Community Involvement



” It takes a village to raise a child” is an old saying. Although, this saying is old, it does not dismiss the fact that it rings true. In order for our students to be truly educated, we need to bring in the village.

Despite popular belief, teachers do not know everything. Therefore, we often have to look to other community members to fill in where we draw blanks. This is beneficial to both parties involved. Students get a full and broad knowledge of a variety of different subjects. While, community members get to have a hand in the education of our future leaders.

J.L Crowe uses the community to its full potential. They often bring in community members to help teach subjects or discuss options for after high-school. However, my favorite example of community involvement comes from the “communities in bloom” organization. Through this group effort, a small garden was planted behind the school. Here, students are able to learn how to plant and take care of a variety of plants. This of course will help them later in life. Gardening is a very useful skill and can often be very therapeutic. This program is entirely run by the community and they come up to the school once a week and help water and fertilize the plants, with the students help!! I think this combines the greatness of community involvement and the important skills

Another great example of community involvement in education is the work experience program. Students are given the opportunity to shadow those who are have careers that they may be interested in perusing. For a week, students are able to try on the job of their choice with various community members. This is a great program because it gives the students a chance to try out a career, while getting to know a variety of community members.

This program is near and dear to my heart because I was involved in this program when I was in high school. Back then I was interested in being a lawyer. Although, I decided I did not want to be a lawyer, I still stay in touch with those who were involved in this experience.

I believe in community involvement in education. It truly takes a village to educate a child. I believe that the more we bring in the community the better educated the child will be.


The Glory of the “Ticket in The Door”


Assessment is one of the most important tools in a teachers tool box. Many assume that assessment is just exams and essays, however that is not the truth. While exams and essays have their place in the education system, other forms of assessment are just as important.

As teachers, how can we possible administer a test, without first knowing if the students are prepared for this test. We do this by using different forms of formative assessment. This is a tool not only for the teachers to know where the students are at, but for the students themselves. By using formative assessment, the students are able to see where they may need extra help. This allows students to take more ownership of their learning.

In my practicum, I used a variety of formative assessments. I often used crosswords, illustrations, small paragraphs, poems, and finally tickets in the door. All these small assignments allowed the students to show their learning and allowed me to gauge where they were at in this learning.

It is also important to use a large variety of summative assessments as well. Tests and essays don’t allow all learners to show their skills. Students that are more creative or artistically inclined, may have an easier time showing what they have learned in other ways. Therefore, artistic final assessments at the end of units can be very effective. For example, in my Grade Nine Poetry class students created posters reflecting their knowledge of poetic terms using song lyrics. This allowed for a creative outlet that was not only effective, but fun as well!

Now, I am not suggesting that we get rid of exams and essays. I think both of these assessment strategies have their place within our educational practice. The key is variety. We need to give our students a variety of assessments in order to convey their learning.

This contributes to  recognizing the diverse needs of a student. By using formative assessment we are able to see exactly, which students need more help where. We can also gauge the different learning styles of students and can teach to these various styles. The more we understand how students learn, the better we can meet their needs.

PS. Below i have attached some of the assessments I used in  my practicum


What is a “YUPPY” ?

2) What is a LATCHKEY Kid and which generation did they belong too.

3) Youth culture tended to fragment into subgroups, identify two of these groups.

4)Generation X was described as which of the following?

calm and polite
underemployed, overeducated, and unpredictable
none of the above

5) Generation X was from ____ to ____ and Generation Y was from ____ to ____

1970 to 1990’s, 1965 to 1976
1965 to 1976, 1970’s to late 1990’s
2005 to 2011, 2012 to 2014
1980-2000, 2000- now

Poetic Devices in Music
Ms. Fresu
English 9

Assignment :
Choose a song that has 4 to 5  DIFFERENT poetic devices within it. Your task is to identify all of the poetic devices within your chosen song. You will then create a poster that not only identifies these devices, but further explains why they are classified as such. You will have 2 full classes to work on this assignment, on the 3rd day we will present them to the class.

Your song must have at least 4 to 5 DIFFERENT poetic devices.
You must identify all devices within the song
You must explain why they are classified as such
You must explain why you think the artist choose to use these devices and what ideas they highlight
Your poster must be eye-catching (colourful and organized)
Your poster must have the lyrics on chosen song displayed on it.



Name ______________________________________________ Date ___________________________


Create Your Own Coat of Arms

There are very specific rules for designing a coat of arms.

  1. Partition the background with lines. You may use any of the designs pictured in the margins or create a design of your own.
  2. Choose a combination of the following colors: black, green, red, purple, gold or silver to color in your background.
  3. Draw a fanciful animal as part of your design.
  4. Complete your coat of arms with any personal or family symbols.



Learning to Watch the News



Watching the news was never something that I wanted to do. Not only did I find the news depressing, but I also found it biased. Therefore, I often tried to avoid watching or reading the news unless there was a certain issue I was interested in. However, during my extended my practicum, my sponsor teacher Doug Bruce changed my view on the news.

