Here is our latest News from the Classroom – enjoy!
Please check out the first issue of our new newsletter, From the Classroom, by clicking on the green text below (September and October 2015). The goal is to create monthly issues, with content (written and photographic) from the students, so please check back monthly!
Welcome to November. This is traditionally quite a good month for children to do school work because there is only one interruption in the calendar and the classroom is generally settled. As teachers it is one of our favourite months. As well as a lot of academics this year we have quite a full dance card of extras. Please read the dispatch below to see what is happening.
Dominic and Laurie
Events and Calendar
Friday November 8- Art with Helen O’Connor
Monday November 11- Remembrance Day School Closed
Tuesday November 12- SCHOOL CLOSED Upper Elementary Parent Teacher Conference
Friday November 15- Free Skate at CGC (1:45 to 2:30) Parents welcome
Wednesday November 20- Flash Mob Dance Presentation at CGC Main Hall at 6 PM
Upper Elementary with Northern Lights School of Dance
Friday November 22- Lunch Time MP Ryan Leef visiting class to see Children’s work and receive the UN Declaration of the Rights of the Child at 11:45 at Shipyards Park from Elementary Children and Montessori Preschool Children
Friday November 22- 4:30-5:30 “Vernissage” Art Show Opening (in the classroom) of the Elementary Children’s Art about United Nations Efforts to promote Children’s Rights globally. Light Refreshments will be served.
Report Cards and Conferences
We will have parent teacher conferences this month. Laurie is meeting with Lower Elementary children’s parents throughout the first week of November. Please see the sign up list on the classroom door or contact Laurie by email or phone at school to arrange a time that works for your family.
Dominic will meet with parents of Upper Elementary children on November 12. Please see sign up sheet on the classroom door or contact Dominic by phone or email to arrange a time that works for your family.
Report Cards will be distributed to families on November 22 at the end of the school day. Laurie is writing report cards for Lower Elementary children and Dominic is writing reports for Upper Elementary children.
Substitute Teachers and Staffing
Dominic and Laurie are full time staff and while Laurie focuses on Lower Elementary teaching and Dominic focuses on the Upper Elementary lessons, both teachers work with all children through the course of the day.
Our substitute teachers are people we are familiar with and who have gone through all the regular vetting processes that our main staff does. This means they have had their criminal record checks done and we seek to find the most qualified people available for the times that are needed.
Our substitute teachers include Kate Fitzgerald, who is the children’s dance teacher and is now the Artistic Director at Northern Lights School of Dance and holds a B. Ed. From York University. Other substitute teachers are Erin Schultz, who is the head assistant at Montessori Borealis Preschool, and Mary Anne Annabel, who is also an assistant at Montessori Borealis. Both of these people have a B. Ed. and know many of the children in our class.
Laurie will be away for a few days of our short week in November to fulfill some of her requirements for further MontessoriTraining in Toronto.
Spelling Tests on Fridays
We have tried to modify the spelling tests at school to support our children’s learning. The Upper Elementary Children will attempt to have their spelling preparation work into the inbox by Friday at 3 so that it is ready to give to them to take home on Mondays. This way they will have more time to study and prepare for Friday’s test. Lower Elementary children will continue to complete their spelling work on Monday at school. It will then be ready to send home Tuesday for practice. Please continue to help your child prepare for these tests by either helping schedule practice time at home or being directly involved with this work. The spelling book should be available for this as of Monday after school each week for Upper Elementary students and Tuesday for Lower.
Through November we will continue with either dance or gymnastics this term, depending on age.
It is paramount that all children have indoor shoes at school at all times. Please ensure your child has indoor shoes at school by asking them to confirm this.
Outside the weather is starting to change. Your child must have a warm hat to wear outside and a suitable jacket and boots. Once snow is here children must wear snowpants outside at lunch time.
