Annandale Public School

May 2016 Newsletter

It's May - Spring is in the Air!

Annandale School is a busy place in May. Education Week, Mental Health Awareness Week, Track and Field and EQAO testing takes place this month. With warmer weather, students are reminded to walk bikes, scooters, and skateboards on school property. Students are also reminded to review the dress code that can be found in student planners to ensure they are wearing appropriate attire at school. We hope to see many of you this Thursday, May 5th to celebrate Education Week!

Class Photo Day

Class photos will be taken on Monday, May 9th.

Education Week

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Education Week Celebrations

Thursday, May 5th, 3:45pm

60 Tillson Avenue

Tillsonburg, ON

We have a busy line-up on May 5th.

Plant sale - Greenhouse - starts at 3:45 - Don't miss out!

Car Show - after school

Open House - Selected classrooms will be open from 5-6 pm (individual classes will communicate if they are participating)

Honour Band performance at 6 pm

School Council - will be hosting a BBQ, selling hotdogs and sausage

Mental Health Awareness

Do you ever feel like your thoughts are racing 100 miles a minute? Or that there’s just too much going on and you can’t find time to breathe? Feeling anxious and overwhelmed may even be affecting your schoolwork and grades. If this sounds familiar, mindfulness-based practices may be for you.

Mindfulness meditation originates from Buddhism and is the practice of being present and deliberately aware of our inner thoughts and surroundings. Mindfulness meditation has been shown to reduce stress, improve sleep, and improve cognitive functioning.


Our Primary students will participate in "mindfulness" lessons throughout the day on May 5th. We thank our community partners from Oxford County Board of Health and our TVDSB Psychological Services, Mental Health and Social Work Services for their support.

(Photo credit:

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EQAO Testing

Students in grades 3 and 6 will participate in EQAO testing beginning May 25th. Results will be made available in September 2016.


May 5th - 6:00 - 6:20 (approximately) - HONOUR BAND PERFORMANCE at Annandale - location TBD - but trust us, you'll be able to find us.

May 19th - 7:00 pm - ANNUAL SPRING CONCERT @ Annandale - $3.00 admission (will go toward our Snack Program & busing for our year end trip) - musicians need to be here for 6:40 pm.

May 20th - permission forms are due with payment for our year end trip! No late forms will be accepted.

June 2nd - 7:00 am - all bands head out on their year end trip to perform at Kingswood Music Theatre - musicians need to be here NO EARLIER than 6:35 am.

Our Grade 5 & 6 recorder classes are beginning to compose and write out their own music for recorder. There have been some very creative starts so far. It will be exciting to see what the final products will sound like!

Our Grade 7 & 8 instrumental classes have been working on class 'band' pieces. Some classes are ready to perform while others are still in the learning or perfecting stages. Performing band pieces as a class really sums up why we spend so much time learning fingerings, pitching, rhythms and reading music in general. It's pretty cool when it all comes together and Mr. Tanton, Mrs. Martin, Mrs. Sinnesael, Mrs. Earls, Mrs. Thompson, and Mrs. Hogarth have all enjoyed being 'flashmobbed' by a class or TWO.

The Honour Band performed at Summers' Corners Band share on April 28th. It was wonderful for us to hear three other elementary school bands but also the polished sound of a high school band too. It wasn't a competition, but we were definitely given the nod as best dressed in our black & neon with our hats & sunglasses too. It was over all too quickly (no seriously, we got back to the school WAY TOO EARLY!), so it was decided that we would give a quick, impromptu concert for our FDKs who didn't get to see the Christmas concert. All students on the 1st floor were invited by a speedy Mrs. Kingsbury & Mrs. Phillips - so students from 11 classes enjoyed three pieces by the band. Mrs. Glendinning wanted to let the Honour Band know that her 3/4 class really enjoyed the performance too (they were right above the band on the 2nd floor!). If you'd like to hear this group and the taste posted on our twitter feed wasn't quite enough - come find us between 6:00-6:20 on Thursday May 5th. We have a few songs to play.

The Beginner Band and Grade 8 Band competed at the Woodstock Rotary Festival of Music on April 7th. It was the first time since December that many of the Grade 8 students had heard the Beginner Band play. Many of the older students commented on how well the younger musicians play for their first year. The Beginner Band achieved GOLD and the Grade 8 band also played very well earning SILVER for their performance.

SO, now that your curiosity is piqued about just what these folks sound like, be sure to jot down MAY 19th on your calendar ... seriously - go reserve it right now! The 20th Annual Spring Concert starts at 7:00 pm and you'll enjoy a wonderful evening of entertainment. Please join us!

The Special Education Corner

By Mrs. Phillips (Learning Support Teacher)

Please click here to access information about Special Education in Thames Valley!

Parents of children with special needs have a new online resource thanks to the Special Education Advisory Committee (SEAC) and the Special Education Department:

If your child is struggling with issues and you’re not sure where to turn, OCYC in Woodstock offers FREE Walk in Counselling. Please click here to view this website for more information.

Mental Health Awareness Week

May 2th-6th

Child and Youth Mental Health Awareness Week takes place in early May every year in Canada. The Student

Support Leadership Initiative has again engaged in a coordinated approach to celebrate Mental Health

Awareness Week across the Thames Valley community.

The theme, once again this year is RESILIENCY – the ability to thrive during both good and challenging times, and

adapt well to stress or adversity. It is the ability to BOUNCE BACK – as many of our children and youth have told

us: to keep trying, to come back after hard times, to get back on your feet.

