Thursday, 4 May 2017

MHPS's 2nd Annual Math Night

On Thursday April 27th, 2017 Moraine Hills Public School (MHPS) hosted their Second Annual Family Math Night which was a huge success!



For those of you who are unsure of what Math Night is, "Math Night is a fun, shared experience that promotes family involvement with math, builds strong family-school partnerships, creates a sense of community, and connects family engagement to student learning" (Family Math Night, 2016).


Re-Visiting



Last year I had the opportunity of participating in this evening through facilitating the "Bear Tracks" math game in the Kindergarten room with my teaching partner at the time, Trista Dutt. If you would like to see more about last years event please scroll back in the feed to my blog post entitled, "First Annual Family Math Night" where you can see how it all began.

The Team


This year, I excitedly took on a leadership role as Chairperson for the event which was a huge honor and great experience for me as a new Teacher. I worked alongside many wonderful staff, including: my Principal Deborah Snow, my Vice Principal Jonathan Weisinger, fellow Teachers, DECE's, Teacher Candidates, and Student Volunteers to co-plan and implement a fun-filled evening with a focus on learning important skills in Mathematics!

This post will highlight the steps that we took in the planning and preparation of our event, as well as showcasing the many stations and activities that MHPS had to offer!

The Process



It is best to begin the planning at least 1 month and a half- 2 months before the event to ensure we have enough time to plan, prepare, and implement effectively. Once you have your volunteers you can host weekly/bi-weekly meetings to determine who would like to facilitate what activity. During these meetings we also determined what materials and resources we had in our school and which materials needed to be purchased. We kept track of all of these lists and information in a Google Drive that was shared with all participating staff members. Once we knew what needed to be purchased, I would purchase the items and then submit the receipts. Each staff member was asked to prepare materials and a one page parent handout for their activity. I created a template which the staff filled in, so that we could maintain consistency in information presented and appearance (Templates were a staff request). Any signs, posters, and name tags were created by our grade 6, 7, & 8 students whom we refer to as our wonderful "Creative Team" whom I supervised during lunch recesses. We invited parents through an electronic survey which informed us of the number of families and children attending per household. We also sent out a paper reminder in class to ensure that we are reaching all of our families, even those without computers or smart phones. After each meeting I sent out a meeting summary and weekly goals so that everyone stayed connected, informed, and on track.

The Event

Our staff volunteered their time after school to help set up their activity or station. The event began at 6:30p.m. and ended at 8:30p.m. During the event, everyone was not just facilitating their activity but interacting with parents and modelling a positive mindset towards mathematics and learning!












Our VP recruited a STEM team which provided various challenges and of course... GIANT LEGO! 


Within the York Region District School Board and our Moraine Hills School Community, we recognize the importance of Mental Health Awareness and two of our staff members (on the Equity and Healthy Schools Committee) ran this station at our event. It allowed our students and their parents to learn about different strategies to help them cope with stress. It also provided them with an opportunity to reflect on if they have found or would find it to be helpful for them to utilize when they were feeling stressed. We also sold Smencils, which were scented pencils and all proceeds were donated to CAMH which is a centre for addiction and mental health.


Resources


For more information about Math Night, as well as obtaining parent handouts and resources, please visit: www.familymathnight.com

For more information about Mental Health & Mathematics, please visit: http://bit.ly/mentalhealth_math (this is a YRDSB resource, must be an employee to access)


YRDSB Networks



Our board encourages educators to share their thinking and learning, as well as their students' thinking and learning through using the following hashtags:

#YRDSBMATH

#YRDSBMH 
(MH=Mental Health)

My Reflection



I felt that this event went very well because of our amazing TEAM! Each of you pulled your strengths and resources together and dedicated your time to help such a positive event and I thank each and every one of you! It was amazing to see all of the pieces come together. It was also nice to see a big turnout because this means that we have a lot of parents in our community who are willing to receive resources and supports to build connections between the learning at school and the learning at home. I would most definitely take on this role again and continue to co-plan and facilitate Family Math Nights for each year to come!

