June 5th – 9th

A touch windy, but wow, was that a beautiful weekend! The weather was perfect to be outside, and we took full advantage both days. On Saturday, we took part in the annual Martensville  Buster Days Pancake Breakfast. We have been doing this every year since moving to Martensville, and it is so cool to be able to share the experience with the kids, who gobble down their pancakes and sausage as fast as they can so they can get a look at the model train exhibit. From there we ventured downtown, found a prime spot and waited for the parade, another huge hit with the kids. Sunday was another great day to be with family, as we went for a picnic at the University (beside Innovation Place), and then wandered over to Grandma’s house for some dessert, and some shade. While we were there the kids were put to work, pulling weeds and planting flowers.

Grandma teaching Maggie how to plant flowers.

As I watched my two youngest planting marigolds with my mom, I was reminded of something George Couros (@gcouros) spoke about at CAP2017. He talked about how it’s sometimes necessary to be the “sage on the stage”, that we can’t always leave the learning to the students to discover all on their own. My mom and dad were always so proud of their flower gardens in Watrous, and were always in contention for yard of the year, as that was an annual award that was presented in our home town. It was wonderful to see our kids learning from their grandma, she gave them clear instructions and helped them navigate the soil, helped them press the flower into the dirt with just the right touch, and then apply just enough water. As I watched I was guilty of thinking about school and how we balance when to lead and when to step aside and let the kids explore on their own. When you think about the skill building that goes on in your class, when do you need to be the “sage on the stage” and when do you need to be the “guide by their side”? This also made me think of this very popular video of a girl learning how to ski jump, it’s a fun video.

We have a shortened week ahead, however we all know it will be no less busy. On Monday you have a full prep day, this is your time to use as you wish. I will be in and out of meetings all day, so if you see my door closed, it’s likely that I’m in with someone. I’m very excited to say that Jesse Reis will be joining us for part of the day, hopefully you will get a chance to meet him and introduce yourself to our new VP. On Thursday our 4, 5, and 6 qualifiers will be heading over to Hepburn for the annual WHHRLS track meet, that should be a great day!

Here is what lies ahead for the week:

Monday:

  • Prep Day
  • I’m in meetings at 9:00, 10:30, and 1:30

Tuesday:

  • Bruce, David, and Jesse at ALT

Wednesday:

  • Bruce in transition meetings with Joanne

Thursday:

  • Katharine, Dwayne, and Bruce at WHHRLS all day

Friday:

  • Bruce in transition meetings with Joanne

As always, create a great week!

 

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May 22nd to 26th

Charlie enjoying his ice cream.

What a rare Victoria Day weekend in Saskatchewan, no snow! The weather was perfect for a quick trip to Waskesiu, a walk by the river, and a lemonade stand for the kids. All in all, it was a wonderful long weekend. I hope you were able to find time to rest and relax as we prepare for the final 6 weeks of the school year. There are a lot of big jobs ahead, from track and field, to benchmark assessments, to student recognition ceremonies, to field trips, to graduation ceremonies, to final exams, and of course final progress reports. Please make sure you are taking the time you need to stay healthy, and energized as our students thoughts naturally turn to summer holidays.

Over the past few weeks, David, Brenda, Trace, June, and I have been working on our Learning for Life presentation, which takes place on Monday, May 29th in Warman. Brenda, Trace, and June have been reflecting on their own learning this year, and have been thinking about the way their work has impacted their students. What they are finding is that in each case, the work they have done has been founded on the belief that what they are doing will help ALL of their students learn at a higher level. What David and I are finding is that we could have asked any teacher in the building to share the results of their adult learning and they would have plenty to discuss. As you take time and reflect on the work you’ve done this year, I’d invite you to think  back to the start of the year, to the finish line we all imagined. How has your year progressed? As you analyze the work you’ve done, what gives you the most pride? What would you like to improve on next year? This week’s learning link  discusses planning with the end in mind, and while it may seem a long way away, it is never too early to start thinking about how you want next year to end. Have a look, I’d love to hear your thoughts.

We have a short, but busy week ahead that will be bookended by our track stars, as the grade 1 – 6 athletes compete on Tuesday, and the advancing athletes in 7 – 12 compete on Friday. Also taking place this week is the annual Canadian Association of Principals (CAP) conference, which is in our own backyard this year, this means both David and I will be away Wednesday and Thursday. Finally, on Friday, our Scholastic Book Fair arrives. The fair will be set up next week, with sales beginning on Tuesday, May 30th.

