Welcome to Mr. Menzies' Webpage!

Mr. Menzies can be contacted at imenzies@saanichschools.ca

This website will be a valuable tool in your learning this school year! Be sure to check back here daily and keep up to date with our learning, classroom activities, and school events!

DIV 7-4: Homework, Assignments, Notices, and Reminders:

Dec 10 (Sci): Today we visited the UVIC Chemistry Department on our first Science field trip of the year for the afternoon. We were hosted by Dr. Dave Barry and some of his colleagues and students worked in groups to conduct an experiment with their saliva. Were were introduced to using lab equipment for measurements, practiced Science lab safety skills, and used instruments to obtain information and data. A big thank you to Dr. Barry and his team for hosting and working with us today. Homework: No homework tonight. Reminders: Please ensure that you have your skating permission forms and $ to Mr. Menzies ASAP as we are going on Wednesday December 19th.

Dec 7 (Ma/Sci): Today we began with a multiplication drill challenge. Students are working their way up the multiplication tables throughout the year. If they can finish 60 multiplication questions at a certain level under 2 minutes, they graduate to the next number/level. After this, we had some time to work on our Science Lab safety posters, and the god copy is due on Monday. Early finishers worked on a computer programming tutorial. Towards the end of the block, we had a short Science Lab safety quiz. Homework: Please put the finishing touches on your Science Lab safety poster and be ready to hand it in on Monday. Reminders: This coming Monday Dec 10th, we are going on a field trip to UVIC in the afternoon. We will leave the school at 12:30 and be back just before 3:00pm. All students must have their permission forms handed in to attend or they will have to stay back and work on another activity in the office. Link to SD63 Permission Form - Link to UVIC's Visitor Permission Form. Also, we will be going ice skating on Wednesday Dec 19th - Link to Ice Skating Field Trip Form. Have a great weekend!

Dec 6th (Sci): Today we continued to look at safety in the Science lab and when working with chemicals. We began by watching a short video on Safety in the Science Lab, and reviewed the lab safety rules hanout from yesterday (Science Lab Safety/ Chemical Safety handout). We then looked at chemical/substance safety symbols for both the work place and for common chemicals such as cleaning chemicals around the house. Students looked at a list of safety symbols and had to find their meaning, or draw the symbol if the meaning was given. After this, we worked on a Science Lab Safety Poster. This poster will effectively communicate the Science Lab Safety rules, listed in the handout, using drawings, text, labels etc.... Students will paraphrase the rules and draw visuals and abbreviate text to present on their poster. The idea is that this poster would be put up in a Science lab to communicate the safety rules. This poster will be due next Monday. Homework: Please work on your Science Lab Safety poster (due Monday Dec 10). Reminders: Unfortunately I received an additional permission form today from Uvic that will need to be filled out for the field trip next Monday (Link to UVIC Permission Form). Please fill out and bring back ASAP. Also, reminder to return your skating permission form for that field trip on Wed Dec 19th (Link to Skating Permission Form).

Dec 5th (Sci): We started today with one last Science project presentation. After this, we discussed some of the general research issues that were raised around that valid sources are, and how we need to look for evidence when conducting research. After this, we reviewed Science lab safety rules and discussed some of the equipment we will encounter on our field trip next week at UVIC. We then watched a short video that reviews some of the science safety rules for the lab. Homework: Please ensure you have finished your math homework from yesterday "Perimeter of regular polygons." Also reminder to hand in your skating permission forms (link to skating permission form). Here is the link tot he UVIC permission form again for those of you who have lost your permission form (Uvic Chemistry Field Trip Permission Form).

Dec 4th (MA): Today we continued to learn about perimeter and units of measurement. We began by reviewing perimeter and discussing how we can use math to describe and calculate a shape's exterior length. After this, we did some practice questions with perimeter from the booklet handed out yesterday (Link to Perimeter Booklet). We then began a partner activity where students had to demonstrate units of measurement in a poster format. The units required to be covered in the poster were both metric and imperial: mm, cm, m, inches, feet, and their squared version that describes area. Those who wanted an extion or challenge were also given some volume units to draw and label as well such as a cubic foot. This took the rest of the block. Homework: Please complete section 6-4 Perimeter of a Regular Polygon on p. 177 of the perimeter booklet.

Dec 3 (MA): As we embark into term 2, a new seating plan was determined for the next few weeks. To begin, we did a multiplication math drill related to listing all the multiple and factors of numbers 1-12. We then started a new unit on measurement. We will be looking at this unit for the next few weeks in coordination with building Science lab skills involving measurement as well. We began out unit by reviewing the two main types of units we use for measuring length, Imperial (traditional) and Metric. We watched part of a short video (video link) on measurement and how both systems are related to standard units (cm, inches, feet, meters, kilometers etc...). Following the video, we did an activity where partners had to measure themselves using tape measures and represent their height and foot size in both Imperial and Metric units ranging from millimeters, to feet, to kilometers. We learned about how to convert these values from each type of unit to the next (ie. centimeters to kilometers). We also identified how with Imperial measurements it can be a bit trickier to do this than Metric. In block 4, we began by discussing how Canada uses both systems of measurement in different contexts (ie. construction - imperial, and distance -metric) and discussed a few examples. We practiced some questions related to choosing the correct units to measure different things, and in converting units from one to another. After 15 minutes of practicing questions, students paired up to play an estimating measurement game. Each pair had to record a chart that organized estimates of each student, as well as the actual measurements. They then went around the school and outside both making estimates, then measuring their item or feature with a measuring tape to see who made the closest estimate. After 20 minutes of this game, we all came back to the classroom and continued a few more rounds estimating distances away from Royal Oak Middle School (ie. the Swarts Bay Ferry Terminal). We ended the class by reviewing Perimeter. Homework: I handed out a "working with measurement" package of practice questions today. As we continue to review some concepts, I would like students to complete questions 1-4 of the section on Perimeter and also the "Investigate" section as well. On another note, we have a few field trips coming up. Here is the link to our UVIC Chemistry field trip (Click Here). We will also be going skating at the Panorama Recreation Center the afternoon of Wednesday Dec 19th. This permission form and information will be handed out soon.

