Winding Down….

Change and Adaptation is the theme for our most recent work together.  Many interesting observations and connections have been shared. Some of the younger group noticed that, since the start of the year, they have grown and changed just like our butterfly larvae are doing now. A few butterflies emerged from their chrysalises today. They will be released into the school garden on a sunny day later in the week. I expect there will be a few that will emerge after the weekend.  These will be released on the first sunny day next week.

We’ve been drilling, sewing, wet felting and building all kinds of beautiful art for our craft sale. The Charity Fundraiser Craft Sale will be held on Tuesday, June 16 and Thursday, June 20. Please arrange for your child to be picked up at 3:20 (rather than 3:00) on these days. Parents are welcome to come up to the classroom to shop at 3:00pm.

There are only a few more days of in-person learning left before the summer! Here are some dates to keep in mind:   Our traditional end-of-year picnics will take place soon. They take place from 11:00 to 2:00 at Trout Lake. Thursday, June 20 is Picnic Day  for the older students. Monday, June 24 is Picnic Day for the younger group. Parents and siblings are welcome and can meet us at the park at 11:30. Look for us near the concession stand at the Southeast side of the lake. Bring a picnic lunch, and feel free to bring some finger food to share with others. Make sure to apply sunscreen and bring a hat. Bring extra water if it is a warm day. Bring a jacket if it is a cool day. (If it is a Very Wet Day, we will “picnic and play games” in the classroom instead. Unfortunately, parents and siblings may not join us in the classroom if the picnic is rained out.)

 

The last days for in-person instruction are person learning days are Tuesday, June 25 and Thursday, June 27. Report cards will go home on the last day. If your child will not be attending until the last instruction date, please let the teacher know as soon as possible.

Looking ahead to next year: Templates for Student Learning Plan Meetings and Activation Assignments will be available in the last week of classes. They will be also available for pick up at the office. The office has very limited summer hours at the start of July and the end of August, so phone ahead: 604-713-4605.

Here are some photos of a Chemistry Demonstration one of our students and I did at their portfolio meeting.

Welcome to June!

Students continue to celebrate their learning adventures at the portfolio meetings this week.

Please watch this space for several important announcements over the next week or so. You will receive information about the template for next year’s Student Learning Plan (SLP), scheduling the SLP, and the Activation Assignment. IMPORTANT:  Library Books are due back at the school now! Please bring any Library Books as soon as you return to in-person classes.

Some of our butterfly larvae have already formed their chrysalis. Some may even have emerged as Painted Lady Butterflies by the time we return to in-person learning on Monday, June 10. When they have all emerged, we will wish them well as we release them into our community garden.

The grade 7s from the main school are having a snack sale this Friday. Feel free to send your child to school with some money for a snack if you wish.

Beaconsfield’s PAC is hosting a Spring Fair on the afternoon/evening of Friday, June 7th. All are welcome!

 

By LBaker

Creative Classroom…

This past week saw us start to build our “cookie tin guitars,” create ‘stained glass’ greeting cards, sew reusable grocery bags, wet felting soaps, and engrave rocks and plaques. We also welcomed our Painted Lady Butterfly Larvae.

In short, we metamorphosed into a virtual hub of science and engineering laced with creativity! You will have a chance to see when you come in for your child’s Portfolio meeting  over the next 2 weeks. The Craft Sale takes place from 2:00pm to 3:15 pm on Tuesday, June 18 and Thursday, June 20. Please plan for your child to stay for a few minutes past the regular 3:00pm Pick-Up time so they can be a part of facilitating the sale.

Portfolios are well underway. I continue to be astonished and impressed with the depth and quality of work and insights your children express about the learning they do from home.

I came across an interesting article about how parents can recognize and help a child with anxiety:
https://t.co/HMORugu29l
(https://x.com/MindShiftKQED/status/1794473537358487637?t=B3MqgJN4sou_55AEthRQuQ&s=03)

Parents may also appreciate this site:  @MindShiftKQED

For those families who spend time on the Gulf Islands in the summer, there are interesting programs available with the Gulf Islands Centre for Ecological Learning. Check our their website www.gicel.ca

By LBaker

Silly Fun and Serious Science!

