News for the week of January 21st

The students have all settled back into their routines after Winter Break and have lots of energy and ideas for the months ahead!  The Primaries worked on New Year resolutions (posted on the bulletin board) and have started their study of rain forests and rain forest animals.  As a group, they have also decided that instead of an end-of-the-year play, they will perform and end-of-the-year magic show!  We will be learning simple magic tricks together in class and will work towards each student having their own special illusion to perform.  The older students are working on writing their own plays and will perform these for their end-of-year performance.  The Intermediates finally started in on their Living Space project (thank you to everyone for completing the surveys from home).  Alas, the VSB has the downloads blocked which we need to learn and use the Microbits, and collect the data, so we will have to wait a little longer until they send someone out to un-block them from being used.

Which reminds me – if any parent would be able to take photos that I, and others, have taken of this school year, and produce a year-end video, please let me know.

For the Primaries:  Monday, January 21st is a Professional Day, school is closed.

Finally, this is a just a note to let people know that many of your allotments have now been fully used.  For some families, I will be putting “invoices” for allotment overages in your files.  What this also means, for those families who have used their allotments, I will need cash payments to participate in field trips from this point.


Field trip to Bloedel Conservatory to learn about rain forests, Monday, January 28th

Valentines Day parties:  Primaries:  February 13th, Intermediates:  February 14th.  Class rule:  If your child would like to give cards to classmates, everyone must be included.  I will forward a class list for each of the groups to ensure inclusion.  Thank you!

Family Day:  Monday, February 18th.  School closed.

Portfolio meetings:  February 25- March 1

The Week Before Winter Break

The excitement level in the classroom has been growing (exponentially!) the last couple of weeks.  I’ve been hearing all about Christmas parties, visits to Santa, people coming to visit, and family plans.  The children have been busy writing kind notes to one another to fill everyone’s stockings.

This week, every day from 9:00 – 9:30 a.m. there will be caroling in the gym.  If you arrive after 9:00, come directly to the gym and meet us in there.

Tuesday afternoon, Dec. 18th, will be the Intermediate’s Christmas party from 1:00 – 2:30 p.m.  Please bring a treat to share.  Families are welcome!

On Wednesday afternoon, Dec. 19th, will be the Primaries’ Christmas party from 1:00 – 2:30 p.m.  Please bring a treat to share. Families are welcome!

After the break, programming resumes on Monday, January 7th.

For the Intermediates, we will be starting the Living Space project, and for the Primaries, we will start learning about rain forests.

Schedule for Thursday, December 13th

Tomorrow will be a busy day with a dress rehearsal in the morning, a performance in the afternoon, and a performance in the evening.

Primaries:  please bring your child to the classroom with their lunch at 10:55 a.m. so they can hang up coats and get ready for the dress rehearsal.  Parents can pick up their Primaries at 2:30 p.m., following the first afternoon performance.

Parents please note:  Sorry, but parents cannot stay and watch the 11:00 dress rehearsal, this is for students only.

Everyone:  Please return at 5:40 p.m. for the evening performance.  Please drop your child(ren) off in the classroom and head downstairs for PAC’s Cafe Noel and to get seated for the performance.


The Nutcracker Ballet

On Monday, December 10th we are going on a field trip to see Seymour Dance’s performance of The Nutcracker Ballet.  The performance is being held at Centennial Theatre in North Vancouver ( take the Lonsdale exit and head south – it is adjacent to the highway).  There is ample free parking.

Please be there by 9:40 a.m. so we can enter as a group and be seated.  There are tickets for everyone who signed up!

The Dance instructors for the Winter concert know that the Home Learners will not be at the practice on Monday, so please don’t worry about that.

On another topic:  I did not receive the $5.00 fee for skating from everyone.  If you have not yet paid for our skating trip in November, please bring $5.00 at your earliest convenience.  Thank you.

Too long, didn’t read – how reading online is hurting our brains

I listened to this excellent interview and discussion this past Sunday. I hope you will find it as thought provoking as I do.

“Research shows the internet is shortening our attention span, harming memory, creativity, wisdom and the capacity for empathy and critical thinking. Michael’s guest is Maryanne Wolf, John DiBiaggio Professor of Citizenship and Public Service at Tufts University. Her new book is Come Home: The Reading Brain in the Digital World.

