Kayak Kids Illustrated History Challenge

The 2018 Challenge is now open! Canada’s History invites students ages 7 to 14 to submit a short illustrated story about a memorable moment from Canada’s past. This is a great activity that combines writing, history, art, research, inquiry and creativity! And there are prizes….


The top 2 entries (1 French and 1 English) receive:

  • $1000 RESP
  • trip for 2 to Ottawa
  • a medal from Her Excellency, the Right Honourable Julie Payette

The top 25 entries receive:

  • free subscription to Kayak: Canada’s History Magazine for Kids

All participants receive:

  • certificate of participation
June 1, 2018

Portfolio Time!

This is a friendly reminder that there are no classes until February 28th, because it is portfolio meeting time.  I am looking forward to hearing all about the projects, outings, and great learning that has been going on with all the students!

During Portfolio Week, we do have a field trip to Ballet B.C’s production of Romeo and Juliet.  This performance is on Wednesday, February 21st at 1:00 p.m. at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre.    Tickets are $2.00 per student and $5.00 per adult.  If you did not sign up, but would still like to join us, please email Shannon.  I do have some seats available and can bring the consent forms for parents to sign at the door.  Please meet me outside the main doors by 12:40 at the latest as we will enter as a group.


Valentines Week

The students all have their Valentines mailboxes up and are eagerly making and writing cards for their classmates.  Personally, I love Valentines Day at school, because it is a time when the outpouring of caring and thoughtfulness amongst the children is abundant, and also because the children initiate their own writing to their friends, often asking me to write words and phrases on the board, or on a piece of paper for them to copy out for a friend.

There will be two Valentines parties this week – one for the Intermediates and one for the Primaries.  The Intermediates party will be a low-key celebration between 1:00 and 2:00 on Tuesday, Feb. 13th.  They will share treats and open their mailboxes.  To that end, please send in a treat for the children to share.

The Valentines party for the Primaries will be on the afternoon of Wednesday, February 14th, from 1:00 to 2:30.  We will share treats, open mailboxes, and have a couple of games and crafts.  Parents are welcome to join us.  Please bring a treat for the children to share.  We have many gluten allergies in this group, and an egg allergy, so please label your treat.

The Ballet BC and the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra field trips are both fast approaching, so please also remember to sign up and fill out a consent form this week, as the following week is Portfolio Meeting Week…

Which leads me to another friendly reminder to please sign up for your child(ren)’s Portfolio Meeting.

Finally,  please ensure your child is not bringing toys to school.  There have been a few incidents the past couple of weeks of hurt feelings due to children feeling they weren’t able to play with toys that were brought in by a classmate, instances where children have been focused on, or playing with their toys from home rather than participating in class, and time spent looking for toys that were left outside during recess or lunch.  Thank you for your cooperation with this.



February Happenings

With February upon us, there are a number of events to take note of for Home Learners.  It is mid-year Portfolio meetings time, from February 20th, through February 27th.  Meeting times and dates are on the calendar, so please take a look and send me your first and second choices of dates and times to meet.  I will book people on a first come/first served basis, and will do my best to accommodate everyone’s requests.

We have two upcoming field trips planned this month; one to the Ballet and one to the Symphony.

On Wednesday, February 21 at 1:00 p.m. we are going to Ballet B.C.’s production of Romeo and Juliet at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre, downtown.  Tickets are $2.00 per student and $5.00 per adult.  The sign-up sheet and consent forms are at the Parent Table.

On  Wednesday, February 28th at 10:00 a.m. we are going to the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra‘s Elementary School Concert of The Carnival of Animals at the Orpheum Theatre, downtown.  Tickets to this performance are $7.50 per person.  The sign-up sheet and consent forms are also at the Parent Table.

Please note, also, that Family Day is on Monday, February 12th, and there is a Professional Day on Monday, February 19th, so there are no classes those days.

Last Week of January

We will be celebrating the end of January with another session of skating with the school for both the Primaries and the Intermediates!

The Primaries will be skating on Wednesday morning, January 31st,  from 9:30 – 10:30 a.m.  and the Intermediates will be skating on Thursday morning, February 1st,  from 9:30 – 10:30 a.m.  The cost is $5.00 per person.  Allotments cannot be used for this field trip, so please bring cash.  On both days, please meet me at the Trout Lake Ice Rink.  We will walk back to school as a class following skating.

As Monday is a Pro-D day, school is closed, so for the Primary students, I will bring the consent forms to the rink.  Please make sure you see me and sign the form or your child(ren) will not be able to skate.

For the Intermediates, the consent forms are on the Parent table, so please sign the forms and put them in my file folder for Thursday.

As Groundhog Day is also next week, I am fervently hoping that Wiarton Willie and  Shubenacadie Sam do not see their shadows!