It was half way through my practicum, and right before I was supposed to head off to teach my English class. Mr. Bruce stopped me and in a very stern voice, “Ms. Fresu at lunch I want to have a meeting with you”. Right away dread set in! What could I possibly have done wrong? My practicum had been going so well and I was unsure what this meeting could be about. I stressed for the entire next class. I headed back to Mr. Bruce’s room feeling extreme anxiety. I opened the door and right away I was told that in 5 minutes I would given an exam. I started to sweat! What could the exam possibly be about. Finally, Mr. Bruce called me to the desk and started asking me questions. These questions were based on various news stories that were going on at that very moment. I only could only answer about half these questions. Soon a big smile broke across Mr. Bruce’s face. He said, “Rikki, part of the reason I did this was to show you how important life long learning is for a teacher”. This is one of the most important lessons I learned from him.

What if we were in the middle of a lesson and a student had asked me about a current issue and I didn’t know anything about it. Not only would I be denying my students important world information, but I would lose their confidence as well. It was then that Mr. Bruce told me that everyday he watches the news and in his spare time reading history books. This allows him to have a very broad knowledge of his subject, but also knowledge of issues that effect us on a global scale. Right away I took this little experiment to heart. I began watching the news daily, and  checking historical books out of the school library. I am a strong believer in life long learning. However, I never thought that simply watching the news everyday would be part of this important part of my teaching career. Thanks to one very stressful pop quiz, I now am a dedicated news watcher!


When Tragedy Hits…..



My extended practicum was one of the hardest things I have ever done in my life. However, this was not because of the  planning, teaching, or critiquing. During my practicum, three grade 12 students were in a horrible accident. This left two students in critical condition and one on life support.  Right away we as teachers came together not only to support the students, but to support each other as well. Unfortunately, matters only got worse. Half way through the day, news spread that the parents of the boy who was on life support decided to terminate the support. This obviously caused devastation through out the school.

Although, many of us had a close relationship with not only the student, but his family as well, we had to stay strong for the students. Many of the teachers were having a very rough time trying to continue on with the education process, but they knew that this was what was best for the students. This was when I truly saw how much the teachers at J.L Crowe care about their students. It would have been easier for the teachers to check out completely and deal with their own pain. However, they knew that in order to be role models for the students, they had to be strong for not only the students, but the community as well.

Furthermore, even though this tragedy was extremely traumatic, it brought the teachers closer with their students. Nothing tests a relationship more then a tragedy. We as teachers had to talk to our students when they were at a point of extreme emotional distress. Although, there is absolutely nothing that I could say to a student to make the grief process any easier, but  being just a presence in the school gave the students comfort.

I was never so proud to be part of J.L Crowe then I was during this horrific event. The students and teachers supported each other, which was an amazing thing to be apart of. Having to watch my students cry over their lost friend was one of the hardest things I have ever had to witness. Yet, watching how the school supported the community, students, and teachers was a truly heart warming experience.

PS. The image above is from the Trail Daily Times. The students created bracelets with the phrase “sup Nol” on them. This was their way of honoring a fallen friends. This phrase was something that everybody said to Nolan and had a special place in the hearts of his friends.

Place Based Learning!


Trail, B.C.- 1985

Place Based learning is something that I feel very strongly about. However, because of the practicum exam and time constraints, I didn’t get to do half the things i wanted to do within our community. Grade Eleven Social Studies curriculum deals with a lot of content that could directly relate to Trail BC. For instance, our local museum has a great collection of artifacts from both the first and second World Wars. I would have loved to have brought my students to this museum so that they could see various connections to these wars and our hometown. However, because my students had to write the provincial exam, we often had to skim over content instead of diving in deeper and looking at the facts from our community standpoint. My sponsor teacher instructed me to follow his lead, as he was teaching the other Grade Eleven Social Studies class. Although, I have great respect for my sponsor teacher if  I were to teach this class again I would schedule in time for activities that allowed the students to discover their “place”.

The reason that I feel so passionate about place based learning stems from my own high-school experience.  When I was going to school, history was never something I was ever interested in. All it was were boring old dates in dusty old textbooks. The people didn’t seem real or even relevant to my life or my community. It wasn’t until much later that I began to see history in every corner of my hometown. My Nona had about a million stories to tell me from her experiences from growing up in Trail. She taught me about immigration, the depression, and living through WW2. It was then that I saw that history was in fact stories from the people who lived it. This is were I found my true passion for the subject and decided to dedicate my life to teaching it.

If I can get my students to understand that history is more then just boring dates, then maybe I can get them to actually be engaged in the subject. I don’t want my students to just memorize dates, I want them to understand the stories that make up history. Although, I didn’t have the necessary means to get my students out in the community to see the subject within its streets, that doesn’t mean I abandoned place based learning all together. I made sure to relate the subject to our community and share its experience as well. For instance, in my Grade Eleven class we debated the moral implications that came with Trail producing the atomic bomb. This brought what is normally deemed as world history to our backyard. That is what place- based learning means to me!