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 lbaker@vsb.bc.ca

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 https://www.cbc.ca/kids

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  lbaker@vsb.bc.ca 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 commonsense.org

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 virtualtelescope.eu.

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.

Let It Snow!

Portfolio meetings are nearing completion. We will return to in person learning on December 5th. The last two weeks before the Winter Break are packed full of excitement! We will have a chance to sing seasonal songs with other classes from 9-9:15. There is a PAC pancake breakfast on Friday Dec 9: See the main school newsletter/website for information. We will enjoy Pajama Day, “Camp Read” and some silly winter theme special clothes days. We will end the term with a little Winter Theme party as well.

Pajama/Camp Read: This is a fun and silly day when we wear PJs to school and bring a stuffed animal, a book, and a blanket (or towel) to get cozy while we enjoy hot chocolate (I will provide this) and some books and board games. Friday Dec 9 and Tuesday Dec 13.  We will have an additional of end of term party as well. Please feel free to send some seasonal goodies to share. I will provide hot chocolate. Tuesday December 13 and Friday December 16.

What to do if you wake up to snow on a school day:   School Closure for Snow and other Emergencies   Information regarding school closures in the event of snow, or other emergency situations, will be provided to the following radio and television stations by 6:00 a.m. on the morning of the closure: CBC (690 AM or 105.7 FM), CKNW (980 AM), CKWX (NEWS 1130 AM),FAIRCHILD Radio (CJVB AM 1470/CKHG FM 96.1), BCTV (Global) (cable channel 11), CITY TV (cable channel 13)You can also check the Vancouver School Board website for updates. Please do not call the school to see if it is open.

So Much to Celebrate

This week has been full of wonderful moments. During the individual Portfolio Meetings, students have an opportunity to celebrate their efforts and progress on the work they do from home. Many inspiring stories and amazing artifacts have been shared that demonstrate the creativity and effort our students and their families put into their learning activities on the days they work from home. It is gratifying to see how the activities we do together in class influence the learning that happens at home, and vice versa! Such is the beauty of this interdisciplinary program. Portfolio Meetings continue until December 2. We return to in-person learning on December 5th.

Big Ideas

Our focus this past week has been on appreciation and gratitude for being able to live in such a safe and peaceful country. We read “Feathers” which was written by Phil Cummings and had some deep conversations about the idea of borders, and what it can mean to be “lucky.” After noticing how something as simple as a fallen feather can become a toy to bring joy to someone who has very little, we used a button, a piece of string, and a piece of paper to make some simple toys for ourselves. We have also been thinking about what it means to have self-awareness and self-evaluate. We have discussed what it means to set realistic goals. We have also been coming to realize that collaboration takes more than just having ideas…it takes cooperation too. These are BIG concepts, but these mighty minds are demonstrating a real willingness to explore and grow! The VSB is inviting students of all ages to contribute ideas for a VSB Holiday card to be used for the Superintendent, Trustees, Employee Services, and International Education’s holiday e-cards. If your child would like to submit a piece of artwork for consideration, please send a scanned image/photo/digital copy to me by noon on November 23rd. The artwork can be for ANY holiday you choose. The student whose art is chosen will receive a token of appreciation All entries will be incorporated into a holiday poster that will be featured on the VSB website. Did you hear that NASA launched Artemis last night? You can see more at nasa.gov   Another site for spacy stuff is  www.nrc-cnrc.gc.ca/student-science-tech   The Beaconsfield PAC has organized a  free T-Shirt for every student who wants one through a Fundraising project. Please visit www.paddlevancouver.ca/collections/beaconsfield-pac   password: FREETEE2022 enter the child’s name, Division Number (we are 13) size for your child. Orders need to be in by November 20. One separate order form per child, please. Forms for the PAC’s Purdys order need to be completed by November 28th. Please feel under no obligation to participate in either fundraiser.

Heat It Up!

