Short and Sweet.

This post will be short and sweet because we are in the middle of our last round of Portfolio Presentations which continue until June 2.

Thursday/Friday group DON’T FORGET that we will meet at 9:50am at Van Dusen Botanical Gardens on your first day which is June 8th.

It is always such a delight to meet with students and parents during Portfolios. The diversity and breadth of learning activities happening in your families is just astounding! I often feel like I have the best job I the district because I get to see the range and depth of your creativity and resourcefulness.

All current students are invited to the performance of the Rock-On Sing Along Show at 11:00 am on Thursday June 15. One parent and one sibling of the Monday/Tuesday group are welcome to attend since this is not your usual program day, and your kids don’t have their own drivers’ licenses yet! Lol. Wait at the back door of the gym at 10:55 (our usual drop off/pick up spot) and I will open the doors for you just before the concert starts at 11:00.

Other dates to note: Year End Family Picnics at Trout Lake will happen from 11:30  to 2:30 on Friday June 23 and Monday June 26. This year’s picnic is going to be even more special because we will be joined at about 1:30 by some of the kids and parents who will be starting with us in September!! I am grateful to the parents who have volunteered connect with the new and new-ish parents at the picnic. The goal is to offer support to newcomers by sharing experiences and ideas about SLPS, allotment spending, and preparing for Portfolios etc. Such a wealth of information and expertise in this community!

Parents of students who will be joining us in September, please take note: I have BCC emailed out invitations for a few opportunities to help you get ready for September. Please check your Spam Folders if you haven’t seen anything from me recently.

Somethings Fishy…

After exploring various techniques for Print Making with paint and construction paper, we became brave and printed with fabric ink onto T-Shirts. The results were Eye-popping and beautiful!

We made fish shaped stencils and used locally sourced leaves and cedar boughs to create beautiful underwater scenes and nature themed designs. We drew on our earlier Applied Design skills and Math learning about Geometry (symmetry, flipping/sliding/ turn around a point etc.) to create our designs. We hope our shirts build on our efforts with identifying Storm Drains last week to inspire people  to value and protect the environments that fish need to survive and thrive. Please refer to the note about  the need to Heat Set the ink before its first trip to the washing machine.

Thursday Friday Group Please Note!!! June 8 is your first day back after Portfolios. AND it is a Field Trip to VanDusen Botanical Gardens! PARENTS: The program is already paid for. Admission is also covered for the adult bringing the student to the garden. There are a small number of spots remaining for a younger sibling if necessary. Please let me know as soon as possible if you require help for a younger child to attend. Everyone is welcome to stay at VanDusen gardens after the program ends until the gardens close at 5:00pm. Feel free to bring a picnic! Details to follow in a private email in a few days.

Some other Outdoor Education opportunities you might enjoy:

Neighbourhood Nature School (SPEC)
This is a free online learning hub for students from (K – 7). Students and families can learn together while at home or school, exploring their backyard and neighbourhood. Each week, a variety of lessons and activities will be added. With over 42 sheets of items to discover, this fun activity encourages both home learners and school students to search their neighbourhoods, school grounds and green spaces for patterns, textures, local wildlife, native plants, sensory weather, fall crops and colours in nature.

Pondering Ponds and Producing Prints

Our younger group certainly enjoyed our field trip to Van Dusen Botanical Gardens as we participated in the Pondering Ponds program. The facilitator was very impressed with their focus and their good questions. We learned so much about what happens on the surface, in the water column, and on the bottom of a pond. We saw some goslings and ducklings and BIG Carp as well.

Marking more than 40 City of Vancouver Storm Drains with bright yellow fish shapes was a meaningful way for our students to help the environment. We learned that the water from the toilets and sinks in our homes gets treated before it goes into the ocean, but the rain that falls washes down storm drains and goes straight to the ocean!! We hope the Yellow Decals help people to be mindful about the chemicals and garbage that go on the streets, gardens and lawns.

If you are looking for some ways to help the environment’s Bees and Butterflies? Van Dusen Botanical Garden is having a Plant Sale on the plaza beside Bloedel Conservatory in Queen Elizabeth Park. Drop by on Saturday May 13th between 10am – 4pm to pick up some beautiful plants that help Pollinators from your own yard or balcony or patio.

