Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Parents are Our Learning Partners!

 Parents are Our Learning Partners!
-a CC/OM week 

“There is such an impact on understanding and relationships when parents are learning partners alongside their children. Truly great learning takes place in the discussions and reflections about the experiences.”
 -CC/OM Team

Ways CC/OM parent volunteers make a difference!

Before the week:
  • Knowing the Big Idea/Question and the CC/OM site their child is attending, parents can visit our website to learn more about this innovative program! http://cbe.ab.ca/ccom/Pages/Home.aspx
  • Think about and introduce connections outside of school time. This leads to great conversations at home and school!
  • Support students in being safe and meeting their needs. Meeting the volunteer requirements at the school ensures that they are prepared and are well equipped to work with all students.
  • Remember their own needs as we work inside and outside at our sites. Parents need comfortable shoes, the right clothes (seasonal layers) and a hearty lunch and full water bottle as well. Phones and cameras are occasionally useful in a learning context; parents can confirm with their child’s teacher to see how they are being used for this week.

During the week:
  • Sketch and write in journals alongside the students. Parent engagement in the work is a powerful message to students.
  • Lead small groups with questions that promote inquiry (ie. What do you think, I wonder about, Is that the same as, Remember that expert who mentioned….)
  • Listen for the connections to the Big Idea/inquiry question and help students to discover their own.
  • Notice student work and ideas with comments that encourage further exploration (ie. I see that you, I notice, I wonder, I had not thought of that,Why are you considering that, You have made me think of, I see how you added lines to…)
  • Support students asking questions of our experts and ask their own questions to expand the learning connections.  Model great thank yous!
  • Enjoy the time with their child and the class. CC/OM connects the curriculum with the community and provides rich and valuable learning that can be drawn upon throughout the school year and beyond.

After the week:
  • Parents complete the CC/OM evaluations as provided by the teacher, to provide feedback that guides our planning
CC/OM is grateful to its partners and funders and volunteers – thank you! http://cbe.ab.ca/ccom/Pages/Home.aspx

Visit the CC/OM website above for more information.
CC/OM Vision: Each student experiences personalized learning within
a connected community.

Monday, 27 February 2017

Calling all 2016/2017 participating teachers!

Campus Calgary/Open Minds
Workshop for 2016/2017 Participating Teachers

Now what?
Keeping the CC/OM journey alive throughout the year…

Date: Wednesday, March 8th, 2017
Time: 4:30-7:00 (doors open at 4:00)
Place: St. Pius X School - 2312 - 18 Street NW
Light dinner will be provided.

Open to all teachers participating in Campus Calgary/Open Minds
2016-17 school year.

Part A:  Come hear from your colleagues as they share their school journeys with CC/OM. How have they kept the inquiry alive? How do journals support the inquiry?  The big idea has to live everywhere…how does this happen?  Different grades and sites will be represented in this sharing session.

Part B:  All participants are asked to bring an artifact/piece of student work that demonstrates where you are in the journey. Things to consider include:
How have you honoured student voice?
How is the inquiry coming alive?
Where are connections being made and growing?
If you were telling someone about CC/OM, what would be one of the first things you would share about your experience?

Space is limited. Please RSVP by March 3rd to secure your space.

Please contact
Travis Robertson tjrobertson@cbe.ab.ca   403-817-7583
Jenn Meredith  jlmeredith@cbe.ab.ca 403-817-7510
Ita Kistorma  ita.kistorma@cssd.ab.ca  403-651-8500

with any questions.

Thursday, 23 February 2017

CC/OM: From the Studio to the Classroom: Try this one out and share your experiences!


Studio for your Classroom:  Sketching from the inside out!

A big thank you to Esker Gallery, Ron Wigglesworth and our exceptional CC/OM Site Coordinators!

Link:  https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1cnrdDLOrmOqY3QfPTRdk5VCARt-QkpHdwPEulRa7c2c/edit?usp=sharing

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Exploring People, Places, and Partnerships

Campus Calgary / Open Minds (CC/OM) provides opportunities for teachers to take their students to 11 different community sites for weeklong immersive field studies.  As part of CC/OM, there are many key elements that site coordinators and teachers engage students in, one of which is slowing down and going beyond the obvious, which is often taken up through journalling.  Having opportunities for reflective work and time to journal gives students the ability to make connections, find themselves in their learning, and to make sense of how this learning and work on site fits within their year’s inquiry.