Outside Play and Helmets
Children are welcome to ski, sled or skate at lunch once winter gets into full swing. We will be happy to store these items at school. Children must wear a helmet if they are going to do these activities. Any type of helmet is acceptable.
United Nations Declaration of the Rights of the Children Events
Flash Mob Presentation
In the third week of November you will see that there are three events planned to recognize the United Nation’s International Day of the Child on November 20.
The first is the flash mob dance presentation that the Upper Elementary children will be part of at the Canada Games Centre at 6 pm. These children will need to be at the Canada Games Centre at 5:45 to prepare for the surprise show they will do at 6 pm at the Circumpolar map at the CGC Centre Main Hall with the senior dancers from Northern Lights School of Dance. All parents are invited to be part of the “surprised audience.” Right now the Upper Elementary children are working very hard to prepare for the presentation. We also hope that our Lower Elementary families will join us there to support us from the audience.
Lunch time Presentation
On Friday November 22 we have arranged for our MP Ryan Leef to visit the classroom to see children’s work about the UN Declaration of Rights of the Child and to formally receive a copy of the Declaration from our students. This formal presentation will be at 11:45 at Shipyards Park with the three Whitehorse Montessori Preschools joining us. This presentation will happen along with the same kind of presentations happening all over Canada by Montessori Children to their MPs. It is estimated there will be over a thousand children participating in this event across the country. Parents are welcome to attend the formal presentation at11:45. We are looking for a parent to volunteer to take pictures of the event that we then can share with other schools who are participating.
Elementary Art Show
Through November children will work with Helen O’Connor, a local artist and teacher, to express through art their vision of the importance of Children’s Rights globally. Their art projects will be on display at Bella Décor the week following the opening of the show, which will be at the classroom November 22nd from 4:30 to 5:30. All families are invited to visit the opening and light refreshments will be served.
Parent Involvement in the School Day
There are many efforts that all parents make to help our non-profit society run our school. The board of directors is one place parents help; the other place is during our fundraising activities later in the year. During the day we do from time to time look to parents to help out or join in an event.
Before Christmas we are testing out the possibility of the class preparing soup every two weeks for the Outreach Van under the Many Rivers help centre. We will make the soup on Fridays and then deliver it to the Many Rivers office. If there are parents who would like to be part of the initiative in the kitchen or to deliver the soup to the Many Rivers offices, please contact us by email and we would love to have you join us in this effort.
We have several days planned at the CGC before Christmas.
November 15 1:45 to 2:30 Skating
December 6 1:45-2:30 skating-hockey skating instruction
December 13 9:00 to 9:45 skating –not hockey skating instruction
December 20 9:00-10:30 Swim –FREE SWIM
If parents wish to join us for any of these visits to the CGC centre, or if you can help transport skates to or from the centre, please contact us by email.
After Christmas we will be skiing regularly at Mt. Mac and would like to have parents volunteer to help with the skiing outings there. The help can take many forms, there is always need for an extra set of hands getting the troop out the door and boots tied etc, and if any parent is willing and able to ski with us, please contact us now as we are in the beginning planning stages of the winter term activities. We will also be looking into visiting Mt. Sima and would like to invite a parent to help organize this effort.
Just a heads up for December. This is the last day of classes and we will be at the CGC in the morning swimming. Last year we had a snowshoe expedition in the afternoon and we would like to do this again. We would encourage families to join us for this outing so if you can make time for this in your schedules you are welcome to join us from noon to three at the Mt. MacIntyre Ski Trails. More information will follow in the December Dispatch.
The school does have a facebook site to help satisfy two goals. The first is to send out informal updates through photos to families about what we are doing in class or during the day. The second is to promote the school in our community or to offer insight for parents outside of the school considering sending their children to YMS.
If you have not already visited the site please do so at your convenience.
As we now are settling into the reporting period, we are ready to open our class up to parents’ observations of the classroom. If you would like to do this please contact us and we can set up an appropriate time.
Dear YMS parents,