Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Putt-Putt Boats

Project-Based Learning

Here are two videos that I was unable to show at last night's Membership meeting due to time and sound issues.

The first video is from Edutopia and is called "Five Keys to Rigorous Project-Based Learning".

The second video is from Milton Christian School and shows some of the work they did to publish fractured fairy tales.  I enjoyed watching the students looking at their published work.  This project was posted by Tony Schaafsma.


Monday, 16 November 2015

Paris and Letting Your Light Shine

These are the thoughts and reflections of Stephanie, one of our Grade 4 students.  I think it is beautiful.

Her thoughts begin with a quote that Stephanie's teacher, Mrs. Struyk had on the blackboard this morning.  Here is the quote:

"Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that.  Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that."  Martin Luther King Jr.

Here is Stephanie's reflection and her words of wisdom.  "This quote is similar to our school theme because "Let your light shine" makes darkness go away and letting your light shine is showing love to those who hate.  I think this has to do with the attacks on Paris because the people who attacked Paris might hate Paris and its laws, so if Paris shows them hate, it will get war.  But, if they show love to the bandits, it will create hope for a change."

Thanks for letting me share this important message of hope, Stephanie.  You are demonstrating how the love of Christ works.

Friday, 13 November 2015

Student Leadership - Part 2

Last week, I wrote about student leadership at Community Christian School and I want to continue with that theme this week because a parent shared an important photo and explanation with me that I thought everyone should know about.

In the photo below, we see one of our Grade 8 students, Matthew, taking on a leadership role in our community.  He is a member of the 895 Mount Forest Air Cadet Squadron.  As a member of this squadron, Matthew volunteered to be part of the Vigil Party at two cenotaph services on Remembrance Day.  We are proud of Matthew for taking on this role.  It brings us joy to see his leadership skills in action.

Matthew's mother, Teresa sent the following note along with the photo to explain it even further.  Here are her words.  "I thought about Matthew last week when you wrote about Leadership, and how he would be taking part in two Remembrance Day celebrations yesterday.  He took on a leadership role at Cadets, by volunteering to be part of the Vigil Party.  This involved learning new commands and dedicating a lot of extra time to practicing.  While at Air Cadets, he represents Community Christian School, in that, other kids know where he goes to school and watch to see if his behaviour reflects what they would expect of a Christian kid.  We are very proud of Matthew for representing Community Christian School well, and for the leadership he shows through his participation at Air Cadets.  Thanks for all the school does to help him develop into the person God is creating him to be!"

As the school leader, I appreciate the words that Teresa has spoken and they indicate we are accomplishing our vision and mission.  However, I also want to highlight that Matthew's leadership skills are being developed by a larger community, as well as Matthew's own commitment.  His parents, his church, his squadron leaders and peers and the school are important partners in this leadership development.

This is the reason that Christian schools exist.  We recognize that we are not the only players in a student's development, nor do we recognize that parents alone, churches alone or community organizations alone play a role in a students development.  We are partners.  We are a community.  As a Christian community, we believe that this development must include the development of a Christian worldview and faith formation and acknowledging that our world, our lives belong to God.  As a school, we develop these beliefs through out all of the curriculum taught.  We do this so our students will be able to serve our God, our community and be exemplary citizens of both heaven and earth.  Matthew demonstrates that we are accomplishing our communal goals.  Thanks Matthew for letting your light shine.

Thursday, 5 November 2015

Student Leadership


What does leadership look like?  The question may seem short, perhaps simple, but leadership is very complex.  In schools, leadership takes many forms, but one the most powerful forms of leadership is often neglected or not thought about very often unless things are going badly.  I am talking about student leadership.

This morning I observed a powerful example of student leadership in action on the playground.  The top picture shows all of the grade 7/8 girls practicing their volleyball skills.  These girls have been doing this for several days.  They are quietly minding their own business and the girls were not really aware of what was taking place elsewhere on the playground.  However, slightly off to their side, the second picture illustrated what was occurring as parallel play.  Five younger students were engaging in the same activity as the older students.  This was the first time that I observed the younger students modeling this activity.

I walked up to the girls and asked if they could spot leadership in action by looking around the playground.  Several were mystified by my question, but at least one mentioned the parallel volleyball activity.  I reminded the girls that as older students they are always being watched by the younger students and that those younger students will model the older students’ actions, whether they are good or bad.  I thanked the girls for their positive leadership and their positive modelling of play to the younger students.  I reminded the grade 7/8 girls to never forget that others are watching and modeling their behaviour.  This is a huge responsibility because we need to see positive leadership and role models and stamp out negative leadership.

Meanwhile the grade 7/8 boys were actively engaged in a great game of baseball, where they demonstrated the same positive leadership as their female peers.  No younger students were modelling their game today; however, a couple weeks ago, you would have spotted the younger boys also engaged in a great baseball game on a parallel diamond.

I am thankful for our older students.

Take some time to pray a prayer of thanksgiving for our student leaders for their positive leadership and pray that they may not fall into the temptation to use their leadership in a negative way.