Friday, December 23, 2011

12 games of Christmas

Are you looking for computer Christmas games that are not shoot-em-up, but rather ones that can be used for some math related things?

This site is actually entertaining and one that can be done along with the children, or they can go it alone.

Link to the games: The 12 Games of Christmas

Two days to go...

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Happy Holidays

As a school community we adopted a family for the holidays and yesterday the goodies were picked up for delivery.

Along with what you see here, there were presents for the mom, dad, and three boys as well as gift certificates to be redeemed in our grocery stores over the coming months.

We raised enough that the Ministry agency we dealt with said there would be enough to share with another family in need. And then late in the afternoon, I got a call from the maintenance department who wanted to donate even more to support a family in our Cedar Grove catchment area and that task was taken care of as well. Needless to say, I'm very proud of our parents who worked so hard to make this happen. Thank you so much.

At our final assembly for this part of the school year, we followed the program with our grade 7 MC. Part of the assembly featured three dance numbers from the Cedar Grove Dance Club who have been under the direction of one of the moms for the past 5 weeks. The children in the audience fully enjoyed this presentation.

This weeks artwork courtesy of Mr. Williams students

If I don't see you around town over the holiday, I will see you again in January.

Have a happy and safe holiday season!


Thursday, December 15, 2011

Thank you

Thank you so much Mrs. Leander for directing our students today and this evening.

The K-5 classes performed Christmas songs and tales from many different cultural perspectives and our band joined forces with the band from Langdale to give the parents a delightful evening show.

These performances were most special and I have to say that we are extremely fortunate to have Kathleen in our presence two plus days a week.

As she noted tonight, the students enjoy their practicing and I think that is a testament to her.

I couldn't chose any photos other that this one to single out for today's work, so please enjoy the collection below.

We'll see you tomorrow before the last day before the break...

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Busy, busy

I had a chance to see only a bit of the rehearsal for the K-5 part of the concert today and I don't want to give away any spoilers (you can tell I watch reality tv). I hope you are able to join us tomorrow and I will have photos for those who can't tomorrow night following the 7pm band concert.

Seeing older students working with younger students was a nice part of the day for me. Students from Ms. Kennedy's class helped those from Mrs. Morris' class work on decorations and the grade 7 students were monitoring lunch time with the younger students. It is nice to see them play with the students though out the eating time.

And though I don't have a photo to show you how some of the grade 6 students helped a group of younger ones on the playground resolve a play issue, completely unprompted from me, I can tell you it is those kinds of things I see on the grounds from day to day that give me good feelings about the direction many of our older children are going.

Two more days, Mr. Cotter ... just two more days!

I'll see you all tomorrow!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Busy with the holiday preparation

Thanks again to Mrs. Sammartino for sending me a dozen or so shots of how exciting things are at the school as we move towards the final day of this term.

I can't wait to get back there tomorrow!

See you in a few hours...

Monday, December 12, 2011

Letters to Santa

Wonderful thanks to Mrs. Sammartino.

Of course she knew I could not be at the school today, so what did she do... sent me a couple of photos to keep me in touch with what her class is up to... and that is Letters to Santa.

I can wait until I am back on Wednesday to thank her in person for this kind thought and to see what else I have missed today.

Thanks so much, Roxanne!
Click on the letter to make it bigger!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Special Edition

Little did they know that when they embarked on this expedition
they were on the adventure of a lifetime, a short lifetime..

Student and parent helpers at the PAC bake sale today.

I know I loved the things I bought... and so did my grandchildren :)

Thanks to all who volunteered and made a purchase to support Cedar Grove.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Parent focus

I think I get it now. Full moon, one week to winter break.

Lots of increased activity now at the school and with the children. Winter break, Christmas holidays are coming and the focus in the school is changing ever so slightly. A friend in the alternative school reminded me that at this time of year, we halve our expectations and double our patience. So true.

Time spent decorating, working on reading and math and other subjects.

Busy days for sure.
A huge thank you to parents for the activities you were involved in today, from getting out the popcorn, collecting and organizing the baked goods for tomorrow's bake sale at the Sunnycrest Mall, working after school with children who wanted to make Christmas wreaths. You contribute so much to the school and the children. Thank you!

Students and teachers together are working on the backdrop for
next weeks Christmas concert performances. I hope you can be here.
Back on Monday...

