CambridgeLearns January 17, 2015

CLICK HERE to view this week at Cambridge Elementary in TWEETS!

IN THIS ISSUE:

THIS WEEK IN IMAGES


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KINDERGARTEN REGISTRATION
Kindergarten registration flyer 15-16
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INTERMEDIATE SCIENCE FAIR
Students in intermediate classes are learning about the “scientific method” in preparation for our school Science Fair on February 25th. Further details will be shared once they are available. Experiments are being run in many classes and students are enjoying developing experiments that will answer questions. Here is a quick look at an egg experiment that took place in Ms. Burwash’s class yesterday:

You can learn more about our upcoming Science Fair by viewing the following document: Science Fair Booklet.
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COMMUNICATING STUDENT LEARNING/MAKING LEARNING VISIBLE
Our staff have been involved in two District pilot programs: Communicating Student Learning and Making Learning Visible. Many parents now have a “window” into the classroom and into their child’s learning. Staff have been using an online tool called FreshGrade which allows them to capture learning evidence and share it with parents through notes, pictures, audio, and video. Many parents even received Term 1 Student Learning Communications via FreshGrade.

Our work has drawn attention from many other schools in the District who are curious about the impact of these pilots. This past week, teachers from Hyland Elementary visited to see first hand the work we are doing, and to ask questions. Hyland teachers left excited and with many of their questions answered.

You will recall that after Term 1, we also asked you as a parent group for feedback. Thank you to all who responded. The information gathered helps us in our learning and guides our work so that your child’s learning is as positively impacted as possible.

Here’s what you had to say:
To what degree do you consider yourself to be informed regarding your child’s learning?
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Ongoing information regarding my child’s learning is more important than information I receive in my child’s formal report card.
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The amount of information I receive regarding my child’s learning is:
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Parents who received a FreshGrade Paper report:

  • “I love the online reporting but it will be difficult not to have a paper rememberance. occasional I stumble across my old report cards and have a giggle.”
  • “I think that some improvements could be made to the FreshGrade paper report. Each page should be numbered – the report is quite long and doublesided so it’s hard to make sure you have the pages in the right order – especially if your kids read it first and mixed it up! I think it would be good to have a color code chart on the copy that the parent keeps, currently all the coding is on the copy that is returned to the school. Finally, I think that the teacher should put a comment on those subjects/areas that are the weakest so you can identify the issues.”
  • “I can’t imagine teachers have time to update parents on a regular basis–formative assessment is difficult to report out, sum native assessment the way it is currently used is problematic, supports are not adequately funded for those who need extra support (including those that are gifted), and so, I do not need to be updated all the time on my child’s progress. Actually, I think it would be great if my child came home more curious about life than when he left. I would like my child to come home and tell me about really cool questions he asked and what opportunities he had to explore the answers. I would like my child to come home and know his strengths and weaknesses so that I can support him. I do not want reporting to be a time consuming burden to teachers. I read my son’s report card today. All he cared to show me was that he got all b’s and one A. He said that his goal for next term was to increase the amount of a’s; sadly, he did not tell me what it is he hopes he could learn. I do appreciate the written comment; it is more insightful than the plo pages. A recommendation is that I am to find ways at home to clearly show his creative thinking in his projects, and to find effective ways to proofread his work…if I am not a teacher, how do I do this? What will he learn next term to help him with this? I will support my child without a question and I will try my best to help him at home. I do not want to be a partner in his education. I am not his teacher. I have faith in his teacher and his school. Forgive me for not being able to edit my comment; the little box only allows about five words to be seen at a time. Oh, and euphemistic language that is pervasive in his report card is inaccessible to most parents.”
  • “Will the portfolio follow the student during all elementary years? Will there be a new login every year?”
  • “I love the freshgrade online, seeing videos, pics and hearing reading samples, it helps so much in being more connected. Thank you so much!”

Parents who received a FreshGrade Online report:

  • “I am really enjoying recieving the Freshgrade photos and videos of my childs classroom activities.”
  • “I like the traditional paper copy please.”
  • “Great job!”
  • “I am a fan of the Freshgrade program; I do wonder of the extra(?) burden on teachers. Is it taking away from class time in anyway? I do like it, but not at that expense…”
  • “I’m not sure if it’s feasible, but it would be great to know what the learning plan is at least one month in advance.”
  • “Show learning compared/relative to benchmark of the class, all classes, district, etc. so there is a benchmark to compare to.”

