Learning First

Updates from Director of Instruction Carl Cooper

Mar. 14:  Math problem of the week.  Level 5 -probability challenge, Yahtzee.

Level 5 Yahtzee

Mar. 14:  District Numeracy Committee is working on a district created math assessment aiming to pilot this May.  The assessment will be connected to the critical concepts documents.  Below are links to Critical Concept overview, and then Kindergarten to grade 5 Critical Concept documents.  Great work by the Numeracy Team.

Critical concept documents from the SD83 District Numeracy Committee

Kindergarten Critical Concept Nov 2017

Grade 1 critical concepts Nov 2017

Grade 2 critical concept sheet Nov 2017

Grade 3 critical concepts Nov 2017

Grade 4 critical concepts Dec 2017

Grade 5 critical concepts Nov 2017

Grade 5 critical concept – fractions

Mar. 12:  Student Talent show this Friday at MV Beattie once again sponsored by Music Teacher Carey Lelond.  Here staff members (L to R) Brent Huntington (guitar), Stephen Pyle (vocals), and Raegan Petch (drums) practice for their performance on Friday.  Great to have staff involved and willing to step up with students.

Mar. 12:  Spatial reasoning and problem solving two key numeracy concepts for students.  We were challenged by Numeracy Leader Val Edgell last week to solve this 5 x 5 grid (Suduko-like) to ensure that every row and column has a tower of different heights (1 to 5) and to ensure that from ground level you see the ‘correct’ number of towers written at the end of the row/column.  Couldn’t figure it out, so took it home.  Persistence is a very important characteristic that our students need to succeed…. I needed a little to solve this challenge. Good lesson and reminder for us adults.


Mar. 9:  Check out – Len Wood Middle School’s ‘self-directed, access anytime, anywhere learning”’ as developed and supported by teachers Brad Justason and Jason Inkster for Grade 8 Explorations.  


Mar. 8:  Here is one of our weekly math problems of the week that goes out to schools every week.  District Numeracy Leader Val Edgell prepares these every week for our students, teachers and schools.  This is a level 1 problem, with the solution attached.

Level 1 Haley’s hiking

Mar. 7:  47 Late French Immersion registrations last night.  We have room for all interested students for next year.  Anyone interested in registering for Late French Immersion should register at Shuswap Middle, on a first come basis.  We still have room for more students.

Mar. 6:  Reminder of Late French Immersion Meeting tonight for parents of current grade 5 students. 6 p.m. at Shuswap Middle School. Late FI brochure 2018

Mar. 1:  Meet the SD83 Instructional Learning Team (ILT)

We are a team of educators from School District No. 83 in the North Okanagan-Shuswap. Our goal is to connect with other educators in our district to create meaningful professional learning opportunities which will support student learning and engagement. Members of the Instructional Learning Team are available to support interested educators through co-planning, co-teaching, and co-learning. If you are interested in working with the ILT as an individual or as a school team, please contact an ILT member directly or Jennifer Findlay at jfindlay@sd83.bc.ca.

Jessa Clark: Jessa has been teaching at high schools throughout SD83 for the past 9 years with a focus in Math, Science and Technology. She is excited to join the ILT as the Middle/High School Ed Tech Support Teacher. She hopes to share some of the successes (and failures) she’s experienced when incorporating technology into her lessons, help build interest in technology as a tool and continue to grow her knowledge of available EdTech resources. jeclark@sd83.bc.ca

Leslie Drinovz: Leslie is currently the Gifted Inclusion Teacher in SD83 who works with many students across the district in many different schools. She recently moved from Sea to Sky School District where she taught for over 20 years in grades 1 to 4 and was also a member of their Instructional Leadership Team. Leslie would love to work collaboratively with colleagues in SD83 and she is excited to be a part of this team of teachers who are willing to work together to support students. ldrinovz@sd83.bc.ca

Jennifer Findlay: Jen is currently the Early Learning Coordinator for the district and she also teaches Kindergarten part-time at Parkview Elementary. She is excited to be a part of the Instructional Learning Team and looks forward to collaborating and learning with the team members and educators around the district. jfindlay@sd83.bc.ca

