Field Trip to the VSO on Wednesday

We have a field trip booked to the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra “What A Wonderful World” concert this Wednesday, March 1st.  The performance starts at 10:00 a.m.  Please meet me on the corner of Smythe and Seymour by 9:45 at the latest.  The performance goes from 10 – 11:00 a.m.

Please do not proceed into the Orpheum on your own.  Every concert, the docents tell our waiting parents and students to go inside.  Please do not!  Wait for me and our group so I have everyone properly accounted for. Otherwise I am waiting outside for you when you have already gone in.    The sign-up sheet and consent forms are on the parent table.  The cost is $7.50 per person.

Also – our T-Shirts and Hoodies are in!  Please bring cash in for your order.

Family Day and Valentines

This is a friendly reminder that Monday is the provincial Family Day Holiday, so there is no school on Monday.

On Tuesday, for our Intermediate students,  the Grade 7’s are hosting a Valentines Dance in the gym for the afternoon.  Our group will likely spend some time at the dance, then head back to the classroom for our own Valentines party.  Families are welcome to bring treats to share for our classroom party.  The Grade 7’s will be offering items for sale at the dance, so if any students are interested, please remember to bring some money for:

Cheese pizza:  $2.00 slice

Chips: $1.00

Juice $1.00

Rice Crispy Squares:  .75

Pop:  $1.75

Coockies:  $1.75

Mango Juice:  $1.75

Small glow sticks:  .50

Large glow sticks:  $2.00

For the Primary Students we will be having our Valentines Party in the afternoon on Wednesday, right after lunch and before gym (1:00 – 1:40)  Short and sweet, but we will be doing some fun Valentines readings and art in the morning.  Families are welcome to bring in treats to share.

Recap And The Weeks Ahead

I want to take this opportunity to commend all the students on the wonderful work they did on their inventions and creations.  All our students, from Kindergarten to Grade 5 put their ideas into action, demonstrating their individuality and creativity.  The visiting classes and teachers were also impressed and excited to learn and share in what was going on, and I know they found the inventions and presentations inspiring.  And, especially for the Intermediate group who presented on three occasions during the day (including to the big Grade 7’s !), the growth in their presentation skills and self assurance throughout each presentation was marked, and a joy to see. Debriefing at the end of the day, they all reported feeling proud of their accomplishments and validated by the positive feedback they received from peers (and Grade 7s!!  :-))

For all of the students who opted to leave their inventions and creations at school for display, I have them on display in the Library, the display case outside the office, and the upstairs hallway.

Portfolio Week

This is a friendly reminder that there is no programming next week due to portfolio meetings.  Also, as our portfolio week looks like it will be scourged with snow, I am asking everyone to please do their utmost to make their meetings, as will I, as we are all working to a deadline for report card submission and distribution.

Field Trip

Our upcoming field trip on Tuesday, February 21st is to the Museum of Vancouver for a day-long animation workshop.  The “Animating History” workshop provides our students with professional animators to storyboard a plot, create and animate characters, and add dialogue and sound effects. Students will complete a one to two minute animated story by the end of the day on the Caribou Gold Rush.  The sign up sheet and consent forms are on the parent table.  Cost is $15.00 per person.



Portfolio Meetings

Our Portfolio Meeting week is approaching, February 6-10th.  Please take a look at the calendar on the blog and email me your first and second choices for meeting dates and times. Meetings will be booked on a first come, first served basis.

In preparation for your child’s Portfolio Meeting, please refer to his or her Student Learning Plan and be prepared to speak to, and bring examples of goals that have been achieved and/or goals he or she is working on.

This is also a friendly reminder that booking and attending your portfolio meeting is a mandatory component of the Home Learning program.

Ice Skating Wednesday

This is a reminder for M/W students that we are ice skating at the Trout Lake Ice Rink tomorrow, Wednesday, from 9:30 – 10:30 a.m.  Please go directly to Trout Lake in the morning to drop students off.  I will be walking back to school with the students following skating.

The skate rental office is open at 9:15 to get skates and helmets.  Any T/Th students who wish to join us are welcome but a parent MUST come in to sign a consent form, and will need to pick up their student at 10:30.  Students who do not have a signed consent form will not be allowed to skate.

The fee is $5.00 cash or cheque payable to Lord Beaconsfield Elementary – allotments cannot be used for this event.  This fee includes skate rental, and is not reduced if students have their own skates.

VHL Shirts and Hoodies

It is “Final Call” for everyone who wishes to order a Vancouver Home Learner t-shirt or hoodie!

We still have some sample sizes in both child and adult sizes in the classroom for people to take a look at or try on.  Also, we have added “Youth” sizes in S, M and L.  Youth sized t-shirts and hoodies will be the same price as child sizes.