Shared from Listen to CBC Radio’s live streams and shows on demand.”



A Charlie Brown Holiday Double Bill

Carousel Theatre sent some information regarding our field trip this Thursday December 6 at 1pm for A Charlie Brown Holiday Double Bill at the Waterfront Theatre, located at 1412 Cartwright Street on Granville Island:

Please note that babes in arms cannot be admitted to the theatre.

The play is 80 minutes with no intermission. There will be a short Talkback with the company immediately following the show and you are welcome to stay and ask questions.

 Seating starts 30 minutes in advance of the performance and will be on a first come, first served basis. Your entire group must be present and ready  before you can be seated. (No food allowed in the theatre)

Please meet me outside the front entrance as close to 12:30 p.m. as possible so we can gather and go inside. 


Winter Concert Practices

This year, all the students in the school will be learning and performing a dance for the Winter Concert.  We have a dance instructor coming in to work with the students.  She will be here teaching and practicing daily from Friday, December 7th to Wednesday, December 12th. 

Students are asked to attend daily through those days to learn and practice their dance for the performance:

For the Primaries:  9:10 – 9:40 a.m. Friday through Wednesday.

For the Intermediates: 

Friday, December 7th:  2:05 – 2:50 p.m.

Monday, December 10th:  9:45 – 10:35 a.m. (We have our Field Trip to the Nutcracker Ballet)

Tuesday, December 11th:  1:00 – 1:45 p.m.

Wednesday, December 12th:  2:05 – 2:50 p.m.

For both groups:  On your child’s “off” day  – that is, the day your child does not normally attend – please bring your child directly to the gym and pick them up directly from the gym – do not drop off bags, coats, etc in the classroom.  As I am teaching the other group on your “off” day, I cannot be in the gym to supervise students.

Thank you for your understanding and patience.  I know this schedule is difficult for our Intermediate group.



Greetings Families,

I am back from wintry Ottawa.  Travelling to Ottawa with layovers in Calgary, I was – and am – truly grateful that we live in such a beautiful and fair-weather city!

I am just catching up on what is happening here at Beaconsfield, but wanted to let the Intermediate students‘ families know that snow shoeing is postponed as apparently there is not enough snow.  It has been re-scheduled for March.  We will proceed as normal with the week.  🙂


Week of November 12 – 16th

School is closed on Monday, November 12th for Remembrance Day.

On Wednesday, November 14th, the Primaries are going skating at the Trout Lake Ice Rink.  Please bring your child directly to the Trout Lake Ice Rink between 9:00 and 9:30.  Skating will be from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m.  I will then be walking back to school with all the children. All students require a signed consent form to participate.  If a child does not have a signed consent form, they will not be able to skate.    Ice skates and helmets are provided with the $5 fee.  If a child has their own skates, they are welcome to bring them, however, the cost remains the same.  Please ensure your child has mitts, a hat or ear muffs and a warm jacket.  We will be walking back rain or shine, so please dress for the weather also.

Unfortunately, the Intermediates will miss this round of skating as we are already booked to go to the VSO on Thursday.  There will be one or two more skating times planned in the months ahead, though, so they will get the opportunity to participate in skating.

On Thursday, November 15th we are going to the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra Elementary School Concert.  Please be at the Orpheum Theatre by 9:40 a.m.  We will meet at the corner of Seymour and Smithe streets.  Please do not enter the theatre on your own, even if the ushers tell you to go in!  Every year we have someone who goes in while we wait for them outside.  Please wait so we can all be together and enter as one group. It is incredibly busy with children attending from across the Lower Mainland, so I need us all to stay together.   Also, for new families, please go directly to the theatre in the morning, not to school first, as I must be at the theatre early to meet and supervise students.  For the Intermediates, programming will start at 1:00 p.m. following the performance.  Students are welcome to eat lunch at school if they wish.

Also on Thursday, November 15th are photo re-takes at the school.  If you would like a photo re-take, please be at the school first thing in the morning, 8:55 a.m. to have your child’s photo taken.  Please go directly to the Intermediate lunch room in the basement.

Friday, November 16th is the first day of Portfolio Meetings.  Thank you to everyone who has booked their meeting.  If you have not yet booked your meeting, please look at the calendar on this blog and send me your first and second choices of dates and times as soon as possible. During Portfolio meeting times, there is no programming for students.  Programming will resume on November 26th.

