Vanier News – November 17, 2013

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.

Well…there were a few technical issues on Friday night, but we appreciate your patience, support, and good nature. Together we were able to raise close to $1000 for your school. Well done. A very special thank you to our parent group who worked very hard to plan this event. We promise to have all technical issues eliminated next time 🙂


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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PARENTING CORNER: Changes in how we Communicate Student Learning
Thank you to the small group of parents who assembled last week to discuss upcoming changes in the B.C. Curriculum as well as changes to how we communicate student learning to parents.

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?

We would like to CONTINUE THE CONVERSATION with you on Tuesday evening, from 6:30 – 7:30 p.m. in our gym. Parents and students are welcome to attend. We will also have a District Settlement Worker present to provide Punjabi translation. We hope to see you there!

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LEARNING COMMONS NEWS: Getting a Strong Start in the Learning Commons.

Pre-schoolers and their families are able to visit the Learning Commons for early literacy activities. We share ideas for encouraging children to develop an interest in books and explore apps that promote skill development on the iPads. This week, for example, we read ‘The Wheels on The Bus’ and made all the sounds for ‘And the Train Goes…’. We watched a video and sang along with ‘Five Little Monkeys’ and used an alphabet app to practise letters. It is a great opportunity for children and their caregivers to celebrate learning together.
Strong Start
It’s a Multi-Step Process…

Several classes have been demonstrating their learning about pirates using the Pic Collage App. This is a multi step app that gives students another way of sharing what they have been exploring in the Learning Commons. In creating an image, students first locate pictures from one of our pirate books that they feel reflects their ideas. To use the app, students must be able to locate the app icon, select the camera, frame the photo and take the picture, decide if the picture is clear or retake it, manipulate the image size and orientation, select the text option, add their words, decide on a font, size, colour and background, arrange their images and save to the photo album. It’s a lot of steps and students are proud of their accomplishments. The projects are either uploaded to the individual student’s blog or later added to a video featuring the work of multiple classes.
Div 14
To see more student creations please visit

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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Screen Shot 2013-11-17 at 8.08.49 PM
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VIDEO of the WEEK: Do Schools Kill Creativity?
Do Schools Kill Creativity? You decide. Please watch and discuss this video with your child.

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  • 18 – Motivational Magic with Steve Harmer – 1:00 p.m.
  • 19 – Community Forum – Curriculum and Communicating Student Learning 6:30 – 7:30 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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