Festivals of Light
Winter is the time of year when everything seems to be resting: preparing for the burst of energy that comes with Spring. It's no wonder many cultures hold their festivals of light and renewal at this time of year. We have missed Diwali and Eid-al-Fitr, they happened earlier in the year, but we have time to celebrate and learn about Hanukkah, Christmas, and Kwanzaa before our Winter break and about Chinese New Year when we come back after.
These "festivals of light" have many common features which we'll learn about. We'd also like to know about how your family may participate in them. If you have any special stories or traditions you'd like share with the class, let Mr. Adams know. The focus is on understanding ourselves, each other and our world in a personal way.
Shoshana Litman, Canada's first ordained maggidah will visit our class on December 10th from 11:30 to 12:30. A maggidah is a Jewish storyteller, speaker, and teacher. She'll talk with us about Hanukkah. We'll sings songs, hear stories, and play "Spin the Dreidel". Everyone is welcome to attend.
The class will participate in the Christmas Concert on December 17th. There will be an afternoon performance at 1:30 pm and an evening performance at 6:00 pm. Students will participate in both performances.
An importance notice regarding the Christmas Concert was sent home early in the week. Please click on this link if you did not receive it.
Helmcken House Old-Fashioned Christmas
Our next fieldtrip is to Helmcken House on December 14th. We are going to participate in an old-fashioned Christmas complete with craft and pantomime. A permission slip will be sent home early in December but, for now, we need to identify 3 or 4 adults to help with the event. We'll leave the school at 9:00 and return about 12:00. There is no cost for volunteers to attend or ride the bus. If you can help, please let Mr. Adams know.
Fish Sitter Required
Our winter holiday is scheduled for December 19th to January 3rd. Mr. Adams will be away for part of the holiday which means we need a fish sitter for Alexander and Bubbles. They come with their own tank and supplies. If you can care for them over the holiday, please let Mr. Adams know. If more than one family is interested, he'll draw a name to pick the "winner". Thanks for your help.
Reporting Student Progress
As most of you are probably aware, some of the classes at Victoria West Elementary School are piloting a new way of assessing and reporting student progress. The move is away from static, summative assessments and a written report card to more fluid, formative assessments and an electronic portfolio. Electronic portfolios are the "report card" for these students and a written report card will not be sent home in December. Parents and students are encouraged to view the student's portfolio frequently and to discuss and reflect upon it's content. The benefits of portfolios for teaching and learning are significant. Please refer to "mPortfolios for Learning" for more information.