Nov 30th: Today we finished off our Science presentations with 6 students presenting today. This concludes our Endangered Species project and marks will be handed back next week. After this we spent 20 minutes playing some team building games. Homework: No homework this weekend! Get outside and be active.

Nov 29th (Sci): Today we completed our Endangered Species Science project presentations. We had many great performances and students had a some good practice with public speaking while sharing their learning. This marks the end of our Ecology focus for now and next term we will be focusing on aspects of Science lab safety, Chemistry, and Physics. Homework: No homework this weekend. Reminder: We have our UVIC Science field trip on Monday Dec 10th. Have a great weekend!

Nov 28 (MA/Sci): Mr. Menzies was away today as he was fighting the flu, so no Science presentations were done. Instead, students played a public speaking practice game for the first 20 minutes of the block. After that, we jumped on computers and chose a computer programming/coding tutorial to work on for the remainder of the block (tutorial chosen from the Hour of Code website). Students were encouraged to choose a tutorial that would be challenging and have them develop their proficiency with one of the main coding languages. Homework: No homework tonight.

Nov 27 (MA/Sci): Today we began class by reviewing what we have covered in Math so far this year. Students arranged all their math work from term 1 and submitted it in a duotang for me to look over. The duotang less of a mark and more to inform me on work habits and the correlation between practice and performance on tests and quizzes. A list of chronological math topics we have covered were presented and students arranged their duotang according to the list. After this, we continued with Endangered Species Presentations and six people presented today. Homework: No homework assigned, but those students who have not presented, can spend a few minutes practicing their presentations (optional) or can spend some exploring the math and science resources I have on my website.

Nov 23 (Sci): Endangered Species Science Project Posters were due today at the beginning of block 3. The posters looked great and we acknowledged all the hard work that went into the projects. Great creative ideas and lots of good research on our Endangered Species. We began block 3 by completing a PE self reflection for term 1. Students reflected on their performance in PE this far and also made some goals for term 2. After this, we drew names out of a box to determine whose projects we would do a peer evaluation on. Each student was given an evaluation sheet and had to review and evaluate their peer's posters. In the evaluation, compliments were given as well as constructive feedback, and students also has to record 3 new and interesting facts they learned from the posters they were evaluating. In block 4, we began by determining the schedule for presentations. This was done by drawing names out of a hat to determine choice of presentation time/day. After this, we discussed what makes a good speaker and presentation and then played a public speaking game to get everyone warmed up. Students were then paired up with a partner and 10 minutes of practice time was given for each to practice their presentation and get feedback from their partner. For the last 20 minutes of class we had our first four presenters do their presentations. Homework: optional - practice your presentation if you have not presented yet.

Nov 22 (MA/Sci): Today we had a math test on squares and square roots, exponents, greatest common factors, least common multiples, and scientific notation. After students finished the test, they had time to ask final questions and about finishing details regarding their science projects. Homework: Please put the finishing touches on your Endangered Species Projects (Link to Endangered Species Project Package). Be sure to review the criteria and ensure that you have addressed all parts. I will accept emails this weekend if anyone has any questions. Good luck and have a great weekend!

Nov 21 (Sci): Today we were in the learning commons again continuing to work on our science projects. Students had the whole block to ask questions, for feedback, and to continue completing the criteria of the project to the best of their ability. Homework: Reminder there is a science test tomorrow in block 4. Please spend time studying squares and square roots, exponents, factors and multiples, and scientific notation.

Nov 20th: (Sci): Today we were in the leaning commons again to continue research for our Endangered Species Project (Link to Project Package). We started with a presentation/orientation from Ms. Lindsay on some additional resources available through the Learning Commons website and other print resources in the Learning Commons. Students continued to take notes and develop their projects. We also discussed the layout of their posters and what makes an effective poster. They were also reminded to double check the criteria when they were finished taking notes to ensure they have covered all questions and prompts. Tomorrow we will again be working on this assignment for the extent of the block. There may be a little more time on Thursday after the Math test, but that will be the last time in class to work on this assignment. Homework: Continue to work on your Endanger Species Project. Be sure to get poster that you can use for your project. These can be found at many locations around town including Staples, Monk Office supplies, The Dollar Store etc....

Nov 19 (MA/SCI): Today we began block 3 with some Math review. We revisited exponents and how they can be used to represent values and repeated multiplication. After that, we addressed some questions related to our Endangered Species project and reviewed the criteria and process for effective researching and investigating (Link to Endangered Species Project Package). One of the issues addressed today was regarding the population graph component of the assignment. As historical population estimates can be difficult to determine, I advised students to do their best to obtain even just a few historical estimates and then construct a graph. Adding an asterisk below the graph explaining the difficulty of finding data woudl be helpful as well. In block 4 we were up in the Learning Commons. Ms. Lindsay had put together some print resources to assist with the research that related to various species, and some of them directly pertained to habitat loss. Students had the whole block to continue working on their project. Homework: Reminder that we have a math test on Thursday (exponents, scientific notation, least common multiple, greatest common factor, and squares and square roots). A study practice package was handed out today to anyone who wanted it to practice the skills that will be on the next math test. Also, please continue to research, plan, and construct your Endangered Species projects.

