Create, Be Curious, Learn, have Fun and GLOW

#orangeshirtday – EVERY CHILD MATTERS

Today has been declared Orange Shirt Day annually, in recognition of the harm the residential school system did to children’s sense of self-esteem and well-being, and as an affirmation of our commitment to ensure that everyone around us matters. Every Child Matters.


We watched this video a few times. As a class we talked about how sad it must have been for Phyllis to leave home and have things that were important to her taken away.

We talked about how it is important to remember sad things that happen in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada and The World – so that we can remember them and ensure that they Never. Ever. Happen. Again.

Room 129 students really identified with how hard it would have been to go to a Residential School where the students were so unhappy and didn’t like learning. We all agreed that learning and school SHOULD be fun for everyone.

We read a book called When I was Eight – by Christy Jordan-Fenton and Margaret Pokiak-Fenton.

And another book called Amik Loves School – by Katherena Vermette.

Image result for amik loves school

Amik tells Moshoom about his wonderful school. Then his grandfather tells him about the residential school he went to, so different from Amik’s school. So Amik has an idea to have Moshoom come to his school and see what a great place it was. The story ends with Moshoom sitting with Amik and his class in a circle and smudged to welcome a new day.


It is important to have these conversations with children. It is important that they know, that no matter what you believe, no matter where you come from, no matter who you are. YOU MATTER!! Every Child Matters, even if you are an adult. Today is a day we listen to stories with an open heart. We learn about the past and move forward to a stronger more caring and understanding future.

Check out #orangeshirtday online for some inspirational tweets.




Look at these students who LOVE school!

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Giving Food to Shamattawa First Nation

(Click on link below)


The students at Montrose School have been learning about the crisis in Shamattawa. The grade 5/6’s have become very interested in helping the Shamattawa community and they are reaching out to Montrosians to help too. (Mrs. Thomas)

Shamattawa had a big fire, their only grocery store got burned down – so we are giving food to them (Julia). The fire was hard to put out because they don’t have a big fire truck (Anton) or  lots of fire hoses (they have a small fire station – Luca) or long enough ladders (Finnley). Luckily no one got hurt because everyone was at a funeral (Shayle).

Students from Room 132 (Sydney and Jerzy) came in this morning  to give a small presentation on Shamattawa.

We can only bring in canned food or boxed food because it has to be food that can’t be expired (Aude and Mira).

Please help us by bringing in:

  • Flour
  • Boxed Food (crackers, Kraft Dinner)
  • Soup
  • Canned peaches or other fruits
  • Cereal
  • Pasta
  • Canned corn and other canned vegetables
  • Pickles
  • Pancake mix
  • Water
  • Baby Products (diapers, formula, baby food)


We want to go out tonight and get some food to bring into School so it can be sent on a plane to Shamattawa next week. (Aude and Sari). Room 132 will be collecting until Tuesday, October 4th.

(Click on link to see picture)









A Fall walk to inspire Fall poems











Stay tuned for our whirling, swirling, crisp fall poems. Happening this week!

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Creating Highly Effective Teams at Montrose School

This blog is a place for me and my students to express our thoughts, share our learning and communicate information with you our loyal followers. As part of this blog I like to share my ongoing learning journey. This will include writing about Professional Development that I attend, interesting books that I am reading and it may include compelling podcasts that I listen to or inspiring TedTalks that motivate me.

On Monday and Tuesday this week, the staff at Montrose invested some of our PD time into learning about highly effective team building and how to collaborate efficiently within that team. As you know Montrose has had some changes to staff and I am very proud that we are taking the time to really get to know each other and putting TEAM as a priority for Montrose (Because there is no I in Montrose 🙂 lol).

We had Danielle Fullan Kolton come and lead our PD. She has vast experiences from being involved in all walks of education. She spoke with us about strategies we can use to help us work together efficiently. We took personality tests (Obviously, I did the test for my husband too). The personality test was given to shine light and help us to see what our own work style preferences were. We were challenged to think of ways to work through differences of work style with colleagues and given words and phrases to help us in difficult situations.

