Monthly Archives: April 2017

Thank You Thank You Thank You

Happy Sunday Everyone!

I love that it isn’t even 7:00 and the sun is shining and it is currently 4 degrees (on its way to a high of 18 degrees!!). Maybe we are in the clear and Spring is finally here!!

Thank you so much for all your support throughout our 30 for 30 challenge and Environmental Inquiry! I have spoken to so many parents, received emails, comments on the blog and Instagram about how families are enjoying the fact that we are dong this at school AND are sharing what is happening at home for the 30 for 30! You are awesome #BAM!!!!

Being outside with my class is always something I’ve wanted to do more of. In the past I didn’t feel fully supported to take my class out regularly. I am so glad that being outdoors is something that the school and parent communities believe in. Thank you to one of our parents (a Public Health Nurse) for sharing some resources with me…which I will now share with you!

Winnipeg In Motion

Bring Back Play

Active for Life

The information below (from the Winnipeg in Motion website) really stuck with me. It’s isn’t new information, but I felt like the reminder was valuable for myself and therefore I decided to share it too:) It affirms the reasons why the 30 for 30 challenge is so important.

Benefits of being a Healthy School in motion

Physical activity has many benefits and it affects all aspects of a child’s growth and development. Regular physical activity is an important part of every child’s daily life. Schools that promote physical activity not only benefit the health and wellbeing
of their students, but also encourage and benefit their staff and community. It is important to educate, encourage, and motivate children to participate in regular physical activity. The benefits of physical activity stay with children as they become adults and the positive behavioural traits of active children may also transfer to adulthood. For children, being regularly active:

  • enhances academic performance. Basic classroom skills including arithmetic, reading, memorization, and categorization improve with sufficient physical activity.
  • is beneficial psychologically, regardless of weight. It is associated positively with self-esteem and self-concept, and associated negatively with anxiety and depression.
  • improves skeletal health, which in turn reduces their risk of developing osteoporosis in the future. Daily weight-bearing activities, of even brief duration during adolescence, are critical for enhancing bone development that affects skeletal health throughout life.
  • has a positive impact on behaviour and healthy lifestyles. Among young people, high levels of fitness are associated with healthier eating habits.

I think that sometimes going outside at school can be associated with Physical Education class or free time or as a reward. I think that building this outdoor time into our day is so much more!

Last week we took a walk around the schoolyard checking on the garbage situation. We realized that there are only garbage bins at the far park and NO recycling bins. Therefore there was ‘stuff’ in the garbage bin that should have been recycled. This led to a conversation about what we can do about that. How can we express that either a) We need recycling bins at the park (and if it is like this at our park, how many other parks need recycling bins too) or b) Encourage people to take their recycling home or to the nearest bin to recycle instead of just throwing it in the garbage…because it is easier to just toss it. This was a great conversation that came from a 15 minute walk. For the other 15 minutes we played a game that Cathy Woods had taught us earlier in the year. The weather wasn’t super kind to us last week, but it didn’t stop us! We chose activities that kept us moving and kept us warm! The slogan was #coldairdontcare lol. On Tuesday we all played Hide and Go Seek Tag. Not one student complained about the choice of game (we talked about the fact that not everyone would have their top choice each day but if we give it a chance they will have fun). This allowed us to practice our 4C skills along with being totally active for 30 minutes. We had to collaborate on creating ‘rules’, communicate the ‘rules’ so everyone was on the same page, think critically about how many people would be ‘it’, what to do when the Nursery class came out, how we would know when the game was over, etc. and then be creative with our ‘hiding spots’ and with strategy. SO…this game was so much more than kids just running around. On Wednesday we did some math at the playground. Some students played a math game (multiplication battleship) and others continued to work on their number puzzles. It was chilly, but it didn’t stop us! For the last 10 minutes we ran around to warm up. Just getting some fresh air and a change of scenery is good for our brains. We could have easily stayed inside for this activity, but we are trying to think of things that we can do outside instead. We brought what we needed (clipboards, writing tools, etc.) so we didn’t need to be inside! On Thursday we went to the far park and searched for things in nature to become makers with! We could only use what was already on the ground (no breaking branches, etc.) and had to work with a partner or group, then just make! ‘Making’ practices so many skills! The class had a blast and created some pretty cool nature art :). Finally on Friday we saw the SUN! We played outside with Room 126. There were 2 options: 1) Play a game called Follow The Leader or 2) Use chalk to create (games, drawings, math questions, etc.). A third option came up when the kids realized that the sun was allowing for some perfect conditions for shadows! It is nice to come out with another class because we build new friendships, rekindle old friendships, learn to practice the 4Cs with other people which can be a very useful skill. I am so happy with how this first week went 🙂


