Friday, 24 February 2017

Dear Families,

Has spring sprung?!  Sure felt like it earlier in the week!  The warmer temperatures were a welcomed visit and students loved not having to put on all their winter gear ;)  The sunshine and warmth brought many smiles on the faces of students and staff alike :-) But something tells me, these temperatures aren't going to last, but hey, it is winter after all, and we are lucky to live in a place to enjoy all FOUR SEASONS!

Nordic Highlands Trip #2

Our second experience at Nordic Highlands was extraordinary!  We started our morning off with a science lesson about classifying animals into herbivores, omnivores, and carnivores.  We also learned the elements needed for survival such as food, air, water, and space.  Students then took this learning and applied it in a FUN and meaningful game of survival in the forest.  Ask your child about this experience!  

Many of the instructors shared with me that the students improved tremendously in their cross-country and snow shoeing skills from last week.  GREAT!  My face lit up upon hearing this, well done boys and girls, I am so proud of your growth!!!  Just wait until our fourth trip, kids will be flying down the trails on their XC skis and snowshoes!  

I would like to extend a huge thank you to our parent volunteer Mr. Richens (Jack’s Dad) for accompanying us on Tuesday.  His time, efforts, love, and support is appreciated!  You are a valued and cherished member of our school family! Thank you for being with US!

Wednesday Feb. 22nd was dedicated to promoting and acknowledging Bullying Prevention!  This is an issue 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. 

Our Community of Learners Agreements help guide us every day - Attentive Listening, Mutual Respect, NO PUT DOWNS, Right to Participate, Right to Pass.  We regularly refer to these 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!!!

Activity:  Happy to Scarred Hearts:
In our class, we did an activity to create an Awareness to how deeply affected one can be when they are put down and bullied.  First, we all drew a large heart on a piece of paper.  Next, we observed the 'Heart' and talked about how it was feeling.  Many replied, “Happy, loved, respected.”  Then, we crumpled the paper and placed it in front of us.  Finally, students opened up their hearts to see what it looked like.  Following this observation, we had a powerful discussion of how once you hurt someone's heart (feelings) you create "wrinkles or scars that remain with that person that are difficult to heal and bring back to its original happy state."  We also discussed the term "Bystander" and what it means.  A bystander(s) is a person or group of people who see bullying happening yet don't do anything to help.  In other words, they witness the bullying and walk away which ultimately continues and promotes this unkind cycle of hatred.

As a class we made a plan and signed "The Pledge to End Bullying" to help do our part!  My class is a beautiful, loving community of learners and it is our hope we will continue to be so and encourage each other as well as other students in our school about the importance of no put downs!  

In addition, I had the students create their own paper heart and write down a message using the following sentence starter:  “I will end bullying by …” Take a moment to ask your child what his or her statement is.

Here are some of the boys and girls responses!  Look at ALL the powerful thoughts!  We talked about the importance of now putting our thoughts into our words, and more importantly into OUR ACTIONS.  It is OUR actions which can ultimately help put a stop to bullying.

"I will end bullying by NOT being a bystander.  I will help out others when they need it."

"I am not a stand by person.  I am a STAND UP person!"

"I will end bullying by talking to the bully and telling them it's wrong."

"I will end bullying by being a do something person, not a bystander.  I won't watch it happen.  I will stop it from happening!"

Character Recognition Assembly:
On Friday, we had a school-wide Character Recognition assembly celebrating February's character trait which is Inclusiveness - "We always include others in our play, we never send people away."  I selected two students for this award, but could have easily picked numerous others as the children in my classroom have been working hard at being inclusive, most have schema (background knowledge) for not being included, so everyone is doing their personal best to ensure others feel welcome!  Congratulations to Jakob and Lola for receiving the Inclusiveness award!  Well done you two J  I know your families are so proud of you too!

Lion King Jr.
A friendly reminder that we will be taking the students to see the Lion King Jr. production on Tues. next week.  If you haven't already done so, please pay, sign, and return the permission form by Mon. If you wish to pay online, please do so by MIDNIGHT tonight as the school cash online system will close by 12:01am.  Thanks so much!

The production should be an excellent one put on by Admiral students!  I'm excited because the Lion King musical is my absolute favourite!  Please remind your child about behaviour expectations during a performance.  I will also be reinforcing expectations at school and have every confidence that my students will put their best foot forward! 

Growth Mindset:
“Embrace EVERY possibility!” Pierce

With All My Heart & Namaste,
Miss Gill  

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