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St. John Fisher Sr. Raises Funds, Awareness & Excitement at 7th Annual Raffle

Posted by slazarus on June 19, 2018 at 01:32 pm

Imagine asking a packed gym of grade 3-6 students to sit quietly as 85 prizes (stuffed animals, scooters, cooking classes, and a Paul Byron-signed hockey puck!) are presented and distributed.


Impossible, right?




At St. John Fisher Senior’s 7th Annual Raffle, organized by the Social Action team, the students were focused with open minds and hearts as the raison-d’etre of this event was shared.


Each year, the Annual Raffle brings the entire school together to raise awareness and funds for an important cause. This year’s raffle began with students Lauren and Zoe explaining that funds raised will be donated to the Native Woman’s Shelter of Montreal and will support its “The Welcoming Fire Program”.


The students explained how St. John Fisher Sr.’s efforts will provide added support to Indigenous families and allow ‘kids to be kids.’


Tealey Normandin representing the shelter then addressed the excited crowd of students and staff to explain the impact the raffle will have on families in need and to thank St. John Fisher Sr. for this important contribution.


Finally it was time to give out the prizes but not before announcing that St. John Fisher Sr. raised over $2,000 for the Native Women’s Shelter of Montreal! The students and staff erupted in applause. Congratulations to St. John Fisher Senior and the Social Action team! We can’t wait to see what’s in store for next year’s raffle.


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Kingsdale Entrepreneurs Dip Into The Dolphins’ Den

Posted by slazarus on June 18, 2018 at 10:44 am

You can never be too young to make a difference in your classroom, community, or globally. Just ask Mr. Chan’s Grade 3 class at Kingsdale Elementary.


For months, Mr. Chan’s students had been hard at work brainstorming creative inventions or services that would solve problems and add a dose of Kingsdale kindness to the world. Working in teams or individually, project ideas ranged from fighting pollution, putting a stop to bullying, promoting friendship, relieving stress with fun & games, a puppet theatre, and a very practical pulley system. Oh and robots. Lots of robots. But this was only the beginning.


Once the seeds were planted, the students were challenged to research complex issues, build prototypes, price their projects, and develop a compelling pitch presentation…Did we mention that these students were in Grade 3!?


Finally after many hours of planning and hard work, it was time for the Kingsdale entrepreneurs to enter the Dolphins’ Den (think Shark Tank but with less bite) and pitch their projects. As the dolphins (special guests from the school board) took their seats, the energy in Mr. Chan’s classroom was palpable as students put their finishing touches on their projects, calmed their nerves, choreographed their speaking, and finessed their look.


Each group faced the dolphins, declared that they were ready and the entire class set the tone by cheering ‘3….2…1…ACTION!’ The students confidently walked the dolphins through their projects, answered their questions, and facilitated discussions with their classmates. And as a reward for presenting so well, the students were able to ‘decorate’ the dolphins (pics below); causing everyone to burst into laughter.


It’s hard to believe that some of the students were nervous and shy. The dolphins were blown away by the students’ creativity, leadership, collaboration, and outstanding presentation skills. These young entrepreneurs acted like seasoned pros.


We can’t wait to see what’s next for these young entrepreneurs!

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Headlong Into Books: Discovering The Pleasure Of Reading & Writing

Posted by slazarus on June 5, 2018 at 09:07 am

By: Birchwood Elementary School, Saint-Lazare


In April 2016, the Cycle 1 team of Birchwood Elementary School attended the conference « De mots et de craie » based on the work of the Teacher's College Reading and Writing Project (TCRWP), led by Lucy Calkins of Columbia University, NY. This educational pioneer inspired these participants, who now apply Professor Calkins`approach.


A Magic Recipe Book!


For the past three years, the Grade 1 team has innovated and improved its educational approaches around the teaching of writing and reading. For example, the teachers concocted a magic recipe inviting students to plunge headlong into books by exploring a string of literary genres, in order to inspire new models of writing. This was based on the idea that the more we read, the more we sharpen our talents as authors. After that, we just need to add a hint of autonomy by allowing students to choose their subject, and personalizing our teaching style to accommodate their individual writing pace.

The texts explored encourage the children to play with words (e.g.; reading rhymes, alphabet, songs), to develop their descriptive skills (e.g.: by reading reports, biographies, etc.) and to narrate a story (e.g.: reading tales, comic strips and stories). In addition, tools were created by and for writers-in-the-making, such as mini anchor boards and posters. All of this was done with a pinch of collaboration at several points during the writing process, in order to engage students further. It should also be noted the use of various literary models allows French immersion students to enrich their vocabulary and learn new syntaxes.


In order to refine this initiative during the 2017-2018 school year, Ms. Manon Viau, Marie Josée-Rocheleau, Claudia DiPietro and Chantal Saint-Pierre submitted a request for funding under the "Professional Development and Innovation Grants program” (PDIG). During this process, the teachers met regularly to plan the different modules, exchange ideas and share their challenges and successes. "We want to make a difference [...] that will encourage our colleagues to try this teaching style, whereby children become readers and writers for life ..." says Ms. Viau.


In June, the texts "Coup de Coeur" will be featured in a publication. This will be unveiled during a celebration, where the authors will be accompanied by their peers & parents.


"This teaching style encourages children to become engaged, motivated, passionate readers and writers who trust their abilities."