Lorna Jackson Public School Blog

New frontiers for new learning

Category Archives: Learning Commons

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.

Numeracy

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.

Onward.

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?

Onward.

Mr. Collins

Days like these

touchstoneworkYesterday was a wonderful day for our school.

Elder’s Mills’ students were able to visit our school yesterday afternoon. We thank our school council who hosted a Frozen Yogurt treat for our visitors and helped students add leaves to our school mural. Students also had the opportunity to visit classrooms and see our school. We sense the students felt welcomed and thank them for their enthusiasm.

We were also able to welcome Ms Bongard who visited us. Ms Bongard will join our team as Vice Principal next September.

Our day began with a grade 7 writing team working in our Learning Commons with Mr. Birenbaum, Vice Principal of Forest Run P.S, on the creation of our school touchstone. We extend a very big thank you to Mr. Birenbaum for his passion for creating touchstones and his amazing facilitation skills. We are most grateful.

The team was composed of students from both Elder’s Mills and Lorna Jackson. Throughout the morning, the team considered touchstones from different schools and the overall purpose of having one. Students then analyzed data that has been collected over the past month from students, staff and parents. From this data, they found common themes that then helped them to craft the phrases of the touchstone. It took the team just over two hours to complete our touchstone thanks to their incredible focus and engagement. The process itself taught me a lot about who are students are, what matters to them, what they themselves value and how they see school. The end result is awesome.

Our grand reveal will come soon, but for now… how about sample line from our newly drafted touchstone:

….we are dedicated to our learning as it paints the picture that is our future….

Yes!

It is days like these that make us that really make us smile and show us what we are really all about.

Mr. Collins

What does kindness mean to you?

kindness3Room 125 has been busy this year exploring the notion of kindness in their classroom. Ms Abalos and Ms. Marcos have encouraged discussions around what kindness looks like and sounds like. As their discussions and inquiries have unfolded, the class read the picture book The Kindness Quilt. Through literacy activities, the class then decided to collaboratively design and build their own quilt. They each contributed a written and artistic piece on what kindness means to them. An important big idea from the Full Day Kindergarten document is that “children are connected to others and contribute to their world”. This work is an example of how children can connect to each other and understand how they also connect to the larger world.

Here are some of their reflections on their journey that I both heard this morning and saw represented in the children’s work:

“We show each other kindness in class.”

“High fives can show kindness”

“Kindness is not pushing.”

“Kindness is helping”.

Students brought in artifacts from home including clothing that helped provide fabric for the quilt. We thank our parents for supporting with some fabrics from around the world that help to highlight our diversity as a community and as a country. Mrs Daryanani joined the project by sewing the fabric together to create the quilt in our Learning Commons.

kindness2

Now the students are very proud of their finished product.

The class is not done yet. They have now invited the rest of the school to add their own thoughts on kindness. You can drop by room 125 to add your thoughts in thought bubbles.

And so, let us know:

“What does kindness mean to you?