February 1st – 5th

human-marketing

Finals are done, preparations are complete and semester two is upon us.  This can be a time for change or a time to continue with the status quo, what are you choosing?  Monday also brings the opportunity for new and renewed connections as we have some new faces and some returning students joining the Hepburn School family.  We are excited to welcome Kaleb Hamm (gr. 12) and Matt Guenter (gr. 11) back to our classrooms after some time away.  Kristina Rabyj, PSSD educational psychologist will be moving her “home base” to Hepburn School this week, and will be working out of our school, this is a tremendous opportunity for us to have an expert in the building so frequently.  Last, but most certainly not least, Scott Sully will be joining us for the remainder of the year as he embarks on his internship under the very capable leadership of Ryan Hutchinson.  Scott is pursuing his B. Ed. at Minot State University and his background is in senior History and English Language Arts.  We are very excited to have all of these voices in our building as we continue to learn together.

The first learning link this week discusses how we create real rapport with our students.  How often do you walk by a student without even saying, “hi” or at least acknowledging them with a smile, I know I’m guilty of it, and it is something I am going to work on this week.  How well do you know your students? What about their family? Take some time to give the short article a read and set yourself a challenge for the week.

In this video (a short one this week) the message is that it’s okay to lose control. It is not about a classroom or a certain approach to teaching, however, is there a connection you can make to what you do?

In learning link number two, George talks about why he feels all learning is personal.  What connections do you make to your classroom and your own learning experiences? How are you going to make learning more personal for your students?

Here is what on the horizon this week:

Monday:

  • Round two of teacher/teacher observations begin (speak to Jamie for more information if needed)
  • Progress report marks/comments due
  • Broomball equipment scheduled to arrive

Tuesday:

  • Ron & Bruce at ALT meeting (all day)

Wednesday:

Thursday:

Friday:

  • Grade 9 – 12 progress reports go out today
  • Staff bowling social (please let Renaye know if you are going to be attending)

As always, create a great week!

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Jan. 25 – 29

Such a tragedy Friday afternoon in La Loche, a school and a community were shaken to the core by the terrible events that lead to the loss of 4 individuals.  As you may have heard there is a candle light vigil at the STF building tonight at 8 pm to honor those lives that were lost.  You will also notice that our flag will be flown at half-mast at the request of the ministry of education.  It is a stressful time in the lives of our grade 10 – 12 students as they are writing their final exams.  Please keep an eye out for your students and lets make sure we are doing everything we can to support each other.

Last week I was very lucky to have the chance to have some conversations about student and adult learning in two different settings.  On Friday afternoon I was at division office where several administrators spent time discussing practices from the past and how they are changing as we continue to evolve as a school division.  Earlier in the week I took part in my very first Twitter book club talk, and was amazed at the depth of the conversation given we were limited to 140 characters for each response.  I’ve included a visual below that compares school and learning.  Take a moment to have a look and see what kind of thinking it prompts for you.  School vs Learning

Questions to think about as you head into a new week:

  • What can you do this Monday to ensure your students start off the week on a positive note?
  • How can you surprise your students this week?
  • Think about the quietest/shyest student in your class.  What can you do to set them up to have a voice this week?
  • If you had to invite Ron or I into your class this week to watch one lesson, which one would it be?

What’s Up This Week:

Monday

  • Final exams 10-12 begin
  • Ron away (2:00 on)

Tuesday

  • Jr. girls (yellow) BB host Delisle
  • Jr. girls (black) BB to Waldheim

Wednesday

  • Gr. 7 – 9 away on their swimming/ski trip (Ruth, Scott, Meredith, Ron)
  • Gr. 4 – 9 curling

Thursday

  • Jr. boys basketball host Delisle

Friday:

  • Full teacher prep day
  • Bruce away (am only) ~ Life Insurance Appointment

Normally I’d wish you a great week, but tonight I want to take a moment to thank you all for everything you do.  The events on Friday force one to pause to think about the family that we are and how close we become during the school year.  You are all amazing professionals, but more than that you are all amazing people.  

Enjoy your Sunday night and as always create a great week.

 

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Jan. 18th – 22nd

Everythings OkayGood grief it’s cold out!  If you are like me, you were secretly hoping that we’d make it through a Saskatchewan winter without a -30something cold snap, but alas, history should be our teacher, right Ryan?  Hopefully you were able to stay warm and find something fun to do this weekend.

Last week I was lucky enough to be involved in a couple of great days of adult learning, first on Tuesday at ALT and then on Thursday with Jamie Block at our LF workshop where the focus was on working together.  At that workshop, Dr. Keith Walker (U of S) and Bob Bayles (PSSD) did a great job of getting us to reflect on the people and events that have shaped us to who we are today as teachers.  I think it would be very interesting to hear about who has been influential in your professional lives, just as it was very interesting to hear what everyone was reading before Christmas.  So, with that being said, you can expect an e-mail asking that very question, hopefully you will be willing to share.

