Imagine, Explore, Create

Imagine, Explore, Create

Friday, 23 October 2015

Grade 3 & 4 Students Vote!

On Thursday October 15th our grades 3 and 4 students participated in their first ever Student Vote sponsored by CIVIX, which is a "non-partisan registered charity building the skills and habits of citizenship within young Canadians." In the days leading up to Student Vote Day, the students explored concepts such as democracy, rights and responsibilities, levels of government, political parties and the voting process.


Student Vote connects with the grade 3 & 4 Social Studies curriculum in a variety of ways including; quality of life, selection of leaders, public service, group decision making, goods and services, natural resources, and it was a natural connection for our grade 4 students who had just returned from a week at City Hall School. In preparation for the vote, students engaged in complex questions such as:

  • What responsibilities come with our rights?
  • How is voting both a right and a responsibility?
  • How does a person make a decision about who to vote for? 
  • How is my life affected by government?
After making their identification badges and learning how to correctly mark a ballot, our grade four Poll Clerks and Deputy Returning Officers supervised the votes. Students stepped behind real Elections Canada voting booths with ballots containing the names of the candidates in our Douglasdale, Shepard riding and cast their votes into actual Elections Canada voting boxes. At the end of our exciting day the votes were counted and reported to Student Vote in Ottawa.


This year over 850,000 students across Canada cast votes from over 6000 schools. With over half of all schools in the country participating, this was the largest Student Vote event to date! On the evening of the federal election, after the closing of the polls, the Student Vote numbers were released. 

Here are the National Student Vote results:

Liberal Party - 37% of the popular vote with 223 seats
Conservative Party - 26% of the popular vote with 69 seats
NDP - 20% of the popular vote with 40 seats
Green Party - 12% of the popular vote with 4 seats 
Bloc Québécois - 1 seat

Here are the Douglasdale Student Vote results:

Conservative Party - 39.58%
Green Party - 31.25%
Liberal Party - 18.75%
NDP - 10.42%

A complete list of the Student Vote results broken down by country, province, city and school can be found at 

Friday, 2 October 2015

A Week at City Hall

This September each of our grade 4 classes went to City Hall School for a full week of learning. Students met with experts and city official, walked through historic neighborhoods and looked closely at the idea of legacy. Here are some student reflections, photos and creations from their weeks downtown.

Looking (closely) West along the C-Train line

"My favourite part of Historic City hall building is the word “City Hall” above the balcony on the side. I chose this part of the building because it is fading away and they need to repair it. It is also pretty fascinating and it is hard to find."

"We should preserve Historic City Hall because it hides many secrets and will teach future generations what our past was like and will tell us what life was like back in the 1900’s. My favourite part of Historic City hall building is the balcony because back then all the buildings were pretty small and you would have a nice view."

"We should preserve Historic City Hall because it is special, it has the mayor’s office and stuff and it has a lot of hard craftmanship and work into it. My favourite part of Historic City hall building is the clock tower."

"I chose this part of the building because in the olden days most people could not pay for a pocket watch so they could just look at the big clock and tell what time it is and they could hear the big dong on it when the bell rings when it gets to 12 o’clock."
A meeting with the Mayor

"I learned what Mayor Nenshi was before he was Mayor Nenshi. He was a professor."

 A great place to sit and sketch 
Learning about Calgary's new Cycle Track

Friday, 18 September 2015

"What We Learn With Pleasure, We Never Forget" (Mercier)

Here there and everywhere...adventures await at Douglasdale. City Hall School, Tennis, Studio Art, Drumming, BBQs and stories, stories, stories are just a few of the things that happened this week.

Tuesday, 8 September 2015

First Days Fly By

The first week of classes seemed to fly by as students, teachers and families settled back into the excitement and routine of another school year!

 There will be a lot happening in, around, and outside our school walls this month. Grade 1-3 students will head off to swimming lessons at Acadia Pool, Grade Four classes will each spend a week at City Hall School, and a tennis instructor will join our Phys. Ed classes to share her expertise with all of the students. A full list of events can be found in our Sept. Calendar on the school website.

                 SOMETHING NEW
We are very excited to welcome Ms. Sarah Grodecki as our very own Douglasdale Studio Artist for the 2015-16 school year. Miss. Sarah is a 2015 graduate of Alberta College of Art and Design. Her practice encompasses a multidisciplinary approach including, but not limited to, photorealist oil painting, interactive performance art and photographic documentation. She will spend 15 hours a week at Douglasdale School supporting students and teachers in their classroom artistic endeavors as well as working on her own art pieces in her studio in the Learning Commons. While Miss. Sarah paints, students will have the unique opportunity to sit, observe, journal, ask questions or work alongside her on some of their own creations. Please join us in welcoming Miss. Sarah to the Douglasdale School Community and stop by the LC to say hello if you see her in there working.

We look forward to meeting all of our DDS parents at "Meet the Teacher" on either Sept 10th or 11th. Please log into conference manager on the website to book your time. 

Thursday, 18 June 2015

Kindergarten Makes a Splash with Watershed Award!

Each year, students across Canada take on inspirational projects to learn about and educate others on the importance of protecting our environment for future generations. This year, our Douglasdale Kindergarten students embarked on just such an initiative and we are SO PROUD to announce that their efforts have been recognized on a National scale! 

Link to Award

Link to Project Profile

Our DDS Kindergarten students and teachers have just been awarded the 2015 GRAND PRIZE for RBC's - Evergreen Watershed Champions project! CONGRATULATIONS!! 

  1. The students took a Field trip to Bow Habitat Station to observe fish, learn about the fish life cycle and understand that fish call the Bow River home. They also partnered with the Calgary Stream of Dreams team creating a dream stream mural. The fish mural as well as its environmental message to the community is situated on the fence at the front of our school. 

