Continuing Learning at Home – Ms. Chan's Class Blog

Category: Continuing Learning at Home

Mid-February Joy

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Dear families,

I bring up the word joy often in our class. I truly believe we can not only find joy when we look for it, we can take action to cultivate it too on a regular basis. Sometimes, it’s about being mindful and truly present to notice our blessings and to feel grateful for them.

Daily, they are encouraged to thank the people who brought them joy during our Heart Time every morning. We regularly share what brings us joy and different things we feel grateful for during our Community Connection time too. My hope is that with consistent practice at school and with your encouragement at home too, this mindset becomes a habit so in their teenage years and into adulthood, they regularly scan for blessings, feel gratitude, and learn to find and cultivate their own joy. Leaning into gratitude and joy can lead to a much happier life filled with positivity for overall well-being.

We believe in inclusion.

We read the book Love Monster by Rachel Bright. We had a great discussion at the end of the story about the Love Monster and how even though he took initiative to find a friend, in the end, the friend he found looked like him. What we try to teach is to accept others who are different from us, to value diversity, and foster inclusivity.

We are athletes.

We started the week with our exciting skating adventure at Bill Copeland! Thank you so much to the parents of Seb, Evelyn, James, James, Layla, Maissa, Adrian, Dali, Satvika who drove and helped supervise and to Dhruv, Senara, Haruka, and Lydia’s parents offered as well but we just had too many graciously volunteer!

Our skating time is at 9:30 to 10:30 AM. I believe we can all be on the ice at 9:30 am when everyone comes to school on time. I am requesting that everyone arrives at 8:55 AM on Monday, February 26, please, so we can leave right away.

I noticed that some students did not bring gloves or mittens. For added safety, it is highly recommended they bring along to protect their hands when they fall to the ice.

We are communicators.

We had an opportunity to practice our paragraph writing again as we reflected on our skating field trip. Students were reminded to start with an opening sentence, write details that include thoughts and feelings, and end with a closing paragraph. I enjoyed reading their recount of our field trip to the rink.

We are artists.

From Ms. Kapusta: This week students experimented with making Valentine’s Day hearts using white wax crayons and watercolour paint. We talked about the importance of planning beforehand, especially when your “ink” (the white crayon) is invisible. We made rough drafts of designs on scrap paper and then we got to painting. It was fun watching the class experiment with different shades of crayons and pencil crayons and different weights of paint to see what kind of effect they would have. Not every heart showed up, but every student had a fun time painting! Afterwards, we decorated Valentine’s Day themed bingo cards and played bingo together as a class as a special treat.

We are mathematicians.

We explored our understanding of 2-D and 3-D shapes and will dive further next week. Please check out our Math page for the curriculum covered this term.

We are readers.

Since your child will be at home on Friday and Monday, they will have access to Epic books (online library of high interest books) from 7 AM to 3 PM. Our class code is ycr9510. Your child’s passcode is the first four digits of their username. If your child is sick at home, this is a great option on those days too if they are up to reading.

Applied Design, Skills, and Technology

Thank you for your fruit contribution to our Friendship Fruit Salad on Valentine’s Day. We appreciate the time that parents of Maissa, Sonya, Lydia, Jason, and Haruka spent to support us in preparing the fruit salad. Everyone was careful and did well with cutting. We made so much that we enjoyed some more today! May I encourage you to have your child help with food preparation for home meals. I learned too late that I should have encouraged my son to help more with meal preparations when he was younger.

On Wednesday, we also made small Valentine cards for every adult in the school. This was to spread some joy, share appreciation, and to brighten their day! They discovered that in doing so, it actually brightened their own day too! I often have shared this: Kindness to others is like kindness to ourselves. It’s like a boomerang. When you intentionally share kindness, while uplifting others, you are uplifted too.

We have continued to work on our Passion Projects. If your child would like to spend some time at home to work on it, please allow them to work on the slides. You can support them by helping them find facts. One thing we are working on is putting facts into our own words so we are not plagiarizing.

Save the Dates

  • Friday, February 16 – District Professional Day. No school for students.
  • Monday, February 19 – Family Day. School is closed.
  • 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!

