Spaces for Learning

As a principal, I believe one of the most important things I can do is walk around the school and be part of the hard work occurring each day. By visiting classrooms, hallways, the playground and our learning spaces I get to witness magic happen each day. This week, I very much enjoyed getting to know all of our students and visiting the various learning spaces in our school.

anchorSchools are always busy places and this week was no exception. All of our classes are focusing on routines to help provide our learners understand the ebb and flow of the school day. Here is an example of one class using anchor charts for the different transitional times for students. We find visuals are a great aid for most students too. This is something you can also try at home to outline your home’s routines (ex. getting ready for school in the morning). Let us know if you do and how it goes.

wordsWords are so important in our work. As young children learn to read they also learn the richness of the English language. Here is one grade three class exploring key words they will use in their units of study this year. At our Meet the Staff night you will also see many examples of word walls where classes explore words that relate to various parts of the curriculum. At home you too can label items around your house to help build your child’s vocabulary. Perhaps you may not want your house decorated like a dictionary :-), so why not start with your child’s bedroom. Let your child identify important items, label them and post them. This also helps children learn to organise materials and their own spaces.

materialsIt has been wonderful watching staff consider how their learning spaces should look and feel. We are considering the classroom itself as a “third teacher“. The space itself can influence and shape the learning that occurs. Here is one team’s materials center offering an invitational feel to writing and drawing.We would love to hear examples of how you create spaces for living and learning in your homes. We bet we hear some amazing examples.

bookroomFinally, even “behind the scenes” counts. Here is our newly created school bookroom that will house reading materials for our staff to access to help support instruction on reading. For example, you may hear your child talk about “guided reading”. This experience typically involves small groups of students reading with a teacher who, in turn, helps to guide the reading through questioning, prompting and responding to students’ reading. The organization of these materials helps our staff access the materials they need to help support our learners.

These are but a few examples of our work this week.

Mr. Collins

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