10 Good Things to Talk About – Nov 25

November 25, 2017

Families of James Hill,

There were too many awesome things to fit into 10 at James Hill this week! Here are 15 good things to talk about with your child and your friends and family:

1. Space Explorers  Div 7 read a story called Personal Space Camp and learned about the imaginary bubble we all like to have around us called personal space. They also discussed that it can be uncomfortable when others break that invisible bubble. Such an important skill for social development.

2. Stuck in a Snow Globe  Mrs Brooks’ students found themselves trapped in a snow globe and the only way out was to write a story about it! The kids were so into it and excited to share their stories with people who stopped by the class.

3. Scientists in the Making  Science can sometimes be taught with facts and recipe-type learning where students simply follow instructions. Ms Clayton’s students were working on their thinking skills as they learned about different experiments and how to change one variable… then they had to design their own. They were wrestling and struggling with many factors but they were showing determination to come up with their own ideas for an experiment!

4. Commitment to Reconciliation  All our grade 4/5 classes travelled to Kwantlen Cultural Centre to spend time in the longhouse learning about the importance of reconciliation as well as having the opportunity to make some of their own medicine bags.  Students shared their thoughts on moving forward with reconciliation while using such words as hope, freedom, and honour. We were all honoured to have Tony Dandurand open up the day with a traditional welcome and have Miss Bonnie, Miss Kathryn, and Miss Katie Pearson (of Lower Fraser Valley Aboriginal Services) guide us through a medicine bag activity while learning about the importance of land and where we come from. Thank you to Miss Bonnie for coming back and facilitating the day and to Kwantlen First Nation for welcoming us into the Cultural Centre.

5. Spreading Kindness Through Writing  Mrs Coffin and Mrs Gill’s students took some time to brighten the day of other classmates as they each wrote a kind letter to a student in class. Students highlighted the bright spots in others while working on their writing.

6. Filling the School With Christmas Music  Mr Steeves has been working hard with students on their Christmas songs that they will be singing at the Christmas concerts on December 14.  When I walked in, he even had a few students being the lead choreographers for one of the rockin’ songs.

7. Puppets Take Over Division 8!  Each time I walked into Mrs Hobbs class during an inside day this week, the students were spending time using their creative thinking skills by making some awesome puppet shows! Some were also incorporating their rhyming skills that they have been working on in class.

8. No!  Ms McColl’s students were learning about rules and “No” signs this past week. They made “No” signs using the symbol similar to “No Parking “ signs with a red circle and a line through it. Students came up with their own ideas of things they wanted to say “no” to and drew a picture to make a “No “sign. They also made some “Yes” signs in green!  Maybe we can put these students to work to help solve some of parking challenges! 🙂

9. Movement in Math  Mrs Johnson’s students were working on subtraction by getting up and moving around the classroom. Different problems were posted throughout the classroom and the students had to find the problems, solve them, then wait for a signal to find the next one. They were pretty pumped about subtraction!

10. Silly Self-Portraits  Students in Miss Baird’s class were focusing on some creative thinking skills by using a variety of materials in class to create their own silly self-portraits. It was very entertaining seeing which materials students chose to represent themselves.

11. Writing Collaborative Stories  Mrs Peck’s students have been working really hard on writing so they recently did a shared pen activity in which they wrote their first story together. They also participated in an art activity based on the unique artwork of Eric Carle.

12. What Happened to Math?  I remember sitting at my desk doing question after question in workbooks when I had math in school. Mrs Reavley has had her students showcasing their math learning through some incredibly engaging activities this week. Earlier this week, they had to solve a number of problems around the room as the time was ticking down as part of an “Escape Room” math activity. Kids were literally jumping up and down with excitement as they solved the problems with seconds to spare. On Friday, they participated in a “Probability Carnival” as activities were spread out throughout the room and students were challenged with different math problems while having the chance to play a number of carnival-type games. Be sure to check out our Facebook Page and/or Instagram feed for more videos and photos.

13. Congrats, Mrs Atwal! Although Mrs Atwal has officially been a teacher since the start of September, she and her grad class took part in the graduation ceremony at the Chan Centre at the University of British Columbia. We are thankful she has joined our intermediate team and wish her “congratulations” on her memorable moment. Her class has started their buddy reading activities with Mrs Reavley’s class recently too.

14. A Healthier James Hill  Mrs Peck, Mrs Candido, Miss Baird, and Mr Wejr have been attending sessions in the district on how to increase student and staff wellness in the school. They recently learned about 5 key areas to increase staff wellness in the school:

    • Focus on positives (strengths-based)
    • Social connection (relationships)
    • Kindness and compassion
    • Mindfulness
    • Gratitude

We look forward to putting much of this in practice at our school. To read how my own daughters taught me a lesson on family/work balance this week, click here.

15. What is UDL?!?!?  We are working as a staff to continually strive to meet the needs of ALL our learners through a philosophy and strategy called Universal Design for Learning. Check out this 3 minute video from our friend, Shelley Moore, for more info on this important topic (and learn why bowling is like education). Thank you to Ms Edwards, Mrs Candido and our team of SEAs and teachers leading us in this area.