Friday, 18 December 2015

Happy Holidays!

From all of the CC/OM TEAM to you:

We wish you the merriest of holidays and well deserved break.
See you in 2016!

Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Connecting Through Music to Share Some Holiday Cheer!

Miss Walter's grade 5/6 class from Captain John Palliser School came to 2School to further their inquiry of Collaboration within our community.  Throughout the week they explored public art, the Field of Flame, and a variety of public parks and spaces ALL to gather evidence of community collaboration.

An opportunity arose for students to collaborate through music with the staff at the CBE during the Board of Trustees and Chief Superintendent’s annual Christmas gathering on Wednesday, December 9.  Ms. Sarah Walters and her grade 5/6 students sang tunes which delighted staff.  Under the guidance of their music teacher Ms. Neufeld, students learned traditional songs with new "Canadian" lyrics.  A favourite story teller is Troy Towsin who wrote "The Original All-Canadian 12 Days of Christmas" called "A Moose in a Maple Tree".  Students joined adults as they sang their part. There were many smiling faces as we all sang this new, updated version of the 12 Days of Christmas - Canadian style!  

Wednesday, 9 December 2015

2School at Calgary Catholic School District and CUPS

How does an idea come alive?  A Grade 6 class at St Pius School attending 2School discovered this for themselves when they decided to dig deeper into the “big idea” of Citizenship.

Exploring the concept of Active Citizenship in their classroom, and led by their teacher Melissa Ross, the students invited their Chief Superintendent to their classroom.  Gary Strother shared how Calgary Catholic School District’s Faith Theme of Do Justice, Love Kindness and Walk Humbly with God gained momentum and inspired a multitude of projects over a three year period.  The Grade 6 class asked many questions that day, and in the following days during their custom-designed Campus Calgary/Open Minds week. Immersed in the idea of Citizenship as it connects to CCSD’s Faith Theme, their time at Central Office was valuable as they also interviewed school district personnel and their trustee.

The 2School Site provided opportunities for teachers, parents and students to uncover curriculum through the unique lens of public education and the role it plays in our democratic society. The historical classroom served as a base for students as they explored and gathered evidence of citizenship in this dynamic downtown community.

Phrases such as ‘By Your Actions’ and ‘Less of Me, More of You’ took on meaning during a day at CUPS, the Calgary Urban ProjectSociety. Students had the opportunity to wrap Christmas gifts for those in need and to learn more about the organization and the role it plays in the heart of Calgary. 

St Pius students are challenged and empowered by their Chief Superintendent to take this unique experience, their own understandings and to lend their ideas and voices towards CCSD’s next Faith Theme!   

Submitted by Ita Kistorma
Consultant, Campus Calgary/Open Minds

Calgary Catholic School District

Monday, 7 December 2015

Longitudinal Studies before and after City Hall School experience

With St. Patrick’s Island being reopened to the public after major restoration and redevelopment in the summer of 2015 we knew that we wanted to take advantage of the park’s proximity to our school and utilize the space for field study with our grade six students this year.

We visited the island in September to give students time to explore the space to see and experience what the park had to offer visitors. We have since started visiting the island monthly and students are engaging in two activities: spending time in a “Special Spot” and conducting a longitudinal research study. Students were asked to locate one special area on the island that they would like to return to each visit. 

During this time, they make careful observations and record their experiences in their field study journals as they sit quietly in nature. Throughout our visits to the island, students have developed a variety of ways they will record the changes and their experiences in their field study journals. For their longitudinal research studies, students have identified an individual research question related to the island to explore how different phenomena change over the course of the school year and what impact this may have on our city. 

Our first visit to collect data was in November and it was so inspiring to watch and work with students as they engaged in this independent work all over the island. They brought any tools and materials required for measuring and collecting data and lived as scientists and researchers as their knowledge of and connection to the island grew. Since this visit, students have been asking insightful questions, and continually modifying their research questions and approach. We can’t wait to see how our time at City Hall School enhances our understanding of the island and to see where this learning takes us over the course of the school year.

Submitted by K. Logan and B. O’Sullivan, Langevin School

Thursday, 3 December 2015

A Week of Discovery at Zoo School!

Preshistoric WalkOur Grade 7 Campus Calgary/Open Minds Zoo School group recently returned from a week of studying at the Calgary Zoo. Our main goal was to explore what it means to be a global citizen. The group had many once in a lifetime adventures as we answered this question.
We began our week exploring the idea of sustainable fishing. We learned the importance of being an informed consumer. We now know how to find out where our fish come from and how they have been caught. The Calgary Zoo purchases fish that have been sustainably sourced. As we discussed sustainable fishing, we created fish popsicle enrichment for the penguins. We were able to categorize the fish based on their unique characteristics as well.

Through discussions about exotic pets traded in the black market, we met Regis the snake. We learned the questions to ask when adopting or purchasing a pet.  Dispelling many myths about snakes, we learned that snakes are not cold and slimy!