We’ve made our own microscopes and made some interesting science observations in our garden and at the local pond. We’ve made some art with dried flowers, and recycled materials too. Writing silly stories, inventing silly sports, learning silly songs has occupied our time.

We’ve discussed the important but subtle difference between ‘playfulness’ and ‘disrespect.’  We are learning the importance of noticing how our behaviour and words impact other people.

Our older students were a big help at Sports Day. They supported several younger classes, and we got lots of compliments on their helpful leadership.

Reminder: The Student Self Reflection page sent earlier this week is due tomorrow, May 23rd.

Portfolios are taking place from May 27 to June 7th. Please send any digital artifacts at least 2 days ahead of your scheduled meeting.

Our Painted Lady Butterfly Larvae arrives soon. They should be big enough to handle and observe by the time we return to in person learning after Portfolio week. Each student in both groups will be given their own larvae to observe. Feel free to think up a unique name for your little fluttery (wiggly) friend.

Short But Sweet

There has been a lot of excellent collaboration on a variety of Literacy activities in the past few days. Using our own versions of several children’s classics and modern fables, we are sharing cautionary tales in novel ways.

Math activities have taken a fun twist too. Describing Math concepts with physical objects prompts us to clarify our thinking! Although I have been a bit under the weather, the students have taken advantage of the recent sunshine to make detailed science observations at the nearby park. As always, the Guest Teacher who covered for me left me wonderful notes about the students’ mature and friendly welcoming behaviours.

Reminders: Monday, May 20 is a statutory holiday. Enjoy the long weekend!

Students in the Intermediate group will be helping with the main school’s Sports Day on Friday, May 17. Our Monday/Tuesday group will have our own “Day of Sports” on Tuesday, May 21. This will be an afternoon of silly games and songs. Please dress for the weather.

PORTFOILIOS are from May 27 to June 7. (See Blog Calendar.) If you have not already done so, please let me know your 3 preferred dates and if you prefer am or pm time slot.

 

By LBaker

Shake it up!

The district held an Earthquake Drill last week. Our students managed themselves beautifully. I am a member of our Search and Rescue Team, so another teacher supervised the class while I was involved in a search of the building. I received very positive feedback about their maturity, patience, and cooperation throughout the drill.

We are learning about the parts of a microscope. This week we experimented and figured out how to make a very simple microscope using a piece of plastic and a water droplet for a lens!

Music has been a big part of our week. We performed for the parents, the librarian, and the office. Now the song is stuck in our heads!   

The older students have been exploring the idea that ‘actions have consequences’ through a study of children’s author Laura Numeroff’s  “If You Give A Mouse A Cookie…”. We are now writing and illustrating our own book on this theme.

Class Photo Day is Monday, May 13. Our class will go first so please arrive on time on that day. The Thursday/Friday cohort will have a photo taken as well. If you wish your child to be part of that photo, please have them meet the class by the gym doors at 9:00. They will be dismissed to their parents right after the photo is taken.

The Thursday/Friday group will participate in the school’s Sports Day on Friday, May 17. The Monday/Tuesday group will have our own Sports Day of silly games etcetera on the afternoon of May 21.

Reminder: If you haven’t already done so, please email the teacher with your 3 preferred dates for the upcoming Portfolio Meetings. Please also indicate if you would prefer am or pm. Please remember that there are no in-person classes during portfolios (May 27 to June 7).

 

May Days are Here!

The “Big One at 2 Earthquake Drill” is tomorrow, May 2nd. This will involve a full evacuation of the building and setting up our Command Centre, etc. Please dress for the weather! This is a good opportunity for families to review their “reunification plans” and refresh their emergency preparedness kits.

 

 

 

 

 

 

More Bees Pleeeze! Special thanks to Ms. Emily, one of our students’ parents, who came in and taught the primary group to make homes for Mason bees. We’ve been learning about the important role of pollinators and the importance of helping create habitat for these industrious and vital critters.

