Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Language Update: Science Fiction Short Story Assignment

Assalam Alaikum Dear Parents,

During the past 5 weeks, the students have learned to identify how authors create imaginary worlds through Science Fiction. Weève examined what Science Fiction is, what makes a good Science Fiction story, how to read science fiction, how to interpret, connect, and predict, and, how to identify key figurative language in short stories. We also had the opportunity to watch a Science Fiction movie in class!

To end the unit, the students will be writing their very own short story in this genre. This is the final task for this unit and it will be due on FRIDAY, DECEMBER 19th. All of the work will be completed in class.

Jazakullah khair

Hajar Amira Boutaleb

Important: Upcoming History Test!

Assalam Alaikum Dear Parents,

We are finishing the 2nd chapter of the Confederation this week. The students have explored the external and internal factors that lead to the Confederation. The main areas explored in this chapter  were the political, economical and defense issues. There will be a test on all the key facts and terminology studied  on Thursday the 18th of December.

Also, please make sure your child brings home all assessed rubrics to be signed and sent back to me.

Jazakullah khair for continuing to work with me !


Hajar Amira Boutaleb

Thursday, 13 November 2014

Looking Back: The First Few Months of School

Assalam Alaikum,

Tomorrow, the students will be receiving their first progress reports for this year. Alhamdullah, the students learnt many things in all subjects areas. They can tell you that throughout these past months, they  may have been challenged and worked really hard. However, they persevered and had many opportunities to celebrate their dedication and hard work. I just wanted to share some photos of the GRADE 8 experience thus far:

Perfect smiles :)

Bowling !!!
Ahh... my favourite game, "Silent Ball"
Boys will be boys!
Best Friends
Eid Al Adha Party 2014
Casual in-class dining :)
A good soccer game, as always.
Loving the Experimental Farm!
 Most Respectful Student of the Month-September and October

Nice to be out in the sun :)

Character Trait for the month of November: Respect
 Intro to Poetry Lesson #1
Lines of Poetry

Monday, 10 November 2014

UPDATE: Grade 8 Social Studies

Assalam Alaikum Respected Parents,

The students are finishing the first chapter of Unit 1. We have spent quite some time looking at the Political, Social and Economic factors that led to the Confederation of Canada. We have written essays and paragraphs comparing Canada then and now. We also have an upcoming field tip on the 27th of November to the History Museum where a special exhibition will be held on the Confederation. This will be an excellent opportunity for the students to extend their  learning of a very important part of our history.

NOTE: We are still looking for 1 more volunteer to make this trip possible! Please email me at ASAP if you can make it. Jazkullah khair.

CHAPTER 1 TEST: There will be a final summative assessment of this chapter on Monday, November, 17th. Students have been given the opportunity to prepare for this test with key question related to the chapter posted on the board every morning, along with a study package to work on at home.  Additionally, the  essay,  written assignments , the homework, in class work, discussions and related materials, charts and information provided this week and the in-class review will be all the need to study and prepare for the test, InshAllah,

All the best,

Hajar Amira Boutaleb

UPDATE: Language Arts Grade 8

Assalam Alaikum Dear Parents,

The students have worked very hard to complete and outstanding Poetry Anthology for the first unit. We also had Dr. Saleem and Teacher Saima visit for an open-house where the students had the opportunity to share their creativity with their peers, and present their favorite written poem to the class. It was a wonderful activity and an excellent way to celebrate their accomplishments as a class. Well done!!!


We have now begun to look at Science Fiction and Short Stories. Students will be completing most work in-class, with the exception of any assigned readings. Each student has been given their own brand-new text book. They will be responsible for it so I hope they can take good care of a very important resources for this unit :). Also, we will start working through the Grammar 8 Communications workbook. Students will be assigned various pages for homework a few times a week.

POLAR EXPRESSIONS CONTEST: I have handed out the required forms that students need to enter in the contest. Also, students who were very eager provided me with their personal email where I sent out an email with additional information just in case they misplaced their forms. PLEASE NOTE: The deadline to submit their poems is NOVEMBER 14TH, 2014. I do encourage the students to send a PHOTOCOPY of their work. I will be handing back portfolios by the 12th of November, InshAllah.

Please remind your child to bring in a READING MATERIAL (novel is preferable) to class everyday. Anyone who is finished with the in class portion of their assignments is required to sit and read until the entire class is finished.

Jazakuallah khair :)

Saturday, 11 October 2014

Poetry Unit Update

Assalam Alaikum,

We have been busy reading ,writing  and analyzing various types of poetry. So far, the students have composed two poem; one exploring the use of the five senses to write poetic verse, writing a personal poem about themselves using a specific form and poetic conventions and presenting their writing orally in front of the class Thus far, it has been a very creative experience for the class.

We will continue taking a closer look at the various poetic forms (ballads, sonnets, concrete, haiku, limericks, diamante, acrostic etc.). This upcoming week, we will begin writing our third poem for the unit in ballad form. Then, students will have the choice of composing two other poems with a specific theme and they are free to choose what form they prefer. Together, the five composed poems will be part of their Poetry Portfolio which they will hand in at the end of the unit for evaluation.

******IMPORTANT*****There will be an upcoming test to test their knowledge and understanding of poetic forms and figurative language. This will be on MONDAY, OCTOBER 20th, 2014. InshAllah. All students have the resources they need to study for this test.

On Eid, the students and I partook in a Guided Writing activity to compose a poem about Eid al-Adha. This poem was presented as part of the Eid Bulletin Competition and alhamdullah, we won! The students worked together using figurative language, and other poetic conventions to create this wonderful poem about Eid. I hope you enjoy!

