September 13, 2015
- THIS WEEK IN IMAGES
- CLASS ORGANIZATION
- COMBINED CLASSES – WHY THE BAD RAP?
- SCHOOL NICKNAME AND LOGO – YOUR THOUGHTS!
- TERRY FOX RUN – PARENTS NEEDED
- CAMBRIDGE CARDBOARD CHALLENGE
- STAFF LIST
- CHANGES IN HOW WE COMMUNICATE STUDENT LEARNING
- QUOTE OF THE WEEK
- VIDEO OF THE WEEK – SEE SOMETHING, SAY SOMETHING
- IMPORTANT DATES COMING UP
BACK TO “IN THIS ISSUE”
What do we ask of students and parents?
Please be patient and give placements an opportunity to be assessed. In almost all cases, students end up loving their teacher and the class they are in. Having said that, we will look at classes carefully during the first few weeks to see if adjustments need to be made. Children need their parents to reassure them that everything will be OK. Parents, you have our assurance that we visit and spend time in every classroom as well as communicate frequently with teachers to ensure learning environments are the best they can be.
We ask that you not call the school immediately this week requesting a change in classes. The only exception would be if, during the flurry of activity, an educationally sound class placement request you made back in May or June was not taken into account.
Key points to keep in mind about class placements:
- It is not appropriate to request a specific teacher. The focus should always be on placement based on the most appropriate learning environment.
- Combined classes are not considered a factor when placing students. Combined classes are not inferior learning environments. In fact, research suggests that students in combined classes do just as well, if not better, than students in straight classes. Please see the additional information on below.
- In many cases, students are either placed together or apart depending on dynamics observed by previous teachers.
- From year to year, teachers communicate general information regarding a student’s ability in numeracy and language arts, as well ask work habits and behaviour. This information guides teachers in the formation of classes
COMBINED CLASSES – WHY THE BAD RAP?
Source: Surrey Schools
Combined-grade classes consist of students in two consecutive grades grouped together in one class. They are common both locally and internationally, with “one out of every five Canadian students enrolled in a multi-grade classroom” according to at least one study. There is a good chance that Surrey children will have the experience of being in a combined-grade class during their elementary school years.
Organizing classes to best meet the needs of all students is a complex process. While practical factors such as shifting enrolment, class size and composition influence the formation of classes, the Surrey School District is committed to creating balanced classes that focus on students’ learning strengths and the needs of the whole child.
There are academic as well as social benefits to combined-grade classes. Studies indicate that children in combined classes do as well academically as children in single grades.
Research has shown that combined classes:
- allow students learn from one another,
- provide models for younger students,
- help older students see what they’ve already learned,
- provide opportunities for a greater range of learning,
- encourage students to work together,
- promote social responsibility,
- help students to become independent and
- foster a positive attitude toward school.
Students in combined classes are not held back to the level of younger students, nor are they expected to handle work beyond their ability. In every classroom, there is a wide range of skills and abilities. Children mature at different rates in various aspects of development. Teachers are aware of these individual differences and structure learning activities according to the needs of each learner.
Children learn continually; their intellectual, social and personal development does not occur in discrete steps according to grade level. Studies have found that on average, a single-grade class includes students whose development spans five years. The developmental range in a combined class is not significantly different.
Within the combined class there will be children of both grade levels with similar levels of performance. Whether a child is gifted or needs considerable assistance, each will be challenged to excel as much in a combined class as he or she would be in a single-grade class.
Researchers have reported successful learning is less dependent on how students are grouped into classes, than on the quality of instructional practices.
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CAMBRIDGE CARDBOARD CHALLENGE
Last October, we held our first Cardboard Challenge and what a success it was!!! Teachers and students embraced the opportunity to be creative and direct their own learning. You will recall that the Cardboard Challenge was inspired by a young boy from East Los Angeles, named Caine. Caine amazed the world by building a complete arcade using cardboard and his imagination. An organization called the Imagination Foundation “was founded to find, foster and fund creativity and entrepreneurship in children around the world to raise a new generation of innovators and problem solvers who have the tools they need to build the world they imagine.” The result? The Cambridge Cardboard Challenge!
Our event will take place on October 5th and will be open to all students. Students need to complete the Cardboard Challenge Application to indicate their interest in participating.
Please watch and discuss the following videos and then decide, “How will YOU show your creativity?”
