Mrs. Cummings' Homepage

Mrs. Cummings' Homepage

Second Week of Advent

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This week is filled with excitement! After weeks of anticipation we will finally be attending the Nutcracker Ballet.  We go on Friday! Please remember to wear your special clothes and bring your best behaviour with you.

As part of the St. Gabriel Advent project each class is responsible for bringing in one type of item to place in the 17 care baskets we are preparing for needy families. All items and twoonies/Canadian Tire money (which will be used to buy gifts and fresh food items) are due in by Friday, December 16th.

Mrs. Brennen's class is to bring in syrup

Mr. Ho's class is to bring in pancake mix
Mrs. Isaac's class is to bring cake/brownie mix

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 Ms. Oldak's class has been assigned cans of soup or stew

Mr. Graitson's class has been assigned a Box of Stuffing

and Ms. Cuddihy/Mr. Labrash's class pasta sauce

Thank you in advance for your generosity and support. Our sister school, St. Elizabeth, is so appreciative of these donations and help during this special season of sharing and giving - because of you the true meaning of Christmas is alive and well at St. Gabriel.

In language we are finishing with non-fiction writing and moving towards descriptive paragraphs. I am sure everyone will enjoy writing about their favourite scene/part of the Nutcracker in great detail using many adjectives to describe the dancers, costumes and scenery portrayed in the ballet.

In Mathematics, we are finishing 2-D shapes and will continue on to 3D shapes including pyramids and prisms.

Our focus for the next month in Religion is the Christmas Story and following the weeks of Advent.  A lot of discussion is happening in the classrooms about these important events in the church calendar.

Important dates this week:

Monday Dec. 5th - Mrs. Brennen's class has their 2nd Swim to Survive session. Please to remember to bring an extra pair of pants and top to wear in the water!

Thursday, Dec. 8th - We are having another edition of our wonderful "News Show".  Come one, come all and see what has been happening at St. Gabriel Catholic School. All are welcome!

Friday, Dec. 9th - Nutcracker Ballet - we will leave our school at 10 a.m. and hope to arrive back at St. Gabriel by 2 p.m.  If you have volunteered in the your child's class, please arrive at 9:30 so we are all accounted for. Thank You for giving of your valuable time.



We will soon be attending a performance of the The Nutcracker at Algonquin College. There are many people that contribute to making the show a great success!  First, watch this video:   Next, explain why costumes are an important part of any performance. Then, describe your favourite costume on the video. What do you like most about this costume and why? What would you change about this costume and why? Which character from the story are you most looking forward to seeing? Why? Be sure to include wonderful adjectives to make your writing "pop"! Don't forget to edit your work carefully.


Look at the two shapes below:

a) How are these shapes the same?

b) How are these shapes different?

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Advent Begins!

As we approach the final day of November, we welcome the beginning of December.  This week is the first week of advent, and so we celebrate the theme of “Hope” as we light our candle. 

On Wednesday, November 23rd, Linda Jamieson and her ballet dancers visited our school to explain the storyline of The Nutcracker and demonstrate some ballet moves to our grade 3 classes. We will get to watch one of our own on December 9th! Melanie, a student from one of our Grade 4 classes, will be dancing at our performance as Clara - we are excited to see her and all of the other hardworking dancers in this very magical ballet.

Permission forms were sent home last Thursday. The cost of each student ticket is $15.00. We are asking parents to pay this amount. The cost of the bus will be taken care of through the student activity fees. We ask that you pay this fee online at:

In language, we are finishing up our nonfiction writing projects. We have learned a great deal about the many different text features that are found in non-fiction books and how to use those features best. Children should be able to tell you the differences between fiction and non-fiction writing and how to quickly find an area of interest in a non-fiction text. Along with our nonfiction unit, we continue to work on our writing skills and reading comprehension.

In math, we are well into our unit on 2D geometric shapes and their properties. We have been looking at regular and irregular polygons and the different types of polygon names (triangle, quadrilateral, pentagon, hexagon, octagon). Please ask your child what congruent shapes are!

This week:

Monday - Mrs. Brennen's class has their 1st Swim to Survive session

Friday - all Nutcracker permission forms and ticket payments are due.


Language: Write a nonfiction paragraph about one aspect of winter. Be sure to use facts. Include an opening sentence, 3 "body" sentences that include details, and a closing sentence. 

Math: Look at these shapes and answer the questions below.

Which polygon has 3 sides?

a)      Quadrilateral

b)      Triangle

c)       Pentagon

d)      Hexagon

Which polygon has a right angle?

a)      Triangle

b)      Pentagon

c)       Square

d)      Octagon

All of the above polygons are Regular polygons.

a)      True

b)      False

November 21st-25th: Anti-Bullying Week

This Week is Bullying Awareness Week here at St. Gabriel and we are committed to raising awareness to what bullying really looks like and how we can prevent it. Remember bullying can be:

Verbal bullying - name-calling, sarcasm, teasing, spreading rumours, threatening, making negative references to a person.

Social Bullying - mobbing, scapegoating, excluding others from a group, humiliating others with public gestures to put others down.

