Ms. Chan's Class Blog – Working Together – To better ourselves, each other, and the world around us

Energizing 11th Week!

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Dear families,

I hope you had a wonderful extra day with your family! This past week felt like an incredible one that energized me on many levels. In the classroom, it felt like we experienced so much great learning together and the love, care, and collaboration I noticed was heartwarming. On Friday morning, I was blessed to have the opportunity to present at a neighbouring Burnaby school on social emotional learning. The title was:

Relationships that Create Community Among Diverse Learners: Fostering Connectedness and Belonging (How to have joyful learners who thrive and LOVE school.)

I am passionate about building deeper connections as well as equipping and empowering students with skills to do the same as part of their social emotional learning. One of my most favourite and impactful activities is the Spider Web activity. Here’s the activity: Share something you love about being in our class.

I started us off by saying that what I love about our class is each person. I love everyone in our class because of their kindness and they just bring me such joy. Then each had a turn to share why they love being in our class before they passed the yarn across the circle. It created a powerful visual of how we are connected and how our interactions affect each other.

Then I asked them all to stand up. This was to represent how when we say and do positive things, we rise and lift each other up. When we sat down, I started shaking the web and gave an example of an unkind statement. They could see that the rest of the web was shaking too. This was to demonstrate that just ONE unkind act affects the whole community. This was such a powerful visual.

I followed this activity by reading The Energy Bus for Kids by Jon Gordon. He has an adult version of the book that I highly recommend too called The Energy Bus. This is a story about staying positive and overcoming challenges. If you’d like to check out the book, I found a video on YouTube with Jon Gordon reading the book himself!

I also shared this simple graphic. I noticed that I was sharing this with my own kids at home when they were young and with students in my classes so I eventually created this. How we interpret a situation is a choice. When we choose a positive lens, it will lead us to a happier disposition.  While it is important to feel our raw emotions, after some time, we can learn to not allow ourselves to get stuck in negativity and instead, to let go of those feelings that don’t serve us well anymore. We need to practice our self-discipline to protect our hearts.

I started reading a book written by Adam Grant called Hidden Potential: The Science of Achieving Greater Things. It was published a month ago and has already received a lot of attention. Here’s a quote that so resonates with me:

“You can’t tell where people will land from where they begin. With the right opportunity and motivation to learn, anyone can build the skills to achieve greater things. Potential is not a matter of where you start but how far you travel.” – Adam Grant

There are 4 character skills that lead to reaching your potential and achieving greater things:

  • Proactive: How often do they take initiative to ask questions, volunteer answers, and seek information from books, and engage in learning outside class?
  • Prosocial: How well do they get along and collaborate with peers?
  • Disciplined: How effectively do they pay attention and resist the impulse to disrupt the class?
  • Determined: How consistently do they take on challenging problems, do more than the assigned work, and persist in the face of obstacles?

This week, we talked about these character attributes and focused on learning about and practicing self-discipline, in particular.

How you can support at home: Use these character skills words at home. Encourage your child to practice and demonstrate self-discipline. Let me know if you decide to read this book too! I’d love to have a conversation about it with you! 🙂

Science In-class Field Trip

On Thursday, December 7, we are excited to have OWL in the Classroom present to us! This program follows the BC Science Curriculum and covers the following two Big Ideas: 

Living things have life cycles adapted to their environment (Gr. 2) 

Living things are diverse, can be grouped, and interact in their ecosystems (Gr. 3) 

Students will have the opportunity to safely meet two live raptors in our classroom – one owl and one hawk/falcon/turkey vulture, depending on the raptor that is available at the time.  My daughter had this experience when she was younger and she absolutely loved it!

The cost for the OWL in the Classroom program is $6 and can be paid on School Cash online.  Please pay and fill out this online form as soon as possible. Thank you for your support! 

Last week, we learned about the transfer of thermal energy: conduction, convection, and radiation. Please ask your child to teach you these concepts!

  • conduction (touching — e.g., hold an ice cube)
  • convection (current — why do we hang mittens over a heat source?)
  • radiation (through space by a wave — e.g., heat from the sun)

We are mathematicians.

We reviewed the difference between odd and even numbers. The key is looking at how the number ends (in the ones place). Please review at home with this Ron Brown song called Even or Odd. You can do this by coming up with random numbers and ask your child to tell you if it is an odd or even number.

