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December 14
December 14 Update

​This week was filled with excitement and anticipation, with opportunities to come together as a larger community. Yesterday we hosted our annual Winter Concert. Across the two shows, the student performers and Masters of Ceremony did an amazing job showcasing their musical skills including singing, handbells, and performing in front of a large audience. We are fortunate to have many talented students and staff, such as our music teacher Ms. Dafoe, who came together to create two amazing shows. Students who were not part of the Winter concert will have the opportunity to perform in May at our Spring concert.



The generosity of EMJ's community and the spirit of giving became visible through students' and families' participation in The Mayor's Annual Food DriveAdopt A Family and the Mustard Seed's Warm Feet for the Street campaigns. Thank you to our families for your generous donations that will help many of our fellow Calgarians this season.

Next week we look forward to enjoying more singing and seasonal activities together. On Tuesday, Wednesday and T​​hursday students will gather in the gymnasium for seasonal sing-alongs. In classes teachers have planned special read alouds and acitivies that will wrap up on Friday with our school-wide pajama day and breakfast.

Upcoming Dates to Note:

Dec. 17 - Vaccinations Opportunity #2

Dec. 17 to 20 - Seasonal Sing-Along in the Gym

Dec. 21 - Last day of classes before winter break

Dec. 22 to Jan. 4 - Winter Break - No School

Jan. 7th - Classes resume

Jan. 8 - School Council Meeting 6:30 pm - ALL WELCOME

Jan. 18 - Last day to order Fun Lunch

Jan. 24 - Fun Lunch

Feb. 1 - No School

December 08
December 7 Update

​What does it take to be a mathematician? One of EMJ's School Development Goals this year is to increase achievement in mathematics by improving how students represent and communicate mathematical understanding.

EMJ students are engaged in daily mathematical discussions to help them broaden their vocabulary and understanding about how to communicate and justify their thinking. Examples of activities students participate in daily include: math talks, math splats, problem solving discussions, and collaborating with peers to build and use targeted vocabulary word walls. 

EMJ's hallways and classroom walls have been thoughtfully designed to invite students to think and talk as mathematicians this year. The stairs provide visual reinforcement of basic facts learned and practiced in many classrooms. Charts in classrooms provide helpful sentence frames for students to use when sharing their thinking. Hallway bulliten boards and doorways invite students to think and talk about mathematics with their peers.


At home parents and family members are an important part of supporting students to speak and think like a mathematician. At dinner time, talk about real life mathematical concepts you come across as a family each day. Examples might include managing your families' calendar of events or budget, paying for items at the store, or baking together. Becoming a mathematician takes practice and also a community to practice with. We are excited to support our students to continue to grow as mathematicians this year!

November 30
November 30 Update

​We had a very busy week at EMJ, with so much going on!  Our grade 6 students spent most of the week at Outdoor School.  This was an opportunity for our students to experience learning in a completely different environment, and work closely with peers for extended periods of time.  The social, emotional, and academic learning from such an experiential week is far greater than what can be accomplished in a week in a typical classroom.  

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We had Andrew Schultz, meteorologist at Breakfast Television, come and talk to our grade 5's about weather this week.  Bringing in experts in a given field is always a great way to expand student learning about a particular topic.

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Finally, we ended the week with our annual gingerbread night.  This was an opportunity for families to come together in a community building event, A huge thanks to our School Council that put a great deal of time and effort into this wonderful event.  It was a great success!


Important Upcoming Dates:

December 7 – Non-Instructional day - NO STUDENTS

December 10 to 14 - Scholastic - All Welcome

December 13 – Winter Concert

December 17 – Vaccinations #2

December 21 – Last day for winter break

December 24 to January 4 – Winter Break

November 23
November 23 Update

Thank you to all of our families who participated in parent-teacher conferences this week!


Conferences are an opportunity to celebrate your child's progress and set future learning goals with your child's teacher. Building a strong connection between home and school is important to us. This relationship supports our students to achieve their learning goals and maximize their growth as learners.

As a school, EMJ's yearly learning goals are outlined in our School Development Plan​. For the 2018 – 2019 school year, students and teachers are focused on using high impact strategies, such as meaningful classroom discussions and self-assessment, to improve student achievement in reading and mathematics.

