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

Dear families,

Today is Earth Day and our Jump Rope for Heart event. To learn more, click here to visit our school website.

On Wednesday, classes all over Burnaby were invited to attend an Indigenous lesson. It was a Virtual Drum Circle and online teachings with honoured Guest Xwaluputhut, Patrick Aleck. As I was away this day, please ask your child about what they experienced and learned.

The Secret Pocket

Here is a summary from Amazon:

Mary was four years old when she was first taken away to the Lejac Indian Residential School. It was far away from her home and family. Always hungry and cold, there was little comfort for young Mary. Speaking Dakelh was forbidden and the nuns and priest were always watching, ready to punish. Mary and the other girls had a genius idea: drawing on the knowledge from their mothers, aunts and grandmothers who were all master sewers, the girls would sew hidden pockets in their clothes to hide food. They secretly gathered materials and sewed at nighttime, then used their pockets to hide apples, carrots and pieces of bread to share with the younger girls.

Based on the author’s mother’s experience at residential school, The Secret Pocket is a story of survival and resilience in the face of genocide and cruelty. But it’s also a celebration of quiet resistance to the injustice of residential schools and how the sewing skills passed down through generations of Indigenous women gave these girls a future, stitch by stitch.

After listening to this story, children may have more questions. Please feel free to have a conversation with your child about their thoughts and feelings about  the many hardships that children experienced in Residential Schools. Conversations at home and school are an important part of truth and reconciliation.

We are poets!


Students were introduced to the Haiku as a Japanese structure. The traditional haikus had three lines. The first and last line has five syllables while the middle line has seven. This was great review and practice for how to count syllables.

We read Hi, Koo!: A Year of Seasons. This was a book that offers 26 haikus about the four seasons. The author moves away from the traditional 5-7-5 syllable structure because english words typically have more than one syllable per word.

I loved the way the poet painted pictures for our minds to see. We are almost all finished our good copies which will go on display in our classroom soon!

I hope you enjoyed writing a poem WITH your child during our student led conferences!

We are mathematicians.


I am always so impressed with how quickly children learn. We were introduced to division concepts on Monday and by Friday, almost all were experts!

Students really love learning together to explore concepts. So many core competencies are practiced when they learn together: communication, collaboration, critical thinking, personal and social responsibility. It truly is heartwarming to see them work so well as partners.

How to support at home: Give a division question that will not result in having a remainder. For example: 20 ÷ 4 = 5 or 12 ÷ 3 = 4

What this represents is: The total number (20) ÷ the number of groups (4) = equals the number in each group (5)

Your child then would draw four circles to represent the number of groups and then divide the total number (20) equally into the groups to discover there would be 5 in each group.

We also learned there are three other ways to write the equation. Take a look at the images for how and ask your child to show you what they learned so far.

We are artists!

This week, students finished off their springtime animal art and I couldn’t be prouder of everyone’s work! We started off with the Read Aloud: “Sometimes I Feel Like a Fox” by Danielle Daniel, a story which gives an introduction to the Anishinaabe tradition of totem animals. We spoke about the meaning of the bear and rabbit in our art. In the story, the bear is described as brave and confident, and the rabbit as creative and adventurous. Students then finished off painting their flowers, adding “texture” to their animals, and glueing their finished art onto coloured background paper. In this project, students “developed processes and technical skills in a variety of art forms to refine artistic abilities” (BC Curriculum Arts Education 2/3.) 

We also worked on finishing up our Spring Break paragraphs (where we focused on the skills of sequencing events and revising our work)  and “selfie” drawings. I’m hoping to have these done soon and to share them here with you. Although my time is limited with your kids, I always look forward to making new art with them every week! They bring such enthusiasm, creativity, and care into everything they create and it always shows in the final product.
We are athletes.
Students enjoyed their lacrosse lessons last week. Please ask them all about it!
Vancouver Aquarium Field Trip on Friday, May 10
The notice went home on Friday. Click here to download a PDF version. Thank you to the fundraising efforts of our PAC, the cost of the field trip was subsidized.
Unfortunately, the bus cannot accommodate parent volunteers due to space since we have three classes going. We will need one or two parents to help drive other parent supervisors. We will pay for your parking, thank you! We appreciate you!
If your child orders from the hot lunch program, a bagged lunch will be prepared for them on this day.
Whenever I think of you, my heart is always so full of gratitude. Thank you for your continued support at home as our partners! It really is so hard to believe that we are in our last term together. I tell your children every morning that I am glad to see them, I love them, and I appreciate how they bring me such joy. Just typing this instantly warmed my heart and brought an instant smile to my face! 🙂
Looking forward to having yet another fantastic and funtastic week with your children! Have a great start to your week too!
In appreciation, Ms. Chan
Dates to Note
  • Monday, April 29 – Pro-D Day; students do not attend
  • Friday, May 17 – Sports Day & early dismissal
  • Friday, May 31 – 2 PM Early dismissal

Dear families,

My heart was feeling so full as I observed your children during our Student Led Conferences last Thursday. They took so much care and time to explain their learning with you. Thank you for giving your gift of time and attention to encourage and uplift them for the hard work they have invested in their learning this year. I am deeply grateful for your continued support at home.

