800 Juliana Drive, Woodstock, Ontario

Phone: 519-539-1492

     

The effectiveness of PBL projects

Every teacher longs for student engagement in their learning. Most teachers covet this because it means less behaviour issues which equals an easier time teaching. However, there are more reasons: teachers want their students to hit the curriculum targets for the year and gain important skills for later in life. But they also want their students to have fun at school and go home satisfied at the end of each day.
In my recent experience as a teacher, I've experimented with a concept that you may be familiar with: Project Based Learning (PBL). The Buck Institute for Education describes it as "Students working on a project over an extended period of time… a project that engages them in solving a real-world problem or answering a complex question. They demonstrate their knowledge and skills by developing a public product or presentation for a real audience."
In my experience, PBL units have allowed my students to hit the curriculum requirements and be engaged in their learning, especially when it's a hands-on project. In my last PBL, students were learning about medieval history in social studies. They were required to research a medieval person/occupation (i.e. blacksmith or serf) and the structure associated with that person (i.e. blacksmith workshop and serf's cottage). Students eventually built a miniature structure as well. Having students show this project off to parents and friends at our 1st Annual Celebration of Learning night was a highlight for myself and many of my students this year. Many teachers at WCS are now using PBL units as part of their teaching methodology and I'm excited to see more in the future!
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Physical Fitness & Health

Physical Fitness and Health
If you were at our Celebration of Learning, you would have seen, heard, and perhaps participated in the Daily Physical Activities which took place in the school gym. Our 6th grade students researched, wrote about, and presented the case for regular physical activity, as it is good for the body, the brain, and for our well-being. God has gifted us with beautifully designed bodies - bodies ready to move! As educators, we have commented that our students at WCS generally make excellent use of our playground and outdoor activity centres. Students are shooting hoops, playing soccer and four-square, climbing, sliding, playing baseball, practising their gymnastics skills, skipping, and playing GaGa ball. They are an active and lively bunch and embrace the opportunity for exercise. In just a few weeks, we will have our school-wide track and field day. Students are spending phys ed classes outdoors in preparation for this event. Please note that this is a school day and that we expect all students at school to be able to participate in this opportunity to run, jump, throw and to socialize with classmates and family. Parents and grandparents are most welcome to join us as well as we celebrate the gift of movement and physical abilities. We praise God that we are "fearfully and wonderfully made". 
C. Verbeek, Principal
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Busyness

What business at WCS lately!!
 
Last week was Christian Education Week. What a blessing it is to have a Christian school where God is the center of everything we do. It was so great to see so many parents at the Picnic lunch on Wednesday. The children couldn't wait for your to come and with special lunches! The weather even cooperated and we were able to eat outside. What a blessing all you parents are to our students! Thursday was Grandfriend's Day and wow, what a lot of grandparents came to visit with their grandchildren. It is so much fun to watch the children and their grandparents interact with each other. The love they have for each other is so evident. What a blessing our grandparents are to our students!
This week, we are having our first ever, Celebration of Learning. The teachers and students have been busy learning, working, and polishing for this Wednesday evening event. The children are super eager to show off what they have been learning at school. Some of the learning on display will be about plants, 3D shapes, self portraits, living and non living things, simple machines, severe weather and natural disasters, legends, poetry, medieval structures and reports, healthy living, Sustainability presentations, art, and structures. We hope you will be able to see how amazing our Creator God is through our celebration. See you all on Wednesday evening from 6:30 to 8:00!!
 
N. VanAndel
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CITIZENS OF THE KINGDOM Christian Education Week 2019

Each school year Christian Schools International (CSI) designates a week to be Christian Education Week. Christi‚Äčan schools are established to glorify God, to recognize the lordship of Christ over every square inch of creation, and to nurture and equip students to become the next generation of those who answer the call to advance the kingdom of God across the globe. Christian Education Week is a time to remember the sacrifice of those who founded our schools and the continuous sacrifice of those who sustain them. It is also a time to reaffirm our commitment to advance God’s kingdom in the places we serve. Jesus’ ministry was singularly focused on the coming of the kingdom of God. Jesus said that the kingdom has ‘come near’, ‘is at hand’ or ‘is here’. The worldview of the schools that are part of CSI recognizes that the kingdom of God is here now. It is a present kingdom, not a kingdom that awaits us after we d‚Äčie. The kingdom advances when the people of God act like kingdom citizens and when God’s shalom bathes our schools, homes, and churches. Jesus empowered his disciples to open the door so all may enter. The kingdom of God is an unstoppable force. Jesus won. God’s kingdom is ever advancing. Our Christian schools are places where the good news is shared, where the next generation of disciples is being prepared for service, and where citizens of his kingdom are being equipped. Jesus teaches us to seek it: to put the kingdom first in our lives and in the lives of our children. That is the mission of the Christian school and the reason to celebrate God’s gift of Christian education today. The writer of Matthew focuses on the kingdom theme throughout the Gospel. Jesus tells and illustrates that Kingdom citizens love God above all. They seek to put obedience to God first. Kingdom citizens understand that kingdom living requires unmatched sacrifice and commitments that the world could never understa nd. They realize that kingdom living is a worthy calling along the difficult paths of life. Give thanks to God today that he has given us Christian schools as places to advance his kingdom and that he has given us the good news of his ever advancing kingdom to bring hope to the world. It is to glorify his name that we are called to kingdom citizenship. We have reason to remember and to celebrate God’s blessing of Christian Education. (Source: csionline.org/articles/christian-education-week-2019) Carol Verbeek, Principal