Last Thursday we participated in the city wide Earthquake Drill called “The Big One At 2”. As I have received Search and Rescue training, I had to hand the class to another teacher once we were all assembled outside, and then practice preparing to conduct a search inside the building. Our class has practiced this drill in the past and all the students knew exactly what to do. Well Done. Some students were not quite sure what to do or where to meet their parents if an earthquake happened when they were not at school. This might be a good opportunity to review your family’s Safety plans.

This week we are continuing to create art through a printmaking process. Some beautiful cards are  in the works. ENJOY!

PORTFOLIO Schedule is open. Email me soon for the best selection of remaining times.

Remember, due to Portfolios, there are no in person classes from May 23 to June 2 Classes recommence Monday June 5. (Not June 6 as shown on the blog calendar.)

Important Updates for New Students in September 2023

All families who were offered and accepted a placement for September Please Take Note:  Both the Monday/ Tuesday and Thursday/Friday groups are completely full. If you know that you Will Not Be Attending in September after all, please let me know as soon as possible so that I can offer your spot to another student on our waitlist.

Families will soon begin receiving emails from myself and from the main Beaconsfield School Office. Please ensure that you mark both of these addresses as “Not Spam.” Among the items you will receive will be a calendar of important Home Learner Program Dates so you can plan for Student Learning Plan (SLP) meetings, Portfolio Presentation dates and other important events.

During the month of June I will also offer a Drop In Open House for any new students and a parent to swing by and check out the classroom so you can know what the space looks like when you arrive in the Fall. Any Current Parents who would like to attend would be very welcome to come along and share your expertise.

Making Our Mark…In A Good Way!

Leaving Our Mark…In a Good Way!

Parents of the Monday/Tuesday group: Please check  your emails for important information about our field trip on Tuesday May 9th.

Last week our older students created an engineering project. They “purchased” building materials (popsicle sticks and toothpicks), researched and then built a bridge. Once complete, they then measured the amount of weight their bridge could sustain. Lots of surprises and lots of laughs and learning.

This week both groups had the opportunity to mark many city storm drains in our neighborhood with bright yellow salmon symbols These symbols remind Vancouver resident that our storm drains lead directly to the ocean. By being mindful of the chemicals we use in our yards, gardens, and driveways, we can all play a part in protecting our ecosystems.

The third and final portfolios take place between May 23 and June 2 and the appointment schedule is now open. Please email me with 3 possible DATES and specify if you prefer morning or afternoon, and I will do my best to accommodate your preferences. If you plan to include any Digital submissions, please ensure they are provided at least 48 hours ahead of the meeting in order for me to view them in advance of our celebrations!

The date of the “Rock On Sing Along show” has changed!! Please note that the concert is now at 11:00am on Thursday June 15th. The Monday/Tuesday students are encouraged to attend. (The adult driver of any Monday/Tuesday students is welcome to attend and may bring one younger sibling if necessary.)

As the days are now (finally!) getting warmer please ensure your child brings a water bottle and hat to school. Consider applying sunscreen as well. We will be taking advantage of the improved weather to get outside. We will also be going on many more impromptu outdoor adventures! Any students who arrive late and discover that we are not there know to go to the office to find out where we are…We could be in the garden or out reading under the trees. But we might be on our way to Trout Lake or Trout Lake or the Renfrew Ravine.

Who remembers times when kids were happily engaged in other activities, without being hooked on tablets and social media… Maybe this will bring back some fun memories! Maybe, if you are old like me,  you can teach your kids these games too!

It’s a Small World

Last week two BC Lions players spoke to us about how to protect the environment by using energy sustainably. Through some fun games and lively discussion we learned how each one of us can work to save energy in simple ways.

We used our electric microscopes to look at the world inside a drop of water! In the water from a tropical fish tank we discovered a world of very tiny organisms. So had legs and some might have been plants. Inside the cells of  some of the plants we saw some even tinier organisms that looked like they were being swallowed by some slightly bigger things. All of these organisms were too small to see with just our eyes, but under the microscope they seemed to be as big as trees! This made us realize that we need to take care of all parts of the earth; even the parts we cannot see on our own.