Here’s what lies ahead:

Tuesday:

  • Elementary track & field

Wednesday:

  • Bruce & David at CAP2017

Thursday:

  • Bruce & David at CAP2017

Friday:

  • District track & field ~ Saskatoon

As always, create a great week!

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May 15th – 19th

Driving home Friday, I was struck by the feeling of how wonderful last week was. Yes there were challenging moments, there always will be, but overall there was a feeling of happiness and joy permeating the building. I think part of that was due to the fact that there were so many smiling moms in the school on Friday, as there were some amazing Mother’s Day celebrations, including a scavenger hunt, tea and cookies, and a video that had the mothers a bit nervous, as the students were asked a series of questions about mom. I hope you had a chance to enjoy this Mother’s Day weekend, even if it was wet and windy.  We found some time Saturday to get out by the river, Charlie was very interested in all the dandelions (or bootiful yellow flowers as he called them) and Eva was fascinated by the river and all the birds fluttering about. Sunday was a great day to just hang out around the house and catch up on those weekly jobs that need to be done.

On my current reading list is the book, A Beautiful Constraint, by Adam Morgan & Mark Barden. The book describes how to take the issues we face, such as a lack of money, time, knowledge, and see them as opportunities versus viewing them as roadblocks. So far the authors have shared examples from companies ranging from Nike to Ikea to Formula One racecar engineers. As I have been reading I’ve been thinking about the constraints we face at our school, and I’ve been trying to separate the things we can control from the things we cannot. For example, we do not have any say on when the ministry schedules the departmental exams, and as such there may be students who are forced to write two finals in one day (i.e. physics and biology fall on the same day this year). What we do control, however, is the timetable, and we have the ability to schedule biology in semester one and physics in semester two. Some of the other constraints we face though are not as easily remedied. I think about the struggle to engage some students, and wonder if there were a greater number of electives if that would help. I wonder about those kids who do not get enough one-on-one reading support at home, and think about how that is impacting their progress at school. How do get past that? What is the solution? I recall asking a staff the question, “if you had unlimited time and money, what would you do with and for your students?” As I reflect, I realize how ineffective such a question is. The question I want to leave with you this week is one I hope we will continue to wrestle with this year and beyond; using what we have at our disposal, how can we create a learning environment where every student is engaged in meaningful, rigorous work on a daily basis? I’m very excited to see how far we’ve come this year and am really looking forward to continuing the learning journey will all of you next year and beyond.

As you know, this time of year always brings changes to a school family, as some members leave, while others join us. The first change has happened with David’s transfer, opening the door for Jesse to come on board. I’d like to take a moment to thank David for his hard work this year. If you can recall, David joined us in the first semester on a 0.3 contract, and found himself in the unenviable position of having to play the role of a support teacher. What David did, and I’m sure it’s what he always does, is he made lemonade from the lemons he was given (or whatever the Australian equivalent of that would be). When David was offered the role of interim vice-principal, I knew from day one, I was working with someone special. He has continually pushed me to be the best leader I can be, asking me tough questions, forcing me to reflect, and causing me to grow. David is one of those special individuals who is not only blessed with a great mind, but an incredible ability to connect with those around him. I can truly say this year has been both one of the best and one of the weirdest years I’ve ever had. I was blessed to shared the office space with two tremendous leaders in Chris and David, and am thankful for every minute. So, from the bottom of my heart, thank you David!

Here’s what lies ahead this week:

Monday:

  • Staff basketball game (all hands on deck!)

Tuesday:

  • Business as usual

Wednesday:

  • Track and Field (7-12) in Saskatoon

Thursday:

  • Staff meeting (8:00 am)

Friday:

  • Prep Day!

 

As always, create a great week!

 356 total views

May 1st – 5th

Art 30 Project

What a tremendous weekend! The weather allowed for the kids and I to get out and explore, playing in the back yard and at a couple of parks in Saskatoon. I had to laugh when I called the kids in for lunch on Saturday and Charlie (3 yrs) hollered back, “we can’t dad, we watching da wadybug exploring”. Apparently the kids had found several ladybugs in the grass and were creating little habitats for them in their playhouse. Charlie was particularly excited because he was the only one brave enough to let the ladybugs crawl on him, as Eva and Maggie are still a bit squeamish when it comes to that. After lunch Bobby was able to spend some one-on-one time with his grandma as I took the three other kids to play in a new park in Willowgrove in Saskatoon. The kids had a blast playing along side strangers, discovering new play structures they had never seen before. I’m very fortunate to have kids young enough to allow me to still be a kid too!

