10 Good Things to Talk About and The Week Ahead

February 4, 2018

Families of James Hill,

With movie night happening on Friday, I never had a chance to write up the 10 Good Things so you are getting another mashup of out 2 weekly news items.

10 Good Things to Talk About

1. Putting Their Hands to Work – Last week, we shared that Mrs Atwal’s students were making their own hands for science. This week, they got to put them to work as they tried to throw, catch, and pick up things by trying to use the “muscles and tendons” in their hand models. We love it when kids get to put their projects to work!

2. Season Opener – Our grade 5 basketball team got off to a strong start with a great game at Uplands Elementary. I was so impressed with their leadership and teamwork as they passed the ball around and made great plays to get everyone involved. I also want to acknowledge their sportsmanship as, although, they were up by quite a bit, they remained hard-working and gave plenty of respect to their other team.

3. Groundhog Day! On February 2nd, Division 13 and 14 students were outside with their groundhogs looking for shadows.  Despite the aid of their “super scientific shadow spotting glasses” (see photo at the top), there were some conflicting reports of whether Spring will be early or late this year!

4. Packed With Popcorn, Pizza, and People! Our first movie night of 2018 was the biggest one in recent years (since I have been at JH… not sure about before that). We had over 200 people pack our gym, eat some popcorn and pizza, and take in the Lego Batman movie. Thank you to all those volunteers who made this happen and to all those who came to help bring our community together for a fun event.

5. Having Fun in Math – Mrs Hobbs’ students had a chance to put their math skills to work with a variety of math games.  As parents, you likely have noticed that math is taught a bit differently than when we were in school. With a focus not only on number facts, but also number sense (truly understanding math), students are feeling more confident in math. In addition, the inclusion of math games has led to about 75% of our grade 5 students this year stating that math is one of their favourite things at school!

6. Spreading Kindness and Gratitude – on Friday, I was privileged to be able to observe a lesson on kindness and gratitude in Mrs Brooks’ class. Students first watched a video by Kid President on “20 Things We Should Say More Often”.  Mrs Brooks paused when the phrase “I Love You” came on the screen and she used this as a platform to discuss kindness and care.  Students discussed many different ways to spread love, kindness, and care through words. They then watched “Kindness Boomerang” (which I have embedded below) and talked about the feelings that occur in others and ourselves when we spread kindness and gratitude.  The students finished it all off by writing kindness and gratitude notes to classmates and staff throughout the school. What a powerful lesson!

7. Honouring our Strengths – We honoured our third group of grade 5s this month for their strengths, talents, and virtues. We also shared a slideshow of images from December and January (I used the “Thunder” song as I know how much Mrs Clayton’s class love singing and dancing to this song!). You can watch the slideshow here.

8. Toontastic! With our tech coach, Mrs Baxfield, students in Mrs Kazakoff’s class learned to use a new app called Toontastic. They have to think about the elements of a story (characters, setting, plot) then they can choose cartoon characters to put in their story and animate it.

9. Inspired by Vickers – Mrs Reavley’s class has been looking at the beautiful work of BC artist, Roy Henry Vickers. They especially took note of the colours and themes to create their own works of art, inspired by him.

10. We are James Hill – a few months ago, our PAC co-chair, Gina Twellmann, took all the first names of our students and made it into a wordle (with names used more than once showing up larger). I have sent this off to the printers and we are having posters made up for our school. With our new mantra, “Where YOU belong”, this is just one more way of showing each student he/she matters!

BONUS – We have had a group of staff attending Wellness Sessions this year as the district has put adult wellness as one of the goals this year. The rationale behind this is that a healthy staff is a happier staff and this impacts not only the adults in the building, but also the students. I recently wrote about this here.

The Week Ahead:

Here are a few updates and reminders for the Week Ahead:

  • The wet weather will likely continue and we will continue to head outside (unless there is a downpour). Please ensure your child has boots and a jacket as our field gets pretty soggy!
  • We have another fire drill on Tuesday.
  • Wednesday, Feb 7 is an early dismissal for collaboration. Students will be dismissed at 1:25pm.
  • If your child is entering kindergarten next year, we invite you to attend our Kinderstarts this Wednesday at 5:30pm. More information is here.
  • With the Olympics starting next weekend, we are encouraging students to wear Red and/or White on Friday. Go Canada Go!
  • Friday is Popcorn Day – $1!

Have a great week!