The shirts and hoodies will be in a nice royal blue with our fabulous logo printed in white.  Please come in before/after classes any time next week to order yours!  The order will be submitted to Blim on Friday, January 20th

ADST Fair Reminder

Applied Design, Skills and Technologies Fair


This is a reminder of the Home Learner’s ADST Fair on January 31st and February 1st.  This same information was provided to Families at our November Portfolio meetings.  The purpose of the fair is for students to share and demonstrate their ideas and products/inventions to their peers.  Like a science fair, students also prepare a visual display which connects to the item they will be presenting.  Our fair will be a fun way to fulfill the ADST curriculum requirements and to also build excitement and enthusiasm for this area of learning.

Basic requirements for students:

  • Generate ideas from their experiences and interests to pursue.
  • Determine the materials and tools they will need to make their product/invention. (provide a full listing – e.g.: scissors, paper, tape, brads, paper straw, etc.)
  • Use trial and error to make changes, solve problems in the design or operation, or to incorporate new ideas as they emerge.
  • Prepare a visual display to accompany their product.
  • Demonstrate their product (at the fair), including being able to articulate how they came up with the idea, and the stages of development to reach their final product.
  • Be able to realistically evaluate the success of their design solutions.


Products/inventions need not be complicated. Remember, the ideas should be child-generated with assistance from others.

Food For Thought

From Science Friday:

How Much Math Should Everyone Know? (Show Your Work.)

Did you use a polynomial equation today? When was the last time you calculated the volume of a sphere?

While human achievements in mathematics continue to reach new levels of complexity, many of us who aren’t mathematicians at heart (or engineers by trade) may struggle to remember the last time we used calculus.

It’s a fact not lost on American [and Canadian!] educators, who amid rising math failure rates are debating how math can better meet the real-life needs of students. Should we change the way math is taught in schools, or eliminate some courses entirely?

Andrew Hacker, Queens College political science professor and author of “The Math Myth and other STEM Delusions, thinks that advanced algebra and other higher-level math should be cut from curricula in favor of courses with more routine usefulness, like statistics.

“We hear on all sides that we’re not teaching enough mathematics — you know, that the Chinese are running rings around us,” Hacker says. “I’m suggesting we’re teaching too much mathematics to too many people. … I would say everybody doesn’t have to know calculus. If you’re going to become an aeronautical engineer, fine. But most of us aren’t. It’s a bit like saying everybody should learn Arabic because they may need it someday.”

Instead, Hacker is pushing for more courses like the one he teaches at Queens College: Numeracy 101. There, his students of “citizen statistics” learn to analyze public information like the federal budget, corporate reports, and police homicide rates. Such courses, Hacker argues, are an antidote to the numerical illiteracy of adults who have completed high-level math like algebra but are unable to calculate the price of, say, a carpet by area (82 percent failed to do this in a recent survey).

Hacker’s argument that most students don’t need higher-level math has been met with pushback from other math educators who say what’s needed is to help students develop a better relationship with math — earlier — rather than teaching them less math altogether.

Maria Droujkova is a founder of Natural Math, and has taught basic calculus concepts to 5-year-olds. (Hint: if you ask kids to build the Millennium Falcon out of Legos, doors open to all kinds of questions like “How many Legos did it take?” or “How do you build a circle out of squares?”) For Droujkova, high-level math is important, and what it could use in American classrooms is an injection of childlike wonder.

“Make mathematics more available,” Droujkova says. “Redesign it so it’s more accessible to more kinds of people: young children, adults who worry about it, adults who maybe had bad experiences.”

Pamela Weber Harris, a lecturer at the University of Texas at Austin and author of “Building Powerful Numeracy,”has a similar perspective. Harris says that American education is suffering from an epidemic of “fake math” — an emphasis on the rote memorization of formulas and steps, rather than an understanding, instilled early on, of how math can influence the ways in which we see the world.

“My tagline is, ‘Math is figure-out-able,’” Harris says. “If I have six times seven …and a student doesn’t know it, I’d love them to know. But if they don’t, then I might ask them, ‘Do you know three sevens?’ And if a kid knows three sevens is 21 and I need six sevens, then I just need to double 21, which is 42.”

Harris argues that “chunking” like this quickly leads children to higher math by showing that a complicated figure can be built from easier-to-digest composite figures. Students who learn these concepts early on, she says, may get more out of courses like algebra and calculus when they reach them.

“They’re finding the beauty in [math] because we’ve allowed them to construct those relationships,” Harris says.

Andrew Hacker, for the record, remains skeptical.

“I’m going to leave it to those who are in mathematics to work out the ways to make their subject interesting and exciting so students want to take it,” Hacker says. “All that I ask is that alternatives, other options, be offered instead of putting all of us on the road to calculus.”

—Julia Franz (originally published on

M/W Show & Tell Schedule

Please mark your child’s show & tell date on your calendar, and this is a friendly reminder to help your child prepare something educational, please no toys/stuffies.

Wednesday, Jan. 11:  Alister

Wednesday, Jan 18:  Briar

Monday, Jan 23:  Ashlyn

Wednesday, Jan 25:  Declan

Wednesday, February 1:  Luna

Wednesday, Feb. 15: Emily

Monday, Feb 20:  Braeleen

Wednesday, Feb 22:  Calla

Monday, Feb 27:  Asher

Monday, March 6:  Rohan

Field Trip Monday, January 16th

On Monday, January 16, 2017 we will be going to the Port of Vancouver for a guided tour of the Port and its role in Vancouver.  Following the tour, we will be seeing Fly Over Canada followed by Flight of the Dragon – a special limited screening provided for Chinese New Year.  All students are welcome and encouraged to attend as this trip ties into our learning about Communities, British Columbia, and Canada.