The part of the day I found most interesting was talking about the Saboteurs of listening. I think everyone struggles with these saboteurs at one time or another. These are not just privy to the education profession. 🙂 We all can be over taken from these saboteurs – one of the biggest ways to overcome them is to be aware.

Here they are in short form:

  • Injecting a narrative from our own experience to identify with the speaker.
  • Searching for something to disagree with.
  • Channeling our inner judge.
  • Pretending to agree with others just to placate them. (Kumbaya moments).
  • Being distracted by cell phone or checking e-mail.
  • Telling yourself a story about how/why someone is feeling/acting and responding based on incorrect assumptions and conclusions instead of facts.

I am  We are all guilty of these at some point in our professional or personal lives. What I appreciated about this PD was the reminder to check ourselves. Danielle clearly mapped out for us how to check ourselves and spoke to how we can gently remind others to check themselves too. Working with different people and different personalities is difficult at times, especially in stressful points of the year (report cards, year end, annual reports, etc. etc. usually the word reports = STRESS! ).

Luckily there are team remedies to help us make a big difference in our collaborative outcomes:

  • Stop talking
  • Be a learner
  • Step up
  • Step back
  • Talk about how you are talking
  • Embrace diversity

One of the points that really stood out for me was; “effective dialogue and collaboration require a specific set of skills, the most important of which is listening. There are no short cuts in collaboration”.

Montrose School is a school with a lot of energy. I am so happy and proud to be a part of a school where we value each other and each others opinions  and we expect everyone to have an opinion. We want to hear it. We are a high impact team and we are only going to get stronger.

The second day of our Professional Development was about mindfulness; as a person, educator and Montrose Teacher. We had Keith Macpherson come and work with us about the topic of  mindfulness. He is wonderful. It was an emotional, fun and very challenging experience and day. I learned a lot about myself, my priorities as an educator, mother and partner to my husband. I looked inside myself to see and understand what I can do FOR myself to BETTER myself in all aspects of my life.

Although I found these days to be a great learning opportunity, I really missed my class so much. It was so nice to see their smiling faces today. I know the school year is just beginning and it is hard to be away and out of “routines” especially in the beginning.  But, I really feel these two PD days have allowed for myself and all of Montrose School staff to get off on the right foot with a good solid ground beneath us.

~ Here’s to being mindful and present this year. I plan to explore mindfulness with my students this year and I can’t wait to have them share their strategies for mindfulness with you.






Today we celebrated #InternationalDotDay . Peter H. Reynolds is the author of The Dot. The Dot is the story of a caring teacher who dares a doubting student to trust in her own abilities by being brave enough to “make her mark”. What begins with a small dot on a piece of paper becomes a breakthrough in confidence and courage, igniting a journey of self-discovery and sharing, which has gone on to inspire countless children and adults around the globe.

Today we were inspired! We read the book The Dot together and then we talked about what happened at the beginning, what was the turning point for Vashti, and what were the lessons that we can take away from the book.


We then took a page from The Dot where Vashti made dot art with negative space. Students were inspired to make positive and negative space dots. I also challenged them to try to create their art using only 100 dots. They turned out so well! Our bulletin board will be up until Meet The Teacher for you to check out in person! 🙂

We then looked at other dot art to inspire us. We looked at Georges Seurat’s A Sunday Afternoon on La Grande Jatte. We estimated he used over 1 000 000 000 dots for his art!


We also went outside and found dots in nature. SO MANY DOTS IN NATURE!!!








I was very impressed to see that lots of the siblings (and parents) got into the Dotty spirit too!



We are all on a creative journey. I challenge you to Make Your Mark.




Oh, this class LOVES art!

Today we had our wonderful Art support teacher Ms. Cathy Woods in to help teach us some art techniques. We looked at our shoes (our lovely NEW shoes!).

First we did a Blind Contour sketch. This required students to look at their shoe and draw it WITHOUT looking at their paper. It was so hard! But they did it! And none  most of them did not even look like shoes! 🙂

Next students did a Look Draw. The students studied their shoe and very quietly noticed important details about their shoe. It was amazing, for about 10 minutes if you walked by Room 129 there was silence – no one was talking at all. Everyone was so focused on their own look draw.

