10 (+2) Good Things to Talk About – December 15

December 16, 2017

Families of James Hill,

Here are some good things to talk about with you and your family this weekend! (It’s been 2 weeks so I included a couple bonus things).

1. Bringing Smiles Through Music – We had over 800 tickets sold to watch our students get everyone into the Christmas spirit at our annual Christmas Concert. Each grade sang their own song, with songs from Rudolph to Springsteen, while the choir sang 2 songs and the entire school sang a version of Feliz Navidad. I want to again congratulate Mr Steeves on a great show (and his first ever Christmas Concert as a teacher) and thank our staff and families for all their efforts in preparation and production of a great show. Special thank yous to parents Gina Twellman (pianist, decorations, set), Debbie Patchett (ticket sales and orders), Tamiko Hinze (support in decorations, set, tickets, order/pick up of keyboard), and all those parents who volunteered with raffle sales, tickets, decorations, and clean up! Also, a big thank you to McGill Realty and the Joseph Richard Group (McGill family) for their donations for raffle and door prizes. Growthpoint Learning Center and Leslie Morrison (a grandmother for 2 of our students) also donated valuable items that were used in the raffle – much appreciated! Check out the video of our choir “The Oneders” singing a beautiful version of White Christmas.

2. Creating Their Own Wild (Christmas) Rides – Mrs Gill/Mrs Coffin’s students were given some specific items (pipe cleaner, popsicle sticks, tape, etc) and had the challenge of making their sleigh for Santa. Students worked together to plan, design, and create the sleigh. Mrs Peck’s class also got into the fun that used such creative and critical thinking (they were so proud of their creations!). Mrs Coffin’s students also had a chance to find their gingerbread man with clues placed around the school. The best part of this activity was what happened later that day. Once they found the gingerbread men and returned to class, a few hours later (on their own), the students created their OWN clues and wrote them all around the school… such engaging times in Language Arts!

3. You’ll Never Catch Me! – This week was an exciting week at StrongStart! The students and families baked a huge Gingerbread man… but it escaped! They put up signs throughout the school and tried to get other older students to help. A few days later, Mrs Sam read a short version of the story “The gingerbread man” to the students and families. At the end of the story was a clue; this clue led to another clue and another. The StrongStart students and families found themselves all over and around the school (even being led on the hunt by a former StrongStart student!)… and eventually found that sneaky Gingerbread Man in Mr. Wejr’s office! At the end of their search, we sat down and enjoyed eating him for snack. Yum! (If you are curious about our Strongstart program, drop in with your child aged birth-5 any school day from 1-4pm and engage in fun literacy, numeracy, art, and science activities. It is such a great program to get your child interested in learning and connected to our school!). 

4. Home, Sweet Homes – Mrs Hobbs invited in some dependable elves to help her students build some very creative Gingerbread Houses! It also looked like a test of self-control as they students had to wait to the end to be able to eat a little bit of candy. 🙂 (Parents were faced with this same challenge).

5. Game On! Mr Graber and Mrs Coffin’s students buddied up for a challenge of creating their own board games that had to use Christmas candies as the materials! Students made their own board hockey, board games, and spinners using candy canes and other Christmas treats. The best part for the teachers was listening to them plan and collaborate… the best part for the students was playing their games and eating the candy!

6. Hmmm… Very Interesting – Students in Mrs Brooks’ class are losing track of time as they have become so engaged in their Inquiry Projects. The class was given the chance to choose a topic of interest and then use a variety of resources (print and digital – text, images, and video) to learn about their topic. They then had a few options on how they could present their learning. We are all excited to see the finished products!

7. Survey Says? Mrs Peck’s students have been learning about data collection and tallying; with these new skills, they decided to ask one of the most important grade 1 winter questions… do you like marshmallows in your hot chocolate… or not? They then were able to analyze and discuss the results as a class.

8. Pyjama Day Students (and teachers) basically rolled out of bed, headed to the breakfast program, and then to class/work on Friday as part of our pyjama day. Fuzzy slippers, plaid pyjamas, and robes became the norm for the dress in the school… but it was Mr Graber who stole the show. Although his attire might not have been exactly pyjamas, this sharp dressed man had an outfit that was so loud, it spread holiday cheer for all to hear!

9. Reader’s Theatre – There are so many skills involved in reading and some areas that Ms Clayton’s students have been working on are comprehension, fluency, and expressive voice. To take these skills and share with others, the students participated in a Reader’s Theatre. Students practiced their scripts and then read and acted out their parts in front of their peers.

10. Proud of Where We Come From  An area of focus for Mrs Atwal’s class seems to be… diversity. It is so important for students to be proud of their identity – proud of who they are and where they come from. Mrs Atwal does a fantastic job of creating the conditions for student identity to shine through. As this week marked the start of Hanukkah, a student and her brother presented to the class and then set up a dreidel game that led to some happy learning with classmates.

11. Rockin Around the Christmas Tree If you left the Christmas Concert with Brenda Lee’s song in your head, you will love the Christmas artwork that was done by Mrs Kazakoff’s class. They created their own artistic version of themselves and others as they “rocked around the Christmas tree”. Check out the display outside their classrooms.  Students also had a chance to engage in a number of math games for pyjama day!

12. A Window Into Festive Art Students in Miss Ford/Miss Anderson’s class have been doing some incredible artwork. Last week, the students created their own Christmas scene with pastels from the perspective of someone looking through a window.  Their directed drawings (Christmas themed) are also on display outside the classroom.



Club Days are coming back in 2018! Check out our slideshow of our 2017 Club Days.