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

Dear Division 6 family,

It’s been a rewarding week celebrating numerous Rock Inquiry presentations! We have enjoyed so much varied learning this week! We learned about soft rocks, the oldest rock, crystals, geologists, and so much more! I love this type of inquiry learning where students are offered a choice in what they want to learn about. They are much more engaged and motivated to learn! We saw presentations that included videos, rock jokes, their own artwork, and even prizes for Q & A in order to hold their audience’s attention! One of my favourite parts is at the end when we all get to celebrate the presenter by sharing “stars” (positive feedback on what they did well) and “wishes” (constructive feedback on how they can improve). Their feedback was exactly what I would have shared! I felt so proud of how we celebrated each other.

Finding Lost Smiles
This is a story was written by my friends, Don and Vickie Epps.

From Amazon: Can you lose your smile? Sam has to answer that question, and see if he can help two new friends too. Finding Lost Smiles is a heartwarming story about helping friends, having good and bad days, and understanding the power you have to make the world around you better. Join Sam on his journey to help others find their lost smiles.

Then students were given the choice to write a short summary and their personal response or use their creativity to write a story that is inspired by this one. I am pleased to showcase a story written by Olivia H. Click here to read.


Here is an amazing opportunity to win $1000 from Big Life Journal. They will donate to your child’s favourite charity in your child’s name! Click here to learn more.

Climate Challenge
As a family, please continue to encourage your child to review the Climate Challenge. Click here for a digital copy. If you need a paper copy, I have a couple left. I believe a couple students forgot to bring theirs home. I asked TJ to record a short video to inspire us to keep going. I will show them the video on Monday!

Please ensure that your child bring a mask to school every day. Even if they do not wear one, we can be better prepared for any unforeseen situations where they may need one quickly. TIP: Have an extra one to leave in the class so just in case they forget to bring one, they still have one. Students are asked to wear their masks when they visit the library. We have Library days every Friday. Next week, since we have Pro-D day on Friday, we will have Library book exchange on Thursday, November 26 instead. Mrs. Papapanagiotou has been teaching us about different genres. We are encouraging your child to explore further. It is fantastic when students love a certain genre but it is even better when they explore different ones to expand their reading horizons! Who knows? They may learn to love a few different genres!

Reading 20 Minutes Per Day
We had a discussion about the impact of the number of minutes children read per day. At this age, we know that many of your children read far more than 20 minutes at home. The difference in the number of minutes is staggering because it compounds! This graphic is likely from the States where they have standardized testing in every grade across their nation but regardless, we can understand that the more a child reads, the better a reader, writer, communicator, and thinker they become. We also would love for your child to learn to love reading and to read for pure enjoyment!

As always, we are here to support you. Please feel free to reach out and write a comment on our blog post! We’d love to hear from you! Thank you for your continued support at home!

Sincerely, Ms. Chan & Ms. Paulich

Hello Div. 6 family!

It’s been a fabulous week! On Tuesday, our amazing PAC delivered our long-awaited sports bins! We are SO grateful to all parents for fundraising so that our students can enjoy the equipment with friends outside. Extra appreciation to the special parents who purchased, put it all together, and delivered the bins. Your time and dedication are valued.

Remembrance Day
On Tuesday, we observed Remembrance Day by a virtual assembly to honour and remember the people and families who served our country to fight for peace. There were contributions from every class. A special thank you to Mr. Greenwood for all his time and effort to put together a compilation video that we viewed. As parents cannot come into the school to enjoy the artwork in the hallways and classrooms, here is a short video we would like to share.

World Kindness Day
On Friday, it was World Kindness Day. As I shared with them, every day should be World Kindness Day. To the left, you will read one of my life mottos. I tweet about this very often. “Through every interaction, we have the opportunity to uplift others through our love and kindness to make someone’s day a brighter one.” To me, there is no neutral. Your words are either positive and help to make someone’s day better or they don’t. I read them the story Each Kindness. To watch the story read to you, click here. It’s about a girl, Maya, who goes to a new school. On a number of occasions, she makes attempts to be friendly but the others turn away. Eventually, she moves away and Chloe, the character whose perspective we are hearing the story from, desperately wants another opportunity to show kindness to her. Unfortunately, it’s too late and she never gets it.