!

Soft Plastics recycling: We are part of a pilot project to recycle soft plastics. Feel free to send your clean, soft plastics to school during the month of May.

Friday, May 17th is Sports Day! Please dress for the activities and weather and remember a water bottle, hat and sunscreen.

Big excitement and relief over the news that Kwiisahi?is, the baby orca known as “Brave Little Hunter” is once again swimming free in open waters! We wish her well as she searches for her pod.

Portfolio #3 schedule is now open. The dates are posted in the blog calendar and the Parent Handbook. Email the teacher with your top THREE preferred dates and indicate am or pm. We will do our best to schedule siblings into back to back time slots.

 

By LBaker

Always Look on the Bright Side

Optimism has been an important topic of discussion for both groups. In the face of a complicated world, how do you stay positive? Helping others allows us to feel affective and resilient! One thing the older kids have noticed is that comparing ourselves to others on social media can be a drain on our energy. Spending more time reading real books and making art is a useful antidote to uncertainty.

 

Our spirits were lifted a bit when we learned that Kwiisahi?is, the baby orca near Zeballos, ate seal meat from Indigenous people nearby. We wrote and illustrated Haikus in her honour.

FRIDAY MORNING UPDATE: Perhaps it is fortuitous that this post is late, because the orca is now free! See this story from CBC:

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/killer-whale-orca-calf-lagoon-vancouver-island-bc-free-1.7186129

Hopefully, she will reunite with her pod and thrive.

Today, is “Team Spirit Day” at the school (apologies for the late notice). The grade 7’s at the main school are having another snack sale, so feel free to send along a bit of money if you wish your child to partake.

We’ve been talking about how to build community, and are very excited to be welcoming a long time member to join us for in-person learning on Monday.

The Monday/Tuesday Primary age cohort is full with a long waitlist for September. But there is a small number of spots open in September for the Thursday/Friday Intermediate cohort. Feel free to invite parents you think may be interested for this opportunity for their child to email me.

I came across an interesting article on a Cognitive Science site about how print and screen time influence a developing brain differently. Feel free to check it out. https://www.psypost.org/neuroscience-study-suggests-printed-text-boosts-cognitive-engagement-in-young-readers/

 

By LBaker

 

 

 

I Spy…..

We spent the past week honing our skills of observation.  We used jewelry loupes to zoom in on cherry blossoms, fireweed, and blue bells. We used our understanding of ratio and proportion to create detailed enlargements of the blossoms. It was as if we were illustrating a science textbook. The challenge was to slow down and accurately record our observations verses simply sketching our impressions of what we saw. The outcomes were gorgeous! Next, we pretended we were spies from another planet on a mission to sneak away with information about the Earth’s oceans. Using paper folded between 2 antique shell buttons, we made miniature books full of miniature drawings of sea creatures from the intertidal zone. It’s not easy to capture the idea of an ocean in a few square centimeters!

In honour of Earth Day on April 22, we have been singing and writing love songs to our planet. I am continually humbled by the depth of care and commitment our children demonstrate toward  protecting sensitive environments and helping vulnerable creatures.

 

There are now so many beautiful craft projects taking shape here at school, that our classroom is starting to look like an art studio! Painted tiles, decoupage bowls, seed paper cards, unicorn horns, engraved stones, wooden roses, wooden jewelry, reuseable shopping bags…We can hardly wait to show off all our utilitarian creativity! Naturally, all these projects have been an authentic springboard into learning how to give clear directions and write instructions as well.

We are still collecting used, clean tank tops and T-Shirts to turn into shopping bags. The Craft Sale will be 2:30 to 3:10 on June 18th and 20th.

We have a few open spots in the Grade 4 to 7 range for September 2024. Interested parents are invited to email the teacher.

Reminders: April 22 is Professional Day. Intermediate Interim assignments are due April 25th.

