CambridgeLearns March 29, 2015

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

IN THIS ISSUE:


VIDEO OF THE WEEK: AUTISM AWARENESS
Enjoy these two inspirational videos as we head into April, which is autism awareness month.

Source:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x5m5vqrFZpc   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l2IU1h9sG7U

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COMMUNICATING STUDENT LEARNING-APRIL 2
Just a reminder that Student Learning Communications will be coming home with students this coming Thursday, April 2. As was the case in Term 1, teachers at Cambridge as part of a District pilot, have been exploring how better to share with parents the learning taking place in classrooms. As a result, the traditional report cards students have typically brought home may look a little or much different. Some parents will receive traditional report cards, other parent may be receiving a FreshGrade report that compliments the ongoing feedback you have had during the term, or you may be invited to a 3-way conference with your child and their teacher.

We value your feedback, especially as this pilot draws to a close at the end of this school year. You are encouraged to add your comments to this or any other story you read here on the CambridgeLearns blog.
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A VIDEO LOOK-BACK AT TERM 2
In case you missed it…

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LEARNING STORY: WHEN YOU LOSE TRACK OF TIME
Can you think of a time when you were so engrossed in what you were doing, you completely lost track of time? If you can, you were probably doing something that interested you so much, nothing else mattered at that moment. It shouldn’t be a rare occasion that catches us by surprise. The children of today are often criticized as having little focus and a limited attention spans. I wonder if that’s true, or if these perceived limitations are a more a reflection of the work school’s ask children to do?

IMG_0136This week, four of our intermediate classes transformed an empty portable on school grounds into a soapstone carving workshop. During an assembly, they were introduced to different carving methods and asked to think about an object or animal they would like to carve. On Wednesday, with pictures in hand, students chose their block of soapstone and began drawing their designs.

Following the first hands-on session, I received this email from one of the participating teachers:

“…when the bell rang some students asked me if it was recess. We were only scheduled to recess. I said to the class, “It’s lunch time.” You should have seen the look on their faces. They were so involved with their carvings, we worked right through recess until lunch. The time went by like minutes. I was so impressed. The concentration was outstanding.”

Intrigued, I went to visit our new art studio and I witnessed the same sort of engagement, interest, and authentic learning. As I reflected deeply about what the students were doing, their work went far beyond the creation of an art piece and the appreciation of aesthetic beauty. There was significant learning taking place! Very quickly, you start to appreciate the critical thinking and problem-solving students are required to do:

What design interests me?

What block of soapstone will work best for the design I have chosen?

How much material should I remove? From what part of the block?

How much detail should take away so that my design is stylized?

How much detail should I include so that people will know what I carved?

What tool should I use for each aspect of my carving?

IMG_0160Watching students learn also made me think of a recent article I read about Finland’s increased focus on “phenomenon-based learning“, an approach which emphasizes learning that incorporates many disciplinaries (language, math, science, art) rather than compartmentalizing learning into “subjects”. How would this soapstone carving fit with this approach? What other learning is taking place? Students could:

  • Write a poem or story to accompany their carving
  • Write a step-by-step procedure for soapstone carving
  • Discover how soapstone is formed, where it is found, and the differences between types
  • Calculate the percentage of material removed from the original block
  • Explore a myriad of geometry or measurement concepts: angle measurement and classification, ratios, volume…
  • Learn about tool safety

By no means is this list exhaustive, but it does illustrate how far learning experiences can be taken.

In the end, when students get lost in their learning, it is the most rewarding feeling an educator can experience. We look forward to not only the creations our talented students will carve from stone, but how far they will take their learning. Stay tuned!

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RUNNING CLUB COMING SOON
April is just around the corner and that means that our annual Running Club is too! Running Club is a fun, great way for students to improve their fitness level and for students from grades 3-7 to prepare for the upcoming Track and Field season.

Teachers are currently organizing and could use your help to assist with lining the running route, supervising students, and signing booklets.

If you are able to volunteer, please call the office or drop by and let us know.
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TAEKWONDO OPPORTUNITY
We have decided to extend the registration period for Taekwondo lessons for one more week. Master Chang will be at our assembly on Tuesday, March 31 (1:30 p.m.) to talk about Taekwondo and give a demonstration. As with all assemblies, parents are more than welcome to attend. Permission forms are available at the office and $25.00 cheques can be made out to Chang’s Taekwondo. Thank you in advance for your support.
Cambridge Elementary Taekwondo

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QUOTE OF THE WEEK
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IMPORTANT DATES COMING UP

March
31-Assembly – 1:30 p.m.

April
1-Running Club begins – see call for volunteers above.
2-Fine Arts Performance: Fizzical Fizzicks – 9:00 a.m.
2-Reading under the stars – GYM – 12:45 – 1:45 p.m.
2-Term 2 Student Learning Communications
3-Good Friday Holiday – Classes not in session
6-Easter Monday Holiday – Classes not in session
9-HUB Cycling Program – Grade 4 and 5 classes – Day 1
14-Division 25 and 26 to Historic Stewart Farm
15-Division 23 and 24 to Historic Stewart Farm
15-HUB Cycling Program – Grade 4 and 5 classes – Day 2
17-Superhero Theme Day – PAC Hotdog lunch
20-PAC Meeting – 7:00 p.m.
21-Spring Portraits, Class, Team, and Panorama photos – All Day
29-Grade 4 classes to Grouse Mountain
30-Assembly – 8:45 a.m.
30-Ready, Set, Learn – 1:00 – 2:00 p.m.
30-Running Club Ends

May
1-Professional Day
12-Grade 2 classes to Grouse Mountain
14-Fine Arts Performance: Magician Sheldon Casavant – 9:00 a.m.
18-Victoria Day Holiday – Classes not in session
21-Grade 4 classes to Capilano Suspension Bridge
22-Spring Family Fun Fair – 5:00-8:00 p.m.
25-Professional Day
27-Grade 5 classes to Britannia Mine
28-Assembly – 8:45 a.m.
29-Talent Show – 1:00 p.m.

June
1-Parent “Thank You” Tea
1-PAC Meeting (AGM) – 7:00 p.m.
3-Kindergarten Introduction Parent Meeting
4-New Kindergarten Student Visits
12-Sports Day
17-Panorama Youth Company dance performance – 1:30 p.m.
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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