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Palm Sunday

Yesterday, in my church the Sunday School students stood at the back behind closed doors  waiting for their entry into the sanctuary at an appointed time. It is an annual occurrence on Palm Sunday that students wave palm branches down the aisles as a reminder what happened when Jesus was about to enter Jerusalem. It was in his day that Jesus rode into town on a donkey, and a large crowd gathered and laid palm branches and cloaks across the road as they welcomed the Son of David. But what we, the adults in church, expected was not to be. Instead the students waved swords down the aisles as a reminder to us of what kind of Saviour the Jews were expecting. The crowd wanted a Saviour to deliver them from the hands of the Romans. What they received instead is a Saviour who could deliver them from their sins.
As we approach Good Friday and Easter take time to reflect on the message that Christ came into the world to be a Saviour who delivers us from our sins. It is a "lifesaver" (to use a word we heard at the Volunteer Tea this morning) that our students can hear that consistent message each year, each week, and each day at Woodstock Christian School. They can proclaim that "God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." (John 3:16)
Have a blessed Good Friday and Easter!
G. Hiemstra
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Springfest: Spring & Community

 

 

The snow has melted. Mud is drying. Birds are singing and building nests. Lawns are being raked and gardens cleared. Snow pants and winter boots are cleaned and stored. It's spring! For those in agriculture, construction, and other weather- dependent businesses, things are ramping up with new lists of jobs to do. One of the sure signs of spring at Woodstock Christian School is SPRINGFEST! If you've been in our front hall in the past few weeks, you would have seen signs, loads of bizarre (bazaar) bottles, and heard the excitement for this event mounting. This past Saturday, all the planning for this spring tradition culminated in a beautiful community event. We have a long history of bazaars and auctions and "-fests" at WCS, and each year and each event again, I thank God for blessing us with an outstanding supportive community. What do we mean when we include "Community" in our tagline at WCS? The idea of community comes from the sense of responsibility we have for each other. In the Bible, God encourages us to take care of each other while following the word of the Lord. We recognize the importance of maintaining connections with others to ensure a thriving community. Our desire at WCS is to create places of belonging. When there is opportunity for conversations, for good food, to sit and eat together, to meet new people, catch up with people not seen in months - or perhaps years, to play together, to engage in friendly competition, to be together because we love and support Christian Education - what a blessing! To the planners and volunteers, to those who generously donate for our various project and events, for all who attend WCS events - know that you are appreciated for your support and as community builders. We thank God for all of you!
C. Verbeek
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Change Your Perspective

Are you ready to change your perspective?
What are some of your routines? What is something you always do each morning? Or what about an evening routine? Maybe even your prayer life or Bible reading has become routine. Are you feeling stuck in a rut, or running on autopilot? Are you finding yourself doing the same things again and again without even thinking about it anymore?
A few minutes into the sermon on Sunday our pastor challenged us to change our perspective - literally! A few moments later the entire church was relocating themselves in new places in the sanctuary! There were lots of laughs, giggles and maybe a few interesting looks. Once settle in our new place I must admit it felt strange but, also got me thinking. 
Isn't life like that. We are used to sitting in the same spot, singing the same songs, talking and hanging out with the same people; just going about things that are comfortable. God doesn't call us to live a comfortable life - He wants us to reach out and step out. This coming Saturday we as a school community will gather for the annual SpringFest. It is going to be easy to mingle with our familiar people, hang out with those we feel comfortable or have things in common  with. But, I challenge you to take this opportunity to change your perspective. Take time to meet someone new. Talk with someone who looks unfamiliar, someone who in fact may be a total stranger! Remember, Jesus himself hung out with the tax collectors, Pharisees, with the children and the widows. You will be amazed at what opportunities God will provide you with to share His love with others if you are just willing to change your perspective.
 
