The Power to Enrich

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Taking Learning to New Heights!

Posted by tarasly April - 15 - 2014 0 Comment
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Guest Blog: Tara Sly, RVS Teacher – The BVHS Outdoor Leadership (ODL) 30 backcountry ski tour to Mount Assiniboine from Mar. 27 to Apr. 1, 2014, was a tremendous success! It is the last ODL field trip these grade 12 students will take in their high school years, and it was amazing! The group enjoyed 40 centimetres of fresh snow on top of the 220 centimetres, as they set out to  [ Read More ]

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Kids These Days – Raising $150 K For Charity

Posted by rockyviewstudent April - 9 - 2014 1 Comment
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Guest Blog – GMHS Student Erin Stadnyk, Chair of Communications, Ride of the Mustang – The phrase “kids these days” is a complaint that frequents conversations around the world. But what do people really know of the children they criticize? No one knows what the future generation will accomplish; however, it appears that most people do not have a lot of faith in the generation of tomorrow. However, the children  [ Read More ]

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Are Leaders Born or Taught?

Posted by toddbrand April - 8 - 2014 0 Comment
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Guest Blog: Ward 3 Trustees Todd Brand and Sylvia Eggerer – In leadership circles, one frequent topic of conversation is whether leaders are born or taught. It’s safe to assume most people’s answer would fall somewhere along the spectrum rather than at either extreme. Certainly our personality characteristics, our DNA hard wiring, has an influence on the type of person we become. Even at a young age we see some  [ Read More ]

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Rick Mercer’s Visit – A Student Perspective

Posted by rockyviewstudent April - 2 - 2014 2 Comments
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Guest Blog: Keiran & Sable, Gr. 4 Students - Rick Mercer came to our school because our school won the Spread the Net Challenge. Spread the Net is a fundraiser that some of the schools in Canada participated in to help raise money to get special nets. The special nets go to Africa so that when people that live there go to sleep the mosquitoes don’t bite them. The mosquitos bring a  [ Read More ]

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Spreading the Word to “Spread the Net”

Posted by jpoole April - 1 - 2014 1 Comment
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Guest Blog: Judi Poole & Lindsay Leptich, RVS Teachers - Each year, École Elbow Valley Elementary (EEVE) chooses to support both a local and a global charity. This year, the Plan Canada Spread the Net initiative helped us define how EEVE was to be globally aware, highlighting one of the RVS 21st century competencies. The fundraiser called ‘Budding Artists’ kicked off our initiative and became the catalyst towards building our “charity  [ Read More ]

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W.H. Croxford – High School Redesign

Posted by toddkiernan March - 28 - 2014 1 Comment
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Guest Blog: Todd Kiernan, Principal, W.H. Croxford School – Perhaps the most exciting aspect of opening a new high school is the opportunity available to us through Alberta Education’s Inspiring Education document. Add to this participation in the ministry’s High School Redesign project, it becomes clear – learners in the new high school will have the ability to help shape what schools will look like in the future. For over two years,  [ Read More ]

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East Lake School – Preparing to Open a New School

Posted by valmurdoff March - 27 - 2014 0 Comment
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Guest Blog: Val Murdoff, Principal, East Lake School – What an exciting time for planning a new school! What does it involve? Is it similar to redesigning a current school?  I think yes. Early on, one must develop a philosophical, pedagogical framework to guide all work in a school. What does this mean? Clear plans include a foundation for relationship building, a way to identify and enhance the qualities and  [ Read More ]

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Guest Blog: Jim Forrest, Principal, C.W. Perry School – As I reflect on the initial steps that have been taken to open C.W. Perry, it is impossible not to be struck by the breadth and scope of the endeavor. On one hand we have the vision; on the other, the pragmatics of it all. Much of the vision’s form and content in Rocky View is already remarkably well defined. RVS  [ Read More ]

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The 2015-2018 Capital Plan

Posted by johnwheatley March - 25 - 2014 1 Comment
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Guest Blog: John Wheatley, Director of Facility Planning - Spring is sprung, the grass is ris. I wonder where the birdies is!  Okay… so far no spring, but there is a rite of passage that marks this season for school authorities. There are only three opportunities to actually address shortcomings in our learning environments. The annual Infrastructure Maintenance and Renewal (IMR) funding is intended to provide safe and healthy learning environments. School  [ Read More ]

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Fine Arts Day – Better than Christmas!

Posted by rockyviewstudent March - 14 - 2014 1 Comment
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Guest Blog – Sadie, Grade 7 Student – Banded Peak School had their 3rd annual Fine Arts day on January 23, 2014. Students in all grades around the school enjoyed many different types of arts, including: felting fun for the kindergartens and grade 2s; balloon twisting was offered to grades 3-6; and bucket drumming for grades 7-8. The art courses offered to students were a great way for the school  [ Read More ]

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Fine Arts at a Fine School

Posted by rockyviewstudent March - 14 - 2014 0 Comment
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RVS Guest Author: Blake, Grade 8 Student-  The 3rd Annual Fine Arts Day was held on January 23, 2014. The event started at the beginning of the day at my school – Banded Peak. It started off by each student receiving a special Fine Arts Day shirt to show their appreciation for the fun day. The students headed out to rooms all across the school to experience different arts and  [ Read More ]

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A Lagoon Full of Ideas

Posted by rockyviewstudent March - 11 - 2014 0 Comment
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Guest Blog:  Julie, Rocky View Student  – At Banded Peak School, on Monday, December 16th, the creative juices really started flowing. When everyone was called to a school-wide assembly, no one had any idea why. Definitely no one expected what happened next. Every student in every grade was given an opportunity to actually make a difference in their community. To participate in a project that went beyond the standard “me”  [ Read More ]

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Empowering Youth Through Video

Posted by saradrennan March - 6 - 2014 3 Comments
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Guest Author: Sara Drennan, Teacher, George McDougall High School – February 20 was declared World Justice Day by the UN in 2007, and every year since then it has been celebrated. This year Secretary-General of the UN, Ban Ki-Moon, delivered a message about removing the barrier of inequality to human dignity. He said that we must ensure that the voices of the poor and marginalized are heard to empower individuals.  [ Read More ]

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Claymation: Rolling English and Science into One Project

Posted by rockyviewstudent March - 5 - 2014 3 Comments
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Guest Blog – Eric, Grade 9 Student – My name is Eric. I am in Grade 9. In the first semester this year, my classmates and I had to do a project that combined facts and principles we learned my Science class with a novel we read in my English class. We combined these into a claymation video. This was the first time I have ever done one project that  [ Read More ]

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Building Futures – Adam and Nate’s Perspective

Posted by rockyviewstudent February - 27 - 2014 1 Comment
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 Building Futures and School: What’s the Difference? – Adam, Grade 10 Student – Building Futures and school: what’s the difference? With normal school, it’s usually the same stuff every day. With Building Futures, you never know what you will be doing the day ahead. Instead of working on what everyone else is working on, you get to work on what you need to get done or whatever subject you need  [ Read More ]

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Building Futures – Christina and Erinn’s Perspective

Posted by rockyviewstudent February - 26 - 2014 0 Comment
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Succeeding Outside of School – Christina, Grade 10 Student -First and foremost, being in Building Futures has made my grades go so much higher. It’s not just sitting in a classroom with a desk in front of you, worrying about a scheduled bell. The scheduled bell puts pressure on you to get your work done in that certain period of time. Your teachers aren’t yelling at you saying you have  [ Read More ]

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Building Futures – Daryenne and Christina’s Perspectives

Posted by rockyviewstudent February - 25 - 2014 0 Comment
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The Building Futures Experience – Daryenne, Grade 10 Student – When we walk through the garage door we never know what our day will entail. There is no mapped-out schedule to follow and to get bored with after redundancy ensues. Behind the sound of crunching dirt, beneath the tires of trucks, lie an exciting day of work and a new experience ahead. From dry walling one day, to installing light  [ Read More ]

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Building Futures – One Nail at a Time

Posted by edpolhill February - 12 - 2014 4 Comments
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Guest Blog – Ed Polhill, Principal of George McDougall High School – When two of my teachers approached me last spring and proposed their idea to take 32, grade 10 students off campus for a year and teach them their entire curriculum while building a house, my first thought was, “What could possibly go wrong with this plan?”.  Although there were many obvious logistical details to consider, I didn’t hesitate  [ Read More ]

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All Great Fires Start with a Spark

Posted by rockyviewstudent February - 12 - 2014 0 Comment
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Guest Blog: Nicolas, Rocky View Student – When I was told that I would be making a proper exhibit for an actual science center, I was overjoyed. It only took a few days of brainstorming to really hit me. I would be in a science center, with 1,500 people that would be looking at my project, and actually judging me, based on the project. So my group worked as hard  [ Read More ]

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Telus Spark: Skills and Passion Lead to Success

Posted by nicolejohnston February - 11 - 2014 Comments Off
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Guest Author – Nicole Johnston, Teacher, George McDougall High School – The Telus Spark project gave my Science 14/24 students an opportunity to experience first-hand that success from school is more than just a mark on an exam. Their success came from collaboration, hard work, perseverance, and the courage to work outside their comfort zone. Most of these students had never had the opportunity to experience these skills before. Like  [ Read More ]

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Will You Choose To Care?

Posted by ashleylepage February - 4 - 2014 1 Comment
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Guest Author: Ashley Lepage, Grade 8 teacher at Ralph McCall School – Last year, the Grade 7 and 8 teachers at Ralph McCall School sought to plan a project that would engage students in meaningful and authentic learning in the last couple of weeks of the school year…not exactly an easy task! The Grade 7 students participated in a project designed around environmental stewardship. In the hopes of having students  [ Read More ]

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We’re an IB World School!

Posted by Jen Friske January - 28 - 2014 1 Comment
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Guest Author: Jennifer Friske, Prairie Waters School teacher – Prairie Waters School recently received some very exciting news! Officially, we are now an International Baccalaureate (IB) World School, offering the Primary Years Programme! The International Baccaluareate was founded in 1968 in Geneva, Switzerland, and its main focus is on developing Internationally-Minded students who are action-oriented and deep critical thinkers. We started investigating becoming an IB World School four years ago,  [ Read More ]

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Developing Confidence Through Drama

Posted by rockyviewstudent January - 21 - 2014 2 Comments
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Guest Author: Seonae, Springbank Middle School student – Drama teaches students lots of things. It helps us learn how to cooperate and act around others in a group, even if we don’t know each other. It teaches us how to have fun, yet still be on-task. It also gives us an idea of what it would be like to be in someone else’s shoes. Drama also has a lot of  [ Read More ]

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Learning, Laughing And Growing Through Drama

Posted by evaknight January - 20 - 2014 3 Comments
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Guest Author: Eva Knight, Springbank Middle School Drama Teacher – This year Springbank Middle School has embarked on a creative journey by expanding the fine arts program to include drama classes for all Grade 5 and 6 students. This program will be the building blocks for the already existing Grade 7 and 8 Drama option, and for the newly minted Glee Club option. For the past six years I have  [ Read More ]

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Link Crew A Success

Posted by rockyviewstudent December - 12 - 2013 4 Comments
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RVS Guest Author: Anna M., Student – All of my life I have imagined high school and what it would be like to finally be seen as a young adult. In my mind, It was an enormous rite of passage. Grade eight finally ended, and I was left with the whole summer to think about grade nine. High school was on my mind more and more with each day that  [ Read More ]

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Link Leader – An Incredible Opportunity

Posted by rockyviewstudent December - 11 - 2013 2 Comments
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RVS Guest Author – Regan D., Student -  This year, I got the opportunity to be involved in the Link Crew program at Bert Church High School. It was an incredible opportunity to meet and get to know the Grade nines that were coming into our school. For me, it brought back the memories of my first day in Grade nine, and the fear I felt going into a school  [ Read More ]

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Making Learning Visible

Posted by Joshua Hill December - 3 - 2013 0 Comment
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Guest Author: Josh Hill, RVS 21st Century Learning Specialist – In my role as a Learning Specialist I am so fortunate to have the opportunity to see the amazing learning students engage in across our division. I have come to understand that one of the most valuable things I can bring to support teachers in designing learning is the ability to connect them to the work of one another. In  [ Read More ]

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The Path To Greater Learning

Posted by dwmorris November - 27 - 2013 0 Comment
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Guest Author: Dave Morris, Associate Superintendent of Learning – Throughout the fall, we have invited parents to provide feedback on our new Communication of Student Learning process, designed to deliver on the direction outlined in board policy. While the path to a process that reflects greater emphasis on formative assessment seems like a long one for the countless teachers and administrators involved in designing it, to parents, it all seems  [ Read More ]

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Rough roads lead to rewarding destinations

Posted by leeelliott November - 26 - 2013 0 Comment
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Guest Author: Lee Elliott, RVS Staff – Winston Churchill said, “To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often.” “Change” however, “does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle,” according to Martin Luther King Jr. Change was in the air Thursday evening, Nov. 21 as the Board of Trustees hosted Parent Council representatives for a joint session and lively discussion of  [ Read More ]

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Warriors Help Others

Posted by rockyviewstudent November - 20 - 2013 6 Comments
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Guest Authors: Glenbow School, Roots and Wings students – Yesterday, one of our teachers wrote about our project ‘Warrior Paint’.  These are the Roots and Wings Kid’s words about the project: Our ancestors have messages of hope that need to be heard today. Through the paintings and the photographs on them, we made the messages come to life. These messages need to be heard by Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people.  An  [ Read More ]

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Warrior Paint: A Culture Of Caring

Posted by sherririnkelmackay November - 19 - 2013 2 Comments
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Guest Author: Sherri Rinkel Mackay, Teacher at Glenbow School – Last year, around Remembrance Day, Cochrane heard a plea for help from the Lyahrhe Nakoda Food Bank in Morley. The food bank simply does not have enough food to meet the needs of their population. The stress on the food bank was and is enormous with 80 percent of adults on the reserve unemployed. Now, with more than 300 families  [ Read More ]

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An Open Letter to Education

Posted by rockyviewstudent October - 9 - 2013 14 Comments
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RVS Guest Author: a Grade 11 student in Rocky View Schools - I hear that Alberta Education is revamping curriculum. While I am almost finished my school experience and by the time it is done I will be on to the next phase of my life, I want to offer some advice. Having experienced every grade, every topic, I think I have something to offer as I, like my classmates, are  [ Read More ]

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The 90/10 Rule – Shifting the Emphasis of Assessment

Posted by lesliecollings October - 8 - 2013 5 Comments
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RVS Guest Author: Leslie Collings, Director of 21st Century Learning– “When do we ever get a chance to get better at something without being graded?” This comment was posed to me by a student several years ago and stopped me in my tracks. Why do we place so much emphasis on marks? I believe it has much to do with our belief that students are motivated by the reward of getting  [ Read More ]

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What Do You Like Best About RVS?