Our Zoo School group used our imaginations and became Prairie Dog Researchers. We set the traps, caught our soft and cuddly Prairie Dogs and took many measurements to record during our observations of them. Did you know that Prairie Dogs are key components of grassland ecosystems?

We also fed 3 quirky Bactrian camels that are critically endangered. These gentle giants were mesmerizing! Through each of these experiences we learned that the most valuable way to be a global citizen, is to share what we learn with others. We can educate people in a way that continues the circle of learning.

A big thank you to Chevron Open Minds Zoo School, and the staff at Light of Christ School that made this experience possible!

Ms. Tousignant

Conservatory Class 

Submitted by C. Tousignant (CCSD Teacher) via Ita Kistorma (CCSD Consultant)

Monday, 30 November 2015

How do we connect?

We love big questions, and thinking of our interconnected world.  Today, what does it look like to connect with experts when going beyond classroom walls?

This week there have been two examples of classes taking their questions up in ways that weren't available to us not so long ago.

Learners at Healthy Living School at Vivo had a class question they weren't quite able to ask face-to-face so they asked it in a different way:
Learners at Aero Space School at the Aero Space Museum had a similar experience.  Looking at "unseen forces" they weren't quite sure how to interpret some symbolism on artifacts that were grabbing learners' attention:

Do you have an example of how you're able to connect and question differently today because of the learning tools available to us now?

Friday, 27 November 2015

West Springs School Hosts Healthy Living Expo

Grade 4 students at West Springs School began their school year immersed in the ideas of healthy living and habits of mind in preparation for their week at Campus Calgary Healthy Living School at Vivo.  Their innovative teachers Becky Jackson, Lori Braun and Andrew Lawson created a year of inquiry around Art Costa’s 16 Habits of Mind.  Through these, students began to investigate the habits of successful people and in turn became experts on identifying these within themselves and others.

Their weeks at Campus Calgary Healthy Living School matched students with experts to uncover the curriculum. They participated in active breaks with activities that included yoga, DancePlay, swimming and Zumba. Students became advocates for bringing the effect of these back to their school, their family and community. Students also worked alongside experts at Vivo such as Search and Rescue members, a community Police Officer, National Sport School athletes and Panther Physiotherapy Clinic to gain further evidence of the importance of healthy habits.

One class was invited to represent their school and share their generational voice at the Leadership Roundtable 2.0 hosted by Vivo, Mount Royal University and The City of Calgary.  The adult change makers at this event valued and appreciated their expertise and knowledge sharing.  A truly collaborative initiative, student voice was a powerful addition to this event.

The following day, all three classes celebrated with a Healthy Living Expo at West Springs School.  All classes, parents and community were invited to attend to interact with the students and their informational and interactive displays.  The learning continues through the year as students expand on their ways of knowing and application of healthy living choices.

Thursday, 19 November 2015

Universal Children’s Day - November 20th

Did you know on November 20, the world will celebrate children? That’s right! It is Universal Children’s Day, recognized internationally as a reminder of two historic events: the 1959 signing of the UN Declaration of the Rights of the Child and the adoption of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1989. You can check out the following link for a youth friendly format of this important document.

“There are many reasons to celebrate children, but most of all because children deserve to be recognized as important members of our community.
  • All children have the right to an adequate standard of living, health care and to play.
  • All children have the right to express their views about things that affect them and to
    participate in communities, programs and services.
  • All children have the right to be protected from abuse, neglect, exploitation and

    All 3 orders of government in Canada recognize the importance of National Child Day in some way. The City of Calgary is offering many free, fun family events at various locations around the city to celebrate. You can find them on The City of Calgary’s website. Just look up National Child’s Day events!

    This year’s theme for National Child Day is “It’s My Right to Learn. In Canada, every child has the right to attend school. Although some days students would rather not go, there are children in other parts of the world who desperately want to get an education. Watch this video to see just what lengths some children take to get to their schools.

    After watching this video, has your thinking changed?

    Maybe you will decide to more closely examine the UN Declaration of the Rights of the Child or the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. 

    Contributed by Jody Danchuk, City Hall School coordinator

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Monday, 16 November 2015

Teachers' Convention

This year's Calgary City Teachers' Convention is being held February 11th and 12th, 2016.

Campus Calgary / Open Minds is pleased to be providing a number of sessions for Calgary educators.

Planning for 2016/2017?

Are you interested in learning more about Campus Calgary / Open Minds?

Friday, February 12th, join us from 9:00 to 10:15 for a Campus Calgary / Open Minds 101 overview session.  Our overview will remind participants that Campus Calgary/Open Minds is an innovative curriculum based program that moves the classroom into the community for an entire week alongside experts. The experience is a catalyst for learning throughout the year. This session is an introduction to the program to explore possibilities for a variety of contexts, disciplines, and ages.