Annandale will be participating with activities this week.


Focus: Anxiety

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

Linden Method Program

Early ID’s

During the Fall and Spring, class reviews for the students in Junior Kindergarten to Grade Three are conducted with the classroom teacher, the Learning Support Teacher and the Principal. This process is known as “Early Identification”. Teachers assess all students within their classrooms under four categories of development: Social and Emotional Development, Physical Development, Language Development, and Mathematical Skills development.

If your child received a “Yes” in any of these categories, a letter will be sent home with recommendations.

If you have any questions on any of this information or Special Education, please call Mrs. Phillips at 519-688-3498.

May Newsletter Cycling Safety

Cycling is a fun, healthy activity and an inexpensive way to get around. It is important for children to have an understanding of cycling safety skills so that they can feel confident when riding their bikes. Below are a few cycling safety tips to reinforce with your children:

1) Make sure your child knows their hand signals for a right or a left turn and also the signal for stopping. Making hand signals requires being able to ride with only one hand on the handlebars. Children should practice signaling while riding along a straight line.

2) Shoulder checking involves looking back over your shoulder to see what the traffic behind you is doing. This maneuver is vital for making safe turns in traffic. Children should practice riding in a straight line while checking over their shoulder.

3) The key to cycling safety is being predictable on the road, so that drivers can anticipate what you’re going to do. Cyclists should always ride on the right side of the road in the same direction as the traffic one meter from the curb.

4) Cyclists need to be seen and heard. Because bicycles are one of the smallest vehicles on the road, it is important for cyclists to be as visible as possible to other road users at all times. By law your bicycle must have a white front light and a red rear light or reflector when you ride one half hour before sunset and one half hour after sunrise. Also all bikes must have a working bell or horn to announce the cyclist’s approach.

Cycling can be enjoyed safely when you understand the rules of the road and practise proper safety and handling techniques. For more information please contact Oxford County Public Health at 519-539-9800 or visit our website at

Get Active!

Now that spring is here students can start getting active! Active transportation to and from school can be part of a healthy lifestyle and includes walking, running, cycling and even skateboarding to and from school. Other benefits include a healthier environment, safer streets, making friends and having fun.

Here are some more ideas that may help you and your family adopt more active modes of transportation.

· Think twice about using your car for every trip. Could you walk or use your bike instead?

· Dust off your bicycle and cycle to work when the weather permits.

· Trade in your dress shoes for running shoes, strap on a back-pack and walk all or part of the way to work or school

· Instead of driving your kids to the park, why not walk or make it a family outing on your bikes?

· Schools can support and encourage their students to adopt an active way to get to school

· Parents can work with the school to form escorted walks to and from school for young neighbourhood children, this is also known as a walking school bus

Have fun getting active with your family and spring into spring! For more information on active transportation go to

Home Connections in Math

Do What the Best Do: Problem Solving in Math

Students often encounter a situation in math where they don't know immediately what to do. Instead of moving quickly and applying known procedures incorrectly in hope of a solution, think about what the world's best do!

Problem-solving is what we do when we don't know what to do.

The world's best problem-solvers thrive in these situations because not knowing immediately triggers a process in their brains to allow them to slow down and begin to make sense of the situation.

“Students who mainly use memorization strategies can do well on easy questions but complex problems require more than a good memory.”

OECD (2016) PISA In Focus #61, p.3.

The Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), an assessment of 15 year-olds around the world, finds similar results: students who rely on memorization fair much more poorly than those who rely mainly on making connections and seeking to understand the situation.

How do we get our children to do what the best do?

First: Understand the Problem

Prompts: What is the problem asking or telling us to do? What do we know from the problem that might help us? How could I draw or build what is going on here?

What math does this remind me of?

Second: Make a Plan

Prompts: Think back to strategies I’ve used before: what could I try to use to solve this?

Third: Carry Out the Plan

Prompts: Try it! If it doesn’t work as you had hoped, switch to a different plan.

Fourth: Look Back

Prompts: Does my solution make sense? Does it fit what the question asked or told me to do? How can I check my thinking to be sure?

Try this with your child:

Understand but don’t solve: Take a problem and invite him to tell you the ‘gist’ of the problem. “Without using any numbers, tell me what is going on in the problem and ‘the general idea’ of what we must do.”

Represent but don’t solve: Take a problem and invite her to draw or build a model that helps her to understand the math and find a way ‘in’ to solving it.

Critical thinking and creativity are the keys to being a good problem solver. We can encourage our children to take their time to do just that.

Annandale Track and Field

With spring peeking out after a long winter, we now turn our attention to the track and field season. Our JUNIOR Track and Field meet will be held on Tuesday, May 10, 2016 (raindate Thursday, May 12, 2016) for all students in Grades 4-6. We will be offering high jump practices this first week in May for all students who wish to participate in the high jump event. Before students can practice and participate in high jump, we must have a signed high-risk form returned to Mrs. Glendinning. Students can earn a spot to the Regional Track and Field meet that is also held at Annandale Track. In order to be successful, we rely heavily on parent volunteers for this day. Please consider volunteering to run an event, be a timer for the track events, or help supervise the students. You must have an up to date police check filed at the office. The regional meet will be held on May 24, (raindate May 25), and we will be needing parent volunteers that day as well. Details about the Regional Track and Field Meet will be coming in the following weeks.

Track and Field Team

Annandale Junior Basketball

Congratulations on a successful season! Many thanks to the parent volunteer drivers and to our volunteer coaches, Mrs. Doan and Mrs. Durham.
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