Friday, 14 October 2016

Dear Families,

Thank you for checking out my last blog post!  I noticed there were many page views and I received positive feedback from a few families which made my heart smile!  I truly enjoy writing to all of you and providing you with specific information/updates about our learning each week.  I will also do my best to post purposeful photographs so you can see your child in “learning action!”  It’s hard to believe I’ve only been at Nottawa and teaching your child for only 2 weeks (14 days)! Doesn’t it seem longer like we’ve known one another for much longer than that!?  This is a beautiful reflection of the bond we’ve established already.
  I am blessed to have such caring, cooperative, and hard-working students with such supportive families!  Your child makes it a joy to come to school every day!

Last Month’s Caring Recipients:
As many of you know, at the end of every month, we as a school community celebrate the Character Trait of the month.  I will take time on the blog to share and honour the recipients as I strongly believe an important part of our learning is to build and instill character in our children.  As a teacher, I do my best to model these traits consistently in my thoughts, words, and actions. 

At our first Character Education assembly (Sept. 30th which was Western Day also), we recognized students for Caring.  Congratulations to Kevin and Alexis for demonstrating caring on a consistent basis!  You are models for 'showing kindness towards your peers!'  Thank you for setting a positive example in and out of our classroom community!  I am so proud of you Kevin and Alexis!  

Please note, October's Character Trait is Cooperation - 'We work together to get the job done!'

This week in writing, we focused on the following "Learning Goal:  We are learning to write a Recount (retelling an event in sequence)."  After my lessons, students had the opportunity to write a recount about their Thanksgiving.  Students used the anchor chart (see photo below) in class to help guide them to include the necessary components.  It was a joy to read their writing and everything you got up to as a family!  We will continue to build upon our recount writing skills throughout the school year to dive deeper into our paragraphing and adding as much detail as possible.  For the first entry, I was very happy with students organization.  They have taken the time to listen to my feedback and utilizing it to help edit and improve their work.  Check out some examples below :)


Cross-Country Runners:
Tate, Wesley, and Hunter participated in our Area Cross Country meet on Wed. at Blueberry Trails. They represented Nottawa so well and should be proud of their efforts!  The boys and girls who were in class with me were excited for them too.  When the boys returned from their race, the smiles on their faces showed us they had a blast!  Way to go :)

Exciting news!  Mrs. Shaw (coach) came to our classroom on Thursday to announce that ...drum roll pleaseeeeeee ...Wesley and Hunter have qualified to Counties which will be held in Moonstone next week!!  Congratulations boys!! You're making our Nottawa family so proud.  Do your BEST and have FUN!  We look forward to hearing all about your experience.
Wesley & Hunter - Cross Country County Finalists
The Brain:
You may have heard your child come home and share that every day we do 'Brain Gym.'  Ask them about the procedure (the steps) and maybe you can do it at home as well.  We have been doing a lot of learning about our Brains and how we can utilize and exercise it to help our brains function to their full capacity and potential.
Here are a few pictures of us participating in brain gym:
Hannah N. leading us in exercising our prefrontal cortex
Ask your child where his/her prefrontal cortext is
Exercising our amygdala 
Cross crawl - connecting the left/right hemisphere of our brains
Ask your child about the 3 Brain Helpers, see if they remember :)  Brain Gym is a vital part of our days as it helps keep us calm, focused, more alert, and ready to learn!

HINT (for families, don't show your kids this cheat sheet, hehe):

Prefrontal Cortex - The Wise Leader: helps us make good decisions and problem solve

Amygdala - The Security Guard:  helps keep us safe, protects us

Hippocampus - The Memory Saver: helps us learn and remember

What is it?  Copy and paste the link provided below in your URL to find out!  Please take some time to watch the 1:29min. video tour.  It's worth it as you can see, hear, and feel the benefits of this program for your child!

On Wed., I provided each student with his/her username and password to access Mathletics. They glued this information at the front of their agenda.  Fortunately, many have previous experience with this program from their Grade 2 and 3 class from last year.  We are very lucky to be using it again this year, Mr. Comish has given our school a membership.  Thank you so much!!

Each week, we will have time set aside to enjoy Mathletics in class to help improve upon our growing mathematical skills in a fun, meaningful, and engaging way!  Check out the pics below of our first session, smiles all around in and OUT of our class!  Yes, we enjoy using our OUTDOOR CLASSROOM as well.  I am encouraging students to visit the program over the weekends to complete some of the assigned 'course' work.


Bucket-Filling Activity:
There is a daily emphasis that is near and dear to my heart and as your child's teacher, I am reinforcing the importance of creating, building upon, and maintaining happy hearts in and out of our classroom.  In doing so, students have been given the opportunity to fill their peers buckets by writing down caring, loving thoughts to acknowledge and appreciate their peers thoughtful actions.  You should see the kids faces light up when they receive one of these messages!! Fills my heart, too!  It is our goal to fill NOT dip into our peers' buckets.

Here are a few pictures of examples so you get the idea:
Tate receiving a bucket filling message


Our Community of Learners Agreements help guide us every day 
Attentive Listening 
Mutual Respect 
Right to Participate 
Right to Pass

We regularly refer to this agreements as a reminder for us all to treat our peers, friends, and family with kindness, dignity, and respect.  I feel this will help in creating a happy, safe, and caring world.  I believe in all my students and their abilities to reach out to do their part in making a positive difference for our today and tomorrows ... together we can help put an END TO BULLYING!!!

Thank you Lola for the beautiful change purse you knit for me!  It will come in handy as I needed one.  Your time, efforts, and love that went into it is appreciated.  Have a great birthday party this evening!!  I know how excited you were for this, I would be too!
Thank YOU, Lola :)
 Growth Mindset Quote:
"Practice makes PROGRESS!"

Miss Gill

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