Mrs. Kirby's students rehearsing for the Stettler Music Festival.

Mrs. Kirby's students rehearsing for the Stettler Music Festival.

Short but busy week at SES

Ready, Set, Go! After returning from spring break the atmosphere around Stettler Elementary School was a bit like a horse race.

There was so much to accomplish in such a short time and everyone was excited to take part in the action, or just watch all the fun. The week began on Tuesday, with teachers choosing from a wide selection of professional development activities. Choices included assessment training, online course work, an occupational therapy in-service, Leader In Me and Smart Learning strategy meetings, and a stress management session. In addition, all grade five teachers began a three-day Project Based Learning course which they complete on Wednesday and Thursday.

The main objective of the three day Project Based Learning Design Process, or PBL, workshop was to review and apply the goals and objectives. The secondary objective was to develop a project-based experience to be implemented in each classroom. SES Grade 5 teachers, John Thorne, Rob Howell and Carmen Fox all choose to work collaboratively on a Grade 5 Science Unit: Wetland Ecosystems.

The Grade 5 Wetlands Project that the SES teachers created allowed them to work collaboratively and cohesively on a Grade 5 Science Unit that is fast approaching. This opportunity allowed them to develop and focus specifically on Academic Learning Outcomes, Student Learning Competencies, and realistic Tangible Outcomes that are extremely engaging and relevant to students. The three day workshop was intensive, but extremely worthwhile in the end!!

In Mrs. Jackson’s Grade 1 class, students wrote WIGs this week as part of their Leader In Me initiative. WIG stands for wildly important goals. As part of Daily 5 reading strategies, the students started “Reading to Self.” During “Read to Self” time each child tries to increase their reading concentration stamina by reading a set number of minutes each day. It is amazing to observe these young readers as they embrace their reading goals.

Meanwhile, in Mrs. Sylvester’s room, Grade 1 students were busy synergizing for the assembly on April 24. Mrs. Sylvester was very relieved when her colleagues and their Grade 1 students agreed to help her class do a performance on Habit 5: Seek First to Understand, then to be Understood.

Across the school in the Grade 2 hallway, the students in Mrs. Geddes’ class were caught making toys. Yes, they were busy making an Inuit toy referred to as a Lyaga. When asked about their project, the students were happy to explain that they had made the Lyaga from a pencil, string, and toilet paper roll. They were quick to add that the traditionally the toy would be made from bone and a leather strap. As the students tried their best to master the technique of playing with the Lyaga, they readily admitted that Inuit children were pretty skilled in their ability to control the Lyaga.

Grade 4 students in Mrs. Lynn’s class enjoyed working on a special project this week. They have been learning about the Titanic, which set sail on April 10, 1912. Students studied details about the building of the ship and learned about the people who travelled on her. They even had a “launch party” on Friday to celebrate the 103rd anniversary of the maiden voyage of the enormous ship. The students were also busy creating math timelines and completing Titanic problem solving questions, in addition to writing newspaper articles and journal entries about the ship and its eventual disasters and sinking on April 15, 1912.

In the spirit of the NHL Hockey Playoffs coming up soon, Mr. Thorne’s Grade 5 classroom began designing and decorating their own goalie masks. The designs were based on personal interests, hobbies, favourite colours, teams, and other creative ideas.

Albeit a short week, the action continued into the weekend, as many SES students participated in mini basketball after school on Friday. What an exhilarating week.