The Week Ahead November 5-9

We have another busy week ahead of us, with the Intermediates going to Vancouver City Hall on Tuesday morning and the school Remembrance Day assembly in the gym on Thursday.

For the field trip on Tuesday, November 6th, please meet me on the concourse where the statue of Captain Vancouver is – in front of the North doors to City Hall.  Please meet there by 9:45 a.m.  I respectfully ask parents to please discuss with your child(ren) that City Hall is a quiet work environment, so everyone will need to be calm, quiet, and listening to the person conducting the tour.  I know that the Mayor or a Councillor has been asked to meet us and talk to us, but I don’t know who that might be, and I suspect the person leading the tour won’t necessarily know either, so we will just have to wait and see.  Also, no snacks in the building while we do the tour.

Monday, November 12th is the Remembrance Day holiday, so there is no programming.

On Thursday, November 15th, we will be going to the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra.  The performance is from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.  The sign -up sheet is up and consent forms will be ready on Monday or Tuesday.  This is also photo re-take day at the school.  More information on that next week when I have it.

Finally, Portfolio Meetings are fast approaching.  They will be held from Friday, November 16th to Thursday morning, November 22nd.  Please look at the calendar on this blog and email me your first and second choices for your portfolio meeting.  Please make this a priority as portfolio meetings are a mandatory aspect of the program.  For families new to our program – please have your child(ren) bring representative samples of all the work they are doing at home, and be prepared to discuss what materials, programs, workbooks, etc. are being used for learning.  For the younger children, parents often bring photos, have activities and classes listed, etc.


Ballet Today

Greetings Families,

The Ballet starts at 1:30 today, with doors opening at 1:00.  If your child(ren) is attending programming this morning, please pick them up from the classroom at 12:10, or pick them up from the lunchroom if you will be arriving after 12:10.  I will be leaving right after lunch dismissal in order to get to the theatre on time to meet everyone and stay with students who are being dropped off.

Please meet me outside the front doors of the Queen Elizabeth Theatre at 1:00 p.m.  We will enter as a group, which is what the Theatre requests. We will wait outside until 1:15, then proceed inside.  If you arrive after that time, please meet us inside the theatre.

Happy Hallowe’en!

Next week will be full of excitement for our students (and families!)

On Tuesday, the Intermediates are welcome to attend school in their costumes.  Our class party will be from 1:15 to 2:30. Please bring snacks to share with the class.  Families are welcome to join us!

On Wednesday, the Primaries are also welcome to attend school in their costumes.  Our class party will also be held from 1:15 to 2:30.  Please bring snacks to share with the class.  Families are welcome to join us!  Also on Wednesday, there is a whole-school Hallowe’en party in the gym.  We will not be participating in that party as it is dark, loud, chaotic, and generally overwhelming for the little ones. We will be staying in class enjoying our own celebration.

For both classes this year, I will be preparing ‘Hallowe’en gingerbread houses’ the children can decorate at the party and take home.  If you have any small candies you would like to donate to the decoration station, they will be gratefully accepted!

The Intermediate students are working on a variety of Zero Waste projects and would like all parents to know that:

They are working on a wrappers bin for the school and classroom and are very keen to spread the message to keep the environment clean and wild land and ocean animals healthy.  More to come directly from the students later!

On Thursday, November 1st the Home Learners are going to Ballet BC.  Most people have not yet filled in a field trip consent form to attend this event.  Please ensure you do so (even if you are also attending), so your child can participate!  The program for the Ballet is posted below.  Please note that it is absolutely fine to leave at any intermission.  Just let me know if you do leave.  For children not being accompanied by an adult, I will wait and meet all students being dropped off at the main doors of the QE, and will bring them to the door/wait with them to be picked up.

