Imagine, Explore, Create

Imagine, Explore, Create

Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Some post flood "comic relief" from our studio artist

We always knew it was pretty great around here but the collaborative and flexible culture of the Douglasdale school community is especially evident in every corner of our building these days! This past week we have seen incredible demonstrations of resiliency, perseverance, patience, compassion, cooperation, and fortitude from our students and staff.
As you know, we returned from Family Day long weekend to a flood in our west wing and quickly needed to relocate ten classrooms to other parts of our building. This move saw Kindergarten take over the learning commons, Grade 2 take over the gym, CSSI and SKILL take over the staffroom, green screen room and maker pantry, and Mr. Anderson transform into a traveling musician.
It didn’t take long for everyone to adjust to their new spaces and to be reminded that a change of physical environment can support creativity and innovation and that learning isn’t confined to a classroom. 

Our studio artist Jason even dedicated this month's newsletter comic to our 100th day of school "hundred year" flood.

A big thank you to all of our students and staff for making the best of a soggy situation!

Monday, 6 February 2017

We love to #JamWithJason

Each month our Studio Artist Jason Mathis designs a new comic for our newsletter. Sometimes our students choose the character and create the story, like the Chudu comic made with one of our grade one classes. Sometimes the comic highlights something special that happened at DDS that month.
Starting in February, Jason will be inviting students to create comics about famous Canadian people and events. Watch the #JamWithJason board outside the learning commons as the "Comics For Canada" start to pour in. 


                        CANADA’S 150th

Did you know that February marks the 150 day countdown to Canada’s 150th Birthday? 

2017 is Canada’s Sesquicentennial and we plan on celebrating! 

CANADA DAY IN MAY! On May 1st we will celebrate Canada Day in May. Think Maker May with a Canadian Twist. Get your Canada flags ready!

CANADA MURAL! As we count down to the big day, students will work to gather 150 facts about our wonderful country. Each morning we will draw a new fact and read it during morning announcements before affixing it to our CANADA 150 mural in the piazza.

CANADIAN MUSIC MONDAYS! Starting on the first Monday in February and continuing every Monday until the end of the school year, we will play a song by a Canadian artist as students enter the building.

COMICS FOR CANADA! In February, the #jamwithjason bulletin board outside the Learning Commons will be transformed into a “Comics for Canada” board. Students will be invited to hang up comics that they create about famous Canadian people or events past and present. Our Studio Artist Jason will also be creating some cool comics for Canada. Watch for them in upcoming newsletters.

DDS AMBASSADORS! As one of Mayor Nenshi’s “3 Things for Canada” & “3 Things for Calgary” initiatives, our Eco Team is lining up some awesome DDS Ambassadors to help us tackle the traffic troubles in front of the school during morning drop off. You will soon see Grade 4 students wearing bright vests and offering to escort younger students to the back play area between 8:05 and 8:20am. 

Our “I HEART Canada" Family Dance will be held on February 15th . Families will be invited to wear red and white, dance the night away in the gym, and participate in some fun, Canadian themed events including an antique dress up photo booth.

If you follow Douglasdale on Twitter @dds346 be sure to look for the hashtags #ddslovescanada and #jamwithjason


Wednesday, 5 October 2016

Let's Meet Our Studio Artist Jason!

We are so excited to introduce Mr. Jason Mathis as our 2016-2017 Douglasdale Studio Artist! A studio artist is different than an artist in residence in that they get to stay with us ALL YEAR LONG and our school quite literally becomes their studio. 

For 15 hours each week, Jason's studio in the Learning Commons is a space where students and teachers can come together for discussion, critical thinking and the generation of new ideas. Children come down on their own time and ask Jason questions about his work and they also come down with their peers for more intentional lessons and discussions. From time to time Jason will work in classrooms, helping students develop their sense of story through art. 

Jason has been living abroad in Scotland for the past 7 years where he worked as Program Leader at the Glasgow School of Art. He has also worked as an Arts Facilitator with adults with disabilities. Jason is interested in exploring the relationship between text and image through comics, digital collage, drawing and painting. Each month, Jason will be creating a comic page for our school newsletter that highlights some of the conversations and work he has engaged in with the students. You can also follow his interactions on Twitter with the hashtag #jamwithjason and be sure to visit his interactive bulletin board outside of the Learning Commons.

We look forward to delving deeply into the arts, transforming our learning space, and fully immersing our school community in this creative experience. A huge thank you to our generous School Council and to Education Matters for funding this exceptional opportunity!

Thursday, 26 May 2016

We Love Literacy @ Douglasdale School

"You introduced me to the power of words. You first showed me how reading pretty much anything but especially great literature serves as a lens through which we can view our lives and our changing world. What a gift you shared with me....I can't imagine what my life would have held without reading and writing. And I can't think of reading and writing without thinking of you and your influence.  For that, for you, I am and will be eternally grateful."

Excerpt from a letter written by Governor General David Johnston to his Grade 10 Teacher Miss. Wilkinson.
Taken from his 2016 book Letters to a Nation 

This week we put the spotlight on literacy at Douglasdale. The days were FULL of special literacy assemblies, guest speakers, switch it up read-alouds by different teachers, and the ever popular cuddle up with a book in the gym. 

Students and teachers shared their thoughts on why they love literacy. Here are some of their submissions:

 "I love literacy because I love learning new things. It's cool because it helps me calm down. Let's turn on our brains and start with literacy!" 


"I love literacy because you get to use your imagination to find out mysteries and sometimes it will make you cry and when you talk you are using literacy too." 

"I love literacy because it is fun and when I read it sparks my imagination. I love interacting with other people. My favorite part is writing down my feelings on paper."


 "I love literacy because I get to imagine when I write and read. I love to fill my play time with books and pencils. Whatever I am reading I feel like I am there."

"I love literacy because it makes me happy and it makes my brain bigger and bigger!"

A great big thank you to our S4 Constable Mattice and to Mr. Todd Kauffman from 660 News for sharing stories and your love of literacy with us this week.  

Monday, 9 May 2016

Literacy with Puppet Pals in SKILL & CSSI

Working with the Puppet Pals app, students in the Douglasdale CSSI and SKILL classrooms created some videos that they would love to share with you.

Students in Mr. Kershaw's class have been working with one of their favorite stories Pete the Cat by Eric Litwin. Using photos taken around the school and puppets that they created themselves, students wrote and recorded their own version titled Pete the Cat Goes to DDS

Students in Ms. Marshall's class have been working with one of their favorite stories 
The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle. 
Using familiar sight words, the students built sentences to retell the story. Enjoy!

Wednesday, 16 March 2016


This week students will be inviting parents into their classrooms to share in the excitement of their learning.  A quick walk through the halls today allowed a sneak peek at some of the engaging things happening. I have intentionally kept the photos close up  so as not to ruin any of their proud surprises. Let's have a look... 

When your child is sharing their work, remember to ask them questions about the process, not just about the product.

What are you learning?

Why is this important to learn?

How do you know if you have done a good job?

How did you overcome any challenges?