We are artists. – Ms. Chan's Class Blog

Category: We are artists.

Fantastic February!

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Dear families,

So excited for ice skating tomorrow! Please come to school on time. We aim to leave as soon as the bell goes.

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.
  • 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 just enough so if you can’t make it, please let me know as soon as possible. Thank you!

  • We have such appreciation for your help to 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. 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. Thank you!

Deep Kindness

We talked about the difference between kindness and deep kindness. Showing kindness can be things like holding the door for others and helping others like getting ice or a bandage for a friend. Some of these actions may feel easy to do. When we feel empathy, it can move us to show compassion. We dove a little further into the difference between these two words too. Compassion is empathy with action.

To demonstrate kindness and compassion, we watched a short video about a girl who needed help. In the first scene, the other person chose not to help because she was too into her iPad game. They re-do the scene with the girl deciding that even though she was focused on her game, she paused it to go help. Showing deeper kindness can be doing things when you don’t feel like it.

This was followed up by reading a story called Each Kindness by Jacqueline Woodson. It’s about a young girl who is new at the school. She tries to make friends with the others but they ignore her and make fun of her. She learns that there are opportunities to show kindness. If you don’t take those opportunities, sometimes you don’t have a chance later.

Parents, I enjoyed reading Deep Kindness by Houston Kraft. He talks about a gap between our beliefs about kindness and the need for intentional actions to show deep kindness. If you like, watch the author as he shares about and encourages us to practice deep kindness in this YouTube video (7:36). Every day, I see many of your children demonstrate this level of deep kindness towards their classmates and it is truly heartwarming.

We are mathematicians.

We continued to solidify our understanding of 2-D and 3-D shapes. Students have learned the difference and can use the vocabulary of faces, edges, and vertices to describe shape attributes. We had fun showing what we know in the form of an active game I made up: Geometry Dash!

First I asked each table group to sort the shapes for part one. Then for part two, they had to retrieve the shape based on the description. For example:

  • Which shape has 6 faces and 8 edges?
  • Which shape has only 2 faces?
  • Which shape has 5 vertices?

They had to use their critical thinking brains to figure out which shape to bring back to the basket.

Your child should be able to identify the 3-D shapes too: sphere, cube, cylinder, cone, rectangular prism, pyramid, triangular prism.

Art with Ms. Kapusta

This week, students learned a new skill in art: weaving! We first began the day by reading a story by the Cree/Lakota author Monique Gray Smith and Cree/Métis illustrator Julie Flett called “My Heart Fills With Happiness.” We then we each shared what filled out hearts during our community circle. Because weaving has long been practiced by Indigenous people, we then had a discussion about Coast Salish groups in BC (including the lands of the Squamish, Musqueam, and Tsleil-Waututh on which we live, learn, and play), the importance of the cedar tree, and how cedar bark is stripped and used by Coast Salish people to make different kinds of weavings, including baskets and mats. 

Before we began weaving, I reminded students of the First Peoples Principle of Learning: “Learning takes patience and time.” We had a brainstorm about what this meant and other things that we have learned that took patience and time. Every student shared a connection, and I knew they were ready to start weaving! Students were then led step-by-step in learning how to weave using paper strips on a paper loom. Every student finished their heart weaving–I was so proud! Weaving is a fantastic activity to practice fine motor skills and a growth-mindset.>

We are scientists.

The salmon eggs hatched so they are now alevin. We couldn’t see them because they are hiding but this is to keep them safe in this stage.

“Learning is holistic, reflexive, reflective, experiential, and relational (focused on connectedness, on reciprocal relationships, etc.)” – First Peoples Principles of Learning

It’s hard to believe we have three weeks before spring break. Time flies when we are having fun! We continue to work hard at all aspects of our holistic learning. Honestly, last week, one of the things that brought me great joy was watching some of them interact with people they don’t usually talk to during Heart Time. I told them how heartwarming it was to witness their effort and joy in building new friendships. (Notice. Name. Nurture.) Then before recess, one child said, “I’m so excited to be playing with two new classmates at recess because I’ve never played with them before!”

The connections we make in school are such an important piece to it being a happier place to be. When students contribute in showing deeper kindness and demonstrate all the qualities of what it means to be Kitchener HAWKS, (helpful, accepting, welcoming, kind, safe), they are happier, feel more connected, and learn better together. Strong relationships built on love, kindness, and compassion are the foundation to how well our class functions as a community because we are interconnected. This is why we intentionally start our day with Heart Time, Community Connection Circle time, and celebrate our small wins together.

I feel so blessed to spend every day with your beautiful children and to work alongside you. Thank you for sharing them with us and for your continued support at home! As always, please let us know how we can support your child better. ❤️

With a heart full of gratitude, Ms. Chan

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,

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

January Fun!

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Dear families,

It’s been a great two weeks minus a couple of fun snow days! Welcome back to school and Happy New Year! Thank you for your understanding about no blog post last weekend as my two ringette teams competed in a tournament.

Outdoor Education

Kate from Sierra Club visited on Monday for our in-school field trip. After teaching us about the importance of land stewardship and how the Indigenous People taught us how to respect our land and the animals, we walked to Willingdon Park to learn more about the trees there. Students also had an opportunity to build homes for the bugs.

