Upcoming Fun & Holiday Ideas

*Intermediate Parents: reminder that their interim submission is due on December 14th. This can be sent digitally or in hard copy in a folder or binder. You need to address each section outlined on the SLP.

We are still collecting clean metal jar lids and corks for an activity coming in the next few weeks. Please send them to class as you have them.

With the holidays approaching, there are many seasonal and educational activities happening around town. Here are some suggestions….

Arts Umbrella: Upcoming Events – Arts Umbrella  They are also registering now for Spring Break programs.

Burnaby Village Museum:           School Programs | Burnaby Village Museum

Every Winter, the Museum grounds host “Heritage Christmas”, which is a free, beautiful, self-guided tour of the old village, with Christmas lights and displays. It’s a lovely outdoor walk on a clear and cold evening. Add a vintage carousel ride (for a fee) and make the night complete.

Beaty Biodiversity Museum (UBC):          https://beatymuseum.ubc.ca/learn/in-person-tours-and-programs/

Self-guided tours to “discover the interconnectedness of all life on Earth, and our role in preserving these delicate systems.” See a 26m long blue whale skeleton suspended from the ceiling of the atrium. Several times a day there is a film showing of how the skeleton was sourced, cleaned, and assembled.

VanDusen Botanical Gardens/Bloedel Conservatory:     

https://vandusengarden.org/explore/events-calendar-courses/ The Festival of Lights is always a lovely experience. Check if pre-registration is required.

https://vancouver.ca/parks-recreation-culture/bloedel-conservatory.aspx Queen Elizabeth Park is always a beautiful setting. The venue is warm and covered if the weather doesn’t cooperate. Pay parking in effect in the park.

Local Mountain Snowshoeing:

https://cypressmountain.com/lights-to-the-lodge or https://mtseymour.ca/winter/snowshoe

December Events across Metro Vancouver:


In A “Fine Feather”…

There is a taxidermied pheasant and heron at our school. This week we’ve had many conversations about the similarities and differences in their structure, habitat, and what they eat. We shared our prior knowledge and did a bit of research. Then we built our own birds with an entire pheasant worth of feathers. I was given the feathers by a former teacher friend who lives in Saskatchewan.

It’s delightful to see the students’ curiosity and wonder at the beauty of the shimmering iridescent blues and greens on the pheasant’s neck. And to notice and appreciate the symmetry of the brown and black feathers covering the body. And to be surprised by the smooth and fluffy texture of the down. I overheard many variations on the theme: wow nature is amazing!

We’ve been using some logic puzzles to reason our way through some new math. And working together to create our own games to teach math skills.

Sometimes new learning can also bring frustration. We have been delving into strategies for recognizing when we are experiencing a strong emotion, and how to handle our emotions if we become frustrated with an expectation or activity. We also reflected on the fact that we can feel proud of our efforts,  perseverance, and resilience even if we aren’t always successful.

Please be reminded that Friday, November 24th is a Professional Day.


By LBaker

Back in the Swing of Things…..

The first round of Portfolio Meetings have concluded and we returned to in-person learning. It’s been such fun to reconnect! The youngest students used their knowledge of science to write and produce one act plays… all in the space of one day! We have also been learning new math skills, including bar graphs and how to plot points on X or Y axis. Some new logic and reasoning strategies have stimulated much interesting conversation about perception and reality.

Please watch this space for updates about messy science and creative performances in the weeks ahead. Please remember that Friday, November 24 is a Pro-D Day, so no school for the intermediate cohort.


Looking for an engaging Social Studies resource for older students?  Check out @CraigBaird a Canadian Historian and documentarian. He can be found on the app formerly known as Twitter.



By LBaker

Lest We Forget

Remembrance Day is upon us. Prior to going off timetable for Portfolios both classes spent time discussing the importance of learning to solve problems in peaceful ways. We reflected on our privilege for being able to live in safety in Canada. The older students discussed how learning about history can help determine how adults behave later in life. Although we will not be in attendance on the day of the school Remembrance Day Assembly, we will be represented through our class’s contributions of art and poems. Please consider attending a community Remembrance Day event on Saturday, November 11.

