Summer to September

As this school year wraps up, I would like to take this opportunity to let you know how much I enjoyed a year of learning adventures with your children, and how much I appreciate all the support and involvement of the parents.    What a great  community we have in our program!  After today, the school will be closed and all staff away until Tuesday, September 4th, 2018. 

On September 4th, the mainstream school students convene at 9:00 a.m. for a whole-school assembly in the gym  to find out their classroom placements.  Home Learners do not attend that day.  As soon as practically possible on the 4th and 5th, Shannon will be contacting all registered student’s families to book or confirm their Student Learning Plan Meetings.  These are very busy days and I will contact everyone as soon as I possibly can.  The Home Learners’ classroom is closed on the 4th, as all staff have meetings immediately following the classroom placement assembly, for the remainder of the day.

As with the rest of the distributed learning world, for Home Learners’, the first weeks of September consist mainly of planning, preparing and completing individual Student Learning Plans with the teacher, working on and completing each student’s Activation Assignment, and starting (or continuing) their home learning.

Starting immediately, please  look at the calendar on the left column of this site (or click onto the calendar page) to view available times to book for Student Learning Plan meetings.  Please email the teacher with your 1st and 2nd choice of Student Learning Plan meeting times.  I will book people into meeting times on a first-come, first-served basis. Although I will not be accessing my VSB email over the summer, your email will be saved and read upon my return in September.

I will do my best to book people into their requested meeting times on a first come, first served basis, and will email you confirmation on or shortly after September 4th.  

I’m looking forward to seeing everyone again and meeting our new students and families!

Have a fabulous summer everyone!

10 Weeks of Summer Reading Adventures

Children acquire skills throughout the school year, but they can lose ground if learning stops during the summer break. Fortunately, learning never has to stop. Children who read and write throughout the summer gain skills, can start the new school year with a better understanding of language and the world around them, and discover the joy of reading and communicating. The more they like to read, the more they will read.

It’s not hard to help your children keep their interest in reading and learning.  Reading every day, even if it’s for just a few minutes, improves children’s ability to read and learn all year long. Here are 10 weeks of activities that involve reading and related skills. There’s no special order, and you don’t have to do everything listed in a particular week. Just pick the ones that look interesting and fun!

Week 1: Celebrate summer

  • Write a list of things you want to do this summer. Don’t forget to include reading!
  • Make a chart to keep track of all the books you read this summer.
  • Write down on your calendar the time the sun sets today.
  • Start a summer scrapbook. Include souvenirs of any trips you take, photos, ticket stubs, and projects you work on during the summer.
  • List all the books by your favorite author. See how many you can read this summer.
  • Swap books with a friend. Keep sharing books throughout summer.
  • Take a walk. Write about or draw the things you see that show summer is here.

Week 2: Keep in touch

  • Make a personal phone book. List phone numbers and addresses of your friends and relatives.
  • Design your own stationery and write a letter to a friend.
  • Start a journal with a friend or relative. Take turns writing in it all summer long. You can even do this by mail or e-mail.
  • Write a letter to your favorite author. A librarian can help you find a postal or e-mail address.
  • Draw a picture postcard of an imaginary place. On the back, write a message. Mail it to a friend or relative or put it in your scrapbook.
  • Canada’s first stamp was the Three-Penny Beaver designed by Sandford Fleming. It was issued 23 April 1851, and was the world’s first pictorial stamp. Be a philatelist. Design your own stamp.
  • Word game! Invent a code (A=1, B=2, for example). Send a message in code to a friend.

Week 3: Discover recipes for fun

  • List all the ice cream flavors you can think of. Now put them in A-B-C order.
  • Invent a recipe for a cool summer drink. Write it on a recipe card. Serve the drink to your friends.
  • Go to the library and find a cookbook. Make the most interesting dish in the book.
  • Read the directions on a box of gelatin. Ask a parent if you can help make dessert tonight.
  • Work up an appetite by reading a story about food. Make and eat the food you read about.
  • Word game! How many smaller words can you find in the word watermelon?

