Empowered Minds Building Strong Community
This month, our core value words are kindness and caring. Christmas is a time when we really have wonderful ways of showing kindness and caring to others. In fact, December is officially kindness and caring month so we encourage everyone to find ways of showing these traits. (See below for a kindness calendar if you are up for the challenge!) We will be focusing on how we can show these attributes (by being thoughtful, nice and helpful to others) and why it is important to show them.
Although we do explicitly teach these values in class time, one area in particular where we try to teach these attributes in a practical way is on the playground. As a whole, we do have very kind and caring children at our school. Often, however, the unstructured play time of recess is a place where children may forget to consistently show these traits, especially when they get into a conflict with their peers. We try to instill within our students that conflict is a natural part of life and try to help them build up their tool boxes for dealing with these conflicts in effective ways. We often hear students coming up to us saying that someone is "bullying" them at recess. When we dig a little deeper, we often find that it wasn't actually bullying. Instead, the children might have had a disagreement or someone might have said or done something mean, but it was not an act of bullying. During those times, we try to encourage our students to deal with the conflicts and resolve the issues on their own (with guidance from us).
That being said, we do know bullying is a serious issue and we want to stop any bullying from happening. Before we can deal with bullying, it is important that everyone clearly understand what bullying is. There must be two key components for it to be bullying: 1) there has to be intentional and repeated harmful acts and 2) there has to be an imbalance of power. Disagreements or mean acts done in isolation, or children just being "bossy" by nature do not fall into this category and are dealt with in a different way than bullying. Often acts of bullying are NOT the ones that get reported to us because the victim feels helpless. Because of this fact, we encourage students and parents to let us know if they see or hear that true bullying actions are occurring so that we can put them to an end. It takes a community to work together to put bullying to an end and we all can show the kindness and caring to those that need it.
I wish everyone in our VPE family a very merry Christmas. Thank-you to all you do to show kindness and caring to all of us throughout the year!
Special thanks to Mrs. Christina Marciszyn for all the hard work she has put into organizing this amazing event and to Mrs. Mary Ann Fath for helping out. Both Christina and Mary Ann have spent several long days going through all the items, organizing them, and even cleaning them if needed. We truly appreciate every second you've put into this great project!
What's New in Grade 1/2
This month the grades one and two students have been working hard and learning a lot! In writing, we have continued to work on our “small moment” stories. In these stories, students pick a short period of time where they did something or something happened to them and paint a picture with their words. We also began our letter writing unit. Students have been working hard sharpening their skills so they’re ready to write to Santa!
We are always working hard to build independent reading stamina and are making progress every day! In guided reading, we continue to learn reading strategies and habits to help us improve our reading skills. Thanks for helping us with home reading! In social, we have been learning about our community and different kinds of communities. We even took a field trip to learn more about Vulcan!
In math, we have been working hard to master number concepts. Students have been learning all about what numbers mean and how they can be represented. We have even begun some addition. Ask us about making ten or using doubles!
December is an exciting month, check our agendas for information on events to come!
Grade 3/4 Update
November seemed to zoom by. We hope that you had the chance to hear “Blowin’ in the Wind” either at the Remembrance Day ceremony or at your home.Participating in the CRC’s ceremony gave us a great chance to do a small part to remember those who have fought and those who continue to work to keep peace around the world.
We have been practicing having big, bold opinions and lots of reasons to back them up. After starting with some judging and awards, we moved into thinking about changes we could make in the school. After discussing a number of ideas, students worked to draft speeches to share ways that we feel our school could be improved. Not all of the ideas are likely to happen as some would be big changes, but it was a great way to practice seeing both sides of an issue and coming up with reasons and evidence to pack up our arguments.
In social we learned about the basic geography of Peru, Tunisia, Ukraine and India. Students are really eager when we get to learn more about the quality of life, traditions and celebrations of these countries later in the year. Now we have switched back to science and are getting ready to build up all sorts of things. We have been testing out different materials and shapes to see which are the strongest and most stable.