~Rose Anna Marcelli, OCT, RECE


Sunday, 19 February 2017

The Occasional Teacher Experience


Benefits of Starting as an Occasional Teacher


I have now been supplying for over one month and I couldn't love it more! Supply Teaching provides you with the opportunity of gaining exposure to different grades, types of classrooms, types of learners, types of communities. It allows you to learn flexibility in teaching because sometimes not everything may go as planned, and thats okay! It allows you to learn different teaching strategies or ways to set up the classroom environment based on the grade/needs of the learners. It allows you to practice your behaviour management and attention grabbing strategies. What works for one grade/school/class/student, may not work for another so you are always curating a variety of strategies that meet the needs of a variety of learners. It allows you to enhance time management and organization skills in that you must plan your time accordingly to travel to and from different schools/areas, stay on task with the lesson plans, prepare needed materials, co-ordinate resources, etc. It allows you to enhance your communication skills as you are: communicating expectations/tasks to your students, collaborating with grade teaching partners or other supports in the classroom, and reporting to the classroom teacher or office as required. There are many more benefits, but these are just a few!

My Top 5 Recommendations

Here are a few tips and tricks that I personally find helpful within this role:

1. Sleep at a reasonable time: the more you sleep, the better you feel, and the more productive you are!


2. Take your vitamin C!: you want to keep your immune system strong so that you don't miss out on days of work!


3. Track your jobs: keep track of your jobs and conduct a weekly check to ensure that when you have completed the job it says "finished". Sometimes secretaries get busy and forget so it is your job to ensure you get paid on time.



4. Manage your time wisely: if you have accepted a half day job in one town in the morning and you get called for an afternoon job 2 towns over and don't think you can make it on time, don't accept that job. You always want to set yourself up for success and that would just add unnecessary stress for you.


5. Keep a "bag of tricks": whether its a binder, in your mind, or an actual bag full of items you should keep a bag of tricks that will keep your students engaged. There will be times that a teacher does not leave any plans due to an emergency leave, or if students finish their assigned work and have nothing else to work on for the day. This is where you need to be prepared and have some backup lessons/ ideas/ games that you can implement so that your students remain engaged.


You can purchase these cute tote bags from ThirtyOne 

New Look to My Educational Social Media Accounts


I have really been enjoying this experience and even though it has only been a short amount of time, I feel that I have gained many valuable learning opportunities that will continue to enhance my Professional Practice as a Teacher. Not only am I curating ideas for my future classroom for myself, I am also sharing these ideas with other Educators Globally through my Educational social media accounts @Educate.Invest.Inspire so that together we may build a strong network and enhance classroom experiences for all learners within all communities!

My Educational social media accounts used to reflect my own lessons/ideas/curated resources within my Kindergarten classroom during my role as a Designated Early Childhood Educator. You may still access all of those resources if you scroll down in the feed. Now, my Educational social media accounts will focus on ideas/lessons/resources that I am currently curating within my Occasional Teaching Role within York Region District School Board. This will reflect grades from Kindergarten up until Grade 10.

I look forward to continuing on this path as an Occasional Teacher, but I also look forward to obtaining my first LTO! Can't wait for that day but until then I plan to inspire my students each and every day!






Thursday, 5 January 2017

YRDSB's Newest Supply Teacher!

On Wednesday, January 4th, 2017 at exactly 2:34p.m. my dreams of becoming An Elementary School Teacher had finally come true!

I have wanted to become an Elementary School Teacher ever since I was 8 years old. I would always play “school” with my sister and my younger cousins... and of course... I was the teacher! I was always interested in reading books, writing stories, and creating pieces of art. My parents and family always fostered my interests and supported my decisions so that I can continue doing the things that I love most. One amazing thing I never forgot as a child was that they gave me a Crayola crayon suitcase…I still have this suitcase today (see picture below). Many great art pieces in my childhood were created with this and many of our “school” days where I was “teaching” we used these crayons.





I even organized the colours by shade. Excellent organization skills since 8 years old!


At the end of grade 3, our teacher wanted us to draw a picture of what we wanted to be when we grew up so that she could put it in the yearbook for our class’s section. Of course, this was a no brainer for me…I drew a picture of myself as a teacher and what looks to be I am teaching mathematics at the time (see picture below).



As soon as I became a teenager I went to take a babysitting course so that I could begin a career working with children. As a young adult, I attended college and obtained my Early Childhood Education Diploma (With Honours). I knew teaching was my passion and continued my education in obtaining my Bachelor of Child Development Degree (With Honours) and my Bachelor of Education Degree (With Highest Distinction). That day was one of the greatest days of my life. The moment I walked across that stage marked the day I became an Ontario Certified Teacher (see picture below).



I would not have been able to accomplish all of that schooling plus the Additional Qualification Courses and Certificates that followed, without the love and support and guidance from my amazing family, amazing fiancé and amazing friends! I am very thankful for each role you all have played in supporting my dreams of becoming a Teacher!

