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:

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



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.


The Care and Running of H.L.

The Intermediates started learning about paper circuits and electricity yesterday.  I think most of the students brought them home.  Parents, you might have noted the battery that we used, which is a very inexpensive coin cell battery (2016) that I purchased at a dollar store.  As they are cheap (3 for a dollar), some of the circuits don’t work as well as they could.  I have purchased a class set of good quality coin cell batteries, but I am going to ask that they either stay at school to use on each subsequent project, or that parents approve $10.00 each from your child’s allotment so that I can provide batteries for each project that the children can take home with them.  Please email me if you approve of allocating $10.00 from your allotment for this unit of study – this is for the Intermediate students only.  Thank you.


Now that children are mostly settled into their program and developing a routine for school days, I am receiving many questions about allotments and paperwork.  There is always a lot going on in our program with upcoming field trips, events, whole-school events, and different plans for primaries vs. intermediates.  As such, I do my best to put everything on the classroom calendar, which is a page of this blog, so that people can view what is coming up and when things such as Scholastic orders are due, so please take a look at the calendar regularly to see what is coming up.

In terms of paperwork, field trip consent forms are always placed in the metal organizer on the parent table.  The consent forms are printed so that parents can sign and tear off the consent portion to put in my folder, and take the top of the page home with all the information.  Please do not take the forms unless you are signing up for the field trip.  For some reason, I am copying enough forms for all students but we are running out of forms  each time, and I don’t always have time to run further copies.  Also, siblings can be identified on one form, just clearly write each child’s name on the form. Parents don’t need to fill out two forms.

For your child’s allotment, all requested items must be approved and ordered by our staff, and the forms are also in the metal organizer on the parent table.  The approved vendors to order materials and supplies from are:

  • Scholastic
  • Education Station
  • School Specialty
  • Spectrum Nasco
  • Open School BC
  • ADS

Finally, I do want to acknowledge all the families for your support and assistance in making this a unique, vibrant learning community.  Today, I especially want to thank Ashlyn, Declan, and Calla’s families for adding to our Hallowe’en decorations and to our class library, to Dakota’s family for helping with paperwork, Olivia’s family for preparing our Winter concert music accompaniment, and Emma and Braeleen’s family for helping with Scholastic!  I hope I have not missed anyone, and I do apologize if I have inadvertently left someone out.

Week of October 30 – Nov. 3

Hallowe’en is fast approaching and the students are getting very excited!  We have different things happening for our Primaries and Intermediates, so please read on.

Primaries:  On Monday, October 30th, we will have a Hallowe’en party in our classroom from 1:30 – 3:00 p.m.  Children are invited to wear their costumes to school for the entire day or to bring them to change into for the afternoon.  Families are invited to join us for the party from 1:30 onwards and are encouraged to bring snacks to share.

Intermediates:  The Grade 7 Class will again be hosting their annual Hallowe’en dance party for the school in the gym in the afternoon of Tuesday, October 31.  Students are invited to wear their costumes to school for the entire day.  There will be a snack bar and glow-light sales at the dance, so if your child might like some pizza, a drink, goodies and/or a glow-light, please send them with a small amount of money to purchase treats.  This is a student event only.

Costumes:  Please ensure no masks which cover their face and no weapons of any sort come to school with costumes.  This includes pretend swords, hooks, guns, blades, etc.

Ballet BC Field Trip:  We are going to the Queen Elizabeth Theatre for the Ballet BC production the afternoon of Thursday, November 2nd.  Please ensure all field trip consent forms are in to me by Tuesday, October 31st.

Author Visit

Yesterday afternoon the Home Learners were delighted to have children’s author Cary Fagan to our class!  He read from a couple of his picture books and, as you can see, played and sang with the mandolin he made himself.  I think he may have inspired a few budding authors!

The Week Ahead


As we continue our study of Bats, I will be bringing in some foods which bats are directly responsible for through either pollination, seed dispersal, or protection from insects.  These foods will be:  figs, mango, papaya, agave, cacao (chocolate), avacado and coconut.  If you child is allergic to any of these foods, please email me.  There are many other foods, including nuts, which Bats are directly responsible for, but I will only be bringing in the ones noted.  The children will be learning  about the others foods also.


On Wednesday, October 18th we are one of only 3 classrooms in the Lower Mainland to have an Author visit sponsored by the Vancouver Writers Festival.  All registered HL students are invited to attend. However, only our registered students, not parents or siblings as per the author’s request. The presentation will start at 1:30 p.m.  Intermediate students are invited to arrive at 1:15 p.m.  In order to get the little ones settled, lunch boxes and coats away, etc., please wait in the hall if you are early. Please also do not arrive late as it is a privilege to have been chosen for this presentation and I want to respect the author’s generosity and time.

