Monday, April 20

Thanks to everyone for joining in on our Skype meeting on Friday. Now that everyone has had a chance to play with the settings and figure it out a bit, I do want to keep it for one-on-one meetings with students and parents.  Skype is supported by the Board and I trust its security much more than I trust zoom.  I have set up the Educator’s account on zoom which is free at this time, and I would like to try that before going ahead and spending any money on it. Speaking of money:  Allotments – I have all the allotment accounts with me.  Tracey is away for awhile. Please don’t phone the office regarding allotments, contact me and I’ll do my best to help you out.

Intermediate Blogs:  I managed to chat with someone at Edublogs, and students should now be able to see everyone else’s blog, and comment.  Please let me know if there are still any glitches.  🙂

Earth Day!

Earth Day is April 22.  I have gathered some good resources for Earth Day.  The link below is a Mystery Science video and activities for Earth day.  I encourage everyone to do at least one of the activities and, if you would like to, take a pic or two and send it to me and I will post it on the blog.  Intermediates can post themselves on their blogs.  A great Science project!

https://mysteryscience.com/mini-lessons/old-earth?code=baf5c15ccece831deb401fde464fa87b

Here are a few more resources for Earth Day:

How Earth Day Began with Music

Greta Thunberg, Music, and the Climate Crisis

Cleaning up the Plastic Beach

biography-of-wangari-maathai

 

Show & Tell Schedule for the Primary Group

Wednesday, April 22, 1:30p.m.: Henry,  Aprilia

Monday, April 27, 1:30 p.m.:  Gwen, Owen

Wednesday, April 29, 1:30 p.m.:  Sofia, Cole

Monday, May 4, 1:30 p.m.:  Nevaeh, Chloe

Wednesday, May 6, 1:30 p.m.:  Alexandra, Mila

Monday, May 11, 1:30 p.m.:  Audrey, Theo

Wednesday, May 13, 1:30 p.m.: Sophie, Tisa

Wednesday, May 20, 1:30 p.m.:  Daniella, Oren

Welcome To Kindergarten

This information is for all parents and guardians who have a child starting Kindergarten in September. This includes those families who already have older siblings in the program, and those who are reading blog postings in preparation for next year.

Welcome To Kindergarten is being postponed until September 2020.  I will be receiving further information about this later in the school year and will post updates on this blog.  If you miss the next posting, don’t worry, our school office will still be sending invitations out to each family directly to you closer to the date in September.

In the meantime, please check out the VSB StrongStart content, particularly the links on the first paragraph to Strong Start Online and Story Time Videoshttps://www.vsb.bc.ca/Student_Learning/Early-Learners/StrongStart/Pages/default.aspx

The VSB Preparing for Kindergarten Booklet: https://www.vsb.bc.ca/_layouts/vsbwww/arch/default/files/shared/ready-for-K-web-brochure.pdf

The Vancouver Public Library has a live story time every weekday at 10am on their facebook page:https://www.facebook.com/vancouverpubliclibrary/

Thursday, April 16

I have good news on the allotment front:  You can now use your allotment.  The process for now is as follows:

  1.  Send me a separate and detailed email of what you would like or order, the vendor information and the price(s).
  2.  When I receive your request, I will obtain sign-off from Lani.
  3.  I will order your request and wherever possible, have the item/materials shipped directly to your home.  If the order cannot be shipped directly to your home, I will let you know and we will figure it out.
  4. Approved vendors only:

Scholastic.ca

Spectrum Nasco

School Specialty

Education Station

ADS Academic

JUMP Mathematics

  1. Please remember not to order directly from the vendors yourself.  Send me what you would like to order so I can purchase it through your allotment.  Reimbursements for anything purchased on your own is not allowed.

For those students who are available, I will be hosting a group meeting on Skype tomorrow at 1:00 p.m.  This is for both Intermediate and Primary students.  Since it is the first time we are trying out a group meeting, there is not a specific topic or learning theme, we will simply use the meeting to test out the settings and say “Hi.”  I will send a group meeting invitation tomorrow late morning.  You do not need to set anything up to receive or join this call – it is (supposedly) configured so that you simply click on the invitation link and join in.  I’m excited to try it tomorrow with the students!

