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: Dream and Discover

This week, all grade 6-9 students were given an introduction to “Innovation Week”.  This is an opportunity for students to follow their own passions and direct their own learning about something that interests them. We encourage you to go through the presentation that the students participated in and view the videos that are in the presentation.

Innovation week is more than a “science fair” or “invention fair”, as it is not limited to only science-based projects.  Students are encouraged to pursue any area that is important to them – something they feel passionate about, or wonder about, or want to learn about.  It might be in the area of science, computers, drama, design, history, media, social justice, music, art, writing…the possibilities really are endless.

Last year, the staff and students at Greystone Centennial Middle School launched “Innovation Week”.  This year, Muir Lake is geared up to initiate the process here for our own middle years staff and students.

What is Innovation Week?

Innovation Week is an opportunity for students to engage in meaningful learning experiences, to pursue their own learning interests, and to develop the skills and thought processes to become lifelong, passionate learners.  This is not a traditional “stand and deliver” classroom environment.  Teachers are facilitators in the process.  They are there to guide, to question, to encourage and to focus, but the students are the “innovators” and will take the lead in their learning.

How will it work?

Students from grades 6-9 will be given the option to participate in this learning opportunity.  Those that choose to participate will be given the time and space to plan, research and create their projects at school during the week of December 16, before eventually sharing with the school and community at the Showcase on the morning of December 20.  Please be our guest on the 20th to share in our learning.

We can’t wait to see what our students will dream and I’m sure we’ll be in awe of what they will discover!

Congratulations To Our Grade 3 Fire Chief For A Day!

Congratulations to Avery! He was the lucky winner of the Fire Chief for the Day event sponsored by the Stony Plain Fire Hall to promote fire safety week.  He was picked up early in the morning and taken to the fire hall where he experienced life as a fire personnel including lunch at Dairy Queen!  What an exciting event to remember from grade three!

In Avery’s words…

My name is Avery and I was the Fire Chief for the day! It was really fun when I got to spray the fire hose. I also had a good time when I went on the ladder and it went up. I had a really good time when I rode in the fire truck and the fireman drove it. I got a CD and a plaque that says Avery Junior Fire Chief For A Day 2013.

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

Hands On In LA 9: Student Writing About Learning

*This is a student writing about their learning activity in LA 9 with the novel “Touching Spirit Bear”.*

Cole Matthews is a very troubled boy. The word troubled doesn’t even begin to cover his issues. After sending classmate Peter Driscal to the hospital by smashing his head into the sidewalk, Cole is put in a detention center, where he meets Garvey, and is introduced to Circle Justice. Circle justice is a method of healing that involves gathering with other citizens and discussing the problem at hand. Much conversing brings the Circle members to a decision, which is sending Cole to a remote island in Alaska.

Throughout his time on the island, Cole begins to change.

Part of his healing involves him carving a totem pole. Everyday, Cole etches and picks at the wood with his knife, and everyday he bases his next sculpture on an animal that he has seen and finds positive traits in. But these characteristics aren’t based just on the animals, but on himself, too. As he creates the structure, he delves inside his own being to pull out the good things that he knows he has in himself. This self-reflection helps Cole bring himself to serenity and peace, and allows him to quiet down his anger.

Through building totem poles of our own, we can follow Cole’s path, and experience what he had. Choosing animals that we see ourselves in, we have created pieces of art that show our own self-reflection. The class is etching, carving and writing down personal perspectives of ourselves. Following our totems, we are writing narrative essays that explain why we have chosen the animals in our art, using particular experiences of our lives to justify our choices.

As a student participating in this activity, I believe that I understand how Cole Matthews felt as he made his totem pole. Self-reflection does show you how you act not just towards others, but towards yourself as well.

You Are Invited to the 1-To-1 Technology Parent Information Session!!!

We are excited to explore the possibility of piloting a 1-to-1 Technology Learning Initiative in the 2012/2013 school year. 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. This 1-to-1 pilot would begin with our grade 9’s and one grade 4 class. Research indicates and we believe that creating a 1-to-1 learning environment will:

  • increase student engagement and motivation
  • improve academic achievement
  • foster creativity and innovation
  • increase collaboration and communication among students, staff, and parents
  • improve digital literacy skills that will equip students for the future

In preparation for this initiative, we are taking a thoughtful and deliberate approach that includes research, input and feedback, plan development, preparation, implementation and evaluation. Continue reading

Globalization of Assessment Parent Invitation

The economy has drastically changed and now the education system needs to change how it is preparing students for the world outside the walls of the classroom. Traditional assessment and instructional techniques are preparing students for the traditional world not the current one. Education cannot keep doing what it has always been doing and expect a different outcome.

To read more about the presenter David Martin and about the session on Globalization of Assessment you can click this link.

At the Horizon Stage in Spruce Grove
Wednesday, May 2, 2012 7:00-8:15
Doors open at 6:45
No ticket required

cc licensed (BY) flickr photo shared by Bastien Vaucher