Week 4: Travel the world

  • If you are going on a family vacation this summer, read about your trip. Mark your travel route on a map.
  • Pretend you are going to visit another city, province, or country with a friend or relative. Write to the tourist bureau for more information. If you plan to visit a foreign country, write to the embassy. Visit the library and find books about the place you want to visit. Or search online for information. Plan your itinerary – and don’t forget to check the weather!
  • Pick an important news event from another city, province, or country. Find as much information on the topic as possible – read newspapers, listen to the radio, and watch TV news. Talk about what you learned.
  • Word game! Look for out-of-province license plates. Make a list of all the province names and slogans. Decide which ones you like the best. Ask friends and relatives which are their favorites.

Week 5: Enjoy the great outdoors

  • Pick wildflowers and press them between the pages of a heavy book until the end of summer.
  • Plan a backyard camping trip with a friend. List all the things you will need to survive.
  • Plan a family ‘booknic’ at your favorite outdoor spot, such as the beach, a park, or the woods. Pack lunch and plenty to read.
  • Collect shells at the beach or rocks along a trail. Use a nature guide to identify them.
  • Find something small enough to put in your pocket. Write or tell a story about it.
  • Look for shapes and designs in the clouds. Draw them.
  • Word game! Make a list of words to describe fireworks.

Week 6: Visit fun places

  • An animal has escaped from the nature reserve! Make up a story about it. Tell it to a friend or family member – or write it down. Add pictures, if you’d like.
  • What museums are close to your house? Are there any old, historic buildings in the area? Find these places on a map. Find out what is on exhibit at the museums and why the old buildings are important.
  • Go back in time and pretend you lived in – or did business in – the oldest building in your area. Write a story about how you spent your time.
  • Make a list of nature park animals. Sort them by different categories, such as type of animal (mammals, fish, etc.) or coloring (green, brown, striped, etc.).
  • Visit a nature park or ecology centre with friends or relatives and find the animals on your list.
  • Visit a museum or historical building with friends or relatives. Write a list of things you see that you didn’t expect.
  • Word game! Think of the softest animal or the oldest thing you’ve ever touched. Write a poem about it, but don’t use the word soft or old.

Week 7: Become a publisher

  • Make your own joke book. Collect jokes and riddles from your family and friends.
  • Cut out pictures from an old magazine or catalog. Write a story about them.
  • Create a rebus story (a story that uses pictures to represent words). Write a short story, and then substitute pictures (that you draw or cut out) for some of the words.
  • Start a round-robin story. Write the beginning, then ask friends to add to it until it has an ending.

Week 8: Watch the skies

  • Learn what birds live in your area. (Birds are described in books called Field Guides.) Wake up early to go bird watching and list the birds you see.
  • Which constellations can you see on a clear summer night? Look at the sky using a star guide to help you find the constellations.
  • People have been looking at the skies for generations. Ask a grandparent or a much older friend to tell you a story about his or her childhood.
  • The first UFO was reported in 1947. Read a science fiction book in honor of it.
  • Word game! Baseballs also fly through the sky in summer. Find a list of baseball teams in the sports section of the newspaper. Put them in A-B-C order.

Week 9: Design something big

  • Invent a tool to help you do chores more easily. Draw a picture of it or make it from some old junk.
  • Read aloud the names of some of the cars in the classified section of your newspaper. Design a new car and name it.
  • Walk around your neighborhood and look at the houses. Design a house that would best suit your lifestyle.
  • Design your own board game and write the rules.
  • Everything we use was designed by someone. Start a collection of things you like, or add to a collection you already have. Use a guide to learn the value of your collection.

Week 10: Honour summer’s end

  • Remember the wildflowers you pressed between the pages of a heavy book? Remove them, and put them in your summer scrapbook or paste them on heavy paper to make a bookmark.
  • Review the chart you made to track the books you read this summer. Pick new books to read.
  • Notice what time the sun sets today. Compare it to the time the sun set during week one.
  • Make a list of the supplies you need for school. Start shopping.
  • Plan an end-of-summer celebration. Write a list of the 10 best things you did this summer. Design a menu of your favorite summer treats.
  • Word game! Summer days are the longest days of the year. List the longest words you know.

~ adapted from Reading is Fundamental (2000)

Last Week of School

While the blistering heat of the last week alerted us all to the fact that summer is here, it still doesn’t quite feel that the last week of school is upon us. This is a friendly reminder that all your children’s items need to be brought home on Tuesday and Wednesday.  There are still personal belongings in many cubbies and project materials on top of the parent resource bookshelves.  Please send children with bags to bring their papers and other belongings home.

