St. Lorenzo Ruiz

Introduction

Our project

Developing Resource Kits- Below are some of the ideas for kits that we would like to develop to encourage learning through play. Our plan is to start with developing our ideas listed below in chronological order. CPSN Mode: Green and Machine. Collaboration Building Kit: Specifically designed to target student group work skills, social skills, and further develop their ability to interact with others readily and successfully. This may also benefit students with low attendance to interact in a positive way with peers and staff. Landbased Kit: We are located in a neighbourhood that is rich in flora and fauna. A few classrooms go for nature walks. This resource kit could include a map of the different areas, along with activities that students could engage in, would provide classrooms the opportunity to engage in land-based learning. During the winter, students will have the opportunity to identify animal footprints, dissect scat to learn what they eat. During Spring, students would work with elders to identify sacred medicinal plants. Structure and Design: Winter Outdoor Structures – students will be equipped to survive the outdoors, embracing Saskatchewan winters. Lego Robotics Orienteering Kit or Geocaching kit using 3D Printer: Design an outdoor garden, seed starting pot, rain water collector, PET bottle watering spikes, self-watering planter.

Tell us about your team and your school community.
We are an inclusive, faith based Catholic school who welcome all religious perspectives and beliefs. We strive to see every individual for who they are as well as nurture and encourage self-advocacy to help them grow holistically. Our team consists of two administrators and three teachers who teach grades 5-7. We believe that when students are given the opportunity to explore learning through inquiry and hands-on activities, their motivation and joy to learn increases. Through continuous collaboration our middle years Professional Learning Community strives to foster a learning continuum to prepare our students to be 21st century learners. This is done by ongoing communication and devoting time to debrief lessons, ideas, long term goals and vision for our school and students. We complement one another by recognizing the strengths that each of us bring to the table and utilizing them accordingly. Our school community consists of roughly 650 students from Kindergarten to Grade 8. We have a very diverse student population, both in ethnicity and learning needs.

Tell us about the importance of learning through play for your team and for your students.
At St. Lorenzo, we believe in preparing our students to be 21st century learners. Our team engages students through personalized learning and inquiry. Learning through play allows students to meet cross curriculum learning outcomes, be engaged innovative and critical thinkers. The opportunity to work in different types of groups fosters collaboration and potential mentorship, which is an important skill to have in the workforce and also helps promote a sense of self, mental health and overall social wellbeing. Learning through play provides students differentiated learning opportunities and environments and also gives the opportunity for the incorporation of multiple intelligences. Students have their own learning styles and learning through play increases student motivation to attend school, fosters positive peer relationships, a desire to learn, has a positive impact on self-esteem and mental health, and nurtures their own holistic development; student attendance and motivation is higher when students feel heard, loved, and enjoy what they are doing at school. 

Tell us about your interest in joining the Canadian Playful Schools Network.
We are excited to be partnering with the Canadian Playful Schools Network, to expand on our own knowledge and skills, by connecting and collaborating with each other and teams across Canada who are also passionate about learning through play. Accessing resources both human and monetary, to collaborate and support one another, will be a huge asset to help us realize our vision and bring JOY to learning. Finding the time to collaborate with our colleagues has been a challenge, and we feel blessed that through CPSN we will now have release time to do so. We look forward to being inspired by the projects of the 39 other schools who are part of this network. Being our first year in this network, we count on CPSN to guide us, connect us with other teams, and be patient with us as we navigate our way to make learning fun.