Every day, I feel truly blessed to be your child’s teacher and to work alongside you as partners. We bring each other much love and joy throughout our day. My heart was warmed today when some students said they were going to miss me because of the extra long weekend. I feel the same way! ❤️

Thank you for your continued support at home. I am grateful for you.

Sincerely, Ms. Chan

Dear families,

Our first full week of February was filled with engaged learners!

Ice Skating on Monday, February 12 and 26 at 9:30 AM

To bring:

  • Booster seat – CLICK HERE for ICBC child car seat requirements.
  • Gloves or mittens to protect their hands (mandatory)
  • Wear long socks (Highly recommend! Sometimes the top of the skates dig in to their legs but the longer socks protect them.)
  • Ski or snowboard helmet but the rink will have them to borrow. There is no need to go out to buy unless you plan to use in the future. It’s just nice to have your own.
  • Waterproof pants are recommended but this is not necessary so you do not need to go out to buy.
  • Dress in layers. While it is cold at the rink, once they start moving around, they get quite warm.

For parent volunteer drivers:

  • We have such appreciation for the overwhelming response to help drive us to the rink. We will be leaving right after attendance is taken. When we arrive at Bill Copeland, the rink and skate shop is on the lower floor. There are a set of stairs from the outside that will lead you there.
  • BEFORE: Please help children line up to get their skate rentals. The helmets will be in a bin off to the side. For better selection, get the helmets BEFORE they put on skates. Please help children tie skates.
  • DURING: Some students may want a break and come off the ice. Please encourage them to take a short break and then ask them to go back onto the ice to maximize their skating time.
  • DURING: If you will be on the ice, please support help us support our beginning skaters as much as possible. I will be leading a short lesson at the beginning to teach them a few skills. This is a very large group so everyone’s support during this time will be greatly appreciated.
  • AFTER: Help remove skates and wipe down the blade. There should be a towel close to where they return the skates. If you return to school before I do, please bring them to class so they can eat their snacks.

How to prepare your child:

  • For most students, this will be their first time skating. Please talk to them about having a growth mindset. Falling, getting back up, and perseverance with a positive and “I can do it” mindset is a part of learning a new skill. “Learning involved patience and time.” – First Peoples Principles of Learning
  • Feel free to watch these videos to learn more and share with your child: Growth Mindset vs. Fixed Mindset or this Growth Mindset vs. Fixed Mindset.
  • There will NOT be enough bars for all beginning students to use as they learn to skate. In my experience, these are often crutches and those who rely on these tend to learn to skate a lot slower. Please encourage your child to try the skills I will teach them during the lesson. They will make the most progress WITHOUT the bars or seals to hold on to.
  • Please arrive at school on time.

Passion Projects

Students are excited to continue working and learning about their topics. What excitement a few students shared right at the door on Monday morning! They told me how they were working on their PowerPoint presentations while at home over the weekend. Thank you so much for your support and for fostering their love of learning at home! They are making good progress!

We are mathematicians.

We learned about the passing of time and also learned how to tell time. Your child should have brought home a clock to teach you how to tell time. Please continue to review.

Make it fun! Take turns asking each other what time it is. In Math, I often provide different levels of difficulty. They love challenging themselves!

Time concepts – Grade 3 Math curriculum

  • understanding concepts of time (e.g., second, minute, hour, day, week, month, year)
  • understanding the relationships between units of time
  • Telling time is not expected at this level.
  • estimating time, using environmental references and natural daily/seasonal cycles, temperatures based on weather systems, traditional calendar

While telling time is not expected, it’s a basic skill to know how to tell time.

Lunar New Year

We learned about Lunar New Year traditions and watched a lion dance along with a cool competition.

They enjoyed making bubble waffles on Wednesday! This was one of my mom’s favourite street snacks when she lived in Hong Kong as a child. She reminisced how she would go down to the streets to buy when she was given some extra spending money. These treats have become locally more popular in the past decade. If you would like to try, there is a stall at the Amazing Brentwood food court called Bubble Waffle Cafe.

Click here for the recipe I used from Pampered Chef.

Click here for the bubble waffle maker I purchased on Amazon.

We are authors.