We will be practicing each group’s play on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday mornings, so please send students with their costumes.

The Intermediate students will perform their play Tuesday afternoon at 1:30 p.m. (please give students time to get back from lunch and get ready before you arrive).

The Primary students will perform their play on Wednesday afternoon at 1:30 p.m. (please give students time to get back from lunch and get ready before you arrive).

On Thursday, June 28th, we will have our annual end-of-the-year Beach Day and Celebration, from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.   For returning families, it will be at the same location as last year – at the West Concession at Spanish Banks (basically the second concession, driving west on NW Marine Drive) Map:

Please bring everything you need for the beach, plus food and/or beverages to share!  There are picnic tables in the shade right by the concession we can set up at. Parking is free.

End of Year Plays

The students are ready to practice with their costumes!

For the Primaries:

If your child is a Cow:  Something they can wear that is black and white

If your child is a Duck:  Something they can wear that is white or yellow

If your child is a Hen:  Something they can wear that his brown/beige


For the Intermediates

Students playing People:  A small white sheet, or tablecloth and a scarf to use as a tie-belt (Greco-Roman toga-esque)

Students playing Actors:  Pants and a shirt

Students playing Fairies:  Wings

Please also bring a bag on Monday or Tuesday as the students will be taking home all their work and belongings home for the end of the school year.




The Week Ahead

On Monday, the Primaries are planning on releasing the butterflies at VanDusen Botanical Gardens.  Right now, the weather forecast is mixed for Monday.  If it is raining on Monday afternoon, the release will be postponed until Wednesday afternoon.

This is a friendly reminder to work with your child to memorize their lines for the class play, and to bring scripts to school daily.

Thank you!

We Have Butterflies!

Our classroom caterpillars/pupae are now emerging as beautiful Painted Lady Butterflies!

If student’s are interested, please have them bring in a flower from your garden and we will conduct experiments regarding Painted Lady nectar preferences and flower attractiveness to the butterflies.  Please ensure that any flowers brought in are pesticide free/organic.

For the Primary students:  I have arranged with VanDusen Botanical Garden to release our butterflies there.  We will release them on Monday, June 4th in the afternoon.  The cost of the VanDusen visit will be $5.00 per person.  Please pick up and sign your field trip forms on Wednesday, if possible.  As allotments are now closed, please provide payment to Shannon.

Thank you!

What’s Happening: Week of May 14th

Image result for sports day

Sports Day for the school will be this Thursday, May 17th from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

All Home Learners are invited to participate.  The Grade 7’s are organizing a pizza lunch, so please pick up your Sports Day Lunch Order Form and bring it in ASAP, with payment, if your child would like to have the lunch.

Our group is organized into 4 colour teams.  If possible, children dress in the colour of their team.

The program for the day starts promptly at 9:00 a.m.  Please Note:  Dismissal for all students is 2:00 p.m.



Red Team:







Yellow Team:







Green Team:







Blue Team:






For those of you who have booked your Portfolio Meetings with me; thank you!  For families who have not yet booked your meeting, Portfolio Meetings are the week of May 21, through May 29th.  Please look at the calendar on this blog for available dates and times and email me to book you in ASAP.

What’s Happening May 7-11

On Monday, May 7th, the Primaries (only) are going on a field trip to Science World for the day, along with the two Grade 1 classes from the school.

Please ensure your child is at school for the 8:55 a.m. morning bell.  Anyone who has not yet paid for the trip, please bring $5.00 per student to Shannon.  Allotments cannot be used for this field trip.

As we are spending the whole day at Science World, please pack a snack and a lunch for your child(ren), preferably something “spill-proof” and simple, as we may be sharing limited lunch space with other classes or school groups.

The children will be back by 3:00 p.m.


On Wednesday and Thursday, May 9th and 10th, we will be going to Gladstone Secondary School to see their year-end dance performance.  Please ensure your child is dressed for the weather as we will be walking there rain or shine.  The performances are in the morning, so we will be walking there with other classes from the school, leaving at approximately 10 a.m. and returning for lunch.

Portfolio Meetings

The final Portfolio Meetings of the school year are fast approaching, May 22 through May 29th.   Please take a look at the calendar on this blog and email me your first and second choice of meeting dates and times at your earliest convenience.  I am looking forward to hearing all about the fabulous learning that has been going on at home and seeing students’ work!