I daresay that children’s picture books have a happy ending 99% of the time. This story doesn’t offer that but instead, a hard lesson, one we can all learn from. This brings me back to my life motto. I try hard to live by what I believe in. It is in every interaction that we have an opportunity to uplift others. This is so important to me because the opposite is true… in ONE interaction, we also have the power to negatively affect and tear down the person we speak to. Do we make mistakes? Yes, we do but if we live our lives striving for positively touching others, as well as the belief that we can be better today than we were yesterday and better tomorrow than we were today, then we are on the right track. In our class, we notice, name, and nurture kind and thoughtful behaviours. Let me tell you, your children demonstrate it throughout the day and every day. We are so blessed to be in each other’s presence to learn together and enjoy each other’s company. My heart is often warmed by what I hear and see.

After the story, children were given the opportunity for a free write as a response to this story. There were so many heartwarming examples. I wanted to share this with you. Thank you, Iman, for giving me permission to share what was in your heart with us all.

Each day there is an opportunity to be kind to each other. This is important because you will have a meaningful life of happiness and appreciation. In your heart, it grows and grows with appreciation for one another. When you are kind to someone, you feel a rush of gratefulness, happiness, and kindness in you.

When I show kindness, it makes me want to do more and more. It can be as simple as saying hi to someone. You might not realize how lovely kindness feels when you show it.

Another example is every day you have, every moment you live, every hour you show kindness, you are giving kindness. But how? How is that showing kindness? To me, this means the world gives me all this time to show my gratefulness, thankfulness, and kindness to the world you live in, and to the people that live in it with you.

So what kindness means to me is every day when you give a little kindness to people, you are giving much, much more. Every action you do for kindness is going a long, long way.

For us, it is in these kinds of life lessons that are the most important lessons to learn about themselves, their place, and the impact they can have in this world.

We have continued to enjoy watching our Mystery Doug videos. This week: What’s at the bottom of the ocean?

On Monday, we will have our first rock inquiry presentations! Click here to review and refer to the criteria that we co-constructed as a class. Please have your child practice as part of their preparation. Thank you for your support at home!

Climate Challenge
As a family, please continue to encourage your child to review the Climate Challenge. Click here for a digital copy.

We practiced rounding numbers this week. Have you ever heard of the flipped classroom? Please watch this 3 minute video that explains! It is when students watch the video at home and then when we come back to class, we have more time to discuss and learn. So, let’s try it! Please watch this video on rounding: Math Antics – Rounding. He does a great job of explaining the rounding of numbers.

Office Hours
Thank you to everyone who met with me on Monday or contacted me to discuss your child’s progress. If you would still like an opportunity, please let me know. As always, we are here to work together to support your child’s learning. Thank you for sharing your child with us this year. We are so blessed!

Gratefully, Ms. Chan and Ms. Paulich

Updates from Nov 2 to 6


Dear Div. 6 families,

Your children fill me with joy every time I see them. I remind them of this often! Last year, many of my students used the class blog as a way to practice their reading as this gives them a real reason to read. It also provided families with more conversation starters as a way to be more engaged in their child’s learning at school. With all learning at school, there are always opportunities at home to augment, dive deeper, and explore the concepts taught further. Ask your child what else they are curious about. What are some “I wonder” statements. Then together, you can research the questions. This fosters the skill and desire of becoming a lifelong and independent learner. Have fun and be curious together!

We hope you had a good Hallowe’en weekend. We know that some families participated in a collaborative effort to clean up our school property after last weekend. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you for your time and dedication to take care of our school in this way. We appreciate you!

Every day during our morning announcements, there is a lesson based on our school-wide monthly theme. This month, we are focusing on gratitude. They learn a new mindset tip about gratitude each day and are offered a daily challenge. Then we augment the school message by continuing the theme in class. During our Community Circle time every day, we share how we are feeling along with the question or topic of the day. I must tell you that every day, my heart is either warmed or touched by the things they share. On Monday, they shared the most wonderful things about gratitude.