Keep up the good work with home reading as all that extra practice pays off. Students have built up good reading habits and we are now digging deeper into the meaning of the text and have been busy practicing reading for information too.
Reading in the gym on "Flashlight Friday"
Some grade 3/4 students look forward to reading in the gym on Friday mornings during their "Flashlight Friday" time - a highlight of the week for many of them!
Plenty of hands-on learning!
We are learning about building structures in science.
We love reading anywhere!!
More of our time in Flashlight Friday!
Reading in the gym on "Flashlight Friday"
Grade 5/6 News
Grade 5/6 Social : First explorers and Indigenous people to Canada
BY: Taya C
The past month the grade 5/6 have been focusing on great explorers of Canada. They have been working on timelines and what special events happened when. They are now working on a special person/ explorer they have been assigned and are making handouts and slides that will give information about that person so the other kids know more about different explorers.
They have also been working on learning about the first Indigenous people that came to Canada such as learning about what groups are still around and what ones are dead. Examples are the Blackfoot, Mohawk, Iroquois and many more. The grade 5/6 are enjoying learning about the Indigenous people and famous explorers and can’t wait for more!
Our Empathy Skits
By Leah T.
Over the past month we have been making skits about empathy.
Empathy is how you feel and how you can relate to other people It is very important to have because you can understand how that person will feel. Empathy is basically putting yourself in somebody else's shoes.
Today I interviewed Shannon Stephens and this is what she said: ‘’I think empathy is, say, if their dog passed away they can know how they feel if your dog passed away.’’
Now let me tell you how our skits worked. The very first day we did it, it was mostly just planning. However if we did finish planning, we could start to practice.The second day was the very last day to practice them and the third day was the most important day because we presented them to the teachers.
If the teachers picked us then we would get to present them at the assembly. Now maybe that doesn't seem like a big deal but we don't get to do that very often.
Two groups were picked and of course, as it turned out, neither of them were there on the day of the assembly so the teachers had to pick a different group to go.
The group did a very good job with their skits and I think everybody learned more about empathy.
In the future we hope to do this more often.
Our Fun Volleyball Games
In grade ⅚ this year we have done many fun things. One of my personal favourites was the volleyball tournament where we went over to the CRC and some other schools came and played some of our pre-made teams. We prepared for this tournament for weeks, learning the rules and getting practice games in.
Cameron Akitt said, ”I thought it was fun, especially just to play one of my favourite sports. “ Cameron is a good friend of mine and he has no bad things to say about the tournament.
When we got to the CRC we all put our stuff in some cubbies then we went and sat down on the bleachers and had a talk about what was going to be acceptable behaviour. Before all the schools showed up we played some games to adjust to the nets. Speaking of nets the nets where pretty low so it was a little easier for people who had some trouble getting the ball over the net. We played with and against our friends and all around it was so fun!
By Layton E
Gym is one of my favourite subjects. We now have a student teacher who is amazing! Her names Ms. Kee. She came from Lethbridge University she has been teaching us our basketball unit and the grade six math working on integers. She's also doing skating with the 5/6 classes; it is very fun! We just got started in basketball playing full games.
It's always a joy to run around in the gym. Mrs.Helland used to teach us gym until Ms. Kee took over. Ms. Kee makes if fun just like Mrs. Helland! Skating is part of our gym too. We like playing games like tag and races. We skate at the Vulcan Arena. It's a great learning time for people that don't know how to skate for gym and good for those who already do!
We're also doing hockey intramurals with Mrs. Dawson, it's very fun! There's also an upcoming badminton tournament. We go to CRC just like we did for volleyball, other school attends and we have a blast.
ATB Grand Opening - Article written by Craig Albrecht of Palliser Regional Schools
Young students get a taste of workplace realities
Leadership skills and financial literacy also benefits of Junior ATB Program at VPES
VULCAN – Brooklynn Kendell is climbing the corporate ladder. After working as a bank teller last year, she’s been promoted to the position of Chief Executive Officer.
While such a meteoric rise is unlikely in the real world, the benefits of the Junior ATB Program are genuine for the 11-year-old and her fellow Vulcan Prairieview Elementary School students.