Mr. Owen Stemler – Grade 7
Ms. Shelagh Lim – Grade 7
Ms. Nina Minhas – Grade 6/7
Ms. Leslee Burwash – Grade 6
Mr. Peter Beale – Grade 6
Mr. Dave Morrison – Grade 5/6
Mr. Chris Lee – Grade 5
Ms. Sandy McLean – Grade 4/5
Mr. Eric Neumeyer – Grade 4/5
Mr. Alex Dewar – Grade 4
Ms. Kam Padam – Grade 4
Ms. Kelli Vogstad/TBA – Grade 3/4
Ms. Jessica Gray – Grade 3
Ms. Tracey Steeves/Ms. Leanne Meyer – Grade 3
Ms. Trish Ineson – Grade 3
Ms. Suparsha Sharda/Vicky Kaur (T,W,Th) – Grade 2
Ms. Punam Sharda/Brianne Topp – Grade 2
Ms. Katherine Douglas/Carrie Macumber – Grade 1/2
Ms. Kerry Tinant – Grade 1/2
Ms. Dawn Unruh – Grade 1/2
Ms. Kimberly Bomford – Grade 1
Ms. Laura Warkentin – Grade 1
Ms. Becky Weber – Kindergarten
Ms. Raj Taank – Kindergarten
Ms. Bonnie Jennings – Kindergarten
Ms. Carri McMillan – Kindergarten
Ms. Stephanie Brown – French
Ms. Julie Peloquin – Learning Support
Ms. Shelley Stark – Learning Support
Ms. Marlene Konyves – Learning Support
Mr. Kevin Fleming – Learning Support
Mr. Alex Reed – Integration Support
Ms. Sheryl Turner – Teacher/Librarian
Mr. Grant Hochman – Band
Ms. Darlene Lourenco – Music
Mr. Spencer Holland – Counsellor
Ms. Dyan Young – Childcare Worker
Ms. Charlotte Pearce – Aboriginal Support Worker
Ms. Angie Gilbert – Education Assistant
Ms. June Green – Education Assistant – Currently on Leave
Ms. Amber Harris – Education Assistant – Currently on Leave
Ms. Victoria Hodges – Education Assistant
Ms. Audrey Mainwaring – Education Assistant
Ms. Angie Martin – Education Assistant
Ms. Linda McLellan – Education Assistant
Ms. Chere Moore – Education Assistant
Ms. Kimberley Murray – Education Assistant
Ms. Aya Nordin – ABA Support Worker
Ms. Lori Roberts – Education Assistant
Ms. Poonam Pannu – Education Assistant
Ms. Karen Steele – Education Assistant
Ms. Beverley Lacey – Clerk
Ms. Kelly McLean – Clerk
Ms. Lorraine Knibb – Clerk
Ms. Maureen Fitzpatrick – Nurse
Ms. Cindy Davis
Ms. Hardeep Dhamija
Ms. Raminder Grewal
Ms. Jessica Pater
Ms. Swaliha Siddiqui
Ms. Rashpal Tung
Ms. Raj Dhillon
Mr. John Demosten
Mr. Alvaro Blandon
Mr. John Green
Mr. Antonio Vendramin
Ms. Kelli Vogstad
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SCHOOL NICKNAME AND LOGO – YOUR THOUGHTS!
If you haven’t yet shared your feedback regarding our school nickname and logo, we’d still love to hear from you! Please take a minute to complete the questions below. We will share the results with your once we’ve collected enough data. Thank you!
CHANGES IN HOW WE COMMUNICATE STUDENT LEARNING
Last year, many teachers at Cambridge used an online tool called FreshGrade to create a “window into the classroom” and to better communicate your child’s learning to you through the use of electronic portfolios. The goal was to share ongoing descriptive feedback regarding your child’s progress, and to actively involve your child in this process.
We know that there is a substantial amount of research indicating that external rewards and letter grades are detrimental to student learning. As well, letter grades can often be subjective, while not truly communicating progress your child has made in relation to learning objectives.
The following video provides great information on the research behind drive, motivation, and the use of extrinsic rewards:
Letter grades for intermediate students has always been a divisive issue. The teachers at Cambridge are aware of a significant body of research that indicates that:
- Grades tend to reduce students’ interest in learning itself.
- Grades tend to reduce students’ preference for challenging tasks.
- Grades tend to reduce the quality of students’ thinking.
Read more about letter grades:
Stay tuned for further information regarding changes to how we communicate student learning to you.
QUOTE OF THE WEEK
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VIDEO OF THE WEEK – SEE SOMETHING, SAY SOMETHING
We want Cambridge students to be the best learners and people they can be. The opportunities to positively impact others are always around us. What we do with these opportunities is up to us. This video was shared with students at our first assembly on September 11. Please watch and discuss with your child.
IMPORTANT DATES COMING UP
16-Kindergarten students begin FULL DAYS
24-Meet the Teacher-Community BBQ – 5:00-7:00 p.m.
28-Professional Development Day – Classes not in session
30-Terry Fox Assembly at Run – 1:30 p.m.
1-Running Club Begins
12-Thanksgiving – Classes not in session
16-Interim Student Learning Communications sent home
22-Grade 6 Immunizations
23-Professional Development Day – Classes not in session
29-Last day of Running Club
10-Remembrance Day Assembly – 9:00 a.m.
11-Remembrance Day – Classes not in session
13-Professional Development Day (held September 2) – Classes not in session
26-27-Grade 7 30-Hour Famine
30-Assembly – 1:45 p.m.
4-Term 1 Student Learning Communications sent home
9-Early Dismissal at 1:30 p.m. for Parent/Student/Teacher Conferences
10-Early Dismissal at 1:30 p.m. for Parent/Student/Teacher Conferences
18-Final day of classes before Winter Break
8-Family Day – Classes not in session
19-Professional Development Day (held September 3) – Classes not in session
14-25-Spring Break – Classes not in session
28-Easter Monday – Classes not in session
11-Term 2 Student Learning Communications sent home
13-Early Dismissal at 1:30 p.m. for Parent/Student/Teacher Conferences
6-Professional Development Day – Classes not in session
23-Victoria Day – Classes not in session
30-Professional Development Day – Classes not in session
17-Grade 7 Celebration
22-Year-End Assembly – 9:00 a.m.
23-Term 2 Student Learning Communications sent home
23-Early Dismissal at 1:30 p.m. for Parent/Student/Teacher Conferences
24-Administration Day – Classes not in session