We followed this up by watching The Gratitude Jar by Kristin Wiens and then created our own gratitude jars! They loved working on these. I’m so sorry but I forgot to take a picture of them before leaving school on Friday! Feel free to ask your child about this story and their gratitude jars! We will be filling these with things we are grateful for.

We are responsible citizens who care for our earth. On Wednesday, TJ from BC Sustainability Association presented a virtual workshop on Climate Change. We took sketch notes on what we learned. This is the first year I have introduced sketch notes to my students and the more we use this strategy, the more I am seeing their value in this type of notetaking! I know this has gained more momentum in the education world in more recent years. Please feel free to read an article (video included) called Why Teachers Are So Excited About the Power of Sketchnoting. I wonder what other areas in your child’s life where sketchnoting can be useful at home?

As part of this program, your child is offered an opportunity to participate in a 4-week challenge with the possibilities to win some prizes. A booklet was sent home on Friday. Click here for the digital version (PDF). Please take your time to carefully and thoughtfully review this with your child. They do not need to complete all of the challenges. We learned that Canada is a country that uses more energy than the average compared to other countries! So this initiative is for children and families to learn how we can reduce our carbon footprint. If we build this mindset of taking care of our earth and related habits now, it will make a difference overall.

We are scientists and presenters. On Thursday, we co-constructed our criteria for our Oral Presentation for our rock inquiry. What does that mean? It means that we came up with the criteria together. To access the single-point rubric as a Word document, it can be found in O365 Teams > Assignments > Rock Inquiry or click here. The first presentations will begin this Friday. We cannot listen to everyone on the same day so if your child still needs more time, no worries! They can have more time! In order to prepare, they need to practice their presentation at home a few times in front of you, their pets, stuffed animals, or a mirror. HINT: It is great feedback to videotape and then watch it to see how they can improve. Feel free to “mark” your child or have them self-assess!

Here is the Mystery Doug video we watched this past week: How were emojis created? Feel free to watch as a family with siblings! Enjoy!

We are readers and communicators. For Language Arts, we are improving in our Say Something strategy. We have now moved to groups of three to talk about the books we are reading. I am so pleased with the improvements I am seeing in our double-entry response journals too! Daily homework: Read 20-30 minutes a night and this includes having a conversation about a part of the book that they had a connection to or resonated with them. Besides reading, this sharing piece is just as important to help develop their critical thinking and communication skills. Ask probing questions to try to draw more. For example, “Tell me more. So what makes you think that? How does that make you feel and why? What else does that remind you of?”

We are writers. We did some creative story writing too! I used these doors to spark their creativity. They had the choice to use one or the other or both! I just love how enthusiastic your children are. I am absolutely sure some of them would have loved to stay in to continue writing during their recess if I let them! It brought me so much joy to see their excitement when I gave them more time to write after recess. They are such keen learners and hard workers! Definitely gave “today’s best”!

We are mathematicians. We now have covered all of the place value they need to know, from the millions place to thousandths place. We updated our personal mini-booklets. Our goal was to ensure they have a positive attitude about math so they can be successful, feel happy, and excited for math because it is fun! I believe this beginning to be a success. It takes time. Thank you for your patience and trust. Now that they have a positive mindset to set them up for further success, we can move on. I recognize that this is not the traditional way that we or your child may have learned math in the past but I have found this way to be highly effective because of the foundation we are building in their understanding of numbers and mindset. Having a growth mindset is a huge part of your child’s learning in school and life! For place value review, please have your child use their Khan Academy account. They can find their login information in O365 OneNote > child’s name > Handouts > Accounts. FYI: This is also where they will find their login to All The Right Type (our typing program) and Epic. Please encourage them to practice their typing at home too. Thank you!

We are grateful people. Fridays are our Celebration Fridays when we celebrate big and small things we are grateful for. We do celebrate throughout our day every day too! Yesterday morning so touched my heart and warmed it at the same time. In my past role in Staff Development, I had the privilege to visit many classrooms and schools across our entire district. I can honestly say that there is something special about our Gilmore Community. Your children are happy, respectful, kind, grateful, enthusiastic learners, and the list goes on. They are truly such a pleasure to teach! They sure know how to make a teacher feel appreciated and loved!

We are artists. Ms. Paulich has been amazing at bringing out your child’s creativity through art. Here’s a taste!