It’s Dark Outside Field Trip

Tomorrow, Thursday, January 25th we will be going to Waterfront Theatre in Granville Island to see the production of It’s Dark Outside.  The play starts at 10:30 a.m.   Please be at the theatre by 10:00 a.m.  The theatre has asked everyone to be there no later than half an hour before show time.  The play is one hour in length.

There are still a few tickets available, so please email me if you would like to join us.

Field Trip: It’s Dark Outside

On Thursday, January 25th we are booked to see It’s Dark Outside by the Perth Theatre Company.  This production is brought to Vancouver by the Vancouver International Children’s Festival.  The performance will be at Waterfront Theatre in Granville Island.  The performance starts at 10:30 a.m. and is an hour in length.  The cost per ticket is $12.25.

The description of the play from the festival website states:  “As the sun sets, an old man goes wandering into the wild. Swept up in a surreal epic Western, he is on the run from a mysterious tracker who is bent on hunting him down!

Created by the same team that brought the hit (and sold out!) show The Adventures of Alvin Sputnik: Deep Sea Explorerto the 2015 PuSh Festival, It’s Dark Outside is another great adventure.

Itʼs Dark Outside uses a creative and ever-surprising blend of live performance, puppetry, animation and an original music score. The performers tell the story of an old man chasing his memories as they escape into the wild “with poetic insight and lightness of touch that makes it moving and uplifting to watch” .”

The sign-up sheet is posted and consent forms are on the parent table.

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year and welcome back after the Winter break! 

This term, the Primaries are learning about Living vs. Non-Living things, and the needs of living things, and we will be doing some fun science experiments together!  The Intermediates are learning about the Earth; its makeup, formation, plate tectonics, volcanoes, etc.  Before the break, the Intermediates asked that we continue with the Narnia series for our novel study, so we are now working on The Magician’s Nephew.   Yesterday we started our Inventor’s Workshop to great excitement, so I will be sending home a “scrounge list” of various items to collect for the students to create and invent with.  Everyone made fabulous potato inventions yesterday on paper, soon to be followed by “real” potato inventions!  We will once again hold an “Inventor’s Fair,” likely after Spring break, so families have time to plan and invent together!  In addition, I will be working with the Primaries on the K/1 “Heart Smart” program (healthy eating, healthy living), and with the Intermediates on the “Friends” program.

The first field trip of the school year is for Intermediates only and will be on Thursday, January 25th.  We will be going to the production of “It’s Dark Outside” at the Waterfront Theatre (Carousel’s Theatre).  In preparation, we will be doing some pre-theatre learning and activities in the next couple of weeks.  The field trip sign-up and consent forms will be on the Parent table shortly.

Happy Holidays

I would like to take this opportunity to wish all our students and families very Happy Holidays!  I hope everyone’s wish comes true and that you savour all the special moments.

School resumes on Monday, January 8th.  Monday/Wednesday students, please be at school on the 8th for the first bell (8:55 a.m.) as there will be a special performance in the gym commencing at 9:00 a.m.    🙂

In the New Year, the students will become inventors and scientists – so families, please save any interesting packaging, old appliances, electronics or computer parts, styrofoam, old CD’s, etc.  for our Inventor’s Workshop.  If in doubt, please save it to bring in!

Finally, I do want to send out a huge Thank You to all our families for your continued support and involvement in the program.  I am humbled to be a part of such a caring, connected learning community.

Final Week Before Winter Break

Well the holiday season is now at a fever pitch!  At this time of year,  I especially enjoy the students excitement, anticipation, and expectations for Santa’s magical arrival.  I have overheard many earnest conversations regarding who has, and who has not heard reindeer bells in previous years, who has actually spied Santa in the middle of the night, and family traditions the children are looking forward to.

This week will consist of lots of practice for the Winter Concert, and, of course, each class will have their Winter parties – Monday for the Primaries and Tuesday for the Intermediates.  To that end, families are welcome to join us  – please bring a snack or drink to share and also please contribute some candies for the children to decorate their gingerbread houses.

On Wednesday morning, we will be going to Carousel Theatre to see The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe.  The program starts promptly at 10:00 a.m., so please be at Waterfront Theatre by 9:40 at the very latest.  Carousel will not seat us until all our party are present, so the earlier we are all there, the better seats we get.  The sent along the following information for us:

“Please note that children younger than age 3 and babes in arms cannot be admitted to the theatre.

· The play is approximately 80 minutes with no intermission. There will be a Talkback with the company immediately following the show  (runs approx.  5mins). If your students have any questions we do not get a chance to answer, please write to us and we will do our best to answer them.

·         If your group is arriving by car, please leave ample time to find parking on Granville Island

·         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 (i.e. snacks completed) before you can be seated.”


An Exciting Week Ahead

We have a busy and exciting week ahead of us with a trip to the Nutcracker Ballet, a day of snowshoeing and tobogganing for the Intermediates, and a walk to Gladstone High School to see their Winter dance production!