Gr. 1 Writer’s Workshop

David and I were reflecting on the amazing things we have going on at Waldheim School as we were driving to and from Laird on Friday. We spent an hour Friday afternoon watching the grade 3 – 8  students from Laird read their poems at their poetry cafe’, an event coordinated by Michelle Fong (thanks for the invite Michelle). We marveled at the palpable feeling in the gym, it was one of pride in their school and in each other. I was reminded how important our job is as we accept Laird students every year into our family, it was something I hadn’t thought about in a while. Friday was also a great day to reflect on the amazing things you, the staff are doing with our students. Pam Wieler brought Kimberly Greyeyes (Muskeg Lake Cree Nation), one of the newest board trustees, for a tour of our school. I was so honored to be able to share the great things that are going on in our school and was reminded of the hard work you all do on a daily basis. It was such a pleasure to talk about the way we all lead with our hearts and how we live out, everyday, what is meant by the saying, it takes a village. As we walked the halls I was able to speak at length about every single person and how they have an impact on our program here, starting with Corinne and how she has created a safe environment in the office to Jamie Boschman and how she is willing to give her time to those kids who are the most vulnerable (we’ve all seen kids pushing her floor cleaner). I’m humbled by the way all of you have shown a belief in relationships first, and while I do know there are days when it is harder than others to keep that smile the right side up, you continue to do it. I’ve said this to others in the past,  but it is worth repeating. This is the 9th school in my career, and I would be hard pressed to find another staff, from the support staff, all the way down to the administration, that embody so well my core belief, that being relationships firstI want each of you to take a moment and understand how much I really appreciate what you do on a daily basis, and yes, I mean you.

There were a lot of great opportunities to get into classrooms last week, not only at Waldheim, but in two other schools as well. Last Tuesday I had the opportunity to watch Taralyn Ullyott, grade 1 in Rosthern, and David, Steve, and Jen had a chance to watch Charmain Laroque, middle years in Stobart. In both cases it was great to see and hear about the parallels  between what these master teachers are doing and what is happening at Waldheim School. The focus of both classroom visits was how their respective literacy programs are being offered, and part of the lessons involved independent reading. This caused me to think about one of my favorite bloggers, Pernille Ripp, and a recent post by her where she discusses how we model reading for our students. Take a look at the blog post at this week’s learning link, I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Next week is another busy one, the days are going to continue to fly off the calendar:

Monday:

  • Bruce & Jamie B at OH&S training day 1 (Saskatoon)

Tuesday:

  • Bruce & Jamie B at OH&S training day 2 (Saskatoon)
  • Grade 9 performance (period 2)

Wednesday:

  • Grade 1 – 3 swimming trip

Thursday:

  • Bruce at CVAC meeting (4:00 pm division office)
  • Pizza lunch

Friday:

  • Business as usual

 

As always, create a great week!

 360 total views

April 24th – 28th

In an interview, Jerry Seinfeld, one of my all time favorites, talked about how he crafts a joke, and the importance of figuring out what is going to get his top two laughs. He talked about starting with his second best bit and finishing with his very best, obviously he wanted his audience to walk out of his performance energized and talking about how great the show was, all in an effort to get them back into seats in the future. When I think about how quickly our school year is coming to a close, I wonder how we are going to end, and how our audience, the students, will walk out of school. I know how strong we started this year, I was amazed at the work that was going on in your rooms in September in an effort to get the students on board with the learning. I knew early on that Waldheim School was going to be a great fit and that I was going to really enjoy working with everyone. Fast forward to today, the day before returning to work after our Easter break. I have no doubt we are all tired and can all see the finish line. The days are getting longer and surely I’m not the only one whose thoughts are turning towards those favorite summer pastimes.

So how do you finish strong? What do you do in May and June that leaves the students thinking, “I never want to leave this class!”? I have been thinking about this from the perspective of the office. What do I do in May and June that leaves the staff feeling, “I can’t believe how much I’ve grown as an adult learner this year! I can’t wait for September to start putting this to use!”?