Upcoming Plans:

*Play with our buddies outside (we can read outside just as easily as we can inside!). This is happening on Monday. We are also planning on doing some planting. I have a parent volunteer (thank goodness!) to come and help. The kids want to have a planter outside of our window. We had thought about making one out of pallets, but if anyone would like to help us out with that let me know! If you’d like to join us on any of the days we will be outdoors, please don’t hesitate to schedule a time and maybe an activity with us!

*Please remember that we need kids to wear their “Musical” outfits on Monday (dress rehearsal!) and Wednesday (performance day!) *Below is the email that was sent home on Thursday about costumes.

REMINDER: Costume requirements for Dress Rehearsal day(Monday, May 1st) AND Concert Day (Wednesday, May 3rd)

Dear Parents and Guardians of Grade 3/4 Students,

 The Spring Musical is coming soon to Montrose School! We have an exciting show for you…. “The Emperor’s New Clothes!” Students in grade 3/4 will be a part of the chorus and will need to wear the following for the dress rehearsal on Monday May 1st and for the performance day, Wednesday May 3rd (three shows):

 – white sleeved shirt (long or short sleeve)

– dark pants

 Please note: Students will be wearing a light weight tunic over top of their clothes. 

 Thank you so much for your cooperation. We are looking forward to seeing you at the performances.

Regards,The Costume Committee

*Ask Me…

This week’s Ask Me.. task was for your child to play Multiplication Battleship (this can be changed to Addition Battleship if you need to). Each student was sent home with 2 ‘boards for playing’ (which were double sided so you can play more than once!) and an instruction sheet. Let me know how it went!

*Our “All The Water In The World” art is nearly complete. It is currently on the bulletin board, which I did so we could see how it looks and then each student is deciding whether their work is ‘finished’ and if not, we are adding to it. Here are a few pics I took quickly before they went up!

They are very striking…and are even more powerful as a group piece.

*This week we also talked about being difference makers. I love the quote “Be the change you wish to see in the world” by Gandhi. First we talked a bit about what a quote is and how to find meaning in a quote. Then I asked the kids to use this quote (or another if they were more drawn to something else, or even create their own quote) and represent it in a way that was meaningful to them. Here is a glimpse of what they came up with!

My next idea is to talk about this one…

This makes an impact on me each time I see it:)

The Manitoba Teacher’s Society is doing wellness week and our staff is doing a  little kindness campaign amongst ourselves…I say this is a perfect opportunity to share with the class what we as a staff are doing too. Kindness is for everyone…not just kids 😉

*Enjoy your week! I hope to see you at the Musical on Wednesday. There will be a magnificent performance as always. Thank you to all the staff and volunteers who made this production possible. Your hard work and dedication to the students is inspiring and very appreciated.

Until next time,


Make Everyday Earth Day!