Finally, I wanted to share this with everyone.  I think it is particularly apropos right now.

 

 

 

Wednesday, April 15

Greetings Everyone!

I am thankful for the beautiful weather we have been having.  I live across the street from a city park, and I love watching people set up picnics, socially responsible gatherings, walk around with their dogs and children, and watch the skateboarders get kicked out by security daily!  Watching groups in the park, I am wondering if the Intermediates would like to meet weekly at the park? We can sit at socially responsible distances, and do our novel study (and other things) together?  If this is something that might interest you, please let me know.  I am not offering to do this with the Primaries because of the simple fact that I think it would be too difficult for them to keep a distance from one another, especially since they haven’t seen one another for awhile.  I envision hugs all around.  If you disagree, let me know.

Below I have linked the Independent Study Packages, Week 2 for each grade.  I had a few parents ask me for multiple grades, so feel free to print up the ones you would like.

independent-study-packet-kindergarten-week-2

independent-study-packet-1st-grade-week-2

independent-study-packet-2nd-grade-week-2

independent-study-packet-3rd-grade-week-2

independent-study-packet-4th-grade-week-2

independent-study-packet-5th-grade-week-2

I have also set up our class on Book Creator.  The account I set up includes 40 books.  For now, let’s start by having students make one book each.  The code to get into our classroom is:  6MJJVP2.  Below is the tutorial to sign on.

Happy Learning!

Thursday, April 9

Happy Easter 2020 Images, Funny Easter Eggs & Bunny Photos

By now, I hope everyone has received my email with your child(ren)’s email to access the Home Learners’ Teams Classroom.  A couple of things:  Your child’s PEN number is the set of numbers that makes up your child’s email address.  So, for example, if the email was o239624@learn.vsb.bc.ca, your child’s PEN number is the 0239624 portion of the email.

As you likely noticed, I have done all this manually. One of my closest friends is a high school teacher. High school teachers and students have been using this system for awhile, so she has been providing me with information on how to work with this platform.  In high school, the students get notified automatically, but not for elementary students, which is why I thought everyone would be notified directly from the Teams site.

Each student has their own unique sign-in for the virtual classroom.  However, for our group, having each child sign in won’t be practical.  When siblings are signing in together, only one needs to sign in.  It doesn’t matter who.  The sibling who signs in will be the one who will show in the classroom as present, but that won’t matter either.  Generally speaking, especially for “live” meetings, as long as someone gets in, everyone can join in.  For specific assignments (if we end of having any), questions, comments, etc., then children can sign in with their specific ID’s so I know who I am replying to or working with, or sending individualized work to.

This weekend is Easter, so school is closed on Friday and Monday.  I also know that Easter is a special family time for many of our families, so I certainly do not expect people to be jumping in and figuring this out right away.  Take your time, and next week, your child(ren) can sign in and play around with the platform a bit to get comfortable before we being anything.

For parents, I have a special link which I will send you so that you can access the classroom any time to check what is going on, etc.  I am testing it out with one parent right now to ensure it is working properly, and if so, I will send it to everyone via email on Tuesday.

In the meantime, I wish everyone a Happy Easter!

Wednesday, April 8

I hope everyone is staying well and managing your days at home okay. I have to admit that being isolated alone is proving to be a lonely and boring experience.  I’m not as entertaining as I thought I was.  Luckily for me, though, my dogs are really good conversationalists…

I am all set up with a new work computer and a new home computer, so hopefully that was the last of my computer issues for a good, long while.  I am also delighted to let everyone know that Daniella has rejoined our class!  Welcome back, Daniella (and Katty), we missed you!