Something that we have discussed this year is how to shift how we teach our math classes to a more student-centered approach. I know I say this all the time, but I think the best examples of how to teach in a student-centered environment occur in the industrial arts shop and in the home ec lab. This does not mean that what is happening in other rooms is not student-centered, far from it in fact, rather it is a reflection of the area of study and the beliefs that Glen, Marla, and Krisinda have towards student learning. I can probably count on one hand the amount of times I’ve seen kids sitting and taking notes in either lab, it is very rare (not a cooking pun). Rather, what I see are groups of kids working together to create things like sushi, soft pretzels, designer cakes, blankets, tote bags, guitars, skate boards, crokinole tables, running engines, jewelry, and many, many other cool things. When I used to teach senior math I recall feeling so sorry for the students as they politely worked their way through my boring lessons. I was teaching the way I was taught, and I thought it was the only way. I’ve included a learning link today that talks about 3 things you can do right away in your math class to help foster engagement, maybe this is the thing that gets kids saying, “I never want to leave this class!” I’d love to hear your thoughts on it.

Here’s what lies ahead this week:

Monday:

  • Welcome back to our bright and shiny school (thanks Jamie, Megan, & Kailey)

Tuesday:

  • Bruce gone (am only) to Rosthern for an elementary ILO workshop

Wednesday:

  • Business as usual

Thursday:

  • David gone (am only) to Stobart for a high school ILO workshop revisiting the work done with Penny Kittle
  • Gym closed today due to chemicals being transferred out of building

Friday:

  • Business as usual

 

As usual, create a great week!

 243 total views

April 3rd – April 7

The rain and sunshine combined for a beautiful weekend, even if it was a bit windy. I hope you were able to enjoy your time, whether it was starting your spring cleaning or just spending time with your family. We are now into April, which is hard to believe, and are on the way to our Easter break. April also brings Spring Arts, and Joanne has been working tirelessly with the students to create what I am sure will be a wonderful experience, thank you Joanne for everything you are doing. Just a reminder that the gym is now closed for the next week and a half so your gym time will be impacted. Please feel free to take your students to the MB Church, however they would appreciate a heads up call prior to coming over (945-2149).

This is going to be a busy week with a lot of adult learning taking place as we go into our second round of peer observations. Hopefully you were able to come up with some clear targets for your peers to observe and give you feedback on and this process will prove valuable for you. I’d love to hear about your targets and what some of the feedback was that you received. As you know, we are spending some time at our next staff meeting to debrief, but please feel free to have these learning conversations whenever it suits you. Something I’ve been thinking about is having a principal from another school come and observe me and tour the school, hopefully leading to some reflective questioning. While I was in Prince Albert, I lead a break out session on peer observations, and one of the keynote speakers (@casas_jimmy) challenged me to think about doing this. I’m paraphrasing,  but he said, it is important to be open to having others walk beside us on our learning journey, giving us feedback along the way. This way we are modeling to the students the desire to constantly improve in our profession. I really hope you enjoy the peer observations!

As I walk the halls and visit classrooms, I am excited to see a lot of feedback occurring. I’ve seen this in the form of teacher-to-student, and student-to-student, and the focus has usually been on celebrating things done well. This is great, as people always like to hear about a job well done, but what about the feedback on the failures? The following video highlights the work being done at an art school in the United States, and it emphasizes the importance of embracing failure. Have a look, I’d love to hear your thoughts.  Video

Here is what lies ahead this week:

Monday:

  • Day one of our peer observations
  • Krysten at secondary science ILO
  • Welcome back Dwayne!
  • Spring Arts practices in the gym begin

Tuesday:

  • Bruce & David away at ALT meeting
  • Sharlene at literacy ILO
  • Day two of our peer observations

Wednesday:

  • Day three of our peer observations
  • Joanne at Resonate

Thursday:

  • Grade 9 – 12 progress reports & comments due to the office

Friday:

  • Day in lieu (enjoy!)

 

As always, create a great week!

 258 total views

March 27th – 31st

People will always be the problem

And people will always be the solution

-Jimmy Casas

And so the conference started, and already I was forced into serious reflection. Could it be that simple? Could it be true that people will always be both the problem, and the solution? From that moment on, I vowed to be as intentional as possible, taking in every word each presenter spoke and absorbing as much information as possible from my colleagues, regardless if I had worked with them for years or had just met them over breakfast. As I wrestled with the notion that people are the problem and the solution, I started to wonder, when am I part of the problem, and when am I part of the solution. It became obvious that while the statement is simple, the complexity lives in what we do every hour of every day with our students. When you think of the problems in your class, ask yourself, what are you doing to be a part of the solution? Jimmy Casas (@casas_jimmy) asked us a question about what we want to see in our schools, do we want to see average or do we want to see excellence? As you reflect on your students, do you want them to be average or excellent? He went on to ask the tough question after that, if we know there is average in our school, what are we doing about it? We can be part of the problem, or part of the solution, it’s our choice. There was so much more that I took from the time I spent in Prince Albert, and hopefully over the next few weeks we will have an opportunity to discuss some of these things.

