December 7, 2018
The Whirlwind of December
Our PAC consistently goes above and beyond the call of duty. This past week they transformed our Aboriginal Support Worker’s room to a Christmas Store. There were hundreds of items displayed and priced so students could get their Christmas shopping done. Parents and staff were there helping students select items within their budget. Once their items were chosen and paid for parents were there to wrap any gifts for the students so they would have gifts to give on Christmas. I am so grateful for the care and time our PAC puts into our community!
IT’S UP!!! Our district construction crew was out in the cold for a few days putting up the gazebo the PAC purchased in the summer. The gazebo provides a space for teachers to bring their students outside for lessons. Studies show that learning outdoors reduces stress and increases intrinsic motivation. The combination of the covered space and the garden will provide ample opportunity for our students to get outside to engage in their learning.
Our fabulous PAC is sponsoring a pancake breakfast on Monday, December 10th. Everyone is encouraged to wear their ugliest Christmas sweater! Breakfast will include pancakes, oranges, and a juice box. Although this will be taking place in the morning we ask that students still eat breakfast prior to coming to school as some classes won’t get their pancakes until 11:00 AM. A better idea might be to provide a smaller lunch instead of skipping breakfast.
I’m waiting for the official spelling of November to be changed to Movember! Although its purpose is to raise awareness around men’s health it is also an opportunity to have fun and build community. There were moustaches everywhere, which made it a little challenging to see the smiles underneath, but they were there!
Food Bank Challenge
In an effort to give back to the community our grade 7 leadership has organized a school wide food drive. To spice things up a bit I have offered to buy doughnuts for the class that brings the most items. The students have taken this challenge very seriously. Announcements are made each day indicating what class is in the lead and how many items they have brought. I’m so impressed with the effort being made to support others in the community…and maybe get a doughnut for doing so. If you have any perishable items you can send we will be accepting them until December 12th.
The Funny Farm is an organization that adopts animals in need of care and love. We have a group of students who go with Ms. J. M. once a week to the Funny Farm. While they are there they help to care for the animals by participating in the feeding of the animals, cleaning their cages or stalls and giving the animals the love they need. There is great satisfaction in taking care of someone, or something else. The fulfillment and joy our students get while at the Funny Farm is obvious in their smiles and eagerness to return each week.
I would like to congratulate our Wix-Brown boys and girls volleyball teams. Both teams did exceptionally well competing against the other DWP elementary schools. One of the complexities to being a small school is that sometimes it can be difficult to find enough students to participate in team events, but rather than not participate we open it up to the younger students. So, although some of the students on the other teams are a little bigger and stronger, our kids are playing with more experience. Their solid foundation for volleyball was obvious in the games and often led to a win. I am super proud of the effort they put into their development, often spending recess and lunch practicing in the gym or on the field. Also, a big THANK YOU to Ms. J. M., Ms. Senges, and Ms. Osborn who all gave a significant amount of time and energy coaching.
Communicating Student Learning
Report cards are being issued next Friday. I will be sending a message out to families when the reports have been properly posted. If your child gets additional support your child will be coming home with a hard copy of their progress, it will not be digital. Also coming home in your child’s agenda will be their self-regulation self-assessment. Teachers took the time to have students measure how well they are able to regulate themselves in the classroom so they are alert and ready to learn. The purpose of this assessment is to provide the staff with a baseline so that when we measure again in June we can see how impactful our efforts to implement self-regulation strategies into our classrooms have been. Please go over this assessment with your child and talk about the different aspects of self-regulation needed for the school environment.
Action Plan For Learning
As stated before, part of our Action Plan For Learning is to implement Adrienne Gear strategies to improve our students’ success in reading and writing. This past week some of our staff attended the second of three workshops given by Adrienne Gear. Adrienne provided a ton of ideas on how to improve our instruction. There were a couple of things I know teachers will be focusing on. First is the modelling, and use of a common language, for thinking about and talking about reading. We want our students to be able to think about what they’re reading while they are reading. Phrases that support this work are: “I’m thinking,” “I’m noticing,” “I’m wondering,” “I’m picturing,” “I’m feeling.” If you are reading with your child at home it would be great if you could pause at certain points in the book and model your thinking while using these phrases. The second strategy is to develop our students’ ability to ask deep questions. The answers to quick questions are found within the text and don’t require any further thinking. Unlike quick questions, deep questions engage the student and force them to dive deeper into the text because they can’t find the answer in the text, they have to infer an answer based on the information they have. You may be wondering if this is a little much to expect from some of our younger students, but even kindergarteners can look at a picture of a child crying and infer that she is sad without the text explicitly stating that. The important part is for them to be aware of this skill so that as texts become more challenging they intentionally employ this skill to increase their understanding of the text.
Have a restful weekend!
Up Coming Events
Pancake Breakfast – Monday, December 10th
Report Cards Issued – Friday, December 14th
Hot Lunch – Friday, December 14th
Christmas Concert – Tuesday, December 18th @ 1:30 and 6:30
Ugly Sweater Day – Friday, December 21st