Monday, 4 April 2016

Spring has Sprung

Hopefully everyone had a restful Spring Break and enjoyed the time at home with their children. I know that I personally enjoyed getting to spend time with my girls, as well as, celebrating my oldest daughters 3rd Birthday. 

Speaking of the number 3, that is how many months we have left in this school year. It won't be long until summer break is at our door step. If you haven't already done so, please make sure to register your child by using School Zone and if you have questions or concerns about the procedure please contact the school, or come in and I can help you with the registration process. 

This morning we transitioned to our desk free classroom. What a difference! I can just feel the students excitement and the ease of movement has allowed for a more collaborative learning environment. As a whole there will be kinks that need to be worked out, but overall it has worked out better than I imagined. 

This week students need to complete their Story Cube which they were asked to complete over the break. This morning I showed them an example and gave them a few pointers. On Thursday students will also be getting their first monthly homework package. These packages will be a month later (May 7) and I've told the class that if they spend 30 minutes five out of seven nights they should complete the package with plenty of time to spare.  These homework packages will be designed to offer review of material we have already covered in class this year. 

Once again thank you for your support and if you have any questions please feel free to contact via email or by calling the school. 

Monday, 21 March 2016

Authentic Learning

FToday at Sherwood in room one we began an amazing adventure as a class into the world of authentic learning.  Now I'm sure you might be asking what is authentic learning? Well authentic learning is learning that engages all the senses allowing students to create a meaningful, useful, shared outcome. They are real life tasks, or simulated tasks that provide the learner with opportunities to connect directly with the real world.

We have been study Air & Areodynamics in Science and I thought it would be an amazing opportunity for students learn about how automobiles are made. We started by looking at a book called "If I Built a Car" and then I had students design their dream car, just like the boy in the book. 

Next we looked into what type of career you might have if you were to design a car, which led us to look at the career of an engineer. We soon discovered many various types of engineers and what they all do and how they would be involved in creating and manufacturing automobiles. 

Once we had had an opportunity to see how current automobiles are manufactured we took a little look through history to see how it all began, with Henry Ford and the assembly line. Students worked in groups to perform the task of assembling foam cars.  The first time I gave no instructions on what to do and the second time I told them about how an assembly line works. Soon students discovered how much faster you can get a job done if you spend a little time planning, prepping, and working as a team using positive encouragement. 

On Wednesday we will graph our results and discuss what worked and what they might have done differently to improve their manufacturing times. 

Overall, this was an amazing way to incorporate so many different subjects into one amazing activity. I sure hope that the students had as much fun doing the activities as I did teaching it to them. 

Tuesday, 15 March 2016

Things just keep moving along

With seven school days until Spring Break we are busy in room one!  On Monday we toured City Hall and got an opportunity to participate in a mock council. The students choose to debate the idea of having a curfew of 10pm for people under the age of 18. As you can imagine the majority of the students (councillors) voted down that by-law. 

Overall, it was a great learning experience for students to see how our local government operates on a day-to-day basis. On Wednesday afternoon we are off to the Alberta Legisalture to take in a tour of how our provincial government operates. For both field trips we utilized the ETS, which I feel is a great opportunity for students to learn how to use public transit, as well as some basic manners while riding on the bus.

On the 23rd it will be student led conferences and this will be an opportunity for you to come and visit room one and to take a look at some of the amazing projects and learning experiences we have been doing. It is also a time to check in with me and to ask any questions that you might have for next year. Just a reminder that you need your SchoolZone password and access to SchoolZone in order to register your child for next year.  If you do not register your child, you may not have a spot available next year. Please feel free to come into the school and we can help you with the process. 

This Thursday is St. Patrick's day and if you have green, don't forget to wear it.  

Hope to see you on stop by room one on Wednesday March 23rd between 5-7pm. 

Monday, 7 March 2016

Spring is Here!

Well spring is almost upon, which means spring cleaning!  Well sort of. Room one will have some changes starting in April as we move towards a desk free classroom/learning environment. There is a ton of research to support teaching students this way and I am very excited to have your children come along on this amazing opportunity. If you have any questions about this please feel free to contact me and I can explain things in greater detail. Ultimately what will happen is that the traditional desks will go away and be replaced by tables and more relaxing seating options around the room.  We are learn different and this will allow for far more flexibility in our learning.  Stay tuned for pictures in April. 

With only 13 school days until break we have a ton going on.  First we have junior ATB at Sherwood which banks every other Monday. This is a great opportunity for your child to learn about savings and help to put money aside for something special. Feel free to come in and take a look. 

We also have two half day field trips planned. On March 14th in the morning we are headed down to City Hall via the ETS. This will be a great opportunity for students to participate in a mock council and to see how decisions are made at a local government level. Then later that same week on the 16th in the afternoon we are off to the Legisative Assembly of Alberta to learn about how things are run at the Provincial level of government. 

Student led conferences are on the 23rd and this will be an opportunity for students to show you some of their work from this year. Report cards will be posted to school zone on the 24th and I ask that you and your child take the time to read them over. If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to contact me and we can either chat via email or can arrange a time to come in and meet. 

Once again thank you for your help and support in working with your child. 

Have a great week and all the best. 

Mr. Ashmore 

Wednesday, 2 March 2016

Homework in Room One

Homework! For some people that word is dangerous. The majority of students hate that word and feel that teachers are using it as a form of punishment. I view homework as an important step within the learning environment. 

Students need to develop a work ethic, especially if they wish to pursue school beyond high school. For me homework is where that begins. Homework is practice, additional learning, and a chance to improve on what was taught. 

To say that I student should have an hour of homework a night would be really hard for me to say, because it ultimately depends upon the work ethic during class time, as well as, how a student grasped a particular topic/skill. 

In our classroom we work together on all activities to start and class time is given for students to work independently, in small groups, and come and ask me for help.  If students choose not to use their time effectively or they need extra time to master a concept this is when homework comes in. 

This is only so much time within a day and a lot of material that must be covered in order to have students have success, but they must take responsibility for completing their homework. This is very important as a teacher I do not have the time to run around and check agendas to ensure that work is being complete. For many students next years is junior high and they are not checking agendas daily to see if work has been done. 

In our classroom additional work will be sent home for students to work on that will help them to either enhance their learning or to help improve their work in other areas. An example of this would be spelling. Spelling is very important for students to improve upon as this will help to enhance and improve their writing. 

Starting this week Math review packages will go home and students will have about 10 days to compete them. These packages will be review from pervious taught material, but will be good for students to reflect upon and keep up their skills.  

As always I welcome comments and questions, so feel free to stop by the room, send me an email, or comment below. 

Look forward to seeing you on March 23rd at our open house. 

Monday, 21 September 2015

Green School

Day One of Green School

The weather was a tad bit nippy and cool, but we survived a fantastic day. Students learned a great lesson about dressing for the weather. Remember there is not such thing as bad weather, just poorly dressed people. 

Here are few of the numerous things that we learned:

  • What is scat and the three types we might find in the forest. (Carnivore, omnivore, and herbivore)
  • What is fungus (mushrooms and moss)
  • Various career paths that involve plants and/or trees (Horticulturists & Mycologist)
  • Types of trees (coniferous and deciduous)
  • Types of leaves (compound and simple)
  • Why we need trees and their importance to the environment 
  • The value of being respectful to nature
  • The art of observation (using your five senses)
  • The importance of asking questions and finding answers to those questions
  • Getting dirty and having fun
  • Not saying "yuck" or "gross" instead saying "that's interesting"

We also enjoyed some "tree time" and experience a Japanese Garden. Overall an amazing time was had by all and we all learned so very much.