JAN 23: Due to weather warnings and poor road conditions, all buses to WCS are cancelled today and the school is closed. Enjoy your snow day.
The Daily 5
You have heard WCS teachers and your children refer to “the Daily 5”. In case you are wondering about features and purposes of this very effective literacy tool, here are some details.
According to their website (thedailycafe.com), the Daily 5 is a “literacy framework that instills behaviors of independence, creates a classroom of highly engaged readers, writers, and learners, and provides teachers with the time and structure to meet diverse student needs.” Because it is a framework, teachers can insert curricular content for their geographic / educational region (Ontario Ministry of Education & Ontario Christian Schools) and make it work well.
Often, when we read such claims, we are sceptical. When it comes to the Daily 5 at WCS, we love it and support those claims! Read to Self, Work on Writing, Read to Someone, Word Work, and Listen to Reading are the five tasks that make up the Daily 5 structure. God has gifted humans with words and language and it is wonderful to see students grow in communication skills. Teachers schedule several literacy blocks throughout the week and students work through a rotation of tasks. These are routine periods during which students read on their own, practicing old and new skills, but throughout there is focused instruction that introduces new skills and guides student practice. And there is choice! Students have personal book bins loaded with print material specifically geared to their reading level. When we host our WCS Education Week open house, or if you wish to make arrangements to come and observe, try to catch your child’s literacy block. Seeing students engaged in Daily 5 literacy work is seeing beautiful teaching and learning happen.
Tree Planting at Hodge's Pond
Last Friday, students and teachers from our seventh, sixth, and fourth grade classes put on their overalls, boots, warm
winter coats, toques and gloves and boarded the bus for some community earthkeeping work at Hodge's Pond, south of
Woodstock. Our bus driver, Gerry Huinink, remembers decades ago when Hodge's Pond was the site of summer
camps and outdoor recreation for families. In recent years, the former mill pond became warm and stagnant, so the
dam has been dismantled and the natural flow of Cedar Creek and accompanying wetlands restored. A partnership
between Ducks Unlimited, Oxford County, Stewardship Oxford, the Upper Thames River Conservation Authority
(UTRCA) and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry has been established in order to re-naturalize this site.
WCS students have worked with the UTRCA frequently in the past eight years planting trees and shrubs throughout
the county. The latest phase at Hodge's Pond includes plans to plant 1200 native trees and shrubs. WCS students were
the first of many groups of local students who will work to expand the natural habitats for wildlife in this area. Our
Grade 7 group planted 120 deciduous trees and bushes, while the grades 4 and 6 group planted about 130 trees,
including maple, tamarack and others. Students were industrious, efficient, and enjoyed being given specific
instructions and tools to do the planting work. Students returned to school chilly, dirty, but pleased with having had the
opportunity to work outdoors, and to provide new habitats for wetlands wildlife such as herons, turtles, snakes, and
birds. Future plans for Hodge's Pond include opening the area for public use as a natural space for hiking and enjoying
wildlife. We are thankful for this opportunity to work with community partners to be keepers and restorers of creation.
C. Verbeek, Principal