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

Dear families,

These weeks are going by so quickly! There is so much to savour in our last few weeks. It has been such a sweet year together with your sweet children.

We can reflect.

One of our core competencies is reflective thinking. One of my favourite quotes is by John Dewey “We do not learn from experience … we learn from reflecting on experience.”

There is so much to learn about ourselves, our self identity, and how to continue to grow. One of the best ways to do this is through reflection. Last week, your child had an opportunity to reflect on their learning this term, share what they are proud of, and to set a couple of goals for next year. Please feel free to ask your child what they wrote. What are you curious about in terms of their reflections on learning? Ask them!

This week, they will share what they think will help me be a better teacher and what they think have been the biggest life lessons I taught them. I love asking this question! It tells me a lot about whether my core values come through in my teaching. I am constantly in pursuit of betterment. I love learning and reflecting on my learning. Even after 25 years, I am still curious about being a better teacher and leader in the school so I read a lot, listen to a lot of podcasts, and follow people who inspire me to be better every day. If you have any feedback for me, please share with me too. I would be open to learning about what you see as my strengths and areas to improve. Thank you for your time.

Invitation: Ask your child what are the top three life lessons you taught them. I asked my young adult children this a couple of years ago and it was very interesting to hear their answer. Their life lessons learned were different from me and my husband. I wonder what they would say to you about what they learned from you so far in their young life.

We are mathematicians.

We are learning about money. I know many people don’t carry or use money as much as we used to but it is helpful for your children to understand financial literacy.

We sang the song “Canada in my Pocket” by Michael Mitchell and watched “How Money Is Made“. Feel free to watch together at home and have some conversations about money.

We are scientists.

Don’t blink or you may miss this!

The new ladybug phase where they are white and clear happens so fast!
One morning, the ladybugs emerged and you can see its white clear state. Then after only an hour or two it started developing. It has black dots (picture 3).


We recorded our observations in our ladybug journal.

We are artists.

From Ms. Kapusta: It’s been a busy last few weeks, and I can’t believe that May is already finished and we’re onto June! In the last few weeks students have worked on a variety of art projects, including:
  • Their beautiful and brightly coloured copper thunderbird paintings inspired by the Canadian Indigenous artist Norval Morisseau
  • Hand drawn mandalas, which were an excellent practice in symmetry, adding fine detail, and staying patient through the process
  • Paper sea collages, which were inspired by their recent trip to the aquarium and involved using their fine motor skills and lots of by imagination! Students created starfish, axolotl, sea otters and more, and as always, they went above and beyond with what they created.

Field Trip

  • Fri. June 21 – Revs Bowling and Burnaby Lake picnic (All families are welcome!) We need more parent volunteer drivers, please. If you can drive for a part of the day, please let me know. Perhaps we can share the load. Please email me if you can drive us to the bowling alley OR from the bowling alley to the park OR from the park back to the school. Thank you to the parents who already volunteered. We appreciate you!

My heart is full of gratitude for your support at home.

Gratefully, Ms. Chan

Dear families,

This time of year always has me feeling like I don’t want the school year to end. The relationships and connection I feel with your children are deep. I guess it just can’t be helped when you love and care for them and think about them at night and on the weekends. As I’ve been telling you all year, they bring me such joy and I know they bring each other joy too!

Last week continued to include experiences that brought us joy.

We are communicators and writers. 

We are improving in learning how to write paragraphs. We have a few goals:

  • To write complete sentences that begin with a capital and end with proper punctuation
  • To write sentences that have details that include thoughts and feelings, reasons, explanations, or examples to help paint a picture of what happened.

To support this, we used a single-point rubric to remind us of what we are working towards showing proficiency. This was given to them as a self-reflection so they were encouraged to read their writing to look for proficiency and to make changes to get closer to proficiency. Using rubrics like these make the criteria clear and something they can strive to work towards. Feel free to have your child refer to this if they do any writing at home. It can be simply used like a checklist. For some of your children, you can add something about printing legibly with appropriate sizing and formation of letters, and writing on the lines for neatness. Please let me know if you’d like a PDF copy and I’ll send it to you.

Then they had an opportunity to be paired up with a classmate chosen randomly. When we look at someone else’s writing to assess, there are different skills they learn like many of our core competencies: communication, critical thinking, reflection, personal and social awareness and responsibility. If case you missed it, I shared more about core competencies in last week’s post.

They were encouraged to share strengths (where their writing glowed) and an area to work on (where their writing can grow). I love listening in to their encouraging conversations. I wish you were there to listen too. They were kind and supportive.

We are communicators and listeners.

We played cooperative game where we were split into four teams. Each team was given the same Lego pieces. This is how the game works:

  • Each team sends one person as the communicator.
  • When the game starts, they come to me to look at the secret structure to memorize.
  • They go back to their team with their hands behind their backs to explain how to re-create the structure. They can come back as many times as they wish.
  • The rest of the team works together to make sense of the instructions by the communicator and then they have an opportunity to communicate with each other to collaboratively build the structure. They need to work together to all agree on what they are collectively building.
  • It really challenges them to work on their core competencies: communication skills, critical thinking, personal and social responsibility!