I would like to focus today’s post on answering some questions I have received from families, which are pertinent to everyone.  The first thing is allotments:   The Board is still working out how the allotment accounting should proceed moving forward, so as soon as I am given the green light, I will let everyone know.  However, as I indicated previously, don’t worry about the deadline.

School work and assessments:  As you may have read either on the VSB website or on an email sent to you from the school or the board, the basic expectation right now is that teachers provide 5-7 hours of “work” to students weekly.  I’m not sure where this number comes from – but I suspect it has as much to do with classroom teachers learning technology and how to provide digital learning as anything else.  For Home Learners, I would just say proceed as usual while keeping in mind that this is an unusual time and that we all experience stress, and the stress of this situation, differently.  Please feel absolutely free to talk to me about this at any time.

In terms of assessments, I am operating under the assumption that I will be writing end of the year report cards.  Nothing has been said about this by either the Ministry, or by the VSB to my knowledge at this time, though, so an end of the year report could end up looking quite different than what we are used to.  I don’t know what is going to happen about portfolio meetings.  I am keeping them booked on the calendar for the time being.

I am currently setting up an IXL Math class, free of charge to my students.  If you would like your child(ren) to work with IXL Math, please send me an email. It takes awhile to set a class of students up, so I will only set up those I hear from.

Also, I have heard from parents concerned about all the screen time associated with using these resources.  To that end, I will be sending out grade-level packages of weekly materials to print out and work on.  Through my educator subscription to Education.com (the same company as IXL Math), the people at Education.com have compiled weekly work packages for grades K-5.  I’ve looked through each one and I think they are pretty good.  I will email these to families.  There are not many pages to each package, and daily instructions are provided.

Finally, for today, I wanted to share this https://blog.calm.com/take-a-deep-breath

 

 

 

 

 

 

Update, April 3

As far as I can determine, these two are the only ones who are actually enjoying school closure:

 

I have now preliminarily set up virtual Teams Classrooms.  I have set up a Home Learners Classroom which all students are members of, an Intermediate Home Learners, for the Intermediates, and a Primary Home Learners for the Primaries.  My understanding is that the Teams system itself notifies each student/parent (through parent emails or whichever email you provided to the school office when you either registered, or updated on the forms that are distributed at the beginning of each school year).   The notification apparently also provides you with Office 365, which has to be signed into to use the virtual classroom.

I’ll be frank, it isn’t the most intuitive platform.  Parents and students, give yourself some time to play with it, and feel free to email me with any questions about it – please don’t hesitate.  I don’t know the timeline for you to receive notification.  Since every elementary classroom is just now being set up and populated, it may take awhile.  I’d like to hear from people when you receive your notifications, so I have an idea of timelines, and when to start working with it.

In the meantime, there are a couple of resources I would like to share with you.  The first one is Audible Stories.  Audible is offering their service for free right now and there are lots of great kids books available to listen to.  In fact, I have been listening to some of the Teen offerings and thoroughly enjoying myself!

The second one is the National Geographic Explorer live classrooms every day at 11:00 a.m. our time.  For example, on Monday, the topic is On Thin Ice: Glaciologist M Jackson  takes you on a tour of glaciers around the globe! Learn all about these fragile giants, and hear big and small ways you can be a part of protecting them.

For each Explorer Classroom, you can click on the Family Guide ahead of time, and it gives you a complete lesson plan, broken down by grade, as well as other things to explore on the topic.  On a daily basis, you can chose which ones to watch, depending on your child’s interests (or yours!) and it is free to watch and use. Here is the link to the daily schedule.

Update, April 2

Greetings Everyone,

The past couple of days I have been working with staff and administration on processes and procedures as we move forward.  My background is distributed online learning at both the university and the elementary school level, so I ready to move forward, and as home learning parents, I know you all have things covered as well!  There is much angst wtihin the mainstream school community though, and I feel for them.

