December 4 Update and Reminders

Reminders:

  • Please send in the Elf Permission form so that your child may attend the show with us on Tuesday.  My apologies for not sending it home until Friday.  It’s also available here. elf-permission-form
  • Please remember to sign up for our Student Learning Conferences held Wednesday and Thursday evenings this week.  We want to see everyone!
  • It will be coooold this week!  Please check that your child is dressed warmly, and brings snow pants/mitts/boots to school ready for some fresh air.

Our class has been working hard with our addition facts to improve our recall and automaticity with facts.  Students have been sharing their strategies with the class, and now everyone is flying through them!  To give us even more practice we would love to have a Cribbage Party to celebrate on the afternoon of Thursday, December 15.  We would need to have 6 adult volunteers and cribbage boards.  If you or a family member (we would love to meet grandma’s and grandpa’s) are available, please send me an email at kholden@psd70.ab.ca.

Our class had several highlights this week.  Both Mrs. Badry and Mrs. Everitt-Dallinger stopped by our classroom first thing in the morning on separate days, and were most impressed with our Morning Meeting routine of sharing what we are thankful for.  They said that listening to the thoughts students shared made their day!

Another proud moment came on Friday courtesy of Mrs. Wevers and class.  Our students had to put their Chromebooks away in her room.  When they realized that the class was reading “The BFG” they were silent as mice.  The Grade 4 students sent Mrs. Wevers over to give us their special “Well Done” cone, as they had been often interrupted throughout the day with returning Chromebooks.  They very much appreciated the respect our students showed them.  I am reminded daily of how fortunate I am to work with this group of children.  I love that the motivation behind their actions was not because they were told to be quiet, but because they’ve loved “The BFG” so much they wanted the other class to be able to enjoy it!

welldone

Dot to Dot in the Sky: Stories of the Aurora Book Launch

After connecting with local author Joan Marie Galat on Twitter, our class was thrilled to be asked to participate in the launch of her newest book.

With the assistance of our very talented Mr. Bure, students developed a performance based on the new book Dot to Dot in the Sky:  Stories of the Aurora.  After sharing the book, children identified some of their favorite strong words and phrases to include in their rhythmic performance, and created actions to accompany them. The class performed for video on Friday as seen below.

A small group of students performed again at the Telus World of Science on Saturday, and the beautiful chalk Northern Lights artwork we created with Ms. Garrison’s Grade 6’s made a wonderful backdrop to the event.  We were treated to a short reading from the book, a scientist’s view of the Aurora, an exciting rocket launch and an interpretation of the Northern Lights by stilt walkers, as well as a few treats!  Thanks to Mrs. Bartley for the video.

Once again, our connections through Twitter and social media have led us to opportunities to connect with literature, learn more about writing and being an author, and giving us authentic performance opportunities. We are looking forward to all seeing Joan Marie Galat in person and thanking her for being amazing!

Book Launch Performance Tomorrow!

We are excited to help launch Joan Galat’s newest book tomorrow at the Telus World of Science!

We very much appreciate having this opportunity and are excited to showcase the work we’ve done inspired by the book, Dot to Dot in the Sky: Stories of the Aurora.  Those students who are able to attend are asked to arrive at the TWOS by about 1:15 pm. The event will take place near the cafeteria, and so admission fees will not apply to this area. For those that chose to go through some of the exhibits, regular admission fees will apply. There will be some astronomy related activities set up for the book launch that families are welcome to participate in.  I know that students are excited to see the book go up in the rocket!

The official program will take about an hour in length.  We have no requirements for what the children wear, as they were creative in coming up with props for our performance using what we had at school.

I look forward to seeing those who can attend tomorrow!

Report Card Message

Please see the following message from the office:

Prescott Learning Centre is embracing Electronic Report Cards!  In order to be good stewards of our resources and to reduce our environmental impact, we are inviting all parents to access their children’s report cards via the Parent Portal through PowerSchool on Monday, December 5th, 2016 after 4:30 pm.

*Important: If you have not created your PowerSchool account yet please follow these instructions.  Please contact the school office if you need the access codes.

If you require a printed report card, please contact the school office.

Book Launch!