We played a few rounds and I was proud of how each group was able to successfully re-create each structure!

We are scientists.

We saw our ladybugs go from the first stage as larvae into the next stage as a pupa where they stop eating to prepare to become an adult. We have been making observations and recording them in our booklets.

We have also continued to work on our animal research with our partner. Some are creating a poster and others have decided to present using PowerPoint. They are working so well as partners. I am so proud of them!

We are athletes.

As you know from our Student Led Conferences, we regularly do exercises that challenge us. One of the ones they seem to really enjoy is plank so I wanted to show you a picture of us! This really helps build their core muscles. May I encourage you to try some of the exercises we do at home? Feel free to ask them what some that are often chosen. We take turns choosing three exercises each day.





Volunteer Tea

We have been so blessed to have many parents support our learning this year. If you helped on a field trip, for an in-class activity, or volunteered to help at a school event like Pancake breakfast or attended a PAC meeting, please CLICK HERE to fill out the RSVP to let us know you will  join us. To learn more, click here.

Date: Wednesday, June 5
Time: 1:30 to 3:00 PM
Place: Gym

I apologize ahead of time but I will be at a meeting all day. If you are there near the end, I will see you then. We are so grateful for your time and dedication to our learning this year!

Gilmore’s Spring Fair – Community Event

You may know that my last school was Gilmore. It is located at 50 Gilmore Avenue.

You can pre-buy a punch card to save 25% off games (Wed, June 5 is the deadline to pre-buy but you can purchase at the fair). You can also enter a raffle to win $1000, $2500, or $5000.

To learn more, CLICK HERE to go to Gilmore’s website. It is a fun and well attended community event open to everyone! Feel free to invite your friends from other places to join you!

Dates to Note

  • Wed. June 5 – Volunteer Tea
  • Fri. June 7 – Pro-D day; students do not attend
  • Fri. June 7 – Gilmore’s Spring Fair from 5 to 9 PM
  • Fri. June 21 – Revs Bowling and Burnaby Lake picnic (All families are welcome!)

We really appreciate your continued support at home. Grateful for you!

Gratefully, Ms. Chan

Dear families,

I hope you had a lovely weekend! Last Thursday and Friday, I gratefully attended a two-day professional development opportunity called The Empowerment Ecosystem Summit with three leaders in assessment who travel around the world presenting for Solution Tree. With their broad reach, they can clearly see that BC is one of the leaders worldwide in standards based grading with an added focus on core competencies and curricular competencies. We are blessed in Burnaby because we have been a lead district in BC.

We measure student’s understanding of the learning standards based on the proficiency scale (emerging, developing, proficient, and extending), which is what you see on their Learning Updates (also called Report Cards) in the subject areas.

Another very important part of learning is focused on core competencies like communication (communicating and collaboration), thinking (creative, critical, and reflective), and personal and social (awareness and responsibility, positive personal and cultural identity). Here we do not assess their competency using a proficiency scale, but your child will do a self-reflection instead. In our class, I often use the vocabulary of core competencies to make this part of their learning more visible. These are the important 21 century skills that some call “soft skills”. I endorse Simon Sinek‘s take on calling these “human skills” because they need these skills to relate to one another. These skills will directly help them be better social beings which will lead to improved relationships in their lifetime.

How to support at home: Use the same language to point out this learning in themselves. Notice – Name – Nurture: Notice prosocial behaviours. Then name it to nurture it. For example, ask them to use their “critical thinking” brain to come up with solutions to problems or thank them for taking “personal responsibility” for making sure their planner is in the backpack.

Assessment is an area of passion for me. I read and listen to a lot of material on assessment and can talk shop all day with colleagues. There are many aspects to how we support our learners equitably, to accurately measure proficiency, and determine next steps to teach so that all students can increase achievement. My core beliefs in assessment are centered around children feeling empowered to take an active part in ownership over their learning through goal setting, reflection, and self-assessment while offering some choice. This directly increases their investment and engagement.

If you are curious about any of this and would like to unpack it some more, please reach out. I am happy to have a conversation with you to help you better understand.

We are mathematicians.

We continued to solidify our understanding of perimeter and area.

How to support at home: Please ask your child to teach you how to measure perimeter and area. In case they don’t remember, it is important to include the unit of measure (e.g., mm, cm, m, km for perimeter and mm2, cm2, m2, km2 for area).

We are scientists.

We are learning about the ladybugs life cycle! We did our first observation record last week. Tomorrow, I am excited to see how much they have grown since we saw them on Wednesday!

Before we went out for our Wondering Wednesday walk, we used our observation and critical thinking skills. We had a great discussion about maple seeds and how they may have adapted to increase their chance of survival.

How to support at home: Ask your child what they wonder about ladybugs. Feel free to come up with questions together to research. This is a great way to model questioning and researching skills.