We also learned how to round numbers to the nearest ten. Please review at home. Grade 2s should be able to demonstrate they can round 2-digit numbers to the nearest 10 while grade 3s should be able to round 3-digit numbers to 1000. We watched a song on YouTube that showed us an image that helps us remember that any number that ends in 5 and above, you round UP to the nearest 10.

We continue to reinforce place value concepts like comparing numbers using < and > symbols. Each student brought home a pink < and > symbol last week to practice at home.

How to support at home: Take out a deck of cards to create random numbers. For grade 2s, give your child two 2-digit numbers like 59 and 83. They should be able to compare the two numbers and tell you which one is bigger and use the correct symbol and why (We compare the number in the tens place so 83 is larger because there are more tens). For grade 3s, give your child a 3-digit number. Many students were excited to be challenged with bigger numbers that went into the hundred thousands! One of the curricular competencies in math is to communicate mathematical thinking so this is great practice to explain why.

Continue to have your child practice addition and subtraction facts so they can become more fluent with accuracy. In case you missed a previous post with this recommendation, if your child has an iPad at home, please download Math Tappers. It’s free. Have them practice different sums up to 20.

We are artists.

Ms. Kapusta says:

This week, students participated in their first directed drawing. Students experimented with line, shape, space, and colour to create a winter-themed sloth. Despite following the same directed drawing instructions, everyone’s winter sloths turned out very unique! I am always delighted and amazed by the creativity and enthusiasm for art in this classroom. Each student always brings their own personality to the art that we are doing.
In the afternoon, students spent some time reflecting on their different art projects this term and their creative process. Students were asked to complete a written reflection on which art project they were most proud of and why, and which art project needed more work and what they could do differently next time. 


Language Arts

We noticed that a number of students were not using prepositions correctly and confused about when to use “in, on, at” in sentences so thanks to Ms. Yaremko, our ELL teacher, we had an engaging, interactive lesson!

Using the anchor chart, students worked in partners to sort the silly sentences under “in, on, at” headings. Ask your child about this fun activity!



We are musicians.

Mr. Turpin has been working hard with our class and Mr. Kenney’s class in preparation for the Winter concert. I noticed that some students can really use some extra support at home to learn the words to our songs so please practice. Have fun by practicing with them! 🙂

Here are the links to the two songs we will be performing on Tuesday, December 12:

Winter Sleigh Ride 

Hot Chocolate 

EPIC at home

Just a reminder that your child has access to Epic anytime from 7 am to 3pm so on Mondays and Fridays when there is no school or when they are sick at home. Seb has shared with me that he reads books on Epic before school! All students have access to over 40,000 high interest books. Their passcode is the first four digits of their pupil number. Keep this in mind over the winter break which will start on Friday, December 22.

Please note that our last day of school in 2023 will be on Thursday, December 21.

This week felt like such a productive week of learning and growing together as a classroom community. The small gestures of care and kindness your children show each other and how well they work with random partners to learn together was heartwarming. Thank you for reading these weekly blog posts and for your continued support at home. I love and appreciate how your children are such keen learners!

With much joy and gratitude in my heart, Ms. Chan


Terrific 10th week!

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Dear families,

What a great way to end the week with bowling at Rev’s for our first field trip of the year with Ms. Santorelli’s and Ms. Tai’s classes! Thank you to all of the parents who helped drive and supervise during our stay. When I looked out to the back of the classroom and saw so many parents standing there, my heart felt instantly grateful.

I appreciated seeing the support, encouragement, and celebrations throughout our time there. So many smiles too!

We are mathematicians.

We worked on solidifying our understanding of place value to develop our number sense. We learned how to expand the numbers into expanded notation. For example, 563 = 500 + 60+3.

Ways to support at home: Check that your child understands the following concepts. Give them random numbers and have them fill in the place value chart, expand the number, and draw the base 10 blocks. Generally, where it gets tricky for students is when there is a zero in the tens or ones place. They need to zero to “hold its place”. Here’s what they need to know:

  • 100s, 10s, and 1s
  • understand the relationship between digit places and their values (e.g., the digit 4 in 342 has the value of 40 or 4 tens)
  • understand the importance of 0 as a place holder (e.g., in the number 408, the zero indicates that there are 0 tens)

Grade 2’s are expected to demonstrate a complete understanding of place value concepts to 100 and grade 3’s to 1000 in order to be considered proficient on the proficiency scale.