Nov 16 (SCI): As we get close to the end of term 1, we will be doing a research project on endangered species and habitat loss. Today I introduced the project and we went over the criteria and details (Link: Endangered Species and Habitat Project Package). Students will be researching an endangered species, it's habitat, and the pressures that have impacted both resulting in the status of "endangered." Today we discussed the details of the project and how this project will require some homework to get it done by Monday Nov 26th. Oral presentations of projects will begin that day so students will be required to have their project finished and ready to hand in by then. We also discussed the importance of documenting and referencing sources of where they got this information (sources page - also in project package) This project will also require students to purchase a poster board. The poster can be a fordable one or a standard rectangle poster. Students are asked to pick a poster type that they think will allow them to present their research effectively and creatively. Homework: Please continue to research your endangered species and continue to fill the criteria in the project package. We will have 3-4 block next week to work on this project in class. Also, there is a math test on exponents, scientific notation, least common multiple, greatest common factor, and squares and square roots on Thursday next week. See previous posts for links and an overview of our lessons in math.

Nov 15 (SCI/MA): Today we finished off our lessons around food webs and food chains within ecosystems. We watched Bill Nye: Food Webs and filled out a worksheet around the main concepts (Bill Nye: Food Webs Handout). After the video, we switched gears and reviewed square roots as they relate to squares and exponents. Students did some questions on the board and we discussed and addressed some questions around this topic. We then discussed the final term 1 math test that will be taking place next week (tbd - but later in the week). The test will be mainly on: Exponents, Scientific Notation, finding Least common Multiple and greatest Common Factor, and squares and square roots. There will also be just a few basic understanding questions from topics we have covered earlier in the term. Students then worked on some practice worksheets related to topics on the upcoming math test for the remainder of the block. Homework: Please spend some time reviewing the math topics on the upcoming test. Also, reminder to please return all interim reports, as well as the UVIC field trip permission form to Mr. Menzies ASAP!

Nov 14 (MA): Today we reviewed how to calculate area of squares and rectangles and how it can be communicated in math in exponential form to begin class. After that, we learned about what a square root is and how it is related to exponents. We also watched a short video on this topic (Video Link). We then discussed square roots and worked through a notes and practice package (Handout Link from Today - Squares and Square roots). Students did some practice with this topics as we learned about perfect squares and how taking the square root is the inverse operation of squaring a number. We then did some more applied math questions from a textbook to extend our understanding and skill or squares and square roots (last few pages of handout). (Answer Key Link to Textbook questions). Homework: Please spend 20 more minutes working on the package handed out today. Remember to check your answers!

Nov 13 (Sci): (UVIC Chemistry Field Trip Permission Package Link) Today we looked closer at food webs and learned about the different connections organisms have within an ecosystem. We began with a short video clip showing a feeding frenzy off the cost of South Africa where sardines, tuna, dolphins, birds, whales, and sharks all interact (video clip) and discussed some of the connections in this ecosystem. After this, we reviewed what a food web is and then began an activity where students construct a food web based on an ecosystem found in BC (Link to today's Handout - Food Web Activity). Students chose an ecosystem to focus on from pages 37 - 38 in the textbook and worked on the activity for the rest of the block. Recommendation: do a draft food web on the back of the poster paper so you can plan your food web, and then do a good copy on the front side with a neat and clear title. Homework: Please finish the good copy of your food web and questions 1 and 2 of the handout labelled "Analyse and Evaluate" Questions. Due tomorrow.

Nov 9th (Sci): Today was a short block due to the Remembrance Day assembly this morning. Continuing to look at how energy flows through ecosystems, we looked at Section 2.2 in the textbook today. Yesterday we learned about the different types of organisms in ecosystems and how they can be classified depending on what they eat. We also learned that the energy obtained from food can be traced back to the sun as plants are primary producers and use the process of photosynthesis to grow. Today we learned about food chains and how energy is passed along this chain from Primary Producers to Apex Predators. We read through section 2.2 and mapped out food chains based on item in our lunches and related to us as the end of the chain in completing the hanout from today (Handout from Today). Homework: Please ensure you have finished section 2.1 and 2.2 in the texbook along with the Check Your Understanding questions from those sections. Have a great long weekend!

Nov 8 (Sci): Today we began our lesson by reviewing our topic from Monday - Natural Selection and The Theory of Evolution. We discussed the finch beak activity we did and how each finch beak was evolved to surviving on each of the Galapagos Island and watched a short review video on the topic (Video Link). After that, we watched a short video clip on the history of Earth and timelines related to geological change and development of organisms. Following this, we began to look at Chapter 2 of the textbook: Energy Flows Through Ecosystems. We read through the first few paragraphs together, and then students continued to read independently through the rest of section 2.1 as they added the key terms to their Glossary (Glossary Link). At the end of this section, they completed the Check Your Understanding questions (1-3) p. 32. Homework: Please finish your glossary and complete the CYU questions on p. 32.

