Using the SmartBoard to Teach Algebra

Kevin Sonico~ Grade 9 Math and Science Some have referred to them as glorified whiteboards.  SmartBoards have had the unfortunate reputation of digitizing technology that was already in its own way a useful tool.  Some teachers may have even requested for the removal of SmartBoards for the use of that valuable real estate behind it. The challenge is the to rethink of how we can use them differently in our classrooms. So instead of thinking of them as expensive blackboards or overhead screens where we only project content, let us make them more dynamic and interactive.  Perhaps we can start … Continue reading Using the SmartBoard to Teach Algebra

Team Teaching: The Reality

Ivy Waite & Jaime Groeller This post is part of a series. Read the previous post here. SPACE Jaime’s “Work Room” (Left) & Ivy’s “Collaborative” Room (Right) When we set up our classrooms in early August 2012, we were both so excited to begin this adventure. We spent time thinking about how we could provide the best physical learning environments, and even searched the internet for affordable options for students who like working while sitting on the floor. (We eventually settled on those foam-like floor tiles from Canadian tire.) Because of the lack of “alternative” seating for the “tabletop-free room”, … Continue reading Team Teaching: The Reality

Team Teaching – Our Vision

Jaime Groeller & Ivy WaiteIn August 2012, at the beginning of our second year teaching together, Ivy and I took the plunge and started “team teaching.” We had seen a successful example just down the stairs from us (Park/Bailey) and modeled much of our initial approach on those ideas. Furthermore, we had been doing a lot of co-planning and co-implementing already during our first year together, 2011-2012, and wanted to fully integrate our practices and our classrooms for the 2012-2013 school year. The Team! In our first year teaching together, we team taught to the extent that we planned all … Continue reading Team Teaching – Our Vision

Grade 8 Litspiration Blog Project

Ivy Waite & Jaime Groeller The Challenge: Student Created Book Spine Poetry Inspire our grade eight students to connect with literature using novels that they have chosen, and hold them accountable for this free-reading, while creating a community of readers. The Plan: The Litspiration Blog Project Trimester One Overview – Jump into Literature! A. 3 Novels Read B. 3 Reviews w/ 3 Peer Revision Forms completed C. 1 Litspiration Challenge – free choice D. Project Reflection Trimester Two Overview – Focus on Community! A. 2 Novels Read, chosen from peer’s reviews B. 2 Reviews responding to peer’s ideas and novel itself … Continue reading Grade 8 Litspiration Blog Project

Leave it to Beavers Project Update

Stakeholders in the Leave it to Beavers project met recently to reflect on fall visits and to plan ahead for spring and beyond.Rachelle Haddock from the Miistakis Institute summarized the fall program including the great news that a few ‘nuisance’ beaver were located and trapped to be introduced to the reservoir. New Resident to Goodwin Pond by Rachelle Haddock Recently volunteers at the site have seen evidence that the beaver are indeed still present and are busy logging the nearby forest. A blind has been built near the reservoir with a webcam focused on the beavers’ dam, but we haven’t … Continue reading Leave it to Beavers Project Update

Grade 8 Light and Optical Systems

Mission Impossible Our grade 8’s have been trying to avoid our motion detectors this week in their study of how light is reflected, transmitted and absorbed by different materials. Our school has several motion detectors as a part of our alarm system, the students were challenged by their teachers to avoid detection. A motion detection light was also mounted in their classroom for testing. Using the scientific process, students hypothesized what movements or materials would enable them to get close enough to the treasure (candy) without the motion light being triggered. Each pair of students had to devise and submit … Continue reading Grade 8 Light and Optical Systems

Bringing Beavers Back to the Cross Conservation Area – Site Visit #2

Parent Guest Blogger Denise Kitagawa Click here to visit “Out and About with the GeoKs”  Our first visit to the Cross Conservation Area Pine Creek watershed was back in June. Against a backdrop of tall, green grass and leafy trees, a multitude of insects, toads and birds blessed us with natural “music” over the course of the day. Things were a lot quieter during our second visit to the site, which took place in late September just after the students (now in grade 8) returned to school from their 3-day/2-night fall Outdoor Ed camp. The students were less boisterous than usual. … Continue reading Bringing Beavers Back to the Cross Conservation Area – Site Visit #2

Grade 8 Writing Activity- Show Don’t Tell

Jaime Groeller“It was a crisp morning, but this fall is beautiful! I wish I was a poet or a photographer in order to capture it myself.” We were outside, silent for 15 minutes, in 8.3 despite the coolness. I had them choose a spot to start, then had them move to a second spot, all in silence. Seriously awesome conversation between two students once we came inside:Student 1: “How about, like, that the wind “digs its fingers” into you?”Student 2: “Hmmm, not really. That’s not quite it.” The Assignment:Journal Entry 9:Using Four of your Five senses (excluding taste), paint a picture … Continue reading Grade 8 Writing Activity- Show Don’t Tell

Math & Science Inquiry Projects

CSS Math & Science Inquiry Projects Database Our Math and Science Team has created a Google Doc to house a database of inquiry projects that they will use throughout the year. The goal of this database is to provide a place where teachers within the school and ultimately, teachers from outside the school, can see how we foster inquiry within our own classrooms. If you would like to learn more about one of the projects or have a question please add a comment below.Click here to visit the Project Database:CSS Math and Science Inquiry Project Database Continue reading Math & Science Inquiry Projects

Students Teaching the Student Teachers

On September 11, 2012 eight of our grade 8 students walked to Mount Royal University to assist with an Google Apps orientation for new Education students. We were contacted by Dr. Norm Vaughn, who sits on the Calgary Science School board, to come and help his students in using the different applications that our students as so familiar with. Our students not only worked with individual university students, but took to the lectern to share some of their examples from class. They discussed how these applications “..can used as a catalyst for an inquiry-based approach to learning by getting parents and the wider community … Continue reading Students Teaching the Student Teachers