Today, November 8, is Indigenous Veterans’ Day in Canada. Here is a link to an article about George McLean, an Indigenous Canadian Veteran of Vimy Ridge, and The Boer War. https://t.co/CpSoLzheno

Portfolio meetings are ongoing, and I continue to be amazed and inspired with the depth and rigor of work our students are doing at home. I am delighted to learn of the connections, get-togethers, and learning activities some families are organizing for each other as well. Such a unique learning community!

We return to in person learning on Tuesday, November 14.

A colleague forwarded a FREE multi language literacy resource. Check out https://storybookscanada.ca An introductory video can be found here: https://youtu.be/o0qiM7oeo3E

Here is a link to inspiring winners of a Canadian Student Video Contest. The theme was “Take Me Outside” https://t.co/9ZfCHFQ1Yk

Looking to boost your Upper Intermediate level student’s vocabulary? (Or your own!) Check out comedian Don Huely’s “Daily Word” segment. Entertaining and esoteric words offered with a pronunciation guide and a humorous example. Occasionally a bit cheeky, but never vulgar.


By L. Baker

Lighting A Flame

Portfolio meetings are well underway. It is wonderful to celebrate so many sparks of creativity and growth with the kids!

Just before we went off timetable for Portfolios, we created some delicious Harvest Soups together. We observed that the days are growing shorter and darkness is coming earlier and earlier. We talked about seasons, and the way the sun and earth interact to make this happen. We also noticed that there are many meanings for the idea of ‘Darkness.’ That darkness can be a metaphor well as a physical phenomenon. And that candles and lamps can be metaphors for peace and hope as well. We discussed how many communities and cultures find ways to include the idea of ‘light over darkness’ during the dark time of year between now and the lengthening days of Spring.

For those of you who may be interested, Van Dusen Botanical Gardens is offering an opportunity to enjoy a Festival of Lights between November 24 and January 7th. (Many light displays in the garden, dancing fountains, food vendors, etc.)

I came across Learning Hub Academy. Some families might enjoy this as a resource for activities at home:


We will return to In-Person Learning on November 14.

By LBaker

Sharing is caring

We will be off timetable from Oct 30 to November 10 for portfolio meetings. In order to acknowledge Remembrance Day, we thought ahead about our appreciation for those who have served or serve today to keep Canada safe. We also learned that some Canadians serve as Peacekeepers in other parts of the world. We created 2 wreathes which will be presented at the school assembly on our behalf. The wreathes are made with cut-out handprints affixed in a circle. One was red to represent poppies. One was white to represent our wish for Peace.

The older kids had some fun learning a new game called Kanga Cricket. Although this is a scaled down version of the real game, it is very fast (and noisy!) and can be played indoors in a smaller space.

Autumn is harvesting season and a time when many cultures around the world celebrate by sharing food together. Students in both groups were invited to donate a cup of vegetables to our own Harvest Soup. The whole top floor of the school smelled just marvelous as our soup simmered all morning. It was so delicious even the pickiest eaters gave it a try, and many kids came back for a second helping!! We also investigated the science of soup making and the math involved with comparing proportions and ratios of the various contributed vegetables. We followed this up with a lesson on procedural writing as we wrote recipes for Harvest Soup to make again at home. We also discovered that oil from seeds can be used to make lamps.  A most delicious and enlightening food experience!

Candice Halls-Howcroft, a Weaver, Storyteller, Poet, and Educator of the Squamish Nation, will visit our school and share Water Teachings and Conservation with us at an assembly on Thursday.

Thank you for all the cereal boxes! I am now starting to collect metal jar lids and corks. Please send along clean lids with the lining removed, and corks of any shape or size. Corks with hard plastic or ceramic caps are also helpful.



The Falling Leaves…

We have been having fun making art with fallen leaves. Ask your kids to show you our most recent effort. And while the fallen leaves have been “Blowing’ in the Wind” the Thurs/Fri group also explored  how a song can become a powerful message for peace in the world.

