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

Underway!

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.

A full plate!

Our “Kids Helping Kids” crafts sale was a huge success. Together the classes raised $520. These funds have been donated to the UNHCR and Red Cross to help children facing a humanitarian crisis. Each organization received $260. Thank you to all who contributed.

Spread the word: There are a few spots available in the program for next year. Have interested families email me for more info. lbaker@vsb.bc.ca

Musqueam Elder, Lorretta Williams, came to Beaconsfield to share her knowledge about traditional indigenous uses of Cedar. She then taught us how to weave our very own cedar bracelet. We all appreciated this rich experience. The Intermediate group was combined with a Kindergarteners from the main school to help with the weaving. Several of the older students noticed that teaching Kindergarten is both Hard and Rewarding!

The Intermediate group picnic is Thursday June 23. The Primary group picnic is Monday June 27. Bring your own meal, beverages, and utensils. Feel free to send along some finger food to share. I will provide a simple dessert. (Banana and sauce in an ice cream cone)   Both groups will be leaving the school at approximately 11:30 to walk over to Trout Lake. Family members are welcome to join us there if you wish. Look for the blue sunshade near the field house. We plan to return to the school at approx 2:30.

Our lettuce is ready to harvest! Both groups will create a Friendship Salad to enjoy together on our last day of classes. (Intermediate = Friday June 24. Primaries = Tuesday June 28.)  Please send something to go along with the lettuce. For example: vegetables, nuts/seeds, berries, shredded cheese etc. (pre-chopped please)

Also for the Primary group: Sports Day and Camp Read is on Tuesday June 28th. We will join the main school for Sports Day for until Recess and then have our own Camp Read. Please ensure your child is dressed to be out in the sun and send extra hydration and snack for sports day activities. Please also  send your child with a book, stuffed animal, and a blanket to stretch out on during Camp Read.

Report cards will be sent home with your child on their last day of attendance.

Those interested in keeping the learning going with over the summer: Check out the Hakai Institute (on Twitter etc.) They explore the ocean and ocean life around Vancouver and BC. Some parents may appreciate learning that the Vancouver Art Gallery is currently free:  https://www.facebook.com/547816054/posts/pfbid021krhHRVeRZd41MciVtq9CKfhoKbaeTC9WyBxdjaJqWNCaWDgcqqUpMKfgWLRFFTnl/?sfnsn=mo

Gearing up to wind down.

As we begin to look toward the end of this school year, there is much to do, and much to celebrate! Some students are finding unique ways to demonstrate their year of learning…through poems, or by creating board games to represent their learning, and , of course, through art!

Our Kids Helping Kids fundraiser is in full swing. We have once last day of sales on Thursday between 2:30 and 3:15pm. The sales table is outside the school near the corner of 20th Ave and Penticton Streets.  Come check out all the handmade merchandise.

Our year end picnics will happen at Trout Lake. We will leave the school to walk over to Trout Lake at approximately 11:30. Family members are welcome to meet us there. We will locate ourselves near the field house. Look for the pop-up sunshade. Bring your own meal and a blanket of chairs. We will have some games and I will provide ‘Banana Cones” for those who would like to try one. The Thur/Fri group picnic will be on Thursday June 23. The Mon/Tue group picnic will be on Monday June 27. Please RSVP if you plan to attend.

Report Cards will go home with students on their last day of attendance. Friday June 24th will be the last day for the Thur/Fri group. And at that time, we will be saying good-bye and good luck to our grade 7s. We will miss them as they head off to high school!  Tuesday June 28th will be the last day of attendance for the Mon/Tue group.

You may have noticed that the Blog calendar is operational once more. Please look at the schedule of year end events, and the schedule for Student Learning Plan (SLP) meetings for September. Feel free to email me at lbaker@vsb.bc.ca with your top three choices for meeting dates/times.

There are currently a small number of spaces in the program for next year. If you know of families who may be interested, please have them contact the school office.

Kids Helping Kids

As a response to current events, the Vancouver Home Learners are holding a craft sale to raise funds for children who are refugees and will be donated to the UNHCR The “Kids Helping Kids” craft sale will take place from 2:30m to 3:10 on Tuesday June 14 and Thursday June 16. Most items would make excellent gifts and are $1 to $5; although, folks are welcome to donate more than the stated price. Items include needle felting, wet felting, sewing and beadwork. Beautiful hand dyed wool and felting craft kits for sale as well. Come support a worthy cause.

Kids have been helping each other in many other ways too. You would be impressed at the level of kindness and collaboration your children are demonstrating. They are quick to help each other with seat work, projects and even helping accompany friends to get help at Recess or Lunch for the inevitable scrapes and bumps. Such a compassionate community!

In recent days we saw an opera about how some forest creatures responded to a nearby forest fire. Later we built on our previous Sock Puppet experience and used some large animal puppets to create  our own one act opera plays.

Those brave souls who joined our excursion to the City of Vancouver TidalWAV event on Friday June 3 had lots of (very soggy) fun! There was Pow Wow dancing, scavenger hunts, free book giveaways, and many interesting displays about environmental science, and outdoor learning.

Here comes the sun?

It’s hard to believe, but the 2021-22 year is rapidly winding down! Please watch the blog calendar for events happening between now and your child(ren)’s last day of attendance. (The last day for Thursday Friday group is Friday June 24, and the last day for Monday/Tuesday group is Tuesday June 28.