Recently, Ron and I started to delve into our Tell Them From Me data, and while it is very preliminary, we have had a few discussions with what the data might be saying.  As always, we will be sharing the results of the surveys with you, but until then, have you ever wondered how a great TV show gets made?  Have a look at this TEDtalk, it’s pretty cool:

What does this have to do with teaching and learning?  So often we talk about looking at the data, or using the data to guide our decision making process.  If you have time, watch the video and see what connections you make to how Amazon and Netflix make decisions about TV shows and how you make decisions about how your students learn best.

Here is a look at the week ahead:

Monday:

  • Ron away (medical)
  • Staff meeting (3:15 ~ we will go in the library and see how good the new projector works!)

Tuesday:

  • Jr. girls (black) host Valley Manor

Wednesday:

  • Today is an SRC spirit day:  Character Day
  • Jr. boys are off to Warman
  • Sr. girls are hosting VCA

Thursday:

  • Jr. girls (yellow) host Warman

Friday:

  • Subway lunch day!

 

As always, create a great week!

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January 11 – 15

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Well this feels more like our Saskatchewan winters!  Hopefully any traveling you had to do this weekend was hassle free, I know we stayed close to home.

It’s great to be back in the swing of things at school, assessments bookend the entire school as grade 1 – 3 prepare for their annual reading assessments and grade 10 – 12 rev up for final exams at the end of the month.  These assessments are very labor intensive and time consuming, and hopefully a lot of information about how your assessmentstudents learn can be gathered from their use.  How do you use the information you get from formal evaluations such as these?  How does the data guide your teaching?  How do you use this summative assessment coupled with your formative assessment to paint the “full picture” of who your students are as learners?

Learning link one talks about just that and speaks about balancing these assessments to help move learning forward.

You may have noticed some Cory was busy building some new tables last week, these found there way to grades K – 4 and it is going to be exciting to see how these are put to use as we continue to shift to student centered classrooms.  Hopefully our new furniture arrives soon and they will further add to the comfortable environments you are CLASSROOM LIBRARYbuilding.  Of course environment is important, but as we all know, the heart of the classroom library is the books contained within.  Learning link two talks about creating your classroom library.  How have you set yours up?  What are some struggles you have had?  What are some celebrations you’d be willing to share in the comment section below?

Here’s what is coming up this week:

Monday:

  • All sorts of basketball today
    • division II start at 3:00
    • jr. boys at 4:00
    • sr. boys at 5:30

Tuesday:

  • Ron & Bruce gone to ALT all day
  • More basketball
    • div II at 3:00
    • jr. girls yellow & jr. boys travel to Leask
    • jr. girls black host Dalmeny

Wednesday:

  • Basketball
    • jr. boys at 3:00
    • sr. boys at 4:30
  • Curling (gr. 4 – 9)

Thursday:

  • Sheppard’s Villa Lunch ($2.00/each)
  • SRC Spirit Day ~ Career Day
  • Bruce and Jamie gone to PD (Keith Walker ~ Supporting Adult Learning)
  • Basketball
    • jr. girls at 3:00
    • sr. girls at 4:30

Friday:

  • Basketball
    • sr. girls off to Birch Hills for a two day tournament
    • jr. girls at 3:00

As always, create a great week!

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January 4th – 8th

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Welcome back Ami, it is great to have you back in grade 5!  When Ami was out for a visit prior to the break we talked about how it is going to feel like September in January for her.  Getting to know her kids, understanding where they are at in their learning journey and figuring out who they are as individuals.   I’m sure she is as nervous and excited as the students are.

Even though I have not been back yet, I’m sure we will be greeted tomorrow morning with a sparkling school.  Joanne and Joe worked very hard during the break to get things ready for 2016, a big thank you to our hardworking custodial staff!!!

I know I’m excited to get back to work, two weeks off is a wonderful way to recharge, but with 4 little ones, sometimes going to work is a little less stressful….sometimes.  I’m not big on New Year’s resolutions, however I am looking forward to 2016 and a renewed focus for myself professionally.  I am going to try to talk less and listen more (Renaye & Taryn insert smart remarks here) as I keep trying to learn from all of you.  As I wrote prior to the break, I am part of a book study looking at embedded formative assessment.  During my class visits this will be the lens I will be looking through as the group I am part of has been tasked to find examples of this in their own schools.  I will be asking you questions via e-mail or one on one conversations to help me get a better understanding of how you are using formative assessments to improve student learning.

The following quote is from the first learning link this week, formative assessments are not about gotcha-ing students but about guiding where instruction needs to go next. We should use them frequently, and while or after kids learn a new idea, concept, or process.

I found this statement, from learning link number two, sums things up nicely, the important thing about formative assessment is that it is not a test, nor an instrument, but rather an approach to teaching and learning that uses feedback as its centerpiece in a supportive classroom context.

Here are a couple links that Lori sent out to us, reminds us to keep our focus on what’s important.

Gratitude

Proof in Photos

One Word (mine is understand)

Our calendar this week is very quiet as we get back into gear after our two week hiatus.

As always, create a great week!

 

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