Posted by lornareynolds September - 24 - 2013 12 Comments
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RVS Guest Author: Lorna Reynolds, Communications Designer – When this blog topic was presented to me, my initial thoughts were, hmmm, this assumes a couple of things: one, that there is something or some things I like about RVS, and two, that I will be able to identify those ‘likes’ and prioritize them in some fashion. Oh no, a dreaded list! (A recent lunchtime conversation led me to confess to  [ Read More ]

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What’s Your Experience Been?

Posted by justinacontenti September - 23 - 2013 9 Comments
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RVS Guest Author: Justina Contenti, Communications Officer – Much like walking into the classroom for the first day of school, starting a new job can be intimidating. There are new people, new routines, new rules and often a whole new set of skills to commit to memory. This September, as students across the school division were taking the next step in their educational journey, I was taking the next step  [ Read More ]

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Renewing our commitment to RVS learners

Posted by susanwilliams September - 9 - 2013 0 Comment
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RVS Guest Author – Susan Williams, Acting Superintendent of Schools – Something magical hangs in the air in September. You can see it in the bright faces of kindergarten students as they enter their very first classroom. You can hear it in the voices of parents when they pop by to meet their child’s teacher. And you can feel it in the excitement of staff as they discuss plans for  [ Read More ]

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RVS Continues to Shine

Posted by susanwilliams June - 21 - 2013 0 Comment
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RVS Guest Author: Susan Williams, Acting Superintendent of Schools – What an amazing year it’s been in Rocky View Schools! The energy and spirit of our people, combined with ‘can do’ attitudes when it comes to change and innovation, continues to lead us forward! Through the work of 1800 plus engaged employees, a team of dedicated trustees, and more than 40,000 parents who want the best learning environment possible for  [ Read More ]

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Inspired Collaboration

RVS Guest Author: Josh Hill, Learning Specialist – It is really exciting to be an Albertan right now, as we collaboratively embark on a transformational vision outlined in Inspiring Education. In many ways in Rocky View Schools, we are on the leading edge of this wave, and it is gratifying to know that other teachers, schools, and school authorities are learning from our experience. The alignment of our transformational agenda  [ Read More ]

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Eat Pie, Learn Pi!

Posted by rockyviewstudent June - 18 - 2013 0 Comment
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RVS Guest Author: Kira, Grade 8 Student – Pi Day was March 14, Einstein’s birthday, as well as 3.14. The celebration officially started at 1:59, and my school had an all-day event. It started by selling over 60 pies for $3.14 a slice. We raised around $900 for the school’s project for building a water well in Nicaragua. My school’s goal is to raise $10,000 for this cause. This shows how  [ Read More ]

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A Culture of Sharing

Posted by Richard Gaudio June - 17 - 2013 1 Comment
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RVS Guest Author – Richard Gaudio, RVS Multimedia Specialist: There are amazing things going on in teaching and learning in Rocky View Schools, but sometimes it’s hard to know about them unless we share them with each other. One of the most engaging aspects of my work this year has been to explore ways for us to share knowledge, experience and best practice through multimedia. The result of this exploration is  [ Read More ]

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How I Teach a New App to Students

Posted by tmorris June - 14 - 2013 0 Comment
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RVS Guest Author: Thea Morris, Teacher, Elbow Valley Elementary – How do I teach a new app to students? I don’t… Well, sort of… Let me explain…. With productivity apps like iMovie, Keynote, Pages, iA Writer, and Show Me, I give the students time to explore and ‘play’ with the app prior to a learning activity that I know is coming up that will be using a particular app. I  [ Read More ]

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TEDxRockyViewSchoolsED

Posted by Richard Gaudio June - 13 - 2013 0 Comment
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Guest Author: Richard Gaudio, RVS Multimedia Specialist. A couple of months ago we announced that Rocky View Schools would be hosting its own TEDx event. The goal is to bring together RVS students, teachers, and leaders to create, share, and stimulate dialogue about teaching, learning and education. We want members of the Rocky View community to share their passion, ideas and talent with Rocky View and the TEDx global community. It’s going  [ Read More ]

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A Celebration of Rocky View!

Posted by johnsimmons June - 12 - 2013 1 Comment
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RVS Guest Author: John Simmons, Substitute Teacher – If Rocky View Schools is representative of education in Alberta, then let’s sing the praises of education! I have had a front-row view of education for over 30 years. I began teaching for RVS in 1979. I taught full-time for 22 years, left for a couple of years, then returned as a substitute teacher nearly a decade ago. I continue in that  [ Read More ]

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Indus Defends its ‘Ultimate’ Title

Posted by anthonygreen June - 11 - 2013 0 Comment
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RVS Guest Author: Anthony Green, Teacher, Indus School – For the second year, Indus School has gone undefeated in the Calgary Youth Ultimate Tournament (CYUT). Youth level play is, for the most part, students up to Grade 9. The day started out cool, and wet and getting wetter by the minute. The original venue for the tournament, Calgary Rugby Union, closed its fields due to rain. So in typical Ultimate  [ Read More ]

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A Message to Cochrane High Graduates

Posted by colleenmunro June - 10 - 2013 0 Comment
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RVS Guest Author: Colleen Munro, Trustee, Ward 5  - On May 11, 2013, Trustee Munro gave an inspiring speech to Cochrane High’s graduating class of 2013. Her speech serves as a good reminder for all of us to take the time to make the most of our life’s journey, wherever it may take us! To Cochrane’s graduating class of 2013 – Journey. Such a simple word or idea. The Oxford Canadian  [ Read More ]

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I’m a Rocky View Kid!

Posted by andreacraigie June - 7 - 2013 7 Comments
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RVS Guest Author: Andrea Craigie, Assistant Principal, R.J. Hawkey Elementary – “I’m a Rocky View kid!” This refrain is becoming more and more common. Not only in the context of our growing division, but also as it relates to the number of my colleagues who work for RVS, and did all of their schooling here as well. It is the eve of my 25-year high school reunion and I’m feeling  [ Read More ]

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The Importance of Teamwork on School Council

Posted by julianneharvey June - 6 - 2013 0 Comment
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RVS Guest Author: Julianne Harvey, Crossfield Parent and Volunteer - I joined school council at Crossfield Elementary School in September 2012 as the Communications Representative. I didn’t know much about school council before this year, but I see now how valuable an active and dynamic council made up of engaged parents can be. In March, we invited a rep from the Alberta School Councils’ Associations to help us with goal setting  [ Read More ]

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Variations on a Gene

Posted by traceysweetapple June - 5 - 2013 0 Comment
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RVS Guest Author: Tracey Sweetapple, Guidance Counsellor, Bert Church High School – Of late, there has been much research emerging about ADHD, autism, depression, bipolar and schizophrenia. All research indicates these mental health conditions are variations on a gene and are closely related. In fact, current research also shows that 80 percent of all mental health conditions and learning disabilities have ADHD as a co-morbid (co-existing) condition. Why then all  [ Read More ]

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Little School on the Prairie

Posted by rockyviewstudent June - 4 - 2013 12 Comments
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RVS Guest Author: Lisa, Grade 7 Student – Kathyrn School is a small school, but we still get everything all the big schools get and more! Kathyrn is a small school in which all the students get to know each other. I feel safe at my school, and I know that I’m welcome. It’s also a nice feeling to know everyone who you walk by in the hallways. The relationships  [ Read More ]

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21st Century Organization

Posted by rockyviewstudent June - 3 - 2013 0 Comment
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RVS Guest Author: Max, Grade 8 Student – Have you ever forgotten that something is due, because you were not reminded of it or you did not have the USB drive with you when you could work on it? Well, you can’t have those days anymore because of all the different the ways to have everything, everywhere. With iCloud, Google Drive (you can also share easily), Dropbox or even if  [ Read More ]

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RVS’ Super is Super!

Posted by dwmorris May - 30 - 2013 0 Comment
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RVS Guest Author: Dave Morris, Associate Superintendent of Learning – What has made Greg Bass a memorable Superintendent for Rocky View Schools? This week, Rocky View Schools’ (RVS) blog site, The Power to Enrich, has featured a number of blog “tails” about our soon-to-be former Superintendent of Schools Greg Bass. As many of you already know, Greg has been appointed the Deputy Minister of Education for Alberta and starts June  [ Read More ]

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Another ‘Tail’ About Greg Bass

Posted by rockyraccoon May - 29 - 2013 4 Comments
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RVS Guest Author: Rocky Raccoon, RVS Official Mascot – In my first blog, “Paws to Paper”, I wrote about my adventures as the Division’s mascot. This blog tells a different ‘tail’. It’s a story about a leader who is more than just a businessman, and how his willingness to work at the grassroots level brought me to life. In case you hadn’t guessed, the ‘leader’ I’m referring to is our  [ Read More ]

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Greg Bass – A Change Catalyst

Posted by pamdavidson May - 28 - 2013 1 Comment
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RVS Guest Author: Pam Davidson, Principal, Bert Church High School – May is the beginning of graduation ‘season’ in high schools, when we take time to formally celebrate students’ achievements as they transition out of school and into ‘the real world’. As we learned two weeks ago, our Superintendent Greg Bass, is ‘graduating’ from Rocky View Schools and it seems apropos that we take time to reflect on aspects of  [ Read More ]

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The Guy with the Tie

Posted by lornareynolds May - 24 - 2013 3 Comments
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RVS Guest Author: Lorna Reynolds, Communications Designer – I have had the privilege of being ‘office’ neighbours with our Superintendent of Schools, Greg Bass, for the past six years and have come to know and appreciate many things about him. This ‘guy with the tie’ arrived in Rocky View in 2007 with a vision of what he wanted to accomplish – to transform RVS from ‘good to great’ by instilling  [ Read More ]

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A 21st Century Approach

Posted by rockyviewstudent May - 23 - 2013 19 Comments
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RVS Guest Author: Erin D., Grade 8 Student – “Your job, for this project, is to pick which invention you believe is the most important light-involving technology, and prove why.” As soon as I heard my teacher explain our new project, I immediately knew that I wanted to prove that the camera is the best light-involving invention, through an iMovie. I chose this particular technology and way of presenting it  [ Read More ]

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Specialized and Targeted Intervention Strategies

Posted by kristymcconnell May - 22 - 2013 0 Comment
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RVS Guest Author: Kristy McConnell, Provisional Psychologist – The previous blog to this two-part submission addressed supports for students with behaviour challenges within the classroom at the universal level of support. Classroom and school-wide approaches such as those described in the previous blog are effective in addressing a number of concerns; however, some students require supports that are more targeted in order to assist them in being successful in the  [ Read More ]

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Reading Our Way to Freedom

Posted by andrewdoyle May - 21 - 2013 0 Comment
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RVS Guest Author: Andrew Doyle, Teacher, Glenbow Elementary – As mentioned in my previous post “Lighting Fires” I had the opportunity to listen and speak with David Bouchard. I know many other teachers who also have had this opportunity and who have gained nothing but inspiration from his stories. I gained two very important understandings from his address to the group of teachers that was focused on issues of Diversity, Equity  [ Read More ]

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An Evening of Hope

Posted by rockyviewstudent May - 17 - 2013 1 Comment
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RVS Guest Author: Taylor B., Grade 11 Student – On Apr. 26, 2013, Bow Valley High School’s Leadership Team put on its 6th annual Evening of Hope. The Evening of Hope is a charity gala held at our school each year. The evening consisted of a guest speaker, musical performances, a student fashion show, fun money casino, raffle, and silent auction. It is always a fun-filled evening that is both enlightening  [ Read More ]

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Building Relationships with ELL Families

Posted by learningsupportteam May - 16 - 2013 0 Comment
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RVS Guest Authors: The Rainbow Creek Elementary Learning Support Team (Laura McArthur, Principal, Dawn Rife, Assistant Principal, Susan Sellan, Resource Teacher, Jill Lloyd, Early Literacy Teacher, Steffi Kynoch, Child Development, and Darcey Campbell, ESL Teacher) – On a Friday morning at Rainbow Creek Elementary, it is not uncommon to see a grandmother whose first language is Punjabi and a mother whose first language is Vietnamese link arms as they stroll  [ Read More ]

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Getting Up Close and Personal with Nature

Posted by nancypollard May - 15 - 2013 1 Comment
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RVS Guest Authors: Nancy Pollard, Teacher, and Kimberley P., Grade 8 student, Manachaban Middle School – As Richard Louve says, “Children need nature for the healthy development of their senses, and, therefore, for learning and creativity. This need is revealed in two ways: by an examination of what happens to the senses of the young when they lose connection with nature, and by witnessing the sensory magic that occurs when young people  [ Read More ]

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Out of Africa

Posted by amilieplourde May - 14 - 2013 1 Comment
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RVS Guest Author: Amilie Plourde, Teacher, École Airdrie Middle School – Last summer was my first teaching experience in Kenya, a country very different from the country that I currently live in. This summer, I will return to Kenya with eight teachers who are participating a project co-sponsored through the Alberta Teachers’ Association and the Me to We Free the Children initiative called Me to We Kenya PD Pilot. My  [ Read More ]

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RTI for Supporting Students with Behaviour Challenges

Posted by kristymcconnell May - 13 - 2013 0 Comment
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RVS Guest Author: Kristy McConnell, Provisional Psychologist – The following two-part blog is intended to help conceptualize what supports at different levels of the RTI pyramid look like, for supporting student with behavioural challenges. The first part of this blog will address universal supports for students, while the second blog (to be published at a later date) will look at targeted and specialized interventions. Knowing how to support students with  [ Read More ]

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Creating a Connected Classroom

Posted by Jen Friske May - 10 - 2013 0 Comment
Global Classroom

RVS Guest Blog, Jen Friske, Teacher Prairie Waters  – Part of my professional growth plan for this school year was to transform my kindergarten classroom into a connected classroom. Part of this task involved my own playtime in getting familiar with Twitter, Skype and Blogging. While I’ve had a personal blog for a few years now, I was curious how to best use a blog format within my classroom to  [ Read More ]

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Where Does Your SCHOOL Fall on the Continuum?