Nov 7 (MA): Today we reviewed finding the lowest/least common multiple when comparing two numbers. We also watched parts of three short video clips on Factors and how to find the Greatest Common Factor (video link 1), (Video Link 2, Video Link 3). Students then worked at their own pace through some practice questions and applied math questions. Homework: Please spend 20 more minutes continuing to practice finding the Greatest Common Factor by working on the booklet handed out on Tuesday.

Nov 6 (Ma): Today we started class by completing a work habits self assessment where students considered their performance so far this term. Interim reports will be going home tomorrow for math and science. We then did a quick review quiz on working with exponents and scientific notation. The next topic we looked at today was Lowest/Least Common Multiple. This topic was review for some students so they did some practice question at a level they were comfortable with. We also watched a short video on how to determine the Least Common Multiple of two numbers (video link). We then continued practising a variety of questions related to this concept. Homework: As there seems to be a fair amount of homework in Humanities currently, there will be no homework assigned tonight.

Nov 5 (Sci): Today we continued to look at how Earth and its organisms have changed over time. More specifically, in block 3 we learned about fossils, what they are, how scientists interpret them, and how they are formed. We began the block by watching Bill Nye Fossils (video link). We also reviewed a worksheet addressing the key ideas in the video and discussed/addressed some ideas and questions about the video. Finally, we read about how fossils form and what they can tell us about geological change over time and took some notes (handout) (p. 194-197 in the textbook (link),) and then answered some Check Your Understanding Questions on p. 197. In block 4 we learned about evolution, adaptation, and natural selection and began by watching two short video clips about Charles Darwin and Natural Selection. Then we used Chromebooks to get an idea of where the Galapagos Islands are, and inquire about some of the organisms that live there. Finally, we did an activity called Battle of the Beaks. Students chose a beak (option of tweezers, large paper clips, or popsicle sticks with rubber bands) and visited "islands" in the Galapagos. When at each island, they had 30 second to put as many food items in their "stomach" (a 200ml beaker) as they cood using their"beaks." Each beak was better evolved to pick up certain the food items (marbles, paper clips, small ball bearings) and could collect more food in the time given. Students recorded their results at each island. We ended with a discussion about which "beaks" were better at picking up different items and related this to the Galapagos finches Darwin observed. We talked about how the finch made it to the Galapagos from Mainland Ecuador and why different types of beaks evolved on each island. Homework: Please complete the fossils handout from today (link). This includes the notes and the CYU questions.

Nov 2 (MA): Today we continued working with scientific notation an practised some questions after watching a short review video (Video Link) (Sci Notation Questions). After working on this for half the class, we reviewed the basics of order of operations and watched another short video on this topic (Video Link). Students who felt like they already had a strong grasp of the basics moved on to some more challenging questions. We then practised simplifying expressions with exponents using order of operations (Order of Operations Questions). Homework: Please spend 25 minutes continuing to work on the Order of Operations questions (a,c,e...) - (Answers to questions link). Have a great weekend!

Nov 1 (Sci): Today we finished watching the National Geographic film: Earth Making of a Planet. This film gave a good overview of the history of the planet and how life has changed along the way. After the video we looked at a handout on the Theory of Evolution and Natural Selection (handout). As we have been looking at Ecosystems and considering the needs and adaptations of living things, we learned about Charles Darwin and what evidence he collected to develop his theory in the Galapagos Islands. Students were tasked with a small paragraph from the handout and created 2-3 notes from their section, writing it on a small whiteboard in the classroom. Students then had to circulate throughout the class and record the notes that their peers created and presented on the information handed out. We will be using these notes on Monday as we continue to look at adaptation, natural selection, and evolution. Homework: No homework assigned tonight.

Oct 31 (Ma): Today we reviewed working with exponents and practiced some questions to start class (Exponents practice handout). Early finishers worked on some word problems. We then reviewed writing number in scientific notation and practiced some questions (Scientific Notation Questions Handout). For the last 20 minutes of class, we formed teams again and took on a STEM challenge to do with thrust and propulsion using a balloon to propel a paper space craft. The team who were able to have their craft travel the furthest won a prize! Homework: No homework tonight! Happy Halloween!

Oct 30 (MA): Today we began by reviewing exponents and how they can be used to represent and describe repeated multiplication. We learned about and practiced how to say numbers with exponents, how to write in expanded form, and also simplify exponential number sin to standard form (Handout from Today: Working with Exponents). After that we learned about scientific notation and how it can be used to package very big or small number into a form that is easier to write and work with. We then practiced converting some numbers to scientific notation. Homework: Please spend 20 minutes continuing to work on your scientific notation questions.

Oct 29th (Ma/Sci): We began in block 3 today with a multiplication drill. Students are aiming to achieve completing 60 questions on each times table in under 2 minutes (#'s 3 - 15). If successful at each times table, they graduate to the next level. After that, we worked with partners to review using long division to divide decimal numbers before writing quick quiz. The quiz tested knowledge and skill using the long division process and working with basic exponents. When finished the quiz, students were handed back their marked Ecosystems Test and duo-tang assessments, and then worked on math puzzle booklets. In block 4, we continued to watch 15 minute of a National Geographic movie on the history of Earth (Video). students learned about how different organism evolved to dwell on land and adapt to a terrestrial environment, while the Earth's geologic state was quite unstable causing catastrophic volcanic eruptions and mass extinction. Following this segment of the video, we started a mini-inquiry assignment (Prehistoric Creatures Assignment). Students had to research an organism that existed before humans walked the Earth in current for, but that is now extinct (ie. A Dinosaur Species). Please see the assignment link for details. Homework: Please spend 20 minutes continuing to work on researching your prehistoric creature and completing the diagram on the back of the handout. We will be doing math tomorrow in block 4.