CC/OM offers participating teachers professional development opportunities to build professional capital around inquiry (big ideas), journaling techniques, and other reflective strategies to make thinking visible.  As part of this work, we realize the importance of building capacity within our community site coordinators as well.  When site coordinators and teachers work together, they can impact one another’s pedagogy and therefore be impactful in designing students’ learning opportunities.

Site coordinators and the CC/OM operations team (bridging CBE and CCSD) had the opportunity to work alongside journaling expert and University of Alberta doctoral candidate Ron Wigglesworth.  Ron is interested in how hand drawing can enhance observation in science and other disciplines, in our increasing digital world.  Ron led the coordinators on a journey, starting to answer the following three questions: What is the purpose of a sketchbook? How do we approach drawing in different ways? And, how do we bring inquiry to students in an authentic way? 

Ron shared many key messages with the site coordinators, which would be important messages to any teacher considering using journaling or sketching as part of their professional practice, some of which are:
·      one can develop competence in journalling through practice (and more practice) and then share it with others, enabling teachers and students  to capture their learning in new and various ways
·      a sketchbook is a collection, and contains your unique voice in its sketches and writing
·      draw in black pen/micron pigma 005; layer your marks; commit to it and trust; work quickly
·      you can choose what you want to draw and you don’t have to draw the whole thing
·      drawing can be symbolic or representative, it doesn’t necessarily have to be what you see, but your impressions of the experience and learning has been captured
·      draw from the inside (when you outline something then you have to fill it in, but if you start from the middle you have more opportunities).
·      drawing is about mark-making and finding marks that you’re comfortable with making
·      wherever your eye goes first, start your drawing there, it’s about the choices you make, and add the anomalies in what you see
·      trace a section of the shape in the air to practice before drawing that same section on paper. “I just have to move my hand in the shape I want to make” - Ron

There were many key takeaways for the entire CC/OM team that could extend to classrooms across our city.  Having opportunities to empathize and to work in ways that we ask students to all the time and to receive feedback on can sometimes be difficult as it can feel vulnerable to take a chance and then to receive feedback. 

Being in the places of learners is important for educators to be as it helps us to better understand and assist our students in becoming lifelong learners.
“Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.” ~ Anais Nin

“The whole art of teaching is to awaken natural curiosity of young minds for the purpose of satisfying it afterwards.” ~ Anatole France

Thursday, 9 February 2017

Imagine a Week!

Imagine a Week!

Sharing the CC/OM program is not easily done, as it is absolutely unique each week and extends into the school year.  I had the pleasure of working with 2 teachers from St Pius School who had decided to combine their school year, CC/OM and Entrepreneurial Adventures while exploring the guiding question, ‘How can we give back to our communities?’  One of the trademarks of CC/OM is the custom designed week designed to meet the needs of each student as they experience personalized learning within a connected community. A picture is worth a thousand words; dive into these words to see a picture of this week! 

Welcome to the journey…
-Ita Kistorma

Classroom Blog

Today was day 1. We started off the day riding downtown on a city transit bus. Off we jumped just in time to drop our bags and coats in our classroom and hurry into the City Council, where we were introduced and got to enjoy what may have been the shortest council meeting of all time. It was all of 5 minutes! They introduced and right after they explained that they had to go "in camera" which means to a private room to discuss the preliminary details of the Green Line. After a quick bathroom and snack break we were off to explore Olympic Plaza. We spent a lot of time with the Famous Five...we even looked under their skirts!!! BUT it was to find the secret names the artist had hidden to pay tribute to her grandchildren. Afterwards, we headed over to the skating rink...yes there was ice and it was beautiful. We found some City workers who explained that in the basement they have machines that cool the ice to -8 and that is why we can go skating. So if you have time on the weekend, head down for some free family skating. We bumped into a few police officers on bicycles, as well as a bilingual officer who wasn't in uniform and who introduced us to a man named Del who was Métis. They were celebrating the beginning of Métis week.
After a hardy lunch, we finished our book on Picasso and the Girl with the Ponytail (true story) and then we had an INTENSE game of Hot Dog Tag. It was a ton of fun and we got to enjoy a secret park meant for City Employees. The afternoon went by so quickly. We mainly did sketchings of all the different artifacts and art pieces that are found on the main floor of the Municipal building. We took a ride up the glass elevator to the top floor to look down at all the people working. Finally, we got to visit the Mayor's foyer where there were beautiful works of art. There were 6 glass blown sculptures of different micro-organisms that are found in our water system.
Tomorrow will be another big day, hopefully we will get to meet our Mayor, Naheed Nenshi.  Maybe take the time to think about a question or two you would like to ask our Mayor. 