In celebration of Earth Day we learned a song written by Linnea Good called O Great Earth. Ask your kids to sing it for you!

Soon we will be doing some art on T-shirts. We need old Styrofoam tray to practice with. So please collect and wash any Styrofoam trays and send them to school by the first week of May.

Its Logical

As trees push out new leaves and insects emerge from their cocoons, we have discovered lots of interesting and intricate details in nature. We are using our math skills to enlarge the images we see in our microscopes and magnifiers as well. Rumor has it we may soon have cocoons INSIDE the classroom too. Stay tuned. Additionally, we have shared our perspectives on how good it feels to have curiosity and to show generosity. Together we are practicing logic skills as we learn how to play new math games. And we are even building game boards for some of these fun games to sell at our craft sale in June! The older students did a wonderful job with their Influential Canadian Project. And we had several ‘special guests’ arrive to share tea and goodies and conversation as we learned about lesser-known people from our history. Many of the older students are becoming quite proficient with the use of the ‘finger alphabet’ and we have begun to conduct our literacy activities in sign language!

Fun With The Sun

We attempted to harness the power of the sun and made several interesting discoveries about light and shadow along the way. We discovered that the temperature of the air does not affect the heat generated when focused on a small area. We used this concept to focus our attention AND a beam of light onto slices of cedar and alder to create art. Ask you kids to show you their first project competed this week. Later we will create game boards and other small objects to sell at our “Kids Helping Kids” craft sale in June. We’ve also been conducting experiments with levers and fulcrums. Ask your kids about our Balancing Acts.

Curiosity plays a pivotal role in learning. Both groups have had some deep and philosophical discussions about allowing our curiosity to ‘get the better of us’ when we might otherwise try to avoid a challenge. Overheard several times this week “This is more fun than I thought it would be!”

I collected a “Cold Write” from each group in recent days. During a “Cold Write” everyone writes or draws about the same topic for 15 minutes but without discussion or rehearsing. I collect this writing sample three times a year to get a ‘snap shot’ of individual student progress. At the start of the year most kids produced a few words or sentences. This time I could not get them to put their pencils down!!

PARENT RESOURCES: You may already have received an email from the main school office. If you are interested in Summer School learning and activities, registration for the Elementary Summer Learning Program begins on Monday, April 24.

Also, the department of Kinesiology at UBC reached out on behalf of “UBC Active Kids” They are a community outreach program of the School of Kinesiology with a variety of physical activity programming aimed at Home Schoolers of all ages and abilities. Check out their website to learn more if you are interested. UBC Active Kids School of Kinesiology Outreach Programs

Is it Crafts or STEAM?

As this round of Portfolio Meetings winds down I would like to say once more how delightful it is to celebrate your children’s efforts and accomplishments. It is marvelous to see how many students are using Reflection Journals, prediction & observations and other strategies to lift nature walks, and arts & crafts etc. to become S.T.E.A.M. activities. (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math)

Several parents also used a highlighter on their child’s SLP to track completed outcomes for specific academic areas as learning happened at home. I thought I would pass along that idea as it made it very easy to connect at home activity to the child’s SLP.

Class  Picture Day is tomorrow (Thursday March 9).  This is a group photo. Both groups will have a photo taken, so Mon/Tues students are included in this invitation.  Mon/Tues students will be dismissed as soon as their class photos complete.  Please arrive to school promptly as our classes are scheduled to go first.

The Grade 7s in the main school are having a snack sale at recess tomorrow (Thurs) to raise money for their trip later in the Spring. Most treats are $1-2.

Spring Break begins Monday and goes until Friday March 24th. Don’t forget to bring your Animal Diorama or Influential Canadian research to share. (Thurs/Fri group will hand in research March 30/31 and bring costumes on April 6th.)


Plugging along….

We are now at the midpoint in the schedule for the second round of Portfolio meetings. I am constantly impressed by the outstanding efforts families are making on the days you work from home.

