Good afternoon Buffalo Rubbing Stone families,
After an extremely mild fall with lots of opportunity for outdoor learning, the snow has arrived and Winter Break is just around the corner. In the colder weather, students are outside for breaks at recess and lunch, along with being outside for learning opportunities throughout the day. It is essential students are dressed for the weather every day.
In November, we finalized our School Development Plan and School Improvement Results Report. Both are available in the sidebar of the BRS website Our School > About Us tab. We are pleased to report that intentional strategies to organize student thinking have resulted in increased achievement in the organization of student writing. Our next step is to improve our editing skills. Editing is a complex element of the writing process. Students are learning to edit their work by reading it out loud and listening to themselves while they read. They are learning to peer edit - reading for meaning and ensuring their understanding is what the author intended. Teachers are conferencing with students to encourage the use of strong vocabulary and to achieve of the purpose of the writing task. Beyond the “big" work of editing is the “nitty-gritty" work of spelling and sentence conventions that make writing more easily understood. In math, learning is focussed on mathematical reasoning and problem solving. Engaging with rich mathematical tasks that encourage conversation with peers and multiple ways to solve problems give math thinking purpose, develop persistence, and give cause for celebration and increased confidence when the problem is solved. Rich tasks also demonstrate the need for good recall of basic facts, a foundational part of math thinking. Well-being remains a focus as we connect with one another and walk together through our learning each day. This fall, we have maximized the opportunities provided by sharing circles and talking sticks. Learning from our Indigenous friends about this meaningful, traditional practice and making it an intentional part of all classroom learning is one more way we have been able to bring the school together while our COVID-19 protocols keep us in cohorts. Our School Council is always part of these learning conversations. Thank you to all parents who make time to join us for BRSSC meetings. Your input helps direct our school decision making.
Thank you to all the parents and students who participated in November Conferences. Teachers' opportunities to share student progress and achievement relative to the Programs of Study, IPP targets, and/or ESL Benchmarks with you and your child is an important part of the reporting process and a key element of improving student learning. The CBE document How is My Child Doing in School? provides families with information about our communication and reporting practices. The next opportunity for formal communication will be the report card at the end of January. The video Assessment & Reporting in the CBE: K-9 Proficiency Scale explains the indicators teachers use to report student achievement. New this year are the summative assessments reported in PowerSchool. Summative assessments are conducted at the end of a learning cycle. They are a snapshot of achievement that comprise a small part of the overall body of evidence that teachers consider when assigning report card marks. Report card comments are strength-based, focussing on what students can do and their next steps for learning. We deeply value the home-school partnership and the impact our communication has on learning.
Finally, thank you to the Buffalo Rubbing Stone Parent Association. While the School Council helps direct our decision making and learning enhancements, the Parent Association helps pay for all the extras that happen at BRS. If your child has loved inline skating, you have the BRSPA to thank. Inline skating was provided at no cost to families because the BRSPA paid the bill! Many other enhancements including Mathletics, and a variety of resources for math, science, and literacy have been provided by the BRSPA. The Association's biggest fund raiser is coming up on December 15 and 16. If you haven't already volunteered and you'd like to see these enhancements continue, please go to the BRSPA Casino sign up genius.
As we near the Winter Break and prepare for the family time we will have, I wish you season's greetings of peace and joy, and all the best in the New Year.