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Another busy day

And one of incredible variety.

It really was a great day for the primary students as they accompanied staff and many parents to the arena today for a wonderful skate. Many thanks to Mrs. Sammartino for giving me a good collection of the shots she took today of the children. Of the dozens she gave me, I hope you get a good feeling of the fun that was had from the six I chose for this collage. And thanks, too, to Ms. McAllister for working with Mrs. Hilstad on getting the plans put together and to the parents to responding to my last minute out cry for drivers and more car seats. The hot chocolate afterwards was a real treat.

Mrs. Hilstad located the Christmas Tree the other day and I had a couple of students pull it out. Now, I am a real klutz when it comes to things like this and one of the moms happened to mention that her son was a real whiz at putting things together and loved to do their tree at home.

I asked Aaron if he might want to do ours after school and he jumped at the opportunity.


Thanks Aaron.

We had a great band class this afternoon under the direction of Mrs. Leander. She combined the two classes here and her Langdale class for an extended class. It was nice to listen to the children play.

You will see on our blog that I am a member of Twitter. I posted a photo the other day on Twitter praising our band and I got a response from another teacher who is a music and band teacher on the mainland. She asked who our teacher was. When I told her, she said, "She is an amazing teacher.  She was my student teacher last year; best one I've ever worked with!  Enjoy!" It is so special to have such a well respected "rookie" on our staff.

Mrs. Leander with her Cedar Grove and Langdale band.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

A day of variety

I have 20-15 who has 32?

Part of a round robin math game in Mr. Williams class that uses different ways to express place value. The answer, of course is *

There are many different ways children learn their arithmetic skills. Some are good at rote memorization, some at repetition of facts, some by playing with manipulatives, some children are oral learners, some visual, some tactile.

When you see Arithmetic, or Math, taught in our classrooms you will see a variety of approaches used. Math games like Mr. Williams was using today are one fun way of looking at place value.

Mr. Kellough, a teacher for Elphinstone, brought his concert band and his jazz band to the school this morning to entertain. And, the students were entertained as were the staff and a few parents in the audience. Some of you will recognize three former Cedar Grove students in the images above. These students got their musical start here and have gone on to advancing their skills at the high school ... yes, isn't it great that schools are about more than the reading, writing, and arithmetic skills? Mr. Kellough announced at the beginning of the performance that the shows they were putting on today were a good work through for them in anticipation of their evening concert next week at Elphinstone School.

The grade 7 students have been helping with the, by donation, sale of raffle tickets for this beautiful gingerbread house made for us to support our PAC fund raising efforts.

Tickets will continue to be sold at the school tomorrow and Friday, then the gingerbread house will move to the Sunnycrest Mall for final sales as part of our baked goods event.

Finally for today before you look at the * at the bottom of the page, I would like to remind you of the food and toy collection we are hoping will be successful towards support for a needy family in the community. We have made a commitment to the Ministry of Children and Families to "adopt" a family of 5 - Mom, Dad, and three children - for Christmas. There is a box in the office for monetary donations and as soon as the tree is up in the front hallway we hope to place boxes there for any toy or food donations - including turkey bucks - you might have for this family.

* 20 + 12 of course, now, who has 68?

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

iPhone day

My 35mm camera is temporarily broken down with the primary lens not playing properly for auto focus. Things like that happen for all of us with the tools we use for the job - well, not that a 35mm camera is essential to the job, but you know what I mean. Today was a day to wander around with my iPhone for the photos of my day. Can't wait to put another of my lenses on my camera.

Concentration on the math work after recess was a bit easier accomplished today as the children were heading away to the ice rink at 11 this morning with their teachers, one of the SETAs and the volunteers. 

And, from the feedback I got it was a pretty good event. I was concerned when the message got passed along the vine and got to me to say that a student had his hand skated over and lost a finger, but, after the brief moment of panic when I talked with the child's teacher, it turned out it was not a bad cut that he had, but a cut indeed.

The primary students are off on their year end skate on Thursday and I hope they have as much fun as the older students.

Both Division 1 and Division 2 students got together for music this afternoon and it looks as though the band performance next week will be an entertaining one.

Please note that the singing component of the Christmas event will be in the afternoon next week and the band component in the evening. Watch for more reminders to follow.

And tomorrow (Wednesday morning, 9:30) we will be entertained by the Elphinstone Concert Band and you are most welcome to attend.