Summer Session at Kitchener

Registration for summer session opens this Tuesday, April 16 at 10 AM! There are a lot of engaging courses offered!

Some courses fill up very quickly so if you plan to register, I highly recommend you plan to do so right at 10 AM to avoid disappointment. This year, both Mr. Hunter and I will be the Site Supervisors at Kitchener. We are excited to work together to make summer session a fun place to be!

For more information, CLICK HERE.

From Ms. Kapusta

This week, we continued to work on our springtime animal art project, this time focusing on the elements of art: texture and contrast.

Students picked a bunny or bear template and filled it in with sharpie lines to create texture-like fur. They were asked to do this in black sharpie so that when the animal is glued onto their colourful flower backgrounds, it will create contrast.

The class has also been working on some sequencing in Language Arts, retelling what they did during Spring Break using the terms “first, then, next, finally” to share their highlights in order in a paragraph. To complement this, students then drew “selfie” pictures from their Spring Break. 

We are athletes.

This upcoming week, we have lacrosse lessons on Tuesday and Thursday. Please have your child dress appropriate for movement and exercise.

We are scientists.

On Wednesday, we invited Naomi from Douglas College to do an in class field trip. She is the coordinator from the Institute of Urban Ecology from Douglas College. We learned about what it means to live in a coastal temperate rainforest and how that differs from a tropical rainforest. She showed us samples of different leaves we can find including a sample of a large maple leaf. They loved how BIG it was! Then we had an opportunity to go to Willingdon Park to look for things on our scavenger hunt sheet. We learned a lot and will be looking forward to more signs of spring in our neighbourhood!

Next Field Trip

We are excited to join Ms. Santorelli’s and Ms. Tai’s classes for a visit to the Vancouver Aquarium on Friday, May 10! The notice will go home this week once it has been added to School Cash Online. The cost will be $11 per student thanks to the fundraising efforts of our much valued PAC. We will need parent volunteers, please. Thank you!

Your children bring me and each other so much joy. I really do love and adore them. Thank you for sharing them with us and for your partnership in their overall development at school.

Gratefully, Ms. Chan

Dates to Note

Thursday, April 18 – Class photos
Monday, April 29 – Pro-D Day; students do not attend
Friday, May 17 – Sports Day & early dismissal
Friday, May 31 – 2 PM Early dismissal

Dear families,

It has been a great first week back after spring break so far reconnecting and listening to our stories about how we spent the break!

We are poets.

This week, we started exploring our creative side as poets. We started the week with writing a poem titled “Who am I?” and then followed up with writing poems about our favourite things. Poetry is a great way to develop our personal awareness and identity (which are our core competencies we aim to develop every day).

We are looking forward to sharing them with you at our Student Led Conference this Thursday!

We are mathematicians.

We are having fun learning about multiplication concepts. Students have learned to demonstrate their understanding in multiple ways. Check them out!

We are artists.

Ms. Kapusta has been working hard to plan different art experiences for your children. Here are some updates from this week:

This week, we hung up students’ finished tulip origami art in the classroom and we can’t wait for families to see them during student led conferences next week!

Students also worked on their springtime animal art (inspired by this blog post: We finished making our bold and bright backgrounds featuring different flowers blooming. We then painted over the marker and crayon using water, which created a beautiful water colour effect.

We talked about value, an element of art, and how colour changes (it becomes lighter) based on how much water is added when painting. Next week we will be learning about texture and contrast as we create black and white animals to place over top of the paintings.

FROM March 12

This week, students finished their origami tulip art from last week. Students experimented with different sizes, styles, and colours of origami tulips and then glued them down onto a nature-themed background they decorated for a 3D effect. Some students even played with texture, using pine needles they found outside as grass. We also began some springtime bunnies inspired by this blog post: This week we worked on creating beautiful, bold, bright backgrounds featuring different flowers blooming. We talked about how bright colours will pop in contrast to the black and white bunny that will be placed on top. We also talked about the technique of using markers and crayons as we’ll be painting over their drawings with water to play with the value of colour. Stay tuned for photos of both the origami tulips and springtime bunnies, and please have a restful and refreshing Spring Break. 😊

FROM March 7

This week, students finished their mini spring weavings. By the end of the day, many students had made at least 2-4 separate paper weavings, which was great practice! It takes time and patience to build up the dexterity to weave using our fine motor skills and to get a grasp of the “over, under” pattern, and it was impressive to watch everyone’s resilience. Afterwards, we explored the process of making origami tulips. Students then glued them onto paper for a 3D effect and decorated the backgrounds. These will be hung up just in time for spring around the corner! “Learning is holistic, reflexive, reflective, experiential, and relational (focused on connectedness, on reciprocal relationships, and a sense of place) (First Peoples Principles of Learning).” Before we made our tulips, we talked about the signs of spring we’re beginning to notice and what we’re looking forward to in this upcoming season.