Third term Portfolio meetings have now concluded. We celebrated as your children expressed their pride in their accomplishments over the year. Such creativity and curiosity and growth!

Looking ahead to the fall: Parents of students who are attending for the 2022-23 school year to keep an eye out for the Student Learning Plan (SLP) meeting schedule in early September. Before the end of June I will send out lots ideas for learning resources and activities, for your SLPs along with templates to help organize your planning for the Activation Assignments and SLP meetings. Between now and then you may find it helpful to think about the activities and resources you might use to support Literacy, Numeracy, Humanities and Sciences, PE and the Arts.

Hopefully the recent appearance of the sun is a sign that Summer is about to arrive in earnest. We will be taking advantage of the warmer and drier days to spend more time learning outdoors.

June is National Indigenous History month. Included here is a link to a CBC Kids resource appropriate for younger students.       https://t.co/MNG8mFVlgF

It’s a Long(er) Story

This past week our room has been a hive of activity. We are busy creating a variety of items to sell at a “Kids Helping Kids” fundraiser for refugees. The sale will take place at the front of the school at 2:30pm on Tuesday June 14 and Thursday, June 16.  We have made organic fiber bath and kitchen scrubbers, felted and beaded bookmarks, needle felting craft kits, and wool wrapped soaps. All of which would make lovely gifts. (Hint! Hint!)

Our Intermediate students have been busy writing and performing plays starring their sock puppets. Lots of silly fun. Along with creating sock puppet characters, both groups have used story boards, and writer workshop activities to develop longer, more detailed stories. As a follow up to our hard work creating our plays and stories, we will watch an online Opera performance. The Flight of the Hummingbird story is an environmental fable about moral courage and performed by Vancouver Opera in Schools.

By now you will have received an email with a map and information about the City of Vancouver TidalWAV Event on June 3. All family members are invited to attend this event.

Portfolio meetings are well underway now. It is such a pleasure to celebrate your children’s work and accomplishments. For those of you who may be looking for some extra activities during this period without in person classes, here are a couple suggestions: Create another sock puppet character and invent a ‘sequel’ for your sock puppet play. Create a diorama homeland for your sock puppet or another character from your imagination. Draw a squirrel-proof bird feeder (like the ones we saw last week). Label the parts and their dimensions. Build the birdfeeder you invented. Pretend to plan a big feast. Use newspaper fliers from grocery stores to figure out how much it would cost to host your party. Who from the past, present or future would you invite to this feast? Why would you invite them? Write invitations to your feast.

If you know people who may be interested in joining our Home Learner Program, we are accepting applications for the coming school year. Have interested families contact me via email for more information.

Keeping it Fresh

These past days have involved much science and math learning as we explore ways that we can all preserve and protect our precious, clean water resources. We learned about the GVRD water treatment plant, the presence of streams under the city streets and enjoyed the antics of Planet Protectors Goober and Sarah. We followed this up the sharing our reflections on how we can all help reduce the waste of clean water and in doing so, help the health of the planet. We also investigated pond water collected from Trout Lake. We have continued applying measurement and patterning and colour theory skills as we continue to create items for our “Kids Helping Kids Craft Sale” later this year.  We have also been learning about the importance of Persistence and how to handle a challenge. We have been noticing how the squirrel characters in Lynne R. Perkinns’ “Nuts To You” work together to overcome their fears and setbacks. And we have watched some videos about the biology and physics of how squirrels and other creatures can jump long distances. Perhaps you have noticed that, after being knocked offline in early February, our Blog Calendar is working once more. So, with that I mind: Save the dates for separate group picnics on June and a combined groups event on June 3. Both groups are invited to join us at the City of Vancouver “TidalWAV”event in Stanley Park at Second Beach and Ceperley Park on June3rd. Further details will be provided at Portfolio Meetings. Time 10:00 to 2:30.   Please remember that Class Photo Day is tomorrow, Thursday May 19. All students in both groups are welcome to come for the photo, however, only the Thursday/Friday group will stay for classes afterwards. Our class time slot is right at 9:00am, so please arrive at 8:50am. Monday/Tuesday students will be brought back to parents immediately after the photo; approximately 9:10 am.     Attached here is a link to an interesting article by child psychologist Michele Borba. https://t.co/PWUnXbMAz5

Valuing Creativity

Class Photo Day is Thursday May 19. Both groups will be combined in one photo. If you would like your child to be in our group photo, please arrive at our usual location at 8:50 am. We will enter the school at 8:55 as our photo is scheduled to happen first, at 9:00. After the group photo is complete, the Monday/Tuesday group will exit the school by the front doors. Approximately 9:10 am.

Portfolio times are happening soon. Please email me your first three choices of time slots as soon as possible. lbaker@vsb.bc.ca  This third portfolio meeting will be a major component of the assessment for the year as a whole. Please review your child’s Student Learning Plan (SLP) with your child before this last portfolio time of the year so we can celebrate their accomplishments. If you would enjoy a few extra ideas for learning activities/ projects to do over the days that in-person classes are not in session, please let me know by noon on Tuesday May 17th

We are learning that nature can be very resilient. It was nice to observe that our garden is recovering well after a bit of a setback last week. We continue to practice resilience ourselves as well learn and apply new and challenging skills. We are using our new skills to create items to sell at a charity fundraiser later in the year. And we are learning about ‘value’ and Canadian Currency in advance of setting prices of our sale items and how to make change during the sale.