Hello Glen Cairn PS Families,
The week was short and the weather was wacky. Could it be that we are done with snow? I’m not putting the snow boots away quite yet, but I will optimistically take out the spring jackets.
Better Answers: Improving Written Responses
Across all curriculum areas, we are reinforcing the importance of providing thorough written responses to questions. Our school improvement work revealed that many of our students struggle with providing written responses that fully answer the question posed. For some, the responses assumed too much of the reader. In others, there were not enough details provided to support the response. Establishing a shared set of expectations for all written responses, across all areas of the curriculum will serve students well as they move through intermediate grades and onto highschool (and beyond). Students in several classes brainstormed success criteria for a “better answer” and all written responses will be expected to meet the criteria, regardless of curriculum area. Simplified, the criteria will be that all answers will restate the question, include a gist statement, use details to support the answer, stay on topic and use proper conventions. When you are working with your children at home, ask them if their responses are meeting these criteria.
Geography: Adaptation and Sustainability
In the Grade 7 Geography classes, students are exploring the challenges and opportunities humans face in different geographical regions of the world. Where would you want to live? Why? What do we look for in our environment that makes it a suitable place to live? This week, students wrote persuasive texts about the most dangerous places for humans to live on the planet. They looked at what adaptations were necessary in order for humans to live there and whether or not they felt those adaptations were sustainable. As they continue their studies, students will look locally at the environmentally-based challenges of our local communities, what adaptations have been required and whether or not those adaptations are sustainable over time.
Tradansa visited Glen Cairn PS this week and held dance workshops for all students. Students learned a variety of dance styles from across the globe and had the opportunity to present their class dance routines to their peers on Wednesday. Although some students felt nervous about performing, the Tradansa instructors made the sessions fun and inclusive and there were smiles all around on Wednesday.
Extra Curricular Activities: Brick by Brick Campaign and Vow of Silence
The Brick by Brick fundraising campaign continued this week with a very successful cake walk today. They raised over $100 and a few lucky students took home some lovely cakes. Today students also observed a vow of silence to honour those children throughout the world who have no voice and who cannot speak out for themselves.
In other news, our moviemakers’ club started today. Stay tuned for details as they begin to work on projects using digital media. Although the weather got cold again, our student gardeners took advantage of some warmer weather earlier in the week to get started on their gardening project. The students plan to grow some vegetables in our courtyard and I will be sure to take pictures as their garden progresses. Another group of students have asked to start a baking club and while we have a small kitchen that can be used, we are looking for some parent volunteers to come and bake with the kids. If you have some time and / or baking is a passion that you would like to share with our students, please send me an email and I will connect you with the students. Other extra curriculars that continue include all music programs (senior and junior band, senior and junior handbells, choir and garage band), the book club, the makers’ clubs, badminton, floor hockey and computer programming, as well as the Brick by Brick group. Shortly, we will begin to work with student ambassadors who will play a key role in welcoming our new students in September 2014.
If you haven’t already, I invite you to provide us with some feedback using the Tell Them From Me survey that can be found at http://tellthemfromme.com. Please check your email for login and password details.
I hope that you all enjoy a wonderful and safe long weekend.