We love our Big Buddy time!

On Friday, our big buddies came to our room for a visit! We started by reading together. Then we practiced our math facts with our newly learned random numbers chart.

How to support at home: We are encouraging all children to practice their math facts at home. This is a fantastic way to practice at home! You’ll notice that on the left-hand side, there are digits from 0-9. On the right, there are numbers from 10-19. So far, we practiced the following:

  • +1 and -1 which is just counting up or down by one number
  • +2 and -2 which is counting by twos up or down. I want to see children trying NOT to add with their fingers for these. Please practice skip counting forwards and backwards so they can become fluent: 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, 18, 20 and 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 11, 13, 15, 17, 19.
  • +10 (only use the left side) and -10 (only use the right side)
  • Making 10s (only use the left side) so when you point to 6, they say 4. When you point to 2, they say 8.
  • Coming up: Doubles. Get ahead and have your child practice 1+1=2, 2+2=4, 3+3=6, 4+4=8 and all the way through to 9+9=18, 10+10=20

Then we did a paper chain challenge! Students connected with another buddy pair for this challenge. Everyone was given one sheet of paper, scissors, and an arm’s length piece of tape. They were given 20 minutes to come up with the longest chain. We saw great communication, teamwork, and excitement!

Some teams had tape left over so they turned these pieces into more chain links. Way to use your core competencies of critical and creative thinking! So resourceful!


Diwali is a “festival of lights”. We read a book and watched a short video on this celebration. Please ask your child what they learned!

Save the Dates

  • Monday, December 4: Metro Vancouver Watershed Water Cycle (free in-class presentation)
  • Tuesday, December 12: Winter concert at 6:30pm and an afternoon dress rehearsal
  • Thursday, December 7: OWLS presentation (paid in-class presentation; look out for more information to come next week)
  • February 12 & 26 from 9:30 (1 hour): Ice skating at Bill Copeland (paid field trip; we will need parent volunteers, please. Ice skate rentals are available.)

As always, your children bring me such joy and I am ever so grateful. Thank you for your continued support at home every day. If you can help make sure your child can understand the math concepts, that would be greatly appreciated!

With a heart full of gratitude, Ms. Chan


Grateful 9th week!

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Dear families,

We have some exciting news! This week, we welcomed Azaan to our classroom! Please feel free to introduce yourselves to his parents when you see them before or after school and help us make them feel welcomed, thank you. 🙂 We are thrilled you have joined our class, Azaan!

We continue to focus on gratitude and appreciating the many things we take for granted like peace. We read a few books about Remembrance Day.

We learned the art technique of tearing to create poppies to decorate our classroom wreath that was displayed at the assembly.

Thank you to Ms. Kapusta, we made beautiful poppies too. It’s in our hallway for all to admire.

We also shared and thought about what peace means to us and presented our ideas at the assembly. I felt so proud of them. Check out what they shared:

So many shared how they felt nervous. I taught them that physiologically, our brains don’t know the difference between nervous and excited. This was the perfect opportunity to be challenged in our “stretch zone” to overcome it. In the past few years, I have really tried to retrain my brain to see nervous feelings as excitement and it works! See it as opportunity to grow and embrace it. Also, the more we challenge ourselves, the more we grow. Click here to watch the Simon Sinek video that helped me better understand this concept.

Chunk Spelling


For the past few weeks, we have been having fun reviewing sounds and word endings. They all enjoyed discovering the new words they could make with the “at” ending while using their sound boards. It also helped them think critically when they came to a beginning sound that sounded like a word but wasn’t one or was a word but it didn’t have the same sound as in the word family. For example, dat (not a word) or what (has “at” at the end of the word but makes a “uht” sound rather than “at” sound).

Week after week, students will be introduced to a new word family to create words with different consonants, blends and digraphs. After they review, they work with a partner to challenge themselves to think of larger fancy words with the word family. Some examples of bigger words were: scatter, flatten, and attic.

So far, we practiced with “an, at, and, ash, ack”.

We are mathematicians.

One of my favourite things I love as a teacher is coming up with engaging and meaningful ways to teach concepts instead of a worksheet. We had a LOT of fun going around the room to practice our place value concepts! Numbers were randomly placed around the room. At each number, a different combination of base ten blocks were there. Students had to figure out how many hundreds, tens, and ones and record it in a place value chart. Then they had to write the number down.