Marcia Horinga
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Spring

"When there is still snow on the ground and it is too cold to do most other outdoor projects around the homestead, maple syrup making seems like the perfect activity to welcome in Spring." Over the March Break I decided to tap the two maple trees we have in our backyard and produce some maple syrup. After five days of collecting the sap from the tree, I began the boiling process. This indeed is a process, it took three hours of boiling on our camp stove outside to remove the water content from the sap. I spent a bit of that time just watching the sap boil, watching the steam rise from the pot. While outside watching the sap boil, I also witnessed birds fluttering around, singing, and the warmth of the spring sun on my back. The bright clear blue sky. Over the past number of weeks at our church we have been encouraged to slow down the pace of our lives and appreciate the blessings around us. March Break is an opportunity for our school community to slow down and take in the blessings around us. I hope and pray that you and your family were able to do that. If not, I encourage you to take some time this spring to go for a walk in the woods, sit on a bench in a park, or even boil some sap in your backyard, and look and listen for the blessings God has given to us. Enjoying creation and seeing God there is also part of Walking and Talking with God. "Come near to God and He will come near to you." James 4:8 Source:   wholefedhomestead.com/small-batch-maple-syrup-making-you-only-need-1-tree/ 
 
T. Schaafsma
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On our road-trip back from our vacation this March Break, my husband and I stumbled across a radio station playing a pastor’s Sunday sermon. It was a lively sermon and the way the pastor spoke beckoned us to lean in and listen closely. We didn’t catch his name...but we did catch the message he was sharing with his congregation. He was speaking on Jesus’ words in Matthew 5 and shared something I had never reflected on about this verse before.

In Grade Two this month, we are focusing on Jesus’ Ministry during His time on Earth….and the verse the pastor preached on is part of our Memory Work for the month of March! It always makes me smile when things I’m teaching in classroom are directly related to things taking place in my own walk with the Lord. This was the verse: Matthew 5:13a, (NIV) “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again?” {Maybe you’ll join us in memorizing this portion of the verse this week...}

Here is a paraphrase of what I took away from the pastor’s message. With his southern drawl and a few “Hallelujah! and Amens!” added for emphasis, he said this: “If we are called to be the salt of earth, then we should be making people thirsty.” This resonated with me. It reminds me that in all of my words and all of my actions, I can share the truth of Jesus. We should be living our lives in such a way that people become thirsty for more – thirsty for the Living Water. Jesus is the only one who will quench all of our thirstiness – once and for all. This is good news!

As you walk and talk with God, will you share this message of Living Water with those around you this week?

                                                                                                           Kristen Vanderploeg

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A Worker's Prayer

A Worker's Prayer
 
In the fall term, I introduced one of our theme songs for this school year, Before You I Kneel (A Worker's Prayer) by Keith & Kristyn Getty, focussing especially on the first verse of the song. Our students are learning this song, and to hear them sing it during Wednesday morning chapels is such a blessing! It gives me goosebumps every time. This song gets to the heart of what it means to walk and talk with God. Check out the third verse below. We are part of God's story and His greater plan and are reminded that we are His workers, using our hands and voices and minds for His purposes. When we become completely absorbed with our own task lists and our personal busy-ness, this song is a beautiful reminder that we have committed to living out the gospel of grace. As we finish second term, and head into the final stretch of the 2018-2019 school year, may what we do and what we choose bring glory to God's great name.
 
C. Verbeek
 
Before You we kneel, our Master and Maker;
Establish the work of our hands.
And order our steps to seek first Your kingdom
In every small and great task.
May we live the gospel of Your grace,
Serve Your purpose in our fleeting days,
Then our lives will bring eternal praise
And all glory to Your great name.
 
Songwriters: TOWNEND STUART CHRISTOPHER ANDREW / GETTY JULIAN KEITH / GETTY KRISTYN ELIZABETH REBEKAH / TAYLOR JEFFREY J
youtube.com/watch?v=IPVtx_HCpOo 
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"Sick" has always been one of my favourite Shel Silverstein poems. A little while ago I read it to my class and they thought it was so funny, especially because they thought my voices and actions were funny - I mean who listens to a teacher complaining about having to go to school? If I’m being honest, I never really cared for poetry growing up. I never understood it, and really didn’t want to. But then I became a teacher and began to discover all these incredibly funny poets - poets who write meaningful ideas that you can actually understand. 
Over the past month, grades 1-4 have been looking at poetry in various ways. All students were tasked with choosing a poem and memorizing it to share with their peers, possibly at the Poetry Meet this week, and possibly at OASIS with some seniors from our community. As I have watched my students learn their poems, and their grade 8 buddies help them with some presentation skills, I can't help but think about God's amazing community, community from inside our school and outside, being bonded together through a single form of writing.  

                                                                                                                               Erica Schuster

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SNOW DAY - MONDAY FEBRUARY 25

SNOW DAY MONDAY FEBRUARY 25: Buses are cancelled and the school is closed for the day due to blowing snow and squalls.

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