Posted by johnlaing May - 9 - 2013 1 Comment
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RVS Guest Blog: Family School Liaison John Laing -  On Nov. 12, 2012, I posted a blog with a similar title. That blog was intended to open up a discussion about one of the most important underlying factors to the successful implementation of inclusion. Toward that end, I discussed the importance of self-reflection regarding our own beliefs about disability, as well as our role in taking responsibility for meeting the  [ Read More ]

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RVS Guest Author: Doug Sanden, Airdrie Resident – I just learned that the topic of innovation is being taught within Rocky View Schools. As a member of the local community studying the topic of innovation, a few questions popped into my mind: Q1. How long has innovation been taught in RVS (and am I the last person in the region to catch on to this)? Q2. What aspects of the  [ Read More ]

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Bow Valley’s Leading Ladies

Posted by rockyviewstudent May - 7 - 2013 1 Comment
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RVS Guest Author: Lizzy D., Grade 11 Student – This past week, the Bow Valley High School leadership students had the pleasure of hosting 13 ladies from Big Hill Lodge Seniors Center at our school. They arrived in the morning and were greeted by some of Bow Valley’s welcoming leadership team. The ladies were given a tour of the school and were amazed by how similar schools are from when  [ Read More ]

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Light Fires

Posted by andrewdoyle May - 6 - 2013 0 Comment
Children

RVS Guest Author: Andrew Doyle, Teacher, Glenbow Elementary – In April I had the privilege of attending a conference in Edmonton on Diversity, Equity and Human Rights issues in schools. The keynote speaker at the conference was author, teacher and inspirational speak David Bouchard. David came in and in true fashion (according to those who have heard him before) was as kind with his time as he was generous in spirit.  [ Read More ]

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Where are We Going with Digital Resources?

Posted by dwmorris May - 3 - 2013 2 Comments
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RVS Guest Author: Dave Morris, Associate Superintendent of Learning – One incredible challenge in being a leader of 21st Century leaning is how to approach the use of digital resources in classrooms. I believe that Alberta Education and many school jurisdictions are also struggling with this issue as well. Do we purchase and license resources? Do we try to collect suitable resources for teachers into repositories? Are online textbooks the  [ Read More ]

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Attitude Drives Action

Posted by chaelwyper May - 2 - 2013 0 Comment
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RVS Guest Author: Chael Wyper, Principal, Indus School – We often hear about the term attitude. Although the word is frequently used in the sense that an “attitude” is negative, it is actually just the general demeanor a person has toward a person, place, thing, idea, or event. A person’s attitude is extremely important, much more important than just making that person more pleasant to be around. Simply put, attitude  [ Read More ]

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Community Collaboration = The Power to Enrich!

Posted by sarahmorrison May - 1 - 2013 0 Comment
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RVS Guest Author: Sarah Morrison, Teacher, Crossfield Elementary – This year at Crossfield Elementary School, our committees were formed and included not only staff members, but community members as well. The collaboration between school and community enriched this year’s Story Week to an unforgettable level for students. Organization meetings created opportunities for all students to get involved and learn about Stories from Around our World! This first display of community support  [ Read More ]

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Lazy or Just Unengaged? An interview with Marcia Tate

Posted by cameronmay April - 30 - 2013 4 Comments
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RVS Guest Author: Cameron May, Substitute Teacher  - “My son is certainly capable…” she paused for a moment, considering what she was about to say next, “he’s just lazy!” When my friend said that to me, I was immediately transported back to my childhood. For I too, struggled in school, and I remember how my mom would say the same thing about me, that I was lazy. It took me  [ Read More ]

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RVS Guest Author: Allan Elkin, Principal, Cochrane Christian Academy – A goal this year at my school is to examine ways that instructional design can increase student engagement. Thus, I am always looking for examples that demonstrate how students connect best with their learning. This past week, I read a news story about a group of students whose attempt to make a difference in their learning reminded me about the  [ Read More ]

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Walking the Wilderness While Learning to Love the Outdoors

Posted by rockyviewstudent April - 26 - 2013 44 Comments
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RVS Guest Authors: Ellie B. Jorja P. and Lauren E., Grade 4 Students – We think it’s great that our teacher takes us on weekly nature walks…don’t you agree? Our class goes to various places. Some of the places that we go to are: Cochrane Ranche; a small hill we call the “Otter Run”; the Spider Park; the Bow River; and much more! These places are outstanding! When 4K goes  [ Read More ]

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11 Habits of Effective Reading Teachers

Posted by anneglasgow April - 25 - 2013 0 Comment
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RVS Guest Author: Anne Glasgow, Psychologist – As a school psychologist, I have been assessing children with reading disabilities for 15 years throughout the Division and I noticed that we are fortunate to have excellent teachers who know how to teach reading effectively. I observed many teachers during reading instruction and I was impressed. I was able to see that they use the 11 highly effective teaching principles in reading  [ Read More ]

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Celebrating Cultural Diversity in Schools

Posted by melanieyanofsky April - 24 - 2013 0 Comment
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RVS Guest Author: Melanie Yanofsky, Literacy Learning Specialist – On April 17, 2013, I had the opportunity to attend a Cultural Fair at Prairie Waters Elementary School. The day started with a whole-school presentation in the gym. Students paraded around the room in a variety of traditional cultural dress. The parade took about 10 minutes and it was fantastic to see the students’ diverse cultural backgrounds. After the parade, the  [ Read More ]

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netWORK: From a Student’s Perspective

Posted by rockyviewstudent April - 23 - 2013 0 Comment
netWORK

Guest Authors: Stacey G., Natasha K., and Julianna P., Grade 10 Students - Rocky View Schools is committed to strengthening the relationships between its schools and the community. Through the implementation of extracurricular programs and opportunities presented to students that allow for them to work beyond the boundaries of their school, RVS has unified the schools encompassed by the division, creating an intertwined network of schools and students. A clear sense of  [ Read More ]

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What Can You Bring to the Table?

Posted by phyllismccallumhunter April - 22 - 2013 1 Comment
netWORK

RVS Guest Author: Phyllis McCallum-Hunter, Parent, and  member of RVS’ Superintendent Working Committee – Community Engagement – As a parent, I always have had an interest in being a part of the schools that my children attended. Although the opportunities in each school varied, I always felt as though my time spent was of value to both the school and myself. Over the past 16 years I have spent volunteering  [ Read More ]

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Creating Purpose in Student Learning

Posted by ryansiemens April - 19 - 2013 0 Comment
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RVS Guest Author: Ryan Siemens, Principal, Prairie Waters Elementary School, and member of RVS’ Superintendent Working Committee – Community Engagement – Can we have student engagement without authentic purpose? Recently, a friend of mine told me about a conversation that she had had with her son one evening, while they were going over his assigned homework. My friend struggled to understand the purpose and relevance of the work, so she  [ Read More ]

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School-Community Engagement via NetWORK

Posted by johnburger April - 18 - 2013 1 Comment
netWORK

RVS Guest Author: Dr. John Burger, Director of Schools and Chair of RVS’ Superintendent Working Committee-Community Engagement – Among the literature on effective schools is a review of 31 articles that examined the characteristics of school districts that have been successful in significantly improving outcomes for their student populations (Leithwood, 2010). Among the key factors was one that relates directly to the relationship between a school jurisdiction and its community,  [ Read More ]

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Community Engagement-Working Together to Add Value

Posted by gregbass April - 17 - 2013 0 Comment
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RVS Guest Author: Greg Bass, Superintendent of Schools – Rocky View Schools’ (RVS) first transformative strategic plan, Engaging 21st Century Learners, was built by 200 representative stakeholders, ranging from students, parents, community members, and trustees to principals, teachers, and support staff. I say “representatives” because their role was to liaise with the stakeholder groups they represented over a 16-month period. Our second and current strategic plan, The Power to Enrich, empowered  [ Read More ]

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Getting Down with Inquiry in Motown

Posted by melindacsak April - 16 - 2013 2 Comments
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RVS Guest Authors: Melinda Csak, Janet Chapman, and Adam Turner, Grade 3 Teachers, Prairie Waters Elementary – During our busy school year, most teachers dream of a winter getaway. We envision palm trees, lazy beach days, and a warm tropical breeze. Most educators wouldn’t dream of getting on a plane in February to fly across the continent to Detroit, Michigan, of all places. But we did! At the beginning of  [ Read More ]

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Collaboration at its “Tiniest”

Posted by Sarah Lewis April - 15 - 2013 2 Comments
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RVS Guest Authors: Sarah Lewis, Teacher, and Bryant, Grade 4 student - As a teacher with Rocky View Schools, I am tasked with ensuring that my students are 21st Century learners who exude creativity and who know how to collaborate. To learn more about 21st Century competencies in Rocky View Schools, visit the following link: http://abed.rockyview.ab.ca/learning/learners. I often make use of inspiration from my own life or events taking place around  [ Read More ]

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Blogging on the Brain

Posted by sarahmcnab April - 12 - 2013 6 Comments
blogbrain

RVS Guest Author: Sarah McNab, Communications Officer – I’ve got a confession to make. There are days when I don’t exactly love overseeing the Power to Enrich. There are even days when I refer to it as the bane of my existence. There, I admitted it. Isn’t that what blogging is all about – sharing your intimate thoughts with all of cyberspace? Now, before you judge me too harshly, hear  [ Read More ]

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School Readiness

Posted by lyndahemsworth April - 11 - 2013 1 Comment
Kindergarten

RVS Guest Author: Lynda Hemsworth, Early Intervention, Supervisor, and Psychologist – It is often at this time of the year when parents are asking the question, “What does my child need to know before they enter kindergarten in the fall?” The meaning of “school readiness” is often not agreed upon or understood. Parents typically want to know whether their child has the academic knowledge to succeed at school tasks. Teachers  [ Read More ]

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RVS Guest Author: Kristy McConnell, Provisional Psychologist – Two recent cases brought before the Supreme Court in the United States have brought the issue of gay marriage to the forefront. One case challenged Proposition 8 in California, a state ban on gay marriage, while the second questioned DOMA, the Defense of Marriage Act that was signed in 1996 by Bill Clinton. This act gave individual states the ability not to  [ Read More ]

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Taking the Temperature of “Zero”

Posted by bobrodgers April - 9 - 2013 3 Comments
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RVS Guest Author: Bob Rodgers, Assistant Principal, Beiseker Community School – My grandfather started teaching in a one-room school house in 1931. He told me many times that he made $861.00 that year and was happy to have a job during the great depression. He also would share stories about many of things that he was required to do that are no longer standard practice, including lighting the stove every  [ Read More ]

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Life Lessons in Leadership

Posted by rockyviewstudent April - 8 - 2013 1 Comment
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RVS Guest Author: Natalie A., Gr. 12 Student – From March 22 – 26, 2013, students from the Bow Valley Outdoor Leadership 30 Class embarked on the last outdoor field trip of their high school years! We spent five days backcountry skiing (70 kilometers!) and exploring Mount Assiniboine Provincial Park. During our trip, we tackled steep hills, learned snow science, and practiced avalanche beacon searches, all the while enjoying each  [ Read More ]

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Technology & Relationships: Two Sides of the Same Coin

Posted by traceysweetapple March - 28 - 2013 0 Comment
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RVS Guest Author: Tracey Sweetapple, Guidance Counsellor, Bert Church High School –  I make no bones about it. I love being a teacher and decided on this career path in Kindergarten, but I remarked to a colleague recently that had I been exposed to mass media and technology the way youth today are, perhaps I might have chosen a different career path. I did not state this lightly for despite  [ Read More ]

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One Step at a Time

Posted by wonyeewong March - 27 - 2013 5 Comments
snowshoeing

RVS Guest Author: Wonyee Wong, Learning Specialist – The juxtaposition of conviction and opportunity compelled me to hit the submit button. The deed is done and there is no turning back. On the first day of spring, I stretched out my abbreviated neck hibernating all winter to welcome the early signs of spring. There is agility in my gait though accompanied with the aches and pains of the weekend warrior.  [ Read More ]

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Help! They Want Me to Moodle!

