Posts Tagged ‘#hs4’

The month of November is when plans are due in education which fits in with Habit 2 Begin with the End in Mind – Have a Plan. In the Alberta Education Ministry Business Plan for Education for 2021 – 2024, the Minister articulates goals for the province and then our Holy Spirit Board sets Strategic Priorities that align with the Business Plan. One of the key elements of this habit is to define outcomes before you act.  All things are created twice:  first mentally and then physically.  By defining outcomes before we act, we ensure our efforts are truly effective. We have been working on mentally and physically creating plans for the school year with staff during our learning team time and at our Professional Development Day on October 12th. We have been using The 4 Disciplines of Execution for Educators to guide us in achieving our Wildly Important Goals.  The following areas are the four pillars of our school’s improvement plan:

  1. Faith: Staff & students will grow in their faith and experience the richness of Catholic Education
    • Our focus is on spiritually growth for our school community through prayer leadership.  Through leading prayer or rosary; participating in liturgy ministry; creating prayers for announcements. Chalice or Legacy Lodge; and creating prayer cards, we are aiming to hit 2000 leadership activities for the entire school by the end of the year. 
  2. Learning: High quality instruction rooted in sound research & effective assessment practices to support growth for all learners
    • In this area we are focusing on finding and filling any gaps in numeracy and literacy skills.  For numeracy we have determined that basic number sense will be our focus.  Number sense is understanding the value of a number and how they relate to each other. We are going to look at how student progress in number sense and devise common interventions for those concepts.
    • With literacy we are going to be looking at the key skills needed for reading and how the progression that students make. We will be using Words Their Way to assess and then individualize instruction and interventions.
  3. First Nations, Metis & Inuit: First Nations, Metis and Inuit education for all
    • Our focus here is to ensure that staff and students learn about and understand five aspects of indigenous culture, history and/or traditions.  We started the year with the Legacy of Hope display to allow a better understanding of residential schools.  Working with our First Nations, Metis and Inuit support worker, our teachers will be able to better understand and infuse content into their lessons.
  4. Wellness: Foster a culture of wellness that is foundational to support learning
    • Our goal for this area is to have our students develop the skills to independently solve their problems.  Our grades 1-6 students have all been taught about Kelso’s Choices and are using this process to solve their small problems.  We will continue to develop skills and track the progress of the different choices being used by students. 

We have school goals and classes will make their own goals that we will track and celebrate throughout the year.  The next step is for our students to set their own Wildly Important Goals (WIG).  For this we will be using the SPACES portfolio platform.  Later on in the newsletter you will see our graphic for the implementation plan.  Look for your email invite to come out the week of the 15th. We will have a parent information night on the 18th and will have our goal-setting evenings on the 23 and 25 of November. Teachers will be working with students during the month to create their goals both mentally and physically.  We look forward to celebrating our goal and the learning we make throughout the year. 

God doesn’t require us to succeed. he only requires that you try.

St. Teresa of Calcutta

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I did a google search on Mary to find out if she was called as a peacemaker. I found a Wikipedia page about the Titles of Mary that were more numerous that I realized. The titles differ from early titles to devotional titles to those associated with images or apparitions.  Yes, I did eventually find that in the Roman Catholic Church she has the title of Our Lady of Peace, Mother of Peace, Queen of Peace or Our Lady Queen of Peace. In this month of Mary, I wanted to talk to you about the Kelso’s Choice program we have introduced which believes that every child is capable of being a peacemaker.

Earlier in the year, we noticed that students were coming up to the adults on supervision to tell them about their problems and then the adult would solve the problem for the students.  Our school counsellor, Miss Ann Elise, suggested Kelso’s Choice conflict management skills program to us which has been effectively used at various schools for over 25 years. We wanted students to Be Proactive (Habit 1) and solve their own problems and conflict. The philosophy of the program fits well with the 7 Habits as it believes that each child is smart enough and strong enough to resolve conflict.

When students are faced with conflicts, the first step for them is to decide if it is a small or a big problem.  A big problem is one that they need adult help to solve and they can make students feel scared, worried or frightened. Examples of big problems are if someone is in danger, a student is hurt or some students are fighting. A small problem is one that students can solve on their own and they can make students feel annoyed, frustrated, embarrassed or have hurt feelings.  Small problems may be the following: not sharing a toy or equipment, pushing or cutting in line, saying you are not out when tagged or arguing about which game to play. In order to solve the problem, Kelso has a Choice Wheel where students can try out a couple of choices to solve their conflict.  If, after trying a couple of choices, the problem isn’t solved then the students can talk to an adult to help them solve it.

The choices on the wheel give both verbal and non verbal options and fit in with what we teach the students with the 7 Habits. The following are the choice the students can make to solve small problems.

Habit 1 Be Proactive: You’re in Charge

These choices remind students that they are free to choose their reactions and are responsible for themselves.  We are asking students to choose to react like water not soda.  If you shake up a water bottle then open it, nothing happens but if you do the same thing to soda, it will explode all over when the cap comes off.  These choices help students act proactively like water.

  1. Tell Them to Stop
  2. Walk Away
  3. Ignore It
  4. Go to Another Game
  5. Wait and Cool Off

Habit 4 Think Win-Win: Everyone Can Win

These choices explore the ideas of fairness and mutual benefit.  We are asking students to consider other people’s wins as well as their own. In using these choices, the students are trying to come up with solutions that benefit others as well as themselves.  They are practicing and learning how to Lead with Love.

  1. Make a Deal
  2. Apologize
  3. Talk It Out
  4. Share and Take Turns

Currently only the Grades 1 and 2 students received the Kelso’s Choice lessons and have practicing the skills.  Next year we are planning on teaching the skills to more grades in the school as we have seen success.  Now, when students come up to us with concerns, the first thing we do is ask them if this is a big problem or a small problem.  We help guide them through the process as needed instead of solving their problems.  The website has a parent page with some information so that you can use the same language at home.  You too can help them to learn to peacemakers at home.

Kelso’s Choice Wheel

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