Imagine, Explore, Create

Imagine, Explore, Create

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?


Wednesday, 9 March 2016

Usborne Book Fair Coming to Douglasdale!

                                The Usborne Literacy Fair is Coming!

Monday, March 14th  – Friday, March 18th

We are very excited to announce we will be holding an Usborne Book Fair here at Douglasdale School.  Come and see Usborne’s award-winning range of entertaining and educational books for children from toddlers to teens!  The range of titles includes arts, crafts, science, history, nature, music, early readers, French, hobbies, sports, activity kits, adventure stories and puzzles.  We have many books which complement and enrich the Alberta Curriculum.  There will be over 300 books on display, including a selection from the more than 40 new titles released this year, and you will also have the chance to choose from over 1000 titles in the Usborne Catalogue.  Rather than taking the books home at once, the books will be ordered and delivered to school approximately 2 weeks later. Come and browse and get to know these outstanding books.

Your purchases will earn 25% of retail sales in free books for use in the school.


Check out the online catalogue by going to the website

Monday, 18 January 2016

Assessment and Reporting

On January 8th the students brought home their first report card of the 2015-16 school year. For those families who are new to the CBE or who have younger students moving from kindergarten into the grades, the report card might look a little different. There are many resources on the CBE website to assist parents in understanding their child’s report card. 

We thought we would use this week’s blog post to address some of the common parent queries.

A report card is divided into subject areas and within those areas into specific REPORT CARD OUTCOMES that describe what your child is expected to know and be able to do (by the end of the school year) according to the Alberta Education Programs of Study. Multiple assessments, along with the teacher’s professional judgment are considered when evaluating student achievement against the CBE report card outcomes.

Rather than receiving one overall grade for a subject, students receive INDICATORS showing the extent to which the child has demonstrated achievement of the report card outcomes. In the fall of 2014 the report card indicators changed from a 5 point scale to a 4 point scale; 1 (Not Meeting) to 4 (Excellent). There is no direct translation from the 5-point indicator scale used in previous years to the 4-point indicator scale that we use now. In other words the new ‘2’ is not the old ‘3.’ 

A ‘2’ in the 4-point indicator scale means that the student has achieved grade level expectations for that report card outcome and that the depth and breadth of their understanding is at a basic level.

Kindergarten is often a child’s first experience with formal schooling. Although many of the report card outcomes are the same as in the higher grades, the outcomes specific to Kindergarten reflect this first exposure to academic life for our young learners. For example, the literacy outcome in Kindergarten, “Uses early literacy strategies to explore, construct and express ideas,” honors the child’s early encounters with text and recognizing the many experiences that ‘grow’ a reader.

The move from grade to grade is always a big one and the leap from Kindergarten to grade one is particularly so! It is important to remember that each grade has a new set of learning outcomes that in many cases build on the year before while also presenting your child with brand new and exciting concepts through which they can explore their world.

Tuesday, 5 January 2016

Studio Artist Update!


Miss. Sarah (our ACAD Studio Artist) needs our help! Please see her message below for more information on some exciting projects happening in her studio space in our Learning Commons!

You have all been so thoughtful in coming up with ideas on what I should create next and I have to say I am very inspired! I did a lot of brainstorming over the holidays and I think I have come up with a new painting idea, but I need your help before I get started!

If you want to take part in my project coming up, there a few things you can do to get involved!

1)   THINK TANK– Jan. 6th – 22nd, 2016
Stop by my studio in the Learning Commons and add your favorite toy ideas to the boxes at the Think Tank!  

2)   MAKER CHALLENGE– Jan. 6th – 22nd, 2016
Participate in the Maker Challenge (beside my studio) and submit your blueprint to help make the wooden easels more stable! I’ll be doing a draw from the submissions in a few weeks and the winner will get a special prize!

And last but not least…

3)   TOY DRIVE – Jan. 6th – 29th, 2016
I am looking to collect some old toys! If you have ONE old toy or game that you aren’t using anymore and you would like to donate it to the project (meaning you won’t get it back!), please drop it off in my studio! I’ve got a bunch of exciting ideas but before I get started I need to get my hands on some old toys, and hopefully you can help me out!

I can’t wait to see all of your submissions and what you all bring in! I’m in the studio every Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday from 8:30-11:45am and all day on Thursdays until the end of the school year, so if you have any questions feel free to stop by!