Category Archives: Learning Spaces

Family Engagement through Family Literacy

We want to thank our 20150129_143516community for joining us last night for our Family Literacy Night event. Despite some snowy weather, we had over 200 people attend the event. We also appreciate families who participated virtually through twitter via #rmpsliteracy. If you couldn’t attend, we wanted to share some of the events that took place last night.

20150129_082041What would literacy be without reading! Our Book Sale was a huge success. Thanks to the hundreds of donations, children were able to purchase a gently used book for a quarter. We also love how this station aligned with our Eco Schools work – why throw books out, when we can recycle them for further enjoyment!

inferWe had a Strategies Museum set up in one of our hallways.  At the station, children had the chance to look at picture and “infer” meaning from them. Pictures can be a great way to have children develop reading for meaning skills. We have included the Reading Comprehension strategy handout from the station here for your reference.

20150129_183538There are many ways children can learn about letters and how to form letters. In our gym, there were a number of activities to promote letter formation and recognition. At this station, students could make letters in shaving cream. Despite having lots of fun, students were also able to concentrate on how to form specific letters by physically tracing it in shaving cream. Try it out at home! (or use sand if you prefer a bit of an easier clean up).


20150129_162225 Our gym also had many fun activities set up that promoted movement and literacy. In this example, students enjoyed floor hockey with letters.


20150129_160335Games are a wonderful way to promote both literacy and numeracy skills. Last night, we enjoyed Twister, with a twist! Why not add words onto the board to build in word recognition skills?

20150129_162911Games also help promote collaborative skills, turn taking skills and oral language skills. It was wonderful to see our Games Room full last night.


20150129_160203We literally explored the nuts and bolts of literacy last night. Here, a group of staff explored easy to make home made literacy activities. In this example, simply take some bolts, nuts and add letters. Children can then have fun making words.

20150129_162351We were pleased that our Community class was able to showcase it’s program with students and families. The team explore “adaptive literacy” using a variety of tools and strategies.

20150129_163003Procedures are important in so many ways in our lives and reading them properly is critical. Last night, one team supported families in “How to” sessions of fund building. You can incorporate similar opportunities at your home.

tinywordWe enjoyed searching for words around our school last night thanks to one team’s scavenger hunt. We are thankful the team provided magnifying glasses as those words were very well hidden!


20150129_163046Technology can also support literacy skills. Last night, our Discovery Hub hosted a session that explored technology including iPad apps that promote literacy skills. In case you missed it, here are some Digital Literacy Sites & Apps.


thanksLast night could not have happened without or staff. They worked incredibly hard to organise a wide variety of opportunities to support our Family Literacy Night. I thank our team for their time, energy and commitment to student learning.

Finally, thanks to our wonderful community. The turnout was incredible and the enthusiasm in the school was amazing. We thank you for continuing to help us build collaborative culture at our school.


Mr. Collins


3 months

aug26It has been 3 months since our launch on September 2, 2014.

Can you believe it?

Now is a perfect time to celebrate the work we have accomplished collectively, including:

Coming back to school in a brand new building.

– Developing classroom programs for our learners.

Developing spaces for learning in our school.

Establishing our first school council.

Building collaborative culture with all of us.

Working with our families in partnerships.

Welcoming our youngest learners in our Full Day Kindergarten program

Opening our Discovery Hub

– Beginning various committees including: Healthy Schools, EcoSchools and Parent Engagement

Meeting our wonderful team

– Celebrating special events like Dot Day and Take Me Outside.

You can see even more examples of our work through our school twitter feed.

3 short months that have helped to create many memories.

December is a wonderful month for us to give thanks for all we have and we have much to be thankful for.

We look forward to the final 3 weeks of school in 2014.

Mr. Collins




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