“The things that excite you are not random. They are connected to your purpose. Follow them.”
The upcoming winter break offers a natural point for our school community to reflect upon the accomplishments made in the first leg of our 2017-18 school year. Indeed, our fall term has been rife with many wonderful and rewarding moments in learning.
At our November Remembrance Day ceremony, the Grade five students used multiple art forms to provoke an emotional and meaningful audience response. Through dance, spoken word, poetry, music, and media our Grade 5’s reminded us of the sacrifice of those whose lives were lost and altered in the line of duty and to hold fast to the promise of peace. Artifacts from the Remembrance Day ceremony can be viewed in this website story.
Starting in September, Ms. McCune and a group of Grade 5 and 6 students met weekly to create an amazing submission to CBC Radio’s Music Class Challenge. The group’s version of, Ruth B’s, Lost Boy can be viewed in this website story.
Further showcasing our talented students and staff, the Chaparral Division 2 choir recently performed at the Spruce Meadows Christmas Market. In short, the choir and its director, Ms. McCune were amazing! They looked and sounded very professional, delighting and impressing the many shoppers who gathered around wondering about this fantastic group of young singers.
As part of their inquiry into Evidence and Investigation, the Grade 6 students found themselves immersed in solving a (rather manufactured) crime! While applying critical thinking and problem solving skills, the young investigators reveled in the hilarity of questioning and eventually “arresting” Mr. Van Roekel who had the audacity to “steal” a computer from the Grade 6 break out room! The investigation and eventual resolution of the “crime” became excellent fodder for exploring the genre of news articles as a format for written expression. Please see Austin and Ms. Grover’s articles under “Grade 6 News”.
As part of our focus on helping students develop confidence and skill in writing, we have enjoyed hosting resident writer, Cathy Beveridge. Over the past few weeks, Cathy has facilitated workshops for all our students in Grades 1-6. Recently, Judah from Grade 3 visited my office to share a hilarious piece called, Dumpster Diving that he created in response to Cathy’s teaching. Judah’s vivid description of the contents in the dumpster made me cringe and giggle at the same time. Interesting that my emotive response is exactly what he, as the writer, was hoping to provoke in me, the reader!
Before closing, I will share one more learning anecdote. Sylvie Monfette and Michael McMahon, our Area V Director and System Principal recently visited Chaparral School. During their visit they inquired into how our focus on writing is taking life in our school. Responding to this query, I invited some students from Ms. Pehkonen’s Grade 5 class to share their writing inspired by Maurice Sendak’s classic, Where the Wild Things Are! Sylvie, Mike, Colleen, and I were totally engrossed by the adept use of descriptive writing techniques employed by Maryam, Jesse, Liam, and Jack.
Sylvie and Mike spent a good deal of time with the students, encouraging them to continue pursuing their goals and finding joy in their successes. I hope readers enjoy this edition of our school newsletter. I wish you all the best as you celebrate the Holiday Season with those closest to you, reflect upon the year that has past and consider the one to come. I am sincerely grateful for the dedication of our staff, students, and families; together we ensure that Chaparral is a great place to learn and grow!
See more in our December Newsletter.