Today was an adventurous day for us at City Hall! Once we got downtown we settled into our classroom with some journalling. We added labels to the sketches we had completed the day before and any other details we might have forgotten. We then headed up the glass elevator to the 8th floor to sketch from the view up there. We are really getting the hang of journalling. We headed back down to meet with Julie Black from The Calgary Foundation who explained that people who would like to improve their community in some way could apply for grants. The Calgary Foundation wants to encourage communities that are strong and where people feel a sense of belonging. This was very important information for us, as we will soon be delving into our Entrepreneurial Adventure project with our Grade 4 buddies. Our guiding question is "How can we give back to our community?". In December we will be choosing a Charity and in late December and into January we will be developing our business plan with the Grade 4s. So we are hoping that we can reconnect with Mme Black sometime soon
Once we thanked Mme Black for her time we had a quick snack and decided to brave the snow. We headed off to the East Village to see how that community was growing. On our way we noticed little Free Libraries that were in some people's front yards. What a cool way to give back to your community!! We stopped at an amazing play structure that was surrounded by a community garden. The structure was filled with neat things to do, see and play. The kids had a blast and perhaps you and your family can go explore it some time.
On our way back we got to see the C-trains going under the new Library! That will be such a neat feature of our City's core once it is completed. When we arrived back we peeled off our wet socks and hung them on the heat registers....just like good ol' days! We settled in to warm and enjoy our lunches. After lunch we got ourselves prepared for our big meeting with Mayor Nenshi! We have been learning about him for a few weeks and so the students had even prepared questions for him. We were warmly welcomed into his office were we sat and he answered many of our questions. He even told us about his childhood and the different places in Canada that he had lived. We showed Mayor Nenshi our canvas we painted last week and explained that this year we will be creating our own business to help a charity in our community and he graciously signed the back of our painting with some words of encouragement. We took a few group photos and we were off. We decided to take a little sketching stop in front of the Calgary Bay Mural on the main floor of the municipal building. The students learned how Calgary was named, but also saw the progression of how the city has grown since its beginning as Fort Calgary. We then headed back to our classroom for our meeting with Councillor Farrell who is the elected official for our school community of Capitol Hill. She was so kind in chatting to us about what we had seen thus far and had picked up on the fact that the students were really impressed by the Famous Five. She chatted to us a little bit about women in politics, namely Annie Gale who became an elected official in 1917!! After a little chat she invited us up to see her office and explained lots of the different art pieces and artifacts she had there. We quickly rushed back to our classroom to get ready for our City Transit bus ride home. We had such a great day, and I'm sure tomorrow will be full of its very own special events!

Please remember to dress in layers for the weather, we will be going outside rain, shine or snow so please wear boots, coats, mittens and hats!

Today was yet another fun day! We started off the day with a walk to Studio Bell and although we didn't get to explore all the floors we did get to spend some time in the foyer and the exhibits they have there. We learned that the tiles on the inside and outside were specially made and there are 200 000 of them! We really worked on journalling not only the things we saw, but also what we heard. After that we made our way to the Public Library for story time at Engine 23. We really enjoyed the books Firefighter Jadon and the librarian read us. We got some time to play on Engine 23 and learned that it was indeed a real Firetruck that they had to drive into the building. They even had to reinforce the floor to support the weight of it. Afterwards, we went up to the child's floor and I read a few French books and then hurried back for a much deserved lunch. We had some time where Mme Sheila the City Hall Co-ordinator lead the students in adding some detail to their work and then we enjoyed a mean game of stand up Hot Dog Tag!! After a quick washroom break we went outside to sketch the New Calgary Public Library that is being built just across the street from the municipal building. 