Over the past week, we continued to explore chemistry. We chopped up and cooked our Pumpkins in several ways. We baked some in an oven and boiled some in water. We observed that baking it made it taste slightly fruity and sweet while boiling it made it taste more like a vegetable. Lots of research ensued! We also discovered that if close our eyes and plugged our noses it can be tricky to know if we are eating apples or potatoes! As the days get shorter and the clocks turn back, we discussed the advantages or disadvantages of changing the clocks. Some of us noticed that we get hungry even though the clock says it is not time for lunch! Many of you will be proud to learn that the Thurs/ Friday group received the ultimate compliment last week: Mr. C. was here as a guest teacher while I was acting as Head Teacher for the school on Thursday and Friday morning. On Friday morning Mr. C told me he was excited to be coming back for a second morning with this group of smart, friendly, creative kids! That filled my heart with pride too! Over the last few days, we have been talking about the importance of learning to solve problems in peaceful ways while still standing up to bullies. Some of us wrote a song about how we can keep things peaceful. Some of us wrote a note to thank a Canadian veteran who stood up against bullies on a global scale. We will also participate in a Remembrance Day assembly with all the other classes here at 11:00am Thursday, November 10th. Were you surprised by the snow that fell earlier this week? To know if the schools will be closed due to snow, please listen to CBC radio. The school district will inform the media by 6:00am IF they intend to close the schools. More information can be found on the school’s website. Please send your younger kids with a toque and a pair of dry warm socks and gloves in the event of wet toes and cold noses when it snows! Do you enjoy arts and crafts? You may enjoy Make It Vancouver happening at the PNE grounds in early December. Hundreds of artists and crafter vendors will be on-site, and there will be some fun food trucks there too. Do you enjoy Space Science? NASA is set to test launch the Artemis rocket in the next few days! Google NASA.gov for more information. Recently there have been issues updating the blog calendar. Please email me if you have questions about upcoming events while I work to sort out this issue. Next week is our last week before Portfolio meetings begin. Please remember that there are no in person classes from November 21 to December 2.

Cooking Up a Storm

So long to our carved pumpkins! When we realized that a carved pumpkin is in fact a vegetable, we decided to practice our science observation skills to explore what can be done with a pumpkin when it is no longer a decoration. We explored what happens to a pumpkin that is chopped up and cooked in an oven with butter and brown sugar or is boiled up with onions and spices. The results were a science lesson that was full of math language, procedural language and delicious!  Thank you to those of you who sent along goodies to share for our Halloween festivities. Division 1 (grade 7s) showed tremendous leadership this week. They hosted a very fun Halloween event in the gym. We attended for 45 minutes. During that time, we enjoyed games and silly dances. One of our students won the grade 1 costume contest. One of our students won the grade 6 coloring contest. Thank you to those who collected and donated some thick rubber bands last week. They are well on the way to becoming whistles, harmonicas and other musical instruments. As we approach Remembrance Day, we have been having deep conversations about the importance of solving problems in peaceful ways. We are realizing that peace begins at an individual choice level. And the choices we make as individuals do make a difference in other people’s lives. So much openhearted kindness in this community! You would be most impressed by the level of thoughtful insights shared by many of children. We will gather as a whole school community at 11:00am on Thursday November 10th for a Remembrance Day assembly. At that time, we will acknowledge the impacts of war and the sacrifices of those who served on behalf of Canada during military conflicts and peacekeeping operations across the decades. Schools are closed on November 11th. If you have not yet done so, please email your time preferences for the Portfolio meetings take place from November 21 until Dec 2.

Go With The Flow

This week we have been doing Social Studies and Science galore. We have been learning about how various plants and animals adapt to the changing seasons. We used Venn Diagrams to learn how to conduct a comparison of two similar technologies and two different animals. We discussed how various cultural groups within our community acknowledge the changing seasons. For more information about Diwali, a major festival in the South Asian community: https://kids.nationalgeographic.com/pages/article/diwali  The younger group even did some of our work by the light of small oil lamps called Divas. You will be pleased and proud to learn how well our kids conducted themselves during our recent Earthquake and Emergency drills. Both groups did the drill perfectly and exited the building in a quiet orderly fashion. We even received compliments from other staff! Very impressive. If you have not already done so, please complete and return the yellow Emergency Reunification page sent home this past week. Only the oldest child in the program would have received it. On Friday our Intermediate group will have some fun with Halloween themed activities. Please send along some treats/goodies to share. Free to come in costume. The Primary Group will have a party on Monday, including a costume parade through the whole school! Please send along some treats/goodies to share. Now that the rains have returned it becomes more difficult to keep our classroom carpet clean. It is common practice in Primary age classrooms for children to keep a pair of shoes at school that are only worn inside the building. Please send along a pair of ‘inside shoes’ or slippers for your Primary aged students to keep at school.  Portfolio Meeting Schedule is now open to book your appointments. Please refer to the calendar on this Blog. Email me your 3 preferred times and I will do my best to accommodate. Times fill up quickly, so I recommend families with sibling sets try to book early. I am always open to receive/pass along resources you think other families might find helpful. A parent recently forwarded a link to a resource for dealing with separation anxiety and other common behaviors with school aged children.  https://www.goodinside.com/book/   I am still hoping to collect a dozen thick rubber bands for a music project. Especially needed are the big blue kind that come with broccoli! Please and thank you! A reminder that Allotment requests are now open. You may order from a list of approved vendors. Requests get processed by our office staff on Wednesdays. This list is not available in digital form, but if you would like another copy of the list please send along a note with your child. There is still some Owl Pellets available to families that would like to investigate them further at home. Just send along a plastic bag if you would like your child to bring one home.  Adopt a Catch Basin: The City of Vancouver invites people to ‘Adopt a Catch Basin’ and help keep it free of leaves and debris. This helps prevent flooding and helps stop garbage from getting into the ocean through the storm drain system. It’s a wonderful Social Responsibility activity. And its free! The city will even send you a rake and a reflective vest if you so desire. AND you get to give your drain a name! I adopted two catch basins on my street and named them Ebb and Flow 🙂  If you think this would be fun for your kids, here is a link to more information: https://vancouver.ca/home-property-development/adopt-a-catch-basin.aspx

