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!

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HAVE A FANTASTIC SUMMER !!

Hi there everyone.

Just a few reflective thoughts as we head into summer …

Leader In Me …

Our students have consistently demonstrated the 7 Habits this year and it was incredible to witness their leadership in our Celebration Assemblies.  Our students see a leadership opportunity and they … go for it. I am grateful for the Leader in Me Initiative, which is giving us a framework and a common language for leadership.

Technology …

Thank you again for an AMAZING year at Muir Lake School ! Mr. McNaughton and I were reflecting Friday afternoon after the hallways were quiet.  We were talking about how proud we are of our learning journey this year … especially in technology. As a staff, we have all taken risks as learners … and our students and community have truly benefitted. It is very, very exciting!!!

Staff …

As we held our final staff meeting of the year. We took time to give thanks for this year.  Mr Rowse kicked off our Round Robin in style … ” I am grateful for everyone in this room”, he stated.

We proceeded around the room to hear many comments such as

… how truly GREAT our students are

… how much we are going to miss this group of grade nines  — they have touched our hearts deeply …

… we have a very supportive parent community

… we are really blessed here at Muir Lake

… what a great place this is to work

… what an awesome place this is for their own children

…”I love it here!”

… etc …

On behalf of the staff …  have a GREAT summer …     

… Synergize … Sharpen the saw  …Think win win …

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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:

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T3 Options – Are You Ready to Register?

Click the link at the left of this page or HERE to register for grade 6 to 9 term 3 options.  For information on the courses being offered for Term 3 click HERE to see the Course Descriptions.

Please be sure to have your online registration done by Tuesday March 19th  as term 3 begins right when we all return from Spring Break!  The first day 4 will be Wednesday April 3rd and the first Day 2 will be Friday April 5th.  If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the school office at 780-963-3535.

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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

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1-To-1 Technology Initiative Parent Information Sessions

Thank-you to all who attended the parent information sessions regarding the 1-to-1 technology initiative that we are piloting in the 2012/2013 school year in the grade 4 and 9 learning community classrooms. We appreciated the interest shown and the great conversation we had at these sessions.

As discussed at these sessions, the 1-to-1 technology initiative is to provide access to a laptop for all of our students in every class to be used as a tool to enhance and extend learning when appropriate. The mission of this initiative is:

“Our students will innovate, collaborate, and be highly motivated about their learning.”

We are very excited to see the positive impact this will have on our students’ learning and the amazing learning opportunities this will create as we continue to move forward with our Technology Innovation Plan. In case you were not able to attend, this 1-to-1 Technology Learning Communities  presentation was given at these parent information sessions.

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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

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Technology Innovation Plan

We are very excited about this Google Apps and student e-portfolio initiative that will empower students to increase collaboration, develop technology and digital citizenship skills, and demonstrate and showcase their learning through creating personal learning e-portfolios. You can read in detail about the initiative below; however, we just wanted to qualify that this plan will be implemented in stages. We wanted to take the opportunity to make you aware of this project; however, prior to your child participating in this, you will recieve a paper copy explaining the initiative and letting you know that your child will be starting to create their own e-portfolio.

The Vision of Muir Lake School and Parkland School Division

Our students use technology to learn. Technology is essential to facilitate the creative problem solving, information fluency, critical thinking skills, and collaboration that we see in today’s world. While we want our students to be active contributors in our connected world, we also want them to be safe, legal, and responsible.

About The Parkland School Division Initiative

Based on the idea of “Collaborate. Create. Learn.” as created by the Future Planning Team, and the Alberta Education Competency Wheel, we believe it will be extremely beneficial to Parkland School Division to look at moving towards creating digital portfolios for all students. Continue reading

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