Intermediate students may stay until 3:00 p.m. with the Primary students and I will walk all the students down to the rear covered area for pick up.


This is a friendly reminder to families to please bring a full change of clothes to leave in your child’s cubby in case of accidents, spills, weather, etc.


Again, this is a friendly reminder for parents and care-givers to please wait for children outside at the covered area at the end of the day .  This applies to Primary and Intermediate.  Thank you for your understanding.





Beaconsfield Walk-A-Thon

Thursday, October 12th from 1:00 – 3:00 p.m. is the annual Beaconsfield Walk-a-Thon.  The T/Th group will be participating, walking the 5km route.  Please ensure your child(ren) is wearing comfortable walking shoes, and a container of water is always a good idea!  Also please ensure your child brings in their Walk-a-Thon consent form.

If the weather doesn’t cooperate, the Walk-a-Thon will be postponed to next week.


Happy Thanksgiving

I would like to wish all our families a Happy Thanksgiving.  This week we read stories and talked about giving thanks for the things that are important to us.  The students shared many wonderful things they are thankful for; their families, nature, pets, ladybugs, and even school!  Please be sure to come by and read their sentiments, which are posted on the HL bulletin board.

Next week will be our field trip to Stanley Park to participate in the Beautiful Bats workshop.  This is a walking, outdoors, rain or shine, hands-on, getting a bit dirty and possibly wet event, so please ensure your child dresses for the weather!  The Stanley Park Ecology Society asks that people do not bring umbrellas if it is raining, please just wear rain-gear.  Also, please remember that even on sunny days, it is always colder in the forest.

The workshop itself allows a maximum of 4 adults only, so unless I have contacted you directly, please do not plan on attending.  Also, please arrive 15 minutes early (9:15 a.m.) for the 9:30 a.m. start time.  I will be waiting there for all students to arrive.   The meeting site is at the Miniature Railway parking lot.  Parents dropping off children will not need to pay for parking unless they want to stay and wander around or grab a coffee nearby.  Parents who do wish to park, plan on a parking rate of $3.25 per hour or $11.00 for the day.

If you haven’t already, please ensure I have your child’s field trip consent form at least 24 hours prior to the event.  Please note:  Students without a signed consent form cannot participate in a school field trip.  This is very important, and is due to liability reasons.

Finally, for our new students, we have Home Learner T-shirts and hoodies that most students wear on field trips.  Last year’s students helped design the logo.  This helps field trip providers and their staff to keep an eye on who belongs in our group, and also helps the children recognize one another as both the primary and intermediate groups join up on field trips!  T-shirts are $10.00 and hoodies are $25.00

September 29th

We all made it through Week 1!  There were a few tears, many laughs, new friends to meet and get to know, and new adventures and  routines to learn.  Thank you to all the Parents for helping to make the transition into a new school year positive and smooth for the children.

Next week, Gym will start for both the Primary and Intermediate groups.  Primary students will have gym on Mondays and Intermediates will have gym on Tuesdays.  Please ensure your child(ren) has runners to change into for gym.  Many parents find it easiest to obtain a pair of runners that stays at the school, in your child’s cubby, so they don’t have to keep track of runners going back and forth.

Also starting next week, I ask all parents to wait outside by the rear door, in the under-cover area, after school.  I will bring students down as a group after the bell rings.  There are a few reasons for this, one being that the students become immediately distracted when they see their own, or someone else’s parent or sibling, at a time of the day when we are often finishing up an activity or we are imparting information we want them to remember to take home.  Also, and most importantly, I take the safety of your children very seriously, and I like to ensure the children are picked up and a child hasn’t been missed in the melee of parents and kids in the hall.  I appreciate everyone’s cooperation with this.

Finally, I do hope to make Bat Houses with the Intermediate students this term, and perhaps one as a group with the Primary students.  To this end, I am seeking donations of plywood or OSB pieces.  I need pieces that are at least 27 X 24, 17 X 24, and 5 X 24  (inches).  The sooner they come in, the sooner I can cut them to proper size and prep them for the students.  They don’t have to be new pieces, so don’t worry about that.  If anyone has or can get any black asphalt shingles, that would be fabulous.  Not necessary, but the Bat houses will look very nice!


Hitting the Ground Running!

It has been an absolute delight meeting with returning and new students and families the past couple of weeks, hearing about summer adventures and fall plans, and discussing all the fabulous learning that is ongoing and planned for the upcoming school year!

Thank you to those of you who have already returned your Activation Assignments.  As you know, this is a Ministry requirement and they must be in by their due dates, which is also set by the Ministry.  When you bring them in, please put them in my file folder on the parent table.  If you hand them to me, I am likely to set it down while chatting with someone and lose track of it!