Playing games as a family is one way you can support your child’s developing math skills at home. Board games such as Monopoly, Yahzee, and Sequence are popular examples. Card and dice games are also fun ways to build and practice computational fluency.

You can support your child as a reader by reading to and with them on a daily basis. Talking with your child about the books they read at school each day and visiting the Calgary Public Library, are also ways to help your child develop as a reader. Calgary Board of Education students are eligible to sign up for a free library card which provides access to books, games and videos at the library, as well as a host of free online resources​.

Upcoming Dates to Note:

Nov. 26 - 29 - Grade 6 Outdoor School

Nov. 27 - Grade 5 Weather Presentation with Andrew Schultz

Nov. 29 - Gingerbread House Decorating Night

Nov. 29 – Fun Lunch (Simple Simon Pies)

Dec. 7 – Non-Instructional day – NO SCHOOL FOR STUDENTS

Dec. 11 – School Council – ALL PARENTS WECOME

Dec. 13 – Winter Concert​

Dec. 17 – Vaccinations #2

Dec. 21 – Last day of classes before winter break

​Dec. 24-Jan. 4 – Winter Break

November 16
November 16 Update

​At EMJ, we are consistently looking at different ways for our students to express their learning and understanding of different concepts and ideas.  Recently, through the support of our School Council, we have purchased a number of new whiteboard tables for our Learning Commons area.  These whiteboard tables allow our students to create, draw, plan, write, and collaborate together on a non-permanent surface, which can give reluctant writers the freedom to explore their thinking in a different way.  Just this past week, our grade 4 students spent some time exploring the concept of light using the tables, and the results are amazing.

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Teachers are consistently looking at different ways to allow students to show what they know.  We have also been using different vertical surfaces, individual whiteboards, as well as using bulletin boards as a way to showcase the learning process and intentions.  Please make sure you look at the wonderful work that is happening throughout our classrooms when you are in for conferences next week!

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November 09
Nov. 9th Update
On Friday, November 9th we hosted our annual Remembrance Day assembly at the school.  I would like to thank all of our staff and students that put a great deal of effort into this assembly. Our Remembrance Day assembly is one of the most important things that we do all year, honouring those who have fought for our country and our freedom. It is a somber gathering, where we have time to reflect on the incredible sacrifices that so many people have made over time.  It is a time to reflect and think about how truly lucky we are to live in such a great country as Canada, and experience the level of freedom that we currently do.  This freedom has not come without a cost, and it is important to appreciate the sacrifices that have been made for that freedom-not just for one day in the year-but everyday. Remembrance Day gives us a chance to reframe our priorities, and think about the sacrifices that others have made ahead of us and for us.  Remembrance Day is a time to reflect, but also a time to be thankful, and think about our own roles and responsibilities to make the world a better place. 
This year, we have created a wall of honour outside of the gym to recognize EMJ family members that have played a part in creating a safer environment for all of us.  The response to this initiative has been overwhelming, with close to 100 family members being represented.  Please take a moment to look at this amazing display if you haven’t already.
Thanks to Leading Seaman Kyle Hawkings and Corporal Chad Goddard who attended our assembly this morning, and talked to our students.  Their presence and words were much appreciated.




November 02
November 2 Update

​With Halloween falling this past week, there were some great learning opportunities developed for our students.  Although this is always an exciting and energetic time for students, there are many ways that learning is woven into the fun that is occurring.  Throughout the school this week, teachers created many different tasks that furthered student learning, while at the same time tapping in to the excitement of Halloween themes.  Students in all rooms were able to design different pumpkins, taking into account mathematical concepts like shape and space.  Many classes wrote stories with a twist, engaging students in creatively telling a story based on a theme.  Estimates and predictions were made about pumpkin seeds, which were then sorted and counted.  Word lists were developed with students, art was created, and poetry was written, all with curricular outcomes in mind.  It was an exciting, fun-fulled week full of amazing learning!




