Tuesday, 26 February 2019

“ What Brings Us Together?”- “ConocoPhillips Hub for Inspired Learning - Arts Commons” Grade 1 / 2- O.S. Geiger School

Ms. Morden’s class of grade 1 and 2 learners bubbled with excitement as they got off the bus on a freezing February day. Students were filled with awe and wonder as they walked into Arts Commons and into “The Hub”, our new classroom for the week. This space quickly became one of the many places where they asked questions, finished sketches and reflected, and recorded their connections through pictures and words about “What Brings Us Together” on our graffiti board, documentation panels.

Students were instantly drawn to the downtown skyline outside the windows of our classroom. Locating familiar Calgary landmarks, making connections to prior knowledge, asking questions, and wondering: “Who works inside the buildings?”, “What buildings can you live in?”, “Which building is the biggest?” and “Why are the cranes not moving?” 
During our week with Emma, students explored “What Brings Us Together” by creating Arctic landscapes, as well as Arctic animal puppets in order to tell stories of the Inuit people. Students quickly made the connection that, “Making art and looking at art brings people together” and “People watch plays and that is something that people like to do together.”

Building Arctic animal puppets allowed my students to engage in meaningful joyful play. As they worked with Gen to construct their sock puppets, students used elements of physical theatre to learn how to bring their puppet to life. Students took on the role of their animals by using their voices, body, and movement.  My students continue to be excited to use their puppets to share what they know about Arctic animals and how animals can work together. We are continuing to use our puppets as they have become an important part of our writing process back at school.

 Students also had the opportunity to explore the Jack Singer Concert Hall, hallways of Arts Commons, practice rooms within the theatre, Calgary’s new Public Library, City Hall, The Calgary Tower, The Bow Tower and learned how to navigate the Plus 15 pathway system. For many students, being downtown was a new and exciting experience. As a teacher, I was in awe of what made their eyes sparkle, and enjoyed having the opportunity to take a step back and look at the world through their eyes while journaling alongside them. 

Through sketching, asking questions and connecting with experts my students have come to have a richer, more authentic understanding of “What Brings Us Together.” Students have gone from recognizing that family, food, communities and schools are ways that people come together to explaining that “buildings, roads, plus 15s and art are some of the ways that Calgarian’s are brought together.   

Our week at “The Hub” was life changing for many of my students and they continue to ask when can we go back downtown. For me, this experience has brought my class closer together, relationships and an appreciation for each other has grown and developed, student’s strengths have shone in a different light, and we feel more connected as a classroom community.   Even though our week is over, my students still continue to talk about it with excitement and wonder and I am confident for many it will be a highlight of their school year.                                                       

 -Kim Morden
Grade 1/ 2 Teacher O.S. Geiger School


Friday, 22 February 2019

Bridlewood Loves the Mustard Seed and 2School

 Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of others.

Community is a group of people living in the same place.

What do empathy and community have in common? Bridlewood School! All students at Bridlewood put their understanding of empathy and community to work to raise money to buy necessary items to donate to the Mustard Seed.

In September, the grade four classes spent a week at the Mustard Seed or 2School and learned about how our community supports people in need. Students heard from a resident at the Mustard Seed, visited CUPS and Inn From the Cold. Students learned about their stories and how they feel in our community. Students want to make sure they feel important and cared for. That they are visible.

Grade one students have been focusing their work around what community means and how they can show good citizenship by contributing to their community.

Being inspired by their classroom work, grade one and four students hosted a healthy bake sale in December and raised $1224.55. Can you believe we were able to raise this much money? 

With the help and support of Mr. Mark Phillip and his connections at London Drugs, the money was used to buy 28 hairbrush and comb sets, 28 containers of lip balm, 28 packages of kleenex, 28 tubes of toothpaste, 28 pairs of wool socks, 28 toothbrushes, 28 bottles of shampoo, 28 bottles of conditioner, 28 packages of razors, 28 deodorants, and 28 bars of soap. Students filled 28 collapsible bags with each of these much needed/requested items.

Students included notes in each bag to let the recipient know we are thinking about them and care about them.

Thank-you Bridlewood School for caring for our community. Without everyone’s support, we wouldn’t have been able to do such an amazing job of showing others we care and they are important too.

 ~ Tanya Faulkner, Jenn Barge, and Allison Manfro -  Teachers at Bridlewood School

Friday, 8 February 2019

Zoo School - How Time Flies and the Learning Continues!

How Time Flies and the Learning Continues!

Chevron Open Minds Zoo School relies on parent volunteers to make the week long experience a success for the learners. This week at the Calgary Zoo we felt we had a celebrity parent in our midst.

When Ahmad, a student at Guy Weadick School told his Dad his class was going to Zoo School, he jumped at the chance to volunteer. This was definitely an opportunity not to be missed.

Why? Flashback twenty six years and Jafar, Ahmad’s Dad, was in the very first class of Chevron Open Minds Zoo School in 1993.

We were keen to ask him what he remembers of his Zoo School experience.
The answer? A lot, especially his observation animal, the Ibex. Back then, like today, students can choose an animal species to observe throughout their week. His twin sister, who now lives in Lebanon, observed the giraffes and she remarked they are still her favourite animal. Both Jafar and Ahmad agree that Zoo School is an amazing learning experience!

~ Dawn Hardy, Zoo School Assistant Coordinator