I thought it would be fun to welcome the primary children back to school with robots! The robots welcomed the children in the morning before the bell and we gathered quite the crowd!
We have just had a new Canadian student join our school… Rover! He’s very clever and codeable!!!! We are looking forward to learning all about him in time. He came from a Canadian inventor, Alex from Ontario… You can check out the website to learn more: http://robotplaytime.com
I went to Creating the Future: Partnership for Inclusive Learning for three days this last week, at UBC. It is just so wonderful to gather with other educators, administrators, parents and community organizations that are passionate about inclusive learning. I was fortunate to go to the Literacy Strand by Vicki Rothstein which was a fantastic strand to be in. The workshops increased my love for teaching reading and it refreshed my thinking on various strategies and research on providing ‘good’ reading support. We learned about various inclusive technologies that can support children in their reading from BitsBoard to Tar Heel Reader to Strong Nations. We had a variety of keynote speakers from Pat Miranda to Shelley Moore. The conference left me with the passion… Let the INCLUSION continue!
WOW! What a year of INSPIRATION!
The INSPIRATION keeps coming!!!
I’m looking forward to the next school year!!!!
A BIG THANKS to the community at James Kennedy Elementary School, the Langley School District, the Innovation Partnership from the Ministry of Education and Network of Innovation and Inquiry for their support. A special thanks to Michelle Guillou (our cheerleading principal), Andrea Liske (our official photographer) and the demonstration classes of Michelle Gore, Shayna Choi and Diane King.
Next year should be exciting with more Robots joining our family and more exciting opportunities for ‘Inclusive Curiosity’!!!!
Keep the ‘Inclusive Curiosity’ going throughout the Summer!
Great day doing Inspire Workshops to James Kennedy classes and teachers! So much fun… Grateful to have Stacey Hernberg as our tech mentor to gracious give me two days to teach our school coding!
Wow! What a powerful three days for me. Today was our Truth and Reconciliation Assembly at our school which was headed up by Luke Dandurand (our Aboriginal Worker). It was so powerful and amazing it moved me to tears. Before this assembly, there were two articles that graced my weekend as well which made for a powerful combination (I’ll explain below):
Being intentional to give time to listen to others
So over the weekend before the assembly, I pondered these two articles as well as this upcoming powerful assembly. I thought it would be an excellent opportunity of reflection where we could lay out a ‘Peace Blanket’ at Recess and Lunch in our playgrounds for a staff member to chat and listen to our children. It would be an opportunity to see how they responded to the assembly on remembrance of the past, love of today and kindness for the future. Each child who came to the blankets (one was in the intermediate playground and one was in the primary playground) had a chance to share their thoughts of the assembly and share stories. Then each child received a heart of felt to symbolize the importance of being loving and kind. The response was amazing!
The staff that were involved were just blown away with the stories of reflection, peace, community and some of pain. One story that I’d like to share was at the end of lunch playtime, I was packing up the blanket and then I heard sobbing, a little 6-year-old girl had curled up with two of her friends behind me beside the blanket. I asked her if she was okay and between sobs she said that she missed her mom and how she wanted her mom. I noticed she had a felt heart on her so I reached inside my bag and pulled out a red heart. I told her that she could give this to her mom today and tell her that she missed her. She smiled, took the heart and walked back to her class with the heart in hand.
A couple things I learned:
1) Use every inch of your felt when you are cutting out the hearts and feel comfortable about doing different sizes hearts (side note: after sharing the story with some Intermediate children they were eager to cut out hearts too!)
2) When children want one for their ‘friend’ to have a heart, it’s best to get the ‘friend’ to come over to the blanket and then you can give the ‘friend’ a heart
3) When you are pinning it on a child use that as time to listen and talk to them
4) If you can put your blanket out before the children come and pack up the blanket when every child has gone than it allows openness
5) It’s okay to not have answers and sometimes listening is the best medicine
6) The staff member must not be on duty or have a safety vest… It’s a place for the staff member to give listening time to the children on the blanket
7) Luke had a wonderful suggestion from his Aboriginal heritage that if a child was in deep turmoil that we could wrap the child up in the blanket for comfort and give it to them
I’m doing this again tomorrow and looking forward to this Heartfelt Blanket to wrap our community with a deeper sense of Truth, Reconciliation, Peace and Love!
Through our Innovation Partnership, we have been given the great privilege to work with Trinity Western University to provide wonderful assistance as we have embarked on coding and robotics with children this year. Dr. Sam Pimentel and Sarah Aspaulgh have been a great addition to our INSPIRE Team. TWU has been able to use our Innovation Partnership robots to inspire other students in the Lower Mainland. They have just finished a 3 week ‘Pi in the Valley’ program at the university with about 30 school groups coming through to experience coding our Tiddlybots! How much fun! Here are some Twits from their adventures in the Valley!