Simmering Goodness

In the past weeks we received lots of veggies for our Harvest Soup, a nice bit of $$ through the Walk-a-thon, and a bucket full of Owl Pellets! What are owl pellets you ask?  Owls swallow their prey whole and ’regurgitate’ the bones and fur in a dried-out lump. This is what is known as a ‘pellet’ WE then get to study all the little bones and skulls! There are lots of wonderful photos on the internet if you are interested in your own research. IF you would like your child to bring home their very own owl pellet, please send them to school with a zip lock bag and a small container to prevent it from being crushed on the way home. Hey, they could build their own rodent and bring it back at Portfolio time! Harvest Soup was delicious and plentiful. Kitchen chemistry is so much fun. Language rich, and tasty too! It simmered away for over an hour sending out a most pleasing aroma. We even had a few visitors drop by for a bowl after following their noses to our room! Do you have any Big Thick rubber bands at home? (The kind used for broccoli etc.) I need about 50 for an upcoming project. Any contributions gratefully received. “Show And Tell for the Monday/Tuesday group” We will start each day with this fun and easy way to grow our public speaking skills. Any children who would like to participate may choose to bring an object to show their classmates or talk about a recent adventure. Please help them to be prepared to talk for about 1 minute. Please help them prepare to answer a few questions from their classmates. Please do not send valuable/important items, as the school cannot be responsible for any items that get broken or go missing.  Our Thursday/Friday group did an AMAZING job helping tidy up our bookshelves last week! It looks so organized and inviting now. Many thanks to these helpers!  It is the season for planting bulbs. We were given another donation of daffodils which the students planted this week. We are looking forward the burst of yellow in the spring. October is Safety Awareness month. There will be an Earthquake drill on Thursday (tomorrow). The Monday/Tuesday group held our own separate practice this week as well. Please take a moment to review your families Reunification plan. Dental Screening for Kindergarteners: Free Dental screening for all Beaconsfield Kindergarteners will happen on Tuesday November 29th. We have Portfolios Meetings at that time, so no in-person classes, but if you would like to bring your child to the school t 9:00am to participate and take them home afterwards, please let me know as soon as possible.  Air Quality Update: Hopefully the coming rains will help clear the air, but until they do, we will be adapting our activities. For more info: Vancouver Air Quality Health Index. Or https://weather.gc.ca/airquality/pages/provincial_summary/bc_e.html

Blowing our own horns!

Fall Banners festoon the hallways outside our classroom! Lots of creativity revealed as we deepen our thinking about the changing seasons. There have been plenty of horns and horns of plenty around lately; and there has been lots of fun science and social studies happening as a result. As we get close to some of the mountain goat horns we were given recently. We observed that the shape of a hollow goat horn is the same shape as a cornucopia basket… In this way we discovered how connected we are to the past when we celebrate our good fortune over a good harvest! The Monday/Tuesday group discovered that they are resilient and strong walkers! We joined the Walk-a-thon fun on Tuesday and walked all the way around Trout Lake in less than an hour! We collected many wonderful leaves, acorns, and feathers on this walk as well. These treasures will likely show up in our artwork soon!  Next week we will share our version of Stone Soup. We will be making a big pot of vegetarian friendly soup from whatever vegetables our classmates care to share. Please send your child with a diced vegetable or two to add to the pot. I will provide vegetable stock and several (clean) stones to get the whole thing off to a tasty start. Photo Retake Day will be Monday October 24, and is open to the Home Learner students from both groups. These photos are used by VSB Library system and other records purposes, and parents are provided the opportunity to buy photo packages. If you missed the first date on October 3, feel free to arrive by 9:00am to the usual drop off spot at the gym doors. Thursday Friday group students will be dismissed from the front doors as soon as their photo is finished.

