if [ in box ] then get out! fi

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Updates in Friendly Bullet Form:

  • FSA Forms for Grade 7's due Tuesday!!
  • School fee of $25 (to the office) can be paid any time. If you can't, don't stress about it. 
  • Basic school supplies need to be renewed regularly. The 144 pencils and 2000 sheets of lined paper I brought are now gone. Perhaps eaten. Pencils, paper, coloured pencils, binder, and gym strip need to be there. 
  • The student desks in our room have wire baskets instead of drawers. Pencil boxes really help keep stuff off the floor.
  • I love technology, but if your kid can't make good decisions yet about appropriate use, then keep devices at home. The class is actually doing great in this regard (perhaps the best in the school) but reminders are always good.
  • Gr 6 Immunization forms are due now, and shots are next week. If you're on the fence about this, please know that there are immunocompromised people in our school. Our herd immunity through immunizations helps keep them alive.
  • The food program is great. Nutritious breakfast food is there every morning. This is not just for 'some kids'. It's for all kids. They're growing and changing, and they often don't feel like eating what you serve before work and school. Their clocks are off, and it's going to get worse. The Lions and the Saunders Foundation happily pays for it, and any other donations can go through the office. Kids who are hungry, tired, or scared can't learn, so let's fix this one small thing forever. This is not about charity. It's just about kids and learning.
  • Spelling groups are set...ish. Kids will move around, and one group will split off to provide more challenge. Lee Sigmund is running this with the help of Dan, our amazing EA. 
  • Math groups are coming soon. We've been concentrating on problem solving and communicating in groups, using as many open-ended challenges as we can. 
  • The school is having some staffing changes, and it's been tough trying to get the right resources to the right kids. There's light at the end of the tunnel, but things like Literacy Groups, Robotics Club, and class trips need to wait until core logistics settle out a bit. I really appreciate your patience.

All for now! Thanks!


Welcome Back 2018!

Email: bwoollcombe@sd64.org
Blog: https://woollcombeclass.blogspot.com/

Welcome back to school, and welcome to Mr Woollcombe's Grade 6/7 class. I really hope everyone had a great break and Community Week. When I got my class list on Friday I was, to say the least, a pretty happy camper.

I'm Bryce Woollcombe. I've taught (in chronological order) in Kelowna, Williams Lake, Oliver, Osoyoos, Pender Island, Mayne Island, and here. I started out as a highschool band and choir teacher in 1996, but I've also taught everything from Kindergarten to Physics 11 to Adult Ed. Along the way it turned out that a few things really held my imagination:

  • Learning and teaching technology, for both students and teachers
  • Design, creativity, and problem solving
  • Methods for collaboration
  • Stagecraft and performing arts

Come to think of it, I get excited about learning anything, from grammar to long division.

Email me at bwoollcombe@sd64.org 
I'll really try to use this blog as the repository for parent communication. Subscribing by email means you'll get everything. I'll also email the most important stuff, but not blog posts that are just for background or general interest.
I'll print things off for those who need, but we should try to get away from that if possible.
For students, we use Google Classroom as a way to hold assignments, announcements, and reference stuff. It's a great tool that can really help us stay organised.
Trying to get me on the phone is no fun. Email is much better, and there's a system: I answer students first, parents second, and my boss third. If it's an emergency, we're really close to the office and they will pop over.

Your child will have a different teacher for several classes, and they might have specific supply requests. For general use we'll need:

  • Gym strip
  • Binder with paper
  • Pens and pencils
  • Coloured pencils
  • Geometry set (for later in the year)

I love technology, and I love finding the best ways to use it for learning, self expression, and positive social change. Students are allowed to bring personal digital devices to my class if they commit to using them responsibly and following directions.
If a device comes to class, it must be able to run GSuite. A chromebook is great. Other devices must have memory available to load the apps, otherwise they may as well be bricks.
We have a class set of laptops that I turned into Chromebooks. Many are somewhat usable, but for kids that need extra help with text-to-speech, scheduling, or other special tools, having their own device it a real plus.

More to come!

How to Prepare for a Circus When You Have No Skills

Well, I can kinda juggle balls and kinda spin contact staff, but the people I'll be performing with are pros. They have amazing skills. So I have some options:

  1. Practice like crazy
  2. Develop a pinched nerve in my back as an excuse
  3. Rely on my maker skills

Number 1 is a given. I've been working, but old dogs learn new tricks at a glacial pace. At least the old tricks are getting easier. Number 2 happened, but it's getting better. Gotta lay off the doughnuts. Number 3 is kind of a natural for me, especially when projects require new learning.

Up first was the day-glo costume. Now, I can sew, but my experience has been with harnesses, horse tack, and luggage. Clothing? Not so much. So why not a day-glo viking tunic? I started with a general pattern from the lovely Carolyn Priest-Dorman, who posted historically accurate instructions in 1997. On the internet. Whew. FabricLand had some cool day-glo synthetic twill, we have a sewing machine, and off I went. The pattern required some math to up-size all the dimensions (I think it was made for Gimli) and most of it came together in a day.
So I'll look a bit like a traffic cone. Sewing is fun. 

Well, That Went Fast...

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Yep, killed another blog through neglect. The SPCB will be after me soon... ...if they can find me.

I'll be hard to find, because (drum roll) I've joined a Circus! Again!

Why post about this here? It's an unused class blog in the Summer... what's the point? Two things:
1. It's about learning. I've always been a musician, but theatrical and physical stuff is new to me. Learning about movement, flow, props, and costumes is giving me some insight into how my students learn. It's the least I can do, really!
2. I'm trying to improve on the old documenting-learning-thing. I use so many blogs and videos to learn, it seems only fair that I start trying to hold up my end.
3. This blog was not living up to its potential. I mean, blog abuse is a terrible thing.

Sooo... here's a coupla pics from last year to whet the appetite (Thanks Nick Woolsey and Karina Strong for the pics):
Pirate Mode intensifies...

Tiff and 3000 of her closest friends.

So VestaFire Circus at MusicFest was a blast, but I had to throw myself on Karina's mercy for props and costumes. It worked fine, but when you have limited circus skills like me, it's best to bring something to the party. This year's themes are Day Glo, Circus Checkers, and Go-Go-Galactic (variations on Buck Rogers, etc).

For Checkers I'll rely on the magic tickle trunk.
Day Glo and Galactic will get their own posts. 



New year, new blog. Incidentally, I have to delete about a hundred blogs and pages from years past. It's become a mess, really.

Actual information coming soon!

if [ in box ] then get out! fi

Updates in Friendly Bullet Form: FSA Forms for Grade 7's due Tuesday!! School fee of $25 (to the office) can be paid any time. If ...