Yet another great day. Tomorrow, we are going to East Village and then back west to the BMo branch on the C-train line. 

Have great sleep and I hope this post has lead to some great conversations with your child. 

We were barely in our City Hall classroom! We started the day by going to the glass at the front of the municipal building and sketching the things we saw from there. These included the horse sculptures, the stone line, the Calgary tower and the art piece put up for the memorial of the officer and firefighters that have fallen. We then met with The Calgary Children's Festival and they taught us about how they advertised. They even showed us some posters from 2009 that did not really do that well. They were confusing and did not clearly invite child and families to the festival. They talked about learning from their mistakes and showed us some newer posters they have made. After a quick snack we headed to the East Village Experience Centre where we saw the 3D model that they have built of the community. We learned about the different buildings, that there are homes and businesses together. We also learned the importance of changing and adapting your business plan. When they first started planning East Village cycling wasn't as popular and they have now had to adapt their planning to include it. We walked back to City Hall and then to the Main Branch of BMO on 7th ave. We split up into three groups and explored the safety deposit box vault, where the students even got to spin combs. Students learned about the ATMs and how to take money out, as well as learning how BMO is integrating iPads into their customer experience. Finally, students got to behind the counter and see how drafts were made, how money for customers was given and even listened in on some customer requests. After we said thank you, the Branch Manager gave us some cool notebooks and pens to remember our visit. Some students were very excited to start journalling as soon as possible. We then decided to take the train the two stops back up to City Hall in order to save some time and energy! We journalled for another 10 -15 minutes and then jumped on our bus back home.

Tomorrow we will be going back to East Village and we will be spending a lot of time outside again so please do remember to dress for the weather. Also it is pizza day, but we cannot have the pizzas delivered so students will get them when we arrive back at 3:20. 
Please pack a lunch.

Wow how fast 5 days can fly by when you are having fun and learning lots! We arrived to City Hall today being old hats at City Transit and when we jumped off the bus we headed inside past the familiar sculptures. Once we got inside we started preparing for our meeting at Sidewalk Citizen Bakery in the old Simmons building along the riverfront. We talked about what kind of business it was and what they would be selling. We made a list and words and drawings in our journal and tried to think of every little thing that would be needed to run that business. After a quick snack we headed over to the East Village, and it was the third time we had visited the neighbourhood this week. Once inside the building (we walked incredibly slowly by all the DELICIOUS looking baked goods) we headed upstairs to have our meeting with Kali the general manager. She was so warm and welcoming and introduce us to everyone that walked by including Sebastian the owner of Phil & Sebastian coffee company who also has a spot in the building. Kali explained how the bakery grew from loaves of bread being baked in the owner’s own kitchen and delivered on bicycle, to moving into a space in Sunnyside and then now being in the Simmons Building. She also explained that they have a close relationship with Charbar the restaurant, who they bake bread for and with the Coffee Shop as well. We were also so lucky to have a treat from Kali, everyone got a hot chocolate and a cookie! YUM! What a great experience! After our treats we took some time to journal about the building and how the three businesses work together in one building! Afterwards, we walked up the trail to that amazing park we tried to visit on Monday and it was dry so we got to let loose and PLAY!!!!   Is that ever an amazing park! If you have a chance you should head down to play and for a hot chocolate and treat after!
We headed back for lunch and
after lunch we decided to check out how a business can provide customer service. We went upstairs in the municipal building to watch how the permit department handled customers and then we went back downstairs to compare it with the customer service given at Good Earth. We also had a conversation about donations and the importance of giving to those with less. This also lead into a nice conversation about the homeless and how we can help people in our community by donating food, money or clothes in order for them to have the luxuries that we may take for granted.
Once we headed back to class we decided to all sign the beautiful canvas we painted last week and to present Mme Sheila with some thank you cards for the people that helped us have a great week. Including her, Mayor Nenshi, the Security Guards at City Hall and the Transit Department.

What a beautiful experience! Thank you so much for reading and I hope it leads to some great conversation over the weekend and maybe it will inspire your family to go downtown and explore the many wonderful events, sculptures, parks and businesses we are so lucky to have in our city.

-Jeanette Piddington