Upcoming dates: Class photo day is Monday May 13. The Thur/Fri group is welcome to arrive for a group photo at 9:05 and leave right after their photo is taken. On May 2 the district will hold an Earthquake Drill at 2:00pm. This is a good opportunity for all families to refresh their emergency preparedness kits and review their reunification plans.

-By LBaker

Shining Light on the Eclipse

Thanks to technology we were able to safely watch Monday’s eclipse online multiple time and from multiple locations. Lots of interesting observations and knowledge were shared. We also heard about how some ancient cultures explained an eclipse. Six of our classmates witnessed the total eclipse with their own eyes! We’ve been enjoying hearing about their travel adventures and their impressions of this incredible and inspiring experience.

Back here on earth, we made some art to capture our impressions of the eclipse discussing how precious is our little blue marble in space. With the eclipse behind us we are now looking  ahead to Earth Day,  on April 22.  We’ve been learning songs about how we can care for the earth. We’ve also been learning about the intertidal zone and the oceans that cover much of our home planet.

The older students used “Quad of Thought” and other intriguing pre-writing strategies together with a couple of old poems by “Banjo Paterson” of Australia to learn some new vocabulary and expressive turns of phrase. Check out “Clancy of the Overflow” to experience some gorgeous imagery, and ponder the role of work.

Looking ahead to next year: The Primary cohort is now totally full. However, a small number of spots may come open for the grade 4 to 7 cohort for September 2024. If you know of folks who might be interested, please pass along my email address and encourage them get in touch as soon as possible.

Request for sewing materials: Each year we have a craft sale in June. We make crafts which we sell to help raise money for charity. This small act helps us feel empowered in the face of a big and complicated world. We raise money for people and animals in need. This year again we will share our proceeds equally between the BCSPCA, and the UNHCF. One of our crafts projects is for both groups to make reusable shopping bags from tank tops and T-shirts. All students will have the opportunity to use the sewing machine! Please send along some clean, used, tops in the next week or so. Thanks to those who have collected and donated egg cartons. We now have plenty for our project.

In other news: I recently came across a list of children’s books that teach critical thinking strategies to help determine is something is accurate, or possibly “Fake News” https://www.instagram.com/reel/C4bp5BBRTHf/?igsh=MWk4cDVmYXMyMjl6cQ==

 

Shining a Light on the Eclipse

The Solar Eclipse on April 8th provides some wonderful learning opportunities indeed. But there are hazards as well. Here in the classroom, we have discussed the importance of being very careful about how we may observe the eclipse. Although Vancouver is not in the path of the full eclipse, it will experience a noticeable 20% of the eclipse’s effect. Those of us who are at school on the 8th will watch the full eclipse, livestreamed from a zone of totality, on the big screen in the safety of our gym. Recess and Lunch times are being adjusted to keep students indoors or under adult supervision during the event. In this way, children won’t be tempted to try and watch the beginning/ending of the eclipse without proper protection. Regular Monday/Tuesday families: If you intend to keep your child home to watch the eclipse please let me know.   Students may challenge themselves to discover what stories and explanations ancient people may have had about eclipses. I hope you all enjoy this incredible celestial event in safety and wonder!

Time is speeding up!

This week we’ve enjoyed sharing our stories about what we got up to during Spring Break, had fun with challenging math games, music, and discussions about current events. We have begun studying marine mammals on the BC Coast. We learned that seals hunt by detecting motion with their whiskers, and that orcas communicate with sound, and hunt using echolocation.

We are hoping for the best for “kwiisahi?”(which means “Brave Little Hunter”), the baby orca trapped in a lagoon near Zeballos. We were interested to learn how marine scientists are trying to use recordings of kwiisahi?’s pod to entice it back out to sea.

 

 

 

A Solar Eclipse happening next Monday!  In BC, the time of maximum will be 11:30 am. Although most of us will be far away from the zone of totality, we can still enjoy the experience online. Here at school we will be watching a live broadcast of the event between 11:05 and 11:55am. I hope families will take this opportunity to extend their learning beyond the science of the eclipse to wonder and learn about what ancient and medieval cultures thought about an eclipse.

