About Travis McNaughton

I am currently the Assistant Principal at Muir Lake School in Parkland School Division. I am also teaching the grade 5 class. I believe every student can learn and succeed and aim to inspire them to make this a lifelong process.

Innovation Week Kick-Off

To kick-start Innovation Week this morning, all of our students gathered for a presentation by Mrs. Badry about the theme of the week: Entrepreneurial Spirit.

Entrepreneurial Spirit: who creates opportunities and achieves goals through hard work, perseverance and discipline; who  strives for excellence and earns success; who explores ideas and challenges the status quo; who is competitive, adaptable and resilient; and who has the confidence to take risks and make bold decisions in the face of adversity.

The overall message of the assembly to our students was “you can make a difference”. Through their ideas, creativity, and innovation they can make an impact in the world.

Screen Shot 2014-06-24 at 9.37.29 AM

To help us deliver this message and inspire our students we showed this video about Hot Sauce 4 Good during the introductory planning stage of the process. The video beautifully illustrates how somebody’s passion and innovation can make an impact in the world.

As we started receiving students proposals for Innovation Week, it was evident that our students had been inspired. This morning in the kick-off assembly we shared this message from Bob Ferretti, the founder of Hot Sauce 4 Good. Continue reading

School Council This Monday… We Need Your Feedback!

School Council plays a vital role in the success of Muir Lake School students and we are always looking for more people to get involved and provide us with feedback. We are asking for all parents to take just a couple of minutes to complete this survey. The survey should take under five minutes to complete and thank-you to those who have already completed it. Your input will guide our planning for next year. Thank-you in advance for taking the time to provide us with your thoughts.

We would also like to invite you to the School Council meeting Monday, June 9 at 7:00 pm. Among other things, one thing that will be highlighted is the FRIENDS For Life program that is running here at Muir Lake School. FRIENDS is a program designed to build resiliency in students and is an acronym for the following:

F – Feelings
R – Remember to relax
I – I can try! I can do my best!
E – Explore coping plans and solutions.
N – Now reward yourself.
D – Don’t forget to practice
S – Smile and stay calm for life

FRIENDS is being delivered in hundreds of classrooms across Canada and has been well received by teachers, parents, and students. We hope to see you there tonight!

BYOD 1-to-1 Parent Information Session Dates & Info

Dear Parents/Guardians:

We are excited to be continuing with the grade 4 through 9 1-to-1 Technology Learning Initiative. This initiative is to have our students learning with access to their own electronic device (chromebook, laptop, etc.) both in the classroom and at home. We have now completed our second year of the program and continue to receive positive feedback. Both staff and students involved in the initiative have reported a great impact on learning.

  • increased student engagement and motivation
  • improved organization and academic achievement
  • increased creativity, innovation and opportunity for student choice
  • increased collaboration and communication among students, staff, and parents
  • improved digital literacy and digital citizenship skills
  • improved preparation for students future

This 1-to-1 technology program is a bring your own device (BYOD)  initiative. We are encouraging students to bring a laptop they already own or purchase a laptop to use in the classroom. If you are looking for more direction and information about the program or some guidance on what to purchase please visit bit.ly/mls1to1. Here you will find links to additional information and resources such as our 1:1 Technology Initiative Frequently Asked Questions.

We will be offering two parent information sessions where we will be sharing the initiative in greater detail. The information sessions cover:

  • why this is important and how it impacts student learning
  • our journey to implementation
  • student, staff, and parent feedback from current participants in the initiative
  • details of the program and opportunity for question & answers

The BYOD 1-to-1 information sessions are scheduled for Wednesday May 28th from 6:00 to 7:30 and on Thursday May 29th from 3:30 to 5 pm. All parents are welcome, but it is especially important for parents of students entering into grade 4 next school year and any parents of new students to attend. Please take 1 minute to provide feedback by visiting bit.ly/BYODInfoSession to help us plan for these sessions.

We are very excited for the learning opportunities and possibilities this initiative is providing for our students. We value your input and appreciate your partnership with us to continue to work together to create powerful learning environments for our students. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact your child’s teacher or school administration.

Please indicate when and if you will be attending!

This is especially important for:

Grade 3 parents

Parents of new students

Click the link or fill out the form below

The Little Extra Goes A Long Way

“The difference between ordinary and extraordinary is that little extra.” 
― Jimmy Johnson 

I walked into the school this morning and was blown away with the makeover our early years hallway had received. I knew today was fairy tale day but was still not prepared, nor expecting to see such a transformation. It was like walking into a castle. After wandering around checking out all of the decorations and costumes, visiting the classrooms and seeing the excitement in our students, I came back to my office and started thinking (after getting a coffee of course). It truly is all of the extra that makes our school an extraordinary place. And sometimes I think it is important to recognize that and say thank-you.