Ms. Woods is so great at teaching these techniques and she is so responsive in the classroom to the students. It really is nice working with her and having her use her great knowledge of art to help teach these skills to all of us.

I live tweeted “The Art Lesson” ! First live tweets of the year! Sometimes I do that :).

Artists at work and at play. Have your child teach you about Blind Contour and Look Draws and practice at home as a family. First full week and we are learning so much!

Check out these awesome pics!










Our Buddies!

This year we are trying something new at Montrose School. Montrose School loooooves traditions, but sometimes it’s nice to try something new! So we have a new locker system. The Grade 5/6’s are partnering with the Grade 1/2’s! Now this partnership will extend farther and deeper than just the lockers…. there will be great things happening between these students this year!

Today we decided a Get To Know You Better was in order. We got EVERYONE together (Those Grade 5/6’s sure have grown… but I did notice that I am still taller! Whew!).

Everyone partnered up with their locker partners (easy) and those that don’t have a Grade 1/2 locker partner – joined in with a group. It went so well. Those 5/6’s are really the sweetest! They really care for and enjoy the 1/2’s. I saw so many sweet smiles, gentle snuggles and happy laughs. We read together, chatted together and really became comfortable with our buddies. The Awesomeness was pretty strong!





Buddies – we love you already. Thanks for being so great!


*********SIDENOTE TO PARENTS*********

You made it! We did it! Hooray! The first week of school is done! Complete! Gosh it flew by! I have to say this class is amazing. Their parents are so encouraging and supportive already (THANK YOU!). And the vibe around Montrose school is one of excitement and engagement.




Look at those students!! That’s a lot of AWESOMENESS in a picture!! We’ll keep being AWESOME – You keep following  our blog!

~Until next week….


The Important Thing About Room 129

Posted on our classroom door is a quote from The Important Book, by Margaret Wise Brown. It reads:

The important thing about you is

that you are you.

It is true that you were a baby,

and now you are a child,

and you will grow,

into a man,

or into a woman.

But the important thing about you,

is that YOU are YOU!

We used this book as a mentor text to write a page about our classroom. Can you believe it is the first day of school and this is what the students came up with!! They are pretty outstanding!

The Important Thing About Room 129

The Important thing about Room 129 is that we have books. It is true, we have a library full of Barbie books, Shopkin books, Hockey books, Mighty Robot books and so many other books!

The important thing about Room 129 is we have two maps and even the Flags around The World. You can look and find places in Canada or look and find places around the World.

The important thing about Room 129 is we have a calendar. We added the months of the year and days of the week to make it our own.

But the important thing about Room 129 is we have children. We are learners and children who play, we write, we read and we have jobs to do.

Wow! I’m pretty happy to be the teacher in Room 129!

~ Hello new followers! Welcome! I hope you enjoy reading and seeing our learning!


Oh, I am ready!

The day is almost here. The First Day of School. The anticipation, the excitement, the new hair do’s 🙂 !!

Room 129 is ready and waiting for the adventure to begin!




Here is a little pep talk to get us started!

Can’t  wait to get started! Let’s be awesome together!



Thank you so much for your support. I have had nothing but positive feedback regarding this blog. 100% of the 2015-16 parents logged on to read this blog at some point and we have many other followers who have joined us on this journey. It is an awesome time to be a blogger with so many great, forward thinking followers. 🙂

The new school year will begin in a few short days. Many students (and parents) will move onto new classrooms. I wish you so much success! I hope that you will continue to stay connected and stop in to visit and see what we are up to, whether it is digitally or physically!

This coming school year I will continue to blog, continue to welcome many more  followers. I have plans for student voice to be more visible – perhaps with students each having their own blogs inside of our Oh This Classroom Glows blog. We will continue to grow, learn, discover and wonder together this year. I can’t wait to see what the year will bring as I continue to share our learning in this way as well as many others.

Thank you. Thank you for being such great followers!

Welcome 2016-2017 School Year, we have been waiting for you.


This is the month to…

go apple picking

celebrate the beginning of sweater weather

collect leaves and create art

rejoice in the crisp fall air

~Mrs. Thomas



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