After graduation I became a Designated Early Childhood Educator for York Region District School Board in a Kindergarten classroom so that I could gain valuable experience until I was hired as a Teacher. I met many amazing educators who guided me along the way. One of which, was my teaching partner Trista Dutt. She did not just view me as an assistant, rather as an equal partner with valuable skills and ideas. We worked together side by side to create a wonderful learning environment for not only our students, but for all educators who were part of our classroom and school community! Together we became one of York Region District School Board’s Learning @ Schools Kindergarten Demonstration Classrooms! This was only one of MANY amazing opportunities that I am so grateful to have had the opportunity of being part of.

Now, I look forward to what is in store for me within this Teaching role…and I absolutely cannot wait!

“It takes a big heart to teach little minds”

This quote resonates with me because I feel that I have a big heart when it comes to educating young minds and I care about the child as a whole. I always try to ensure that my students feel welcomed, included, safe, and respected. I provide learning opportunities that foster individual strengths, needs, interests, and abilities. I believe in student centred education and that learning is co-created between students and teachers.  I believe in lifelong learning as we never truly stop learning because we go through new experiences through our entire lifespan.



 I LOVE teaching!!! and I am so very happy that I now have the opportunity to inspire my students to LOVE learning!!! Here I come!! :) 


Monday, 10 October 2016

Ms. Marcelli's Mental Health Picks




Hello everyone! I am happy to be presenting my first blog of the new school year. I currently sit on the Equity Committee where I have various opportunities to help plan and implement classroom and school wide initiatives pertaining to Respectful and Inclusive Learning Communities as well as a commitment to supporting Mental Health and Well-Being, which reflects the York Region District School Board's Improvement Plan and Mental Health Strategy.


Board Improvement Plan

"The evolution in thinking represented by this Board Improvement Plan for Student Achievement (BIPSA) creates district coherence while recognizing individual school contexts. This BIPSA makes clear our commitment to improve student experiences and outcomes in each of our identified focus areas: Modern Learning, Mathematics and Mental Health. The foundational practices of Equity, Innovation, and Leadership are evident throughout the actions of each strategy" (YRDSB).


Mental Health Strategy



To improve student achievement and well-being we will:

  • "Promote resiliency in our students and foster welcoming, supportive communities.
  • Implement a systemic stigma reduction campaign for schools and workplaces.
  • Continue to support the implementation of a scaffolded approach to building capacity regarding mental health awareness, mental health literacy and mental health expertise.
  • Promote and implement evidence-based practices for building mentally healthy working and learning environments.
  • Support the training and implementation of the LivingWorks Suicide Prevention programs and participate in the development of a Community Suicide Intervention Protocol for York Region.
  • Support the development and implementation of the community plan for the delivery of mental health services and supports in York Region with the MCYS Lead Agency, Kinark Child and Family Services.
  • Reinforce ongoing YRDSB work in well-being via the YRDSB Well-Being Steering Committee which will:
    • continue to develop strategies to address issues of bullying, cyberbullying and substance misuse and abuse;
    • provide supports for positive student character development and good citizenship; 
    • grow our environmental initiatives and Ontario EcoSchools certification rates;
    • continue to foster student involvement and citizenship through character education; and
    • continue to support schools and workplaces in their planning for Healthy, Caring and Safe environments.
  • Engage parents and the community in supporting the well-being of our students.
  • Create a renewed mental health strategy" (YRDSB Director's Annual Plan).

Curation of Children's Books

Over the Summer, I compiled a list of children's books and resources for a variety of Mental Illnesses so that educators, parents, and caregivers have a starting point for introducing the topic, reducing stigma, and providing awareness and support.


  • FEELINGS












  • DEPRESSION






  • ANXIETY/SOCIAL ANXIETY/PANIC DISORDER









  • OBSESSIVE COMPULSIVE DISORDER


  • ATTENTION DEFICIT HYPERACTIVITY DISORDER



  • BIPOLAR DISORDER

  • SUBSTANCE ABUSE






  • EATING DISORDERS






  • SCHIZOPHRENIA DISORDER

  • POST TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER (PTSD) 
Why Are You So Scared?: A Child's Book About Parents With PTSD











I tried to condense the list for the purpose of this blog but you may email me at educate.invest.inspire@gmail.com to obtain a full list of children's books about Mental Health. Also, please feel free to review my Mental Health and Well-Being blog post from June 2016 for more information and resources as to how we have begun to support students in our school community!