Oct 26 (MA/Sci): Today we continued with our STEM (Science Technology Engineering Mathematics) competition. Students worked in groups to tackle engineering problems and compete in a series of competitions. We began by watching a short video on Astronaut training and Space Camp (video), then materials were handed out and we began out competition. Homework: Please prepare for the Division and exponents quiz on Monday. Have a great weekend!

Oct 25 (Sci): Today we continued to watch more of a National Geographic video on the history of the Earth. After that we returned to our groups we made on Monday and added in Periods and Epochs to our timelines. Homework: On Monday we will have a quiz on Division and Exponents. Please review those two topics, the notes and booklets that have been handed out, and be prepared to show your learning on Monday.

Oct 24 (Ma): Today we learned about exponents and how they can be used in math. We began by watching a short video on exponents (Video Link), looked over some notes on exponents (handout) and then practiced writing and converting numbers in exponential form, expanded repeated addition form, and standard form. After that, we continued practicing a few questions to strengthen our understanding of exponents, how they are used and, and how we can use them to describe things in math (Questions handed out today) and (Answers). Homework: Please continue working on the questions handed out today for 20 more minutes and be sure to check your answers.

Oct 23 (Ma/Sci): After working hard in both Science and Math the past few weeks, we switched things up today and took on some STEM (Science Technology Engineering Mathematics) challenges in teams. Students had to build the highest tower and launch a craft the furthest in our various design challenges. We will do this again on Friday and finish out competition. Homework: Please review what we have done for division and be prepared to write a small quiz later this week on division.

Oct 22 (Sci): In block 3 today we wrote our Chapter 1 Ecosystems Test. The test took the majority of the block and students were asked to hand in a "cheat sheet" to show that they had spent some time preparing for the test. In block 4, we began by watching a video clip from National Geographic on the age of the Earth as we will be looking at how organisms have adapted to their environment over time. After that, we formed groups and did an activity related to creating a timeline of the Earth's History. Along our timeline, we identified Earth's eras and plotted them along the timeline. Homework: No homework tonight!

Oct 18th (Sci): Today we looked at a few current events regarding how natural disasters can affect ecosystems, and also how populations can be affected by changes in their environment (ie. Puerto Rico and the decline in their insect population due to warming average temperatures). We watched a short video clip on this topic and looked at a recent article as well (Link to Article). After that, we talked about the Chapter 1 Test, happening Monday Oct 22nd. We reviewed the key concepts from the chapter, and did the chapter review questions throughout the block. Homework: Students are asked to complete a half page "cheat sheet" and hand it in before the test on Monday. This sheet should include 3-4 notes for each main heading in the chapter. This will indicate to Mr. Menzies that they have reviewed the concepts and spent time preparing for the test. It is also a good strategy to help study for tests in the future. All notes must fit on to half a 8x11 piece of paper; writing can be on both sides. All questions for the test will be from Chapter 1 of the textbook. Have a great weekend!

Oct 17th (Ma): Today we continued to learn about and practice division. We bagan by watching part of a video on dividing with multi digit divisors (Video Link). After that, we all practiced a few questions and students who felt comfortable with this skill moved on to some applied math questions. At this point in our division unit students are expected to be able to divide single and multi digit whole and decimal numbers using long division. Homework: Please spend 20 minutes continuing to practice these skills from where you left off today in class. Answer key to the applied questions handed out today (Answers Link).

Oct 16th (Ma): Today was a short block due to the early closure for Parent/Teacher Interviews. Students worked on the second part of the Numeracy FSA for all of block 4. Those students who are not writing the FSA, worked on a computer coding tutorial from Hour of Code. Reminders: Ecosystem duotangs were due to hand in this morning. Homework: No homework tonight. However we will be having a test on Chapter 1 of the textbook: Ecosystems Support life soon. Mr. Menzies will announce the test date tomorrow.

Oct 15th (Sci): Today we learned about competition in ecosystems and how in the availability and of resources, and competition for those resources, can influence the success of and population of a species. We began by watching a short video clip on different predators, the many forms they come in, and the ways they catch their prey (video). We then looked at pages 23 and 24 to take notes these two topics (Handout from today's class: Interactions of Living Things in Ecosystems). We discussed the relationship different organisms can have in an ecosystem, and how they can affect each other. Students learned about how the population of one species (ex.arctic hare) can influence the population of one of their predators (ex. Lynx). Moreover, how populations can follow each other based on a predator-prey relationship. In block 4, we watches a few more clips on the adaptations predators and prey species have for catching prey or evading predators and discussed. We then went outside and modelled the population relationships of predators and prey species in a game. For the last 25 minutes of the block, we reviewed all of the chapter 1 items to be included in their "Ecosystems Duotang" and worked on carefully organizing them. This includes all work assigned throughout the unit. The duotang is due tomorrow morning. Homework: Please polish and put finishing touches on your Ecosystems Duotang and have it ready to hand in tomorrow morning at Homeroom. The duotang is due tomorrow morning. There will be a test on Chapter 1 "Ecosystems Support Life" soon, date TBA.

Oct 12 (MA): Today the majority of our class did the FSA in the Learning commons. Those who did not do the FSA assessment, worked on other science and math activities. Homework: Please read p. 22-25 and do the CYU questions on p. 25. Make sure your science section of your binder is organised and ready to hand in next week. We will be preparing out duo-tangs to hand in on Monday. Have a great weekend!