On Thursday, we invited Ms. Sutton, our District Literacy Enhancement Teacher, to teach us about book making. Unfortunately, I was in the office on Thursday and Friday because Mr. Klarich was away so I did not get to see her presentation but I did see their excitement. As soon as I stepped into the classroom, so many of them wanted to share what they were working on!

Valentine’s Day

CLICK HERE to see the notice that was sent home. Thank you for returning the bottom portion to let me know which fruit(s) your child will be contributing. Thank you for your fruit!

Please also send a plastic bowl and spoon in a bag to be environmentally friendly. Feel free to send a container with a lid instead just in case they don’t finish their portion.

Save the Dates

  • Friday, February 16 – District Professional Day. No school for students.
  • Monday, February 19 – Family Day. School is closed.
  • Monday, March 4 to 8 – Hip Hop lessons
  • Monday, March 11 – Whole school performance (AM)
  • 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!

I appreciate all of the love and care your children demonstrate to me and each other. I really do love and adore your children very much. They bring me so much joy! Many of them often share in our Community Circle time how grateful they are for their classmates. I always feel so very blessed and grateful to be their teacher and to work alongside you too. Thank you for your ongoing support.

Happy Lunar New Year! May you continue to experience love, joy, peace, prosperity, and good health! Sorry, we forgot to send home the Chinese paper lanterns on Friday.

With much gratitude, Ms. Chan

Dear families,

What a fun-filled week of learning about different literacies!

On Monday, we celebrated reading, writing, and listening literacy. Our whole school listened over the P.A. to the story “I Hope” by Monique Gray Smith, an Indigenous author. Every class projected it for all to follow along. Then we talked about our own hopes and recorded one of our own. Every class was asked to place their response sheets on our classroom doors. It’s been great to walk around to see everyone’s hopes displayed. Click on the image for a closer look!

Also on Monday, we worked on our math literacy by completing our understanding of addition with regrouping. Their assessments went home today. For grade 2s, their goal is to be able to add 2-digit plus 2-digit number with a sum to 100. For grade 3s, they aim to have a proficient understanding of adding 3-digit plus 3-digit numbers with a sum to 1000. Student need to understand the idea of regrouping (or some may say carry over). How to support at home? Continue to practice their addition and subtraction math facts for fluency and accuracy. Using a random numbers chart or a deck of cards to review is fun and a great way to practice together!

On Tuesday, the focus was on social emotional literacy. Over the past number of years, learning about our emotions has become more important. This includes expanding our vocabulary for different emotions. On this day, my uncle also came to read “The Name Jar” to us and shared some stories about names and how our culture values names. They also had an opportunity to develop their artistic literacy by following a directed drawing of a dragon. Can’t wait for you to see it when it’s finished!

On Wednesday, we learned more about physical literacy. Stick to School came for a visit to teach us about the importance of education and lacrosse. During Wondering Wednesday, we walked around the school and then went for a story walk to read “The Snowy Day” which is posted along the fence by the flagpole. This day, we also tried some interesting yoga poses! Ask your child to show you “pretzel” and then give it a try with your child. Mr. Klarich walked in just at that moment so we got him to try it too. Fun times! 🙂 I always love it when kids say, “This is the best day ever!” and I heard a couple of kids express that.

Also on Wednesday, we learned about subtraction with regrouping. Please feel free to review at home to develop their proficiency level. A grade 2 example (2 digits only): 52 – 38 = ___.  You need to regroup the 2 in the ones place. For grade 3s, they will have questions with 3 digit numbers like 521 – 439 = ___.

On Thursday, we welcomed families into our school for a reading time for cultural literacy. It was so heartwarming to see many of you join us and to see different books brought from home. For those who were not available, we will set up another day because they enjoyed it so much!

Also on Thursday, we had an in-class field trip hosted by Science World. We learned about our changing climate and what we can do about it.

We started talking about Passion Projects. Please have a conversation with your child about what it is they are so passionate learning more about. Their first passion project will be working with a partner so they can continue to develop their core competencies of communication, collaboration, and social competencies. Last year, all but one at the end of the year said that their favourite thing in school was working on Passion Projects! I am excited to see their excitement once they get going. One of the trickiest parts is discovering what they are passionate about learning and then coming up with questions that will drive their research. My hope is that they will learn how to learn, learn that developing passions can be a source of joy, and that they can eventually reflect on all of the core competencies and curricular competencies they are learning as a result!