It All Adds Up!

This week we have been discussing what makes us feel thankful, and ways to tell others when we appreciate them. We will soon be thinking about what it means to have ‘enough’ and what we can do when we notice others who do not have enough. We discovered that helping others makes us feel good too. A trapper from Yale BC recently helped us out in an interesting way. He gave me some mountain goat bones, horns and a skull for our class to study. He was delighted to know that school kids in Vancouver would learn about animals he depends on for his livelihood. The bones are very clean and bleached white by the sun! We made thank you cards for this intriguing and educational gift. We have been creating number sentences by counting the number of feet we see in pictures of animals. It all added up to some great thinking and wonderful collaborations. In the coming days we will participate in the school Walk-A-Thon. We realized that, even if we are not collecting pledges ourselves, we can contribute and show our support by walking together. We are discovering that small things can make a big difference to other people, and there are many ways that people make a difference to us too. It all adds up!  Here are a couple of reminders/requests: Please send your children in Kindergarten through Grade 2 with some slippers or shoes that they can leave at school. We spend a lot of time sitting on the carpet and “Inside Shoes” helps us to keep our carpet much cleaner. Please send also your child with an Art Smock which can stay at school. This can be an oversized T-Shirt or apron. It will be used to keep paint, Plaster of Paris, papier mache etc. from ruining clothes. In addition to sending your child with a lunch, please send a snack for Recess as well. If any of these items (inside shoes, smock, lunch, snack) represent a financial hardship for your family, please do not hesitate to reach out to me in person as I can access some resources to help with these needs. Looking ahead: On Tuesday October 18 and Thursday October 20 we will be making and sharing a vegan friendly Harvest Soup. Please send your child with ONE seasonal vegetable. Please wash/peel/dice this vegetable into pieces that are 2cm or smaller. I will provide an organic vegan friendly broth which we will boil up and simmer all our vegetables until they are tender before enjoying the soup in the afternoon. We will just be surprised by and enjoy whatever vegetables show up! Please note that Friday October 21 is a professional day. This means there are no classes for students. On October 31, we will participate in the school’s Hallowe’en activities. Your children are welcome to wear costumes for the costume parade in the morning. Please consider sending along some individually wrapped goodies to share at our class party in the afternoon. Children who do not wish to participate in any Hallowe’en themed activities are welcome to read, draw, colour, do puzzles etc. in an alternate setting. Please let me via email know if you would like me to offer your child an alternate activity.

Are you interested in Space exploration? Artemis 1 is a planned uncrewed Moon-orbiting mission. NASA is currently targeting a launch window between 12 and 27 November 2022.    Here is an address to a site where you can find out how to watch the launch live.   https://spacenews.com/  Are you interested in the lives of Wild Salmon on the Fraser River? Here is a link to about wild salmon and the Fraser Watershed. The Watershed CPR Education Program is a FREE, self-guided, virtual learning experience designed to educate and inspire students to care for their watershed. Here is a link:  Watershed CPR Education Program


Here we go! In-Person learning is off to a wonderful start. It has been so exciting to greet old friends and meet new people! We kicked things off with a favourite story, and a noisy art activity!   Looking ahead: The general Beaconsfield calendar shows an early dismissal day tomorrow, but our program will dismiss at the usual 3:00pm time.  The Beaconsfield community is holding a Walk-A-Thon fundraiser on Tuesday October 11th. Our Mon/Tue group will go out to take part in the fun. Students from the Thur/Fri group are welcome to consider going for a long walk in their own communities. I will make some pledge forms available at drop off time next week for those who may wish to gather pledges or donate. Beaconsfield is recognizing the statutory Day for Truth and Reconciliation on the 30th by holding our Orange Shirt Day on Thursday the 29th.  Please consider wearing something orange.

PHOTO DAY is Monday October 3. Students from both groups are welcome to come and have an individual photo taken. The photos are used for VSB library cards and office use and packages of photos are made available to parents for purchase. The Home Learner group will go first at 9:00. Any Thurs/Fri students who come for a photo will be dismissed once their photos have been taken.