Oct 11 (Sci/MA): Today we worked to finish off and catch up on a few math and science assignments. Students received their Rounding, Adding Decimals Numbers, and Multiplying Decimal Numbers quizzes back and we reviewed some of the questions. The, students had the option to complete their science work on the Limiting Factors in ecosystems part of their science handout, continuing working on their math, or move on to the next section in the Ecosystems chapter of their Science textbook, Predator and Prey interactions. Homework: Please read p. 22-25 and do the CYU questions on p. 25. Make sure your science section of your binder is organised and ready to hand in next week. We will be preparing out duo-tangs to hand in on Monday.

Oct 10 (MA): Today we looked at the concept of division and more specifically the process of long division. This was review for many students, however there were quite a few who needed a refresher on this skill. We also watched a video on long division (Video) then practiced doing long division with whole numbers, and also solving some worded applied math division problems. Half way through the class, we then looked at the additional steps of dividing decimal number using long division. Here is the link to the division package I handed out today (Division Package Handout) and the answer keys to verify that you are doing your division correctly (Division Package Answers). Homework: Please spend 25 minutes continuing to work on long division with whole numbers, or if you feel like that skill is strong, spend this time practicing some dividing decimal questions. Reminders: the numeracy FSA is this Friday during block 2. Also, students should have all of their science work up to date. Parent Teacher interviews are next week. Mr. Menzie will be sending out a sign up form for parents to select a time to meet next week.

Oct 9th (Sci): Ecosystem posters were due today. In block 4 we continued learning about ecosystems, more specifically about the survival needs of organisms (p. 15 in textbook) and then the limiting non-living factors in an ecosystem (p. 16-18). For part 1, we took 2 notes per survival need as we read page 15 and then drew a diagram/sketchnote for each survival need. For Part 2 we read p. 16-18 and took 3-4 notes per limiting factor in an ecosystem. Here is the link to the handout today (Survival Needs and Limiting Factors Handout). Please save the last part on page three of the handout for next science class. Students had most of the block to work on this today, so for those who completed this in class, no homework tonight. Homework: Please complete the notes for page 1 and 2 of the handout today. Note: the FSA assessment on numeracy is on Friday.

Oct 5 (MA): Today we has a quiz on rounding numbers, adding decimal numbers, and multiplying decimal numbers. Homework: Please finish your biome/ecosystem poster and have it ready to hand in at block 4 on Tuesday Oct 9th. Students had all of Thursday's class to work on the poster and also approximately half the class on Friday.

Oct 4th (Sci): Today we had a working block an continued to working on our ecosystems poster. Students were expected to have their notes and draft completely ready to go, so that their good copy would be fairly straight forward. Please see this link for a copy of the assignment (Ecosystems and Biomes Poster). Homework: There will be a math quiz on rounding, adding decimal numbers, and multiplying decimal numbers. Please review your handouts and notes so that you are ready for the quiz. The Ecosystems poster will be due on Tuesday so please ensure you spend time working on the final details this weekend.

Oct 3 (MA): Today we began by playing a fun math game to practice the quickness of our multiplication skills. After that, we watched a short video clip on adding and multiplying decimals (Video link). After that, we continued to practice multiplying decimal numbers, and students who had a strong grasp of this skill moved on to seme applied math questions. Homework: Please ensure you have completed your science notes on your selected ecosystem, and there will also be a math quiz this Friday (Oct 5th) on rounding, adding decimal numbers, and multiplying decimal numbers. I recommend spending 20 minutes continuing to practice these skills tonight by doing some of the questions you didn't do in class today.

Oct 2 (MA): Today we began with a multiplication drill and attempted to complete a times table in under two minutes. Student who were successful graduate to the next number up in the times table, and they track their own progress in this regard. After that, we reviewed how to add and subtract decimal numbers and that it is crucial for decimal places to be lined up when doing this. Students practiced this for about 10 - 15 minutes. Next, we learned about multiplying decimals and how we need to consider digits to the right of the decimals in order to correctly place the decimal in our answer. Notes were handed out and reviewed as a class(Multiplying Decimal Notes). Students then practiced multiplying decimal numbers and correctly placing the decimal in the answer (product). Homework: Please spend 20 minutes continuing to practice multiplying decimals using the practice sheets Mr. Menzies handed out today (Handout Practice Sheet #1, Handout Practice Sheet # 2).

Oct 1 (SCI): Continuing with our Ecosystems unit today, we began block 3 by discussing different biomes on Earth and how they differ. We did this by looking at satellite images in Google Earth and discussing how water is distributed around the world and how we can see this from space with green indicating lots of rainfall. We also looked at different rainforests and deserts around the world and learned about how there can be very different ecosystems in each biome. We also watched a short video on the biomes of the world - Biomes Video. Students were then tasked with selecting a biome they found interesting and then picking a ecosystem around the world they will look closer at. Mr. Menzies handed out a notes organizer and students had to research their ecosystem in greater detail. They needed to collect a minimum of 5 notes per category around the conditions, flora, and fauna in their ecosystem (Climate, Vegetation, Herbivores, Omnivores, and Carnivores) - Ecosystem Notes Organizer. We spent the rest of block 3 and block 4 collecting information on our selected ecosystem and we also created a draft plan for a poster we will be make in class on Thursday. The draft must include a solid plan to present your collected notes and must plan out a scene from your ecosystem that shows all the flora and fauna you listed in your notes. Homework: Please make sure you have 5 notes minimum for each category in your notes sheet, and you have completed your draft poster for your ecosystem by tomorrow Oct 2nd.

