April 25th – April 29th


This past week at our monthly ALT meeting, we had the privilege of working for the morning with Cris Tovani (@ctovani) to discuss student and adult learning, engagement, and literacy. During our discussion on engagement the terms emotional engagement, behavioral engagement and cognitive engagement were introduced. We were asked to think about those terms, and we were asked to think about the statement, “I can label instructional practices that cause emotional, behavioral, and cognitive engagement in students“. As I thought about this I felt I was pretty adept at

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Side by side adult learning

labeling emotional and behavioral engagement, but really struggled at labeling cognitive engagement. Take a moment and think about how you identify these 3 types of engagment in your lessons. Are they all important? All equally important? If you were asked to provide evidence that student X was emotionally, behaviorally, and cognitively engaged in your lesson, what could you show? Learning link 1 is a blog titled, literacylabs.org and is co-authored by Cris Tovani and Samantha Bennett and contains some wonderful articles that provide a lot of food for thought.

Creating connections
Creating connections

The afternoon portion of our ALT meeting featured some side by side learning facilitated by some of the learning facilitators from our division. Jamie spoke to a group of about 12 administrators discussing her role as an LF, what she has learned this year, what some of the challenges have been, and what some of the successes have been. It was a powerful reminder that some of the deepest learning occurs when you sit beside your learners and have a conversation. As seen in the image, several conversations (and learning) continued after the “formal” part of the presentation was over. It made me wonder, do we give time for learners to discuss and reflect on what was presented, not only in our classrooms, but in things like staff meetings or professional development sessions? In learning link 2 the notion of establishing a culture of student voice is discussed and several strategies are shared. As you read, reflect on things you have done or want to try to illicit student voice in your classroom.

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Side by side learning in grade 7.

The final learning link is a classic video from Ken Robinson where he discusses student engagement. He talks about 3 critical factors we need to give our attention to for students to be successful. They are:

  1. People are naturally different and diverse and our education system needs to reflect this.
  2. People are naturally curious and that children are natural learners
  3. Human life is inherently creative

Looking at those three factors, ask yourself if you are creating an environment that allows naturally curious people the space and time to be creative in their own unique way? I really think we are doing this more than we realize, however it does not mean we can’t continue to shift our thinking and our practices.

Here’s what is coming up this week:


  • prep day


  • Day 4
  • Jr. badminton team travels to Hague


  • Teen Aid presentations today
  • Sr. badminton heads to Leask for round 1 of playoffs


  • SRC Spirit Day: Wear your house team colors!
  • Teen Aid presentations day 2
  • Jr. badminton hosts Hague


  • Grade 5/6 floor hockey tournament in Warman

As always, create a great week!

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Important Update to On the Horizon

Just wanted to give you a heads up on a new feature added to On the Horizon. If you look at the upper portion of the page you should see a link called The Daily Learner. This is a link to an online newspaper that contains the latest news in the world of education. It is a way to keep up on the great articles that you might otherwise miss.

Have a look, and don’t forget to bookmark it, the ideas will be updated daily.

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April 18 – April 22

Well, well, it feels like summer is knocking on the door. It was great to spend the whole weekend outside with the kids as the older ones rediscovered toys tucked away in the fall, while the twins continue to struggle with learning how to ride tricycles. Hopefully your weekend brought some well deserved rest, or just a chance to revel in the fact that you are an amazing mini-golfer (right Corey?).

Lots of great things going on last week as we saw:

  • some students & teachers learning about music at Resonate
  • 7-12’s taking part in a MADD presentation
  • the 4’s continuing to polish their photo stories (an incredible project…see Taryn for more info)
  • the 8’s broadening their artistic horizon at Persephone and their athletic ability at the “Y” playing squash

This week’s learning focus is on welcoming student voice into your classroom, how do you get students to share what they are passionate about? How is this reflected in their art work, their writing, or the books they are choosing? In learning link number one, the brief article asks several great questions about student centered classrooms that cause one to pause and reflect on practice. Where are you in terms of turning the learning over to your students? One of the things that scares me about student centered learning is the inherent messiness that goes with it. In this cool TED Talk, Astro Teller talks about GoogleX, a place where failure is the path to promotions! Imagine how students would approach learning if failure was not looked at as a negative. Talk about messiness! The final learning link also focuses on student centered learning, and contains a quote I love, “Why do they (teachers) keep talking about the real world out there? This is my real world.” Is there a way to move to more student centered learning in your classroom? Have you seen a parallel between this and what Ron is trying to do with staff meetings? In other words, if we are committed to adult learning, does it always need to run through Ron, or is it more effective and authentic when staff members lead it (as Ryan did last week)?