Posted by Lucie Pratte March - 26 - 2013 0 Comment
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RVS Guest Author: Lucie Pratte, Learning Specialist – So, you are a teacher minding your own business in your classroom with your students when suddenly you are surrounded by an oodle/oogle attack! Google, Moodle, Doodle, and even Poodle (not a dog J) all demanding that you pay attention to them. What is a teacher to do? “Who you gonna call?” Hopefully you will call me, the Learning Specialist at your  [ Read More ]

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Leaders Creating Leaders

Posted by rockyviewstudent March - 25 - 2013 1 Comment
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RVS Guest Author: Brooke P., Grade 11 Student – On Mar. 8, 2013, Rocky View Leadership Academy’s second-year students Taylor B., Lucy E., Jordan E., Claire K., Will T., and myself  held the 6th Annual Middle School Leadership Conference (MSLC) at the Education Centre. The Rocky View Leadership Academy, founded by Bow Valley High Teachers Dorothy Karlson and Scott Thompson, is an opportunity for high school students from around our school division  [ Read More ]

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ULE’s and ABC’s

Posted by craigschwesinger March - 22 - 2013 3 Comments
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RVS Guest Author: Craig Schwesinger, Principal, Rocky View Community Learning Centre – Recently, one of the great teachers at the Rocky View Community Learning Centre shared a professional reflection with me, by stating that what she does as a teacher is “sell hope”. She had recently reviewed Daniel H. Pink’s “To Sell is Human – The Surprising Truth About Moving Others”, and provided me with a link to information about  [ Read More ]

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Behaviour Concerns in Class? Try Increasing Structure

Posted by tanakoszegi March - 21 - 2013 0 Comment
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RVS Guest Author: Tana Koszegi, Registered Psychologist – As a teacher for 14 years, I’ve tried and used endless strategies to maintain control of a busy classroom with some tricky students. Now, as an RVS school psychologist, an important part of my role is to consult with teachers regarding a variety of behavioral concerns. Usually these requests center around specific students; however many problems can be addressed through universal strategies without  [ Read More ]

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FI Adventures in Quebec

Posted by rockyviewstudent March - 20 - 2013 3 Comments
quebec

RVS Guest Author: Grade 8 Students – At 6:30 am on Feb. 13, 2013, 37 French Immersion students from École Airdrie Middle School gathered at the Calgary International Airport to board a flight to Quebec City. Needless to say, they were all very ecstatic and excited! This blog, written collectively by the Grade 8 travellers, is a detailed account of some of the students’ most memorable moments exploring one of  [ Read More ]

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Stargazing and Storytelling

Posted by rockyviewstudent March - 19 - 2013 2 Comments
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RVS Guest Author: Miranda S., Grade 9 Student – It’s not every day you get to talk to an astronaut in space. So you can only imagine what it was like being part of an experience like that. But speaking with Commander Hadfield was only a small part of what really happened! It all started out with a website called CurioCity that my teacher, Mrs. Lindsay Rous, stumbled upon. CurioCity  [ Read More ]

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Confessions of a Collaborator

Posted by Nancy Lake March - 18 - 2013 1 Comment
collaboration_puzzle

RVS Guest Author: Nancy Lake, Learning Specialist – I was SOOO nervous the first time I walked into the CBE Education Centre. I had been assigned to work on a collaborative digital resources project with four other School Divisions and Alberta Education. It’s one thing to work on your own project; but it was awkward to walk into a strange building to work with people I didn’t know. Would they  [ Read More ]

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Let’s Walk the Talk

Posted by angelaspanier March - 15 - 2013 2 Comments
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RVS Guest Author: Angela Spanier, Director of Communications – Doing what comes naturally is easy. But in the presence of a child, what comes naturally may not be the message we want to communicate. Raising children to have ‘good character’ is one of the most important roles that we, as the adults in society, must accept responsibility for and act upon. Whether we meet children on the street, in the  [ Read More ]

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A Journey to Undeniable

Posted by rockyviewstudent March - 14 - 2013 2 Comments
excellence

RVS Guest Authors: Samantha S., Rachel M., and Melanie B., Grade 12 Students, Bert Church High School - ¹High School noun: The scariest, most intimidating congregation of two words an individual will hear and have to conquer at some point in his or her life; four years of an individuals life that drastically change, mold, and sculpt one’s character, attitude, and life direction. High school·er / noun According to the definition of  [ Read More ]

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ULTIMATE – A New Sport for RVS!

Posted by anthonygreen March - 13 - 2013 0 Comment
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RVS Guest Author: Anthony Green, Teacher, Indus School – All around Rocky View, interest in Ultimate, a new sport for middle schools, is growing. Played with a disk (Frisbee is the best known brand), Ultimate is an exciting, fast moving game, which combines the best aspects of football, soccer, and basketball. It is a non-contact, competitive team sport that is distinguished by the spirit of the game (the principles of fair  [ Read More ]

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Teaching and Learning with Show Me

Posted by traceysweetapple March - 12 - 2013 0 Comment
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RVS Guest Author: Tracey Sweetapple, Guidance Counsellor, Bert Church High School – Some while ago, during the Professional Learning (PL) portion of our Bert Church High School staff meeting, Bobby Mathew, Learning Lead for the science department, gave a short presentation on the app Show Me. I had heard of Show Me and had previously downloaded and looked at some presentations, but hadn’t understood how versatile it could be and  [ Read More ]

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Honouring Culture and Language in our Classrooms

Posted by melanieyanofsky March - 11 - 2013 1 Comment
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RVS Guest Author – Melanie Yanofsky, Literacy Learning Specialist – Many teachers use ‘Literature Circles’, or a form of them in their classes. I attended a literacy conference in February and went to a session by Elizabeth Coelha on English Language Learning. She suggested various strategies on how to turn the Literature Circle into Multicultural Literature Circles. She suggested that teachers choose books on critical themes that are also based  [ Read More ]

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A Balanced Calendar – A Teacher’s Perspective

Posted by jordanflower March - 8 - 2013 3 Comments
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RVS Guest Author: Jordan Flower, Teacher, Ralph McCall School - I have taught at a few different schools over the course of my career, with my most recent move being to Ralph McCall School (RMS). After being at this school for three years, I have now experienced the benefits of a balanced calendar. Many former colleagues often wonder what it is like having a different schedule. At RMS, the question is  [ Read More ]

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A Moment of Engagement

Posted by nancydutchik March - 7 - 2013 1 Comment
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RVS Guest Author: Nancy Dutchik, Assistant Principal, Langdon School – Fly fishing is about more than taking a walk in nature or catching a fish. It is about planning, purposeful action, and reflection each time you enter the river with your fly fishing rod and gear. You look at the water, reading the seams and flow and studying the terrain, seeking areas of pocket water that looks promising for fish.  [ Read More ]

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TEDxRockyViewSchoolsED

Posted by Richard Gaudio March - 6 - 2013 1 Comment
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RVS Guest Author: Richard Gaudio, Learning Specialist - We are very pleased to announce that this fall, Rocky View Schools will host an official TEDx event at the RVS Education Centre.  The goal is to bring together RVS students, teachers, and leaders to create, share, and stimulate dialogue about teaching, learning and education. In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TED has created a program called TEDx. TEDx is a program of  [ Read More ]

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Keep Your Eye on the Ball!

Posted by gregbass March - 5 - 2013 1 Comment
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RVS Guest Author: Greg Bass, Superintendent of Schools - A six-year old steps up to bat in T-ball and invariably her coach tells her ‘keep your eye on the ball’. Metaphorically speaking, adults use this fundamental coaching statement to convey a message of ‘focus’. Compounded by folksy literature such as, “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff”, what we appear to be saying to one another is ‘to stay focused on what really  [ Read More ]

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What is Inquiry and Why Bother?

Posted by Barry Allen March - 4 - 2013 0 Comment
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RVS Guest Author: Barry Allen, Learning Specialist - “Inquiry is a dynamic process of being open to wonder and puzzlement and coming to know and understand the world. Inquiry is based on the belief that understanding is constructed in the process of people working and conversing together as they pose and solve the problems. It involves serious engagement and investigation and the active creation and testing of new knowledge.” Galileo Educational  [ Read More ]

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Finding Kindness

Posted by traceysweetapple March - 1 - 2013 4 Comments
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RVS Guest Author: Tracey Sweetapple, Guidance Counsellor, Bert Church High School – “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a battle.” Plato I recently attended a screening of the documentary “Finding Kind“ in which the notion that girls are catty, cruel, gossipy, and unkind to one another is explored. These pejoratives, along with far worse, are unhelpful in assisting girls and women to ‘find kindness’ that is, innately, at the core  [ Read More ]

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Adventures in Learning

Posted by steverepic February - 28 - 2013 4 Comments
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RVS Guest Author: Steve Repic, Grounds Coordinator - “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.” Mark Twain The glint in Maria’s eye told me that we were in for a treat when she exclaimed, “I hope you are very curious.” It wasn’t the excursion to Quito’s catacombs  [ Read More ]

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The Legacy of Jane

Posted by tcardinal February - 27 - 2013 0 Comment
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RVS Guest Author: Teresa Cardinal, FNMI Learning Specialist – As a parent and an educator, I often reflect back on my day and review the impact I have had on my children and on the people I work with. What legacy do I leave behind? This got me to thinking about a few women who have had an impact on me and who coincidentally are all named Jane! Jane Austen and  [ Read More ]

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RVS Celebration of Learning – Inquiry

Posted by Richard Gaudio February - 26 - 2013 3 Comments
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RVS Guest Author: Richard Gaudio, Learning Specialist In Rocky View, we are continuing to foster a culture of sharing best practices in teaching and learning through our Celebration of Learning events. This February, RVS hosted its second Celebration of Learning on the theme of Inquiry, featuring engaging and inspiring talks from RVS Learning Specialist Josh Hill, Muriel Clayton’s Mark Turner, Banded Peak’s Craig Churchill and Carmen Harford, and Bow Valley High’s  [ Read More ]

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Minecraft or MINDcraft?

Posted by davidsmith February - 25 - 2013 7 Comments
Colorful cubes on a white background.

RVS Guest Author: David Smith, Principal, Langdon School – Some months back as I was walking down the hall in our school, I came across a boy who was playing a game called Minecraft on our school computer. My assumption initially was that this student was off topic, however I was completely wrong. I pulled up a chair and sat down beside this gentleman. With his left hand he was  [ Read More ]

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Lunch & Learn: Daytime PL Opportunities

Posted by learningsupportteam February - 15 - 2013 0 Comment
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RVS Guest Authors: The Rainbow Creek Elementary Learning Support Team (Laura McArthur, Principal, Dawn Rife, Assistant Principal, Susan Sellan, Resource Teacher, Jill Lloyd, Early Literacy Teacher, Steffi Kynoch, Child Development, and Darcey Campbell, ESL Teacher) - This year at Rainbow Creek Elementary, our Learning Support Team (LST) brainstormed ways to bring current research, published articles, or new divisional initiatives to our staff. Should we have book clubs? Let’s try blogging! How  [ Read More ]

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Are You a Digital Citizen?

Posted by scottmahan February - 14 - 2013 0 Comment
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RVS Guest Author: Scott Mahan, Learning Specialist – As we continue to navigate our way through the messy business of educational reform in Alberta, I often wonder if we are doing enough to educate our kids in the area of digital citizenship and online safety. If the old saying is true and “Knowledge is Power” then do our educational leaders, teachers, parents, and students have enough knowledge to adapt to  [ Read More ]

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My First Semester

Posted by gregroberts February - 12 - 2013 1 Comment
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RVS Guest Author: Greg Roberts, Director of Learning, Learning Supports – Last weekend I had some downtime and decided to watch From the Sky Down, a movie that profiled the band U2 as it revisited music it had written 20 years ago. At one point in the movie, lead singer Bono narrated how the “new” album needed to take the band in a fresh direction. He reflected, “You have to  [ Read More ]

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Parlez-Vous Français?

Posted by melanieyanofsky February - 11 - 2013 0 Comment
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Guest Author: Melanie Yanofsky, Literacy Learning Specialist – French is one of Canada’s official languages. For students, Rocky View Schools offers French Immersion starting in Kindergarten, and French as a Second Language. But, how can adults improve their French language proficiency? For teachers, there are multiple opportunities. The University of Calgary (French Center) offers weekend retreats as well as a summer program. Teachers also can apply for bursaries that will  [ Read More ]

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What Job Shadowing Taught Me

Posted by rockyviewstudent February - 8 - 2013 1 Comment
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RVS Guest Author: By Kaitlyn S., Grade 12 Student - For the past couple years I have been interested in the ultrasound and radiology programs offered at a few different universities. Each program is very competitive, so I wanted to do some research to find out what area I might want to focus on and also to show my interest in the program when it comes time to apply to the  [ Read More ]

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Bless the School Bus Driver

Posted by traceysweetapple February - 7 - 2013 5 Comments
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RVS Guest Author: Tracey Sweetapple, Guidance Counsellor, Bert Church High School - Growing up in the Peace River country of Northern British Columbia, we relied on the school bus for transportation.  For two years my brother and I attended our rural school, Deveraux Elementary, and then travelled into town to attend Notre Dame Elementary and Central Junior Secondary.  (A “Mile-O Moment” for you Darcy Welsh – fellow RVS employee and graduate  [ Read More ]

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How I Learn!

Posted by rockyviewstudent February - 6 - 2013 3 Comments
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RVS Guest Author: Emily J., Grade 6 Student – My thoughts about school are that it is educational and fun. I really like it. So far this year, I have had enough amazing experiences to provide me with memories to last a lifetime. I think students including myself are becoming great leaders and role models towards younger students. One of the main things I think is great at school is our  [ Read More ]

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Culinary Arts: More than Just the Fancy Jacket?

Posted by adeleepenner February - 5 - 2013 0 Comment
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RVS Guest Author: Adelee Penner, Teacher/Chef Culinary Arts, Chestermere High School “I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.” – Mother Teresa It is beautiful to watch a group of students working together to achieve a common purpose. Our kitchen during live service is the living model of poetry in motion, as cooks step forward and move back in  [ Read More ]

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Chestermere’s New Music Ensemble

Posted by laeljohnston February - 4 - 2013 3 Comments
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RVS Guest Author: Lael Johnston, Music Director, Chestermere High School - I recently started another performance group at Chestermere High School, called the New Music Ensemble. Its creation was not really planned, rather, it seemed to evolve from a group of students who lingered into the lunch break following a class. During the class I had lectured on some basic principles of contemporary composition, with a focus on minimalism and aleatoric  [ Read More ]

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Capturing Milestone Moments in Time

Posted by karendolynny February - 1 - 2013 2 Comments
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RVS Guest Author: Karen Dolynny, Executive Assistant to the Superintendent of Schools – In a corner of my living room, there are two walls where I display photos of my family and friends. Over the course of three decades, familiar faces have grown older, some faces have gone away, and new faces have been added as my family grows and new friendships are formed. From time-to-time I pause to remember the  [ Read More ]

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The Power of People

Posted by susanwilliams January - 31 - 2013 1 Comment
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RVS Guest Author: Susan Williams, Associate Superintendent of Human Resources – Do you remember the first person whose influence may have changed the course of your life? Did you realize it right away? Or was it years later that you came to understand what a powerful role model that individual was in your life? I had the great gift of having a very special and influential role model at an  [ Read More ]

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21st C Learners are Visual Learners

Posted by traceysweetapple January - 30 - 2013 2 Comments
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RVS Guest Author: Tracey Sweetapple, Guidance Counsellor, Bert Church High School – I’m a fan of Rick Mercer so I attempted to write in a style akin to his ‘Rant’. Consider this ‘Sweet’s Spiel’. Young people today are growing up in a highly visual culture. Never before, in the history of mankind, has the visual processing of a young person’s brain been so exercised. I mean, think about it: comic  [ Read More ]

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RVS Celebration of Learning

Posted by Richard Gaudio January - 29 - 2013 0 Comment
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RVS Guest Author – Richard Gaudio, Learning Specialist – One of the ways that we are building a culture of sharing in Rocky View this year is through four Celebration of Learning events. The goal of these Celebrations is to share the best practices of educators in Rocky View for a live audience and then showcase the videos on the RVS YouTube Channel. Our next RVS Celebration of Learning will  [ Read More ]

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Does Your Child Feel Safe on the Bus?