On Friday, we celebrated all literacies. We met up with our big buddies to work on our Minecraft designs (digital literacy). Each group was given an opportunity to go in front of the class to present their creations. I was impressed with how they used their core competencies of communication, collaboration, and creativity!

Field trip: Ice Skating at Bill Copeland

I created a new Field Trip page. Here you can see information so it is easier to find, rather than hunting through emails or blog posts. Feel free to save the date for our field trip to the Aquarium. We will be travelling by school bus and will need some parent volunteers.

We apologize for the small error on the field trip form. Since our skating time is at 9:30am, parent volunteer drivers, please arrive at 8:55am with your children. School Cash Online is now open for payment. Thank you to parents who have already indicated you would like to be a volunteer driver. We are not able to have these field trips without your support, which we greatly appreciate!

In-class field trip: Telus Wise will be coming on Monday, January 29 at 1:00pm to teach us about digital footprint.

Family Movie Night

Kitchener School and the PAC will be hosting a family movie night on Friday, February 2 at 6:30pm. For more information, click here to check out the post on the school website. There is no registration necessary.

Thank you for your continued support. It is hard to believe that we are almost halfway through the school year already! Time sure flies when you are having fun! Have a wonderful weekend!

With much appreciation, Ms. Chan

Holiday Fun 14th Week

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Dear families,

Thank you so much for your support for the Winter Concert. It brought so much joy to see them perform!

We would love to welcome Lydia and her family to our class! We are so glad you are here! Please help us make them feel welcome.

We are artists who communicate, collaborate, and work well together.

Ms. Kapusta says:
This week, students put together an amazing, Christmas-themed communal art inside the classroom. We had previously planned for this art a couple of weeks ago and now students were able to carry out their plans. We started off the day by going over the expectations for this art activity and what skills students would need to use in order to successfully accomplish the art. Many students answered with: leadership skills, flexibility, self-discipline, and collaboration. We went over examples of how they could use these skills and how they might come in handy if any problems came up with their partner. Students worked in randomly selected groups of 2s and 3s for this activity to practice working with different classmates. Students had most of the morning to create this artwork before their winter concert and as always, they blew me away with their creativity! In the art, you can a see a scene from the North Pole, including Santa Claus, a Christmas Tree, many presents, snow people, elves and even a reindeer. Even more so, I was so happy and impressed with the class’s leadership skills and self-discipline when it came time to clean up before lunch time. Many students took ownership of tidying their spaces and the classroom.

We are mathematicians who use our critical and flexible thinking.

We do Math Talks in our class. This is a fantastic way to have students learn to expand their understanding of numeracy concepts to see connections and develop flexibility in their mathematical thinking. They also get to work on their core competencies of communication and curricular competencies (reasoning and analyzing, understanding and solving, communicating and representing, connecting and reflecting). Look at how many learning standards this one activity fosters!

  • Use reasoning to explore and make connections
  • Develop mental math strategies and abilities to make sense of quantities
  • Visualize to explore mathematical concepts
  • Develop and use multiple strategies to engage in problem solving
  • Communicate mathematical thinking in many ways
  • Use mathematical vocabulary and language to contribute to mathematical discussions
  • Explain and justify mathematical ideas and decisions
  • Reflect on mathematical thinking
  • Connect mathematical concepts to each other

The content learning standards: Grade 2 students are expected to be able to add and subtract to 100 (2 digits) and grade 3s to 1000 (3 digits): using flexible computation strategies, involving taking apart (e.g., decomposing using friendly numbers and compensating) and combining numbers in a variety of ways, and regrouping. In the past, I taught addition and subtraction as separate yet related concepts. I learned from a few well reknown Math gurus that learning addition and subtraction at the same time is better. This is so that they see the connection between the two related concepts. Also, we want children to see that regrouping (carrying and “borrowing”) is not the only way we add and subtract.