The Mon/Tues group have noticed that some songs tell stories. We learned a very old song called “The Fox Went Out on a Chilly Night.” Then we used a Story Board to separate main ideas in the song and notice how they flow from one idea to the next in a logical order. Once we understood how to use a story board, each student used one to plan out a new story about tiny ants that live in little tunnels underground!  Some kids got so excited about the writing process they didn’t want to put their pencils down to go for lunch!

Many cultures celebrate the bounty of the Harvest season with a feast of some sort. Our classes will make a savory vegan friendly soup together on Tuesday October 24 and Thursday October 27.  I will provide onions, garlic, spices, and vegan friendly stock. Please send your child to school with one or two cups of pre-chopped Fall Vegetable of your choosing. I’m not going to ‘organize a list’ for these vegetables… we’ll just enjoy the surprise of whatever vegetables appear!!

Safety First! VSB schools have recently practiced Fire drills, Earthquake drills and Hold and Secure drills. Some students were not aware if their families had emergency meet up plans if an emergency happened when the kids were not at school. Please take time to review your family’s emergency preparedness plans. Also, several students were not able to spell their surname or recite a  parent phone number…. please consider practicing this important information with your kids.

Believe it or not, it is time to start scheduling Portfolio #1. The dates for the meetings are October 30 to November 10. Please email me with THREE date preferences, and if you would prefer a  morning or afternoon time slot. The last meeting of the day will start at 2:00pm. I will do my best to book siblings into back to back time slots.

Looking for an authentic and fun family way to forge connection to the SLP? Consider adopting a City of Vancouver Catch Basin. If you adopt one (or more!!!) the city will send you a rake and High Viz vest. Plus, you get to give the Catch Basin a name. It is a bit like having a pet that you don’t have to walk or feed! More information can be found here: adoptacatchbasin@vancouver.ca

Take a look at what @edutopia has to say about the connection between drawing (i.e. Story Boards) and learning:
According to research, sketchnotes and concept maps give students a clearer sense of the big picture.  https://t.co/tf2iXjyBmk

Please remember that Friday, October 20 is a Pro-D Day.


This week we have been sharing our ideas about what we have to be thankful for in our lives. The profound and mature discussions and reflections would fill your heart, I’m sure. We also gathered acorns and leaves which have been used in an art project.

Several silly songs about ducks and geese have been part of our days, along with a sweet old nice song about the moon. Ask your kids to sing them for you.

The whole school practiced a “Hold and Secure Drill”, and we will have an Earthquake Drill next week. With this in mind, if you haven’t yet returned the yellow Reunification Form, please do so as soon as possible.

On Tuesdays and Thursdays, we use the school gym. Please ensure your child has a pair of shoes with non-marking soles that are suitable for running (laces or Velcro; without a thick sole). If your child does have appropriate footwear they will be asked to participate in socks or bare feet.

We go to the library on Tuesday and Thursday as well… please help your child remember to bring back school library books on these days.

It is now the beginning of the wet and rainy season. With the rain comes the inevitable encounters with puddles and slips on wet grass. If your child attends the Monday/Tuesday group, please send along a change of clothes and a pair of dry socks to keep at school to help survive these little mishaps.

Please save and send to school your empty cereal boxes. We will cut up them up in such a way that one needs to distinguish between the French and English writing to complete bilingual puzzles!

Please be reminded that October 20th is a Professional Day. Teachers will be hard at work but there are no in-person classes for students.

For a special Science/Astronomy lesson, check out the partial solar eclipse in Vancouver on Saturday morning!     

Happy to be Back!

What a fun-filled kick-off to the year! I really admire how our newest students launched themselves with such enthusiasm. I was also very impressed with our returning students, old and young, who helped make new kids feel so welcome and included.

Insightful observations emerged in our discussions. We created a list of expectations and intentions to help us have a healthy, happy, safe classroom experience together. We had stories, games, dance, music, and messy art! We had our school pictures taken, played in the gym and took books out of the library for the first time too. What’s not to love?!