I look forward to seeing the Thursday/Friday group on March 9. And look forward to seeing the Monday/Tuesday group right after Spring Break on March 27. Please bring your Dioramas on that day. I will email a suggestion for an animal and/or Influential Canadian to those students I have not yet heard back from. Let me know as soon as possible if your child wants to choose a different subject for their Diorama or Influential Canadian.

The Thursday Friday group will work together to build a “Rube Goldberg Machine”  early in the next term. Consider saving up some cardboard, string, plastic containers, and other intriguing materials we might incorporate.

CLASS PHOTO DAY IS Thursday March 9. ALL students are welcome, including the Monday/Tuesday group. I will bring the students in for their photo and then return any Monday/Tuesday students to their parents immediately after the photo is done. If you would like your child to be in the class photo, please  arrive at school promptly at 9:00 as our class is going first.

So Inspiring!

Portfolio season is now well underway. I am thrilled to celebrate your children’s efforts and accomplishments. It is indeed inspiring to see how much energy and creativity you are putting into supporting your child’s learning!

Thanks to so many parents spreading the word about our program, the Primary Cohort is no full for September, and only a few spots remain for grade 4-7! However, please encourage interested parents to still apply, as there are sometimes changes over the Spring and Summer months.

If you have not already done so, please send me your child’s chosen topic for their Animals of BC Diorama (Primary) or Influential Canadian (Intermediate) projects. These will be due on the students first day back after Spring Break.

Parents of Intermediate students (Grade 4-7) please remember that your child is required  to submit substantial evidence in the period between portfolios meetings as well as at portfolios. The next deadline for submissions is April 6th and their “Influential Canadian Project” can form a significant portion of this submission.

The final date for spending this year’s Allotment may be approaching sooner than you think! Please keep tax and shipping costs in mind, and that our office holds back a small amount for field trips and special materials. This year the hold back is approximately $30

I am including several recently discovered online resources I thought you and your kids might finds interesting. If the link does not work, try entering the URL manually.

Drawing with AI

Link to Free audio books

Lastly, many of the bulbs we planted in the autumn are poking out of the ground! I invite the students to  drop by our garden box on your way to or from the Portfolio meeting.

A Flurry of Friendly Fun

Thank you to those who sent along fruit and other seasonal treats as we celebrated in advance of Family Day with the sharing of a collaboratively constructed Friendship Fruit Salad! The many ingredients and flavors  all came together to make a unique and wonderful dish!  One student in the older group proudly sent along homemade ‘stained glass cookies’ as well! On Tuesday we joined the mainstream school in an afternoon of activities celebrating Heroic Hearts in our community. I was absent on Tuesday. However, the  Teacher On Call left me a lovely note saying how much they enjoyed their day with our kids, and how friendly and helpful they were! Later in the week, the older group conducted an exploration of Chance and Probability. This helped us  realize the difference between Chance, and Likelihood, and how “the odds” work. Then we used those  principles to create some funny “Randomly Generated Art”

Important Dates to Remember: There are no classes for students during Portfolio season: February 23 to /March 7. Spring Break is March 13 to 24. The Intermediate group’s research project presentations will be on March 31; and their Influential Canadian Tea Party will be on April 6th. The outline for the project was sent/emailed home on Thursday February 16th. Please discuss the project with your child and send me the name of their chosen research subject by noon on February 24th


Well, that week went by so fast that I am a bit late with this newsletter. It’s been a jam packed week of  Science, Social Studies, and Art! We painted with sponges over stencils. We made our own stencils in the shape of animals that are important to Indigenous people of Canada including Bear, Salmon, Raven. The older students tried their hand at cutting more intricate stencils and using oil pastels as well.

During Black History month we have shared literature by Black Canadian authors and learned some uncomfortable facts about certain aspects of Canadian history. In age-appropriate ways we explored some hard truths. We learned that we all need to play a part in ensuring that all people feel respected and safe in our community. The older group went deeper with a discussion about micro aggression, how to recognize it, and how to address thoughtless or unkind words. You would be proud of their maturity and openness.