Physical Bullying - hitting, poking, pinching, chasing, shoving, coercing, destroying or stealing belongings, unwanted touching.

Cyber Bullying - using the internet or text messaging to intimidate, put-down, spread rumours or make fun of someone.

Bullying occurs when these actions happen repeatedly by a person to demonstrate power over others. Students need to know that they are not powerless and that they all have a voice to stop bullying and bullying behaviour.
You can get more info at

What we have been up to...
In math, we are beginning our unit in Geometry. We will be starting with 2-D geometry. Ask your child to name and describe some shapes for you using some vocabulary we have been discussing in class (sides, vertices, and angles).

In Language, the students are working hard researching different forms of non-fiction texts, as well as discussing main ideas.

This Week:

All week is Bullying Awareness. Let's demonstrate acts of kindness, compassion, acceptance and respect!

Monday: Ms. Cuddihy/Mr. LaBrash's class will be attending their third Swim to Survive class. 

Wednesday Wear Pink to School Day
Linda Jamieson ballet dancers visit Grade 3 for 1st block.

Friday - Nifty Nature Day. Wear your animal hats and dress up in nature coloured clothing. Bring .50 cents to buy an item at the bake sale!
Friday is also the first St. Gabriel Family Movie Night. The feature movie will be "Home"! Time: 6-8 p.m. See the St. Gabriel web-site for more information.

Looking forward...

Postcard Initiative:

The Grade 3's have been invited to participate in a postcard initiative in celebration of Canada's 150th birthday next year! Students are asked to write a postcard and send it to someone they know living elsewhere in Canada, inviting them to visit Ottawa in 2017 for the celebrations. If possible, we ask that you please provide your child's teacher with the exact name and address of the individual they wish to mail the postcard to. There will be a question in this week's homework where you will be able to fill in this information!

Next week: Mrs. Brennen's class will begin their Swim to Survive classes on Monday Nov.28th. Permission forms are now due!


Math: Steve wanted to  bake some cookies for a bake sale. He baked 24 cookies for his class. Later, his little sister ate 8 cookies when he wasn't looking. When Steve found out, he decided to bake 12 more cookies. How many cookies does he have altogether? Show this question as a standard form question and answer it using a full sentence.

Language: This week is Bullying Awareness week. Have you ever encountered a bully? What happened? How did you resolve your problem? Be sure to write in full sentences and to check your spelling and grammar.

Postcard Initiative: Please fill out the exact address and full name of the friend/family member you wish to send your postcard to. Remember that this person should be living somewhere outside of Ottawa but still within Canada.

November 14th-18th

A big thank you to our grade 6s and grade 6 teachers for the absolutely beautiful Remembrance Day mass and museum on Friday. It was an amazing honour to all the brave men and women who have protected/continue to protect our country.

Again this year, St. Gabriel will be partnering up with The Ottawa Mission for the Double Lunch Initiative. This week will be the first Double Lunch Day of the school year. On Wednesday November 16th, students are asked to bring a second lunch to school to be donated to the Ottawa Mission to help families in Ottawa. For more information, please see the Double Lunch Letter.

What we’ve been up to:
In Math, we are finishing up our place value and addition and subtraction units. Our next math unit is 2D and 3D Geometry. 

In Language, we are continuing to work with nonfiction texts and our non-fiction reports. Our next unit in Language will be descriptive writing, during which we will be exploring the story, music and dance of the Nutcracker Ballet. Look for notes to be going home in the next few weeks about our trip to the Algonquin Commons Theatre to see the Ballet performed!

This week:
Monday November 14th: Ms. Cuddihy/Mr. LaBrash’s class will be attending their second Swim to Survive class. Don’t forget to bring a pair of pants and a shirt to wear into the pool.

Tuesday November 15th: The Wind in the Willows Choir will be performing at Centrepointe Theatre at 5pm. Tickets are available at
*Choir members: Please be at the Theatre at 4pm wearing concert attire- white tops and black bottoms.

Wednesday November 16th: Double Lunch Day, Photo Retake Day,  Lone Star Family Dinner Night 

Friday November 18th: PD Day-No School.

Language: Write a nonfiction paragraph about something you know about. It could be a place, a sport, an animal-anything non-fiction. Include an opening sentence, 3 "body" sentences that include details, and a closing sentence. Check your writing for proper use of capital letters and punctuation.

Math: Aryan and Aadi were picking apples at a nearby orchard. Aryan picked 344 apples and Aadi picked 371 apples. How many more apples did Aadi pick than Aryan? How many apples were picked altogether?

Lest We Forget

Parents are invited to join our Remembrance Day Ceremony on Friday, November 11th at 10:30 a.m.
The Wind in the Willows choir will be performing at Centrepointe Theatre on November 15th at 5:00 p.m. Tickets are $10 each or 4 for $32. Free for choir members. You can buy or reserve tickets at and pick them up at the door. It should be a great show!

A form will be going home this week for parents of Wind in the Willows choir members to sign. Please ensure that this form is returned by Friday, November 11th.

