This year we have begun to transition from a library/technology model to a more integrated, inquiry based model called the Learning Commons. Ms Menezes and Ms Front have been working together in our newly renovated Innovation Centre (the Library and Computer Lab spaces combined) using print and online resources to enhance student curiosity, creativity, communication, critical thinking, collaboration skills, as well as to build their sense of community. We started the year off focusing on harnessing student creativity through activities related to Dot Day, which is based on a book by Canadian author Peter Reynolds called The Dot. For more information about Dot Day you can visit The Dot website. To deepen our sense of community we have created a Dot Tree made up of hundreds of dots created by our students and staff.
Our next focus has been working on developing student capacity to question and wonder, as this is the first step in the inquiry process. Using different provocations, students have had the opportunity to practice formulating rich questions, and explored the differences between “Checking for Understanding”, “Google”, “Interview”, and “Rich Research” questions. Many of their questions have been posted on our “Wonder Wall” just outside the gymnasium.
We have also begun to set the stage for students to adopt a Growth Mindset as they embark on their inquiry journey. This type of attitude is essential for them in order to have a successful experience, as inquiry is not a straight and simple path. Ask your child to tell you more about the Growth Mindset. You can also search “Growth Mindset” online to get more information.
With many of the classes, grades 3 and 5 in particular, we have been working on building our sense of community through discussions about our Canadian Identity and the Federal election.
As we move forward, during the next couple of months we will be working on non-fiction conventions and research skills necessary in order for students to find information on topics they want to inquire about.
During poetry month our students have been writing a lot of poems. In grade 5 and 6 students have been learning how to use different online tools to create visual and auditory presentations for their poems. Here are a few examples:
Thank you to all the wonderful Floradale volunteers for coming to our annual Volunteer Appreciation Tea Reception. It was great to mingle and enjoy some good food and conversation. There were many requests for the refreshing punch recipes, so by popular demand here they are, in addition to some pictures of our time together.
Raspberry Sherbet Punch recipe
1/2 gal raspberry sherbet
2 liters ginger ale
33 oz pineapple juice
Dreamy Orange Sherbet Punch Recipe
6 cups ginger ale (48 ounces or about 1 1/2 liters), chilled
2 1/2 cups orange juice, chilled
1 cup pineapple juice, chilled
12 scoops orange sherbet (about half of a 1-1/2-quart container)
A couple of months ago I challenged my grade 6 (and the 5/6 split) classes to create a presentation or project with an anti-bullying theme. They were allowed to use any software they wished in order to capture their audience and serve their purpose. Some chose to use programs they were very familiar with, some challenged themselves by using Scratch (a programing software) that I gave them only a brief introduction to, and others used software that we had not used in class at all. Here are some examples of what they came up with:
Grade 5 students have been learning about different advertising strategies and techniques. They have also been discussing the intended audience and overt/implied messages of ads. They used a program called Comic Life to deconstruct some print ads and analyse the message and strategies used. Here are some examples of their work: