The Amazing Math Race in June – Grade Leads needed!

Our largest parent-led STEM program at Runnymede is The Amazing Math Race – a half-day, hands-on math activity for students in grades 1 – 4. The Amazing Math Race runs during the school day in the last half of June.

As a Grade Lead, you’d be working with 1 or 2 other parents to:

  • Ensure all materials are ready for your grade
  • Help recruit parents to lead individual challenges at the event
  • Liaise with teachers
  • Be onsite the day of the event to ensure things run smoothly

Being a Grade Lead is a great opportunity to help students engage in FUN math. It’s also a chance to connect with a great group of parents, as well as teachers across French and English programs.

Interested?

If you’d like to help out as a Grade Lead for the 2017-2018 Amazing Math Race, please email runnymedeSTEMcommittee@gmail.com with:

  • Your Name:
  • Your Child(ren)’s Grade(s):
  • Your Child(ren)’s Teacher(s):
  • Your preferred grade to help with (if applicable):

If you’re unable to help as a Grade Lead but would like to assist with STEM initiatives, please let us know. New committee members and ideas are always welcome!

Runnymede’s Technology Plan: Your Questions Answered

The school is buzzing about Runnymede’s Technology Plan, and we’re excited that you’re excited!

Q & ASome great questions have been submitted via the website to Runnymede’s tech lead, Kindergarten teacher Taye Maddison.

Here are some of the questions, and her responses below.


Question:
How soon will my child benefit from the money I donate?

Answer:
Parent Council along with Administration and Staff are prepared to purchase new devices starting in October so they can be distributed and in use in classrooms as quickly as possible. Children will benefit from your donation this school year.


Question:
How does the TDSB supports this type of initiative? For example, would the school board match what parents donate to technology initiatives?

Answer:
The school board does assign a technology budget to each school, but it is often consumed through repair and replacement of devices. We are asking for Parent Council’s help, through fundraising, to support a technology vision for the students of Runnymede school which incorporates regular and appropriate integration of technology for all students.


Question:
Will the money will be used to buy technology through the school board?

Answer:
Devices would be purchased through the TDSB purchasing program, to ensure compatibility with the board’s network, and because the board has access to bulk purchasing opportunities which would otherwise not be available to us. Installation and updating of devices is monitored by the school’s Tech Chair and done centrally at the board level.


Question:
Do you predict this to be a one-time ‘start-up’ fundraising initiative for technology or will school council be fundraising to replace these items every few years when these products become obsolete?

Answer:
Our current fundraising is meant to purchase new devices and replace obsolete devices specifically for student use as a one-time investment. It is my understanding, however, that Parent Council is preparing a longer term budget plan that, along with the school’s tech budget, will help with long-term maintenance and upkeep of technology, keeping in line with the school’s ever evolving tech vision. This budget would be reviewed and approved by all Parent Council when the time comes.


Question:
Why does the goal include a desktop and a laptop per teacher?

Answer:
First of all, please keep in mind that a desktop and laptop are being assigned to each classroom, not each teacher. However, they will be primarily for the use of (but not limited to) the classroom teacher.  Laptops are required for supporting interactive boards and/or projectors.  Desktops are required so that teachers can complete mandatory work such as writing report cards and IEPs (as an example) which are web-based but often have specific operating requirements that are not always supported on laptops.


Question:
I recognize the need for each Runnymede teacher to have ready access to a modern and functional computer. My main concern is that giving electronic devices to students during class time will detract from rather than enhance learning.

Answer:
Devices would be used so that students can:
(a) receive extra support in academic areas that might be difficult for that student (ie/ reading support through apps like Reading A-Z/RazKids, math support through TVO mPower (both of which are administered and monitored by teachers), or using voice-to- text options for students who are experiencing fine motor challenges when trying to put their ideas down on the page)
(b) use devices as a research tool (through web-searches on kids safe sites, such as kidrex.com)
(c) document and share their learning in a collaborative setting through apps such as Google Apps For Education.

Devices are not meant as rewards or distractions, and would be used under teacher supervision.  By using devices in this way, students will be gaining critical 21st century skills, such as choosing useful sources and how to use sources appropriately.   The Ontario Science and Technology curriculum states that “A scientifically and technologically literate person is one who can read and understand common media reports about science and technology, critically evaluate the information presented, and confidently engage in discussions and decision-making activities that involve science and technology” and we believe that the integration of technology into the classroom (rather than as a weekly opportunity as we have had in the past) is crucial in helping to create technologically literate students.

The TDSB’s ICT Standards direct that technology in the classroom:

  • Supports the diverse learning styles of students of the 21st century. Our “Digital Natives” continually demonstrate a desire to learn, work and express themselves digitally. They excel when engaged in authentic tasks, project based and inquiry learning activities that enable them to be efficient and effective users of technology.
  • Guides the purposeful integration of technology into the Ontario Curriculum, the teaching and learning of content, process, product and environment provide our students with opportunities for improved achievement, setting the foundation for obtaining essential skills for work and continued learning.

Provides a framework for teachers, schools and families of schools as they work towards utilizing a variety of technologies as tools for supporting student learning, achievement, communication and creativity.


If you have questions or comments about Runnymede’s technology plan, please submit them to Ms. Maddison (Runnymede’s technology lead), using the form in the previous post.


Kids in Playground (1)This year’s Direct Donation Campaign isn’t just about tech!

Your donations will also support the incredible enrichment programs that help Runnymede students thrive.

Read more about them here.donate now

Amazing Math Race now coming to Grade 4!

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The STEM Committee is pleased to announce that the Grade 4 Amazing Math Race is back!

This is a half-day, off-site, fun math event where students run around and use their math and team-work skills.

Do you have a child in grade 4?  Please consider volunteering for this fun half-day of math activities with your child!

Date: Monday June 26th, 2017
Time: 12:00 – 3:15 pm

If you are able to volunteer, please e-mail us at runnymedeSTEMcommittee@gmail.com.  No math expertise required!


The Amazing Math Race is just one of many exciting STEM events coming to Runnymede in June.  For more info, click here.

Runnymede Success at the FIRST LEGO League Competition

The 2016-17 Runnymede Robotics team had an exciting competition at the TDSB’s FIRST LEGO League (FLL) Tournament in late December. The theme for 2016/17 was “Animal Allies”, and the teams chose to study species that live in High Park: the Coywolf and the Bee. Students wanted to research animals in our own ‘backyard’.

fll7With finished Bee and Coywolf projects in hand, both teams proudly presented their Executive Robot Summary describing their strategies for missions, their robot design and their unique programming.

They also completed a core value challenge and discussed where they used their core values (Coopertition® and Gracious Professionalism®) this year. The coaches and mentors were proud to see the teams work together so seamlessly to finish some difficult core value games while respecting every individual, working as a team, and having fun.

fll3The Cyberbolts got callbacks for all of 3 of their presentations, and the Positive Vibes got 2 callbacks! During lunch, both teams worked hard to fine tune programs and rebuild attachments to be ready for the robot matches. They barely sat down to eat lunch!

At the end of the long day, we were proud to see our teams do so well. The Positive Vibes won “Most Inspirational Team” and the Cyberbolts won “Best Programming.”

The Cyberbolts placed 2nd out of 28 teams, and go on to the Provincial Championships!

Check out some of the incredible research our Runnymede teams have done by visiting their FLL website.

Runnymede’s FLL teams are possible because of parent volunteers working with sponsor teachers using funds allocated by Parent Council.

This amazing enrichment opportunity for Runnymede students happens because of your fundraising donations and parent volunteer hours – thank you!

The Amazing Math Race wants YOU – Grade Leads needed!

Our largest parent-led STEM program at Runnymede is The Amazing Math Race – a half-day, hands-on math activity for students in grades 1 – 3.

The Amazing Math Race runs during the school day in the last half of June. Note that while a full range of activities are already prepared for each grade, new ideas are always welcome.

As a Grade Lead, you would be working with 1 or 2 other parents to:

  • ensure all materials are ready for your grade
  • help recruit 6 parents to lead individual challenges at the event
  • liaise with teachers, and
  • be onsite the day of the event to ensure things run smoothly.

Being a Grade Lead is a great opportunity to interact with students and help them engage in FUN math. You also have the chance to meet and work with a great group of parents and to connect with teachers across both French and English programs.

* Grade 2 Lead Needed *
If you are interested in being a Grade Lead for the 2016-2017 Amazing Math Race, please e-mail the STEM committee with:

Your Name:
Your Child(ren)’s Grade(s):
Your Child(ren)’s Teacher(s):
Your preferred grade to help with (if applicable):

If you are interested in helping with STEM initiatives but unable to help as a Grade Lead, no worries! Perhaps you can help on the day of the event as a parent volunteer.  Drop by our next meeting.  New committee members and ideas are always welcome.

 

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