On Tues., May 2, myself and many other grandparents and seniors in our community went back to school. We were not there to get our GED or to enrol in a university course. We were there to share a morning of fun activities with our grandkids or a child partner.
The Louis Riel School Division has a mandate that each year all schools in the division will host a grandparents and seniors day. This allows us to observe the children in their daily environment and gain some insight into the teaching techniques that are now being used in the field of education.
Education is no longer about just reading, writing and arithmetic. Technology, sports, music and theatre are considered important parts of developing our youth into knowledgeable, well-rounded adults.
The children are exposed to an outstanding range of information and resources. The libraries and classrooms are full of an extensive selection of books for all reading levels. Computers are at their disposal, which allows the children access to an infinite world of exploration. Math and science are not only textbook-driven; they have become a very "hands-on" experience at all grade levels.
Classrooms are no longer a stringent, formal setting but are geared towards creating a happy, relaxed atmosphere in an effort to foster a positive learning environment. Freedom of movement in the classroom is encouraged, within reason, thus enhancing interest and reducing boredom.
No more wooden desks, Dick and Jane books, rods for math, chalkboards and brushes. Those items are considered passé. The younger children work at child-size tables with child-size chairs, positioned in small groups. In the center sits an array of necessities such as markers, scissors, rulers and many other items, all for community use.
A special carpeted area defines a gathering place for the class to partake of songs, reading together or other group activities. Large windows let in energizing sunlight and shine upon a multitude of beautiful artwork displayed throughout the room. There are whiteboards, a computer and several globes available for use. It is amazing to see all this in a Grade 2 classroom.
Thank you to my granddaughter, Keira, for inviting me back to Highbury School and sharing a part of your busy day. What a great morning we had.
P.S. I especially liked recess!
Lori Sichello is a community correspondent for River Park South. You can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.