The first day of programming is Tuesday, September 25th (Monday is a Professional Day).
All students from both programs are asked to be here by 8:55 a.m. to be ready for their student photo to be taken. Please come straight to the classroom, and we will get ready together. We are the first group to have photos taken, so we need to be on time and have them taken as a group, so the rest of the school can get their photos done at their allotted times.
Parents and students of the Monday/Wednesday program can leave immediately after your photo is taken.
Student photos are used for library cards, so we ask that all students have their photo taken so they will automatically be signed up to use the Beaconsfield library system and be able to borrow books. There is no obligation to purchase the student photos.
Tuesday/Thursday students will attend from 9-3, as per usual. Intermediate students will be dismissed from the classroom. Please wait outside the South side doors, on the playground, to meet your children when they are dismissed. (Primary students will be accompanied by me at dismissal on Mondays and Wednesdays).
All students are invited to attend our field trip to Maplewood Farm on Wednesday, September 26, from 10:00 – 2:00. Please meet Shannon at the entrance gate when you arrive. The field trip is ‘rain or shine,’ so dress appropriately! Also, bring a snack and lunch.
I am looking forward to seeing everyone next week!
Allotment accounts are in the process of being set up for our students. They will be ready and open to order materials and supplies from in the next two weeks. In the meantime, the approved vendors list for the 2018/2019 school year is:
Open School BC
Anchor Academic Services
Please remember that all orders for materials and supplies must be made through the school, and not ordered on your own. Allotment request forms are at the parent table. Please place completed forms in Shannon’s file. Thank you.
Our class has been selected to participate in The Living Space Project! The Living Space Project is offered through Let’s Talk Science, The Canadian Space Agency and The Government of Canada Cancode Program to offer this unique program to classrooms across Canada.
Here is the Project Overview:
How does your Living Space compare to the International Space Station?
As we look forward to expanding space exploration into long-term, long-distance space travel, we need to understand how environmental factors impact human health and well-being. Let’s Talk Science has developed an exciting new Action Project in partnership with the Canadian Space Agency and the CanCode program to give teachers and students an opportunity to monitor their “living space” and integrate science and coding in a unique and engaging way in their classroom. During the upcoming mission of Canadian astronaut David Saint-Jacques, David will be experiencing first-hand the environmental conditions of the International Space Station (ISS) and reporting them back to earth for participating classrooms to compare their results to!
Participating students and educators will:
Study key environmental conditions that are carefully monitored and adjusted on the ISS;
Investigate environmental conditions, such as temperature, light, humidity, and air quality, in their classroom, and how these relate to health and well-being;
Collect and analyse data using programmed sensors and compare it with information from other participating classrooms as well as other locations – even the ISS during David Saint-Jacques’ mission;
Develop analytical thinking and digital and coding skills!
This program will be for the Intermediate students only. If students have their own devices they are able to bring to the classroom to use on Tuesdays and Thursdays, please let me know, as we only have 9 iPads in our classroom.
I’m excited! I hope your children will be too! This will be really cool!!! 🙂
Junior Tap Dancing with Ms. Neibel will be happening again this year on Wednesdays at lunch time. The program is open to students grades 1-4. The added bonus for Home Learners’ is that yours truly is the teacher sponsor for this program, so I will be joining the students every Wednesday at lunch for all the practices!
If your child is interested in joining, please print out and sign the Junior Dance Form and bring it in by September 26th, the first class.
If your child is in the Tuesday/Thursday program but would like to participate, please bring your student to the gym (not the classroom) at 12:10 on Wednesdays and pick them up from the gym at 1:00 p.m.
Our program currently has two Primary (Kindergarten, Grade 1 and Grade 2) spots available for this school year (2018-2019). If you know of anyone who would like their child(ren) in the program, please have them register at the office as soon as possible! Thank You!
Make Your Daughter Practice Math. She’ll Thank You Later.
The way we teach math in America hurts all students, but it may be hurting girls the most.
By Barbara Oakley
Ms. Oakley is an engineering professor and the author of a book on learning.
For parents who want to encourage their daughters in STEM subjects, it’s crucial to remember this: Math is the sine qua non.
You and your daughter can have fun throwing eggs off a building and making papier-mâché volcanoes, but the only way to create a full set of options for her in STEM is to ensure she has a solid foundation in math. Math is the language of science, engineering and technology. And like any language, it is best acquired through lengthy, in-depth practice.
