Oct. 30 – Nov. 3

The Raiders en route to a 5-2 win.

As Trace spoke to the hushed gymnasium on Thursday afternoon, it became glaringly obvious that the group of girls he and Ellen were taking to provincials was more than a collection of athletes, they were a team. The planning and execution that lead to the pep-rally told a story of a group of girls who love the game, and truly care about each other. The girls played hard, and it was the combination of dogged determination and superb sportsmanship that stood out to me the most, as they were able to let misplays or missed calls fall by the wayside as they continued their pursuit of a gold medal. Unfortunately the team did not capture gold, Warman was much too strong this year for anyone to handle, however our group of youngsters captured the bronze medal, and the future looks very bright for our Raiders soccer team. What impressed me was the way Trace and Ellen brought together so many unique talents and found a way for all of them to shine in their own way, and it was fun to cheer them on Friday and Saturday morning.

Fast forward to Saturday night where I had the opportunity to watch a different group of people “take the field” and show the fruits of their practice. My son, Bobby, and daughter, Eva, have been taking piano lessons for a couple years, and Saturday night was their fun recital for some residents of Diamond House in Warman. It was a great location as the room provided excellent acoustics for the pianists to perform, and offered the audience a comfortable listening experience. I was so proud of the kids as what started as plink, clank, blonk turned into some nice music that they were very happy with. The recital featured close to 20 different students, and the ability levels ranged from cringe worthy to toe-tapping excellence. What I really noticed was that every student was given the exact same opportunity to perform to their best ability and every student received a resounding applause as they bowed or curtsied. There were no grades handed out, and no one was denied the treats at the end because they messed up a few notes, or had to restart. What I love about the entire process that my kids are a part of is that there is no end to their learning, they don’t simply reach the end of piano lessons. It is a process that can (and hopefully will) continue for years and years.

So, what do provincial soccer playoffs, piano recitals, and learning at Waldheim School have in common? In every case I see kids being given the opportunity to shine. I see coaches, teachers, EAs, admin assistants, SERTS, and caretakers setting up the students at Waldheim School for success. I had a great conversation with Jamie last week about teaching and learning, and she reflected on how she had to really know her dance students in order to really help them learn the steps or moves to a certain type of dance. She understood that she simply could not just dance for the class and then tell them to practice, she had to come along side them, and give them the feedback they needed to become lighter on their feet. This is similar to what Trace and Ellen did with their soccer team, and what Bobby and Eva’s piano instructor did for his students. Do you do this for your students? Do you determine where each of them are through a variety of assessments for (your) learning? Do you tailor your teaching to maximize learning and meet each student where they are? How do you know? One of the challenges we face as a growing school is larger classrooms with a much more diverse group of students. I found an interesting article on Edutopia this week, and it speaks to the challenge of differentiating for a large group, but also offers many resources you might find helpful. Have a read, I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Here’s what lies ahead for this shortened week:

Monday:

  • School carnival planning meeting (3:10…Departures???)
  • Classroom visits ~ Big Idea: what would you like me to notice that could speak to your artifact?

Tuesday:

  • Classroom visits ~ Big Idea: what would you like me to notice that could speak to your artifact?

Wednesday:

  • Classroom visits ~ Big Idea: what would you like me to notice that could speak to your artifact?

Thursday:

  • School Carnival (4:30 – 6:30)
  • School Dance (7:00 – 9:00)

Friday:

  • No School ~ Day in Lieu

As always, create a great week….and if you are brave enough, feel free to listen to some music created by a 7 year old and a 10 year old. 

Count Bobula at his recital

Posted by Bruce Mellesmoen on Saturday, October 28, 2017

Eva did great at the recital.

Posted by Bruce Mellesmoen on Sunday, October 29, 2017

 

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