Thank-you to the teachers and parents who were here until 9:30 pm last night decorating for Fairy Tale Day after student led conferences. Thank-you to the students, staff and volunteers for dressing up, all the planning and work that went into making today an amazing day for our students.

Continue reading

Innovation Week Day 2 Complete!

Muir Lake has definitely been busy the last couple of days as over 130 of our students from grade 6-9 have been participating in Innovation week. Our student participants are working on their projects alongside other students who are working on projects of the same category. As I have wandered around and visited the different rooms (Technology & Research, Foods & Culinary, Science & Design, Construction & Mechanics, Art & Design), I am blown away by the students idea, creativity, and innovation. Every room I walk into is a room of engaged and excited students, passionately working on their projects. There are too many great projects to list here but some examples of these projects are hovercraft, protective vest for hunting dogs, bike generator, bullying awareness, social media Chrome app, website design, duct tape hammock, creating products out of recycling, scooter sled, snow bike, half pipe, fashion design, toothbrush invention that includes the toothpaste as part of the toothbrush and many more. Even as I write about this I am struck by the diversity of our students’ passions and talents.

We are really enjoying innovation week.  We believe it is inspiring to us and other students.  It gives us a chance to take time and think, and explore!  We hope we get the chance to do it again, later in the school year.  We have great enthusiasm.  We already have planned what we will innovate next innovation week!!  This is a great learning opportunity and experience! – Kamira & Hannah 

Each day, our students are reflecting on their learning. Continue reading

November School Council Meeting

Despite Mother Nature’s best efforts to snow us out last night we had a great school council meeting. Among other things, we discussed Muir Lake Foundation report, Community League activities, fundraising, Board highlights, and our Muir Lake School AERR Report and Education Plan. Mrs. Matsuba also attended and gave a report on our student WE Day experience, as well as some of the future plans our students who are on the WE Care team have to make our school and world a better place. Thanks to all who braved the snow to be there.

We invite you to attend the next School Council meeting on December 9. There will be opportunity for some socializing over Christmas baking and coffee. Mrs. Paulson, the School Council Chairperson, will also be having a draw for a door prize for those in attendance. After the meeting we are hosting a parent workshop called Twitter for Parents: Engaged In Education for those who are interested in learning to tweet, as well as how and why social media is utilized in education. Feel free to bring some delicious Christmas baking and hope to see you there!

School Council Admin Report 

We Day Video

Remembrance Day Slideshow

For those who were not able to attend our school Remembrance Day Ceremony this year, here is a brief slideshow recapping the event. We are proud of the work, effort and honour are students displayed during this excellent ceremony.

Students Sharing Their Imagination Projects

It was awesome to come and visit the grade 7 science classes and see the incredible projects and ideas that the students had come up with for their Imagination Foundation Project. What stood out to me the most was the level of creativity, innovation and engagement all of the students displayed. It was easy to see the students’ passion in every conversation that I had with them. Some of them shared their learning and their project on their e-portfolio. Below are only a couple examples of the amazing projects that took place taken from the students’ e-portfolios.

Jake, Ethan and Aaron – Grade 8

Project based learning is when students use projects to learn the curriculum and life skills through a creative and enjoyable manner. We found project based learning extremely beneficial because we were able to express our interests. We believe that project based learning was an exceptionally useful way to educate our fellow students compared to book learning were all you had to do was memorize the material.

During the construction of the mini ballista we went through a voluminous amount of different experiences. Continue reading

1 to 1 BYOD Parent Information Sessions

We are excited to be extending our 1-to-1 Technology Learning Initiative into the 2013/2014 school year. This initiative will continue to have our students learning with access to their own electronic device (chromebook, laptop, etc.) in the classroom to be used when it is the best tool for the learning activity. This 1-to-1 pilot began with our grade 9 and grade 4 classes; however, we are excited to expand this initiative to invite all of our students from grades 4-9 to participate.

Research indicates and we believe that creating a 1-to-1 learning environment will:

Have You Googled Yourself?

I really enjoyed the School Council meeting and parent workshop last night. It was great to see a strong attendance of people invested in our students’ education. I really appreciated George Couros, PSD Division Principal’s presentation on Digital Identity. It was an awesome time of learning and discussion that challenged us about the importance of understanding who you are online. When you google yourself, what do you find?

Your digital identity can open doors of opportunity for our students (just ask Justin Bieber) and just as quickly close them. The opportunity for learning, connecting, collaborating through technology is phenomenal.  It provides real life, learning experiences with an authentic audience (just ask our students who Face Timed with students in Tanzania). It can be a source of motivation, encouragement, inspiration, and creativity that fosters innovation. The flip side… it can be a source to air your “dirty laundry”. It can represent and showcase the best of who you are… or give a misguided, negative perception to others. Google IS the new business card.

The challenge for us as parents is to learn alongside our children. Continue reading