Wall of Honor and Remembrance
As part of our upcoming Remembrance activities and events, we have decided to create a “Wall of Honor and Remembrance” for all of the family members of Ethel M. Johnson School students that may have served our Country in the past; or who are current members of the military.
If you are interested in having your family participate in this endeavor, we ask that you please send this form (click here) with the following information:
* A photocopy of the person’s photo
* Their full name
* How they are related to your child (i.e. Johnny Smith’s great-grandfather)
* When and where they served in the military
* Their regiment name
We are hoping to display all of the names that we gather on the wall of our gym during our Remembrance Assembly. We will also provide classes with an opportunity to view the wall.

October 26
October 26 Update

​This week, we have had a number of our students explore learning opportunities outside of their regular classrooms.  Some groups of students spent the day at Heritage Park, while others went to the Military Museum for a day of learning.  These experiences beyond the classroom give students an opportunity to learn in different ways, explore new topics, and have hands-on experiences that they may not otherwise have an opportunity to see. 

Without the support of our incredible parent community, we would not be able to provide these amazing opportunities for our students.  A huge thanks to all of our parents that volunteer in any way around the school-we appreciate you!

Wall of Honor and Remembrance
As part of our upcoming Remembrance activities and events, we have decided to create a “Wall of Honor and Remembrance” for all of the family members of Ethel M. Johnson School students that may have served our Country in the past; or who are current members of the military.

If you are interested in having your family participate in this endeavor, we ask that you please send this form (click here) with the following information:
* A photocopy of the person’s photo
* Their full name
* How they are related to your child (i.e. Johnny Smith’s great-grandfather)
* When and where they served in the military
* Their regiment name

We are hoping to display all of the names that we gather on the wall of our gym during our Remembrance Assembly. We will also provide classes with an opportunity to view the wall.

October 19
October 19 Update

Our school-community partnerships are an important part of the Ethel M. Johnson community. EMJ parent council, families and students plan and contribute to many community events throughout the school year.  

This week’s Halloween Dance is one example of events that take place during the school year. Thanks to our School Council, students and families, we gathered for a fun evening of dancing, connecting and raising funds for our EMJ community. We would not be able to host wonderful evenings such as this without your help. Thank you! From the behind the scenes organization to the frontline volunteers running booths on Thursday evening, we appreciate all the hands that worked together to make the Halloween event such a success. The students were excited to spend time with their friends across classes and grades. Opportunities such as this go a long way towards strengthening our EMJ learning community. 

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Our grade four students have initiated their own important school-community connection this week. As part of their learning about Waste and Our World, grade four students distributed containers to classes in order to collect used writing instruments to redirect them from our landfills. With the support of TerraCycle and Staples, these old pens and markers will be sorted, cleaned, shredded and used to make new recycled products.

A large number of our grade six students have also chosen to participate in our school’s Me to We club. They meet regularly to discuss their ideas about ways they can work collectively to make an impact on and for the EMJ community and their world at large. Next week they will run a pumpkin carving event which will give all classes the opportunity to create a pumpkin masterpiece and participate in a shared community event. In November, look for more information on their next event called ‘We Are Silent’ focused on giving voices to kids who do not yet have one.

At EMJ we know our community is an important part of our learning. Thank you for helping us be the best we can be, together!

October 12
October 12 Weekly Update

When walking through the school hallways at EMJ you can peek into classrooms and see learning happening in a variety of ways. During any given moment in the day you can observe students engaged in whole class learning, small groups working collaboratively, and students working independently in focused ways. Teachers plan field trips taking the learning outside of the classroom, and invite experts into the classroom as ways to support students in making connections between curriculum and the real world. For example, this week Grade 2 students welcomed a guest from the Alberta Science Network who helped deepen their understanding of the properties of liquids.


Parents play a critical role in helping children apply what they learn at school to outside of school. When you read your child’s classroom blog, you are able to ask more specific questions that both refreshes and extends the learning they have done at school.


Some examples of questions you might ask to learn about your child’s learning day and open up learning conversations that build a bridge between home and school are:

  • What was the best thing you did at school today? Why was it the best?
  • Tell me the names of four kids you played or worked with today. Who did you enjoy talking with the most and why?
  • What was the most interesting thing you learned today?
  • What was easy about today? What was challenging about today?

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