Vanier News – February 17, 2013

Parents, Students, and Staff,

Enjoy this week’s edition of the VANIER NEWS. This publication is meant to offer the opportunity for TWO-WAY communication. You will see at the bottom of each edition a COMMENTS section. Please share your ideas and thoughts.



Previous poll questions and results:

  • Which grade model do you feel is best for student learning? K-5–6-8–9-12: 50% K-7–8-10–11-12: 30% K-12 all at one site: 20%
  • Does year-round schooling improve student learning? YES: 56% NO: 44%
  • Should standardized tests such as the Foundation Skills Assessment (FSA) be used to measure student learning? YES: 50% NO: 50%
  • Does the use of technology in classrooms improve student learning? YES: 87.5% NO: 12.5%
  • Do you think students are physically active enough? YES: 50% NO: 46% UNSURE: 4%
  • Should school uniforms be considered at Georges Vanier Elementary? YES: 57% NO: 43%
  • Does violence in video games promote violent behaviour in children? YES: 80% NO: 20%
  • Should security cameras be used at our school? YES: 83% NO: 17%

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Vanier STARS
Congratulations to the following VANIER STARS selected for the month of January!

  • Division 10: Rhea, Kheelan and Sia
  • Division 11: Angela Shahroz and Peter
  • Division 12: Kiera, Jeremia and Kaitlyn
  • Division 13: Ashton, Harbanjot and Ria
  • Division 14: Jatin and Sierra
  • Division 15: Armaan, Archana and Lema
  • Division 16: Jordan, Hanna and Aidan
  • Division 17: Caleb, Sabrina and Sammy
  • Division 18: Joban, Savek and Prabhroop
  • Division 19: Lakshmi, Alisha and Nihal
  • Division 20: Violett, Saachi and Peter
  • Division 21: Jacob, Emilee and Kayla
  • Division 22: Shabad, Parkerit, Tamana

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“The way we choose to see the world creates the world we see. ” ~Barry Neil Kaufman

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ANTI-BULLY DAY – Wear Pink on February 27

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Our school Science Fair takes place this coming Friday, February 22 from 8:45 to 11:45 am. In class, students have been learning about the scientific method and answering questions by doing experiments. Several students and/or teams from most intermediate classes have been selected to take part in the event on Friday. Participating in a science fair helps students understand that science isn’t just a body of facts, but also a process by which questions are answered. Parents, you are more than welcome to visit us this Friday and enjoy the projects!

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Picture 6
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Image: A. Vendramin

Image: A. Vendramin

Students often have troubles on their mind they don’t feel confident sharing with others. But students at Georges Vanier are continually reminded that if they see or know of something that is wrong, it is their responsibility to help and to report their concern. Last week, the VANIER NEWS shared information about the PSST website that allows for anonymous reporting. We want to give students and parents another outlet. Visit back here often and if you see something and you want to say something, you can do it here. Always remember that there are many people at the school who care and who you can talk to in person. But, if you feel that is not an option, report here. Scroll to the comments section below. Your report will be confidential.

Your SOLE purpose here should be to help others, not to get others in trouble.

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“STAND BY ME” ANTI-BULLY PROGRAM – A Teacher’s Perspective – Contributed by Nicole Williscroft
On Tuesday, February 5th, my grade two class had the opportunity to be a part of Teresa Triggiano’s Stand By Me friendship skills workshop. Teresa was an excellent facilitator to whom students quickly warmed, due to her kind and caring demeanour.
Picture 1Prior to the students’ arrival, Teresa organized the classroom chairs into a circle formation, ridding the class of desks which created an open and trustworthy environment. She began the morning by introducing herself and insisting the students do the same, by not only sharing their name, but also sharing an animal that they would want to ‘shape shift’ into. Her reactions about their respective animal choices were encouraging and she frequently praised them for their creative choices.
Following her icebreaker activity, Teresa turned to a story that she used to introduce her ‘topic of the day’. She presented the story One, by Kathryn Otoshi, to the group. Briefly, One is a story of bullying. It highlights the challenges many of our young ones face in their peer groups. A central character in the book, Blue, is constantly belittled by personality Red. Red grows in size when he makes Blue feel worthless and inferior. When ‘One’, the hero of the book, shows up in the story he stands up to Red using language such as, “I do not appreciate the way you are speaking to me Red” and “I would like you to stop!”. Teresa discussed how friends can make us feel when they say hurtful things. Teresa used the story as a platform to introduce the appropriate language students should use in order to diffuse a situation where they are being bullied.