Going from interviews directly to the conference this weekend, I was forced to think about how we communicate with our parents. Corinne does a great job letting people know what events are going on and when they need to have forms and/or cash submitted to the school. We also do a wonderful job of sharing the big picture of what we are doing through our school newsletter and class newsletters. Where I feel I am coming up short as a school leader is sharing the day to day things that are happening in and around our building. Every day I see multiple examples of excellence in our building. From motors being torn apart and rebuilt, to high end cake decorating, to innovative math and science lessons, to empowering sharing time, to hilarious games of line tag, there are multiple things happening all the time! The keynote speaker, George Couros (@gcouros) took some time during one of his sessions to critique our website after I had questioned why there was so little traffic. While he was brutally honest, I believe his words were, “your website is boring”, his meaning was loud and clear. We compete with so many different mediums everyday, and if there is no reason to spend the time going to our website, why would we expect people to? One commitment I am going to make is to be more diligent in capturing images and videos of the great things going on and sharing them on Twitter with the hashtag #WaldheimSchool. I invite you to do the same thing by taking the time to snap a picture or take a video and share it out.

Lastly, I want to thank all of you for your tremendous work at the parent/teacher conferences last week. These are a great opportunity to connect with our parents, and while it is only for 15 minutes, it is a chance to engage in a learning conversation to help our students along the path towards excellence. As you look all the way back to last week, and I know it seems like a long time, what were some things that stood out to you? You had your list of interviews prior to Wednesday and Thursday night, and if you are like me, you would have likely tried to anticipate what each interview would be like. Were there any interviews that did not go how you imagined? How many interviews did go as you had imagined? Now that you have that informal data in your head, what does that say about how well you know your students and their parents? As you reflect on your interviews, what will you do different next time?

So, with all that being said, here’s what lies ahead this week:

Monday:

  • David away all day

Tuesday:

  • K – 3 gym blast (pm)
  • 4 – 12 ski trip (all day)

Wednesday:

  • Tom’s last day 🙁

Thursday:

  • Staff meeting (8:00 am)

Friday:

  • Business as usual.

 

As always, create a great week!

 234 total views

March 20th – 24th

I’m most proud of the blessings that God has bestowed upon me, in my life. He’s given me the vision to truly see that you can fall down, but you can still get back up. Hopefully I’ll learn from my mistakes and have the opportunity to strengthen and improve the next thing I do.

Martin Lawrence

Last week was one that was filled with all sorts of learning opportunities for me, as I walked along side all of you during another week of learning at Waldheim School. I was filled with pride when I witnessed the hard work of the student organizing committee under the guidance of Trace come together for our annual hockey tournament. While the hockey wasn’t NHL caliber, heck I was allowed on the ice so that says it all, the feeling in and around the rink reminded me of a very special time in my life. About 35 years ago my mother’s side of the family all gathered in Waskesiu for a family reunion and while we were there we organized a game of softball. My mom comes from a large family, she had 6 sisters and one brother, and with many of my cousins there, we had enough for two teams. I can still remember how much fun it was to be playing with my family, just enjoying the weather and enjoying each others company. I sensed that feeling on Thursday at the rink. Not only were there classmates cheering on the students, there were parents, grandparents, former teachers, current teachers, and community members. I felt so blessed to be a part of that day. Thank you to Trace and the crew for such a great event.

There were other learning opportunities last week, times when the feelings may not have been as exciting as they were at the rink. These moments will happen when people work together, and it is these moments when some of our greatest growth can occur. I really like the quote from Martin Lawrence that I included above, however another quote that has really stuck with me since I heard it is, trees grow in the valleys, not on the mountain tops. It is from the high peaks that we can see the growth that has occurred in the valleys. That quote has been paraphrased, and I borrowed it from a very smart friend of mine, I’m sure he won’t mind. As we move into our parent/teacher conferences this week, I invite you to stand upon the mountain tops and look down into the valleys below. What have you learned about each student in your care? How will you celebrate the great things with their parent(s)? How will you present future learning opportunities in a way that gives people hope and gets them excited to come back to school? In this week’s learning link I’ve included an article from Edutopia that contains resources and ideas for parent/teacher conferences. Have a look and see if there are some ideas that can have a positive impact on your conferences this week. Here’s a little inspiration for you…hopefully no interviews like this 🙂

Here’s what lies ahead this week:

Monday:

  • Business as usual

Tuesday:

  • Business as usual

Wednesday:

  • P/T conferences (supper provided)

Thursday:

  • David gone all day (VTRA Level I Training)
  • P/T conferences (supper provided)

Friday:

  • Teacher prep day
  • Bruce gone all day (Prince Albert ~ Conference)
  • David gone all day (VTRA Level I Training)

 

As always, create a great week!