Please remember that Monday is a holiday, and that Tuesday, October 10th is a half-day for kindergarteners. I will take the kids outside to their parents at noon. If you think your kindergarten child would benefit from another day or two of “gradual entry,” please email the teacher.

Here we go!

We look forward to the coming week as we come together to build our community of learners. When the bell goes we will gather in the usual drop off/pick up space in little yard at the North East corner of the school. Then we will head up to the classroom for some ‘get to know you’ games and an art project. Don’t Forget your Art Smock!

There are some important office items to go home as well as some important office items to be collected this week. (School Fees and Verification forms etc.) I will try to do this on Thursday and Tuesday.

Please wear Orange on Friday the 29th in recognition of The Day of Truth and Reconciliation on September 30th.

Photo Day is October 3rd. Please be on time as our classes go first. This is open to students from both groups, but the Thru/Fri group will leave as soon as their photo is done.

Kindergarteners only stay until Noon on October 3 and 10. I will bring them downstairs to the drop off/ pick up place.

I respectfully remind parents that parents need to check in at the school office before heading up to the classroom.  Also, parents are not permitted in the student washrooms.  (There is an adult only washroom near the office for emergencies.)

Allotment forms can be found here on the Blog. Please ensure a there is a clear connection to your child’s SLP before making your request. If in doubt, feel free to add a brief explanation on the form.

Speeding Right Along!

The SLP Meetings are moving right along. It’s been a delight to hear about the amazing activities and resources families are using to support learning from home! So, I’ve been collating and sharing some of the gems on a little hand-out. It has also been terrific to hear about the community connections families have been forming, especially since the picnic last summer! Lots of playdates and get togethers! It is humbling to be part of such a generous and welcoming community.

PLEASE REMEMBER that the kindergarten students will be dismissed at 12:00 on October 3 and 10th. Any Kindergarten parent who feels their child would benefit from one more day of “Gradual Entry” is welcome to email me. Students Grade 1-7 will be doing a messy art project on the afternoon of their first day, so please remember to send your child to school with an art smock.

PLEASE NOTE: Beaconsfield’s date for Individual School Photos is Tuesday October 3rd. October 3rd is also the very first day of school for our Primary students. What an exciting way to begin!  We go first at 9:05 so it will be important to arrive on time. Having an individual school photo taken is open to all students in both groups. I will greet everyone at the side door of the school and bring them in for their photo. Students from the Thursday/Friday group who choose to participate will go first, and then be dismissed. (Probably before 9:30.) The rest of us will then go up to the classroom for some and some stories and “get to know you” games.

One of our families found a fantastic resource they asked me to share with you: The Beauty Museum (Natural History at UBC) is having an Open House. It is free for teachers and home learners.  Promo code for free entry is: pdd2023

Makin’ Plans!

Our Student Learning Plan Meetings are well underway. It is fascinating to see what creative resources and activities parents will be using to support their child’s learning at home! The SLP meetings continue next week as well.

From what I hear, there are Facebook and WhatsApp groups run by parents in our program through which parents share resource ideas and support each other. Of course I am not on those pages, but I hear they are very helpful.

You will have received an email from the main school with some forms for parents to complete and return as soon as possible. Please look for it, and, if necessary, make sure your email inbox recognizes Beaconsfield School, Beaconsfield PAC and me so we don’t end up in your Junk/Spam Folders!

Please remember that In-Person Learning starts on Thursday September 28 for Grades 4 to 7. In person Learning starts on Tuesday October 3 for Kindergarten to Grade 3. (The statutory day in Lieu of September 30 Day of Truth and Reconciliation is on Monday October 2)

Enjoy these last few days of summer, I look forward to seeing you all soon!

What is an SLP?

At this time of year I often get asked “What is an SLP, and what happens at an SLP Meeting?”

SLP is short for Student Learning Plan. The SLP template outlines the skills the BC Min of Ed expects each child will be able to demonstrate by the end of the school year. They are specific to each grade level.

Parents come to the SLP meeting with a plan for what activities and resources they plan to use at home to support literacy, numeracy, and the other content areas. The SLP can certainly evolve throughout the year. Please mention any major changes to the SLP at one of the three Portfolio meetings.