Year-End Plays

A tradition in our program, both the Primary and Intermediates are working on class plays to perform at the end of the school year.  The Intermediates have chosen to do a version of A Midsummer Night’s Dream and the Primaries are doing Click, Clack, Moo!

To that end, I ask that parents help students practice and memorize their lines, and help students ensure that scripts are taken care of and come to school with students every program day for our practices.  For the Intermediates, we will be making changes as a group to the scripts, so it is important they keep their own copies as we make the changes and note them on the scripts as we move along.

For the Intermediates who brought their scripts home last week, please help them find their scripts at home, so they are ready to practice at school on Thursday.  For the Primaries, scripts will be coming home for the first time today.

Thank you!

Class Photos

The photographer will be at Beaconsfield tomorrow, Friday, April 27th for class photos.

The Home Learners’ photo is scheduled to be taken at 10:15 a.m.  If you are available to be in the class photo, please come to the classroom right at 10:15 a.m.

The photo should take about 10 minutes. Latecomers will miss out as other classes are booked after us and the photographer has a tight schedule.

Class photos are distributed free of charge to participants at the end of the school year.

The Spirit Horse

This is a friendly reminder of our field trip to the performance of The Spirit Horse at Carousel Theatre is tomorrow, Wednesday, April 25th at 10:00 a.m.  Please meet me outside the front theatre doors by 9:40 a.m. at the latest as they only admit us as a group.  Please also ensure you have completed a consent form for your child(ren).  Thank you!

News for the Week of April 23rd

In celebration of Earth Day this Sunday, the students have been learning all about the problem of plastics in our waterways, oceans, and in the environment, have learned about reducing, reusing and recycling plastics and other materials, and made posters to display around the school.  They were very excited and engaged learning about this issue, and suggested some collective action (such as writing letters) that we will continue to pursue.

This coming week we will have our ADST (Applied Design, Science and Technology) Fair on Monday, April 23rd, in the morning for the Primaries, and on Tuesday, April 24th in the afternoon for the Intermediates.

On Wednesday we will attend our final Carousel Theatre performance of the year – The Spirit Horse.   The story centers on two First Nations children whose lives are changed forever when their grandfather, who lives by the old ways on a prairie reserve, brings them a horse that has mysteriously appeared to him.  The children feel an incredible bond to this majestic animal which links the girls and their dad to their Stoney Nation heritage.

Please complete a field trip consent form by Tuesday, April 24th.  The cost is $11.00 per person.

Also, Thursday, April 26th is a Professional Day, so there are no classes.

Wishing you a happy Earth Day!


For The Week Of April 16th

On Monday, April 16th, we will once again be heading to the UBC Hospital for our Science Workshop.  I will meet everyone outside the front doors of the Hospital at the bench, like we did last week.  Please be at UBC by 12:50 p.m.  Bring pencils and notebooks.

For the Primary students, I have the Sierra Club of BC coming in on Wednesday morning to do an Environmental Workshop with the students.  Please be at school for the 8:55 a.m. bell as the workshop will start at 9:00 a.m. Please also ensure that your child has warm, rain resistant clothing and footwear as we will be spending part of the workshop outdoors, rain or shine.  This workshop is free of charge to the students, but the Sierra Club does gratefully accept donations (which are tax-deductible), so if anyone would like to make a donation to them, please see Shannon.  There will not be Noisy Reading on Wednesday morning.

The following week, on Wednesday, April 25th, we have a field trip to Carousel Theatre’s production of The Spirit Horse.  The sign-up sheet and consent forms are on the parent table.

Science Program At UBC Starting This Monday, April 9th!

Thank you to everyone for your patience while UBC and I worked out the details of the science program they will be offering for our HL students. The UBC students have designed a science program around the neuronal system for our students!

The program will be held on Mondays from 1:00 to 2:30 p.m.  Transportation for all students, both Primary and Intermediate will be “on your own.”  Primary students can be picked up from classroom at the start of lunch (12:00).

We are all asked to meet at The Information Desk on the first floor of the Koerner Pavilion at the UBC Hospital.