We decided that trustworthiness and truthfulness can help us determine the difference between someone who is a good friend and someone who is an acquaintance. The older group also spent some time coming up with problem-solving strategies for when someone doesn’t treat us with respect.

For Science we had some fun messing around with things that Sink or Float and building boats from tinfoil to see how much weight they could carry. One boat managed to hold 92 marbles! We played with the ideas of Chance and Probability and learned how to graft our predictions and the actual outcomes.  The older students built several cityscapes which were then subjected ‘earthquake’ forces. We noticed that lower wider structures withstood more force than tall thin structures.

In anticipation of Family Day, next weekend is a long weekend! No instructional time on Monday February 20th. On Tuesday Feb 14 and Thursday Feb. 16, please a contribution of chopped fruit to be combined into a Friendship Fruit Salad. Feel free to send along other treats as well for Valentine’s Day if you wish. On the afternoon of Tuesday the 14, the younger group will briefly join other classes for a dance in the gym. Then we will return to the classroom for games and puzzles and ‘stations’ activities. Please remember that Friday Feb 17 is a professional day.

Portfolio Time and Spring Break are almost upon us. There are no in person classes during this time. But I will be sending home an activity for family’s consideration over those days. Additionally, look for a activity outline coming home with the Intermediate Thursday/Friday cohort. This History project is to be worked on over the next 5-6 weeks. It will culminate in a “Tea party” on April 6th in which we all pretend to be the Influential Canadian we studied.

Water Water Everywhere

This past week we have learned about the importance of clean water to all living things and how it cycles through the environment. We discussed what we can do as individuals to protect this precious resource. And we made some surprising discoveries about what floats and what sinks; and why. We saw how sugar can be invisible when it is mixed with water, but can reappear as crystals when the water is boiled away. Many amazing insights were revealed when we shared our thinking with Reggio Emilia inspired Story Mats. If your child was in attendance on those days, I hope you enjoyed the photos I sent of your child’s creation.

We’ve been learning how to take our pulse and measure our heart rate. We discovered that our heart rate is different if we are still and quiet from how it is when we are active or Very Active. All these numbers made for some interesting math calculations.

Our print making art explorations activities continue this week as we learn about ‘negative space’ through the use of animal shaped stencils. If you haven’t already done so, please send along an art smock or oversized T Shirt. This smock should remain at school for whenever we do messy art in order to protect clothes from paint and ink.

In the next few days, we will begin some archeology. We will dig for objects hidden in plaster. Who knows what will emerge!

Thank you for spreading the word about joining our program for the coming school year. We are close to full at the primary level, and a few spots remain at the Intermediate level.

Report cards go home this week. Please check your child’s backpack. The report is yours to keep, but I would appreciate the return of the envelope to use next term.

Portfolio time is upon us once again. They will take place from February 23 to March 7. Please remember that there are no on-site classes during portfolio time. Unfortunately, the Blog calendar is out of commission, so I am not able to update it to show which time slots get taken. Please send me three different dates, and whether you prefer a morning or afternoon time slot, and I will do my best to accommodate your request.

That’s not compost, that’s Candy!

During Science this week we have been exploring how crystals form. And, as part of our discussions about reducing food waste we wondered what we could do with peels from fruit and vegetables. Well, naturally those two ideas collided. And it turns out that the pith of a pomelo, which might otherwise be destined for then compost pile, becomes a very tasty treat when it is cooked in syrup. And when syrup is cooked long enough all the water is removed and crystals form. And, according to our research, Pomelo pith it is full of Vitamin C. So much crunchy goodness wasn’t garbage after all!

The first report cards of the ear will be sent home next week. Please enjoy reading about your child’s progress. There is so much to celebrate! Please keep the report but return the envelop to be used again later in the year.

It’s cold and flu season. Parents are reminded to keep students’ home if they are not feeling well, have a sore throat, are coughing, or have a fever.

Although this school year is only halfway gone, we are already looking ahead to the 2023-24 school year.  Over the next week or so I will be asking parents if they intend to keep their child in the program for next year. Current students and their siblings have priority over new applicants.