Essentially, almost ANYTHING can be a vehicle for learning if you pause frequently to make observations along the way and regularly reflect on and document your learning. Be Creative! Have fun with it!

Some families choose to use ‘store bought’ resources and kits, some families use online resources and programs. All these choices can be used as a jumping off point to supplement your own nature walks, field trips to various venues, attendance at events, etc.

I highly recommend an interdisciplinary approach to the work and learning activities you are doing at home.

For example, if your child is interested in ostriches, they might do some research online (tech), go to the library to find books about ostriches (career ed) draw pictures of ostriches (art) make a diorama showing the ostrich in its environment (social studies/applied design) dictate/write a story about ostriches (literacy) create a song  and dance about an ostrich (fine arts/ health/physical ed), watch a show about ostrich and talk about what they think about how the characters behaved (critical thinking and social emotional learning) So much learning around one simple theme!

In addition to daily or nearly daily reading from a wide variety of genres, I highly recommend setting aside several regular times per week to focus on academics in a quiet setting. (Perhaps a little bit of ‘seat work’ as well as updating a reflection journal or activity log book.) (These can be written and/or drawn, and/or scribed for someone else to write etc.)

Try to have two or three ideas for each area in the SLP. It is understood that any specific learning activity or resource will likely “check boxes” in other areas as well.

The teacher may likely have specific requirements for some subject areas as well.

I recommend parents revisit the SLP often to “check off” the various outcomes as they are met. Many outcomes will likely be met many times over the year. In this way you can be confident that you are covering the outcomes, or notice gaps where you may want to focus for a while. NOTE: If you keep notes and take photos about how the outcome was met, (ie “performed an ostrich dance for grandparents over Zoom”) the three Portfolio submissions will practically write itself when the time comes!

The SLP Meeting

At the SLP meeting the teacher and parent, and the students will go over the SLP in detail to fine to ensure sure it meets Min or Ed criteria. The use of Allotment Funds might also be discussed at the SLP Meeting.

The meeting may take up to one hour. Please help your child to remain focused during the meeting.

If you must bring your child’s siblings to the meeting, please bring a activity to keep them quietly occupied.

Happy New (school) Year!

As the weather cools the school days are heating up! I’m so excited to be back in the office and preparing for the year ahead. I particularly look forward to meeting with each family individually to create your individualized Student Learning Plan (SLP). This year the SLP meetings will take place from September 11 until Sept 26 (except  Sept 13, 20, 25)  Please email me as soon as possible with your 1st, 2nd, and 3rd choice for dates and if you prefer morning or afternoon time slot. I will do my best to schedule families with more than one student in the program for back-to-back time slots.

As you know, while most elements of this program are open-ended and flexible, there are a small number of mandatory Ministry of Education requirements. These are the SLP, an Activation Assignment (due Sept 25th) and  3 Portfolio Presentations. For students in grade 4 to 7, there are also several additional interim portfolio submissions. I will provide a list of the relevant dates at your SLP.

In-person attendance for Thursday/Friday students begins Thursday September 28. The first day of in-person attendance for the Monday Tuesday group will be Tuesday October 3. Please note: Kindergarten students will only stay until noon on October 3 and 10th. (“Gradual Entry half days” are important element of setting up for success. Any parent who feels their Kindergartener would benefit from a longer gradual entry period is welcome to discuss that with me)

On the first day of class, every student will have their very own “Cubby” where they can leave useful items at school. Grade 7s will get a locker! All students should keep an art smock, apron, or oversized T-shirt at school to protect clothes from MESSY art and science projects. Monday/Tuesday students should also have a change of clothes and  extra socks in a Ziplock bag, and a pair of “inside shoes” or slippers to wear inside the classroom. Please label all their clothes/shoes with their name or initials.

Penultimate Post for this school year

Well this year has sure zipped by. Such growth, learning and collaborative fun!

Year End report cards will go home on the last day of classes for each group: Tuesday June 27 for Monday/ Tuesday Group, and Thursday June 29 for the Thursday/ Friday group.  Any report cards that are not picked up will be mailed home.