Monday, December 11th:

I managed to order extra tickets so that everyone signed up for the Nutcracker Ballet (which is almost everyone!) is able to attend.  Please meet in the lobby of Centennial Theatre (2300 Lonsdale Ave, North Vancouver) by 9:40 a.m. at  the latest.  The production starts at 10:00 a.m.

Tuesday, December 12th:

Mount Seymour Tobogganing and Snowshoeing:  Please ensure students are here in class by 8:45 a.m. on Tuesday morning.  The buses will be leaving promptly at 9:00 a.m. and they will not wait for latecomers.  Students participated in a meeting yesterday regarding the day and were given information on a sheet of paper about what to wear and bring.  This should have come home with every student. Click  1130_001-25jfyad if you did not receive it.

Thursday, December 13th:

The Intermediate students will be walking to Gladstone Secondary School to see their Winter dance performance.  We will be leaving the school at 9:30 a.m. and will be back for lunch.  Please ensure your children are dressed to walk.

Winter Concert Update:

Thank you to all the families who are practicing the winter concert songs at home!  The Kazoos were handed out to the Intermediate students yesterday, which caused great excitement and a lot of noise!!  Thank you also to the families that have brought in $1.00 for their child’s Kazoo.  Children will be able to take them home after the concert.


There are still a number of people I need to obtain both the $5.00 skating fee and the $25.00 snowshoeing fee from.  Thank you.


Screenagers – Growing Up In The Digital Age

A screening and discussion is being held of this important film at John Oliver High School (41st and Fraser), the evening of December 6th. This is a free event!  For information on this event, go to:  ScreenagersJohnOliverDec.6-15flnnl

To register to attend, go to: www.screenagersjo.eventbrite.ca

The multi-award-winning SCREENAGERS probes into the vulnerable corners of family life, including the director’s own, and depicts messy struggles, over social media, video games, academics and internet addiction. Through surprising insights from authors and brain scientists solutions emerge on how we can empower kids to best navigate the digital world.  For more information on this film, visit www.screenagersmovie.com



Week of December 4th

I do not know how December arrived so early this year.  It certainly caught me by surprise (and mild panic!) when I realized how much time the students and I have together to prepare for the Winter Concert!  What with Portfolio Meetings and field trips, there really is little time between now and the 20th.

To that end, I have or will be sending home (depending on whether you have met with me yet) the lyrics to the songs our class will be singing for the concert.  I ask parents to please practice these songs with your children so they can have the songs memorized as soon as possible.  Since both the Primary and Intermediate students will be singing together at the concert, if possible, please set aside the afternoon of the 20th (after our Carousel Theatre field trip) to come to class to practice together.  I will also be asking for one additional time for everyone to come together, but I have to coordinate that with all the other classes in the school, so that time will be either the 18th or the 19th in the morning.  The Winter Concert is always a special and fun evening for everyone and I am preparing some special touches to our performance for the parents. 🙂

December 4th and 5th

This is a friendly reminder that there are no classes as Portfolio Meetings are still being held these two days.

The Nutcracker Ballet

We have tickets to Seymour Dance’s production of The Nutcracker Ballet for Monday, December 11th.  Please sign up by Tuesday, December 5th at the latest, so I will be able to order additional tickets, if necessary.  Thank you.

Mt. Seymour Field Trip for Intermediates

Please sign the consent forms and provide me with $25 cash for this field trip, which is on Tuesday, December 12th.  We will be going with other Beaconsfield classes there and back via school bus.  Parents can join to help out, but must arrange their own transportation.

Skating Field Trip

If you haven’t already, this is a friendly reminder to please bring in $5 per child for the ice skating field trip we went on Nov. 22 and 23rd.  Thank you.


Scholastic orders are arriving.  Some orders are in the parent file folders and some are under my desk.  Please see me if you don’t find your full order in the files, I don’t want any to get forgotten over the Winter Break!

Class Christmas Parties

A Christmas party is planned for each class:  Primaries on Monday, December 18th and Intermediates on Tuesday, December 19th, both from 1:00 – 3:00 p.m.  Families are invited to join us and to bring  a snack to share.  Also, I will be making a small gingerbread houses for each student to decorate and take home, so I am asking families to contribute some suitable candies to share with the children to decorate their houses with. Candies can be dropped off any time.

We Remembered

As part of our in-class Remembrance Day activities, students made cards to thank Veterans and Canadian Forces Members serving.  Every year, I mail these cards out to contacts throughout Canada.  Today, I received this photo from a Canadian Forces unit in Quebec.  As I discussed with the students, these gestures mean a lot to the men and women who have served or are serving our country.  🙂

Update for Monday, Nov. 20th

For the Primaries only on Monday, November 20th:  The Home Learners will be included in the one-day square dancing program at school.  Our allotted time (with the other K classes) is from 9:00 – 9:35 a.m.  Please have students at school for the first bell (8:55) so they can put their things away and get ready.  Noisy reading will be cancelled on Monday.