We are excited!  We have been approached by author Joan Marie Galat to help with the book launch of her latest book “Dot to Dot in the Sky:  Stories of the Aurora”.  The event will be taking place this Saturday, December 3 at 1:30 pm at the Telus World of Science.  There will be a reading from the book along with some entertainment and activities.  This event will take a book launch to new heights, as a copy of the book will be actually launched in a rocket, the “Aurora Roar”! Students from the class who can attend will be performing a rhythmic performance inspired by the new book as part of the entertainment.  More details are available here

I recognize that this is short notice and families have many commitments on Saturdays.  If your child is able to attend this event on Saturday, please send me an email at kholden@psd70.ab.ca so I can coordinate the performance.  

All students will have an opportunity to participate as we will record the class performance on Friday at school, and it will be shown on Saturday.  We also are creating some beautiful art that will be displayed at the Telus World of Science. There will also be artwork and performances by other Prescott students.

Our connection with Joan has given students chances to connect with literature, learn more about writing and being an author, and giving us authentic performance opportunities. We think Joan Marie Galat is awesome!

Chromebook Information

With the holiday season quickly approaching and thoughts turning to gift-giving, several parents have approached me to discuss which tech and devices would be best for their child. I thought that I would share some information for those interested.

Buying a device is not a simple choice, and parents all need to consider the wide variety of personal factors for their family.  That being said, I do want to make you aware of how we are using devices at school on a daily basis and finding increased communication between students and staff.

Students are using their devices daily in all subject areas.  I’ve seen everyone’s writing skills improve with the use of tools such as Voice Typing and Read Write Gold. Being that we are a Google Apps for Education school division, the Chromebooks work seamlessly with all the Apps. They are also durable.  During 3 years of using Chromebooks at Millgrove, we experienced almost no technical problems, and just a couple of loose keys.  

IPads are a popular device and students are able to use them at school.  We do find that certain apps do not work as well with them, such as Google Slides and Google Drawings.  They are limiting when students are working on their blogs because not all aspects of the site are available in IOS.  During Math students with iPads have begun borrowing the school Chromebooks as the Prodigy app is glitchy and can be frustrating to work with.

Cost is definitely a factor to consider when purchasing a device, and the Chromebooks are definitely a cheaper option.  I’ve been told this week that Chromebooks are currently available on Amazon for under $200.  This is one time when cheaper can be better!

Week of November 17

Our short week flew by, as we packed lots into it.

Christmas concert tickets were sent home with your child Friday, as were retakes, so be sure to check that they made it safely home.

We had a special guest this week, Dean Shareski from Discovery Ed.  He shared some of his stories and travels with us during our Genius Projects.  He was delighted to see our Shark Art projects, and even highlighted them during his presentation in Edmonton Wednesday night.  It was exciting for me to see 3C work up on the big screen!

sharks

In Math this week, we have shifted strands from Data Management to Geometry which provides us with many opportunities to tie in real life as the holidays draw nearer. Students will of course continue working on the Basic Facts, Number Sense and Problem Solving components each week.

On Friday we had a chance to revisit our Straw Towers as students stepped up to the challenge of creating a tower with 50 straws.  I was so impressed with the learning demonstrated by all our students – they were all successful in this challenge!  There were some unique and original designs as students used triangle shapes to create strong bases.  They were also careful to consider ways to reinforce the straws and joins to keep their structures stable.  The time we spent creating observations of each other’s work was well spent, as shown by Devi’s work below

straw-tower-checklist

Students also wrote about their learning as they reflected both during and after the activity.  They were excited to discover how to insert pictures into their blogs, and we will finish posting their Straw Tower projects on Monday.

I have noticed a tremendous difference in student writing from September up to this point. They have really picked up on using strong words in their writing, and having the opportunity to highlight them using Google Apps has encouraged them further.  Our focus on feedback has meant improvements as each observation of a peer’s work means they critically assess their own writing.

We are all excited for the Christmas season, and can’t wait for our concerts to kick things off.  A reminder that students should wear white tops and black bottoms with a colorful scarf for the concert.  I look forward to seeing your all this week!

Reminder

A reminder from our office:
Dear Parents, 
If you have not done so already, please take a minute to visit our school website prescott.psd70.ab.ca and scroll down and subscribe to the list “General School Updates” with your current email address. This will ensure that you receive an email when we send out information. Please check your junk mail if you are not receiving the updates after you have subscribed. If you continue to have difficulties receiving updates, please contact our school office prescott@psd70.ab.ca and we will be more than happy to assist you. If your email address has changed, please notify our office as well so that we can ensure we have the most current email address on file. 
Thank you!