The Information Desk is just inside the front doors of the building, next to the Emergency Department.  As soon as I arrive there, I will wait for everyone outside the front doors, so that parents do not have to pay for parking if you do not wish to stay there.  There is a driveway right to the front door, where you can drop your child off with me.  If you are not familiar with the UBC Hospital, please google it for directions.  If you do get lost, the person in charge of the UBC program is Niamh (pronounced Neeve) and she suggests you text her for directions at 778-892-1252.

Please ensure your child brings a couple of pencils, an eraser, and a notebook to write in.

I will bring the Field Trip Consent Forms with me, so please make sure you see me before you leave your child at UBC on Monday!  Thank You!


The Gruffalo next Wednesday!

We are going to The Gruffalo on Wednesday, April 11th at 10:00 a.m.!

The sign-up sheet and consent forms are on the parent table.  If you plan on attending, please ensure you are both signed up,and have filled out a consent form – if you show up without signing up, there may not be a space available for you – and I hate to see disappointed children!

Please be at Carousel Theatre no later than 9:40 a.m.  The theatre will only seat us as a group and seat groups on a first come, first served basis.  The cost is $11.00 per person.  As some people have exhausted their allotments, please pay Shannon  by cash or by a cheque payable to The Vancouver School Board.  Thank you!

March and April

Spring Break is rapidly approaching. Some families are already off to warmer climes, and the students are excitedly discussing their plans for the break with one another!  Before we disperse for Spring Break, we have a field trip on Wednesday, March 14th to The Velveteen Rabbit, at Carousel Theatre.  There are still spaces available to participate in this lovely production.  The cost is $11.00 per person and the show is at 10:00 a.m.  Please meet at the theatre by 9:45 at the latest, as Carousel will not seat us until all our group is present.

After Spring Break, on Wednesday, April 4th, is the whole-school field trip to the UBC Roots and Shoots Music Program at the Chan Centre.  School busses will be taking students and teachers to and from the Chan Centre, so please mark your calendars to be at school by the first bell:  8:55 a.m.  Busses will be leaving promptly at 9:00 a.m. and will not wait for any latecomers.  Students will be back at Beaconsfield at 12:00.  Intermediate students can be picked up directly from the bus or from the lunch room.  Primary students will stay for lunch and the afternoon programming.  Please ensure that you have filled out the consent form ASAP for this event.  Any children who do not have a signed consent form will not be able to attend.

UBC Science Program:  I have received a number of questions about these classes which I am attempting to arrange.  Once UBC and I have fully arranged everything, I will provide information on dates, times, etc.  Thanks to everyone for your quick responses.

ADST Fair:  I have put an information sheet in every family’s folder regarding this year’s ADST Fair.  The fairs will be held in the afternoons of April 23rd and April 24th.  Please take a look at the information sheets and let me know if you have any questions.  I have no doubt the students will come up with fabulous ideas – I have been so impressed already with the ideas they have been generating in  class for their “Thingamajig” project and the further ideas which have emerged from their presentations and discussions.



Opportunity for HL Students – Please Respond!

I have been working with the Science Department at UBC since last Spring to plan a science program for our students.  The program would be led by 4th year biology students and be held in a science lab at UBC, overseen by one of their Professors and me.   We are finally ready to go ahead right away after Spring Break, provided enough Intermediate Home Learners are interested, and available to sign up.

The time which the science lab and the UBC student leaders are both available are Monday afternoons (1-3).  Now, as a HL group, I can either take the children to and from UBC, or we can arrange for parent drivers, which we can arrange later, but either way, right now, I simply need to hear from parents if your child(ren) would be interested and available to attend on Monday afternoons.  This program will be free of charge!!  Please email Shannon ASAP letting me know.  This is a fabulous opportunity!  Thank you!

Upcoming Field Trips

We have two upcoming field trips in the works:  The first trip is to the Carousel Theatre Production of The Velveteen Rabbit on Wednesday, March 14th at 10:00 a.m.  The cost of the play is $11.00 per person.  The sign-up sheet and consent forms are on the parent table.

The second field trip is an entire-school trip to the Chan Centre to participate in the Roots and Shoots Music Program on Wednesday, April 4th at 9:00 a.m.  There is no charge for his event as the school received a funding grant so that everyone could attend.  Students and teachers will travel to and from the Chan Centre via school busses.  For more information on the Roots and Shoots Music Program Click Here.  Consent forms are in the parent files.