Richland Academy has launched its campaign to be recognized as a Rights Respecting School in association with Unicef Canada. Unicef Canada’s Rights Respecting Schools Initiative uses the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child as a basis for enhancing an inclusive, participatory and respectful school culture for children and adults. With an engaging and hands-on program grounded in children’s rights, the Rights Respecting Schools Initiative enriches school culture in a way that is directly connected to the work that Richland is already doing.

At Richland, we strive to ensure that children’s best interests are at the centre of all decisions, and look forward to this exciting partnership with Unicef Canada.

Our Prek children are deeply engaged in using technology within the classroom on a weekly basis. They are learning to print their first names on the Epson Board; exploring the alphabet and sounds with the Letterland Software; developing their artistic skills with drawing; investigating the concept of math, and their favourite, reading Richland’s blog!

“Technology is best able to support learning when children use it to expand their knowledge in hands-on, engaging, and empowering ways.” (NAEYC, Young Children, May 2012) Technology gives young children the opportunity to explore and manipulate a variety of materials. When technology is balanced with outdoor play, interactive hands-on experiences, technology can be a valuable part of the Preschool experience. Young children learn best in this way of teaching.

“Technology is one of the most ever growing and rapid changing tools of education, I have explored during my teaching career. It opens up a world of possibilities for our children.”                  - Mrs. Abreu

Young children are surrounded by technology at home, in their community, and increasingly, in early childhood education programs. Preschoolers use computers to create: art, make music, tell and record stories, hear their stories read back to them, and play educational games, that can connect with off-screen learning and play. Careful planning of computer and technology use lets children explore and investigate new opportunities.

“Education is not the filing of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.” – W.B. Yeats

To continue our series on 21st Century Learning, we would like to share an article from a fellow educator, Margaret Powers, who considers a number of key questions in the development of age-appropriate practice in the 21st Century. This article focuses on what the future holds, and how we can best prepare our students and support them with technology.

At Richland we are continually evaluating the skills and experiences our students will need for the future, and strive to ensure that Richland graduates are world-ready. We welcome your feedback.

At this time of giving and receiving, and with so much to be thankful for, we wanted to share a few simple ways to cultivate gratitude in children.

For many of us it is the time of year when we celebrate with our family and friends. We also take time to remember those who are not as fortunate as ourselves, and to give what we can to others. The children in the Grade One class have been telling their classmates how they celebrate at home throughout the year. Today, one of our parents came in to speak to the students about Eid, explaining why Muslims choose to fast prior to the celebration, and how important it is for all of us to remember that not everyone has food to eat. After our discussion the children coloured pictures of the new moon and had henna placed on their hands. Some children chose a moon and star, others decided to have their initials placed in their palms. One of our students selected the letters “R” and ‘A’, he decided to celebrate with a little school spirit!

With the holidays quickly approaching, we would like to share a list from Parents Magazine of 25 engaging activities to do, rather than watching a TV or video screen. There are so many great ideas – one of our favourites is building a fort!

If you think of other activities please share them with us.  Have fun!

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