Grateful for you! Whenever I have an opportunity to share with my educator friends from around the world about my experience at Gilmore with you and your wonderful children so far, I feel instant joy. Thank YOU for sharing your child with us and for being our partner in your child’s education. They are who they are because of your family beliefs and values taught and modelled at home. We appreciate your continued support! As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please reach out. My daughter’s ringette practice has been cancelled this Monday, November 9 so I am offering “Zoom office hours” for parents who may want to touch base from 7-8pm. Your child is welcome to be there too! It will be on a first-come, first-served basis. This will likely mean you will need to sit in the waiting room so feel free to do other things as you wait. Please let me know if you are interested to chat so I can allot a timeframe and you won’t have to wait as long. Email me at Thank you!

Please feel free to leave a comment! We love reading them. We would be happy to hear from you! Scroll to the top to find the “Leave a comment” link right under the title of this post.

Gratefully, Ms. Chan and Ms. Paulich

Some great news! This past week in the Burnaby Now, a story was printed about my student from last year. She published a book she wrote in class as part of her Passion Project. Click here to read.

Dear Div 6 family,

I really do see us as a family who comes together to not only spend time but to learn about each other and enjoy our company. Your child may have shared with you that one of our guinea pigs, Coconut, passed early Thursday morning. I thought it was going to be a difficult day at work because I was feeling so sad but as I shared with your children, I also knew I would be surrounded by people who make me feel happier. I knew being around your children would lift my spirits, that their smiles would bring a smile to my face, and their love and care would put a patch on my broken heart. They did just that. 🙂

As you know, every morning, we begin our days with our Community Circle time. We have Thankful Thursdays to remind us there are many things we can be thankful for. Everyone takes a turn to share something they are thankful for. I am a firm believer that gratitude leads to greater feelings of happiness so I see many things as gifts I am grateful for. Every day is a gift. Every interaction is a gift. Every child is a gift for me to teach and get to know better through every interaction. I shared how grateful I am because of how happy they make me feel every day. Thank you for having such wonderful children that bring me such true joy!

There were many lessons I hope your child took away from this: It is okay to not feel okay. Loss and sadness is a real feeling. Even as young children, they can provide valuable support to adults like their teacher, which helps them see their importance and how they can play a big role in caring and comforting others with their words and actions. I spoke about “today’s best” and how I may not be able to give them my usual “today’s best” but I will commit to giving them “today’s best”. It is unrealistic to believe that we can give 100% all of the time but if they can give the best they can at that moment, that is all we can ask for.

Friday and Hallowe’en
Friday was a fun day! Every Friday, we begin our day with Mrs. Pappapanagiotou for our Book Exchange. Feel free to pop that into your calendar so you can remind your child to return their books. When we returned to class, it was time for our Costume Parade. So many cool costumes! After that, we broke into groups for our Cup Challenge. Here, they were given 10 cups with 4 strings attached to an elastic band. They were asked not to use their hands and can only communicate through gestures and hand signals (no voices!). Their challenge was to work as a team to copy the structure on the board. They had so much fun and realized that they HAD to work as a team or the elastic would not stretch well enough to release the cup! In the afternoon, the entire school played BINGO with announcers calling the numbers of the PA. I wish you could see the excitement and smiles on their faces! So much fun!

We learned about decimals this week. In grade 5, they need to know their decimal places up to the thousandths place. We added to our Place Value game boards and practiced understanding decimals with a partner. We watched a couple videos to augment my lessons: Khan Academy and Math Antics. Please feel free to watch it with your child to review at home. We will be starting addition soon so please have your child review their addition facts at home so they will become more fluent. If they have an iPad at home, you can download a free app called Math Tappers: Find Sums. It’s great!

Students are on their way to diving further into their rock inquiry question. If your child has extra time at home, I encouraged them to work on their presentation.

As part of our Science curriculum, this Wednesday afternoon, we will have a virtual workshop with TJ from BC Sustainable Energy Association on Climate Change (over Zoom). Please click here to view the notice that provides more information about the 4-week home program.

As always, thank you so much for your continued support at home. We appreciate you! If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out!

Gratefully, Ms. Chan & Ms. Paulich

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