Thanks to those who are spreading the word about the program our remaining spaces are filling up quickly! At tis point in time there are only few openings in the Primary cohort, and just a few spots in the Intermediate cohort. Please encourage those who are ‘on the fence’ to reach out soon. Invite folks to email me at

Happy Lunar New Year!

The disappearance of the snow has led to the brave return of some of our bulbs in the garden. Take a look and a listen on your next nature walk and encourage your children to notice (and reflect upon) these early signs of Spring. Several guest teachers have spent time with us recently. It speaks volumes about your children’s increasing independence and maturity when guest teachers and resource people enthuse about the depth of insight and quality of response they receive to new literacy and science activities. Flexible thinking, creative expression, and critical thinking skills are what we are all about!

Several parents have asked me for ideas for online social studies resources. I don’t actually endorse sites, but I am happy to pass along names/locations of resource I find interesting. I recently came across Amazing Maps on Twitter at @amazingmap and don’t forget about CBC for Kids which is found at

The waitlist for enrollment for next year is now open for Kindergarten to Grade 7. If you know parents  (with students at any grade level), who may be interested in their child joining our program in September, feel free to invite them to check out this blog to get a sense of our approach to learning. Please pass along my contact email if they would like more information or to apply to the wait list.

Joyful Joyful!

This past week has been an exploration of happy surprises. We had a special guest VSB Literacy Mentor come and read with us, and help us to think about ways we find joy in our lives. First we used Reggio Emilia Inspired materials to develop a an artistic “Story Mat.” Next we shared our art piece with our classmates. Then we began to draft a story about our creation.  Hopefully the photos I sent by email came through.

Later in the week we had some fun with a chemistry activity that was full of fun surprises. First we made some predictions about some “Invisible Art. Next we used baking soda and water to create an ‘Invisible Painting’ Once our paintings were dry we painted over with turmeric, and suddenly, there was our picture! Then we learned about the chemistry that made the baking soda react with the turmeric to change the colour of the paper. Lots of great predictions, discovery, and procedural writing involved.

As we approach ‘report card season’ I have been holding individual self-evaluation and reading conferences with your children. The depth of their self-awareness is most inspiring. I have emailed home the conference template to those families who were not in attendance last week. Please keep an eye out for it and return it to me a soon as possible.

Please remind your children about the safe use of cell phones and digital devices at home and at school. Unless they are being used under the direct supervision of a teacher, these personal devices are to remain in the child’s backpack. A site that has some resources for families about the safe use of technology may be found at

This is a reminder that Monday January 16th is a professional day. There is no school for students on that day, but classes resume Tuesday Jan 17.

Believe it or not, it is time to start thinking about the 2023-24 school year! I am now opening up our wait list for new families who may be interested in joining the program. Kindergarten to Grade 3 will continue on Mondays and Tuesdays. Grade 4 to Grade 7 on Thursdays and Fridays.  If you know of families who may be interested in joining us in September 2023, please pass along my email address.

It’s So Logical!

I hope you have enjoyed a fulfilling and replenishing holiday season. Thank you for sending along those wonderful treats and goodies for our end of year celebration. We finished the last term exploring science through the arts. We will kick off the new term delving into how to plan an approach a new task, solving logic puzzles, creating logic puzzles, discovering how gravity works….and how it might be overcome. Lots of fun science ahead! In the next few weeks, we will also introduce Print Making and symmetry into our fine arts explorations. This could get messy! Later in this term your children will be invited to do some research about an “Eminent Canadian.” To conclude the project students will be invited to attend a “tea party” dressed up and interacting with classmates in the character of their chosen eminent Canadian. It should be a fun and informative ‘meeting of the minds.’ I will be sending home a rubric for this project in the next few weeks. I will also send a list of suggestions for a person to research. Feel free to discuss this project ahead of time and suggest to me a figure for your child to research. The research subject can be a figure from the Arts, Sciences, Sport, Literature, Politics etc. BUT should be someone who is not alive today. Details to follow.