November 1, 2018
Doors open at 1:00pm
Queen Elizabeth Theatre
The 2018/19 season opens with an evening of riveting works. Following the success of Romeo + Juliet, we bring you returning favourite, Petite Cérémonie, by Medhi Walerski. Emily Molnar premieres a new work infusing her driving choreographic style with the rhythm of the blues. We close the program with William Forsythe’s ground-breaking Enemy in the Figure.
Dress rehearsal show run:

1:00 doors open 

1:27 – 1:30 Introductions

1:30 – 2:00 Petite Cérémonie

2:00 – 2:15 Intermission 15 minutes

2:15 – 2:45 New Molnar

2:45 – 3:00 Intermission 20 minutes

3:00 – 3:32 Enemy

The Week(s) Ahead – October 15th, 2018

  • On Monday, the Primaries will finally be joining gym class!  With holidays and assemblies, we have not had the chance to go to the gym yet.  Please ensure your child has runners for the gym.
  • For the Intermediates, please have your child bring in 4 duotang folders for their projects, so we can start putting projects together on Tuesday.  Thank you!
  • You may have received an email from the school indicating that October 17th and 18th are early dismissal days.  These do not apply to the Home Learners.  We will have our regular 3:00 dismissal on both those days.
  • The office has distributed packages of forms that need to be looked at to ensure the school has your correct information, signed, and returned to the teacher.  They are in the parent folders ready for your pick-up.
  • We will have a Hallowe’en party for the Primaries on Wednesday, October 31st from 1:30 – 3:00 and for the Intermediates on Tuesday, October 30th from 1:30 – 3:00.  Please bring a snack to share with the class.  We ask that you label your food due to allergies;  Gluten/egg/dairy/nuts.  The Primaries have a preponderance of gluten allergies and in the Intermediate class we have  nut allergies.
  • Our next field trip will be to the Queen Elizabeth Theatre to see Ballet BC on Thursday, November 1st from 1:30 to 2:45 p.m.  The sign-up sheet is up and field trip forms are on the parent table .  Cost is $2.00 per student and $5.00 per adult.
  • Finally,  The turn-out for Wednesday Tap dancing was over 50 kids.  Ms. Neibel ran out of tap shoes for that many children.  I sent home a form with all the children who did not receive tap shoes.  If your child received this form, they will need to have their own tap shoes to participate.  Ms. Neibel suggested Payless shoes as apparently they carry inexpensive tap shoes.  Please make sure you sign the proper form and bring it back by Wednesday to participate.

What’s Happening? Week of October 9 – 12

First of all, I would like to wish everyone a very happy Thanksgiving!

It was so inspiring to hear from the children what they are thankful for:  their families, the Earth, friends, pets, and nature, to name a few.  I am thankful every day to do what I do, and to be part of such a wonderful learning community.

This is a reminder to all Intermediate families that Tuesday, October 9th is our whole-school walk-a-thon. I do have most student’s consent forms (thank you), and students must have consent forms to participate.  Please ensure you bring your signed form in on Tuesday morning if you have not already done so.  I do have extra copies if you misplaced yours.  Thank you also to students for soliciting sponsorship from friends and family.  Please also dress to walk, and for the weather conditions.  Proceeds from the walk-a-thon go directly back into our classroom.

With so many different projects going on in the program this year, I am asking all Intermediate students to bring in 4 duo-tang folders each, as soon as practically possible.  Thank you!

Finally, this is a bit of an advanced heads-up that we will have a live online workshop that is just for our class with the Vancouver Aquarium (as part of the Sustainability learning we are doing in class) on Tuesday morning, October 16th.  Please ensure that all students arrive on time at school so we are all ready to participate in the workshop with Aquarium staff.

What’s Happening – Week of October 1st

We got off to a great start last week with our trip to Maplewood Farm.  The weather was lovely and the animals were calm and friendly!

In recognition of Orange Shirt Day, our Indigenous Worker will be coming to the Intermediate class to do a lesson and activity with the students on Tuesday, October 2nd.  It is also Pizza Day on Tuesday – thank you to everyone for getting your pizza order forms in right away.

We will be starting Library time with both classes this week, and children will be able to borrow books to take home.  Please keep Beaconsfield library books separate from Vancouver Public Library books.  If Beaconsfield library books are returned to the VPL, they are not returned to the school by the public library, and parents will incur the cost of replacing the missing book(s).

Children are encouraged to learn to check out and return their own library books, so any books borrowed can be sent back the following week in your child(ren)’s backpack and the students then return them at library time.   If parents do bring books back, please return them directly to the library, not to the classroom or to the teacher.

The week after next, on Tuesday, October 9th, is the annual Beaconsfield Walk-a-thon. Participation forms are in the Intermediate student’s parent folders.