I hope you enjoyed a restful summer break. I am returning rejuvenated and excited about the new school year!
This year, I will be implementing some new ideas with my class:
1) An "edublog" (recommended at a Simcoe Board technology workshop) will be the primary means via which the class and I will be communicating with parents about our learning. The blog-format will enable us to post short updates regularly, and provide a place for parents to interact with us about our learning activities. If you subscribe to the blog (see the box on the left hand side of this page, above the calendar), you will be informed via e-mail whenever something new is posted. For those parents without internet access, we will print some of the contents of our blog and send it home periodically. NOTE: Agendas will continue to be used to help students organize their work and for one-on-one communication between parents and the teacher or school office.
2) In the Spring, I completed a ten-week online course entitled, "Project-based Learning." Project-based learning allows students to explore curriculum in exciting new ways, by posing questions or identifying problems associated with particular topics, and using computer technology and other resources to complete inquiries and action-projects that promote and demonstrate learning. We will be starting our year with a series of lessons that teach the skills necessary for inquiry-based learning. Then we will be engaging in some inquiry projects in the areas of Science and Social Studies. For more information about project-based learning, see: http://pbl-online.org/About/whatisPBL.htm
3) In August, I attended a three-day workshop entitled, "Meeting Literacy and Numeracy Goals Through Outdoor Learning Experiences (Grades 1-8)." This course provided me with the tools to move beyond the classroom walls for some of our Language and Math instruction, taking advantage of the natural resources that our beautiful school yard affords. We will start our year by conducting Daily Physical Activity and Team-Building sessions outside. Students will also learn how to make field observations in journals and then we will start exploring our school yard through Language, Math and Science activities. Your child should be prepared for regular outdoor learning activities in any kind of weather. For more information about environmental inquiry see: http://www.naturalcuriosity.ca/environmental.php
I'm looking forward to teaching your child this year and to meeting with you on parent's night. If you have any questions, comments or concerns about any aspect of our program, please do not hesitate to contact me via my school board e-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org or the school phone number: 705-689-2031.