 

 

 

Back here on earth, I came across the site of a scientist who forages for edible plants in urban and natural settings. Check out Black Forager on Instagram at: https://www.instagram.com/reel/C4rNE3vuZNk/?igsh=MTJ5dzV3emFkZmU4Nw==

Sew useful! We are now collecting used, clean, tank tops. All students will have an opportunity to use a sewing machine as we upcycle them into reuseable shopping bags and book bags. Any size, child or adult, is fine. Patterns or pictures are great. Tops in solid pastel shades will likely be printed with ink. They will be sold at our charity fundraiser craft sale in June. Please send any collected tops to school during the week of April 15-19.

Important dates: The next Professional Day is April 22, so no in-person class that day.  Grade 4 to 7 students must submit their last Interim Submissions on or before noon on April 25 (a summary of work completed since the March 14 submission). Please recall that portfolios and Interim Submissions are mandatory elements to the program. These and other important dates are in the Parent Handbook, on the Blog calendar, and on the Important Date Checklist sent home before the Winter Break.

Summer Learning opportunities at the VSB. Elementary level registration opens April 24th. For more information: https://www.vsb.bc.ca/page/5211/summer-learning

 

by LBaker

Before you know it!

This last week before Spring Break is flying by.  Our math and social studies explorations included reading two books “One Well” and “If the World Were a Village.” These provided many insights into how privileged Canadians are when it comes to the percentage of the world’s resources, levels of income, and access to water compared to other parts of the world.

Categorizing and playing with vintage toys was another fun way to compare and contrast material objects and how life for kids has changed over the decades. A field trip to Lynn Valley provoked some deep conversations about where water comes from and where it goes along its cycle through the natural world. We also learned about creatures that do not have spines or bones.

Back in the classroom we enjoyed some peaceful cozy time with books and blankets and hot chocolate at “Camp Read”. While in this contemplative space learned a song about our good fortune to be living on mother earth. In the new term, we will begin writing songs. And soon the grade 4 to 7s will try our hand at making instruments to play them on. (More cookie tins please!) We rounded out the term getting our hands dirty sculpting bowls and beads from papier mâché for the charity fundraiser craft sale we will have in June.

Planning for next year is now well under way: The primary cohort (Kindergarten to grade 3) is full with a long waitlist. The Intermediate (Grade 4 to 7) group has very few spots left, and only at specific grade levels and criteria. So, if you know of families who may be interested, have them review the blog and then email me as soon as possible. I will be in touch after the break.

REMINDERS: Interim assignment #5 is due March 14th for students grade 4 to 7.  Please check the blog regularly for updates to the calendar. Spring Break goes from March 18 to April 1. Report cards go home this week….check those back packs or pick up the report from the blue tote in the hall if you were absent this week. Please sign and return the report envelope so I can reuse it for the third term report.

I recently came across an intriguing app called Radio.Garden.  It allows you to listen to radio stations all around the world in real time! It works through an interface similar to Google Earth. I thought this would be a fun way to hear music and voices in languages around the world. Google Radio.Garden to check it out!   https://radio.garden/visit/vancouver/Lc5d7EdP

Looking for things to do over Spring Break or the coming summer? Check out the Medicine Wheel Ceremony on March 24th at VanDusen Botanical Garden. They have several camps and family programs on offer as well. Lynn Valley Ecology Centre does too.

This will be my last blog post until after Spring Break. Happy Equinox! We return to in person learning on Tuesday April 2.

Spring Forward

Portfolios for term #2 have now wrapped up. There have been many wonderful “catch up conversations” as we settled back into in-person learning this week. The Primary group also enjoyed a field trip to Lynn Canyon. There we studied some of the invertebrates who live in the river and on the forest floor nearby.

Back in the classroom, we explored the concept of how small acts can lead to great change. One particularly evocative resource for our discussions was “One Hen” by Katie Smith Milway. It’s based on the life story of Kwabena Darko of Ghana, and the concept of Microlending. Check it out!