Welcome Picnic

On Monday, September 25th, at 10:30 a.m. all Home Learner students and families – both the M/W and the T/Th groups, are invited to meet at Trout Lake (at the playground) for our Welcome Picnic. If any M/W students would like to come to class first and walk to Trout Lake with me in the morning, and/or back to school for a regular 3:00 p.m. pick up, they are welcome to do so.  If it is raining on Monday, the picnic will be postponed and it will be a regular 9-3 school day.

Individual Student Photos

On Tuesday, September 26th, student individual photos will be taken.  The sitting and proofs are free of charge and there is no obligation whatsoever to purchase them.  Our class will be the first students to have their photos taken, right at 9:00 a.m., so please be at class on time. As all the other classes are waiting, we cannot delay or stall for latecomers.  Primary Parents, you are welcome to stay with your child and are free to leave once your child’s photo is done.

Students staying at school on Tuesday will have time to change their clothes afterwards if they want to wear something special for the photo.   Just to interject my personal 2 cents worth – I have my daughter’s school photos from every year, and I am so glad I did them.  I have them all in a “school years” album for her.  Because they have a consistent look to them, they capture her growth and changes in a unique way.

Terry Fox Run

Our annual Terry Fox Run is being held on Thursday, September 28th at 1:00 p.m.  The whole school will be walking with their teachers to Trout Lake and running the circle path around the lake for our run.  Students from one of the classes at Beaconsfield will be visiting our class daily to collect donations for the Terry Fox Foundation, so if you wish, please send a toonie or loonie for your child to donate.



Interesting Article

I came across this article and found it quite interesting. It is copied from The Journal Times, September 8, 2017.

On Parenting: Making reading with child fun and interactive

By SARAH HAWKS Family and Community Educator, Racine County UW-Extension.

Q: My 4-year old and I try to read together each night before bedtime. Many of the books we are reading we have read many, many times. I don’t want my child to become bored with the books and, worse yet, bored with reading. Do you have any suggestions on how to make reading more interesting?

A: Thank you for your question. It is great to hear that you have made reading a part of your child’s bedtime routine. Reading is an excellent way to settle down for the evening and spend quality time with your child — not to mention all of the early learning opportunities that reading provides.

Although children often enjoy reading the same books over and over again, it is important to keep books engaging for parents and children. It may be time to try something new during your story time. Have you heard about interactive reading?

Interactive reading, also called dialogic reading, is a way to engage your child during story time by creating a conversation about the book and the characters. To give you a better idea of what interactive reading is, let’s compare traditional reading to a child and interactive reading.

For traditional reading, the parent reads and the child listens. The goal is to get to the end of the story. For interactive reading, the child takes a more active role. There is more conversation between the parent and child. The parent follows the child’s lead and interests, and encourages the child to talk about the book. The goal of interactive reading is to let the story spark new ideas to talk about.

How does a parent create a conversation with his/her child? The parent asks the child questions about the book. Although asking questions may not feel natural at first, with practice it becomes easier. Remember to follow the child’s lead and interests about the book. One more reminder: this is not a quiz. If the child does not know an answer to a question, parents can help them out. If children aren’t in the mood to talk some nights and just want to get to the end of the story, that’s OK, too.

Here are some ideas for questions to ask a child while reading a book.

Use question words like “Who? What? Where? When? Why? How?” — “Where is the character going?” “Why do you think the character is going there?”

Ask about the pictures — “What is happening in this picture?” or “What things do you see in this picture?”

Ask about feelings — “How is the character feeling?” “Why you do you think the character is feeling that way?” “Have you ever felt this way?”

Ask the child to predict the story — “What do you think might happen next?”

Ask the child about his/her own experiences. “This character is at school. What do you like to do at school?”

Research has shown that this type of interactive or dialogic reading has positive results for children. “Dialogic reading works. Children who have been read to dialogically are substantially ahead of children who have been read to traditionally on tests of language development. Children can jump ahead by several months in just a few weeks of dialogic reading” (Grover Whitehurst, Ph.D. and Reading Rockets). Other benefits and reasons to try interactive reading with children include:

It is fun! It’s more interesting and fun for both the child and the parent. This leads to increased interest and increased frequency of reading.

Improved comprehension — Comprehension is the ability of a child to understand the story. By asking questions, parents are able to see if the child is able to follow the story and recall what has happened in the story.

Vocabulary development — The child practices using words and language. The child also practices new vocabulary and putting words together to form sentences.

Opportunity to teach different concepts such as feelings and emotions.

Keep reading time fun and light and be sure to show lots of interest in what children do talk about. Happy reading!

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