Weekly Message #4-15

Welcome to the Year of the Horse

Welcome to the Year of the Horse

I am writing to you on Saturday afternoon instead of Sunday this week since the VSB internet system will be down for most of the day tomorrow.  Please note that if you need to call in sick on Sunday for Monday, you’ll need to use the phone line instead of “online”.

I need to tell you all how excited I was this past week to be part of two great events.  First of all, a big thanks to all of you who promoted PAC attendance with your classes.  We were pleased to welcome 17 parents at our meeting on Tuesday night.  The parents who came were enthusiastic and motivated to make a difference for our school.  As a result, they are planning a PAC fundraiser to support a new intermediate playground.  We are hoping to put a Moberly float in the Baisakhi parade this spring.  There will be buckets available for donations.  Three of the parents were planning to meet with representatives from the temple this week to seek permission.  I’ll let you know the details as it unfolds!  I left the meeting feeling so encouraged about what we can accomplish with help of our parents.

On that note, the parents have selected two finalists for the plans for our new playground.  They will be put on display in front of the office in the near future so that students can vote for their favourite.  This will give a visual target for fundraising.  Both playgrounds will cost about $40,000 (plus installation).  The PAC has $19.000 put aside so far so we have a ways to go.

The second great moment came at our afterschool pro-d on Wednesday.  I am always so impressed with the high level of conversation, brainstorming and problem solving which occurs when Moberly teachers get together.  Our presenter, Mary Filleul, commented on the commitment and creativity of our team.  We are looking forward to sharing some of what we learned with all interested staff members on our Pro- D day this Friday with another excellent facilitator, Terry Howe.  It promises to be an inspiring and exciting day for all of us!

EVENTS THIS WEEK:

  1. Health  & Safety Meeting Wednesday at 8:15 in the staffroom.
  2. Patti and Henry will be absent for the first part of Thursday morning as we attend an information meeting at the VSB regarding new curriculum.
  3. Patti will be at a Principals’ meeting on Thursday afternoon.
  4. Pro D Day and Chinese New Year on Friday!

Have a great week everyone!

Weekly Message #4-14

DSC_0405Can’t help but share this picture of my sweet son – all dressed up for his winter formal last Thursday night.  Time is flying by so quickly – for all of us- and seems to get exponentially faster as we get older.

Another busy week approaches with lots of activities.  A highlight will be our pro-d afternoon on Wednesday.  Ten people have signed up to work with Mary Filleul to craft a common understanding of “The Inquiry Approach” in order to support our whole staff inquiry day on January 31st.  For those of you who are not attending on Wednesday, please be assured that January 31st will include a general introduction for everyone so that we can move ahead together.

I will be visiting classes on Monday to hand out $1 field trip vouchers to students whose parents have attended PAC meetings this year.  Please promote Tuesday night’s meeting as we need to increase our attendance!

I am planning to do 1 – 2 teacher evaluations this spring.  Are you interested?  Let me know if you are – otherwise I will be approaching you to work something out.

EVENTS THIS WEEK: 

  1. John Oliver Articulation Breakfast on Tuesday morning for selected staff.  Starts at 7:20 a.m.!
  2. Patti will be at a “Wonder of Reading” follow up meeting at J.O. until about 11:00 a.m.
  3. PAC meeting Tuesday night at 7:00 in the library.
  4. Patti & Henry will be at an area meeting on Wednesday morning.   Paul is in charge.
  5. Inquiry Pro-D & light dinner on Wednesday 4-6 in the library.
  6. Assembly Thursday morning at 9:00 a.m. Div. 2 will be leading this assembly.
  7. Sarah from Community Link will be talking to K-4 classes on Thursday morning about upcoming afterschool programs.

Have a great week everyone!

Weekly Message #4-13

imagesEffective inquiry is more than just asking questions. Inquiry-based learning is a complex process where students formulate questions, investigate to find answers, build new understandings, meanings and knowledge, and then communicate their learnings to others.  In classrooms where teachers emphasize inquiry-based learning, students are actively involved in solving authentic (real-life) problems within the context of the curriculum and/or community.  These powerful learning experiences engage students deeply.

Research suggests that inquiry-based learning increases student creativity, independence, and problem solving skills, and it improves student achievement. Alberta Ministry of Education

It can be motivating and exciting to investigate new methods, try out new strategies and discuss effective learning with our colleagues.  We look forward to two opportunities this month to seek further understanding of the inquiry approach.  With guest facilitator, Mary Filleul, we will have the chance to seek a common understanding of the key aspects of inquiry based teaching and learning on January 22nd.  Please sign up if you would like to be part of this afterschool group.

Then, the whole staff will receive an introduction and chance to discuss possibilities in groups at our January 31st pro-d day.  At this point, we are hoping that Terry Howe, retired Vancouver principal, will be our facilitator/presenter that day.  Couple that with a great Chinese food lunch and we are in for a treat!  I am looking forward to the opportunity to learn more.

EVENTS THIS WEEK:

  1. Salad Day on Tuesday for those who have signed up.  Thanks to Paula for organizing.
  2. Articulation breakfast for Gr 7 teachers and resource people on Wednesday at David Thompson.
  3. Hat Day on Wednesday – please support our Student Council as we all show our school spirit by wearing a hat!

Have a great week everyone.  Patti

 

Weekly Message #4-12

My god daughter's new baby, Alexa - born on New Year's Day!

My god daughter’s new baby, Alexa – born on New Year’s Day!

As usual, the winter break has flown by!  I hope that you have all enjoyed the time off and that you are healthy and rested for an exciting 2014!  Check out the picture to see my favourite gift of the season.

I feel as though we are making real progress with our goal of improving reading for all students.  At times, it has been challenging to embrace new organizational structures and work with new strategies and methods.  I am constantly amazed (and grateful) for the efforts that you all put in to make a difference for our students.  We will continue to work hard to keep the improvement going and to integrate technology in a meaningful way.

Looking forward to seeing you this week as we sail into a new school year!

EVENTS THIS WEEK:

  1. Supervision aide meeting at 11:00 on Monday
  2. Staff Committee meeting on Thursday at lunch.  Agenda items to the clipboard in the staff room by Wednesday at noon, please.
  3. SSSA meeting Friday at 8:15 in Room 110.

Have a great first week, everyone!