Posts Tagged ‘Community Building’

Bonjour Grade 3!

Written by Lila Jorge. Posted in 3rd Grade, Administration, Elementary School, ES Principal

morning meeting 1Throughout the month I have been visiting the different elementary classrooms to join their Morning Meetings.  As many of you already know, last year we made a huge effort from Kindergarten to 5th grade to establish Morning Meetings as an ongoing, consistent part of our day.

Morning Meetings consist of a handful of specific components that help establish a consistent and supportive classroom environment.   My favorite part of these meetings is the greeting, when classmates take the time to make eye contact and greet each other by name.  Often times teachers will vary the type of greeting (handshake, high-five, pinky shake, etc.) but the emphasis is always about making sure each child feels acknowledged and included in the classroom community.

Yesterday, I had the chance to visit Ms. Shena’s class.  Like many teachers, she has already started to incorporate the students’ home languages into the morning greetings, which helps value and celebrate the linguistic diversity we have at BFIS.  On this day we decided to greet each other in French and off we went with handshakes and “bonjours” to start our day!

Getting to know the new students!

Written by Lila Jorge. Posted in Administration, Elementary School, ES Counselor, ES Principal

imgres-2For the past four years September has been punctuated by one of my favorite events – lunch gatherings with new students!

Each year the Elementary School Counselor and I set up special lunch dates with all of the new students in the grade. This year, Ms. Rachel decided to spice things up a bit by playing some really fun games of Hot Potato (complete with a talking and musically inclined potato prop) and a unique version of Jenga designed to help the students get to know each other. By the end of each lunch session the kids were all at ease and chatted as if they had known each other for months.

One of the best parts of these lunch meetings is hearing the students talk about what they like most at BFIS. Typically, a few kids will say recess or name a specific subject. Yet, the vast majority will either mention how nice their classmates or how much they like their teachers. Given the importance that we place on building a strong sense of community, there is nothing quite like getting such positive feedback directly from the students. After all, it is their thoughts, feelings and perspectives on the matter that are ultimately most important.

The BFIS Auditorium – Wow!

Written by Lila Jorge. Posted in Administration, Elementary School, ES Principal

I recall being part of many conversations over the years that began with, “Wouldn’t it be great if we had an auditorium?” Kids, parents and faculty would all brainstorm the possibilities and momentary excitement would be generated. After several minutes inspiration would give way to resignation, knowing that the ideas would exist only in our imagination.

Until now.

photo (2)Last year, the centerpiece of the BFIS annual fund was an all out effort to create a multipurpose auditorium for the community. After being in the space with children for the first time at our elementary school assembly, one word comes to mind. Wow. From the acoustics to the lighting to sheer volume of space, the auditorium is truly an incredible gift to the community. We are so thankful for the support from our families who helped make this dream a reality.