Two years ago our school created an opera called "Mars" through a year long residency with Calgary Opera's Let's Make an Opera. Every student and staff member at the school was involved in a very real way. As a school we organized several Friday mornings so that students from different grades worked together to envision and create part of the opera. Both students and teachers saw great value in this mdel and we have spoken many times about how we could make this part of our regular school year. Well, this year we have done it!
This past Friday was the first of twelve Follow Your Passion Fridays. Over the course of several weeks, all students met with Mrs. Ramsay to share what skills they really wanted to learn. That list was compiled and organized and presented to all teachers who then selected a topic from the list that they felt drawn to and able to teach or explore alongside students. When examining the dynamics of potentially having seven years of students in one group, the decision was made to offer groupings based on divisions instead - Division 1 (Kindergarten, Grades 1-3) and Division 2 (Grades 4-6). Since most of the students expressed interest in more than one topic, we decided as well to offer 6 sessions in each skill so that students would have the opportunity to try two different things. The next step was to take that list of topics selected by teachers back to students and organize their choices. We were able to give every student either their first or second choice by creating groups of 15 - 17.
On October 28 the first session was held and the excitement was overwhelming. Students were engaged and animated, happily sharing what they had learned with their classmates. Even more exciting for us as educators, was that we saw our students persevere at tasks that were challenging, problem solve when they hit a roadblock and proudly help each other tackle tasks concepts and tasks that were complicated ~ even for us!
Among their focuses, students learned to cook, bake, sketch, draw, code, type, create zentangles, sew, work on fashion and interior design, create music, create origami, play soccer, and much more. Students were very excited to share with their classmates and hopefully they all showed their families their new skill when they went home! We are anxious to hear your feedback either as a comment below or via email!
Dates for FYP Fridays - October 28, November 18, December 9, January 13 & 27, February 24, March 10, April 21, May 5 & 26, June 9 & 23
Math every day
The only way to learn mathematics is to do mathematics.
If you have been following the school on Twitter, you know that we have been posing a math problem every day on our morning announcements. Every class in the school has been tackling the challenge at their own level. Does it sound like this might be too easy for some and too hard for others? Please ask your children about it - these problems are created to allow for multiple entry points ~ meaning that EVERYONE can be successful at their own level.
This week's challenges were posted on Twitter but are also posed below in case you want to revisit them as a family. The first day's challenge was simply - how many ways can you make 8?
Students and teachers have found that the engagement of students and the conversations they have been having are very worthy of their time, but they have requested that they have more time on each one, instead of doing one per day. Therefore, starting this week, we will pose one challenge on Monday and another on Wednesday. Students have been excited to know that everyone is working on the same challenge and will be sharing their solutions with their buddies when they meet. We will share the challenge on Twitter so parents can join in the fun as well.
News from Grade 1/2
Grade 1 & 2 students hosted parents, students and teachers at their celebration of learning this week. They were eager to share their knowledge and understandings of ways we use our five senses to experience the world. Visitors engaged in hands on learning centres created and guided by the students with activities such as blind fold drawings, tastes and smell tests, braille and sign language lessons. Parents and DHS students were asked to leave a comment about something new they learned.
We have spent time engaging in conversations around the words right and responsibility. Students are learning the difference between a person’s right to do or have something and the responsibilities that come with having that right. We have been focusing our conversations around our rights and responsibilities at school, in our community and at home.
“ I have a right to come to school, it’s my responsibility to be at school on time and not be late every day” - J
“ My right is to be at a clean school, my responsibility is to take care of our place like when I clean up garbage at recess outside.” – K
Monday is Halloween. That means that our school will be filled with characters in strange, funny costumes. Our school policy is that no weapons, masks, full face paint, blood or scary costumes should be worn. Masks get very hot and restrict students' vision, and with the exception of our Halloween parade in the afternoon, this is a full school day. We have lots of little ones who are frightened by scary costumes and we want the day to be fun for everyone!
Our School Council has provided a surprise for every student. Students will be coming home with a coupon for a McDonald's treat!
Have a great Halloween, everyone! Be safe and have lots of fun. Please help your children limit the amount of candy your children bring to school this week. We all enjoy candy, but it makes for long days for everyone if students have been eating lots of sugar! :-)
In an attempt to make it easier for parents to see what the whole school is doing, we are beginning to use the hashtag, #DHSCBE this week on all of our tweets. You should now be able to search for that hashtag if you go to Twitter.
We have four student teachers who officially begin at our school this week, although they have been to visit several times before now. Please join us in welcoming them when you see them!
PE FOCUS – Floor Hockey
Playground schedule - Division 2 on playground before school and at recess and Division 1 on the playground at lunch time.
Monday, October 31
Remember to check us out on Twitter for updates and important information. -@DHarknessCBE or search for our new hashtag, #DHSCBE
Remember to check out our school website - http://schools.cbe.ab.ca/b347