I will be away tomorrow afternoon at the School Board office for a meeting of Administrators and Mr. Williams will be the person in charge of the school.

Until tomorrow...

Monday, December 5, 2011

Visitors galore

I've mentioned before how Mr. Williams is collecting information about the weather and having the children make observations and collect data about the mornings.

It was quite cool outside at recess today so I thought I'd take a peek at his thermometer. Now is that below 0 or what, and I'm certain it was colder this morning first thing. The frost was pretty heavy out there.

Aside from having the children dress warmly for outside play, take care on the way to school if you are biking or driving. The black ice can be treacherous.

For the morning, Mrs. Sammartino had a number of adult visitors in her class. I took the children for the first 20 minutes of the day and then they went back to class and had quite a good time with the moms and dads who had come.

Mr. Pond was showing a segment from the this movie about Caribou and Inuit. It was filmed in the mid 1960s and the media was 16mm film.

Our district still has a number of older National Film Board movies available for classroom use.

I gave Mr. Pond a bit of a hand feeding the projector bringing back memories of a class I took at Simon Fraser University in the 1969 which gave me a certificate to show I knew how to use audio visual resources in support of my teaching.

The intermediate classes are taking some time tomorrow to go skating and the primary students are going to the rink on Thursday. Thanks to our volunteer drivers for making this happen.

Wednesday morning we will be treated to the Elphinstone Concert Band in the early morning. Any parents who wish to attend are welcome to do so. We will likely get underway about 9:30.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

A Friday to Celebrate

The assembly this morning was led by two of our grade 7 girls who did a fantastic job. For part of the assembly, we had Mr. Williams class recite a poem they have been learning and Mrs. Webb introduced a few of the students who will be performing a bit later this month at the Heritage Theatre with herself and a number of other students from around the District.

The girls started the assembly with a bit of a joke about how the nose feels when it is not picked ... you had to be there... and this was a nice segue into one of the things I wanted to talk about and that was play and choosing who to play with. One of the common "complaints" we supervisors outside get is that so and so won't play with me today. This often with an expectation that we will make it happen. I talked to them about how it is not always the case that we play with our current best friend every single day and that the school population gives them a good chance to meet and play with others, expanding their groups. This piece of socializing is often one the hardest bits to learn, but we are working on it.

Along the same lines, I recognized three boys who had been brought to my attention as boys who had seen some children with a need to get involved in play - they were Grade 4, the others Kindergarten, and offered themselves as recess/lunchtime buddies.

Now just how cool is this. Sharing goes on in a lot of the classes on a daily basis. I mean the kind of sharing where a student brings something to the classroom to share with their classmates. They are most often asked questions about what they have brought in order to develop their oral presentation skills.

In Mrs. Chambers classroom today, one of the girls brought a carrot plant.

It seems only two of the students in the class were taller than the plant!

Friday Artwork from Division 3

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Some days...

... are just like that.

I was supposed to be away at a training session today but got called back from Kinnickinnik because of a shortage of staff that affected Cedar Grove. The training had a physical component to it and so I was in "comfortable" clothes and that was a bit of a laugh. Some children noticed the no tie, but none commented on the sweat pants and running shoes. I'll still need the training, but that will be at a later date.

A number of the students I talked with today about things actually related around this little poster that is part of Mr. Pond's work with his students... not in the direct sense, but often in the problem solving I do with the students about incidents that come up from time to time.

There are always the facts that are part of any problem to solve, but there are also no shortages of opinions. As a non-classroom teacher, I often get to work with students to determine the reality of what went on in a given situation. It is all part of learning.

Tomorrow we have our December assembly and I'll be talking with the students about a few things, Mr. Williams class will have some poetry to share, and I will have my November slideshow for the students to see. The assembly will be MC'd for the first time this school year by some of our grade 7 students. It should be fun.

This group wanted to pose for my first December shot of the month.

 Since I was back at the school unexpectedly for the lunch hour, I invited the grade 7 girls into the gym to have another playing practice for our younger girls who are going to the district volleyball tournament tomorrow.

Once again, the older girls were great sports, setting up the equipment and playing their game to help keep the ball in play for our school team.

I wish I could be at Elphinstone tomorrow to see some of the tourney. I hope some of you can make it.

Until tomorrow...