Our craft fair has been a huge success. So far we’ve raised over $400 for the SPCA and the United Nations High Commission for Refugees.

Friday June 23 is the year end picnic for the Thursday/ Friday group. Monday June 26 is the picnic for the Monday/ Tuesday group. We are inviting our newcomer students who are joining us next year to meet us at the picnic in the afternoon. In this way we can start looking forward to some new friendships in September too.

Speaking of September…..please watch your email on September 5th or 6th detailing the schedule for Student Learning Plan meetings (SPLs) and Activation Assignments. SLPS and Activation Assignments (along with the Portfolios) are among the few Ministry of Education’s mandatory elements of the Home Learner Program. SLPs will occur from September 11 to 25. The Activation Assignments are due On or before September 27th.   SLP Templates and Activation Assignments will be made available for pick up at the school on June 29 and 30 and again from September 6th. I urge you to pick these up sooner rather than later so that you can begin preparing for the SLP well in advance of the meetings in September. You could even bring the completed Activation to your childs SLP meeting, thus saving a trip. The office is a very busy place, so please do not ask for a tour of the school while picking up/dropping off SLPs etc. A tour will be offered at the time of your SLP meeting and again on the first day of attendance.

Please note: At the start of the year the new Kindergarteners will all have a ‘gradual entry’. This means they will go home at lunch time for the first 2 or three days of attendance. This is the practice in most VSB schools because it prevents the children from becoming overwhelmed by the end of the first few days. Details will follow in September.

Sunny Days!

Its Hot out There! ~ Please ensure your child is using sunblock before coming to school and has a water bottle and a hat so we can enjoy the sunshine safely.

A few reminders: The Thursday/Friday Group meets at VanDusen Gardens at 9:55 am tomorrow June 8th. One parent and one younger sibling may also attend for free. Families provide their own transportation. Although our workshop ends at 11:30, everyone is welcome to stay until the gardens close at 5:00pm.  Consider bringing a picnic and making a day of it!

The Rock On Sing Along Show band is performing at the school at 11:00am on Thursday 15th. Students and one parent and one younger sibling of the Monday/Tuesday group are also welcome. Please plan to arrive at 10:50 to attend the concert (and help lead the “O Great Earth” song!)

Sports Day is Friday 16th. ALL students in both groups are welcome for the whole day. Bring a big lunch and sun protection. Pick-up/Drop-off will be in the usual place and time. Monday/Tuesday group parents, If you haven’t already done so, please let me know if you plan to attend the concert and/or Sprots Day.

FYI, CBC Kids has just introduced a section that uses Minecraft to teach lots of Social Study’s concepts.

Fluttering and Puttering

The school year is almost over, and we have so much to do! Our Butterflies are almost ready to emerge from their chrysalises and flutter about until we can release them outdoors. There have been no in person classes, but each day brings new delights as students share their last Portfolio of the 2022-23 school year. In between portfolio meetings I find myself puttering about preparing templates for SLPs and Activation Assignments for the 2023-24 school year. Like butterflies, my thoughts seem to flutter, alight for a moment, and then take off again!

By now you will have received an invitation to the Beaconsfield PAC family picnic. Please also know that all Home Learner students are welcome to attend the Beaconsfield Sports Day on June 16th. It will be a full day, with students drop off and pick up in the regular place at 9:00 and 3:00. Monday/Friday families please let me know as soon as possible if you will bring your child to school that day.

I recently learned about an alarming phenomenon called phytophotodermatitis. This happens when the juice from certain foods interacts with sunshine to cause a chemical burn on skin! Celery and some citrus fruits are included in the list of foods. Please consider taking a moment to learn more about it.

SLP schedule will open in June. For the best choice in dates/times  please keep an eye out for an email with SLP in the subject.

I love it when parents pass along new learning resources, they have discovered that might be of interest to other parents. CL shared an amazing resource to support Indigenous Way of Learning This is a link to a site of Indigenous games for children     EA_indigenous-games-for-children-en.pdf (csf.bc.ca)

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.)