Our Journey Continues
Keeping in mind our Tait values and our ACT lessons that were taught as part of our commitment to the program, our focus continued, this year, with the social/emotional development of our students. Throughout the year the students read stories that demonstrated many skills and strategies that they could use when they felt the need. We also felt that continuing with the Family Teams activities, which were student-centered, would provide a consistent reminder and support for our key focus which is our TIGERS acronym. In each Family Team event, the students worked cooperatively and were expected to tell us on which of the values we were focusing. The students were also provided with opportunities to self-evaluate afterwards and to express their learning through a variety of written and oral communications.
Below is a description of each of our Family Teams activities that we feel were incredibly successful:
Self-Regulation: This was our first activity of the year. We felt that it would be a great way to begin our school year by speaking about various negative feelings and how to deal with these in a positive way. Many strategies were shared and it was incredible how the students came up with some wonderful and useful ideas. After a short video and sharing of ideas, the students were asked to answer the question: ‘What helps you self-regulate or be calm?’ Each student then prepared a half page poster that was then hung around the school hallways for all to see and make connections.
STEM Activity: This activity was created for students to focus on team building, cooperation and problem-solving challenges. This was a hit! Each team was provided with a small amount of materials such as plastecine, toothpicks and a planning page. Their goal was to create the tallest tower that could hold a tennis ball for at least 5 seconds. WOW! Did they ever meet this challenge with fervour! Our students demonstrated incredible collaboration between all grades, they were engaged and inclusive of all abilities. They couldn't wait to share at the end.
Inclusive: The focus during this event was on multiculturalism and diversity and overall, being inclusive. Our students were read a story, Hello, My Name is Octicorn, which was to be the basis of the group discussions. Students answered questions about how they were alike, how they were different from each other. The task afterwards was to create a puzzle piece that depicted each of their differences. Each team created a puzzle piece that was then glued onto a large T-shirt template and was later unvailed at our Anti-Bully assembly the following week.
Neigbourhood Clean-up: Our final event was one that would include the student body as well as Parent Volunteers. We wanted our students to be actively involved in caring for our community, which is linked to our TIGERS values (Generous and Ecofriendly). Our endeavour was to do a walk-about in the neighbourhood and to pick up garbage as we strolled through the community. Student leaders took photos along the way on the various routes around the school community which were to be made into a picture story. All of us were amazed at how much garbage was left on our roads and walkways. This was a true eye-opener for the students. Great job everyone and thank you for doing your part!