Picture 2Teresa made every student feel valued and important. It was fascinating to me how she quickly remembered and addressed students by their name, having met them merely minutes before. She told students that she believed every child was good, and although we can make mistakes, the most important thing is to learn from those mistakes. Additionally, Teresa comforted students by letting them know that experiencing feelings, such as anger and frustration, was perfectly normal. She stressed the significance of the actions that we take following those feelings. She encouraged students to be brave and to always address situations with a calm and courageous heart. She guided students to recognize that they should be approaching their peers when they feel hurt or upset by taking action with their words. She then provided them with the tools to do this assertively and proactively.
Teresa had students practice the CALM method and the sandwich technique to approach challenging social situations. Teresa invited student volunteers to help her portray these techniques through role plays. The students were prodded to use peer-friendly language. The students were extremely engaged in the role plays and the lessons that surfaced from them. Teresa’s ideas and techniques empower children to solve their own conflicts using effective resolutions.

Picture 3To culminate her presentation, Teresa facilitated an apology circle. She explained to students that they could be very brave and take the opportunity to apologize to someone in the group. Students apologizing were instructed to say: “(Name of the student they were apologizing to) I’m sorry for_____________.” The person to whom they were apologizing was instructed to respond with either: “I accept your apology” or “Apology accepted”. I felt quite nervous as Teresa was explaining the apology circle, unsure if any students would express an apology. However, children never cease to amaze me with their honesty and bravery, and soon many students were expressing apologies, having them accepted by their peers. It was a powerful moment to observe! Following the apology circle, Teresa thanked the many students who had courageously shared an apology, and assisted students to make ‘apology appointments’ for recess.

Without a doubt, Stand By Me provides students with powerful and effective language to help them deal with social situations, including bullying and friendships. My perception was that students finished the workshop feeling empowered and better equipped to handle themselves should a peer conflict arise. Stand By Me is an effective program from which every student, from primary to high school, will most certainly benefit.

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PARENTING CORNER: 7 Simple Parenting Strategies That Work

If you’re a parent, then you are likely interested in finding ways to interact with your child or children that create a strong relationship, foster positive behavior, and respond to behavioral problems.

Take a look at any bookstore and the shelves will be full of advice. But figuring out which strategies are actually effective can be a challenge.

In this month’s American Psychological Association’s  Monitor on Psychology, Amy Novotney asks leaders in child psychology about the best parenting strategies.  Her quest was not for someone’s idea of the best way to parent, but for strategies backed by research studies showing their effectiveness in improving behavior, strengthening the bond between parents and children, and reacting to behavioral problems that arise.

The following seven empirically tested parenting strategies were the result… Click here to continue reading.

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In the Learning Commons students in Divisions 7, 8 and 9 are creating books about how much they like to read. We decided to use shadows for the book covers. Students cropped, oriented, saved and uploaded their pictures to their individual blogs. Student blogs may be viewed here. Check out our video:

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Basketball season wraps up this week with the Girls Playday at Vanier from 12-5 pm on Monday, February 18, and the Boys Playday at Vanier from 12-5 pm on Wednesday, February 20. Come check out the action! In a tribute to our student athletes, enjoy the VIDEO of the WEEK of a 5′ 7″ player who conquered giants:

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February 18 – Host Girls Basketball Playday – 12-5 pm
February 19 – Fine Arts Assembly – Axis Theatre Co. – 8:45 am
February 20 – Host Boys Basketball Playday – 12-5 pm
February 22 – School Science Fair – 8:45 – 11:45 am
February 26 – PAC Hot Lunch
February 27 – Anti-Bully Day – Assembly at 1:30 pm
March 7 – PAC Meeting – 9:00 am
March 12 – Vanier Choir to Choral Festival – Bell Centre – 12-2 pm
March 15 – Spring Dances
March 18-28 – Spring Break – Classes not in session
March 29 – Good Friday – Classes not in session
April 1 – Easter Monday – Classes not in session
April 2 – Term 2 Reports Home
April 4 – Early Dismissal at 1:27 p.m.
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Parents, please leave a COMMENT…

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