Thank you!

For the Week of November 20th

Ice Skating

We will be going ice skating next week with other classes from the school.  The Primaries will be going on Wednesday and the Intermediates will be going on Thursday.  Only registered students can participate in this activity.  If you have not already received them, the consent forms are in the parent files.  I need signed forms back ASAP.  The cost for this activity is $5.00 per student, which must be paid for by cash – no allotments.  Also please ensure your child has warm socks and mittens or gloves.  Toques which helmets can fit over are also suggested.

On both days, parents can drop their children off directly at Trout Lake Community Centre at 10:00 a.m. and students will walk back to school with me afterwards, or you can drop your child off at 9:00 a.m. at school and students can walk both there and back with me.  However, I cannot wait for late arrivals at school as I must leave to be at the rink for 10:00 a.m.

Winter Concert

We have started practices for the Winter Concert.  I have sent lyrics to one song home with the Intermediates to learn and ask that parents help children memorize the words.  I also ask that the lyric sheets go back and forth from school to home so I am not constantly photocopying.  I appreciate everyone’s help with this.  🙂 .  Your child(ren) may have mentioned that a portion of our concert performance involves Kazoos.  To this end, I have purchased Kazoos for every child for the performance, and for them to keep afterwards.  I am asking for $1.00 for each Kazoo to cover their cost.  Thank you.

Portfolio Meetings

Portfolio Meetings begin on November 27th.  I am excited to hear from you and your child what they have been learning and what their goals for learning are for the coming months.  If you haven’t already, please ensure you book an appointment with me.  Also note, especially for new families: there is no programming during portfolio meeting times.



VSO Tomorrow

Everything is in order for our field trip to the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra tomorrow.  We still have 6 tickets available for students and families.  If you haven’t signed up, but would like to come, please email Shannon ASAP.

I am re-posting last week’s post about the VSO below.  Please read in preparation for tomorrow, and please note also that the VSO has advised that there is no food or drink in the theatre.

On Thursday, November 16th we will be going to the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra’s Elementary School Concert of Dance.

The Symphony starts promptly at 10:00 a.m., so please arrive by 9:40 a.m. at the latest.  We need to enter as a group.  Please wait at the corner of Seymour and Smythe streets.  Do not enter the building!, even when the Ushers tell you to (which they will)!   I need to account for all my students and account for last minute changes!  Every year someone enters without us knowing, and I end up phoning the school, getting the office to track people down, etc., causing work and stress for everyone.

For the Week of November 6th & 13th

Field Trip November 7th

On Tuesday, November 7th, we will be going on a full-day field trip to Port Moody Station Museum.  We have two workshops booked for the day:  “Riding the Rails” and “Building a Community in Pioneer Times.”  In between the two workshops we will be eating lunch in one of the antique rail cars at the museum, so please pack a lunch which won’t involve spills or too much garbage.  The Port Moody Station Museum is located at  2734 Murray St., Port Moody, British Columbia.  Please arrive at the museum by 9:45 a.m. at the latest so that we can get everyone’s coats/backpacks put away and everyone settled for the 10:00 a.m. workshop.  Parents please pick students up at 2:00 p.m.


Remembrance Day Assembly

The school Remembrance Day Assembly will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Thursday, November 9th.  All HL families are invited to attend.  The assembly is being held in the gym, so if you wish to join us, please proceed directly to the gym, not to the classroom.


Vancouver Symphony Orchestra Field Trip

On Thursday, November 16th we will be going to the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra’s Elementary School Concert of Dance.  The sign up sheet is at the Parent table.  I have pre-booked 24 tickets only, so if parents and siblings are interested in attending, please write your names on the waitlist portion of the sign-up sheet, one person per line.  If you write a parent and sibling on one line, I will not necessarily note that and will not order enough tickets.  Please write your name on the sign-up sheet prior to November 9th and I will order extra tickets, if available.

The Symphony starts promptly at 10:00 a.m., so please arrive by 9:40 a.m. at the latest.  Please wait at the corner of Seymour and Smythe streets.  Do not enter the building!, even when the Ushers tell you to (which they will)!   I need to account for all my students and account for last minute changes!  Every year someone enters without us knowing, and I end up phoning the school, getting the office to track people down, etc., causing work and stress for everyone.

Portfolio Meetings

The first Portfolio Meetings of the year are scheduled for the week of November 27th.  Please take a look at the calendar and send me your first and second choice of meeting dates and times.  I will schedule people in on a first-come, first-served basis.  For all our new families, and as a friendly reminder to returning families, I will provide information regarding what evidence of learning to provide at the meeting, in the next week or so.