If you have not already, you should be receiving an invitation to sign up for Epic! for free through my Educator account.  Epic! will be free for your child to use until June 30th.  If you do not receive your email invitation directly from them, please let me know and I will get that done.  Also, Epic for Kids FB page hosts live readings with activities.  They have teachers reading stories and leading activities live on their page.  I highly recommend these as they are all planned out and led by teachers: https://www.facebook.com/epic4kids?utm_source=Iterable&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=campaign_1117765 

Many families have suggested I use Zoom during this time, and I need to let you know that I cannot use Zoom for a couple of reasons.  First and foremost, Zoom does not comply with Canadian Privacy laws.  I feel very strongly as an educator that anything I use with children must have, as one of its basic tenets, robust privacy laws for the protection of my students.  The second reason is that the Vancouver School Board does not support it and also does not want us to use it.  They are providing Microsoft Teams, which the VSB IT department is also fully supporting, so that if we run into any difficulties, they will be there to assist us.

I hope everyone is staying well.  Be kind to yourself, it is an extraordinary, stressful time.

Eggucation

Before Spring Break, I booked with Eggucation to bring duckling eggs to our class so the students could observe the eggs, watch them hatch, and learn about life cycles.  They were to bring the eggs next week.  As we are not at the school site now, I have postponed this activity until September/October.  Eggucation are all paid up and ready to go, so at least we all have this to look forward to in the new school year.  🙂

Following Spring Break

I hope this post finds everyone well and managing OK.  I know it has been, and continues to be, a stressful time for many families.  Today, on what should have been the first day back after Spring Break, I want to touch base with everyone and let you know what is happening in our program and at Beaconsfield School.

First of all, I want you to know that as a school staff member, I am not allowed to work at the school site at the moment, I am working from home.   I have an allotted time this week in which I am able to go into the school, collect everything I need from the classroom, and leave.  I was hoping to be able to basically ‘quarantine’ in the classroom, but that is just not possible from a health and safety perspective as things stand right now, which is understandable.   At this time, we ask parents and students not to enter the school to pick up materials or belongings.  If you desperately need something, please let me know, and you and I will figure it out together.

I am available via email every day, and I am here to support every family’s learning needs.  My plan at the moment is to update everyone daily through these posts, so you know what is going on, and I am sure you will also be receiving correspondence from the school, and the school board.  As the situation with this virus is fluid, I suspect things will change as we move forward.

In the meantime, please don’t worry about your allotments. I would also ask you to refrain from contacting Tracey at the moment about allotments as her plate is full.  I have received many allotment questions about the deadline and spending amounts, etc.  I am working on an alternative process for allotment orders and spending which will align with Ministry guidelines, but won’t require families to come in to fill out forms, etc., and hoping that the deadline will be more of a soft closing due to the disruptions we are all facing.

Any questions or concerns that you have, any learning support I can provide, or anything you need, please let me know.  I can’t promise to have answers yet, but I will do my best to figure things out.

Stay Well,

Shannon

School Closure Announcement Today

Hello All,

I just want to let you know that I don’t have any further information than what you are hearing from Rob Flemming’s            (Minister of Education) announcement today.  He did mention that he has been in communication with teachers. What that means is that he is working with the BCTF executive, who represent teachers.  I suspect that further information, as it unfolds and pertains to possible school closure or alternate arrangements, will be sent directly to parents and teachers concurrently.

I hope everyone is staying well.

Eggucation

 

The week of April 15th we will be receiving an incubator and three little ducking eggs! 

We will be learning all about the life cycle of ducklings, monitoring their growth, and  experiencing them hatching.   

Enrollment for September 2020

Hello Everyone.  I just wanted to let everyone know that at this point, the Home Learners’ Program has one spot available for the Primary Program for September 2020, and three spots available for the Intermediate Program for September 2020.    I have changed the information on the FAQ page to reflect this situation.  If you know of anyone who is interested, please let them know.

Thank you!

March 2nd-6th

I hope everyone is enjoying Portfolio Week.  For me personally, I always find it a joyful time with families and children, celebrating their learning and growth, and connecting one-on-one with everyone.  I also find it a time of reflection; what is going well, or isn’t going well, for each child, what “big E” education means for each child and family and for me in my practice.  I hope it is a time of happy reflection for you also.