Ways to support at home: (1) Review rounding numbers to the nearest 10 to ensure that your child has a solid foundation. This concept will really help in understanding how to decompose using friendly numbers, which is nearest 10, and compensating. (2) Review place value concepts to ensure they completely understand the value of numbers. For example: 56 = 50 + 6. (3) Feel free to review addition and subtraction concepts.

This week, we continued to add to our addition fact fluency tools the strategy of doubles + 1. Using a deck of cards, we first practiced our doubles and then made it more challenging to think about our doubles + 1. These are: 1+2, 2+3, 3+4, 4+5, 5+6, 6+7, 7+8, 8+9.

Ways to support at home: Please continue to review math facts regularly at home with your own random numbers chart or a deck of cards (Take out the Jack and King. The Queen can represent zero and the Ace represents 1.) Flip the card over quickly to practice the strategies learned so far: adding & subtracting 1, adding & subtracting 2, adding & subtracting 10, combinations that making 10, doubles, and now doubles + 1. This upcoming week, we will learn the +9 and – 9 strategy with the power of digital roots! Do you know this strategy? Try it!

We are authors.

We have been working hard on our stories. This week, we had an opportunity to meet in our Author’s Circle. This is a special time where authors who wish to, will share their story and ask for feedback or suggestions on how to make their story better. Through this exercise, we learned the the importance of building our characters so that readers have more ways to connect with them in the story. We also learned that adding descriptions to where our story takes place helps the reader paint a better picture in their mind. We are using sentences strips to write our story because I discovered over the years that it is easier for students to insert and add details as strips rather than written on a whole page. This helps them organize their story too.

Ways to support at home: Ask your child to tell you what their story is about. Ask them questions to help them think about adding details about character development, setting, problem and solution. Ask them about how they plan to end their story. Challenge them to be creative! Another option would be to have fun writing or telling a story together with your child!

Gingerbread Houses

Students had so much fun building their gingerbread houses with their big buddies. Thank you for sending treats with your child.

Field Trips in the New Year – Save the dates because we will need parent volunteer drivers, please. Thank you for your support!

  • Friday, January 12 – South for the Winter at Michael J. Fox Theatre (Collaborative dance performance with four Burnaby secondary schools). The notice went home already. CLICK HERE if you need another copy. The cost is $2 which can be paid on School Cash Online.
  • Monday, February 12 & Monday, February 26 – Ice skating at Bill Copeland from 9:00 to 11:00 am. The notice will go home in January.

Learning Updates

These are also known as report cards but we now call them Learning Updates. I have enjoyed spending hours thinking about our class, each child, smiling with my heart warmed, and celebrating their achievements since the beginning of the year. I reviewed our blog posts too and feel so proud of all the learning we have done since September! Each child has shown improvement in many areas. In these Learning Updates, you will see that I wrote TO your child. This may be different from what you have seen in the past. This is based on the philosophy that we want to empower each child to deeply play and active role in their learning journey by recognizing and reflecting on their strengths, stretches, and to set attainable goals. These are all a part of developing their core competencies of communication, critical and reflective thinking, and personal awareness. You will also see some next steps for how we both can further support their learning at school and at home.

You will not be receiving a paper copy but instead, will be given access to view on Wednesday, December 20. Please check the emails from the school office for more information on how to access. I recommend that you download the PDF copy to save for your keepsake. This is what I did for my own children’s reports. I keep them in digital form in a folder in the cloud. If accessing the Learning Update is a barrier, please let me know and I can support you.

As part of their Learning Update, your child’s self-assessment of core competencies can be found in SpacesEDU. Thank you to all who have already initiated your access.

If you would like to have a conversation after you view the Learning Update, please send me an email and we can arrange a time. Thank you!

Wednesday, December 20 is also Pancake Breakfast and Pajama Day. Students are welcome to bring their favourite stuffed animals to school too! We will also have an after sing-a-long!

Thursday, December 21 is the last day of the 2023 year.

My heart is always so filled with joy to spend my time with your children and to compose these updates just for you. I appreciate you for your continued support at home. One of the best ways to support them is by reading these weekly blog posts so I appreciate you for your time.

So grateful for you, Ms. Chan

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