Jennifer Kelly: Jen has worked as our district literacy helping teacher for the past three years. She has four years of experience working as a literacy intervention teacher and is passionate about helping to support teachers with balanced literacy in the classroom and how to support our students who are struggling developing their reading processing system. She has taught courses at UBCO and TRU on early literacy and language arts. jkelly@sd83.bc.ca

Laurelle Larmand: Laurelle has spent most of her teaching career as a primary teacher at small rural schools in our district. She currently teaches Grade 2/3 at Hillcrest. As an Elementary/Middle School Writing Support Teacher, Laurelle is excited about this opportunity to collaborate with colleagues and explore how we can help students become passionate and lifelong writers. llarmand@sd83.bc.ca

Sandra Major: Sandra began her teaching career in elementary education at an all-girls private school in Vancouver in 2003. Upon moving to Salmon Arm in 2012, she worked for the Literacy Alliance of the Shuswap Society (LASS) as the Children’s Literacy Outreach Coordinator. Currently, she teaches Grade 2 at Ranchero Elementary. As an Elementary/Middle Literacy Support Teacher, she is hopeful that she can be helpful to those teachers who, like her, value the time to reflect, learn and collaborate with others. smajor@sd83.bc.ca

Quinn Olson: Quinn trained as a middle school generalist teacher through the University of Victoria. He has been teaching in a variety of schools in SD83 since 2013 and is currently teaching Grade 8 at Shuswap Middle School. As the ILT representative for middle school assessment, he intends to promote healthy conversations and provoke curiosity through collaborative discussion around assessment possibilities and the new curriculum. qolson@sd83.bc.ca

Emily Styles: Emily currently teaches French Immersion Kindergarten at Bastion Elementary. She has also taught Grades 1, 3, elementary music, and ESL in Russia, China, and South Korea. Emily is passionate about how Outdoor Learning and Indigenous Perspectives can tap into natural and fulfilling ways of learning and teaching. Emily is excited to work collaboratively with other educators to explore First Peoples’ Principles of Learning and/or Outdoor Learning. estyles@sd83.bc.ca

Rhys Waters: While Rhys is secondary humanities trained, his experiences have taken him through most content areas, from Grade 6-12, and he currently teaches Math 7, PHE 8-12 and Leadership at A.L. Fortune. His focus with ILT is secondary assessment. He is excited to collaborate with teachers to help create assessment-rich classrooms and schools, with an emphasis on supporting learning through understandable and meaningful assessment for both educators and our learners. rwaters@sd83.bc.ca

Megan Weir: Megan currently teaches Grade 3 French Immersion and Grade 4/5 English at Bastion Elementary and has taught primary French Immersion in Salmon Arm as well as K-7 French Immersion in Burnaby and Richmond School Districts. She is excited to join the ILT as an Elementary/Middle School Writing Support Teacher. She looks forward to working collaboratively with colleagues and exploring different ways to nurture our student writers. mweir@sd83.bc.ca

Mar. 1 update:   Math Night for Parents, co-sponsored with DPAC

carole fullerton parent night

We had over 60 parents join us for an evening of Math, talking about and understanding the Math Curriculum and how it is taught.   The evening with provincial Math leader Carole Fullerton was informative and entertaining.  One of the highlights was a kindergarten lesson on ‘how we make and take apart 10’ using the book: One Is a Snail, Ten Is a Crab: A Counting by Feet Book (by April Pulley Sayre).

Feb. 20 update:  Math Night for Parents, Thursday, February 22, 6 pm at the DESC.  Come see Carole Fullerton provincially renowned math expert and facilitator, explain the why and how behind how Math is taught today.  Thanks to DPAC for co-sponsoring.









Feb. 19 update:  An update on our Report Card and Student-Parent Conference Initiative at 12 schools this year.  Over 350 parents and 60 teachers have given us great feedback.  Over 80% of parents found both the new written report card and the student-parent-teacher conference as positive, having specific individualized feedback and clear information about their child’s achievement.  Both parents and teachers (>75%) would like to see Student-Parent-Conferences continued in future years.  My appreciation to the assessment and reporting committee for their hard work in creating this initiative.  We have received some great feedback and suggestions for improvements to both the written report card and conference.  We will take this back to our team and make some refinements and the present a recommendation for our district.

2018-02-20 11_19_16-conference feedback-parents.xlsx - Excel2018-02-20 11_21_46-report card feedback-parents.xlsx - Excel