Posted by audreybloxham January - 28 - 2013 1 Comment
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RVS Guest Author: Audrey Bloxham, Director of Transportation - Statistics tell us that riding on a school bus is very safe, much safer than riding in the family car. There are many rules and laws that ensure safety on the school bus. The bus is required to be mechanically inspected on a regular schedule. Bus drivers are trained to be excellent drivers, better than most of us who drive our cars regularly.  [ Read More ]

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Planning for All Learners

Posted by maryannmitchellpellett January - 25 - 2013 1 Comment
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RVS Guest Author: Mary-Ann Mitchell-Pellett, Assistant Principal, Meadowbrook Middle School – Planning for all learners is no easy task, and can often seem overwhelming. Many educators have the assumption that planning for all learners means that an individual learning plan needs to be created for each student. If this were the case, this would indeed be an overwhelming task. And although as educators we so utilize individual learner profiles to  [ Read More ]

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Can I Have Your Attention Please…

Posted by toddhennig January - 24 - 2013 0 Comment
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RVS Guest Author: Todd Hennig, Principal, Prince of Peace Lutheran School – Have you ever asked why a kid who can devote hours of unwavering, focused energy playing a video game can have trouble spending ten solid minutes on solving a challenging math problem in class? Many parents have actually asked this very question, specifically around parent teacher interview time! Unraveling this mystery may lead to some unfortunate and inaccurate  [ Read More ]

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Is a Doctorate Degree for You?

Posted by justinalaw January - 23 - 2013 2 Comments
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RVS Guest Author: Justina Law, SIS Learning Specialist – It’s official. I now have more degrees than I do credit cards. But what exactly does this mean? Completing an EdD (Education Doctorate) has been a huge investment in time and money, neither of which I will ever gain back. When I tell people that I am in the midst of completing a doctorate, they inevitably ask me why. The reality  [ Read More ]

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It’s a No Brainer, Isn’t It?

Posted by cobikristianson January - 22 - 2013 2 Comments
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RVS Guest Author: Cobi Kristianson, School Council Chair, Crossfield Elementary - To me it was a no brainer. When I volunteer at my church, I’m required to have a Criminal Record Check. I know a lot of people who need checks to volunteer with various sports organizations. Family members had to have checks in order to volunteer at their kids’ school in Calgary. It seemed to me that Rocky View Schools  [ Read More ]

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Dancing Through the 21st Century

Posted by shelleycunningham January - 21 - 2013 0 Comment
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RVS Guest Author: Shelley Cunningham, Teacher, W.G. Murdoch School – I am fairly new to teaching, this being the middle of my fourth year, but I am far from new to the world. I started my teaching career late in life, having had a career in the performing arts prior to making the change to education. Thus, I was lucky to be in university finishing up my bachelor degrees when  [ Read More ]

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Cross-Grade Teaming for Project-Based Learning

Posted by amandabaldwin January - 18 - 2013 1 Comment
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RVS Guest Author: Amanda Baldwin, Teacher, Herons Crossing School – Cross-grade team teaching is an engaging and meaningful experience for both teachers and students. Teachers get the unique experience to work with others who are teaching different age groups, which opens up a broad spectrum of opportunities for lesson planning. Students get to experience different roles as learners, including taking on a mentoring, leadership role while working with younger students.  [ Read More ]

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Starship Enterprise: Star Date 01/17/2013

Posted by johnmurphy January - 17 - 2013 1 Comment
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RVS Guest Author: John Murphy, Principal, Nose Creek Elementary – Gene Roddenberry’s fictional Star Trek series has fuelled the imaginations of countless millions who have come to realize that if you can conceive it, you can make it happen. A mantra of the new films “… to boldly go where no one has gone before,” also captures the spirit of the educational team in the district of Rocky View Schools.  [ Read More ]

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A Life Lesson Relived

Posted by angelaspanier January - 16 - 2013 4 Comments
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Guest Author: Angela Spanier, Director of Communications Resilience – a key to becoming an effective learner and successful citizen                          By Dave Young, Superintendent of Schools, Parkland School Division. Published January 2001, Stony Plain Reporter. When a third-grader forgets the capital of Saskatchewan, does she internalize the experience? Does she lose her appetite at lunch and fret about her mistake?  [ Read More ]

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School Leadership in the 21st Century

Posted by murraybesenski January - 15 - 2013 1 Comment
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RVS Guest Author: Murray Besenski, Associate Superintendent of Schools – The demands on a school leader’s time are many and varied. Being an effective building manager used to be good enough. For the past century, principals were expected to comply with provincial and divisional edicts, address personnel issues, order supplies, balance school budgets, keep hallways and playgrounds safe, put out fires that threatened tranquil public relations, and generally ensure the  [ Read More ]

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Any Place, Anywhere, Any Time

Posted by rockyviewstudent January - 14 - 2013 4 Comments
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RVS Guest Author: Patrick B., Grade 10 Student –  “Unit two, section three, yes mom I just finished, I’m just about to upload the assignment.” “Make sure you call.” “I will.” The intercom announced flight 1496 to Phoenix and I pressed send. I was sitting with my golf coach on a Tuesday afternoon in the Calgary Airport. I may not have been in my desk at W.G. Murdoch School, but  [ Read More ]

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Guest Author: Dustin S., Grade 12 Student – Hello to everyone, I hope you all had a great holiday break and a fantastic start to the New Year! It is now 2013, and the technological world is becoming exponentially more advanced. Chestermere High School, as well as other schools in the jurisdiction, has made the transfer to 1:1 learning. With everyone in the classroom having his or her own laptop  [ Read More ]

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Cross-Curricular Collaboration

Posted by Jarett Hooper January - 10 - 2013 1 Comment
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Guest Author: Jarett Hooper, Teacher, George McDougall High School – Who would’ve thought that a hallway conversation with a shop teacher and an English teacher would turn into a project that would change my practice? As I viewed and reviewed the mechanics curriculum, wondering how to instruct my students without stand and deliver, I recalled my learning process of becoming a mechanic. That process entailed a discovery of questions that arose  [ Read More ]

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Learning, Succeeding, and Leading

Posted by rockyviewstudent January - 9 - 2013 4 Comments
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Guest Authors: Emily and Skye, Grade 4 Students – At our school, we are respectful leaders. We use the 7 Habits of Happy Kids to improve our good habits. Be proactive: Making our own choices and THE RIGHT choices. Leaders at our school always try to be proactive. We dress warmly when we go outside, we are quiet and respectful when someone is speaking or when we are in the  [ Read More ]

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RVS’ New Professional Learning Standards

Posted by mannyferreirinha January - 8 - 2013 0 Comment
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Guest Authors: Deb Rougeau-Bell, Leadership Mentor, and Manny Ferreirinha, Director of Organizational Learning - Rocky View Schools (RVS) is pleased to continue supporting all of our combined work in creating a culture of improvement, innovation, and excellence. Professional learning is central to who we are as a jurisdiction, it’s in our DNA, and is at the heart of our mission and vision for 21st Century learning. To this end, all of us  [ Read More ]

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Just Wondering

Posted by patworthington January - 7 - 2013 1 Comment
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RVS Guest Author: Pat Worthington, Director of Human Resources – Telltale tracks expose activity from last evening. At Ningloo Reef, Western Australia, marine turtles continue their life cycle. Through spring and into the early summer, female turtles emerge from the sea to nest. Their journey to arrive at this place is astonishing; the chance of survival of their offspring is remote. Their soft-shelled eggs face numerous challenges on the beach  [ Read More ]

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The More You Read, The Better You Get!

Posted by melanieyanofsky December - 21 - 2012 1 Comment
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Guest Author: Melanie Yanofsky, Literacy Learning Specialist – Numerous studies prove that reading improves children’s comprehension, background knowledge vocabulary, fluency, and writing skills (Krashen, 2004). To become good readers, students must read, and read, and read some more! Unfortunately, most often, the struggling readers are the students who read the least. As a classroom teacher, I always told my students that reading is like basketball. You must practice to become  [ Read More ]

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Using Technology for Good, Not for Evil

Posted by saradrennan December - 18 - 2012 4 Comments
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Guest Author: Sara Drennan, Teacher, George McDougall High School - “Inappropriate use of technology will not be tolerated in this classroom”. A former colleague of mine would begin all of her classes with this phrase. She would gather all cell phones into shoebox at the beginning of class and students couldn’t touch them until the end of the class. To her, there was no way a cell phone could be used  [ Read More ]

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Leading the Transformation

Posted by Joshua Hill December - 17 - 2012 3 Comments
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Guest Author: Josh Hill, Learning Specialist – In his post “Deconstructing the Transformation” RVS’ Superintendent of Schools Greg Bass heralded: “A revolution is occurring – our only choice is whether we lead it or become irrelevant”, resoundingly Rocky View students, staff and communities have embraced this challenge and are at the forefront of change. A key driver of the RVS’ innovative culture is the instructional leadership of our Principals and  [ Read More ]

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Bert Church High School IS Undeniable!

Posted by rockyviewstudent December - 14 - 2012 2 Comments
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Guest Authors: Ryan and Keaton, Students – It is amazing how a school can join together when something big comes along. Over the past eight weeks, students at Bert Church High School (BCHS) have been united by pride, spirit and the drive to be proven undeniable! Our school is currently one of three finalists in a nation-wide competition called Finding Undeniable. We are in the running for $100,000 worth of Under  [ Read More ]

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Our Wiki – Information, Inspiration

Posted by rockyviewstudent December - 13 - 2012 8 Comments
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Guest Authors: Ava & Mackenzie, Gr. 4 students – In our classroom, we use a website called a wiki. Everyone in our class can access this website easily. Our teacher will put stories, chapters and information for us to use on it. We use the information to help us with our learning. For example, we can access different versions of chapters from books we read in class. We use this  [ Read More ]

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Equity in Education Equals Success for All

Posted by raganjohnson December - 12 - 2012 0 Comment
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Guest Author: Ragan Johnson, Assistant Principal, Chestermere Lake Middle School – Over the past few months, I have spent countless hours reflecting on how leaders working within a culturally diverse school can ensure equity and education for all. Initially, this thought process focused on how to create an environment where students and staff felt safe and valued, where all stakeholders were engaged in meaningful ways, and where everyone’s voice was  [ Read More ]

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So Here’s to You Mr. Robinson

Posted by andreacraigie December - 11 - 2012 3 Comments
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Guest Author: Andrea Craigie, Assistant Principal, R.J. Hawkey Elementary - My husband doesn’t know this yet but there is another man in my life. I have been a bit of a groupie, following him on his Alberta speaking circuit, stalking him on You Tube and Twitter, pouring over what he publishes and expounding his philosophical virtues to those in both my personal and professional circles. Our next rendezvous will be at  [ Read More ]

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A Day in the Life of Rocky Raccoon

Posted by rockyraccoon December - 10 - 2012 2 Comments
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Guest Author: Rocky Raccoon, Official RVS Mascot – Wow! A day in my life is not like any other raccoon. Let me tell you about it! I live at the Education Centre outside among the surrounding trees, where I can overlook the entire facility. Being this close, I‘m able to be available at a moments notice and you all know I could be coming to a school near you. My morning usually consists  [ Read More ]

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Coping With Change

Posted by helenclease December - 7 - 2012 2 Comments
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RVS Guest Blog: Helen Clease, Trustee Ward 4 – Today’s transformation in education can be compared to a major house renovation. The frame is still in place, but everything else around is changing and seems to be in disarray. As with any home renovation you need to design, plan, construct, and review progress. Renos can bring great excitement about the future, but they also create challenges in getting the day-to-day work  [ Read More ]

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How 1:1 Has Impacted Teaching and Learning

Posted by kevinwttewaall December - 6 - 2012 1 Comment
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Guest Author: Kevin Wttewaall, Director of Technology for Learning – In his final blog in a three-part series, Kevin shares the impact that Rocky View Schools’ (RVS) 1:1 initiative has had on its educators. In the 2008/09 school year, all RVS teachers were provided with laptops, which was critical to enabling them to become skilled with 21st Century learning technologies. Schools and the jurisdiction also provided job-embedded professional learning opportunities along  [ Read More ]

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UDL in the Classroom

Posted by kelseyastle December - 5 - 2012 3 Comments
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Guest Author: Kelsey Astle, Learning Support Teacher, Chestermere Lake Middle School – “If we teach today as we taught yesterday, we rob our children of tomorrow.” John Dewey. Since I began my teacher career five years ago, technology has exploded. How I learned as a student is not the way our students are learning. The world our students are preparing for is changing; therefore, I must change how I teach  [ Read More ]

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Schools Department Supports All Learners

Posted by irastroh December - 4 - 2012 1 Comment
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Guest Author: Ira Stroh, Director of Schools – Rocky View Schools’ (RVS) Schools Department provides a variety of services and supports to the students, parents and staff members of all 42 schools in the Division. Murray Besenski, Associate Superintendent of Schools, provides leadership for the Department that includes: Dr. John Burger, Director of Schools Research and Data Analytics; Jacquie Mirtle, Sports/Events Coordinator; Val Woodman, Executive Assistant; and yours truly, Ira Stroh,  [ Read More ]

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Who Creates Self-Esteem and How?

Posted by tammyrahn December - 3 - 2012 1 Comment
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Guest Author: Tammy Rahn, Principal, Chestermere Lake Middle School – I was recently working with a colleague on differentiated instruction. In her class, there are a number of students who require accommodations and modifications to the material. The students know they require different texts, supports, and work. Unfortunately, they do not want to look different from their peers. My colleague asked if we were undermining their self-esteem by giving kids  [ Read More ]

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Book to the Future!