On Friday, we followed up by studying spruce pine cones. We examined the patterns of the cone and talked about the seeds. We had samples of some that were closed, some that were open, and some that were just started to open. Then we submersed one in water and as scientists, noticed a number of things that started to happen. I loved the curiosity that was brought out. We will find out what happens when we return to school in the morning! After school, ask your child what we discovered!

We are artists.

This is from Ms. Kapusta the first week back:

This week we began an art project tied to New Year’s Resolutions. We began the lesson by talking about what a resolution is and sharing our different goals for the year with the class. Some students chose phrases like “learn to ice skate,” “read more books,” and “become a better story writer” while others chose words like “leader,” “flexible,” and “inventive.” To make the art, we combined two really fun techniques – tape resistance and splatter paint!  I loved watching the students experiment with abstract versus straight lines for the taping, mixing colours to create beautiful new shades, and purposefully playing around with the splattering technique. The next step was removing the tape carefully. Next week, we will be adding our New Year’s Resolutions into the white spaces using Sharpie. Creating a unique and expressive piece of artwork and connecting it to affirmative statements is a powerful way for students to recognize their strengths while reflecting on how they can still grow further.

This is from Ms. Kapusta for last week:

This week we switched things up and connected art to literacy and SEL. We read “Lost and Found” by Oliver Jeffers, a thoughtful story about a boy who finds a penguin who appears to be lost. The boy works very hard to find the penguin’s home, and in the process becomes close to the penguin. In the end, it turns out the penguin wasn’t so much lost but alone and it’s a gentle tale about friendship and connection. We talked about putting ourselves in both the boy and penguin’s shoes (perspective taking). Then, students responded to a creative writing prompt titled “If I Had a Penguin,” as well as made their own penguin companions to attach to their writing. We talked about expanding on our writing by answering questions like who, what, where, when. We also talked about the importance of editing our work and doing our best jobs. I was really proud of how hard everyone worked! 


The previous week, we got together with our big buddies and worked collaboratively on creating in Minecraft. We will continue this activity this Friday!

On Friday, students were introduced to PowerPoint. I am building up their skills so that when we start our Passion Projects next week, the tools they will use will be secondary learning. It has been a while since we logged in to laptops so please help your child review their login and password. You can have them log into Office 365 at home to practice using PowerPoint too! Students love becoming proficient and they enjoy being mentor leaders in the classroom.

We are mathematicians.

Students have become more proficient with using the compensation strategy in addition. Please check your child’s understanding by asking them to do a few addition questions at home. What is compensating?

33 + 59 =

Look at the number that is closest to the nearest 10. Here, it would be 59 because it is 1 away from 60.

If you +1 to 59, it equals 60. We call these numbers a “friendly number”. Basically, these are multiples of 10 like 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, etc.

So if you add one to 59, then you need to -1 from 33 so this is the new equation: 32 + 60 = ___

Simply add the tens together and then add the ones: 30 + 60 = 90. Then add 2 = 92.

An alternate way is to compensate after you add the friendly number. Here’s what it looks like: Add one to 59 to make 60. New equation: 33 + 60 =  92. Since you had to add 1, you now subtract 1 so 93-1 = 92. I know it may be harder to understand but here’s a short video that may explain it better.

Literacy Week

We are excited that it is Literacy Week this upcoming week! We will be learning that there are multiple types of literacies.

Take a look at the quick overview of what the week looks like:

Monday – We have a whole school read over the PA. The book will be displayed on the projector for all to see. Then we will have a follow-up activity to share what they hope for. If you would like to read the book with your child after school on Monday, click here to view it on YouTube.

Tuesday – All children will be encouraged to wear any outfit that makes them feel happy! Some suggestions might be pajamas, a sports jersey, a costume, a favourite colour, etc. Be creative!

Wednesday – Throughout the day, we will be doing physical activities. We are invited to read the story “The Snowy Day” outside along the fence. After school, please feel free to walk and read the story with your child(ren) too!

Thursday – In the past, people talked about IQ (intelligence quotient or a person’s ability to reason). Then people started talking about EQ (emotional quotient or the ability to understand and manage emotions in positive ways including communicating effectively). A couple months ago when I was doing some research for my presentation, I learned about CQ (cultural quotient or the ability to adapt to new cultural settings). Understanding our personal and cultural identity is one of our core competencies. Anyway, on Thursday, we invite you and your families to join us for family reading in our classroom! Please feel free to bring other family members and books to share. If you have any books from your culture, that would be wonderful too!

Friday – We will have a celebration of learning at 1:00pm.

One of my favourite times of the day is when I pick the kids up from the undercover area. They make me feel so loved by the way they greet me. I also really love seeing parents as you drop off. It brings me joy to see you too! 🙂

I am very grateful for your continued support at home. I wanted to mention again that if you have not seen your child’s report card yet, no worries at all. Please send me an email to let me know and I will send you a PDF copy. Thank you.

The ice skating notice will go home this week. School Cash online may not be set up yet but I can send you an email to let you know when it is open. We will need parent volunteer drivers and supervisors. If you are a confident skater, please feel free to help out on the ice. If not, we will need parent supervisors at the rink too. This is a new requirement this year at City of Burnaby rinks.

Your children bring me so much joy each day! Looking forward to another full week with them!

Gratefully, Ms. Chan


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