Here is what’s up this week:


  • Kindergarten & Grade 1’s are off to Saskatoon for their fieldtrip
  • 9-12 progress reports go home
  • It’s a teachers birthday today…who is it?


  • Ron & Bruce gone to ALT all day
  • Jr. Badminton hosting Borden


  • K-6 students are off to Osler for a drama performance



  • Subway lunch
  • Super Hoopers using the gym @ 3:00

As always, create a great week!


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April 11th – 15th

Drama week has come and gone, and Jamie and her crew worked tirelessly to put on two performances of Romeo and Julie and Something’s Rotten in the State of Denmark. Jamie’s dedication to the drama team allows other students to grab the spotlight (pardon the pun) and discover their talents. Activities such as drama, robotics, choral speaking, cardboard boat races, games club, and the many other activities I’m failing to mention, help round out what are some amazing extra-curricular options available at Hepburn School.

Resonate Week is upon us, and it is so exciting to see the participation, not only from many of our students, but from teachers as well. As he did last year, Kurt will be playing a pivotal role in Resonate, and as Kendra Worman said, “he works tirelessly to help those kids”. If you know you have students in your room that are going to Resonate, how will you have them share what they experienced with the rest the group?

It’s nice to have Ryan back with us after a week in New Hampshire learning about reading and writing from Penny Kittle. Ryan will share some of what he learned with us at our staff meeting on Monday, and even though it’s almost impossible to distill a weeks worth of learning into one short presentation, I know it will be a valuable use of our time.

In honor of Ryan’s trip, this week’s learning links focus on reading and writing. In the first video, 3 boys (gr. 12, gr. 12 & gr. 11) talk about their experience as readers, where they were and where they are now. As you watch, ask yourself, do we have low expectations of our readers and thus are creating “floaters”?

In this video several grade 6 students talk about writing; what they write, when they write, how they write and the importance of daily free writing where kids are not always being evaluated. See if there are any ideas or questions that come out of this video for you. Questions: when you ask students to write, do you write as well? Do you share what you write? Would that be valuable?

Finally, here is a link to Penny Kittle’s Resource Section from her website. I’m sure Ryan will speak much more about resources from her, but in the meantime it will give you something to peruse.

Here’s what is coming up this week:


  • Gr. 9-12 marks due
  • Staff meeting (3:10 ~ Ryan’s room)
  • Bruce gone (pm)


  • Jr. badminton hosting Rosthern


  • Gr. 8’s going to Persephone Theatre
  • SRC Spirit Day: Spring Day


  • Sheppard’s Villa Lunch ($2.00)
  • Gr. 9-12 progress reports going out today
  • Gr. 7-12 MADD presentations (pm)
  • Resonate Music Conference
  • Jr. badminton hosting Blaine Lake

Friday: Day in Lieu (note: this is still a day on the 6-day cycle)

As always, create a great week!

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April 4th – April 8th


Whoa! +22 on Saturday in the city! Took the kids for ice cream and a run in the park, just a warm up for summer…which will be here….eventually. I hope everyone had a wonderful break and are recharged and ready to go for the final 3 month push.

shakespeare poster final 1 (1)Hoping Ryan has a great trip with a crew of PSSD professionals as he heads to New Hampshire for the week to observe Penny Kittle. This is a real honor for our school as Ryan was selected from a large pool of interested teachers. Have fun and learn lots Ryan! Back home, Jamie and her drama crew are heading into what she calls, “crazy production week”. Jamie et al work so hard preparing for this and I’m sure Romeo and Julie will be a smashing success! Remember there are two performances this week for you to choose from.

Our technology order is slowly trickling in, so hopefully we can have iPads & Chromebooks distributed soon.  In the mean time, here is Ellen working with some kids on technology of the past:


Here’s what’s up this week:


  • Welcome back, it’s day 1!
  • Ryan gone all week to New Hampshire, Verna subbing
  • Envirotech are coming to pick up old chemicals


  • Conference room booked 9:00 for a team meeting
  • Jr. Badminton to Borden


  • Bruce gone (pm only) Admin book study
  • Sr. Badminton to Warman


  • Grade 5 Saskatoon field trip (Ron & Ami both gone)
  • Drama dress rehearsal (let Jamie know if you are coming to watch)


  • Grade 5 Hot Dog Sale
  • Drama performance (7:00 pm)

Create a great week!

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