Patience , Faith and Sacrifice

Patience, Faith and Sacrifice
For a Muslim, these characters will suffice
They will keep you serene throughout your life
Keep you grounded when you’re in strife

Patience, Faith and Sacrifice
For a Muslim, these characters will suffice

Patience is the key to succeed
As Allah the Al-Mighty has decreed
So strive to perfect your every deed
Remember, patience is not all you need

Patience, Faith and Sacrifice
For a Muslim, these characters will suffice

Faith will never lead you astray
As Prophet Ibrahim has paved the way
Showing true obedience on that blessed day
A faithful act of worship we must convey

Patience, Faith and Sacrifice
For a Muslim, these characters will suffice

Sacrifice is an act as hard as steal
But it’s a hardship we all must feel
Be true to yourself and do not conceal
As you worship Allah this Eid, just keep it real.

Patience, Faith and Sacrifice
For a Muslim, these characters will suffice

By the Grade 8 Class at Abraar Secondary School
Teacher: Hajar Amira Boutaleb
Date: October 2nd, 2014

Gr. 8 Science Update

Week of Oct 6 to 13,2014 Teacher Dina

Grade 8 Students had the opportunity to start their own Scientific Inquiry were they tested their own testable questions which were approved by the teacher first and they were provided with M&Ms , Room-temp water, Hot water, cold water and foam bowl and they brought their own materials that they needed according to their testable questions. They enjoyed doing the experiments and came up with very interesting testable questions ... students will be given one more period time to finish up and complete graphing the data they collected , analyzing those data and draw their conclusion with respect to their hypothesis. Here are some of the pictures while the students were working together in their groups running their Scientific Inquiries.

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Grade 8 Arabic :Non-Native Speakers

Assalam Alaikum,

My name is Hajar A.Boutaleb and I am the Arabic teacher for the Grade 8's (Non-Native Speakers).
Your child has brought home an Arabic text book (level 5) which will be our primary focus for all our lessons.
As of the beginning of this week, we started looking at  lesson 1: "ذكريات المدرسة " , "School Memories". . In this lesson, we will be working on the following:


  • listening to the teacher read the text to hear for the correct reading of Arabic letters, pronunciation and using "tashkeel" (reading the vowels on top of letters) correctly.
  • listening for the correct meaning/ translation of text from Arabic to English and English to Arabic.
  • learning to read the text using correct pronunciation of the Arabic letters.
  • learning to read the text using correct tashkeel.
  • learning to read at a good pace, stopping when necessary and using the correct tone
  • learning grammatical rules and sentence structure through reading activities 
  • learning to read for comprehension
  • learning to identify grammar rules and sentence structure during readings
  • learning to write the text correctly in a neat, and legible manner .
  • learning to write the text with all tashkeel correctly.
  • learning to write the text's vocabulary in Arabic and in English (translation from English to Arabic and Arabic to English)
  • learning to write answers in Arabic of text questions 
  • learning grammatical rules and sentence structure through writing activities
  • learning to communicate ideas in the text in both Arabic and English fluently.
  • learning to express ideas in the text and in lessons in the form of oral presentations to their peers and teacher
Assessment: Students will be assessed in all areas mentioned above in a variety of ways ( examples may include: writing dictations, oral presentations, in class projects and reading comprehension)

Note: Because the students are Non-Native Speakers, many may find the vocabulary, grammar and overall context a bit challenging. We will work through it at a steady pace to ensure all students are learning the material.

****HOMEWORK:  Because Arabic is only a 40 minute period each day, students MUST complete ALL assigned homework. This will help them review concepts in class and prepare for the next lesson.******


Sunday, 14 September 2014

GRADE 8 :Language Arts and Social Studies

Assalam Alaikum!

Welcome to another great year at Abraar and the last year of  middle school InshAllah !

Language Arts
Unit 1 Poetry:

For Language Arts, we are beginning our first unit of study on poetry. We will be looking at the following aspect of poetry to examine the following questions:

  • What is Poetry?
  • What are the various types of poems?
  • What are the various forms of poetry?
  • What are poetic conventions?
  • What is figurative language?
  • How can we analyze poetic verses?
  • How can we write our own poetry of various forms using poetic conventions?
Throughout this unit, we hope to answer  all the above questions in as much detail as possible though various activities. Students will be given the opportunity to listen, to read, and to reflect on various poems in class. Furthermore, they will be given several assignments which will allow them to create their own poems which will become part of their Poetry Portfolio. It's going to be a lot of hard work but it will also be worth while!
 I am eager to see how creative  they can be! :)

Social Studies
Unit 1: The Confederation

For Social Studies, we will begin a unit that examines the Confederation era roughly from 1860 to 1873. We will work together to examine the  following key points in our  history:
  • What political factors, peoples, events, and geographical realities led to the creation and growth of Canada?
  • How was Canada in 1867 different from Canada today in terms of political, social and other issues?
  • How can we use the inquiry process to answer historical questions?
Students will engage in classroom discussions, chapter reading assignment that require reflection and answering questions, analyzing graphs and creating their own graphs accordingly,examining population statistics, comparing and contrasting " Canada then and now" activities, learning key vocabulary as well as a unit reviews followed by a unit test. All activities and homework assigned will reflect the three  main  "big ideas" of the unit and allow for a better understanding of  the Confederation as an important part of  our history.
Jazakullah Khair

Hajar A. Boutaleb BA (Hons), BEd., OCT

Saturday, 8 February 2014

Math update

Assalam Alikum

Last month grade 8 were working on Geometry. They calculated the circumference and area of circles,volume and surface area of cylinders and the Pythagorean Theorem.

Last week we started the integer numbers: adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing.

Next Friday February 14th  they will have a Test in Chapter 6: Integer Operations. 

IN SHA ALLAH next week we will start chapter 7: Transformations (Rotation, Reflection and Translation) .