Sept 28 - Today we attended a school assembly in block 2 for Orange Shirt Day, to recognise the impact of residential schools throughout history in Canada. Homework: No homework this weekend.

Sept 27 (MA/Sci): Today we began by practising estimating by playing an estimating game on the Math is Fun website. After this, students were given a range of activity choices from the Hour of Code website. This website is designed to allow students to learn about and practice computer coding. There are engaging modules and tutorials of varying difficulty that help develop understanding and thinking skills related to various programming languages. At the same time, students get to create games, visuals, and applications while learning skills related to computer programming. We will do this periodically throughout the year. Homework: Please spend 20 minutes working on another activity from the Hour of Code website. You can also continue to work on the same activity you were working on in class today if you didn't get a chance to finish.

Sept 26 (MA): Today we continued to work on rounding and watched a short video clip to refresh our memory. (Video). After that we reviewed some notes on estimating (Estimating notes), a math skill closely tied to rounding. We learned that estimates don't need to be exact, but depend on the context of the calculation. We also reviewed some of the different situations one may need to estimate and how it is a practical mental math skill. After that, we practiced estimating with multi digit numbers and with different operations (Estimating Practice Booklet - Answer are in the Div 7-4 Math Tab). Students had to do a minimum of 5 questions from each page, and a few extra if they felt they could use the practice. After that we practiced estimating for speed with word problems (Word Problems and Estimating - Answers found in the Div 7-4 Math tab). Homework: If you didn't finish today's work, please spend 15 more minutes practicing some the questions handed out today.

Sept 25 (MA): Today we began with a multiplication drill. Students are currently attempting to improve their proficiency with their times tables. They are aiming to be able to correctly complete all 60 times tables questions in under 2:00min. If successful, they graduate to the next number times table, working all the way up to 15X. For the second half of the block, we looked at rounding whole number and decimals. Notes were handed out and we went over what rounding it, why it is practical, and the procedure to do it (Rounding Notes). Students then were given some practice questions to work on - Rounding Practice Booklet. The answer key can be found in the Div 7-4 Math tab above. Homework: Please ensure you are caught up with your Science homework from yesterday (see below), and also spend 20 minutes continuing to practice some of the rounding questions we worked on today if you didn't finish the booklet.

Sept 24th (SCI): Today we began by venturing outside and analysing parts of our school year ecosystem. Students had to find three organism and think about the connections they have to living and non-living parts of their ecosystem. In doing so, they filled out an observations organiser where they collected information on each organism (Ecosystems - Observations Handout). They then had to look at one of their organism in more detail and complete the back side of their organism sheet, including some analysis questions. In block 4 we began by watching a video on populations (Video link). We then worked on section 1.3 (p. 11-14) in the textbook - read and answered the check you understanding questions on p. 1-3, and added some of the new highlighted terms to our glossary sheet. Homework: Please ensure that you observations sheet is finished from today, you have you glossary sheet up to date, and that you have read section 1.3 and have answered the CYU questions 1-3 by tomorrow.

Sept 21st (MA): Today we did our first quiz of the year on Place Value and Comparing Numbers. Next week we will be looking at rounding whole and decimal numbers as we continue with our Number Sense Unit. Homework: No homework for Math or Science this weekend! If you are board, have a look at the websites I have linked in the Science Resources bat of this website.

Sept 20th (SCI): Continuing with our ecosystems unit, we started today's class with a discussion of how humans are related to ecosystems and how our activities affect the health of ecosystems. We also discussed how habitat can be affected by human activity. Following our discussion we watched Bill Nye: Biodiversity and then completed a worksheet based on the video (Bill Nye: Biodiversity Worksheet). We then went outside to observe the creek that runs along side of the school grounds and observed and recorded some of the living organisms that live in that ecosystem. Next class, we will be doing a more extensive activity related to observations of this ecosystem, its biodiversity, and how living things and non-living things are related and depend on each other. Homework: Please look over the math skills we have covered so far this year and prepare for a quiz tomorrow. This includes writing numbers in different formats, comparing numbers, understanding place value.

Sept 19th (MA): We continued to practice working with Place Value and Comparing numbers today, and some managed to move on to more dynamic word problems by the end of class. We began by arranging in partners and practicing the skills/concepts we have covered so far using mini whiteboards to create questions for each other. These topics included interpreting and writing numbers in standard form, expanded form, and worded form. We also practiced comparing larger numbers. After that, students continued working on their math booklets related to these topics. Early finishers moved on to an extension activity of working with multi-step word problems (Word Problems Handout) - answers are in the Div 7-4 Math tab above. Homework: Please finish comparing numbers handout # 2 (answers in Div 7-4 Math tab) that was handed out yesterday. There will be a quiz on the concepts we have covered so far this Friday. Please review the handouts and questions that we have looked at so far to prepare for the quiz.

Sept 18th (MA): Today we began by reviewing the concepts we have covered so far related to Place Value. Next, we took some notes on the math symbols used to compare numbers, and steps to consider when determining an accurate number comparison. Students then worked on some practice questions involving comparing and ordering numbers (Comparing and Ordering Numbers Booklet) - Answers can be found in the Div 7-4 Math tab.. Early finishers were given an extension of more abstract worded questions (Extension questions). Homework: Please spend 20 minutes of time continuing to practice these skills. Continue working from where you were at in class.

