Friday, February 3, 2012

Adios Amigos

 I know many of you have read my email today letting you know that this is my last day in for Mr. Hunt.

I will very much miss the students and staff, but I know that with a grand daughter at Cedar Grove I will have some good excuse to come into the school at some time and join the parents and other grand parents who get into the school to volunteer and contribute to the school in that way.

I expressed in the note home how much I feel that you have a great school for your children to attend and I know a lot of that is a direct consequence of how you as families work so hard to support Cedar Grove in so many ways.

Mr. McGowan knows the school well and it won't take him much time to get to know you.

In my meeting with him today as part of the transition, I strongly pointed out that in my almost 100 days at the school, I have a scant 6 entries in my behaviour file, and none of those are duplicate student entries. Yes, I work with students weekly on behaviour issues, but they are relatively minor and I can happily say that there are so many interesting and creative things happening that occupy the majority of my attention.

I guess this will be my last blog entry and I want to thank you for reading.

Friday art comes from Ms. Andersen's class
and the great paper mache masks they are building

See you around ...

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Family Literacy Day

From every bit of feedback our Family Literacy Day today was a huge success.

Staff members worked on the organization for the morning and parents provided delicious baked goods. Children brought their reading skills to the forefront and many wore PJs or costumes. I'm told the turnout was the highest number in years. Thanks for your support!

This slideshow is from some of the photos I took, but I have many more I haven't yet gone through from Mrs. Sammartino, Mrs. Webb, and Ms. Corbo.

The grade 6 and 7 boys played the "big guys" from Roberts Creek this afternoon. The game was fast! Although the Creek won the day, I could see a lot of athletic promise from our boys who are under the direction of Mr. Williams. There were lots of points scored by both teams and our team was gracious in defeat... something I know that is taught to them as being good team members. They have a good number of games remaining in the season and then the full day tourney at the end of March.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Not much time

I didn't get any really extended time to be in the classes today with a lot of administration stuff going on, including the continuing administration of the FSA to the grade 4s and 7s. My original schedule is jumbled up a bit because of different events that must take priority such as Ms. Haavisto coming today to work with the classes. Today in her presentations she got to use one of our two, new document cameras that the PAC so graciously donated for the students to use. It is a great device and will get a lot of use. One is for the primary classes to share and the other is for Mr. Pond's class and that will complete the intermediate students having one available for use in each classroom.

Tomorrow morning we have our Family Literacy day and the day begins at 8 am in the gym with families invited to grab a snack and read with the children. I know some will be dressed up for the day and some will come in pyjamas and some will just come and read. Whatever you decide to do, I hope it is to come and share some of your time with us. I'll just give a hint that I will be dressed as a character with the initials CU :)

I posted the minutes for the January meeting of PAC on the website today and you can click on the link to get them from here as well.

One of the Science displays outside Mrs Andersen
and Ms. Krannenberg's room
Looking forward to tomorrow...

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Quite a day

It was quite a day from start to finish.

My first task of the day was to administer the Foundation Skills Assessment to the grade 7s and that went along reasonably well with only a few hickups and a need for a couple of students to deal with some freezing.

After recess, it was the grade 4s turn for the first assessment and of course they are new to this type of assessment and so the directions and startup was interesting :). Then it happened... it seems that Eastlink our internet provider for the district was doing some routine maintenance in the area and the internet went down. The students were about half complete so we will pick up from where they left off on another day.

Lunchtime we had our first inside day since I have been here... a full inside day and the supervisors had their work cut out for them today with a number of students wishing for a larger place to play than the classrooms.

An assembly after lunch featured the band, Mr. Williams poetry reciting class, my "What's January been like for me" slideshow, and a video from Ms. McAllister's class thanking one of our grade 7 students for the kindness he has shown them by building hockey sticks for them.

And, after school... it was off to Gibsons Elementary for our Grade 6/7 Girls first real basketball game of the season. We played two 20 minute games and were victorious in both. We haven't begun positional play and accurate positions yet so it was kind of funny when the other team talked about taking their checks. We don't quite have that yet.

Back at it tomorrow...

Monday, January 30, 2012

Back at it

We were back at it today with lots of interesting things going on at the school. One thing I like about Mondays is having the opportunity to see our "Monday" teachers at work. Ms. Krannenberg has a chance to do Science with the grade 7s and she has, of course, to be conscious of the fact that she shares only one day a week with them. They continue their work on the water cycle and other related factors. They have started a project on composting, and we talked about how this will go in class (it would be nice if we could have an out of class compost) for the next four weeks. It should be fun to watch.