Posted by christiesharpe November - 30 - 2012 9 Comments
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Guest Author: Christie Sharpe, Library Technician, Beiseker Community School – What’s in a name? ‘Library’ is a comfortable term that conjures up memories of old-smelling books, hours spent browsing, and anticipation of new adventures. All of us, whether young and old, have had some experience in a library and with that, have our own positive memories. But some people may also see a library as a place of shushing, grumpy librarians, and old  [ Read More ]

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Investing in Yourself

Posted by lynneshemko November - 29 - 2012 11 Comments
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Guest Author: Lynne Shemko, Executive Assistant – Years ago when I worked at Ralph McCall School, I received a book from the school’s former Principal Bill Bell to read for a staff professional learning session. That book was the “7 Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen Covey. Although I did my best to finish the book, I found it to be a hard read as it was difficult to  [ Read More ]

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Texto ou Blogue?

Posted by Lucie Pratte November - 28 - 2012 5 Comments
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Guest Author: Lucie Pratte, Learning Specialist – De nos jours, on peut s’exprimer de mille et une façons pour communiquer avec la famille, les amis, les collègues et même avec des inconnus. Vraiment, il n’y a que l’embarras du choix; un blogue, un courriel, un texto, un microtexte, et à l’occasion, sur papier une note brève ou plus rarement une longue lettre. Mais encore faut-il avoir quelque chose à dire!  N’est-ce  [ Read More ]

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Building Sustainability One Project At A Time

Posted by stephaniebennett November - 27 - 2012 2 Comments
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Guest Author: Stephanie Bennett, Teacher, Cochrane High School – The Cochrane High School Sustainable Development (CHSD) Committee (www.sustainabledevelopment.ca) has a longstanding history of implementing projects that pertain to sustainability in our school. The mandate of the CHSD Committee is to have its students bridge the gap between knowledge and action on issues related to sustainability in the school community. We recognize the impact of our activities on the environment, on  [ Read More ]

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Education Act Defines Parents’ Roles

Posted by normalang November - 26 - 2012 1 Comment
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Guest Author: Norma Lang, Ward 1 Trustee - Parents, with the passing of the new School Act, the Alberta Government has legislated part of your parent work for you! Alberta’s new Education Act, which passed in the legislature a week ago, clearly defines the role and responsibilities of a few key stakeholder groups in the delivery of K-12 education. Responsibilities are defined in detail for students, parents, school boards, and individual trustees. Curiously,  [ Read More ]

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Everything I Needed to Know, I Learned on the Farm

Posted by lornareynolds November - 23 - 2012 7 Comments
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Guest Author: Lorna Reynolds, Communications Designer - I grew up on a farm on the bald prairies of Saskatchewan, where nothing gets in the way of the scenery! I have experienced, many times, ‘a chicken with its head cut off’ and have seen spring’s pet calf end up in the freezer in the fall. No, I did not walk uphill both ways to school, but that’s mostly because my Dad was  [ Read More ]

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Mind the Gap

Posted by danhoch November - 22 - 2012 0 Comment
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Guest Author: Dan Hoch, Principal, Springbank Middle School – I was in London again this past August and continued to get a kick out of different expressions that are part of the language. One that particularly resonates is the one played as part of a train platform announcement, urging those waiting for the train to, “Mind the gap.” It took me a while to figure out that it was a  [ Read More ]

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What is weConnect?

Posted by toddkiernan November - 20 - 2012 0 Comment
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Guest Author: Todd Kiernan, 21st Century Learning Principal – Rocky View Schools’ weConnect program, developed to provide more flexibility in student programming, is giving high school students the opportunity to enrol in online courses that they otherwise might not have had access to. With weConnect rooms set up in every RVS high school, students are expanding their course repertoires, while still being supervised and supported within their home schools. Through  [ Read More ]

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Social-Emotional Skills to Enhance Learning

Posted by Chris Pawluk November - 20 - 2012 0 Comment
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Guest Author: Chris Pawluk, RVS Lead Psychologist – Over the past few years, Rocky View Schools has been implementing a number of Social Emotional Learning (SEL) program, aimed at enhancing students academic achievement, addressing their mental health concerns, and helping prevent bullying. SEL programming is a process through which students acquire the knowledge, attitudes, and skills they need to recognize and manage their emotions, demonstrate care and concern for others,  [ Read More ]

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Why French Immersion?

Posted by melanieyanofsky November - 19 - 2012 1 Comment
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Guest Author: Melanie Yanofsky, Literacy Learning Specialist – I found some very interesting statistics recently that really got me thinking. According to Statistics Canada, in 2000, only 4 percent of students in Alberta were enrolled in a French Immersion Program, compared to 32 percent in New Brunswick, 20 percent in Prince Edward Island, and 12 percent in Nova Scotia. So, the question that immediately came to mind was ‘WHY’? Why  [ Read More ]

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Life’s Little Lessons

Posted by sarahmcnab November - 16 - 2012 2 Comments
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Guest Author: Sarah McNab, Communications Officer – As a member of Rocky View Schools’ Communications Department, a large part of my job involves writing about the innovative teaching approaches our educators are using to inspire students to construct and deepen their knowledge. Although I am not a teacher, I have become fairly well-versed in explaining complex 21st Century concepts, such as inquiry-based learning, or the constructivist theory, which are helping  [ Read More ]

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Share and Share Alike

Posted by Richard Gaudio November - 15 - 2012 0 Comment
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Guest Author: Rick Gaudio, RVS Learning Specialist - One of the most powerful Educational Technologies we have in Rocky View is Google Drive. Based in the “cloud”, files stored in a user’s Google Drive can be accessed from anywhere at anytime, but even more valuable is the ability to share interactive files with other users. Here are four examples of useful processes in Google Drive, along with “How To” videos so  [ Read More ]

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We’re Bringing Nature Back

Posted by Jen Friske November - 14 - 2012 0 Comment
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Guest Author: Jen Friske, Teacher, Prairie Waters Elementary – From Nov. 5 – 8, 2012, a team of three of my colleagues and myself were fortunate enough to attend the Cenovus Energy Environmental Education Leadership Clinic, hosted and facilitated by the Alberta Council for Environmental Education. Before I can share with you what we came out of the Leadership Clinic with, I need to give you a little back story  [ Read More ]

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How Does 1:1 Impact Learning – Key Findings

Posted by kevinwttewaall November - 13 - 2012 0 Comment
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Guest Author: Kevin Wttewaall, Director of Technology for Learning – In his second blog in a three-part series, Kevin shares some of the key findings derived from Rocky View Schools’ (RVS) 1:1 initiative and expands on the impact that this environment has had on student learning. A key finding derived from RVS’ 1:1 action research projects was that learning is improved when students get feedback throughout the learning process. 1:1  [ Read More ]

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Where Are You on the Continuum?

Posted by johnlaing November - 12 - 2012 3 Comments
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Guest Author: John Laing, Family School Liaison – The idea of inclusion is not a new one and has certainly been discussed in Rocky View Schools, as well as in the larger education system for some time. We all have our ideas about what inclusion means and have the ability to espouse a philosophical and/or theoretical definition of inclusive teaching practice. That is fantastic; however the discussion and implementation of  [ Read More ]

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Becoming Home

Posted by heatherdoraty November - 9 - 2012 3 Comments
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Guest Author: Heather Doraty, Learning Support Teacher, Herons Crossing School – We opened Herons Crossing School in the Education Centre knowing that we would be moving sometime, hopefully in November. The Trustee room became our staff room, meeting rooms became offices, and conference rooms were divided and then divided again to become classrooms. I set up office in the Grizzly Room, a tiny five by six, which was normally used  [ Read More ]

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How Technology is Helping Me Learn!

Posted by rockyviewstudent November - 8 - 2012 0 Comment
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Guest Author: Rochelle A., Gr. 9 student – Using computers in a class like Social Studies is an amazing way to improve our research and development skills. Having a choice about what applications to use to do your work is great and it also gives students opportunities to try new things and learn on a larger scale. I use the computers for a lot of things. I often use the  [ Read More ]

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Building Awareness

Posted by rockyviewstudent November - 7 - 2012 7 Comments
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Guest Author: Autumn C., Gr. 3 student – I am passionate about building awareness of important things, because there things that not many people think about that they should know about. Some examples of things that are important to me are child labour, homelessness, and bullying. Molly Burke’s story was very inspiring because she was blind and cried so very hard as she heard her crutches slammed against a tree.  [ Read More ]

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Bullybusting High Fives

Posted by anneglasgow November - 6 - 2012 0 Comment
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Guest Author: Anne Glasgow, RVS Registered Psychologist – At last year’s Teachers Convention, I attended an excellent workshop on bullying that was hosted by The Society for Safe and Caring Schools. With the recent attention on bullying, gained through the tabling of the new proposed School Act in our provincial legislature, I felt compelled to raise awareness among teachers and school personnel about the posters I received at this workshop that  [ Read More ]

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Educational Boundaries

Posted by bevlapeare November - 5 - 2012 1 Comment
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Guest Author: Bev LaPeare, Ward 2 Trustee – This past summer I had the opportunity to visit a Masai tribal village in Tanzania. My friend and I were dropped off at the village and left on our own to interact and explore the small nomadic community. What we learned was invaluable. As our tribal guide walked us past the small round straw huts that were their homes, I spotted a  [ Read More ]

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Success In Schools

Posted by tcardinal October - 31 - 2012 0 Comment
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Guest Author: Teresa Cardinal, FNMI Learning Specialist – The Success in Schools (SIS) for Children and Youth in Care – Provincial Protocol Framework (PPF) is a joint initiative between Alberta Education and Human Services to support improved school outcomes and high school completion rates for children and youth in provincial government care. Rocky View Schools (RVS) began to gradually roll out this initiative three years ago: Year One included Permanent Guardianship Order  [ Read More ]

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Stories From We Day 2012

Posted by rockyviewstudent October - 30 - 2012 1 Comment
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Guest Author: Brooklyn, Gr. 7 student - We Day 2012 was a day of inspiration. First of all, we paired up with high school students and it was a nice surprise to find out I knew my buddy. We made posters and learned the We Day dance with our buddies that day. To get to We Day we had to be at school by 6:4o am on Oct. 24th! When we got there it was  [ Read More ]

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Crossing The Imaginary Line

Posted by rockyviewstudent October - 29 - 2012 1 Comment
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Guest Author: Sydney N., Gr. 10 student – Empowering, intense, and powerful! That was my day on Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2012, when we were given the opportunity to spend the morning with the inspirational speaker Phil Boyte. It was a great way to kick off the Leadership Academy, which included high school students from all over the division. All of the students who participated in the session with Phil Boyte  [ Read More ]

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Listen to the Quiet

Posted by nancyadams October - 25 - 2012 1 Comment
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Guest Author: Nancy Adams, RVS Leadership Mentor – Nowhere but in the classroom are individual differences more evident. Where else do you find the artistic, athletic, studious, the social butterfly, and the socially awkward? Why do some students chose to immerse themselves in their work, saying very little and responding only when prompted, while others constantly organize and interact with others, both seeking and enjoying the limelight?  Susan Cain’s Quiet:  [ Read More ]

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It Takes a Community

Posted by nikkimcallister October - 24 - 2012 1 Comment
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Guest Author: Nikki McAllister, Community Partner Program Coordinator – How much do you know about Rocky View Schools’ (RVS) food programs? Did you know that they are supported by nine sponsors from all RVS communities, and have one provincial funder and one national funder? Were you aware that more than 20 RVS schools now offer a variation of a breakfast or snack program, with some schools serving as many as  [ Read More ]

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ULE – 4 FI Style!

Posted by Sarah Lewis October - 23 - 2012 6 Comments
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Guest Author: Sarah Lewis, French Immersion Teacher, École Edwards Elementary – Rocky View Schools’ slogan “any time, any place, any path, any pace” is a great way to describe Universal Learning Environments! Lately, I have been talking a lot about ULE. Later this week, I will be presenting my ideas at the Congres national de l’ACPI 2012, a national conference for French Immersion teachers alongside two of my colleagues. So,  [ Read More ]

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Expedition Elisa

Posted by rockyviewstudent October - 22 - 2012 5 Comments
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Guest Author: Natalie A., Gr. 12 student - Elisa Neven-Pugh is an ambitious Grade 11 girl, who I am proud to share the hallways of my school with. On Sept. 22, 2012, we invited Elisa to join our Outdoor Leadership 30 class, and a few other students from different facets of the school, for a hike up Larch Valley, near Lake Louise. No big deal right? Just a hike. Elisa was simply another  [ Read More ]

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Presenting Our Transformation

Posted by gregbass October - 19 - 2012 0 Comment
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Guest Author: Greg Bass, Superintendent of Schools – In early July, RVS was approached by Alberta Education field services to consider presenting to Ministry officials to describe our work over the last five years. The new Minister, the Honorable Jeff Johnson, and new Deputy minister Mr. Tim Wiles, have talked passionately about the transformational work outlined in Inspiring Education as the roadmap for the work in the Province through to 2030.  [ Read More ]

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21st C Learning in a 21st C School

Posted by Sean Hartley October - 18 - 2012 0 Comment
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Guest Author: Sean Hartley, Teacher, Sarah Thompson School – This year is my first with Rocky View Schools. What drew me to this board was its commitment to the 21st Century learner. Every day we are encouraging students to be collaborative, technologically literate, self-directed learners who also care about their communities and the world they live in. Here at Sarah Thompson School, we are a very fortunate group. Being a  [ Read More ]

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Redefining Reading for the 21st Century

Posted by andrewsmith October - 17 - 2012 1 Comment
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Guest Author: Andrew Smith, Teacher, Bert Church High School – Recently, my secondary English students have been studying Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice. As a large and, in their opinion, “rather dense” text, students have spent a good deal of time silently (and critically) reading. For the past several years, I have had an increasing number of students reading this text via various electronic devices; it is readily available in  [ Read More ]

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All Teachers Are Literacy Teachers

Posted by melanieyanofsky October - 16 - 2012 0 Comment
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Guest Author – Melanie Yanofsky, Literacy Learning Specialist – Children today are growing up ‘digital’. Their views are much different than the generation before them, thanks to the unlimited access to information, people, and ideas. Douglas Rushkoff (1999), in Playing the Future, adds, “Our children…are the latest model of human being. Looking at the world of children is not looking backward at our own past – it’s looking ahead. They are  [ Read More ]

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Noteworthy or Not?