We are excited for you to come into the class during Student Led Conferences to see it with your own eyes and for your child to explain the process and their reflections.




Student Led Conferences

Please see my last email regarding sign up for Thursday, April 11 from 3:00 to 6:00 PM. Click here to go to bookings if you do not have an appointment yet. We are looking forward to having you in our class!

Thank you for your continued support at home. We appreciate you!

Sincerely, Ms. Chan and Ms. Kapusta

Upcoming dates

  • Friday, April 12 – 2 PM Early dismissal
  • Thursday, April 18 – Class photos
  • Monday, April 29 – Pro-D day; school not in session
  • Friday, May 10 – Field trip to Vancouver Aquarium; we will need parent volunteers, please
  • Friday, May 17 – Sports Day; early dismissal at 12:30 PM
  • Friday, May 31 – 2 PM Early dismissal


Welcome March!

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Dear families,

We are athletes.

Skating on Monday was SO much fun! I felt so proud of the improvements in just two sessions. Thank you again to our parent volunteer drivers for your generosity of time. We appreciate you!

Hip Hop

This upcoming week, Hip Hop returns! Please have your child dress in comfortable clothing and shoes that will help them be more successful in dancing freely. We have Hip Hop lessons every day from Monday to Thursday. Once we find out what our theme colours are, I will let you know so they can wear those colours for our performances. Our dress rehearsal will be on Monday, March 11 in the morning and the final performance for families to enjoy after recess. All are welcome to attend that performance!

We are mathematicians.

We went back to review subtraction to check for understanding and also learned about compensating. This is when you adjust one number by adding to it to simplify the subtraction process. It is to make the equation easier to mentally compute. When you look at the example in the picture, you can see that it is easier to subtract 10 than 9.

How to support at home: Watch the YouTube video on Compensation together. Then give your child some questions to practice to ensure they have a solid understanding.

Continue to have your child practice addition and subtraction facts to increase fluency and accuracy to work towards memorization of all facts. The time they invest in memorizing will surely make a difference in their intermediate grades. This goes a long way in helping them feel successful when learning about computations (addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division). Thank you for your time!

We are artists.

From Ms. Kapusta:

This week, students reflected on their creative process in art this term. We successfully completed many different kinds of art this term, including: paper snowflakes, paper chains, 3D snowflakes, penguins, a communal winter scene, New Year’s Resolution tape art, Lunar New Year dragon drawings, wax crayon painted hearts, and heart weavings!

Students used their reflective thinking skills and shared what they thought they did well and why (their strengths), and what they would do differently next time (their stretches).

Using our new weaving skills, we also began weaving on some mini spring-themed paper weaving looms, which we will finish next week.

School Around the World

For Social Studies, we talked about aspects of life shared by and common to peoples and cultures. One area we started diving into was schools.

How to support at home: Ask your child about what they learned so far from the book. Also, if your school experience is different from here in Canada, have a conversation about similarities and differences.

Pink Shirt Day

Pink Shirt Day was on Wednesday, February 28. As we learned the history about how it began and why we acknowledge the day, we emphasized the values of kindness and compassion, acceptance, and belonging. While these ideas are crucial as a foundation to our conversation about the day, we deepened the discussion to include homophobic bullying, which is the specific reason for commemorating the day.

At the February Celebration of Learning, we enjoyed presentations about Black History Month by the grade 6/7s in our buddy class (Mr. Kenney), listened to poems about friendship, and listened to a book called My Shadow is Purple by Scott Stuart, to name a few. There were many powerful performances with a clear message to have the courage to celebrate the shine in us.

Primary Days of Music

This is a longstanding Burnaby School District tradition where all grade 2 and 3 students at participating schools will gather with other schools to sing together and perform two songs. Thank you to Mr. Turpin, students will be performing on Thursday, March 14.

How to support at home: Play these songs and have your child practice singing plus the actions. Here are YouTube links for EACH of the songs:

Term Two Report Cards

Report cards will be available on Wednesday, April 3. Just like in Term One, you will not be receiving a paper copy. Instead, you will be given access to view and save as a PDF from the MyEd BC website. If you need your password reset, please go to our school website to request for a password reset or click here.

Mark your calendars

  • Monday, March 4 to 8 – Hip Hop lessons
  • Monday, March 11 – Whole school performance (AM)
  • Thursday, March 14 – Primary Days of Music for all grade 2/3s at Kitchener
  • Monday, March 18 to Monday, April 1 – Spring break, school closure, and Easter Monday
  • Thursday, April 11 – Student Led Conferences from 3 to 6 PM (Families are invited to celebrate learning. Your child will lead the conversation and show you what they’ve learned so far.)
  • Friday, April 12 – Early dismissal at 2 PM
  • Monday, April 29 – Pro-D day. No school for students.
  • Friday, May 10 – We will be going to the Vancouver Aquarium by school bus with Ms. Santorelli and Ms. Tai’s classes. We will need parent volunteers to help supervise. Thank you!
  • Friday, May 17 – Sports Day and early dismissal during lunch

We are grateful for your continued support at home.

In appreciation, Ms. Chan

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