Dashing and Laughing All The Way

Thank you to those of you who sent along treats for Camp Read, and our end of term party on the last afternoon. On Tuesdays the younger group enjoyed relaxing in our PJ’s with board games and books while we snuggled with our blankets and stuffed animals and filled up on hot chocolate and goodies! The older group will enjoy the same on Friday! Thank you also for the kind cards and gifts sent along for me and my family.

REMINDER: Our first day back to in person classes will be on TUESDAY January 3rd.

I have sent home a booklet of seasonal ‘paper and pencil activities. We dipped into them here and there over the last week or so. We don’t do this sort of ‘work’ very often, but sometimes it is fun to have a few puzzles and colouring pages to offset the (often) over stimulating energy that can build at this time of year. I’ve sent them home with your kids with No Expectation. They Do Not need to be completed or returned. Feel free to use them, enjoy them or recycle them!

Who knew there was so much math and science involved in having fun in the snow, or doing seasonal art projects? We have been using our skills in Applied design, and our understanding of Ratio and Proportion to create some amazing art. We have used colour theory and our understanding or how solvents behave to colour dough, and paint some gorgeous ceramic tiles, snow murals. We have used our understanding of geometry to create geometric solids with novel materials as well. The older students are about to explore how compressed air can be used to move an object. (There is a hint in a video attached below)

The main school had an opportunity to work with a Hip Hop Dance instructor. Our younger group was  invited to join in the first two days of the program. Some of our students preferred to watch, but several joined in and enjoyed learning some HipHop moves and even impressed the instructor by incorporating cartwheels and jujitsu moves!

Are you looking for an idea for some silly fun on a rainy indoor day. How about an indoor snowball fight?

As this is the last blog of the calendar year, let me share with you some art created by VSB students including some from Beaconsfield:

Holiday Card Video.mp4

Pajamas and Parkas

This week we have enjoyed catching up with friends and settling back into familiar routine after two weeks of portfolio meetings. And we have been busy. We have been discussing how to build new friendships, and what people need in order to feel safe and happy. We spent time outside in the snow to create and paint snow sculptures in the school yard. We used non-toxic food colouring in spray bottles for the paint. Then we mapped out many tropical islands so we could pretend we were in on vacation somewhere warm. Perhaps some mythical snow beasts will make an appearance after future snowstorms. The younger group has been busy in the kitchen making salt dough creations. There was a lot of interesting math and new vocabulary discovered through this work. We even discovered that sometimes a K can be silent if you are writing about kneading dough!

We will be enjoying several fun theme days between now and the start of the Winter Break (December 19 through January2 First Day back is Tuesday Jan 3) You will have seen the notice form the PAC about the Pancake Breakfast on Friday December 9. That is also Pajama Day for the whole school!! The Thur/Fri group is invited to wear your cozy PJs! Next week Mon/Tues group will have Pajama Day on Tuesday December 13.

Both groups will also have fun at “Camp Read” and a year-end party on their last afternoon before the break. December 13 and 16   Bring a blanket and a stuffie and get ready to have fun with board games and books over hot chocolate. Please feel free to send along some snacks\finger food” to share at the party. I will provide the hot chocolate and marshmallows and some small treats.

Those of you who enjoy science and astronomy might be excited by the Martian Eclipse taking place this week. Even if the night sky is too overcast to observe the eclipse, the public is able to watch it on

As we approach the end of this term many Allotment requests are coming for the purchase of materials and activities. Please keep in mind the criteria outlined in the parent handbook. Expenditures need to have a clear connection to your child’s Student Learning Plan (SLP). Remember to account for shipping and taxes, and that the teacher will be spending a portion of the allotment on group presentations and field trips. Feel free to email me with questions about allotment spending.

As winter deepens our thoughts turn to those who are less fortunate. You may have seen on Global News that a group of Fire Fighters on the north shore had success sending emergency supplies to Ukraine earlier in the conflict. Several firefighters went along to help unload and set up distribution in Ukraine. They are now collecting cold weather clothing for another shipment later this month. Adult and children sized, gently used parkas, sweaters, leggings, gloves, toques, scarves etc. are welcome. I have access to a pickup truck to transport to the fire hall any items you may care to donate before 3:10pm on Tuesday December 13th.