The Palliser school recently celebrated the grand opening of its Junior ATB Branch, a working bank complete with tellers, promotional staff and a Board of Directors.
Brooklynn believes the hands-on learning opportunity will provide a leg-up when she is ready to enter the workforce for real.
“I think it will, because I will have the experience in being a leader,” says the Grade 6 student. “And last year having an experience in money and getting schooled what to do, and being able to act under pressure when the lines were really long.”
Lori Helland has been the teacher-liaison with the Junior ATB program for all seven years it’s been run at VPES. The overall goal, she says, is to engage students in workmanship and leadership surrounding the bank.
“It’s such a huge leadership opportunity, but then they also learn that work part and that sense of ownership about their jobs and responsibilities with the bank,” says Helland, adding the latter is hard to find in the curriculum for younger students.
David Lyon, Branch Manager of ATB Financial Vulcan, took part in the grand opening and he and staff members are there to assist and oversee the two dozen students each banking day at VPES. Their aim is to help the students – both those working behind the counter and those depositing their money – improve their financial literacy.
“We hope that this gets the kids thinking about saving and working towards savings goals early in life, so hopefully by the time they grow up and they are adults they will have some better saving habits and a little bit of a start in financial literacy,” he says, after handing out lollipops to students making deposits.
This is Lyon’s fourth year taking part in the Junior ATB Program. While he says they want to keep it a fun experience for the students, it’s important they treat it like a real job as much as possible. Each year students fill out applications for the available positions and then job interviews are held.
Grade 6 student Cameron Akitt held the position of back cash last year, which was a good fit given math is his favourite subject. He successfully applied for the position of Vice-CEO this year.
“It sounded fun and I thought it would be a good experience to learn,” says the 11-year-old. “And I’m not really good at public speaking so I wanted to push myself outside of my comfort zone and do that.”
Helland says the job interviews are done by ATB staff and the students take it quite seriously, often dressing up and rehearsing the scenario at home with their parents. The value of that process shouldn’t be overlooked either.
“There are kids who probably hit senior high and want a job but have never had a job interview. At least these kids have been through something kind of like that,” she says.
Perhaps some of the young Prairieview ‘bankers’ will come to Lyon looking for a job one day.
“There are some really bright kids here. That would be really great if that’s what happened, and in the future they grow up and come work at ATB,” he says.
Successful applicants for the Junior ATB program are trained, provided with responsibilities and assigned shifts. Helland points out the program and banking hours are limited to lunch hours and if the student has a conflicting event like intramurals they know the ‘job’ comes first.
Although Brooklynn enjoyed her time as a teller, she looked forward to providing leadership as the boss, and “making sure everyone at the bank is happy and liking their job.”
The Board of Directors is accountable for more than employee satisfaction. They are responsible for determining matters such as banking days, promotions to encourage new accounts and how the budget is spent. They are provided with $1,000 from ATB Financial, with half of that going to business expenses and half to be given out as grants – whether that is for school projects, or to community charities.
While only Grade 5 and 6 students can hold jobs at the Junior ATB Branch, everyone at VPES can take out a savings account, which carries no fee and a 0.1 per cent interest rate. To eliminate the need for a cash float on hand, only deposits can be made at the school, although students accompanied by an adult can make withdrawals from ATB Financial Vulcan. Community members with an account at that institution can also make deposits at the VPES branch.
Name aside, the Junior ATB Program wouldn’t be possible without the efforts and support of ATB Financial and Helland expressed her appreciation on behalf of VPES.
“It’s been a wonderful program from the very beginning, so we are very grateful,” she says.
For more information, please contact:
Craig Albrecht, Communications Specialist
Phone: 403-328-4111 ext. 241
VPE Christmas Concert 2019
Tuesday, Dec. 17th, 6:30pm
504 4 Avenue South
We are asking everyone that can to please bring a donation of a non-perishable food item for the food bank as their admission for the concert this year. We will once again be having our basket raffle as well.