Staff Room Snippets

Bold and Audacious

January 29, 2020

Once upon a time, before I became Ms Julie, the admissions and marketing officer at Touchstone Academy, I spent my working hours as an academic historian. My days were filled with thinking, writing and talking about the 17th and 18th century people who left their familiar European towns and villages behind, embarked on arduous journeys,…

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Split with no cracks – flexible learning environments

December 6, 2019
Children learning with their teacher

“Flexible learning environments” has recently become a hot topic in New Brunswick. Dominic Cardy, Minister of Education, has proposed that instead of age-grade organization, young students should be combined into classes in more flexible ways, to better meet all academic needs and to balance behavioural challenges and learning needs in each group.  Busy parents are…

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Apricot Muffins to Share

October 1, 2019
Photo of Apricot Muffin

The first time I brought apricot muffins into the staff room to share, a few people found them surprising. I hadn’t realized that apricot was an unusual muffin ingredient – I’d been making them for years. The next time there was an occasion to bake, I was asked to make them again. I eventually shared…

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Progress Reports: Computer Output or The Chronicles of Growing Up

January 30, 2019
Progress Reports

The school report card, or “progress report” is such an old ritual of family life that it’s something we rarely take a moment to think about. Typically, the report arrives in our homes on a predictable schedule, presents a snapshot of what has been happening in the classroom and generates a flash of satisfaction, pride,…

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Google, Grocery Store Math and Math Culture

November 15, 2018

In today’s world of smart phones and Google, almost any math problem can be looked up and instantly solved with a calculator or the internet.. “Knowing” is becoming less important than problem solving and understanding. Experts tell us that too many kids in school are doing little more than, “applying procedures to problems they really…

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Summer Learning Loss: year-round school or year-round learning?

May 20, 2014
Staff Room Snippets - Touchstone Academy Blog

Are your kids counting down yet? As the spring weeks slip by, the emerging green grass, warm sun, and bright blue sky prompt most children to start thinking about that happy moment in June when the final school bell will ring, ushering in that magical privilege of childhood: summer vacation. Summer is almost here! It’s…

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Grit – An Indicator of Success: A little failure goes a long way

April 7, 2014
Staff Room Snippets - Touchstone Academy Blog

In recent years, there has been a great deal of discussion about developing “grit” in youth. Grit, a non-cognitive trait identified by Angela Duckworth, is about persevering and achieving success even when faced with adversity and failure. In Paul Tough’s book, How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity and the Hidden Power of Character, he describes grit…

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