All choir members need to be at Centrepointe Theatre promptly at 4:00 p.m. on November 15th in their concert attire - white tops and black bottoms.

Please remember to send in your progress report comments and envelopes. We reuse the envelopes throughout the year.

In Language, we are continuing our study of fiction and nonfiction characteristics by analyzing a variety of texts and writing our own nonfiction pieces. Soon we will be finding the main idea of a story and writing paragraphs using "juicy" vocabulary and detailed descriptions. 

In Math, three-digit subtraction with regrouping is the concept we are focusing on and practicing daily. At home, please challenge your child with word problems involving addition and subtraction with regrouping, similar to the ones in this week's homework.

Next Week:
Monday, November 7th - Ms. Cuddihy/Mr. LaBrash have Swim to Survive
Wednesday, November 9th - We Day
Thursday, November 10th - Parent Teacher Interviews
Friday, November 11th - Remembrance Day Ceremony (Brownies, Cubs, Guides, etc. please wear your uniforms) & Photo Orders Due

Looking Ahead:
Wednesday, November 16th - Photo Retake Day, Double Lunch Day & Lone Star Family Night

Language: This week marks Remembrance Day.  It is a day to remember all those soldiers who fought for us in the many wars and conflicts there have been.  Write a letter to a soldier to say thank you for what he or she did for us. You might mention that you appreciate how hard soldiers work and that they put themselves in danger every day.  You might say thank you for the peaceful country we live in and the many freedoms we have because of them. Put your own ideas in as well.

1) At the Remembrance Day Assembly, Mrs. Montgomery asked Claire to give a poppy to each of the 685 St. Gabriel students. Claire handed out 391 poppies and then asked Carter to give out the rest. How many poppies did Carter have to hand out so that every student received one?

2) There are 127 dancers in the Nutcracker Ballet. Another 176 people design costumes, manage the stage and sell tickets. How many people are needed altogether to create the Nutcracker performance?

Interview Appointments

A Synervoice/e-mail will go out in the next few days explaining the process for booking an interview with your child's teacher. Bookings will all be made on-line for each 10-minute interview.

Week of Oct. 31 - Nov. 4 - Happy Halloween & All Saints Day!

Happy Halloween everyone! Did you know that Halloween is an abbreviation of "All Hallow's Eve" otherwise known as "Saints Day Eve"? The day of October 31st is a feast dedicated to remembering the dead. Traditionally, families would lay out a feast for the spirits of loved ones who get to return home for this one evening. That is why we give a treat to spooky ghosts, or kids dressed up as such. 

In Math, we continue working with numbers. Students have been learning about place value, being able to identify the value of a digit in a 3-digit number, writing numbers in standard, expanded, and word form, while also being able to read and represent numbers using base ten block images. We are adding and subtracting 3-digit numbers with and without regrouping using a wide variety of strategies that we have learned (using the hundreds chart, number line, manipulatives, drawing out images).  Many of us have begun including word problems that involve addition and subtraction.

In Language, we continue our fiction vs. nonfiction unit. Many of us have already begun to write simple fiction or nonfiction paragraphs using what we have learned about the characteristics of each text. As the days continue, we will slowly be moving into identifying the main idea within a given text. We encourage our students to read nightly and to apply what they have learned in Language to their daily lifestyle.

We have another busy week here at St. Gabriel:
  • Monday - Happy Halloween! Show your school spirit by wearing Orange and Black colours to school.
  • Monday is the last Swim to Survive lesson for Ms. Oldak's class  at the Richcraft Community Center. Remember to bring your towel and bathing suit.
  • Thursday, Nov. 3, Progress Reports go home.

Looking ahead next Week: 

Parent-Teacher interviews will be next week.  An assigned time will be provided in the reports.

All Wind in the Willows choir members will need concert attire for the Centrepointe Theatre performance on Tuesday, November 15th. Please make sure that your son or daughter has a white top (without any graphics), black bottoms and black shoes. For girls, the bottoms may be pants or a skirt. Rag and Bone actors will be visiting our choir on Thursday, November 3rd and we will have the opportunity to find out more about the show. Further information will be sent to parents the following week.

    • Monday, Nov. 7 - Ms. Cuddihy & Mr. Labrash's class start Swim to Survive, remember to pack a bathing suit and towel.
    • Thursday, Nov. 10 - Parent Teacher Interviews.
    • Wednesday, Nov. 16th - photo retake day
    With Halloween on Monday, many students will go trick or treating. While this is a fun activity for everyone, it is important to stay safe. Please write a paragraph in detail explaining what you can do to stay safe while trick or treating. Be sure to use full sentences and explain why it is important.

    Afterward, you can read these tips on how to stay safe here:

    1. St. Gabriel School has 924 books. They are giving away 367 of their books to another school. How many books will St. Gabriel have left for their school? 

    a) 1,291
    b) 557
    c) 643
    d) 491

    2. What number goes in the question mark space to complete the following number sentence.
    6 + ? - 5 = 20

    a) 11
    b) 14
    c) 19
    d) 31