Friday, 7 April 2017

Engaging Students While They Build Fluency and Comprehension Skills

Grade 2 students became VERY excited and enthusiastic about reading this week when they were presented with the opportunity to participate in Reader’s Theatre. 

The goal of Reader’s Theatre is to enhance students' reading skills and confidence by having them practice reading with a purpose. 

The format for this provides an opportunity for students to develop comprehension and fluency through multiple readings of the text.  They are encouraged to use expression, intonation, and inflection when rehearsing the text.

Reader’s Theater is a fantastic way to create interest and enthusiasm in reading. We have begun working on four different plays.  
Students were excited to memorize their lines. 

Friday, 31 March 2017

Jack MacKenzie Oratory

The highlight of the week has been poetry in our classroom! Students worked hard memorizing various poems and many wrote their own.  Today the Jack MacKenzie 2017 Oratory was held in our gym.  A boy and girl from our class represented our room and both did a fantastic job of presenting their poems.  We have been working on speaking with clarity, expression, phrasing, and volume. 

We have also begun a new unit in math.  In this unit students will be learning about measurement. They will also learn to read a calendar and develop an understanding of linear measurement, distance around and mass.  We began this unit with a friendly competition to see who could measure the most body parts. Students worked with a partner to trace themselves and then used their ruler to practice measuring in centimeters.

We also measured Mr. Clarke

Thursday, 9 March 2017

Literacy Games Night - Building Community With Food Friends and Fun!

Several students have been asking me if I would consider organizing another Literacy Games Night. This event was a great way to enjoy getting to know other families in our school while incorporating reading and math into our evening.  
Here are a few pictures from our last event.
 Grade 1&2 families were invited to this.  
There were over one hundred people in attendance.  
 Games are a great way to encourage communication, teamwork, cooperation, critical thinking, literacy and math development.
Parents, teachers and students had a wonderful time together!
It is amazing how much reading and math you can do 
while playing a game!

Highlights of the evening included 
great food, making new friends and board games of course.

We have been focusing on getting ready for "Celebration of Learning" this month, but if there is enough interest I would love to plan another Literacy Games Night after that. 

Monday, 6 March 2017

Celebration of Learning - Student-led Conference

Celebration of Learning – Student-led Conference

Dear Parent/Guardian,

Conference time is quickly approaching. This an important part of our school’s evaluation and reporting process. We invite you to attend a Celebration of Learning, which is a student-led conference that will take place on March 22, 2017 from 4:00 – 7:00 PM.

The goal of Celebration of Learning is to offer concrete and meaningful examples of your child’s progress. This type of conference provides students with an opportunity to assume responsibility for informing their parents of how they are doing while engaging them in communicating the learning process. Your child will lead you through a variety of activities that have been designed to help him/her demonstrate their progress in various subject areas. 

It is not necessary to have a set schedule for this type of conference, as several students can go through the activities at the same time. I will be present in the classroom to answer any questions that you may have about your child's progress. Celebration of Learning typically takes approximately 30 minutes to complete.  I hope you will be able to join us for this opportunity to celebrate your child’s growth and development!


Ms. Gilroy

Saturday, 18 February 2017

You Matter - Staff/Teacher Appreciation Week

You Matter - Staff Appreciation Week

This past week the students in my classroom have been working on a special project to acknowledge the AMAZING staff members at Jack MacKenzie who work so hard, day in and day out to make our school a great place to be. 

Winston Churchill once said "We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give."  The staff at our school give SO much of themselves, all of the time.  It doesn't matter where you look, there is always someone putting in time and effort to make a difference for students. I have often wondered how I got so incredibly lucky to have the good fortune of being able to work with so many people who care so much.  

We started a new project in my room called "You Matter."  
We are working on Gr. 2 Health Outcome: USC2.1  - Demonstrate a basic understanding of how thoughts, feelings, and actions influence health and well-being. 
This project was inspired by Angela Maiers, who is an education and technology specialist, who shares how these two words can change a life.  She talks about why, no matter how busy our lives are we need to make sure that the people know that they matter. Here is her video in case you would like to hear more. 
Ted Talk -You Matter - Video                                                                                       
                                                                                                              - Angela Maiers

Each student in our room wrote a "You Matter" letter to one staff member who has made a positive difference in their life.  

We put up a bulletin board with a "You Matter" letter to everyone who works at our school.

As a class we talked about how we can let people know they are appreciated and valued.

We discussed what this might look like, and how we could let people know that they matter. We looked at Angela Maier's "Treat Cart" idea and decided to make our own cart for the staff.  Here is a list of ideas that students came up with. 

Then we began to work on the things that we wanted to add to the cart.  On Monday students made carrot cupcakes with a parent volunteer. 

 On Tuesday we made puff wheat cake. 

    Mr. Clarke is an excellent cook, so we asked him if he could      help. He was awesome with this group of students and turned the   whole thing into a math lesson!  It was fantastic to watch!

After the puff wheat was cut, students added some ribbon that says "Thank You."

There was a buzz in our room and it was easy to see that students were engaged and excited.  They began making signs with nice messages on them for the staff and started decorating the "You Matter" cart! 


One student suggested that we give out a bookmark that we gave out at our "Books Before Bedtime" night. 

The kids added ribbon and practiced reading them, so that they could share the message on it.  

This is what the cart looked like when we were finished. 

    Mrs. Reoch stopped by to say hello, so she was our first recipient. Her smile was inspiring and it was exciting to watch the kids reaction to their efforts. 

This was a fun project!  Many of the students asked it we could keep doing it.  I'm not sure where things will go from here, but I hope they have learned that they have influence, and their actions can make a positive difference.  

Last week we also recorded a video message for each staff member. We are in the process of finishing up this iMovie. We will post it when it is done.