Spring Break is fast approaching. On the last day of classes before the break we will relax and hang out with books, games hot chocolate or peppermint tea at the fictional “Camp Read” on March 12 and March 15th.  Please bring a book and blanket (and a stuffie if you wish) to enjoy as we get cozy in the afternoon. We may even build a fort in which to hang out if there are enough blankets! Feel free to send snacks to share.

A request: Please collect and send cardboard egg cartons for a craft we will be doing right after Spring Break. We are still collecting cookie tins and hope to have enough to make instruments after Spring Break as well.

Please remember:  The Intermediate group meets at the Lynn Valley Ecology Centre at 9:45 on Thursday March 14.

Don’t forget to move your clocks forward to Daylight Savings Time this weekend.

For those families looking for science activities over the upcoming Spring Break: Lynn Valley Ecology Center has some fun family friendly programs. Check out how to register at https://ecologycentre.ca/

Portfolios Continue…..

Portfolios continued this week.  Absolutely love to see all the amazing learning activities happening in your homes. And I am thrilled to hear about the family friendships being forged as well! In-person learning re-commences on Monday, March 4. Keep in mind that on Tuesday, March 5th the Primary-aged group will meet at Lynn Valley Ecology Center at 9:45am for our guided programs. Monday, Tuesday parents: If you haven’t already done so, please email me with your intention to join us there or work from home.

We are still collecting metal boxes for the Intermediate instrument building activity. Please look around your homes for old cookie tins or chocolate tins. They do not need to be beautiful. They DO need a lid. Round tins are fine if they are wider than they are tall.

Our main school is having a Book Fair from 3:00 to 3:45 on Tuesday and Wednesday next week (March 5 & 6.) We are on a field trip on Tuesday, so will not be able to go to the sale, but all families are welcome to pop into the library between 3:00 and 3:45 either day.

I recently came across a site with science activities that may be of interest to some parents:   https://www.instagram.com/reel/C3iouw9vKUh/?igsh=MW9yNzF4cTF5OTk5eg==

Portfolios and Home Learning

We are deep into our portfolio presentations this week and next. There is so much to celebrate about the projects and progress our kids are experiencing while they work from home. I am continually delighted to learn about the hands-on engagement, philosophical musing, and deep conversations taking place in our community. I’ve loved hearing about science experiments, creative writing projects, video production, robotics creations, coding successes, art explorations, and breakthroughs in math and spelling skills. Even spectacular cooking mishaps inspire learning when the child brings a growth mindset and sense of humour! Thank you for all you do to foster curiosity and resilience!

 

By LBaker

Friendship & Family (Day)

Portfolio meetings begin tomorrow, so this blog post will be short and sweet!

Friendship and fostering positive supportive relationships were the theme for the last few days. We have been learning to offer support kindly and look for opportunities to show our helpers appreciation. Thank you to those who sent along ingredients for our Friendship Fruit Salads. One salad was quite full of oranges, and one was quite full of green grapes. BOTH were refreshing and delicious!

For the last two weeks, the older group has made papier mâché bowls and seed paper. We’ve also explored sculpting, carving, and engraving with a variety of materials with a variety of tools.

The younger groups have had some fun learning about Opera and performing our own Operas as well as illustrating several classic songs and poems.

Monday/Tuesday group please note we have a field trip to Lynn Valley Ecology Centre on our second day back after Portfolios (Tuesday, March 5th). We will meet at the Ecology Centre at 9:45, rain or shine! Bring a lunch. We will be exploring in boggy wet conditions so wear boots and gloves….maybe a change of socks too! As always for this type of activity, parents provide their own transportation and supervise their children. There is public transportation nearby and plenty of paid parking at the Centre. Please consider carpooling.

If your child is currently enrolled, and you have not already done so, please let me know if you intend for your child(ren) to continue in September. I would like to be able to offer any available space to those on our waitlist.

February 19 is Family Day, but it is also Louis Riel Day in Manitoba. I invite students and parents alike to take some time to learn about his impact on Canadian history.

 

By LBaker

Fantastic February!

