WCS Blog

800 Juliana Drive, Woodstock, Ontario

Phone: 519-539-1492


November 2017

Creation Calls

Creation Calls
The song, Creation Calls, by Brian Doerksen, is a good song for the month of November. This month between seasons, when fall has expired and it's not yet winter, is an opportune time to listen to the created world and know that God continues to speak through his handiwork. Visually, November is unremarkable. The leaves have fallen and blown into corners, gardens are stripped of foliage, grey and browns are predominant. Many November days are grey and daylight is in short supply. Creation has been stripped down to the bare essentials as we head into the harshness of winter. Thank God that we are able to experience creation through more than just the visual sense. Doerksen's song brings us to the words in Job 37 (and following) when God speaks to Job out of the storm, or to Psalm 104, one of the creation poems/songs of praise written by David. The song and words are about knowing creation and the Creator using all of our senses - we feel the wind, the tremble as thundering breakers roar, we hear the sounds of geese in flight, the wind through trees. All of these - the written word and the created world, the capacity that we have to experience, and yes, to enjoy these November days - speak to the glory and majesty of God.  Take a look. Have a listen. Creation reveals God. Creation calls. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LwGvfdtI2c0)
C. Verbeek
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Things have changed!

Upon walking into the Grade 1 classroom, you will notice that things don't look like a traditional classroom. I, as the classroom teacher, have chosen to implement "flexible" (or alternative) seating rather than traditional desks. As you glance around my room, you may see students standing, sitting on wobble stools, a stability ball, chairs, a bench, or even on the floor with a clipboard.
Research has shown that through the use of flexible seating:
Student attention spans increase, allowing for more achievement, 
Active learning is promoted, 
A sense of community and other important social skills are built and developed
Students are encouraged to take responsibility for their own learning, 
Students are motivated to come to school, and 
Both teachers and students love the seating options.
Each day, even each work period (and if needed throughout the work period), students choose and work in a seating location that best suits them. The typical classroom supplies that have been traditionally stored in desks are now gathered and distributed as community supplies - supplies that we all share and take care of. Folders and workbooks are stored in bins on shelves around the room, at easy access for when they are needed.
Grade 1 is not the only classroom that is implementing a form of flexible seating. Grades 1/2, 7, and 8 also are taking on various aspects of this structure in order to build a community of learners, rather than an individual - developing those basic skills that are required for students as they leave our building and head onto the amazing things that God has planned for them.
I am very excited about the use of flexible seating within our classrooms. This is my second year within this seating "arrangement" and I have seen tremendous growth in students as they begin to develop an idea of how they best learn, and what they need in order to learn.
E. Schuster
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Service Project

As you may know, each grade at Woodstock Christian School is involved in 3 service projects per year. Typically one is geared toward supporting our school or local community, another  supports a Canadian based group, and another supports a cause outside of Canada. Each service project is memorable and serves to help our students realize that there is great need world-wide and that as Christians, we've been called to help our neighbours, near and far.
This year, the Gr. 5's have started with our international service project; we're hosting a bake sale for the entire school on Thursday, November 16th in support Lagosette Christian School (LCS) in Haiti! We've been learning about Haiti and LCS off and on throughout this school year, enjoying guest speakers who've been to Haiti on missions trips, or who currently work there. One of those guest speakers was Bernice Huinink Buiter, our former principal! Bernice has been working for an organization in Haiti called "Children of the Promise" for the last 2 years as an advisor for LCS. LCS's mission is, "to provide Christ-centered quality education, equipping students for a life of praise and service in their communities and beyond for the glory of Jesus Christ." Their vision is: "to is to develop Christian leaders to bring transformation in Haiti and beyond."
This Christmas season, the money raised here at WCS will be sent to Haiti with Bernice. She will purchase all the items for the boxes in Haiti at their local market. By doing it this way, we'll help support and stimulate the economy Haitian economy.
The Gr. 5 class is excited to be a part of this plan! We're trying to raise $1,500 to help purchase Christmas gifts for each child at LCS in Haiti. Thanks to many generous donations over the course of 2 weeks, we are already at $1,232! The Gr. 5 class has also been making bookmarks and necklaces (see pictures below) to go into each Christmas gift. Please consider sending your child to school with some money on Thursday, November 16th so that treats can be purchased in support of LCS in Haiti. Thank you.
Axel Hiemstra (Gr. 5 Teacher) 
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Morning Meetings

Morning Meetings
The teachers at Woodstock Christian School attended a workshop late last year on the Responsive Classroom. The Responsive Classroom is a framework for the day which helps to remind us that the socio-emotional learning of a child is as important as the academic learning of a child. Most of us were very excited about how this framework seemed to fit into what we as teachers are already doing in our classrooms and have begun our journey's with the Responsive Classroom.
One aspect of this framework is holding a morning meeting to start each day. You may have noticed these taking place in classrooms at the beginning of each day and wondered what they are about. Morning Meetings are an opportunity for every child to hear their name said as they are greeted in some way by a classmate or teacher. It is a time to share with each other their stories and a time to listen as each child has an opportunity to share. There is a time to play a short energizer which also helps to build a sense of community and last, a short morning message to the students about the day that is ahead of them. Teachers have also altered the Morning Meeting time to include devotions to keep true to the teachings that we cherish here at Woodstock Christian to help equip our students for a life of service!
S. Kiers
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