    They also spearheaded an interactive water walk for the entire school population to take part in. During the course of the walk, participants stopped at a variety of different stations (created by the Kindergarten classes) that educated them about water issues and the importance of water conservation. Over $400.00 dollars was raised that day for a clean drinking water initiative in collaboration with our school’s “Me to We” club. They donated the money raised to a developing country’s clean drinking water project.

  1. But their work wasn't done. The students also connected with Trout Unlimited Canada and painted yellow fish symbols and the words, “Rainwater Only” beside storm drains around Douglasdale. They delivered informative brochures door to door that educated households about storm drain pollution and its effects on fish habitat. Another field trip saw the students visit Fish Creek Park to observe first hand how storm drains empty into the Bow River. 

  2. To further deliver their message to the wider community, each Kindergarten student was responsible for enhancing one paper grocery bag, from Planet Organic, with information about water conservation and/or storm drain pollution and it’s effects on our local watershed. The children conveyed their messages through text and drawings. The embellished bags were then returned to Planet Organic (Elbow Drive location) and were handed out to customers on Earth Day!  

    “We need to take care of our river. We are lucky to have it in our city.” ~ age 5

    “All of the storm drains in our city lead to the Bow River. Nothing bad can go down the
    drains. If it does it will kill the fish.” ~ age 5

    “The Bow River is close to our school. It is a little piece of paradise!” ~ age 5 

    “We are really lucky. The water in the Bow River is so clean and fresh. After it is filtered we can drink it easy. We don’t have to worry about water like kids do in Africa.” ~ age 6

    “I saw my neighbour washing his car in his driveway. This is not good! I wanted to tell him to stop because it will hurt the fish in the river, but my Mom doesn’t know him so I can’t go talk to him.”    ~ age 5

    “Only rain down the drain. This is what I learned from the Stream of Dreams.” ~ age 6

    The fact that this remarkable project was carried out by our school's youngest learners demonstrates that young children CAN make a difference in the world. When students are invited to "dive a little deeper" into complex issues, connect with experts in the field, and share their learning with a wider audience, the impact is far-reaching and lasting! 

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Grade One Leighton Centre Trip

On Monday June 8th the Grade Ones went on a wonderful trip to the Leighton Centre.  What a wonderful day to spend outside enjoying nature!  It was 30 degrees! Sketching, exploring animal antlers, going on a nature hike, learning about Mr. and Mrs. Leighton,  and  creating watercolour trees were a few of the wonderful activities that we enjoyed. 

Some of the children reflected, "We painted a tree and we used acrylic paints. We put water and paint on our paper and then we blew with a straw. They turned into awesome trees. We made a little a picture of the "The red spoon Dairy Queen-asaurus" on sandpaper. Then each one of our pictures was ironed onto one pice of fabric. We went to Echo Hill and made an echo."

  • KS says, "I liked holding the reindeer antlers and teeth!"
  • MT says, "We sang "Let it Grow" to our docent Ms. Jacquie. She liked it very much so she asked us to sing it twice! I liked going outside because I got fresh air."
  • KS says, "We went on a nice walk through the forest. It felt nice and cool."
  • EG says, "I liked being in the forest because you could go into a very good hiding spot like in the high grass."
  • MC says, "We got to go and play in a mini forest."
  • EK says, "I like when we got to eat snack outside on the tables. I wish we could go outside for snack at the Leighton Center every day. You should teach your little brother or sister to do art so it is important for you to learn art too."
  • JR says, "It is important to go outside in nature so that you can learn about nature and pass what you know about art around so that it grows and more people can learn about art."
  • AS says, "It is important to play outside so that you can learn about nature."
  • XK says, It is nice to go outside and enjoy nature."

Monday, 8 June 2015

A Culinary Experience for our Eco Team

On Monday June 8th our Eco Team visited Jackson's Garden at SAIT to culminate a year of hard work educating Douglasdale students and staff about the benefits of paper towel composting. Jackson's Garden is SAIT's culinary garden. The students met with Chef Andrew and his team to learn the ins and outs of edible plants and flowers as well as the amazing world of honey bees.

The morning started with a tour of the garden. The students all tasted a variety of plants including: French Tarragon, Thyme, Mint, Nasturtium, Spearmint, Lemon Balm, Chocolate Mint, Asparagus, Viola Flower, and Begonia Flower. We learned that Stinging Nettle is a superfood, Lemon Balm will ward of mosquitoes, and the Yarrow plant once helped soldiers stop their bleeding wounds.

Next we went up to the rooftop observatory to watch the honey bees at work. We learned that a Queen Bee can lay 1500 eggs in a single summer day and that a bee will fly up to 3km in one direction to find food and still make it back to the hive in time for bed. While up on the roof, we got to dig our spoons right into a fresh, sticky honeycomb and savor the sweet honey in its purest form. What a treat that was!


When we returned to the garden, we visited their worm compost. We were given a mini compost in a bottle to bring back to the school so that we can show the rest of the students how the worms will mess up and turn the tidy layers of soil as they digest the food scraps and make new castings. We were also each given a sunflower seed in a pot to take home and transplant into our own gardens.

There are so many flowers and plants in Jackson's Culinary Garden that each plant needs a sign post. We were so excited to find out that we got to help them paint new posts for this year's plants. While we were busy planting we could smell the wonderful aroma coming from the clay oven. It was coming from our very own Chef Andrew who was busy preparing fresh pizzas for us to top off with our individually selected herbs and flowers. What's that you say? Flowers on a pizza? YES! They were so tasty we just had to make an extra one to take back to school especially for Mr. Wilson. We washed our pizzas down with lots of fresh mint ice tea and then boarded the bus to head back to school.

Mr. Wilson's Edible Garden Pizza

It was a field trip that we won't soon forget!