Lately we have been deconstructing song lyrics to look for strong visual language. Lots of tuneful and creative fun with old Traditional Folk Tunes these days! The Kindergarteners had their hearing tested this week… So…no more excuses for any “Selective Listening!”

September 2024: We are victims of our own success and are already bursting at the seams for next year. There is an extensive waitlist of families hoping to join our program. If you have not already done so, please email by noon February 16th me to let me know if you intend to keep your child in the program in September 2024, or will be moving on to other choices.

Students in both groups have been practicing giving and receiving constructive criticism. This week, please watch for a Student Self-Assessment page coming home which is focused on this Core Competency. Please return it to school with your child as soon as possible (or email it back to me) at least 2 weekdays BEFORE your child’s next Portfolio Meeting. These pages form part of the report card file which will be coming home in the week of March 11.

Included here are some parent resources about Core Competencies and Reporting Student Learning:

https://www.vsb.bc.ca/page/26696/assessment-and-reporting

https://curriculum.gov.bc.ca/

https://curriculum.gov.bc.ca/reporting/resources-for-parents-and-caregivers

One way we have been applying these skills is to partner up an older student with a younger student when we are doing group work. I am so impressed with the willingness and kindness your children demonstrate during these activities.

I am going to offer one bit of constructive criticism here myself. Recently I’ve overheard students from both cohorts mention to classmates that they rarely practice writing skills or basic math computation skills on the days they are learning from home. While meaningful learning happens in all sorts of interdisciplinary ways, I strongly encourage parents to remember that frequent reinforcement of basic skills is an important step to understanding. And, more importantly, it builds confidence and fluency, thus freeing up energy for creativity and expression. There are lots of great math and spelling games and downloadable math and sight-word flash cards out there that can help in this area. An easy way for the parents of the Primary students especially, is to look up “Dolch Word Lists” and “High Frequency Word Lists” by their grade level.

February is Black History Month. The Intermediates have begun a novel study about the experiences of a bi-racial student. The Primary students have begun learning some songs that celebrate respectful interdependence. Included here is a link to more Black History resources:  Black History Educational Package – Canada’s History (canadashistory.ca)

February also holds Family Day and Valentine’s Day. On the last day of classes before Portfolio Week (Fri Feb 9 & Tues Feb 13), we will be enjoying an afternoon of music, games and Friendship Fruit Salad in acknowledgement of the support of our families and other helpful relationships. Please send a container of washed and chopped up fruit to add to our happy concoction! Feel free to send along other seasonal treats as well.

 

by LBaker

February Fun!

How did it get to be FEBRUARY so quickly? And a Leap Year at that?! February is the month of Groundhogs, Valentines, Portfolios, and special school events. It is also Black History Month. And there is Pink Shirt Day, and Family Day. It’s a good thing it’s a leap year so we have an extra day to accomplish everything!

We will celebrate all these good things with an afternoon of games and music, and by sharing Friendship Fruit Salad, on the last day of classes before Portfolios start: Friday, February 9th and Tuesday, February 13th. On that day, please send along a small container of washed and chopped fruit to toss into the mix. We are sure to be surprised and delighted with whatever arrives! Feel free to send along some other seasonal treats for classmates if you wish.

The main school has 2pm dismissal days on February 7 & 8 next week, but we do not. Instead, we will have no in-person classes from February 15th to March 1st due to the second Portfolio meetings.

Movie Night is on Friday!  Come as a family to watch “Luca” in the school gym on Friday, February 2nd. Doors open at 6:00 pm and the movie starts at 6:30. Pizza and other goodies for sale. Floor seating! Bring your own blanket or cushion. Please see the Beaconsfield Banter newsletter you will have received from the school office for information about this, and Pink Shirt Day, etc.

September Intentions: If you haven’t already done so, please be in touch with me to let me know if it is your intension to have your child stay in our program in September. I have a very long waiting list, so this information is very helpful. Next year dates for the cohorts will be the same as this year: G K-3 on Mondays and Tuesdays and G4-7 on Thursdays and Fridays, with Wednesdays for online meetings, etc.