If your curiosity is raised at all by this photo, you will need to drop by our assembly tomorrow afternoon to see what it is all about. Ms. McAllister's class will have something in media form to tell us about it.

As well, on the agenda is a band number being performed by our students. Ms. Leander has been working in class this past month to get them ready for tomorrow's performance. The assembly is at 1 pm in the gym.

Our senior girls basketball team has their first game of the season tomorrow afternoon after school at Gibsons Elementary School. They are pretty excited about this match since the one scheduled with Roberts Creek last week did not come to pass as the Creek was not quite ready with their team. Our senior boys played last week in Langdale and from all reports had a great visit. Our junior teams start playing next week.

I wish we could enter our Library couch in the Ugliest Couch of the Coast contest
but I would have to move it into my home for it to qualify. We are putting aside
some funds to get it replaced, though.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Another great Friday

Another great Friday watching some of the week-ending activities going on. A few weeks ago I taught some of the grade 7 students a great game from my past, Liar's Dice. I love the game for many reasons, but one that applies to student's at this level of their curriculum is that it is a fun introduction to examining probability.

It is also an easy game to play at home at almost any age, so I encourage you to do so.

Is this a great class... one of the best grade 7 classes ever?
I worked with some classes on the computer today, but not specifically Ms. McAllister's.

What a treat to hear that the students in her class were taking a look at the writing blog, reading my comments on their comments, and writing back to me.

Again... I know they are young and I don't have high expectations for their "mechanics" but it does thrill me that they have an interest in using the computers for productivity purposes. I did visit their classroom to go over things with them and to let them know that the access to that site is not only by a computer in the COW (Computers on Wheels) but is also available by going to the site from any computer connected to the internet.

Friday Artwork - Evergreen Trees in Winter

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

So much fun

I posted a note on my Twitter feed this morning asking the world out there that if any of them were substitute teachers looking for employment, move to the Sunshine Coast and apply for a job. I wasn't being facetious, as today was another day the District ran short of subs and I had the responsibility to step in for Mrs. Corbo to do her classes for the day. But, what fun it was as I got to work with most of the primary students, Mr. Pond's grade 4s and Ms. Thompson's grade 5s.

I feel a bit sorry for Ms. Corbo because as techy as I am, I could not figure out the password for our wonderful library computer, so had to take back books without signing them in and sign out books the old fashion manual way. I'll see if I can get that addressed before she returns next week.

Maybe the good thing is that I was the kind of substitute that didn't follow the day plan - and she had an excellent plan - so hopefully she won't have to prepare as much for her next class. One thing I did with some of the students was to have them work on a blog I have created called CGEWriting. I have actually worked with Ms. McAllister's class on that blog site last week and while we had some technical difficulties with their initial posts not working, some students took another go at it with me last week and got it working fine. The concept behind the blog is that I provide an image and a question and the students brainstorm some ideas and do some writing. Now, these are pretty young students so the volume of writing isn't there and though there is a lot of questioning about spelling, their entries are a bit rough... but not bad for grade 2 through 4. I plan to take this idea forward to some of the upper intermediates by having them look at the comments made by the students and find a reading buddy to reply to. We'll see how things go with that. Of course you parents might like to find a student comment to reply to as well. Just click on this link, and you are there.

Mrs. Sammartino had a visitor in her classroom between recess and lunch. Dianne Sanford brought along some salmon eggs and did a talk for the students, one which captivated their attention.

This is one of the photos she sent me and more of her photos will be a part of my January slideshow for the students at our assembly on January 31 at 1:00 pm. Of course all parents are invited to attend that event and the band will be playing as well.

Now, if this photo looks a bit staged, it was. But I must tell you it was based on reality. As I was coming in from the playground I happened to notice these grade 6 girls walking hand in hand with some younger ones. Of course they were having a fun time of lifting the children off the ground. I had my camera (of course) and asked if they might restage their coming in party.

Just another example of what a large group of delightfully kind students we have here at the school.

Tomorrow I get another chance to work with the K and K/1 class introducing them to the laptops. I made a comment last night to some folks about what a difference there is in totally finger controlled work that is done with an iPad (or other tablet) and how much more complex it is to work with a keypad one the laptops. Oh to have the funds in place to acquire some iPads for the primary students...