News from Boissevain School

October 27, 2010

Technology and Readers!

Filed under: Students — Mr. White @ 10:08 pm

I follow a blog quite closely and the most recent post talked about what students read and choices they have. Here is what I read.

” We are all in agreement that if we want students to be more engaged in their reading, they should have more choice and read books that are based on their interests, right? (Great post by Nancy Ehrlich on reading logs.)

Then why are we not all in agreement about having tools in our schools such as computers and hand-held devices that students enjoy using for their learning?”

I see in Boissevain School that there are opportunities to choose what to read, not always but a lot of the time. I am always interested in how hand held devices can be used correctly.  I have seen where “podcasts” work with sharing information with students yet we all do not have these devices or computers – do you see how technology can be used more effectively and how students can use them to be more engaged in their reading/learning?

October 24, 2010

What just happened!

Filed under: Students — Mr. White @ 2:37 am

Looking back over the last month or so, I realized again what staff and community do for the students in Boissevain.  Here is a list of the many things that took place in that time frame knowing that I have probably missed something. 1.  The Manitoba Student Leadership Conference was held at the Peace Garden hosted by Boissevain and Killarney School. –  Many of our High School & Middle School Students were some of the 175 participants.   2. The  Grad Trip was on Wednesday and Thursday (described in previous post)  3. The Varsity Girls hosted a 10 team volleyball tournament on Friday & Saturday.  4.  The Bronco Hockey Team attended a tournament in Glenboro over the last 3 days.  5. The Junior Varsity Boys Volleyball team attended a tournament in Virden.  6.  The Varsity Boys Volleyball team have attended close to 5 tournaments already and the JV Girls Volleyball teams have gone to Altona, Virden and to Portage this past weekend.  7. Some students went to a Yearbook Workshop in Winnipeg over night.  8. The Reach for the Top team are practicing at noon hour.  9. The Drama Club and Course are gearing up for their production. 10. Student Government Retreat

Where am I headed with this? Yes all of these take a huge commitment by our students BUT please reflect on the adults involved in making this happen.  How do these events happen? Well, it takes a great deal of time from coaches (that is a given) but it also involves other staff organizers who plan for the leadership conference, organize the yearbook, drama, & Reach for the top, the staff who help organize for tournaments and games (getting gate workers and even working at the gate themselves, also getting the canteen organized), it involves those who plan schedules for leagues and travel arrangements and redo this over again when something gets canceled or changed.  Staff are committed to take on these roles even when their own children are not involved. If their child is a participant then this is simply a bonus. Staff bring their young children to the activity or have to get a babysitter.  There is a real tendency by staff to take a leadership role in these activities so that parents are able to sit back and enjoy watching their child.  But look what parents will do – they will drive when needed, help in the canteen,  help with fundraisers to list a few and get their child to practices – before school or later at night.

What should one expect from the student athletes?  Work hard in practice and games, respect all involved (coaches, opponents, officials, parents, fans) – keep on top of things at school – have fun but not at the expense of someone else.  Simply – be good people!  It doesn’t get any better than that!  Do all our athletes come with all of these qualities, not always!  Teaching these qualities becomes another job for all involved.

What is the status of our youth – What do you see in our student – athletes?

October 22, 2010

Grad Trip 2010

Filed under: Students — Mr. White @ 4:22 am

We just completed the annual Grad Trip to Minot as 31 Grade 12 students toured Minot State University, shopped, played games, swam and stayed up too, too late.  The History behind the Grad Trip suggests that the purpose of the trip is to allow the Grade 12 class to spend some quality time as a group in their final year of High School.  As you read this Blog, you may have some background information on the Grad Trip (Why it was created, When? etc.).  If you know, please leave a comment.  Casey and Beth were our group’s tour ambassadors at Minot State and did a fabulous job showing us the campus.  It is a very nice facility and over the past few years some of Boissevain School Graduates have attended Minot State.  Once the tour was completed it seemed the main focus was to shop and participate in watersports.  The boys (and a couple of girls) were quite creative in setting up their goals in the game of waterpolo.  After supper a large number of students met in the conference room for games of Apples to Apples and another one that I don’t remember the name.  Can someone help me out?  This allowed for the true  meaning of cooperation between peers and each individual’s competitiveness was displayed.  Wow! Some of the games were quite intense.  It was sure nice to see the interactions taking place between the students and know that they have built those relationships over their school career.

