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News: Friday, May 13th, 2022

News from the Nest - May 16-20

Spotlight on Learning:  French Second Language: Learning through Storyasking. 

Once upon a time there was a group of students who gathered around their teacher for story time.  No, this was not a class of wide-eyed children bustling with anticipation on their first day of school.  This was a class of second language learners ready to engage in the lesson.  If you grew up taking French as a Second Language prior to 1990, then you may be one of the adults who often tells me they don’t remember anything from high school French.  With the introduction of TPRS (Total Physical Response Storytelling) and C.I. (Comprehensible Input) into the classroom, this has all changed.  As my colleague next door has heard, the volume has gone up a few notches, the laughter is more frequent, and it always ends in a roar of thunderous applause.  This is the sound of students engaging in storyasking.  One lesson was called “The 4 Friends” and introduced characters of different sizes and shapes wearing clothing that varied in colour and style.  In case you haven’t guessed that lesson was on Adjectives.  Rather than giving students a long list of vocabulary, verbs, and rules to memorize, I simply “asked” them a story. As the story unfolds, I ask some questions about the characters as a means of a comprehension check-in.  Each character is revealed one at a time, thus building the students’ anticipation and allowing for strategies like “predicting” to occur.  By the end of the story, students can ask and answer a variety of questions. They have learned the singular and plural forms of regular and irregular verbs, as well as colours and basic articles of clothing.  Most importantly, they have learned several adjectives, the different forms of adjectives and where they go in a sentence.  Not once did I have to give them the “rules”.  Now I can move on to having them read a similar story so they can “see” the adjective in written form and make the necessary connections. This has proven to be an effective tool for those students who are not great at memorizing. As for the thunderous roar of applause I mentioned earlier -  that was not for the storyteller.  That was the sound of students acknowledging their own accomplishment, success, and new-found confidence in learning a second language, as they learned happily ever after. 

Spotlight on Learning: Work Experience Program

One of the district’s goals is personalized learning. At Mouat, each student in Work Experience gets a placement personally suited to their career goals and interests and they complete 100 hours of volunteer work experience there.  Mouat is one of the only schools in the district that has a Work Experience program like this where it is in the timetable and the teacher assists in finding students placements related to their career goal. A wide range of students sign up for this course and I get to place students in a variety of areas. Some students will do placements that can lead to employment as they will be entering the work force after graduation, some are getting experience in the trades, and others are trying a career that will require multiple years of university.

A highlight is going out and getting to see the students at their placements where they can show us what they have learnt. Another wonderful part is placing students with former Mouat grads, or people that have connections to Mouat. A few examples of that just from this year are:

Gurkanwal Jassar at Reaper Customs with Nimer Maheru (grad 2019).

Navjit Sidhu at Clearbrook Animal Hospital whose supervisor is Alex Vaclavik (grad 2017).

 Japneet Kaur at Legatum Estate Litigation. Lawyer there is Marc Misner who is the father-in-law of Josh Tournemille (grad 2012). Legal Assistant is Heidi Dick, parent of Ana Dick (grad 2020) and Zac Dick (current gr. 12).Gurkaran Bahga at Stattonrock Construction with Dan Dueck (grad 2002).

Middle School Transitions Underway

The Mouat Applied Skills Program hosted 10 junior high students from Howe Middle. The department welcomed the students to the school and helped them prepare and enjoy some amazing chocolate chip cookies

Congrats Eun Sim

Our delightful Eun Sim has been announced as a recipient of the $40,000.00 Beedie Luminaries Award.  Eun has maintained a straight A final mark in every course she has taken in the past 3 years...many results very close to 100%...while quietly overcoming challenges outside of school.   Eun's academic rigor and service to school and community is astounding and she embodies all the requirements of this generous award!

PAC AGM: 

This Monday, May 16th, is the final PAC meeting of the year and the AGM where we will elect the executive board for the 2022-23 school year. PAC will also be presenting an updated Bylaws & Constitution at the AGM. A copy of the proposed Bylaws & Constitution is available for download and review on the PAC page of Mouat’s website.  All Mouat parents are invited Monday, May 16th at 7:00pm to our virtual AGM – held on Zoom.  Parents please check your email for the code. 

Talent Show Success

The large gym was packed (a feat we haven’t seen in a few years) as our Talent Show finalist took the floor to highlight their skill – from dancing, to singing, to instrumentals, or rap or the students once again shone with their courage to stand up in front of their peers and let their voices soar!

APD Mock Crash and ICBC presentation

The entire school had the optional opportunity to see what happens at the scene of an accident.  As the APD administered a sobriety test, while the Fire department used the Jaws of Life to take apart a mustang to extract the driver and then Emergency response provided medical assistance.  The action was eye opening.   CityTV and News was onsite filming as was Discovery Canada.  Grade 11 and 12 students had a follow up assembly hosted by ICBC.  As we enter the Grad session, and the onset of our grade 10’s and 11’s getting their L’s and N’s we want to ensure that all our students are safe on the roads and make it home to their families each night.