Parents who received a Traditional Paper report:

  • “We would like to know what topics our child is learning so we can be in the loop and help at home
    I am satisfied with the traditional formal report cards, but I have to admit that I am curious about everything I am hearing about FreshGrade. While it is convenient to receive samples of work and glimpses of what they are doing in the classroom at my fingertips, I wonder if parents really understand what all that means in relation to how their child is doing. Do parents really understand whether their child’s work is meeting grade level expectations or not? Do they really understand what their child is excelling in and what they are working to improve by seeing their work samples posted in an online portfolio? It’s hard for me to know, because my children’s teachers are not currently using FreshGrade, so I don’t really know what it looks like. I feel that my children’s teachers did a wonderful job communicating their learning progress on the formal reports and in the parent teacher interviews. I am satisfied with the info, but it’s hard when you know that other parents are receiving regular photos and video clips of their child(ren) hard at work. With all this talk about FreshGrade I can’t help but feel like I am missing out on something. Perhaps a little less hyping it up in the newsletters… not everyone is receiving information about their child’s learning this way…. BUT all children are learning at Cambridge and doing great things regardless of formal reports or FreshGrade. There are wonderful things going on all around the school. Whether teachers are using FreshGrade or not, many are doing brilliant things with our children. In the newsletters I would like to see a little less of the FreshGrade classrooms and a little more representation from the other classes in the school who are ALSO doing great things with our children. I think the most important thing is that there is an open door between the school and home, and that parents can feel welcome to ask a question about their child’s learning any time throughout the school year. On a bit of a different note…. I would love to see all schools do away with letter grades all together. I wish that my children could go through their schooling, without having to navigate through “how many A’s or B’s” they receive. We try really hard as parents to downplay the letter grades, and emphasize the importance of the comments their teacher makes regarding their work habits etc. Thanks for your time.”
  • “I like having both the online copy, and paper copy of the report card.”
  • “Look fwd to changes.”
  • “I think her teacher is fantastic, but I would like to start using Freshgrade, so I can learn more in between report cards.”
  • “When my child comes home and can provide me his own interpretation of what he is learning and how successful he feels with it is powerful – not just for me, but for his independence in learning for the future.”

Thank you for this incredible feedback.
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BASKETBALL SCHEDULE
What a great start to the basketball season. Both our boys and girls teams are off to a great start, both with victories versus Brookside Elementary this past week. While wins are great, we are more pleased that our student-athletes are learning foundational skills that will serve them well should they continue to play basketball in the future.  Well done, Comets!

Here is a list of upcoming games:

BOYS Green Team:
January 14 AWAY vs. Brookside – Win – 39-32
January 21 AWAY vs. T.E. Scott
January 28 AWAY vs. Chimney Hill
February 4 vs Green Timbers
February 11 AWAY vs. Chimney Hill
February 18 Playday – Location TBD

BOYS Blue Team:
January 20 vs. Brookside
January 21 vs. Chimney Hill
January 28 AWAY vs. Janice Churchill
February 4 AWAY vs. William Watson
February 11 vs. Sullivan
February 18 Playday – Location TBD

GIRLS:
January 15 AWAY vs. Brookside – Win – 36-26
January 22 vs T.E. Scott
January 29 AWAY vs. Chimney Hill
February 5 vs Green Timbers
February 12 AWAY vs. Chimney Hill
February 19 Playday – Location TBD

Please note that for away games, we leave Cambridge by 2:45 p.m. and arrive back by approximately 4:30 p.m. Special thanks to our wonderful parents for providing transportation. We couldn’t do it without you!

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SULLIVAN ENGAGEMENT PRESENTATION
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QUOTE OF THE WEEK
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VIDEO OF THE WEEK: THE POWER OF INFLUENCE
The video shows the power of influence. As important adults in the life of children, they look to us. When we are nervous or anxious, children perceptively pick up on this and begin to wonder, “Should I be worried as well?” We also have the power to let our kids know, “We’ll get through this…it will be OK…you can do this!” Enjoy this cute video together!

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IMPORTANT DATES COMING UP
January
19-Kindergarten Registration begins
19-Surrey RCMP Neighbourhood Safety Campaign – 6:30 p.m.
20-PAC Meeting – 7:00 p.m.
22-Snowshoeing at Grouse Mountain – Grade 1 Classes
22-Community Forum – Panorama Ridge Secondary – 7:00 p.m.
23-Professional Day – classes not in session
28-Snowshoeing at Grouse Mountain – Grade 5 Classes
29-Discover Skills BC sessions for Grade 6 students
30-Assembly – 1:45 p.m. All parents welcome!

February
9-Family Day – Classes not in session
16-PAC Meeting – 9:00 a.m.
19-Student Led Conferences – Early Dismissal – 1:30 p.m.
20-Professional Day

March
6-Term 2 Student Learning Communications
9-20-Spring Break

April
1-Running Club Starts
2-Fine Arts Performance: Fizzical Fizzicks – 9:00 a.m.
3-Good Friday Holiday
6-Easter Monday Holiday
20-PAC Meeting – 7:00 p.m.
21-Class, Team, and Panorama photos – All Day
30-Running Club Ends

May
1-Professional Day
7-Parent Thank You Tea
14-Fine Arts Performance: Magician Sheldon Casavant – 9:00 a.m.
18-Victoria Day Holiday
22-Spring Family Fun Fair – 5:00-8:00 p.m.
25-Professional Day

June
1-PAC Meeting (AGM) – 7:00 p.m.
3-Kindergarten Introduction Parent Meeting
4-New Kindergarten Student Visits
12-Sports Day
19-Grade 7 Assembly

25-Last Day Before Summer Holiday
25-Final Assembly
25-Early Dismissal 1:30 p.m.

25-Term 3 Student Learning Communications
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