 

 

By L.Baker

Playing Catch-Up

Because last week’s blog post was missed due to the Snow Day in Metro Vancouver, I will lead here with some important dates and reminders before I catch up on our In-Person Learning from the past two weeks.

#1 Interim Submissions for our Intermediate students are due tomorrow; January 25th.

#2 We are now booking appointments for the second Portfolio conference. If you haven’t already done so, email the teacher directly with your 3 preferred days. Please also indicate if you      prefer a morning or afternoon appointment.

#3 Hold the Date: Class Photos will be on Monday May 13th. The Thursday/Friday group is invited to come to the school at 9:00 to have a class photo taken, and then leave right after the photo is taken.

#4 Currently collecting biscuit tins: The older students will soon be building “guitars” out of tin boxes. Please send along any tins you have on hand after the holidays. They can be square or rectangular or a circle. But they must be flat. They do not need to be fancy, (although that is nice) but they do need to have a lid.

#5 September 2024 enrollment: We are already starting to plan for next year! Students who are currently enrolled in the program, and younger siblings of students who are currently registered for September 2024 have priority. We are already almost full!  Please email the teacher before noon on January 31 to let us know if it is your intention to have your child remain in the program for next year.

This past week both groups have explored important elements of Social Emotional Learning (SEL). Firstly, we have looked at the art of giving and receiving Constructive Criticism. Secondly, we have begun to look at what motivates us to learn, and how to become resilient when learning is challenging. We’ve used Art projects that take a long time to help us practice patience. Through Individual Writing Conferences, we have begun to respond to constructive criticism. Through responding to other students’ art projects and creative writing, we are learning how to offer feedback and suggestions in kind, respectful, and useful ways. I continue to be inspired and amazed by the insights and thoughtful observations these kids share with each other on a daily basis.

The oldest students may be interested to learn about a Writing Contest being offered by CBC radio. It is called “The First Page Contest” and it opens February 1st. You can find more information at CBC.ca or  https://www.cbc.ca/books/the-first-page-student-writing-challenge-is-back-in-2024-1.4269274

Internet safety: It’s just a fact of life these days that many elementary school aged children have iPads. I recently came across something on social media that may be of interest to parents who are considering giving an iPad to their child:  https://www.facebook.com/share/r/xe9aQvwucHTeK5yT/?mibextid=jaSYs6

Originally for January 17: Sometimes we struggle to learn a new skill, but with practice that skill can become second nature. I’ve noticed a shift over the last year or so in the way some students are struggling to form letters and numbers, and that some older students seem a bit foggy about sentence structure, and punctuation, such as quotation marks. I encourage all parents to take a close look at their child’s written work and offer frequent feedback and encouragement to do a bit more writing daily if you notice these gaps. We’ve been doing some worksheet activities on letter formation and grammar here at school just to help “prime the pump.”

We’ve been getting a “charge” out of science: It takes a lot of energy to be a kid, and also to run many of the items we use in day-to-day life. We are exploring Electricity: what it is, how we use it, where it comes from. The Intermediate students have been learning about what happens when a battery is charged, and building electric robotic devices. The Primary students are learning about different sources of energy, and how to stay safe around electricity.

Do you ever wonder where our electricity comes from? Or how it is generated? The BC Electric Powerhouse at Stave Falls offers tours to the public from March 1 onward. Adults $8, Children $7 (5 and under are free.) The powerhouse is located in the BEAUTIFUL Fraser Valley. It is located at 31338 Dewdney Trunk Road in Mission, B.C. Check out  Powerhouse at Stave Falls (bchydro.com) or call 604-462-1222 or email stavefalls@bchydro.com . If you decide to take a trip out there, consider a side trip to Stave Lake for a picnic, or drive the back roads looking for the dairies and nut groves with “Farm Gate” cheese, ice cream and hazel nuts!  Meanwhile, BCHydro offers lots of fun activities for students. Check out schools.bchydro.com.

We’ve also been playing lots of games to build our math skills. Are you interested in more family Math games? Check out @tabletopfamily on Instagram.