keep track of this cycle.

The first week of school is Neophyte Week. We will take some time to get organised in our classroom, get to know each other, become familiar with the layout of the building and boundaries during recess, the new schedule, and play some house games. We end the week with Spirit Day where students come to school dressed in their house colours.

We will also get working right away, because the year will fly by as it always does. Students should expect to have math homework every day. They will be assigned a Math Make Sense Textbook. Students will store all classwork in a binder with sections for UOI, Math, and Language. The MMS textbook, class binder, and agenda must be returned to school each day. It is my goal that all work (except Math) be completed in class. Students who do not complete work during class time will be asked to use their recess time to get caught up. If the work is still incomplete, students will need to complete it as homework.

SJA will not be offering our traditional HOT LUNCH program during the first week of school (September 7th – 9th). Pizza slices may be purchased at $2.00 a slice daily in the first week only.

Grade 6s will come to school in uniform each day. They will change into their black dress shoes in the building. They will change into gym clothes for gym class, and then back into their uniform for the remainder of the academic day. Students may wear their polo shirts up until Thanksgiving. After Thanksgiving, students are required to wear their Oxford shirts, ties, jersey, and blazer.

Please find the SJA Student Handbook attached to this email. Take time to review it with your child. Once you are done, please print out, sign, and return the last page of the handbook by September 9th.

            On Tuesday, August 30, families of students in Grade 1 to 6 are invited to attend an SJA Orientation Night at 6 pm in the auditorium. This would be a good opportunity to ask questions that you may have. I also invite you to visit my class blog at and sign up as a follower. As a follower you will receive the daily class blog as an email. The blog will tell you the units we are working on, what we do in class daily, homework and other assignments, test dates, school events, and other important information.

Mark Thursday, September 15th, from 4-7pm, on your calendars when SJA will be holding a Welcome BBQ for all families to attend. Pre-order forms for food will be provided.     

Please respond to this email with a "Got it" to let me know the email contact I have for you is correct. You are welcome to use this email address to correspond with me.

            I look forward to seeing you at the Orientation Night on Tuesday, August 30th at 6 pm and at the first day of school, Wednesday, September 7th. Enjoy the last few days of summer until then.


Mrs. Haag




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