Vanier News – November 8, 2013

This Week at Georges Vanier…

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POLL QUESTION of the WEEK: Having an authentic audience (someone other than just the classroom teacher) encourages learners to do better work.

Click here to view previous poll questions and results

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See you this coming Friday at our first Movie Night of the year, featuring MONSTERS UNIVERSITY. Tickets are by $2.00 donation each. Doors open at 6:00 p.m. Our concession will include pizza, samosas, drinks, and candy.

Order forms go home with students this coming Tuesday, November 12 and are due back by Friday morning, November 15. Download the Movie Night Ticket Order Form.

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We had a beautiful Remembrance Day Assembly on Thursday, November 7th. It was wonderful to have so many family members present and to hear the voices of our students. Each year we take the opportunity to reflect and gives thanks for our freedom, and to remember those who fought for that freedom.

A very special thank you to Mrs. Scheller who does a skillful job of planning this solemn event and preparing our students.

Here is one of the videos we shared at the assembly:

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Parents we need your help! We are still $1500 short on student planner payments.

If you have yet to do so, please forward payment this week if you can. Thank you in advance for your ongoing support.

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PARENTING CORNER: Changes in how we Communicate Student Learning
Last week in the Vanier News, you read about how our curriculum in BC Schools is changing, with more emphasis on crucial skills such as critical thinking, problem-solving, collaboration, communication, and personal and social awareness. Read more about these changes…

We are also looking at how we can better communicate your child’s learning to you. We know that there is a substantial amount of research indicating that external rewards and letter grades are detrimental to student learning. As well, letter grades can often be subjective, while not truly communicating progress your child has made in relation to learning objectives.

The communication you receive at the end of Term 1 will look different than what you have become used to. Primary students have not received letter grades in the past and this will continue to be the case. Intermediate teachers will be gradually moving over to a portfolio-based mode of sharing information about student learning. This will mean that intermediate students and their parents will receive detailed and ongoing information regarding their progress in relation to grade-level expectations in each curriculum area. Students and parents will also receive timely and descriptive feedback while learning is occuring so that they have the information they need to make adjustments to their learning.

Letter grades for intermediate students has always been a divisive issue. The teachers at Georges Vanier are aware of a significant body of research that indicates that:

  • Grades tend to reduce students’ interest in learning itself.
  • Grades tend to reduce students’ preference for challenging tasks.
  • Grades tend to reduce the quality of students’ thinking.

Read more about letter grades:

From Grading to De-Grading
Do Grades Do Any Good?
Can We Get Beyond Letter Grades?

YOU ARE INVITED to an informal parent forum on Tuesday, November 12 at 8:45 a.m. to further discuss this shift in communicating student learning. We appreciate your feedback!

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Books for Pre-Schoolers.

Families in the Georges Vanier community are now able to access new books for Pre-Schoolers! We have a new library of excellent books for sharing with the little ones in your family. The children do not have to be enrolled in Strong Start or the Day Care to use this library. This is a free program. Student leaders or Ms. Crosland will be available at lunch time to assist families with borrowing books. We hope that soon, families will sign out the books independently. Just put your name on a card, take out the picture card from the back of the book and put both cards in the sleeve on the wall. Easy. Take as many as four at a time, bring them back, and get four more. Books are a perfect excuse to cuddle your little ones and share a story. If you enjoy the little library, please tell your neighbours in our community and let’s get the pre-schoolers enjoying books at home.

In the Learning Commons: Visualizing Pirates and sharing our learning about Extreme Weather and Text Features.

Anna Crosland M.Ed. – Teacher Librarian

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gvInnovationWeekWhat is Innovation Week?
During the week of December 9-13, students from Grade 4-7, plus any primary students referred by their classroom teacher, will be given the time, space, and support to work on a project of their choice. Our hope is to provide independent and motivated students with a meaningful experience that will help them develop a passion for learning by giving them the chance to pursue individual learning interests.

Students will not attend their classes during this week. Instead, they will work in the Innovation Week area (gym and multipurpose room) for the entirety of their school day. Staff members will be supervising and supporting students during this time.

On the morning of Friday, December 13th, Innovators (as individuals, pairs, or groups of 3) will share their learning during an open house open to the whole community.

Here are some ideas from other schools:

  • Write and perform your own piece of music.
  • Create a how-to tutorial/video on how to do something you didn’t know how to do before.
  • Paint a still life on canvas of a nature scene.
  • Write and perform a one-person comedy act.
  • Research and present on the concentration camps of the Holocaust.
  • Choreograph and perform a dance.
  • Create a video highlight reel of basketball moves and plays.
  • Create a video documentary.

Here are the details:

  • Why?  To foster creativity and a love of learning
  • When?  December 9 – 13, 2013
  • Who? Individuals, pairs, or small groups of 3 in Grades 4-7
  • How?  Applications will be given out during an information meeting. Listen for details.
  • Applications must be completed in AS MUCH DETAIL as possible. Innovation Week Application
  • Applications due to Mr. Vendramin by November 25th.

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VIDEO of the WEEK:
What happens when we use rewards to motivate students? The video might be from a few years back, the message is still current. Please watch and discuss with your child.

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  • 11 – Remembrance Day – Classes not in session
  • 12 – Parent Forum – Communicating Student Learning – Multipurpose Room @ 8:45 a.m.
  • 15 – Movie Night -Monsters University- Doors open at 6:00 p.m.
  • 18 – Motivational Magic with Steve Harmer – 1:00 p.m.
  • 21 – Math Night – 6:00 – 7:00 p.m.
  • 25 – Monthly Math Challenge DUE – Box at Office
  • 25 – Innovation Week Applications DUE – Office
  • 25-29 – Flashlight reading – Learning Commons
  • 26 – PAC Popcorn Day
  • 29 – Assembly – 1:45 p.m.


  • 6 – Powerplay Show – Gym – 9:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
  • 9-13 – Innovation Week – Gym and Multipurpose Room (see above)
  • 10 – Term 1 Reports Home
  • 12 – Grade 7 Band Concert – Gym – 9:00 a.m.
  • 12 – Early Dismissal – 1:27 p.m.
  • 18 – Winter Concerts (times to be announced)
  • 20 – Last day of classes before holidays


  • 6 – School re-opens
  • 16 – Primary Spelling Bee – 1:30 p.m.


  • 10 – Family Day – Classes not in session
  • 20  – Science Fair
  • 21 – Professional Development Day – Classes not in session


  • 11 – Term 2 Reports Home
  • 13 – Early Dismissal – 1:27 p.m.
  • 14 – Last day of classes before Spring Break
  • 17-28 – Spring Break – Classes not in session
  • 31 – Classes Resume


  • 10 – Intermediate Speechfest – 1:00 p.m.
  • 17 – Movie Night – Doors open at 6:00 p.m.
  • 18 – Good Friday – Classes not in session
  • 21 – Easter Monday – Classes not in session


  • 2 – Professional Development Day – Classes not in session
  • 8 – Primary Speechfest – 1:00 p.m.
  • 14 – Early dismissal at 1:27 p.m. for Student-Led Conferences
  • 19 – Victoria Day – Classes not in session
  • 26 – Professional Development Day – Classes not in session


  • 13 – Sports Day
  • 20 – Grade 7 Celebration – 9:00 a.m.
  • 26 – Year-End Assembly – 9:00 a.m.
  • 26 – Term 3 Reports Home/Early Dismissal at 1:27 p.m./Last day of classes

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Parents, please leave a COMMENT…

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