Tuesday, 3 April 2018

I Wonder ....


I Wonder…That was the question that was floating through the minds of my grade 1 students as they got off the bus and stared at the Southern Alberta Jubilee to embark on a week long exploration at Jube School.   

They were filled with awe as they were welcomed into their “classroom” and found a cozy spot in the Story Tent.  This was the place where all their wonderings were shared, recorded and documented through pictures and words.
 
During the week of March 12-16, the students explored the theatre to find the best seats in the theatre and were even able to watch the Alberta Ballet perform Cinderella. For many students, this was something they had never experienced! They loved pretending to be a ballerina and learning how stories can be told in so many ways. 

Through their exploration they came to know that the Alberta Jubilee is home to many pieces of art.  The students sketched, asked wonders and shared how each piece of art made them feel.  They also spent the week creating art inspired by Geoffrey Hunter using the layering technique.

One of the many wonderful things about Campus Calgary/Open Minds is the opportunities for students to learn from so many experts.  One of the experts was Dean from Green Fools, who taught them how to create their own puppets and also gave lessons on how to make their puppets come to life by using articulation and remembering the zero of the puppet.  This knowledge sparked enthusiasm in these young learners to continue to make puppet plays in the weeks following.

They also gained knowledge from the expertise of Brennan, who works at the Jubilee as the lighting expert. They learned about gobos, gels and how to project light to create or eliminate shadows through hands on exploration. This knowledge helped to enhance their own shadow puppet retell of “Bear Snores On.”

Two of the greatest experts that the students were able to glean knowledge from all week were Karen and Carly.  These two teachers were a wealth of knowledge, enthusiasm and endless creative ideas that kept the students engaged and continually wondering.  They filled the students days with activities including painting, shadow puppet plays, sketching, drama games, stories and so much more. 

Our week at Jube School was incredible as these young learners gained knowledge about the many facets of a theatre and how it is more than just a play in a big building.  The week was filled with countless wonders and continues to spark so many wonders.

Mary Roy, Grade One Teacher, Fish Creek Park School

Monday, 26 March 2018

Our Lady of the Assumption JH students discover 2School!

I recently had the opportunity to participate in Calgary Campus Open Minds with all the junior high students from Our Lady of the Assumption School. Our teachers applied to six possible venues in hopes of allowing our students to experience these unique learning opportunities. Once the proposals to send the entire junior high class during the same week were approved, it was time to group the students. Teachers presented their sites to the students and allowed them to rank each based on their preference. I was unclear on exactly what 2School would entail, and worried it may not appeal to them, especially when Vivo and Telus Spark were in the running. Once the results were in, my fears were confirmed. My group of 20 skeptical students were disappointed and lost interest in the potential for an exceptional opportunity. After the first day at 2School, everyone's outlook changed. We were excited! We could not wait to see what else was in store for the week. Our experiences during this week exceeded my own, and my student’s expectations.

There were lots of questions prior to our experience. What does 2School stand for? What will we do during our week? Will my grades 7-9 students be engaged? Can we incorporate the ideas from the Calgary Separate School Division into this program, even though we are at the Calgary Board of Education? My questions were quickly answered throughout the week. To start untangling the many mysteries, 2School stands for exactly its name. Two Schools attached - the Dr. Carl Safran Center, an iconic heritage high school built of sandstone in 1910, and the current Calgary Board of Education Building.




At the Dr. Carl Safran center, we had amazing access to an historic classroom, and, although the desks are intended for elementary students, we had access to a nearby boardroom. My students loved the professional feel of this room, and, of course, the fancy chairs. Although the CBE building was our “home base” for the week, we spent our days at multiple sites. Being part of CSSD, we spent 2 half days exploring the CSSD building. We talked with Chief Superintendent Gary Strother, who gave my students a better idea of Calgary Catholic School District’s vision and took time to truly engage with the class. I had the enviable chance to see my students act responsibly and ask eloquent, meaningful questions. 


Prior to going to the site, biggest concern was how to engage my junior students. Although the CCOM site is called “2School”, it has a strong focus on urban living. Downtown Calgary, however, offers access to a plethora of activities, and can cater the activities to meet the needs of your class. I found that my students enjoyed each day as they were able to walk and explore new areas.


Aside from meeting with Chief Superintendent Strother and Trustee Wellman in the CSSD boardroom, some highlights from our experience included exploring the Buddhist religion at the Avatamsaka Monastery, discovering the +15 system in the core and viewing Calgary’s public art showcases. Our experience developed many new relationships, strengthened class bonds, offered new learning experiences, and changed perspectives. It linked us to our own community and opened our minds to the diversity Calgary holds. I strongly recommend 2School to all teachers thinking about applying for CCOM. My students and I took away a wealth of knowledge about our city and our education system. Students, parent volunteers and teachers all agreed that at week’s end, we were still eager to explore more of this rich and vibrant part of our city. 