Posted by danawitte October - 15 - 2012 1 Comment
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Guest Author: Dana Witte, Teacher, Chestermere Lake Middle School – A colleague sent me a note last week after having listened to an interview on a radio broadcast. Our conversation might allow others to question or connect, so I thought I would bring it forward as a blog post. Hello Gals! Happy Friday to you! I have a query and you are the three that I would most think of  [ Read More ]

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Education and the New Copyright Law

Posted by Richard Gaudio October - 12 - 2012 0 Comment
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Guest Author – Richard Gaudio, Learning Specialist – In a recent lecture, Dr. Michael Geist described how the new Canadian Copyright Act represents a “seismic” shift for education. Bill C-11 includes a number of measures that will allow educators and students to take advantage of digital technologies. Most significantly, it expands Fair Dealing to recognize education in a structured context as a legitimate purpose. The Government of Canada defines Fair Dealing as: …a  [ Read More ]

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Catching Curiosity in the Kindergarten Classroom

Posted by Jen Friske October - 11 - 2012 3 Comments
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Guest Author: Jen Friske, Teacher, Prairie Waters Elementary – Kindergarten and Inquiry. Two words that in the past were viewed as oil and water, now are viewed by many as being synonymous. What better place for students to develop their natural, innate curiosity than during their time in kindergarten. Who better to facilitate an environment of exploration and discovery than the kindergarten teacher. These were just a couple of the  [ Read More ]

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A Snapshot of Teaching 21st Century Learners

Posted by tmorris October - 10 - 2012 1 Comment
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Guest Author: Thea Morris, Teacher, Elbow Valley Elementary – What a steep learning curve in the form of action research last year. My class of Grade 4 students was able to work with iPads in a one-to-one configuration, thanks to Rocky View Schools’ (RVS) Technology Innovation funding. Not only was it a year of discovering the potential and possibilities of the iPad in an elementary classroom, but it also was  [ Read More ]

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CSLC 2012: Igniting a Passion for Leadership

Posted by ambermoore October - 9 - 2012 1 Comment
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Guest Author: Amber Moore, Teacher, Bert Church High School – The Bert Church High School (BCHS) team has just returned from Canadian Student Leadership Conference 2012 (CSLC) in Weyburn, Saskatchewan, and the conference was undoubtedly ‘flat out’ fantastic! The first full day of the conference was a wonderful blur of bouncy castles, live music, spirit groups, a dazzling parade of delegates through the city of Weyburn, and loads of cheering.  [ Read More ]

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Creating Verbal Texture in the Classroom

Posted by stacyannpothier October - 5 - 2012 1 Comment
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Guest Author: Stacy-Ann Pothier, Teacher, Elbow Valley Elementary – Lately I have been doing a lot of reading and thinking about verbal texture and presence. As   a French Immersion teacher, my professional life is centered on language acquisition and how it relates across the curriculum. “What is the Dialogical Method of Teaching” by Paulo Freire and Ira Shor made an immediate connection for me in the power of language  [ Read More ]

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How Does 1:1 Impact Learning?

Posted by kevinwttewaall October - 4 - 2012 0 Comment
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Guest Author: Kevin Wttewaall, Director of Technology for Learning weighs in on the impact that moving to a 1:1 learning environment has had on Rocky View Schools (RVS) in a three-part blog series. RVS’ journey towards 1:1 learning environments started in 2006. It was then that teachers began providing computing devices in classrooms using laptop carts. Before this, students accessed technology by going to the library or lab. Although some  [ Read More ]

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Aboriginal Student Leadership at RVS

Posted by tcardinal October - 3 - 2012 0 Comment
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Guest Author: Teresa Cardinal, FNMI Learning Specialist – Creating opportunities for students to engage in leadership opportunities for Rocky View Schools (RVS) is an important component of the jurisdiction’s Three Year Plan. There are a few projects underway at RVS that are focused on enhancing leadership skills for Aboriginal students. When students engage in this process, their academic achievement, self-esteem, and confidence grows and they experience an increased sense of belonging  [ Read More ]

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Grade 4 is Fun!

Posted by rockyviewstudent October - 2 - 2012 9 Comments
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Guest Author: Jenna S., Elementary school student - My name is Jenna and I am in Grade 4! I am really excited to write my first blog! My school is so cool! We get to have new everything, including desks that are shaped like triangles! We can write on our desks with whiteboard markers, so we don’t even need to use scrap paper! We also have three iPads and three Macbook Pros  [ Read More ]

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‘Charging’ Into the New School Year

Posted by pamdavidson October - 1 - 2012 0 Comment
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Guest Author: Pam Davidson, Principal, Bert Church High School – The transition from middle school to high school can be very daunting for students and their families. According to Sharon Cirankewitch, a member of the Steppingstones team and Alberta Health Services, students can be particularly vulnerable during that last summer before they start their high school career and may be more likely to engage in dangerous or negative behaviours. Cirankewitch  [ Read More ]

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Learning Through Sport

Posted by rockyviewstudent September - 28 - 2012 2 Comments
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Guest Authors: High school students Karl. L and Travis C. – It is a belief at Rocky View Schools that a healthy extra-curricular program is an important complement to a strong academic program. The memories that students create from their time in high school often center on the opportunities they enjoyed through extra-curricular activities. Recently, football players from high schools in Cochrane and Airdrie had an opportunity to make memories  [ Read More ]

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Strength in Numbers

Posted by sarahfayemacgregor September - 27 - 2012 1 Comment
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Guest Author: Sarah-Faye MacGregor, Teacher, Herons Crossing School – “When two are of one mind, their strength can cut gold.” ~ Chinese proverb  This year, I’ve had the pleasure and honour of belonging to an amazing team of educators and parents that has worked diligently and passionately to create our new school, Herons Crossing. We may not have our own building yet, but we certainly have a school. Characterizing our  [ Read More ]

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Teaching Citizenship – Beyond Rules

Posted by shannonwiebe September - 25 - 2012 0 Comment
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Guest Author: Shannon Wiebe, Parent, Airdrie – Being a parent volunteer is no easy ride over at École Edwards Elementary School in Airdrie.  If you’re willing, as I was last year, you might find yourself working on (and learning through) school wide leadership projects with students and teachers. Have a look at the Leadership on Location Posters École Edwards Elementary students and teachers developed and posted around their school.  If we  [ Read More ]

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Reading Aloud – Not Just For the Little Ones!

Posted by melanieyanofsky September - 24 - 2012 1 Comment
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Guest Author: Melanie Yanofsky, Literacy Learning Specialist - As the school year begins, think about the benefits that come along with reading aloud to all age levels.  An article by Derry Koralek titled, “Reading Aloud to Children of All Ages” highlights some of the researched benefits to reading to children: Reading aloud is important from infancy through the high school years. Families and teachers can create and continue a tradition, introduce and  [ Read More ]

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The Power of Encouraging Teachers

Posted by julianneharvey September - 21 - 2012 5 Comments
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Guest Author: Julianne Harvey, Parent Volunteer & Author, Crossfield – As a parent, I have inside knowledge that parenting is the hardest gig out there. It demands all of you, and then a little bit more. It matters not if you are sick or well, rich or poor, busy or bored – your kids need you and you must rise to the challenge every single day. I have never been  [ Read More ]

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What’s in a Wiki?

Posted by jonathanklinger September - 20 - 2012 0 Comment
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Guest Authors: Jonathan Klinger, Brad Vance, and Tobey Daniels, Crossfield Elementary Teachers – A year and a half ago, the Grade 4 teachers at Crossfield Elementary School began to use a secure wiki space to see whether or not technology could really improve their teaching practice and engage their learners. Looking back, it has not only had a positive impact on both of these areas, but it has truly transformed  [ Read More ]

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Flipped Classrooms – The Future of Education?

Posted by dwmorris September - 18 - 2012 1 Comment
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Guest Author: Dave Morris, Associate Superintendent of Learning – The concept of Flipped or Inverted classrooms has been around for a number of years. Some universities have provided instruction in this format since 1996. With improvements in technology we have seen a resurgence of this idea dating back to about 2004. It is a relatively new ideology that has a variety of methods to implement it into today’s classrooms. It  [ Read More ]

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From Paper to Paws

Posted by rockyraccoon September - 17 - 2012 1 Comment
Rocky Hockey Game_2012

Guest Author: Rocky Raccoon, Official Mascot – When I was first approached to tell the story of how I came to be Rocky View Schools’ official mascot, I have to say that I was completely honoured and a little bit nervous. I had never written a blog before (although my paws are pretty dexterous, it’s hard to type without opposable thumbs), but I was up to the challenge! I think  [ Read More ]

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Birds of a Feather

Posted by suzannemartin September - 14 - 2012 1 Comment
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Guest Author: Suzanne Martin, Principal, Herons Crossing School – Change, I have learned, can be an amazing catalyst for questioning, reflecting and, ultimately, imagining possibilities. As I imagined and philosophized about our new school, I was constantly measuring the current status quo of contemporary education against what really ought to be happening in school to ensure optimal success for each and every learner, staff and student alike.  How would our  [ Read More ]

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Dad, I Need a Computer for School!

Posted by toddkiernan September - 11 - 2012 0 Comment
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Guest Author:  Todd Kiernan, RVS Parent and Principal of Learning – About three weeks ago my oldest son, who is in Grade 6, asked me what he was going to use as a computer for school. Back in the spring of 2011 his school hosted an open house that brought together parents, students, and educators to discuss the opportunities for students in bringing a personal device.  While the focus may  [ Read More ]

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Communicating with Video

Posted by Richard Gaudio September - 8 - 2012 0 Comment
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Guest Author: Richard Gaudio, Learning Specialist – Making videos is an excellent way for teachers and students to construct meaningful content and share it with a broad audience. The tools are easier than ever to use but it can still feel daunting to put yourself out there. My goal in this post is to give you a few tips to make decent quality video and encourage you to use multimedia  [ Read More ]

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Twitter: No Longer For the Birds

Posted by lesliecollings September - 6 - 2012 0 Comment
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Guest author: Leslie Collings, Principal, Springbank Community High School – I am a big fan of personal learning networks (PLNs). A personal learning network, to me, is connecting with people and ideas with whom you may or may not know to learn from them/their ideas. With the explosion of information on the Internet, I have to admit that I have become a big user of Twitter. Twitter is the hottest  [ Read More ]

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Guest author: Angela Spanier, Director of Communications – In my early 20s I was fortunate to have had the opportunity to travel extensively across Europe and into the Middle East. From the Bridge of Sighs in Venice, where 17th C convicts caught their last glint of daylight before being incarcerated, to the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem, whose cracks and crevices are wedged with thousands of paper prayers, my travels eventually  [ Read More ]

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Writing Our Future With Our Action Today

Posted by gregbass September - 4 - 2012 2 Comments
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Guest author: Greg Bass, Superintendent of Schools – As we start the 2012-13 year I can’t help feeling excited and optimistic. While many students, parents, teachers, and support staff are making new connections and fostering new relationships today, our work in Alberta and in RVS this upcoming year is focused. We are poised to demonstrate the most significant growth this year towards becoming a 21st century learning organization, as compared  [ Read More ]

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Is Your Child Really Ready?

Posted by audreybloxham August - 15 - 2012 1 Comment
Children standing outside school bus

Guest author: Audrey Bloxham, Director of Transportation – By the age of five, most children can hardly wait for their first day of school. They’re excited to meet their new teacher, to make new friends, and to wear their brand new clothes! SOON, their new adventures will begin! BUT WAIT! What about the school bus? Is your child ready for that experience? The Rocky View Schools Transportation Department staff and the school  [ Read More ]

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engagingcommunity

A key element of  inquiry based learning is authenticity; learning needs to be situated in the real world context in which it lives. To contextualize learning and enhance authenticity we need to go beyond the walls of our classrooms and schools and engage with the real issues, living disciplines, and experts in our communities. Schools are looking for ways to create partnerships with other organizations and develop relationships with local  [ Read More ]

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History is a Guide to Navigation in Dynamic Times

Posted by Joshua Hill March - 5 - 2012 0 Comment
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Throughout a year long inquiry, Grade 7 students worked to develop an understanding of “best practices” in cultural contact. Students explored the opportunities and challenges that were presented by cultural contact in Canadian History. The students learned that Canadian History is, in many ways, a story of cultural contact rife with successes and challenges created by the interactions of First Nations people, French, British and other European immigrants. The students  [ Read More ]

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robotics

This post showcases a robotics inquiry project embarked upon by grade 8 students at Langdon School. The striking part about this project is the level of engagement facilitated by the instructional design. In this project students were challenged to work collaboratively to build a robot that could move a load through a “simple machine” obstacle course. Students worked collaboratively with a group of peers in their class and uniquely they  [ Read More ]

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Does Bigfoot Exist?

Posted by Joshua Hill March - 2 - 2012 0 Comment
bigfoot

Grade 2 students at Ecole Elbow Valley Elementary investigate the bigfoot phenomenon and in the process grapple with what constitutes scientific truth, explore the interconnection of fact and fiction, learn to judge the reliability of sources, and ultimately engage their curiosity and wonder about the mysteries of the world.

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Deconstructing the Transformation

Posted by gregbass February - 27 - 2012 0 Comment
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Guest author: Greg Bass, Superintendent of Schools – It is time to tell Rocky View Schools’ story. Many conversations over the last six months with all stakeholders, both internal and external to our system, reveal that some people are struggling existentially with what the transformation is all about. What do 21st C classrooms look like? What are we aspiring to achieve? What is different? In RVS, and specifically in my  [ Read More ]

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Mobile Madness

Posted by Nancy Lake January - 30 - 2012 0 Comment
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Guest Author: Nancy Lake
I thought that as the subject of this blog is about mobile technology, I really should write it from a mobile device. I am on a bus trip with our PeeWee hockey team driving back to Airdrie from Regina, and my approximate location is somewhere in Saskatchewan, on the #1 highway between Swift Current and Medicine Hat. But one look at my cell phone, and I can see my exact coordinates on Google Maps. I know how far it is to the next city, and if I’m looking for the nearest Tim Horton’s, I just type it in the search field and I get directions, along with an ETA. I am writing this on a laptop, but I could also choose to write it from my iPad or iPhone…

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#SocialMedia #FTW ?