October 20, 2010

Community and School

Filed under: Students — Mr. White @ 1:58 am

Today was the annual Volleyball Game between the Varsity Girls and the Coop Staff.  Every year the Coop Staff take on our girls in a spirited volleyball match and even though it is all in fun there are still some competitive players on the Coop staff who play to win. (Not to mention Good Lookin’ and Cookie).  Aside from the match there is a message from the chairman of the board and that is the support the Coop receives from the students and how the Coop likes to support our youth in the community.  It is at this time that equity cheques are handed out to some of our students and the Coop also provides the student government with some gifts to act as give aways throughout the year.  All and in All it is one of those good moments between community and school.  It is also important to continue to mention the good things seen in our school.  As I was walking down the hallway to go help fold up tables in the lunchroom, I saw a Gr. 12 student stop and start talking to one of our Gr. 10 girls.  She asked the Gr. 10 if she was going to the volleyball game and the Gr. 10 said that she wasn’t.  The Gr. 12 continued to try and convince this Gr. 10 to go and I thought good for you.  It is all about building relationships and that is what had taken place today.

October 16, 2010

Act of Kindness

Filed under: Uncategorized — Mr. White @ 2:59 pm

One of the primary classes was visiting the longstanding, famous Book Fair that is going on in the school library and busy looking through all the Book Fair has to offer.  It was “crazy” busy in the library with students buying books. The line up was out the door!  One of our High School students was in line waiting to purchase a book and Mrs. Kentner asked her if she was busy for the rest of the lunch hour.  The High School student politely replied, “No, I don’t think so…”.  Mrs. Kentner asked if she would help take money and the reply was “SURE!”.  WOW!  The note I received from the teacher was: What awesome kids we have at our school!

October 15, 2010

Manipulatives

Filed under: Uncategorized — Mr. White @ 3:30 am

As I walk around the classrooms I notice many students involved in hands on activities.  The little “white boards” are a popular item as students can record their individual answers (thoughts) and readily share with their classmates.  You would be surprised how many classrooms use these slates, young and old.  Power of Ten is an interesting strategy used in the primary grades, this is such a concrete way of learning to do math.  The excitement in the child’s eye is pretty cool when they get how it works.  Funny though – some of the boys still like to stack the blocks rather than actually do math.  The grade one class decided to share with me their knowledge of a habitat that they had brainstormed on chart paper.  They informed me that in order to survive I would need Water, Shelter, Food, Space, clothing.  I quickly responded that those are all very important but my most needed item for survival was my TELEVISION.  Wow I got a lot of cheers for that one.  Staff are starting to CO – CONSTRUCT criteria for some assignments, this involves student and teacher input which is an effective way to improve student achievement.

Funny Joke

Filed under: Uncategorized — Mr. White @ 1:54 am

The book fair is on in the library and as I was walking through a Grade 2 student stopped me to read one of the jokes she had found in her book.  She said: “Mr. White, do you want to hear a joke? ” I said “Of Course” – Here is the joke.  Why did the student throw her exam in the lake?   ……… She wanted to TEST the waters!  Ha Ha

October 11, 2010

Classroom Procedures

Filed under: Students — Mr. White @ 3:25 pm

One of the keys to making sure a classroom is run properly is to have routines.  If you were to walk into any classroom you would be able to recognize the routines set by the teacher with the students.  As administrators, we perform what are called walk through visits regularly to look for what the students are learning, what strategies are being used to improve student achievement and looking at the walls.

Something that happens throughout the school, especially the younger grades, is how teachers get the students attention.  Some of the innovative ways to refocus students I have seen are:  1. Raise your hand and students do the same.  2.  Call out the technique – “Hands Everyone – students clasp their hands 3.  Rhythmic clapping  4. Stop the music.  Students were excellent to return their attention to the teacher.

Positive Greetings

Filed under: Students — Mr. White @ 3:25 pm

Our advisory system in the high school has many different components.  One is that students from Gr. 9 to 12 are assigned lockers in their advisory group which means that in a group of 15 lockers there will be a mixture of Gr. 9 to Gr. 12 students.  In the past and at other schools the students would be grouped according to their grade that would result in all the Gr. 12’s in a certain area, same with the Gr. 11’s and so on.  One of those special moments happened the other day when I was standing by one of the groups and overheard a real positive comment.  A Gr. 12 student has their locker beside a Gr. 10 and as the Gr. 12 arrived at her locker she said to the Gr. 10 – “How are you doing”.  The Gr. 10 replied that he was doing great and in return asked how the Gr. 12 was doing.  This says a lot about how our students are building positive relationships as I am sure that this takes place numerous times throughout the day.  Also, the students have more time to talk to each other because they have to open their combination lock which for some isn’t that easy or quick to do.

One Foggy Day

Filed under: Students — Mr. White @ 3:24 pm

Everyday before school there are many students from K to Gr. 4 out on the Primary playground busy playing on the equipment or running around.  This morning was different.  I arrived at school my normal time with no visibility problems at all.  Once 8:30 came around, the fog had rolled in and quite heavy for that matter.  As I went out to the playground I saw all the students running out to the field to run through the fog.  It was so neat, it looked like something from a movie as I could hear them laughing and calling out but I could only see shadows of all these little bodies all over the playground.  They ran and laughed for 15 minutes only to have the buzzer send them inside.

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