 



“Overall, it was a fun and unexpectedly enjoyable experience. I was able to learn about Calgary’s core, revolving doors, Buddhism and #YYChotchocolatefest. Now that I’ve got to experience 2School for myself, I would now pick this site as my first choice.” - Grade 7 student.

-Marlies Harding
Grade 7 Teacher
Our Lady of the Assumption










Wednesday, 21 February 2018

Jube School Reflection Our Lady of the Assumption School

As I sit back and reflect on my experiences and the students’ experiences, I can’t help but wonder, what’s next?  Our big idea for our proposal was, “Choose Your Path”.  As educators, we were hoping to introduce our students to new experiences, opportunities and ignite a passion to explore and inquire through various lenses.  Have we introduced them to new options?  Have we captured their interests?  Have we allowed them to express their passion?  What path will they each consider? 

JUBE SCHOOL was exactly that; an opportunity to introduce the visual arts, to learn to ask questions and inquire beyond the obvious and to investigate how others before them have travelled this “path”. At JUBE SCHOOL, students worked in multi-age groups to explore the Visual Arts by questioning, inferencing, critiquing and making connections to personal experiences.  Working with a talented artist,  like Brianna Strong, every day allowed the students to create a relationship with her as they slowly began to step away from their uncertainties and allow themselves the freedom to explore each piece of art work she presented to them.  Before they had even realized it, they were gaining knowledge and incorporating it into their collective masterpiece, our Instragrammable wall.  Our Instagrammable wall is a representation of students, parent volunteers and teachers gained knowledge of colour, lines, texture and shadows.  Each day, students were introduced to each artistic value and asked to explore it, observe it and connect with it.  This new found way of looking at art naturally flowed into their Instagrammable wall.

Our week at JUBE SCHOOL introduced the students to various career options that ranged from make-up artists, technicians, stage designers and union representatives.   Each expert that the students spoke with shared their story of how they entered into this career field, the “paths” they journeyed along.  It became evidently clear that each expert followed their passion and trusted the process as they explored various career options.  Students gained an awareness of how this truly is a process.  They were fortunate to see a multitude of experts who were proud to share their passion.

 JUBE SCHOOL, has been a rewarding experience for all students, volunteers and teachers.  A process that has taken almost a year, from proposal writing to planning and attending; has enlightened many of us through various ways.  New doors and opportunities were introduced to our students and an awakened vision of the Visual Arts has been instilled within us.  I have a new found appreciation of the process that has led the students and I to this learning experience.  Thank you for this amazing opportunity Campus Open Minds and JUBE SCHOOL.  This will forever be part of our story to share with others on our life journey.

Deena Alexander- Our Lady of the Assumption Junior High Teacher

Wednesday, 13 December 2017

MUGS OF JOY



MUGS OF JOY


“Unity is strength…when there is teamwork and collaboration, wonderful things can be achieved.”   -Mattie Stepanek

The spirit of giving and collaboration was very much present at our last Co-ordinators meeting on December 8 at the City Hall School Classroom. The CCOM team and our site Co-ordinators all came together as a community in the spirit of the season to create “Mugs of Joy” for The Mustard Seed. Included in the mugs were items such as  socks, soap, lip gloss, soup mix, deodorant, toothpaste and bus tickets among many other things that are in demand.  It was wonderful to see all the various items that were donated for the mugs to be handed out to clients at the Mustard Seed Shelter. Also placed in the mugs were cards created by students from City Hall School, which shared messages of love, joy and hope to spread some cheer at a time of year that can be difficult for some. Working together we were able to make 20 very well stuffed “Mugs of Joy” that hopefully will spread some happiness to others at this holiday season!


Thursday, 7 December 2017

Exploration of Storytelling and Design Through Various Art Forms - at Jube School


The grade two students at Nellie McClung School had the memorable opportunity of participating in Jube School at the Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium. As the week progressed, our students participated in a variety of workshops that immersed them in the different art forms. After meeting a number of artists in the areas of visual, sound, physical, performing, musical, painting and structural art, students were challenged to create a full set for a theoretical production.





After exploring traditional homes in the Arctic, students created a model of an igloo using balloons, vellum paper, modge podge and plastic cups. The eagerness to have the igloos dry, built through out the days as the sounds of ice cracking filled the room from the drying Vellum paper. We spent the next few days creating the backdrop scene and sound that would finalize the set production. The following morning, students entered the room in amazement as they witnessed their final set design. The lights dimmed, throat singing playing in the distance, and the northern lights dancing in the background. The students gathered around their set design getting lost in the moment.

After having a moment to reflect, the students realized the value and impact that their work has on an audience. We walked away with an appreciation for the arts and the powerful stories that can be told through different art forms. Thank you to the entire team at the Jubilee Auditorium for creating an unforgettable experience!     


Sarah Childs - Grade 2 Teacher at Nellie McClung School