Are you interested in applying for Campus Calgary / Open Minds in 2016/2017?

Friday, February 12th, join us from 11:00 to 12:15 for What's the Big Idea? A Proposal writing hands-on workshop for Campus Calgary / Open Minds. This working session assists in considering full year big ideas/questions as they relate to program applications. Participants may also consider attending session beforehand for overview of program.

**Our Friday morning sessions are intentionally back-to-back with the conference-wide break in the middle.  This allows you to attend either session or both combined depending on your previous experience.  Both Friday sessions are at our City Hall School classroom in the main atrium of Municipal Plaza, steps away from the Telus Convention Centre.

What's new this year?

Interested in knowing more about Ministerial Order competencies and how learning experiences can be brought alive?

Thursday, February 11th at 1:00pm to 2:15 join us for a rich discussion on Living the Competencies: Dynamic Classroom Experiences.  The competencies in the Ministerial Order impact teaching and learning across disciplines and age groupings. From literacy/numeracy development in younger grades to High School Redesign with more experienced learners, how can we meet the complex and changing needs of learners and classrooms? With Campus Calgary/Open Minds as a potential model and tool, discussions will consider many related possibilities and approaches.

This session is being held at Hyatt Regency Hotel: Neilson 3 (3rd Floor) (700 Centre St S, Calgary, AB T2G 5P6).

Interested in knowing more about local government?

Thursday, February 11th, at 9:00 to 11:45 am join Jody Danchuk, our City Hall School site coordinator, for an all-morning session on Citizenship, Democracy, and Municipal Government.  This session reminds participants that voter turn out is declining. How can we lay the foundation for youth to understand the importance of citizen engagement and participation? This half day session will provide opportunities to learn about municipal governance from those working within The City of Calgary. Resources will be shared supporting teachers to embed local government understanding and engagement within their classrooms.

This session is at our City Hall School classroom in the main atrium of Municipal Plaza, steps away from the Telus Convention Centre.

We hope to see you at this year's convention!

Friday, 13 November 2015

Site Coordinator Collaboration

Values become beliefs become actions.

Campus Calgary/Open Minds has 11 classrooms across Calgary.  Regularly, site coordinators meet to collaborate and share ideas between sites.

This week, coordinators met at Stampede School and discussions evolved into future actions from our previous discussions sharing values related to experiential learning and our dynamic programming.

A key highlight from our discussions was not just seeing the world, but noticing it.  As a team, we feel it is our responsibility to provide learners with the tools to truly notice the world, engaging all our senses, as we consider what makes each site--and our city--unique.

We also considered our attention and learner assessment as a coordinator and teacher team.  We used the first and final minutes of  Demo: The Movie to consider times when our learners' attention is where we intentionally plan it to be--perhaps a candle demonstration as in the film clip--so that our attention can be on them.

"Your beliefs become your thoughts.
Your thoughts become your words.
Your words become your actions.
Your actions become your habits.
Your habits become your values.
Your values become your destiny" --Gandhi
Interesting to have this discussion as we embark on International Day of the Child on November 20th.  What do we value in terms of our children as learners?  How does this translate into belief?

And action?

We look forward to many more rich discussions as we continue to see Campus Calgary/Open Minds evolve and grow.

Thursday, 29 October 2015

2School Collaborates with Nureva Inc.

Nureva Inc., an award-winning collaboration-solutions company opened its doors to 5th- and 6th-grade students from Alexander Ferguson School to help them learn about and get hands-on with collaborative technology, such as the Span™ ideation system, to engage in critical thinking, creativity and communication as a group. Students first created their ideas on personal devices, shared them on the panoramic canvas and then actively collaborated with their classmates to group, refine and shape their understanding.

Alexander Ferguson Gr. 5/6 students were investigating their “big idea” during their week at 2School. One group looked at “How does creativity affect change?” and the other looked at “What does it mean to be a Canadian today?”

Nureva is 1 of more than 30 local company’s participating in 2School, which is a Campus Calgary program that has been taking place since 2011. The 2School’s location at the Education Centre in the
Calgary beltline allows teachers and students the unique opportunity to move their classes for one week of the school year to the historical classroom situation in the Dr. Carl Safran Centre. During that time, students visit participating companies, like Nureva, to get real-world experiences to better understand the world around them and apply their knowledge outside the classroom. “Professionals working alongside students in engaging activities support the educational values of collaboration and exploration,” said Trish Hubbard, 2School coordinator at the Calgary Board of Education. “And the experience with Nureva has been transformative as students are able to learn about new technologies, assess them, revise and justify their new understandings.”

2School provides opportunities for teachers and students to uncover curriculum through the unique lens of public education and the role it plays in our democratic society. The historical classroom serves as a base from which student’s explore past, present and future in a dynamic downtown community.

Blog post contributed by Trish Hubbard, 2School coordinator

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