Here are some online academic resources parents might appreciate:  https://science.mom  and  https://math-dad.com  and  Day1 The Importance of Struggle – YouTube

Making Friends!

Hurray: In-Person Learning begins next week! Soon we will be connecting with friends new and old! The first day for the Mon/Tues group is Tuesday September 27. Kindergarteners will attend for half the day, and will dismissed at 12:05. The Grade 1’s and 2’s will be dismissed at 3:00. The first day for the Thurs/Fri group is Thursday Sept 29th. (Please recall that Sept 30is a statutory holiday)        The Student Learning Plan meetings process is almost complete. It is always tremendous fun to see the creativity, and depth of engagement that is in the works for your days working at home!      Several parents have been enquiring about the Allotment money for this year.  The Allotment is a fund set up in your child’s name that may be used to support aspects of your child’s SLP. Spending must be pre-approved by the teacher. There is $600 available for your child, but please remember to factor in shipping and handling costs as well. Some of your child’s allotment funds may be spent by the teacher for field trips, performances, special materials etc.  I suggest parents plan to spend up to $500.  Once approved, ordering and payment is done by the school office. There are no reimbursements made to parents. Funds are generally used to purchase materials but may also be used for lessons from accredited and ensure venues IF the accredited and insured venue is willing to invoice the school. Any such activity cannot be considered High Risk (ie Swimming lessons = Yes, Parkour = No) Invoicing can be a lengthy process, so please submit requests as soon as possible. Lastly, the firm deadline for spending these funds is April 25th. Unspent funds may not roll over into another school year. Please don’t hesitate to email me if you have specific questions. There is also more information in the Parent Handbook.       We have an updated Parent Handbook. A copy will be sent home with your child on their first day of  in-person attendance.  Just for fun:  The city of Vancouver is holding its 3rd annual “Uncycled Art Challenge for students Kindergarten to grade 12.  Details can be found here:  https://vancouver.ca/green-vancouver/trashformation-upcycled-art-challenge.aspx

Happy New (school) Year!

Fall has arrived and the excitement for the new school year is palpable. We have some sensational learning activities ahead! There are still a few open spots in the program. Feel free to share my contact info. I look forward to hearing of your summer adventures, and to working together to co-create your child’s individualized Student Learning Plan (SLP). SLPs form the backbone of the work done at home. All students will present the work they do at home at three Portfolio Meetings. Students grade 4-7 also submit interim material every 2-3 weeks. Please watch your email for the SLP Templates over the next few days. Complete as much of the template as you are able and bring it to the SLP Meeting. If you have not already done so, please revisit the blog calendar for available SLP times and email me your 1st and 2nd choices of SLP meeting times. Activation Assignments are a Ministry of Education requirement and are due 3:00pm on Monday September 26. They will also be emailed to you shortly. You are very welcome to complete them early and bring them to the SLP Meeting. COVID Update: Currently, the use of masks and Daily Health Checks are not mandatory in VSB schools. Individuals are welcome to continue wearing masks, and we ask that you do not send your child to school if they are feeling unwell.

Looking Forward While Looking Back

Is it my imagination, or is Time speeding up? Together we squeezed 2 Picnics, a Grade Seven School Leaving Ceremony, 3 Puppet Shows, Sports Day, and Camp Read all into the last week. Such delightful Organized Chaos!  Looking back, it has been a year of growth in spite of Change and Challenges. We have grown in our capacity to learn and to be kind. You know, The Important Stuff. It has truly been a privilege to share the journey with this community as your children blossomed, stretched, shared, and learned together. We have said good-bye to our three Grade 7’s who are off to new adventures. And now we look ahead to September. This Autumn we will be welcoming many new participants into kindergarten. We will also welcome another 8 (so far) participants to the program. To accommodate the large number of incoming students we have shifted the Monday/Tuesday group to range from kindergarten to Grade 2, and the Thursday/Friday cohort to range from Grade 3 to Grade 7. This shift allowed for a few new openings, so please spread the word that there are a few spots available. The office will be closed for the summer on July 1. I will respond to emails when school reopens Sept 6th.  Please watch your email for important messages about Activation Assignments and Student Learning Plan meetings during the first week of September. Consider collecting drawings and/or postcards about your summer activities to add to a Reflection Journal to help lift ‘activity’ into ‘learning’. I wish you all a safe and healthy happy summer.