Friday Focus

Holy Name of Mary, Friday, May 31, 2019

Happy Friday!

Hi everyone,

Hold on tight - June is here and there are only 19 days of school left! If you have a look at the calendar, you'll see that we have special activities and events happening almost every day in June.

Please make every effort to keep things as structured as possible over the next several weeks. Our kids need to continue to follow the same expectations you set out at the beginning of the year right until the last few days.


Big picture

Yard & Bus Duty Hack

Every one of us has a duty to ensure that every child is properly supervised on the yard and in the bus lineups. We appreciate just how busy everyone gets and how hard everyone works in our building. It can be really hard to get to where you need to be on time.

I wanted to share with you an easy little hack that I use myself to ensure that I get out to my duties exactly when I need to be there, so that there is no chance that children are left unsupervised, even for a few minutes.

Simply set a recurring alarm on your phone for each of the duties that you have each week. But don't set it for the time your duty starts - set it for 4 minutes before the time you need to be out on the yard or on bus duty. Trust me, I have tested this: it's just enough time to run to the washroom, throw on a vest and get down the hall so that you arrive right when you need to be there. Bonus: If you are in the middle of a meeting or conversation, it will conveniently ring and give you the perfect excuse to wrap it up. :)

Big picture

Five Ways to Teach from Bell to Bell

We all know that when students have time on their hands with nothing to do, they always find something to do. What they find to do, however, is almost never constructive. One of the problems many teachers face with classroom management is the mismanagement of time.

The best classroom managers share a secret—they make every effort to avoid any situation in which students are left with idle time. They teach and keep students engaged from bell to bell, from the moment the students enter the class until the moment they leave. Please continue to teach from bell to bell this month. There will be plenty of special events and interruptions through the month of June, but it is very important that when class is in session students are engaged and working.

Five Ways to Teach from Bell to Bell

  1. Overplan. In other words, plan enough activities (meaningful ones, not time fillers) so that you will have more than you can teach in one lesson. Do this for every lesson you plan.
  2. Start teaching and engaging students the moment they enter your class. Keep teaching and engaging them until they leave.
  3. Plan for short, interesting activities. If you have to give an assignment, such as a writing assignment, that may take more than five or ten minutes for students to complete, break that assignment into parts and guide them through each part. At the very least, give them quick stretch breaks during the assignment. Remember, though, that short, quick activities hold students’ interest better than those that are drawn out over longer periods of time.
  4. When you give an assignment to students, have a plan for early finishers. Also, always be prepared to provide remediation for any student who might struggle with the activity.
  5. Be prepared. Having your lesson well thought out and your materials organized and ready to go will allow you to move quickly and effectively from one activity to the next, without creating idle time.

From The Ten Minute Inservice by Todd Whitaker and Annette Breaux

Big picture

The neuroscience behind learning

I listened to this podcast on my way home from work one afternoon this week and it kind of blew my mind. It's an interview with Jared Horvath, a cognitive neuroscientist who specializes in human thought, learning and brain stimulation.

If you've got about 30 minutes to listen while you are driving, making dinner, folding laundry or taking a walk this week, it might completely change the way you think about Power Points, pop quizzes and asking kids critical thinking questions. I think you'll be surprised at what science tells us about how the brain processes information.

Big picture

Report Card Reminders

  • Be sure to include the IEP comment where necessary in your comment boxes and to check off the IEP box when students have modifications to their programming.
  • Remember to check off "N/A" for subjects that you did not teach this term.
  • Don't forget to spell check your work before you hand it in!
  • Reports and IEPs are due to the office at 8:00am on Monday, June 10th. Megan will print them that morning.
  • Report cards will be sent home on Tuesday, June 25th. Grade 8 students will receive their report cards at Graduation.
  • As you know, it is very stressful to be getting report cards ready at the last possible minute. Please ensure that all your corrections are done by Wednesday, June 19th so that we have sufficient time to reprint, sign, photocopy and put them into envelopes on Friday, June 21st. That way we can all enjoy the final weekend before the last week of school and avoid any undue pressure in the final few days of school.
Big picture

Great stuff

Here are some photos of great things happening around the school this week. Don't be shy about texting me your own photos to include in these weekly newsletters. (Lots of people do!). I can't always get around to see everything, but I love to share what is happening in your classrooms.
Big picture
Big picture
Big picture

The Week Ahead

Here is a peek at the week ahead. Please check our Holy Name of Mary Staff calendar for all of the latest updates on what is happening this week at HNOM. As we often have last-minute changes, checking the staff calendar is the best way to get the most up-to-date information on events and absences. This short video tutorial will show you how it's done.

Monday, June 3rd

  • Laura Shilson in
  • Ottawa U Maker Mobile in (Gr. 5Imm, Gr. 6Imm, Gr. 6/7Core)
  • OT feedback meeting @ 8:15am for S. Kelly
  • Grade 3 EQAO makeup

Tuesday, June 4th

  • Grade 2 & 2/3 trip to Merivale Bowling and Stittsville Pottery (Jane & Brigitte)
  • Kerri Starr in for speech therapy
  • Gail Gamble in to volunteer
  • Andrea Ross in for testing
  • Gillian Davis in to see EW
  • Tier 1 feedback meeting (Andrea Ross, Mary) @ 9:15 and 10:15

Wednesday, June 5th

  • Regional Track Meet at Notre Dame
  • Sara H out (Sandra Stewart)
  • Steve out at track (John Murray)
  • Spec. Ed. Team meeting @ 8:30am
  • Sewing Club @ 3:20pm (Wendy)
  • Art of Conversation group @ 3:30pm

Thursday, June 6th

  • Rachel & Erin away at ASIST PD
  • Gina out (pm only, John Murray)
  • Kerri Starr in for speech therapy
  • Grade 7/8's to Cornerstone Community Church at 1:00pm to see Anne of Green Gables

Friday, June 7th

  • Erin & Rachel away at ASIST PD
  • Steve out (Erin Hogan)
  • Debbie Balog in
  • Grade 7/8 trip to Camp Iawah
  • Nadia out
  • IPRC for CG @ 8:30am
  • Grade 6/7 Probability Fair outside (weather permitting) for younger classes to come and try their luck for their Probability Unit.