Posted by andrewdoyle May - 20 - 2011 0 Comment
iPad Student

Guest Author – Andrew Doyle There is lots to be said about social media and its uses, advantages and vices. I myself have recently been added to the addicted to twitter list. I have been on facebook for years with varying levels of interest and I engage in the ‘always connected’ lifestyle without a second thought to it. When talking to colleagues about simple things such as email I hear  [ Read More ]

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How Much Do We Share?

Posted by Jen Friske April - 16 - 2011 0 Comment
Connected World

Guest Author – Jen Friske: While reading Sam Sherratt’s blog on International Mindedness I came across something he said that really struck close to home for me. Sam states, “…I am confronted by the dilemma of how much should be shared with elementary students. But then I ask myself whether our job as educators is to actually educate children or to delude them into thinking the world is a wonderful,  [ Read More ]

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Will We Let Them Sink or Swim?

Posted by donthomas April - 15 - 2011 0 Comment
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Guest Author, Don Thomas – Twenty first century learning and our kids’ use of technology has appeared to monopolize interest in recent times.  But last night at a School Council meeting we discussed the idea of whether the ability to swim is a twenty first century skill. For my money there is no question; it was a twentieth century skill, first of course, but just as vital today as a  [ Read More ]

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Beam me up Scotty… Engage Engines!

Posted by Dan New April - 12 - 2011 0 Comment
Teaching in a Video Conference Classroom

Guest Author,  Dan New – In my recent post, “My Teacher is on the Television” there are implications of students interacting with a screen rather than an educator. It is this very conception that I have attempted to address in my classroom this semester. The question all distance educators (not just video conference educators) must ask is, “Are these students a part of my class, or are they simply observers?”  [ Read More ]

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Am I Using Technology for Good or Evil?

Posted by andrewdoyle April - 9 - 2011 0 Comment
Technology Innovation

Guest Author – Andrew Doyle With the abundance of choices in technology to integrate and utilize in the classroom it is hard to reflect and determine if we are using these technologies effectively for student learning. When I refer to technology in this post, it is all inclusive of things we use in our classrooms (websites, SmartBoard, Cameras, software, internet, etc.). The goal of integrated technology is to not only  [ Read More ]

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Educational Gaming. Oxymoron?

Posted by Nancy Lake April - 8 - 2011 0 Comment
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Guest Author: Nancy Lake
My kids came running up the stairs from the basement, shirtless…faces burning. What in the world? “We’re in the world championship for volleyball, Mom! We need a quick drink and then we’re on!”

I’ve never been a gamer. I don’t understand it. Even when Pac-Man and Donkey-Kong were King, I didn’t play. So when my kids wanted their first gaming system, a Game Boy, I wasn’t thrilled. Reluctantly, I granted their wish. Next was a Game Cube (only because it was compatible with Game Boy). Then came the Nintendo-DS, and a hand-me-down PlayStation 2. Wait a minute…this was getting out of hand…

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Guest Author- Lauren Curry – A motley group of 30 teens, some wired, some waning, have just strolled back into the classroom from a hall break. The break has not been nearly long enough to exchange news of the latest drama that has unfolded that day. A chatter accompanies them as they enter. I transition into class-time by simply hitting play on my computer screen: a public service announcement from  [ Read More ]

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Guest Author – Andrew Doyle Recently I was asked by a colleague to describe the 21st century learner in one,catch all word. I would like to say that my answer was ground breaking, thesis worthy and inspiring, but sadly it was not. After hearing some of the responses from other teachers (not all positive of course) it made me wonder if the learners are all that different or is it  [ Read More ]

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What Did You Learn Today?

Posted by jacquelinewarrell March - 29 - 2011 0 Comment

Guest author: Jacqueline Warrell – What did you learn today?  Most people have likely heard the saying that you learn something new everyday. But have you ever stopped to think about it. Have you ever asked yourself, ‘What did I learn today?’ As adults, parents, community members, and educators we spend much time talking about how best to engage our children and students in meaningful learning experiences, but we can  [ Read More ]

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Globalization, Robotics, Authenticity oh my!

Posted by Joshua Hill March - 28 - 2011 0 Comment
Globalization, Robotics, Authenticity

Guest author, Josh Hill – When I started this blog one poignant commenter called for exemplars that would illustrate what authentic instruction actually looks like in the classroom….and what would a blog about  “real world” learning be without some real world projects. The video below showcases a robotics inquiry project embarked upon by grade 8 students at Langdon School. The striking part about this project for me is the work  [ Read More ]

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International Mindedness In Action

Posted by Jen Friske March - 28 - 2011 0 Comment
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Guest Author, Jen Friske – Rocky View Schools Portrait of of a 21st Century Leaner states, “To succeed in in our global community, I will need to be globally aware and civically engaged.” Of course, these are only 2 of the 10 tenets set out by RVS in their vision for our students’ future. However, these are the 2 that have stood out for me in my grade three classroom  [ Read More ]

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How Do Parents Engage In Inquiry?

Posted by Keith Hadden March - 27 - 2011 0 Comment
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Guest Author, Keith Hadden- Having grown up in the city, I fondly look back on summers as a young kid.  It was a time to get out of the city and visit one of my uncle’s farms.  It was a pretty foreign environment for a city slicker kid.  I remember engaging in action research, a type of ‘inquiry by ordeal’, when I drove the tractor by the rectangular beehives suffering  [ Read More ]

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Digital Citizenship – A Matter of Trust or Safety

Posted by donthomas March - 25 - 2011 0 Comment
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Guest Author, Don Thomas – The Board of RVS has already passed the first reading of a policy titled Digital Citizenship.  It has been distributed to School Councils for their input.  This particular issue is one fraught with all the recent stories of abuse, child abduction, and pedophiles.  Yet no one will deny the exponential growth of Facebook and other social media sites. For a typical set of parents, the  [ Read More ]

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My Teacher is On the Television

Posted by Dan New March - 21 - 2011 0 Comment
Connected World

Guest Author, Dan New ~ Calculus students at W.G. Murdoch High School in Crossfield, come to school every Monday, just as any other student. They wander in from the parking lot, place their belongings into their lockers, and grab their calculus materials. When they cross the threshold of their Calculus class, however, what  they are greeted with is far from what one might define as a “regular” classroom in today’s  [ Read More ]

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It Is About the Learning, Not The Gadgets

Posted by lesliecollings March - 21 - 2011 0 Comment
Technology Innovation

Guest author, Leslie Collings – Recently, a delegation of SCHS staff members went to San Diego to experience High Tech High firsthand.  If you have ever browsed Edutopia, you will most certainly certainly have encountered this amazing school.  Because SCHS is a one-to-one school, our delegation was interested in how High Tech High integrated technology in a project-based environment.  Perhaps the most important lesson from the trip was that High  [ Read More ]

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Voodoo Economics

Posted by simonpols March - 4 - 2011 1 Comment
Film Strip Pictures

Guest author, Simon Pols – I was only 11 years old when I went to the Drive-In Theatre to watch “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off”. I recall laying in the back of the station wagon eating salted popcorn, drinking cream soda and trying to figure out how I could create a manikin, synchronized with the movement of the bedroom door; complete with snorts and snores. I laughed along with others at  [ Read More ]

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Guest Author: Lauren Curry – Well what if someone says something mean on the wall? Everyone can see it. People think they can hide behind the screen and say whatever they want. Can you tell who is who? Can you edit comments? If we have something to say, shouldn’t we be able to say it to peoples’ faces? These were some of the many spirited replies with which I was  [ Read More ]

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Leading in 2011

Posted by gregbass March - 3 - 2011 2 Comments
leadership

Guest author, Greg Bass – As a continuation of my last post on 21st century leadership, this post proposes a new leadership paradigm consistent with our rapidly-changing global society. I have been visiting schools recently which includes meeting with the principal or administrative team and interacting with students in classrooms. I must say it is very refreshing to connect with students and dialogue with them as I always have been,  [ Read More ]

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RVS’ classrooms have changed!

Posted by admin March - 2 - 2011 2 Comments
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Guest Author, Dave Morris – Rocky View Schools in 2007 took part in a large consultation process to assist in the development of their three-year plan. At this time Rocky View Schools (RVS) overhauled their Vision, Mission, Motto and belief statements along with a re – branding. Additionally, this saw the development of a new logo and new mascot for the school jurisdiction. The stakeholders groups were asked about current  [ Read More ]

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Basic Skills and Inquiry

Posted by Keith Hadden February - 27 - 2011 0 Comment
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Guest Author, Keith Hadden – I’m always concerned when I hear that a particular student who may have cognitive difficulties will learn, but only at the bottom levels of the taxonomy.   I’m quite sure Bloom never intended the top levels of his taxonomy to be sacred ground, accessible only to those a standard deviation or two above normal.  All students, for example, regardless of IQ, regularly make evaluations about their  [ Read More ]

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Guest Author, Josh Hill – In my previous posts I have been a bit antagonistic as I chastised the decontextualized learning that traditionally takes place in schools and objected to the superficial motivational schemes that fail to “engage” students. And although I want this blog to have a critical edge I am reminded of the wisdom of Ralph Waldo Emerson who reflected that “criticism should not be querulous and wasting, all knife and root-puller, but guiding, instructive, inspiring”… So in my next series of posts I am taking the tact of a dreamer and will take a stab at articulating a definition of authentic instruction, and illustrate this vision with a few real world exemplars.

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spiral

Guest Author: Lauren Curry – Although I operate daily with the goal of living through the potential disaster zone of middle school Foods – as my readers surely know by now – this is not quite the reasonable, measurable, or purposeful goal with which we are all concerned here. One of my goals in my Teacher Professional Growth Plan (TPGP), aligned with Goal 4 of Rocky View’s current Three Year  [ Read More ]

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Guest Author, Josh Hill – In his book Drive Dan Pink re-examines motivation and I believe that his findings have significant implications for education. Pink presents comprehensive research that demonstrates that for simple straightforward tasks if, then rewards, i.e. “the dangling carrot,” work as an effective motivator, however when a task requires some conceptual creative thinking those kind of motivators don’t work. He contends that when a task requires cognitive skill the three critical factors that lead to engagement and better performance are: autonomy, the desire to be self-directed; mastery, the urge to get better at stuff; and purpose, the yearning to make a contribution to something meaningful.

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Parents Need To Engage In Inquiry

Posted by Keith Hadden February - 14 - 2011 1 Comment
father_daughter_laptop

Guest Author: Keith Hadden – As our classrooms become more authentic learning environments, and as our 21st century learners pose new problems and prepare to solve problems that don’t yet exist, what is the role of the parent? Much like 21st century teachers, 21st century parents need to learn to give up control.  Parents can no longer be looking for the answer sheets so they can help their child get  [ Read More ]

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What Is Inquiry?

Posted by Keith Hadden February - 14 - 2011 0 Comment
INQUIRY

Guest Author: Keith Hadden – I wonder if, in mid-century, our current 21st century learners will echo Paul Simon’s 1973 lament: “When I think back on all the crap I learned in high school, it’s a wonder I can think at all.”  I also wonder if our elementary and middle school students might make similar protestations. I’m hopeful that we’re making progress in making schooling relevant, some 80 years after  [ Read More ]

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Global Stewards: The World Needs Our Kids

Posted by drougeaubell February - 11 - 2011 11 Comments
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Guest Author, Deb Rougeau-Bell. As a school leader and parent, I am passionate about raising kids who are environmental stewards and global citizens.  However, the importance of why students need to become global stewards has never been portrayed so profoundly to me than through a story shared by Craig Kielburger at the Global, Environmental and Outdoor Education Conference in Canmore last May. Craig told us the story of being invited  [ Read More ]

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sauce

Guest author: Lauren Curry - Well…almost one week, a mildly grated finger, three clogged sinks, and a couple of pairs of sauce-stained pants later, we are still kickin’ it in middle school Foods.  Most recent accomplishment: Spaghetti Bolognese. I must add here that, as most middle school teachers, I do currently teach more than one subject. It is my joy to teach grade eight Social Studies, English Language Arts, and Spanish,  [ Read More ]

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Binders Optional

Posted by lesliecollings February - 8 - 2011 2 Comments
extra-extra

Guest Author, Leslie Collings – Whether you call them “Millenials”, “Screenagers” or “Digital Natives”, students today are looking for and need a different educational experience.  Larry Rosen writes, “Our children and youth are immersed in technologies that give them opportunities no previous generation has enjoyed.  How will schools respond”?  We are in the middle of, perhaps, one of the biggest changes in education.  Not since the invention of the printing  [ Read More ]

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Why Is This Important To Me?

Posted by simonpols February - 7 - 2011 1 Comment
thinking_brain

Guest Author, Simon Pols – The ability to unearth, assess, and manipulate information is paramount to student achievement in the 21st Century. Students require the requisite skills to be able to seek out information, understand what they have discovered, and think critically about its content. It is for this reason that the acquisition of such skills is so important; why is it then that we are missing the mark? I  [ Read More ]

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Inquiry Served By Technology

Posted by Keith Hadden February - 6 - 2011 1 Comment
Inquiring MInd

Guest Author, Keith Hadden – As a 21st century educator, I feel a compelling challenge to respond to the current and future needs of our students and there is no doubt that their needs are much different than mine were or are.  There are several dimensions in need of examination.  Technology is often the first consideration in looking for ways to respond.  And justifiably so.  Many of us have witnessed  [ Read More ]

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The Perpetual Learnings of a Middle School Teacher

Posted by laurencurry February - 4 - 2011 2 Comments
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Guest author: Lauren Curry – No sooner had I planted myself on my couch to ponder how I should start this blog, did the jarring ring of my cell interrupt my brief thought. I laboured to reach my jacket strewn on the table to grab my phone. I dug my hand around in the first jacket pocket only to clutch the remnants of a grated block of cheese instead of  [ Read More ]

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Rocky View Schools have engaging classrooms!

Posted by admin February - 4 - 2011 1 Comment
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Guest Author, Dave Morris – Rocky View Schools (RVS) has been focused on this question since the inception of our first three – year plan. To answer this question we must first ask who are our learners and what will they need to be successful in their future? Next year half of the students in RVS will have been born in the 21st century.  These students are digitally aware, media  [ Read More ]

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