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!

Welcome Back!

Hello and Welcome to all my new students and families and

Welcome Back to all my returning students and families!

I hope everyone had a fabulous summer, enjoyed the eclipse, and is raring to embark on another school year of exploration and discovery.  I have been working on a few learning adventures for everyone, and am excited to share that we will be learning all about Bats this first term.  I have some experts coming in and we will be building bat houses  (save your plywood scraps, please!) and exploring bat habitats!

To get started, I need to meet with each student and their parent(s)/caregiver for a Student Learning Plan meeting.  For returning students and families:  Please take a look at the calendar on this blog and email me your first and second choice of meeting times.  For new students and families: I will be contacting you within the week to set up a time to meet.

These meetings must take place before students attend programming, so please make this meeting a priority over the next couple of weeks.

Thank You!


Summer to September

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 5th, 2017. 

On September 5th, 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 5th and 6th, 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 5th, 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 month of September consists of mainly of planning, preparing and completing individual Student Learning Plans with the teacher, working on and completing each student’s Activation Assignment, and starting 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 accessed 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 will email you confirmation on or shortly after September 5th.  

I’m looking forward to seeing everyone again and meeting our new students and families!  Have a fabulous summer everyone!

Final Week

Next week wraps up this school year for everyone.  We have many memorable and fun things planned for next week, so here is the rundown:

Monday, June 26th:  Field trip to Fort Langley.  Please be at school by 8:50 a.m. as the bus will be leaving promptly at 9:00.  Thank you to everyone for getting your forms and fees in on time!

Tuesday, June 27th:  End of the year play performance for the Intermediates, 2:00 – 3:00 p.m..

Wednesday, June 28th:  End of the year play performance for the Primaries 2:00 – 3:00 p.m.

Thursday, June 29th:  End of the year Beach Day!  9:30 – 3:00.  Please meet by the Spanish Banks East Concession.  Free parking.  (Just look for my car if you aren’t sure where we are.) Please bring food items to share and we will enjoy a potluck lunch together.


Upcoming Field Trip

Our end-of-the-year Field Trip will be to Fort Langley and the Centennial Museum via school bus on Monday, June 26.  All registered HL students are invited!

At the Centennial Museum we will be doing a Bill Reid print making workshop and at Fort Langley we will be participating in their communities in the fur trade program.

Division 4, the grade 3/4s will be joining us for this learning adventure.

The cost is $12.50 per student (cash) for the trip.  Consent forms are on the parent table.  All consent forms and payments must be received by Friday, June 16th.

The school bus will depart from Beaconsfield promptly at 9:00 a.m.  Please plan on being to school by 8:50 a.m.  Students will return to Beaconsfield at 3:00 p.m.


Home Learner Wear


Another Big Thank You to Blim for providing a second order of T-shirts and Hoodies so we have stock for the remainder of this year and for next year!

If you want a T-shirt or hoodie before the end of the school year, see Shannon!  The fashion wear for the summer!



World Environment Day June 5th

Join the #BioBlitz150 iNaturalist Project

Contribute to the world's largest nature database and be a part of the global effort to keep track of precious wildlife. This World Environment Day, join our BioBlitz Canada 150 iNaturalist project » http://bit.ly/wedcan2017 #BioBlitz150

Posted by Canadian Wildlife Federation on Friday, June 2, 2017

Help build the world’s largest nature database!

What a great way to get outdoors to discover and  learn about the diverse environment we live in!  This is a great project for kids to learn about nature and be involved in something that helps sustain and conserve our environment for all species in Canada!

World Environment Day (June 5) is a chance to connect with nature and celebrate the amazing species in our everyday world. This year, the Government of Canada is hosting World Environment Day and asking people to get out and record the wonders of biodiversity in their own backyards. From June 1 to 12, every photo posted in the iNaturalist app will support the global effort to keep track of precious wildlife.

Help build the world’s largest nature database by sharing your discoveries. Every piece of information on a species – whether it is a photo, sound clip, or GPS location – helps researchers monitor changes in biodiversity and make important conservation decisions.

Read all about it, how it works, and how to get involved:  http://cwf-fcf.org/en/events/world-environment-day.html

Sign up here to participate!:  http://inaturalist.ca/users/new

A Message from our Library

Hello Everyone!


June is nearly here and that means that we need to start collecting library books so we can do our end of year tasks. This year, the due date for library books is Friday, June 2nd. The district will be switching to a new library software package over the summer, so this year we need to really focus on getting the records tidied up. The library will be closed for borrowing in June.
Thanks for passing on the message to your students!

Your Beaconsfield Teacher-Librarians

Field Trip

We have a field trip planned to O.W.L. – Orphaned Wildlife Rehabilitation Society on Thursday, June 1st at 10:00 a.m.  The facility is located at 3800-72nd Street, Delta, BC.  Sign up sheets and consent forms are on the parent table.

We have a 90 minute educational program booked, after which, weather permitting, we can proceed to Boundary Bay park for lunch and to view bird life and raptors in their natural habitat.

The field trip cost is $6.50 per person.  Please ensure your $6.50 in cash is submitted to Shannon prior to the trip date.  The fee includes Owl pellets which the students will be dissecting in class following the trip.

Please note, there are limited washroom facilities there – only one out-house. Also, no food or drinks are allowed on the premises.  Please also arrive 10 minutes prior to the start.

Thanks Again!


I would also like to extend many thanks to Santiago Yanez  for cutting, drilling, and providing the wood for the Intermediate students to make nesting boxes for their Ornithology unit!

And, I would like to thank Alister and his family and Olivia and her family for bringing pencils in for our classroom, and Dakota and his family for bringing pencils and pencil crayons in for our classroom!

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