But for girls, this can be trickier than it looks. This is because many girls can have a special advantage over boys — an advantage that can steer them away from this all-important building block
A large body of research has revealed that boys and girls have, on average, similar abilities in math. But girls have a consistent advantage in reading and writing and are often relatively better at these than they are at math, even though their math skills are as good as the boys’. The consequence? A typical little boy can think he’s better at math than language arts. But a typical little girl can think she’s better at language arts than math. As a result, when she sits down to do math, she might be more likely to say, “I’m not that good at this!” She actually is just as good (on average) as a boy at the math — it’s just that she’s even better at language arts.
Of course, it’s hard to know what’s taking place in the minds of babes. But studies revealing developmental differences between boys’ versus girls’ verbal abilities alongside developmental similarities in boys’ and girls’ math abilities — combined with studies that show that among girls, self-perceived ability affects academic performance — seem to indicate that something like the above dynamic might be going on.
Unfortunately, thinking you’re not very good at something can be a quick path to disliking and avoiding it, even if you do have natural ability. You can begin to avoid practicing it, because to your mind, that practice is more painful than learning what comes more easily. Not practicing, in turn, transforms what started out as a mere aversion into a genuine lack of competence. Unfortunately, the way math is generally taught in the United States — which often downplays practice in favor of emphasizing conceptual understanding — can make this vicious circle even worse for girls.
It’s important to realize that math is, to some extent, like playing a musical instrument. But the instrument you play is your own internal neural apparatus.
When we learn to play an instrument — say, the guitar — it’s obvious that simply understanding how a chord is constructed isn’t the equivalent of being able to play the chord. Guitar teachers know intuitively that the path to success and creativity at the guitar is to practice until the foundational patterns are deeply ingrained. The word “rote” has a bad rap in modern-day learning. But the reality is that rote practice, by which I mean routine practice that keeps the focus on what comes harder for you, plays an important role. The foundational patterns must be ingrained before you can begin to be creative.
Math is like that, too. As the researcher K. Anders Ericsson has shown, becoming an expert at anything requires the development of neural patterns that are acquired through much practice and repetition. Understanding is part of acquiring expertise, but it certainly isn’t all. But today’s “understanding-centered” approach to learning math, combined with efforts to make the subject more “fun” by avoiding drill and practice, shortchanges children of the essential process of instilling the neural patterns they need to be successful. And it may be girls that suffer most.
All American students could benefit from more drilling: In the international PISA test, the United States ranks near the bottom among the 35 industrialized nations in math. But girls especially could benefit from some extra required practice, which would not only break the cycle of dislike-avoidance-further dislike, but build confidence and that sense of, “Yes, I can do this!” Practice with math can help close the gap between girls’ reading and math skills, making math seem like an equally good long-term study option. Even if she ultimately chooses a non-STEM career, today’s high-tech world will mean her quantitative skills will still come in handy.
All learning isn’t — and shouldn’t be — “fun.” Mastering the fundamentals is why we have children practice scales and chords when they’re learning to play a musical instrument, instead of just playing air guitar. It’s why we have them practice moves in dance and soccer, memorize vocabulary while learning a new language and internalize the multiplication tables. In fact, the more we try to make all learning fun, the more we do a disservice to children’s abilities to grapple with and learn difficult topics. As Robert Bjork, a leading psychologist, has shown, deep learning involves “desirable difficulties.” Some learning just plain requires effortful practice, especially in the initial stages. Practice and, yes, even some memorization are what allow the neural patterns of learning to take form.
Take it from someone who started out hating math and went on to become a professor of engineering: Do your daughter a favor — give her a little extra math practice each day, even if she finds it painful. In the long run, she’ll thank you for it. (And, by the way: the same applies to your son.)
Barbara Oakley is an engineering professor at Oakland University in Rochester, Mich., and the author of “Learning How to Learn.”
Wishing a warm welcome to all our new students and families, and a warm ‘welcome back’ to our returning students and families! I hope you are all as excited as I am to get back together for a marvelous year of learning adventures! Just off the bat, I have a few things planned for this term and into the school year; we will be exploring gears and simple machines, farms and farm animals, and stewardship of our planet!
If you haven’t already – please email me ASAP with your first and second choice of Student Learning Plan meeting times. My hope to is meet with everyone by September 21st, so we can start programming on September 24th. Everyone must meet with me before they can attend school programming. Please take a look at the calendar on this blog to see what times are still available.
I will also be looking for parent volunteers for a number of roles which help support our program, so please think about your gifts, and your time availability to lend to the program. We are a village!
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 willemail you confirmation on or shortly after September 4th.
I’m looking forward to seeing everyone again and meeting our new students and families!
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.
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 Wednesdayafternoon 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 Dayand 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: https://goo.gl/maps/p7MmBFKTB3U2
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!