We had some challenging ones where there were more than 10 ones and more than 10 tens! So we had to use our critical thinking brains to figure out that 11 ones means that there is an extra “ten” and one “one”.

Next, we were given numbers, like 325 and we had to represent the number using base ten blocks. We worked with a partner to show we can represent the number by drawing the value of each digit in the number. Practicing this concept is a great way to support at home!

We learned the Place Value Rap song to help us remember that the “Ones are on the right. The tens are next in line. Look once more to the left for the hundreds every time.” Have a listen and sing along with your child at home!

Bowling & Pizza Lunch

We are really looking forward to our first field trip on Friday, November 17! Thank you to all of the parent volunteer drivers who have offered to support us. On last count, I still need one more parent to help drive.

On the same day, there is a pizza lunch offered to everyone. This is a fundraiser that our dedicated PAC has organized. If you would like to order pizza on Friday, November 17, please CLICK HERE to learn more. Last day to order is Tuesday, November 14.


On Friday, Mr. Klarich stepped into our classroom when we were working on our newest post in SpacesEDU for our e-portfolio and was so impressed. Students were asked to choose a piece of writing they felt proud of, share what made them feel proud, and include what they want to improve on in their writing. Take a look at your child’s account in SpacesEDU. Some may still have their post as a draft because they weren’t quite finished.

Some students noticed comments left for them by their parents in a previous post. They were SO excited to see that so thank you so much for taking the time to review and leave a comment.


If your child will be away, I always appreciate an email. The office is requesting that sending an email is a more efficient way for them to record absences and they much prefer it over leaving a voice mail on the school main line. Please email Thank you for supporting our office staff with this request.


The weather is turning. It’s a great idea to have a change of clothes for your child at school. Please bring a labelled bag at your earliest convenience. Thank you.

Also, please click here to check Burnaby District’s information on school related closures.

Deep Gratitude

Last week, I checked to see how many families open these email notifications to learn about what we covered the past week. Wow, my heart was so warmed and touched by the high percentage. Thank you SO much for your interest and for being my supportive partner in your child’s learning. You made me feel valued for the time I spend on writing these weekly blog posts. I am deeply grateful for you.

If there is something more you would like to see, please let me know. These are written for you so you can be informed and more importantly, so you can extend your child’s learning at home. The more support your child gets at home, the more they develop a love for lifelong learning and develop the habit of having a curious mind that is a critical thinker (one of our core competencies) who reflects on their learning (another one of our core competencies). As they share what they are learning about, they have an opportunity to practice their communication skills (yes, yet another core competency).

One way to think of these core competencies are what some say are 21st century skills. This is such a very important part of our curriculum! Learn more here.

I feel so blessed to be your child’s teacher. They bring me such joy every time I see them! I love seeing you during morning drop off and pick up too! 🙂

Enjoy the rest of the long weekend!

With a heart full of gratitude, Ms. Chan

Dear families,

It’s hard to believe we already spent 20% of our school year together! It is a pure joy to spend every day with your children. They make me feel so happy and well loved!

We are a community.

We meet as a community every single morning during our Community Circle time. This is one of my favourite times of our day after Heart Time because we get to share our stories. We always share how we are feeling and often something we feel grateful for. The more we learn about each other, the better we can understand each other. Biologically, we are over 99% the same but it is our history, culture and families, upbringing and environment, experiences and individuality that make us so unique.

Did you know that being in a positive state, our brain is 31% more productive than when it is at negative, neutral, or stressed? Happiness researchers have also found that gratitude leads to higher baseline levels of happiness. We learn better when we are feeling positive and have filled our hearts with spending time with people who bring us joy right from the beginning of our day!

So when we meet to connect during Heart Time (soft start) and in our Community Circle, it sets us up for an optimal level of learning together.

How to support at home: Talk about your understanding of community. What is a community? What does it mean to be a part of a community? How do you contribute to the communities you are in? How can they contribute to being a part of the communities they are in (e.g., school, sports teams, clubs, outside of school activities, families, etc.)

In Social Studies, we started learning about what makes a community by brainstorming. This was a starting point with some of our ideas shared. Click on the following links if you’d like to learn more about the curricular competencies and content learning standards for Social Studies for grade 2 and grade 3.