Sept 17th (MA/SCI): In block 3 today we had a chance to put finishing touches on our Science posters and hand them in. Students who had finished, continued to work on their math booklets. In block 4, we started a science unit on ecosystems. We learned about what an ecosystem is and the different parts of an ecosystem, both living parts and non-living parts. We also learned about how ecosystems can be organized into species, populations, and communities of organisms, and how species are interconnected in their interactions with each other. We read pages 4 and 5 together and discussed, and then students read pages 6 and 7 independently. As they read, they had to record the highlighted terms in their glossary sheet (Glossary Sheet Link), provide an explanation, and provide an example of each term. After that, we worked on the Check Your Understanding questions at the bottom of page 7 - done on a lined piece of loose leaf paper - page perfect. Homework: Please ensure that you have finished your glossary terms from pages 6&7 and the CYU questions at the bottom of page 7. We will be doing math tomorrow in block 4.

Sept 14th (MA): Today we began by watching a Math Antics Video (link) on decimal place value and discussed how decimals are related to 1 whole. We also reviewed the structure of place value and how number can be presented in different forms: standard, expanded, written. After that, some students continued working on their question booklets that were handed out last math class (only do 5 questions per page for the remainder of the booklet), and early finishers moved on to more abstract extension questions. Homework: Please spend 20 minutes continuing to work on your place value practice questions. Be sure to check your answers. Go to the Div 7-4 Math tab above to access links to these math booklets and answers.

Sept 13 (Sci): Today we began by viewing a short video on some of the more recent scientific discoveries or breakthroughs in the past few years. After that, we continued to work on our scientific discovery research posters for the rest of the block (Scientific Discovery Assignment). Many students are almost done this assignment, however there are a few who will need to spend some time working on it at home. Homework: Those who have quite a but of work to do, please ensure you do the rest for homework, as we have had 3 classes to wok on this assignment. There will be an opportunity to put finishing touches on your posters Monday. Good copies will be due Monday at the end of the day.

Sept 12 (MA): Today we reviewed the number system and looked at place value and reading and writing numbers. We started by discussing the number system we have, why we have it, and how it has a structure called place value. This will have been review from previous years, however it was good to practice these skills again as we start our year in math. We took some notes on Place Value and then practiced questions related to identifying place value and reading and writing numbers in standard, expanded, and written form. Homework: Please spend 15 minutes continuing to work on the questions in your Place Value booklet handed out today (Place Value/Reading and Writing Numbers). Answers for the questions can be found on the Div 7-4 Math tab. Also, reminder that all PE course outlines must be handed in by tomorrow to Mr. Menzies. We will be doing Science tomorrow in block 4.

Sept 11 (MA/Sci): Today we began organising our math books, and talked about how math assignments will be handed in; in a duotang. Students are encouraged to keep their work in a section of the binder designated for math, but they will hand in work in their math duotang. During block 4, some students needed a bit more time for part 2 of the beginning of year math assessment, so they continued to work on this. Students who had finished, had the choice of working on their Science project, or going on a computer programming website to do some of the activities. At the end of the block, we did our first multiplication drill and talked about goals. Homework: Please ensure you have all materials and al forms handed in by the end of the week!

Sept 10 (MA/Sci): Today in block 3 we continued to work on our scientific discovery posters. Students will have a chance to work on this assignment again on Thursday this week. In block 4, we did "Part 2" of the beginning of grade 7 math assessment. Homework: Please ensure you have brought you 3 duotangs to class tomorrow. One must be red for PE. Also, remember to being your signed PE course outline to school by Friday.

Sept 7 (Sci): Today we began science with a mini inquiry assignment (Science that Changed the World: Scientific Discovery Inquiry Assignment). In this mini assignment, students need to so some basic research on a scientific discovery or invention that they find interesting. Following the 5W's format, we will learn about our topics of interest and present what we find as a poster. We will also continue to work on this on Monday in block 3. Homework: Please ensure that Mr. Menzies' beginning of year letter has been delivered to parents and that they email him so he can add them to his contact list. On Monday please come to PE class in full PE strip, and return the signed PE course outline to Mr. Menzies. Also, please ensure you have 3 duotangs for Monday. One of them should be a red duotang. Have a great weekend!

Sept 6 (Math): Today we had our first day in Mr. Sparanese's classroom (the grade 8 science lab). It is right next door to Mrs. Campbell's classroom, and we will be in this classroom for Math and Science this year. Today we discussed what math will look like this year, and students did a "beginning of grade 7 math assessment" today. This will give Mr. Menzies and idea of where everyone is at in terms of their math skills. Early finishers had a chance to work on their surfboards. Homework: students are asked to have their PE strip prepared and ready to go for tomorrow's class, and to have their other school materials organized and ready to start our first units next week.

Sept 5, 2018: It was a pleasure to meet Division 7-4 today. In block 3 we reviewed expectations and then I we filled out a questionnaire so I can get to know each student a little better. In addition to the questionnaire, I reviewed how to access my website and some of the resources that can be found there. Finally, we made our own personal paper surfboards that reflect our interests, hobbies, values, and history. We have some excellent artists in div 7-4 as well as some really interesting passions and hobbies too! Homework: Students were given an introductory handout today to take home nad deliver to parents (Div 7-4 Beginning of Year Letter Home). Parents are asked to email Mr. Menzies so he can add them to his div 7-4 contact list.

Sept 3, 2018: Welcome to the 2018/2019 School Year!!! Mr. Menzies is excited to meet Division 7-4 and jump into Math and Science this year. Please check this site frequently for updates and notices concerning homework, assignments, events, and reminders!