Lorna Jackson Public School Blog

New frontiers for new learning

Category Archives: Designated Early Childhood Educators

Reflecting, learning, sharing

On March 7, 2014, our staff engaged in a day of learning during our Professional Activity Day. The day was divided into three 100 minute learning blocks just like the students experience each day, but with a focus on our School Improvement Plan.P.A. Days are one of the many ways we engage in ongoing professional learning as a staff.


Our opening block provided us time to focus on mathematics. Our board has recently created a “Math Frame” whose components help to guide our overall work in numeracy, including: commitment, planning, assessment, engagement, instruction and relationships. We considered our own work within the frame and discussed next steps for us as a staff. We also had the opportunity to look at Ministry of Education research, including the article Supporting Numeracy: Building a Community of Practice.

Social Studies, History and Geography

In September 2014, our board will fully implement the revised Social Studies, History and Geography curriculum in our classrooms. We had the opportunity to examine what is new in the curriculum and compare it with our present work and understandings. The opening pages of the curriculum are interesting to explore as we did, particularly the concepts of disciplinary thinking (pg 13). We reflected on how inquiry based learning is an integral component of the curriculum. Our French teachers’ team was also able to spend time examining the recently revised French curriculum that has similarities as well.

staffartProvocations, art and inquiry

Our afternoon concluded with a very special session led by one of our Designated Early Childhood Educators Ms. Theis. She was able to guide us through various art experiences that allowed us to learn and explore visual arts. The session used “provocations” to get us thinking, reflecting and inquiry in variety of ways linked to variety of curricular areas. Ms. Theis has recently started a professional blog and her inaugural post was about our learning session in the afternoon. Be sure to have a look for more wonderful pictures from the session like the one on left side of this page.

I want to thank all of the staff who helped to facilitate the day of learning and to everyone for their participation throughout the day.

Reflecting, learning, sharing: we ask of it of our students and so too of ourselves.

We look forward to putting the learning into action in the coming months of school.


Mr. Collins


Three months

We have now completed our first three months of the school year and already have much to celebrate thanks to excellent focus and initiative by our students, staff and community, including:

welcoming our Elder’s Mills community to our team

The launch of our school touchstone

– Sharing a redesigned Learning Commons

Launching our Green Bin program through our school’s Eco Team

Implementing new technologies into our classrooms and classroom programs

Meeting with parents and guardians to review student’s Progress Report Cards

Our staff exploring professional learning in many ways

Starting to plan for the transition of our grade 8 students to high school

Starting our Roots of Empathy programs

Recognizing Bullying Awareness week

Starting our Healthy Snack program

We have developed a focused start in our classroom programs in the areas of academics, athletics and the arts.

We have had the chance to recognise the work of various employee groups at our school including: our Designated Early Childhood Educators, our care taking team, Educational Assistants and our Administrative Assistants.

Our staff have provided several student leadership and extra curricular opportunities such as our Cross Country Team, The sign language club, library and office helpers, the student Tech Team, our Eco team, Student Council, Boys’ and Girls’ Volleyball, Floor Hockey intramurals, homework club, Lunch room helpers, and our Positive Climates for Learning Committee.

As school community we have given back through our Terry Fox Walk, The Count Me in Project, and our local food bank drive.

We also appreciate the work of our school council with our school this year. Their upcoming Dance-A-Thon will take place on December 13, 2013 and will surely be an enjoyable event. Remember that all parents and guardians are welcome to our meetings. Future meetings will be: January 14, 2014, February 20, 2014, April 22, 2014 and May 29, 2014.  We look forward to seeing you there.

Three short months…

remember when it was only 3 short weeks?

Remember when I asked us to write our story?

How do you think we have done so far?


Mr. Collins

Roots of Empathy begins

rootsmillerThe first of three of our Roots of Empathy programs is now up and running. You will notice a familiar face in room 126 these days – Mrs. Miller is visiting from her maternity leave this year with her new baby Hudson! Ms Theis is our Roots of Empathy instructor who helps facilitate the sessions with the family and our students in class.

The team reports to us the following:

“The first three lessons were all about meeting and celebrating the baby and his family, as well as rules and routines to ensure the safety of the baby during the visit. At the pre visit session the children made predictions of what the baby is able to do in terms of physical and cognitive development, how tall he might be in comparison to a doll, learned routines, and the special welcome and goodbye song.”

Please see Room 126’s blog to learn more about the team’s work.

Designated Early Childhood Educators and the work they do

Over the last two weeks, I have shared with you the important work our care taking team and Educational Assistants do at our school and in our board. This week, I wanted to highlight the work of our Designated Early Childhood Educators (DECEs). This year, our school celebrates its fourth in the Early Years Learning Program that supports full day kindergarten. The program is a collaborative partnership between our classroom teachers Ms Bordin, Ms Gismondi and Ms Schmidt and our DECEs – Ms Karia, Ms Theis and Ms Chiaromonte. The teacher and DECE work together to implement the program for the students. Our DECEs have post-secondary diplomas or degrees in Early Childhood Education. The work they do is rich, and does include:

  • Planning for and providing education to pupils in junior kindergarten and kindergarten.
  • Observing, monitoring and assessing the development of pupils in junior kindergarten, kindergarten and extended day programs.
  • Maintaining a healthy physical, emotional and social learning environment.
  • Communicating with families.
  • Providing supervision of and support to students in daily activities.

Our DECEs also bring experience and training in early childhood development. We are proud of the work the teams have done through the implementation years of the FDK program. The teams have also all explored classroom blogs to share their work with our families. Finally, I am pleased to share that this year, all of our DECEs will be certified Roots of Empathy instructors thanks to their commitment to the training and program.

Today is also a perfect day to celebrate our DECEs as it is Early Childhood Educator Appreciation Day.

Please help me in extending our appreciation to our DECEs.

If you have not yet had a chance to meet our DECEs, please do before or after school at our Kindergarten entry areas.

Mr. Collins