We are mathematicians.

We started learning about number concepts and place value. We learned the difference between a digit and a number. Digits are 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9. Digits become a number when we give the digit a value. We created our own place value charts and using a deck of cards, worked with partners to compare who had the larger number.

How to support at home:

  • Gr 2 – Quantities to 100 practice: Flip over 2 cards to make a number. Flip over 2 more cards for a second number.
    • Compare. Which number is bigger/smaller?
    • How many tens? How many ones?
    • Flip over two more cards for a 3rd number. Put these 3 numbers in order from smallest to biggest.
  • Gr 3 – Quantities to 1 000 practice: Flip over 3 cards to make a number. Flip over 3 more cards for a second number. Flip over 3 more cards for a third number. Then ask the following:
    • Compare and order the numbers – Which number is the largest? Smallest?
    • How many hundreds, tens, ones in the first number, second number, and third number?
    • What is the value of the hundreds, tens or ones in each number?

Please check out our We Are Mathematicians page to see the differences in learning outcomes for grade 2 and 3.

We are readers.

On Wednesday, it was pajama day! 

In the afternoon, we built forts to read under. We had so much fun!

How to support at home: Continue to model and foster a love for reading. At this age, children still enjoy reading and sharing books with their parents. Visit the public library regularly. We are blessed that the McGill Library is nearby.

We are artists.


Thanks to Ms. Kapusta, we finished our zentangle pumpkins and cats and it is up in the hallway for everyone to enjoy since last week! On Hallowe’en, we also made jack o’ lantern bookmarks practicing following directions and folding.

Hallowe’en Experiences

Thank you to everyone for your generous contribution to our Hallowe’en party! We had so much fun on Tuesday! Ms. Santorelli, Ms. Kapusta, and I were very proud of their Dem Bones dance! If you haven’t checked it out already, I uploaded the video (thanks to Ms. Kapusta for taking it) on SpacesEDU. All parents should have access now.

After Hallowe’en, we worked on reflecting on our day by writing in our journals. We are learning to brainstorm ideas first and then write paragraphs with more details including more thoughts and feelings. I am proud that so many have shown improvement in their writing already! We will be uploading a sample of our writing in SpacesEDU, reflecting on our writing progress, and setting  personal goals. This practice will help us develop our core competencies of communication and reflective thinking.

How to support at home: When you do something as a family, have conversations about what your child thought and how they felt about it. This way, when it comes to their journal writing or talking about the books they read (especially when we get into our Reading Groups), they will have practice thinking and sharing about their thoughts and feelings.

  • What did you think about _____? It was fun/awesome/great because _____.
  • How did it make you feel and why?
  • What are you grateful for?
  • Share something specific that made you laugh or brought you joy.

ADST: We are technology wizards!

Almost everyone has memorized their login usernames and passwords, thank you! Please help them memorize it so they can login as soon as possible. This week, we practiced becoming more proficient at using the tools in Word to make our names bigger, bolder, italicized, highlighted, etc. We now know how to rename a file. We also learned how to add an image and resize it so that it keeps its proportion. Next, we will be learning how to add text boxes. All of these skills will prepare them for when I teach them how to use PowerPoint so they can create powerful slides to present their Passion Projects.

Since your child has an O365 account, they can use it at home. Please feel free to sit with your child and get them to show you what they have learned so far. Any extra time at home will help them become even more proficient! I love this time because I get to see so many kids step up as experts to help others. They have opportunities to support classmates and develop their leadership skills! They also feel good when they can help.

Soon, we will be starting to talk about Passion Projects. This is one of my other favourite things to offer. Last year, all but one student said this was their favourite thing to do in school! If you wish, you can start brainstorming and talking to your child about what they may be interested to research and learn more about.

Bowling on Friday, November 17

We apologize for the inconvenience of bowling not being added to School Cash Online until recently. If you can help drive, we would greatly appreciate your support! We are looking forward to our first field trip!

Hip Hop

You may have read that Hip Hop will resume this week. Unfortunately, it will be delayed. Once we have final dates, we will let you know. Thank you for your patience. We know your children are looking forward to dancing again!


Thank you for your continued support at home. The more you can bring in what we are learning about in school, the more it solidifies their learning. I appreciate you so much!

Gratefully, Ms. Chan

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