Next week, we continue with our Portfolio Meetings on Monday and Tuesday.

On Wednesday and Thursday, we have Ice Skating at Trout Lake CC from 10:30 to 11:30.  If you have already had your meeting, so did not receive a consent form, please ensure you come in and sign it on Wednesday or Thursday morning.  The plan will be to walk to Trout Lake at 10:00 a.m. with the two other classes, and walk back afterwards, in time for lunch. For the Primaries, we will have Noisy Reading, Show & Tell, and perhaps time for an activity before we depart.  For the Intermediates, we will have Daily Starter and Novel Study prior to departing.

The Next Three Weeks Ahead

We have three different field trips coming up during the next two weeks.  Next week, we are going to see Th’owxiya, The Hungry Feast Dish at Performance Works at Granville Island.  The performance is on Tuesday, February 11th at 1:00 p.m.  Please be at Performance Works by 12:45 p.m. to ensure everyone is seated on time. The sign-up sheet and field trip forms are on the parent table.  The cost is $10.50 per person.

In two weeks’ time, we have both BEEP at Carousel Theatre and  ‘M is for Music at the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra.

We will be seeing BEEP on Wednesday, February 19th at 10:00 a.m.  at the Waterfront Theatre on Granville Island.  Please be at the theatre by 9:45 as they will only seat us once the whole group is present.  The sign-up sheet and field trip forms are on the parent table.  The cost is $11.00 per person.

‘M is for Music‘ at the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra is happening on Thursday, February 20th at 10:00 a.m. at the Orpheum Theatre.  Again, please be there by 9:45 a.m. so we can enter as a group and be seated on time.  The cost is $10.50 per person.  The sign-up sheet and field trip forms are on the parent table.

Valentines Happenings:

The children are getting their Valentines mailbags ready in class and some have started making Valentines for one another.  Our class rule is that if you are giving Valentines, you have to give one to everybody.  For the Primaries, the name of classmates are:  Aprilia,  Henry, Alexandra, Gwen, Mila, Nevaeh, Cole, Sophie, Theo, Sofia, Tisa, Audrey, Chloe, Owen,  and Oren.

The Primaries will have a Valentines Day party in class from 1:30 to 2:45 p.m on Wednesday, February 12th.  Families are welcome to join us if you wish.  Please bring a treat to share with the class.

The Intermediates will be participating in the school-wide dance in the afternoon, and therefore, we will not be having a class party.  At the dance, the Grade 7s will be selling treats to raise money for the Vancouver Food Bank.  The dance will be on Thursday, February 13th from 1:00 – 2:30 p.m.

Friday, February 14th is a professional day.  School is closed

Monday, February 17th is Family day.  School is closed.

Monday, February 24th through Tuesday, March 3rd are Portfolio Meetings.  Please take a look at the calendar on this blog and send me your first and second choices for days and times you prefer to meet.  Please remember that participating in Portfolio Meetings is a mandatory aspect of the Home Learners’ Program.

 

First Week of February

On Tuesday, February 4, the Intermediates will be seeing High Water.  Please meet at 9:40 a.m. at  the Nest on Granville Island (formally Studio 1398). The address is 1398 Cartwright Street, Vancouver

In the afternoon of February 4th , all Home Learning students, both Primary and Intermediate, are invited to participate in a Valentines Day themed activity and book reading at Villa Carital at 1:30 p.m.  We will be making Valentines cards and decorations with the residents.  🙂

Students will also be making their Valentines mail-boxes in class.  Distribution of Valentine cards is, as always, optional.  However, if you are giving out cards, the rule is that everyone gets one – nobody is left out.  I will be preparing a list of names and putting the lists in your file folders so you have the entire class list to write your cards.  Next week, the Primaries will have a Valentines Day Party, which families are invited to.  The Intermediates will have a smaller party as we will need to get ready for our Recorder class!