Happy Earth Day to you all!!!! I’ve just sent Jocelyn an email to send to our families of 123 about some exciting upcoming activities that we are doing in regard to our inquiry on What does it mean to be Canadian with a focus on the environment. This may not be ‘news’ to some of you. If you already know all about it from posts you’ve seen or from what you’ve talked about with your child then YAY! (you can skim over that email ;))

I’m thinking that this inquiry might just be the one I am most excited about. I have always been really interested in becoming a difference maker when it comes to the environment. It started when I was a kid. I continued to think about and challenge myself and others to be more committed to making ‘good’ choices all throughout my school career and young adult years. Now I get to work with the next generation of kids to see what they think is important and how they plan to make a difference too. I’ve already been so inspired by the students in 123. You have amazing children!!! Now where will this inquiry take us?

*30 for 30 challenge: Thank you for the positive response for us doing this at school AND  accepting the 30 for 30 challenge at home. Please share what you’ve been up to (you can email me pictures or send me a photo through an Instagram message). We are creating a growing bulletin board about what we’ve been up to each day. We also have two challenges that are going to be posted on that same board as of Monday. (A reusable drink container challenge and an reusable bag challenge). Have an idea of something we could do for the 30 for 30 challenge or want to spend time with us outdoors at school? Please let me know! The “at school” challenge starts on Monday and will go for 30 school days and the “at home” challenge starts tomorrow (April 23) and goes until May 22

*Earth Day: The second part of the Ask Me question is about what you’ve done on Earth Day to be a difference maker. I know…not the greatest weather, but I hope you were able to come up with something. To be accountable (and maybe to inspire) here is what I did:

Hudson wanted to show you her “Earth” ball. Funny that she chose to play with it this morning (at 6:00 a.m.)

Then I had my LAST cup of coffee for 30 days (that story will come later). Notice that I used my reusable K cup?! That is because I didn’t want to use one that would be thrown away after. I used my own coffee grounds and then will wash and reuse this for next time…and yes I use my reusable Starbucks cup even when I am at home!

We bundled up and went for a walk. Hudson really wanted to enjoy a bit more snow. I just enjoyed the trick that Mother Nature played on us! The air was fresh and clean so there was noting to complain about!

I didn’t take photos of everything…but I also donated clothes to my Yoga studio who did a used clothing sale and all proceeds went to the David Suzuki foundation. I went to Yoga this morning where we made being grateful for our planet as part of our practice. I did NOT shower, do laundry or do dishes as an effort to save water. I only went to Yoga and did no other driving. I did not purchase anything today because I wanted to only eat food that I already had here. I cleaned my house using environmentally friendly cleaning supplies. The pants I wore are from a company that plants trees with every purchase and my shirt was made in Canada (both that were gently worn, but not dirty!). I went without any lights/phone/computer/tv for an hour at two different times, along with really only using lights when needed throughout the day. I also tweeted a few things that I thought were important and wanted to spread the word! Throughout the day I really was trying to rethink how I used things, I reduced, reused, recycled and repeated. Overall I am pretty happy with my choices today. The best part is…most of this is stuff I do everyday. Sometimes my friends and family giggle at my efforts and say that it doesn’t really make a difference but they are wrong. I almost never use a plastic bag or use a paper coffee cup and if there are 10 or 100 to 1000 other people that commit to that too…we are totally making a difference!

Now it’s time for the coffee story! I told the class on Thursday that I was thinking of just drinking water for 30 days and asked them why I might do that. They instantly knew that by just drinking water in a reusable bottle that I already have I would save on the amount of recycling I’d have to do (from drink containers-especially when I am in the car for a long drive to Ontario I tend to pick up a Vitamin water or a gatorade) or from someone else picking me up a coffee without having my reusable cup, even the amount of juice jugs I would need to by or the resources it takes to have someone make me a coffee at Starbucks and most of all they added that it is the healthiest choice! The thing is…when you say something to kids…you have to do it! To be honest …I am going to do it, but with a few modifications. I am going to allow myself to drink tea that I already have (no new tea) and milk and maybe a cheat (like juice that is already at my house, but no individual containers). If anyone wants to join me in this challenge I will appreciate the company!!