 199 total views

March 13th – 17th

One last taste of winter (hopefully), as it looks like there are some great days ahead in the forecast. Great news as we can get back to outdoor recesses, which I know the students (and you) all missed. Let’s make sure we’re helping Jamie by reminding our students to keep their wet outdoor clothing as neat and tidy as possible. Speaking of Jamie and our care taking crew, Malinda has now started her leave as per her doctors instructions, and I’m excited to announce that Megan and Kailey Fehr have been the successful applicants for the replacement position as assistant caretaker.

Thank you to all of you who worked so hard to get your progress reports, with comments, into the office by Friday. This will give David and I plenty of time to read over them, not to find fault, but to deepen our understanding of the students. If we spot things that need to be altered we will let you know as soon as possible, this way there will be less stress on Corinne to get them all printed and out by this Friday. Having a look at the comments will also give us a better understanding of where we are at as a school with how we share our students’ progress with our families. I believe that while they are just a snap shot, progress reports are a tremendous way to share with our parents what their children are doing well, what they can improve on, and most importantly, how you as a teacher will work with them to help them grow as a learner.

We have a busy week ahead with many learning opportunities for us to seize upon. David and I are away at an ALT meeting, where the focus is always on collaborative learning, we have an EA meeting this week, again the focus is on learning together, David and Brenda will be attending another Aspiring Administrator meeting, deepening their learning, and finally, Jon Yellowlees will be out on Friday to visit classrooms. When you think about all the great learning opportunities that present themselves, what role do you think you play in the overall learning culture of our school? What do  you bring to the school that no one else does? How can you share that? How can David and I celebrate that? When I think about the gifts you bring to the school,  I’m reminded of a video I saw where Denzel Washington (who doesn’t love Denzel?!?) shares a motivational talk with his fellow actors. The audio isn’t great, but the message is. Have a look, I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Here’s what lies ahead this week:

Monday:

  • Leah’s Genius Hour school presentation (afternoon & evening for parents)

Tuesday:

  • Bruce & David at ALT all day

Wednesday:

  • Brenda & David at Aspiring Administrators course (pm)

Thursday:

  • EA meeting (8:00)
  • School hockey tournament

Friday:

  • Jon Yellowlees visit (pm)
  • 1 – 8 progress reports sent home

 

As always, create a great week!

 

 161 total views

Feb. 27 – Mar. 3rd

I hope everyone had a relaxing break, whether you were lounging on a beach somewhere, hanging out at hockey rinks, or just taking things slowly at home. We stayed close to home this week, with the odd trip in to Saskatoon to grandma’s house, some skating in Warman, and a couple of meals out (5 Guys for lunch and Amigos for supper….yum!). I’m really looking forward to getting back to work, back to a routine, and back to the energy and enthusiasm of the students and staff.

As David and I mentioned earlier in February, we will continue to visit classrooms, however we want to be much more intentional about what we are looking for, and the discussions we are having with you. This is where we need your help. Please let David and I know what you would like us to be looking for when we do our classroom visits. We realize that timing will have an impact on this, for example, if you wanted us to listen to how you use wait time with your questions and we pop in during the independent work portion of your lesson, we may not see much questioning. In that case we could talk about other things, but I don’t think it is helpful to try and force feedback where it doesn’t fit. Please complete this very quick 3 question survey to provide David and I with some guidance.

When Sandra Herbst was here in February one thing she talked about was the environment as the third teacher in the classroom. Classroom set up was something I was always playing with when I was in the classroom, always tinkering with the set up to the point where students started questioning me on Monday mornings if I hadn’t moved things. One thing I never considered was moving furniture during the lesson, how things looked in the morning was usually how things looked at 3:00. After watching this video, which is this week’s learning linkI wonder how much more effective the teaching and learning could have been had I used the environment as a tool to differentiate. Have a look, I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Here is what lies ahead this week:

Monday:

  • Day 6, first day back at it.

Tuesday:

  • Grade 8 field trip to Saskatoon

Wednesday:

  • Business as usual

Thursday:

  • Pizza for lunch at the booth

Friday:

  • Business as usual

 

As always, create a great week!

 193 total views