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)