This is exactly what makes me so excited. These kids get it. They can see the small differences these daily changes can make. They want to do something. They will do something. They will use their ideas and their voices to put plans into action and they have amazing parents to support them in every way possible. Thank you so much for all that you do 🙂

Haven’t got an idea for Earth Day?

-enjoy nature, rethink your choices (example: plastic bags vs reusable, paper cups vs reusable, which cleaning products you use, etc.), plant something, pick up garbage, unplug (don’t leave chargers plugged in when not needed, turn the tv/computer off for awhile, etc.), start recycling,  buy something local, close the fridge door, leaving a room…turn off the light, think about the water wasted when you brush your teeth and decide how you can use less, share an idea with a friend, make a commitment to make a change!

-On Instagram I posted a picture about Fort Whyte. Here it is again below in case you are looking for something to do. It’s free and looks like there is a lot going on.

A video I found on Twitter today:


Have any resources you’ve looked at and are worth sharing? Let me know!

Until next time,



Hoppy Easter Every Bunny!!

I’m back on the blogging wagon! Not sure how so much time has passed since my last post. New goal…regular blog updates. Hold me to it!

It’s hard to believe that Easter is here already. I’m pretty sure they said there are 55 days of school left this year. That can’t be true!!

This week we talked more about what makes us Canadian. We are looking beyond symbols. It is more about the Canadian community within a world community and how Canadians support the world around us. Day of Pink in support of Standing up to Bullies is one way of how we can take action. Promising not to be a bystander is something we can all do to make the world a better place 🙂

We have decided to take action and come up with a cause. Our first inquiry will be about the environment and what we can do make a positive impact.

This is an example of a Non Permanent Vertical Writing Surface. It also happens to be where we are doing some brainstorming of how we will a) commit to doing 30 minutes of outdoor activity for 30 days (Starting April 24). *More info to come on this BUT consider this your warning to be included in our challenge 😉 b) what our action plan might be and c) questions, concerns, wonderings, ideas about the environment.

We also celebrated National Scrabble Day by creating a little game of our own!

What words can  you make and what it the total value of each word. What is the word with the highest value?!

It was a hit! SO much actually that it is also our Ask Me…question for the weekend. Same idea…different letters. “Rules”: see how many words you can make, can use names, can use letters more than once, add the value of each letter in the word to find the total value! Have fun!

Doing each other’s triangle puzzles was also fun! What we reflected was: puzzles with clearly printed numbers were easier to solve, there were some errors on puzzles which made it more difficult to solve, keeping the “answer key” was a good idea for checking.


What’s Up Next?

-I am away on Monday a.m., all day Wednesday, Thursday a..m. and there is NO school on Friday 🙁 Don’t worry…we will still have a productive week. The last substitute teacher we had left an email that this was the BEST class she had ever had the pleasure of subbing in.  What a compliment 🙂 #proudteacher

-Some pink math books came home today. The one with a -4- on it is to be completed and returned on Monday so we can check it together. The other one has a hard cover and Snoopy on it…this one was for students who wanted a little extra practice. It is NOT homework, but once the students are finished they may bring it in for me to see if they wish. It is meant to be a tool to use as needed

-New book order will be sent home on Monday and are due on April 24

-Fun Lunch forms were due today. If you haven’t sent yours in please send it in on Monday

-If you are willing and available to help us out during our 30 for 30 outdoor time let me know. I think one of the ideas is planting flowers (which is not my forte but might be yours!). If you are super “outdoorsy” and would like to share your love of nature please please please send me and email or pop by and let’s make a plan

-On that note…anyone with a passion for environmental science or experience with action plans we also need you. I think we are leaning toward doing something with water since we believe it is our most valuable resource

-One more “need”! A few of our students wrote a multiplication mash up song (similar to the one we posted earlier in the year) and we would love to ‘put it to music’. Anyone have that in their skill set?

Have a great weekend!

Until Next Time!