au courant

March 9, 2015

Congratulations to Shirley and her Students

They were awarded FIRST, WITH A GOLD SEAL AND A RED RIBBON for their performance of "Bastien enfile tes bottes!" at the Music Festival! Hats off to the students (and their parents!) All that hard work paid off! Not only were they invited to perform at the Grand Concert this Sunday for the Lacombe District, but they have also been invited to perform at the Provincial Music Festival. What an incredible opportunity for Shirley and her students. This is quite an honour!! Thanks so much for annual representation of JSM at the Music Festival, Shirley!

Staffing Update

I am thrilled to say Debby is well enough to return to work!! She will be returning as of April 7th. The details have not been finalized, but there will be a substantial transition time as she builds stamina for full time work again and takes time for her and the students to get to know each other. Cherise will continue to work for much of April to facilitate the transition.


Megan will be going on her maternity leave as of April 10. We hope to have her replacement here by April 7 for some overlap time. Best wishes to you, Megan!!

REPRESENTING HANDS ON ACTIVITIES, CENTRE TIME, AND STATIONS IN PORTFOLIOS

Lights Out Canada

This would be an excellent opportunity for the school's involvement. Donna is willing to sign us up. If you want to participate, please let Donna or me know. For more information, please check out this website. http://lightsoutcanada.tpweb.ca/

CELEBRATING OUR STAFF! - Donna and Chandra

Students should not be accessing tier three supports without having tier one and two supports in place first. Donna has a couple students accessing tier 3 support, but what is she doing to support them in the classroom?

1. BA is placed right near the front where I usually stand to teach

2. NJ is placed right ner the front in any group discussions (D5 time on mat, story time on floor, math corner time, etc.) so I can help her stay focused and attending.

3. Both of these students are doing the same activities but with modified expectations for almost everything so that they feel a part of the group and so they don't feel singled out as different

4. I always start by checking in with them once an assignment is given to help get them started and on the right track. I will often have to stop to check in again to see how they are doing.

5. I have 2 separate tables located in "quiet zones" around my room for students to work at if they are having trouble staying focused and on task.

6. I often act as reader and scribe for both of these students to help support their learning. But I often let them started and then come to help finish. They know I always expect them to do some of the writing.

7. BK starts out 5-10 minutes of his day on "Splingo". This is an app to help develop his receptive language.

8. NJ starts out her day with 5-10 minutes on "Monkey Word". This is an app to help her develop reading skills.

Donna brainstormed other ideas she can try as well:

1. Ask parents if eyes have been recently checked? Do Mom and Dad read to her at home much to help encourage a love for literature?

2. She does well with games so I will try to put learning into that style in the classroom, as often as possible for her.

3. Try to find out her interests so we can build on her love of literature through those areas. What is her currency? If she works hard, what can we offer for a reward? (My guess is socializing and play but I will ask her and her parents for suggestions.)

4. Talk to her about the purpose of reading.

5. "Is this work hard? I noticed... Would you like me to help? Should I find someone else so you have lots of helpers?"

6. Maybe we could have someone read to her first? Then it is her turn to read.

Who is the lady in the HUB cooking those great breakfasts?

Betty Ditzler is a home economist and family life specialist. She simply decided to give her time on Wednesdays to the children who are in the HUB in the mornings. She fits into the culture of the HUB by putting the kids' social/emotional well-being first. She chats them up and shows genuine interest in their lives. They love her and she loves them.

School Council Feedback Regarding Year End Field Trips

At the March meeting, the topic of paying busing costs was brought up. Some parents expressed concern with students in kindergarten and grades one and two traveling all the way to Edmonton or Calgary for year end field trips. The concern was mostly with the amount of time traveling vs the amount of time actually at the site. The travel time did not pay off in their opinion. As a result, there is less enthusiasm on the part of the school council to cover busing costs this year. That will mean teachers will have to ask parents for more money at field trip time, so busing costs are covered as well.

Recycling

The recycling bins in the workroom say 'Cardboard Only', but we pay to recycyle everything possible. So feel free to put plastics and glass in those bins as well. They even recycle batteries, but they should come to the office.

Laminating

Only school staff members should be using the laminator please. We want to keep it working as long as possible. We'd like to avoid having to go back to only specific staff members working the laminators, so please be gentle. :)

March 15-18

The admin will be at a conference during these dates. The link is below if you'd like to check it out.

March 20 Collaboration Day

I had indicated we would be spending March 20th at Eckville doing a session on Fountas and Pinnell. But, instead, we will have celebration time in the middle of Techstravaganza. Teachers who have tried integrating new technologies into their teaching practices will be asked to share what they learned, so other teachers can try out the new ideas as well.


In the afternoon, we will have CRM meetings for the Kindergarten and Grade Three staff.

March 24 Staff Meeting - Buddy Benches

The Buddy Benches are expected to arrive by the end of the month and they are looking great (see them below). We would like to bring everyone together to talk about the benches as they will likely be in place by the time we return from spring break. Please plan to teach your students how the buddy benches work.
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