Vanier News – November 23, 2013

This week at Georges Vanier:

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NEW FEATURE: Interesting People at Georges Vanier

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Screen Shot 2013-11-24 at 9.59.07 AMScreen Shot 2013-12-02 at 7.35.03 PM

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We’ve been talking a lot about math this past week! There are changes to the math curriculum, we will be sharing your child’s learning in math in ways other than test and quiz results, and we have a SUPER turnout for our math night this past Thursday evening. Thank you to the many students and family members who attended.

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We know that every student is unique and thinking in a different way. That’s why it’s important to teacher many strategies so that students have different tools to solve problems. One of the best parts of the work I do is being able to visit many classrooms and take part in the learning taking place. On Friday, I saw many math strategies being learned in Mrs. Silversides’ and Mrs. Copeland’s classrooms. Check it out!

Emma turns 9+4 into 10+3.

Emma turns 9+4 into 10+3.

Hillary subracts by adding

Hillary subracts by adding

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Thank you to the many parents, teachers, and students who participated in community forum on Tuesday, November 19th. It was an evening to discuss changes to the B.C. curriculum as well as changes to how we communicate student learning to parents. In case you were unable to attend, here is the presentation we shared that evening:

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PARENTING CORNER: Why report cards get an F
Author: Denise Balkissoon
Nine-year-old James Carr’s grades are neither terrible, nor amazing. Students at his Whitby, Ont., school are marked on a scale from A-plus to D-minus, and his report card is usually peppered with Bs and Cs. They’re decent marks, and his mom, Kathleen Crilly, would like to be happy with them. But she doesn’t quite understand what they’re for.

“I don’t know if he tried hard and still didn’t do well, or didn’t try at all,” she says. She describes his quarterly report cards as a list of marks and vague comments. Crilly calls James a “frustrating kid” — he usually aces tests, but he never does homework and rarely pays attention in class. His teachers have shared varying opinions of him: Some think he’s a genius, while others have implied he might have autism. Marks don’t give any insight into James’ learning process, says Crilly. “The report cards didn’t tell me anything I didn’t already know.”

Report cards are supposed to be a method for teachers to communicate with parents about how their child is performing. But in recent years, parents have complained that the multi-page documents sent home with their children are confusing and unhelpful. Things have gotten so bad that some parents and educators think elementary-school students shouldn’t get report cards at all.
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Students in the Learning Commons have been learning how to use Keynote App to share their learning about The Body and Extreme Weather. Division 7 and 8 have been blogging their presentations at
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Some classes have been learning about postage stamps. We are learning how to identify country of origin and explore ways to categorize and organize our collections. Some classes have been given mini albums and starter sets of stamps. Sets will also be available for students who choose to attend a lunch time club. Meeting dates yet to be decided.

We are lucky to have so many students from around the world at Georges Vanier. We decided to celebrate that with a video based on the book “Whoever You Are” by Mem Fox. Many thanks to all of the students who participated.

Anna Crosland M.Ed. – Teacher Librarian

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What 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 29th.

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VIDEO of the WEEK:
Watch in awe as this mom and baby overcome challenges, persevere, and show the incredible love that exists between parent and child.

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  • 25 – Monthly Math Challenge DUE – Box at Office
  • 25-29 – Flashlight reading – Learning Commons
  • 26 – PAC Popcorn Day
  • 29 – Innovation Week Applications DUE – Office
  • 29 – Assembly – 1:45 p.m.


  • 3 – PAC Meeting- 9:00 a.m. – Staffroom
  • 6 – Powerplay Show – Gym – 9:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
  • 6 – Poinsettia Orders Due
  • 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.
  • 16 – Poinsettia Pick Up – PM – Time TBD
  • 17 – PAC Hot Lunch – Pizza
  • 18 – Winter Concerts – 1:00 and 7:00 p.m.
  • 20 – Last day of classes before holidays
  • 20 – Christmas Dances


  • 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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