The sign-up sheet and forms are at the Parent table.

For those M/W students who wish, we will have Noisy Reading and Read Aloud in class on Monday morning, leaving the school at 10:00 a.m.

For those meeting us at the Field Trip, please meet us in the front foyer of Canada Place – just inside the main front doors and we will proceed to the tour as a group.

We will eat lunch there, so please pack a bag lunch.

I need three adult volunteers for this trip, please contact me if you are able to act as a class volunteer.

Carousel Theatre Field Trip

This is a friendly reminder to families to sign up for our field trip to Carousel Theatre’s production of  A Charlie Brown Christmas  which is happening on Thursday, December 15th at 10:00 a.m.

Please meet me outside the front entrance by 9:40 a.m. as they only admit us as a group.  Ticket price is $11.00 per person.

Time Change for Wednesday’s Dress Rehearsal

Hello Everyone,

The dress rehearsal on Wednesday morning will be a proper rehearsal according to the concert schedule, so we need everyone here at school with their instruments by 9:30 a.m.  For T/Th students, expect to pick them up at 10:30 a.m.

As for student dress for the performance – everyone is welcome to wear what they would like for the concert, something perhaps party-ish and/or festive.

Cafe Noel starts at 6:00 p.m. so  starting at 6:00 I will have the classroom open for students to come in, start getting ready, etc. so parents can get their seats in the gym.

Snow Event Notification

Snow Event Notification

Vancouver School Board has procedures that are followed in situations where heavy snowfall might be affecting schools.

All schools in the Vancouver School Board will remain open if at all possible during snow events. Any district-wide closure will be decided by 7:00 a.m. at the latest. Details of district-wide or individual school closures will be announced through the media and the district website:

Please note that no announcement will be made stating that schools are open. Only closures and delayed openings will be announced.

Information about school closures will be sent to Metro Vancouver radio and television stations. Please check the following stations for school closure information (but do not call them):



CBC AM 690 radio, 88.1 FM

Global BC

CKNW AM 980 radio


News AM 1130 radio


Fairchild AM 1470 radio

City TV

Student safety is the first priority of the Vancouver School Board. Schools will be kept open except under extreme circumstances to provide the option of attendance for all, but the decision to attend is the responsibility of each family.

Parents/guardians are responsible for their children’s safe travel to and from school. If, for any reason, a parent/guardian feels that a child cannot travel safely to school, then they should make other arrangements.

During extreme weather conditions it is also common for police and other authorities to advise citizens to avoid unnecessary travel. Parents should take this advice as well. Students will not be penalized for lack of attendance under such poor weather conditions. Students are reminded to wear appropriate clothing for the conditions. When sidewalks and roads are slippery students walking to school should take extra care.

We encourage you to review your own preparations for severe weather conditions and ensure that you are familiar with the city’s response procedures for those conditions. We request that you strictly adhere to parking restrictions in and around all Vancouver schools. Your child’s school will contact you about any changes to driving routes that may be put into effect on streets adjacent to the school.

Last Week Before Winter Break

We have another busy – and exciting week ahead!

The Winter Concert is this Wednesday evening, so we are in full practice mode! (I will send a separate post regarding what time to be here on Wed. evening, etc.)  The students are doing a wonderful job with their music pieces and starting to come together as an ensemble!  I feel that I am in such a privileged position being able to practice with them and watch them play and progress.  It really is a delight.  I do hope everyone attending will be able to video their performance,or find someone who will send them a copy of their recording –  their personalities really shine through in both pieces!

I am asking that ALL students attend on Monday AND Wednesday morning for full rehearsals. Monday morning, please be at school for 9:30 a.m. and for T/TH students, plan on having your child stay until 10:30  Please do not be late as we will be the first group on stage in the morning, and we cannot hold all the other classes up.  Wednesday morning, T/TH students please be here following recess, at 10:50 and plan on  having your child stay until noon.

On Wednesday afternoon we will have our Winter Party for the M/W group from 1-3.  I have gingerbread people and will make little graham cracker houses, so please bring icing and candy to decorate them with.  Snacks and drinks to share will be much appreciated.

On Thursday afternoon we will have our Winter Party for the T/Th group and will be watching the other classes winter concert performance.  I have gingerbread people and will make little graham cracker houses, so please bring icing and candy to decorate them with.  Shacks and drinks to share will be much appreciated.

Vancouver Home Learner Shirts and Hoodies

With a HUGE Thank You to Yuriko and Noel,  Rei’s parents,  we now have sample size T-shirts and hoodies in the class, and have the logo for our Vancouver Home Learner shirts on display.

I have a price list and sign-up form for our trend-setting apparel in the classroom, so please pop in, try on the samples and sign up for yours!  We need to have the total order before we submit it.