School District 72 (SD72) has launched a new online initiative – a blog that gives teachers and students within the district the opportunity to share “What We Learned in School This Week.”
“We are a district committed to adapting to our students’ learning interests and needs by designing and supporting educational opportunities that lead to individualized student success and instil a joy of learning,” reads the introduction to the blog.
The goal of the blog is to bring the wider community into the district’s celebration of the learning that is happening for our students every day, through personal stories from those facilitating that learning, or participating in it.
For example, there is the story from an elementary teacher at Pinecrest speaking about their schools’ “Kindergarten Helpers” program where Grade 4 and 5 students volunteer to help out with kindergarten classes at outside break periods, lead them in games and activities, take them to the washroom and be in-school mentors.
The program, the teacher writes, “is teaching the older children to be helpful and helping them to understand the feelings and needs of younger children,” and the kindergarten students, “enjoy having the older students to play with and guide them,” as well as, “learn to trust that bigger kids are helpful, kind and caring, not just scary because they are so much bigger than them.
“This program also helps to reassure the parents of the new kindergarten students that the needs of their young children are addressed with these extra helpers there to assist them,” the teacher writes.
Another story, shared by Ocean Grove kindergarten teacher Laura Sewid, introduces the community to her classroom’s “Word Collecting Centre,” where children are developing their writing skills by copying words from around the room.
“Observing this centre over the last few years I have noticed there seems to be a developmental continuum for the words they collect,” Sewid writes. “First, they copy friends’ names. Next, they begin to copy words from our daily schedule and then they begin to wander the room looking for new words from charts, books, etc.
“This centre gives them a feeling of success as a writer. It gives them a meaningful reason to practice printing letters. Children happily visit this centre day after day.”
You can get to the blog by going to the school district’s homepage at sd72.bc.ca and looking under “Quick Links.” If you’re a teacher interested in submitting to the blog, follow the link under “Want to Submit?” to get to the district’s employee portal, where you will find more information on how to share your learning story.