Dates to Note

  • Fri. May 31 – Click here to order Pizza for lunch (order by May 28)
  • Fri. May 31 – 2 PM Early dismissal
  • Fri. May 31 – Click here to learn more about our PAC’s Freezie sale
  • Sat. June 1 from 9:30 AM to 4 PM – Hats Off Day. Click here to learn more about this great annual event that happens along Hastings street.
  • Fri. June 7 – Pro-D day; students do not attend
  • Fri. June 21 – Revs Bowling and Burnaby Lake picnic (All families are welcome!)

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

Gratefully, Ms. Chan

Dear families,

Every time I sit down to reflect on the past week, I can’t help but have a heart full of gratitude for the blessing to be your child’s teacher. The love and joy we share along with the enjoyable time we have as we learn together is truly priceless.

Sports Day

Friday was a fun day of teamwork and cooperation through physical activities. For those who were able to see some of the fun, thank you for joining us. We hope your child went home talking about how much they enjoyed their day!

We are readers.

Students have been enjoying reading books on our iPads using EPIC. This is a website that has over 40,000 high interest books to read. Just a reminder that if your child is sick or at home, they can access their account anytime from 7AM to 3PM. Our class code is ycr9510 and their passcode is the first four digits of their pupil number. That’s the same number they use to login to laptops.

We are mathematicians.

We continued to solidify our understanding of perimeter. This week, we were introduced to the concept of how to measure area and how it differs from perimeter.

How to support at home if your child needs extra support for perimeter. Watch this video together and measure the perimeter of some items around the house.

We are researchers.

We started our research on an animal we saw at the Vancouver Aquarium. We were given a partner and everyone worked so hard during their first work period!

We are artists.

From Ms. Kapusta: This week, we finished our Norval Morrisseau art. We painted our copper thunderbirds (last week we learned that Norval’s artwork always involved animals and nature and his Indigenous name, which he received during a healing ceremony, was “copper thunderbird”). We painted with tempura paint and used bright, bold colours, thick black lines, and left no white space – just like Norval’s style. As we painted small details and focused on doing our best job, the class was reminded that learning involves patience and time. No one was born painting like Norval Morrisseau or Pablo Picasso. I’m proud of how they all turned out and the passion the kids bring into making their art continues to bring me joy!

Sorry, with all of the Sports Day fun, we forgot to take a picture of the new bulletin board but we can share next week!

Last Field Trip 

We will have our last field trip on Friday, June 21. We will be going bowling at Revs (5502 Lougheed Highway by Holdom skytrain station) at 10 AM. We will leave the school at 9:40 AM.

After bowling, we will be heading to Burnaby Lake Park (behind Bill Copeland Sports Complex) for lunch and until the end of the day. We will return to school before 3 PM.

We will need parent drivers to bowling, to the park, and back to school, please. All families are welcome to join us for the day to watch them bowl and socialize at the park! We will be joined by Ms. Tai’s and Ms. Santorelli’s class. More details will be listed on the field trip notice when it is sent home.

This Weekend! Family Opportunities at Rosemary Brown Recreation Centre (7789 18th Street, Burnaby)

The City of Burnaby is offering some programming this weekend! Rosemary Brown Drop-in Schedules

Toonie Skate

    • Monday, May 20th at 11:45 AM to 1:15 PM

Family Ringette & Hockey Drop-in (4 – 12 years + adult)

Families can enjoy the sport of ringette together! Space is provided for shoot & score and participants are welcome to play small area games. The maximum ratio of children to adults (16rs+) is 3:1.  All participants must wear a helmet with a face cage and protective gloves. Additional safety equipment is encouraged. Hockey helmets with cages are available to borrow at no cost from our skate shop. Participants may wear hockey face masks to this program.

    • Sunday, May 19th at 3:00-4:00pm
    • Monday, May 20th at 9:15-10:15am

Family Lacrosse (4-12 years with adult)

    • Monday, May 20th at 9:45-10:45 am

Family Ball Hockey (4-12 years with adult)

    • Monday, May 20th at 11 am-12 pm

Community Events

  • Wed. May 22 at 6 PM – Kitchener Community Dinner (potluck). All families are welcome! Please RSVP using this link. I am looking forward to seeing you and your family there! The intermediate choir will be performing and we have an art activity for children to enjoy.
  • Fri. May 24 from 4:30 to 7:30 PM – Burnaby North Secondary. Free carnival games, face painting, etc. Click here to learn more.
  • Sat. June 1 from 9:30 AM to 4 PM – Hats Off Day. Click here to learn more about this great annual event that happens along Hastings street.

I am savouring all the moments with your children. They make me smile and fill my heart with so much joy. I appreciate how each one contributes their gifts and their heart to our community. I can’t help but light up when I see them or share with others about how much I love them anytime I have an opportunity. Thank you for sharing your beautiful children with me this year. 🙂

Grateful to be a part of your child’s learning and development at school, Ms. Chan

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