Home Creations

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The grade four students in Ms. Mazinani’s class engage with their teacher on Microsoft Teams for language arts and math.  However, they also have a channel where they can share their photos and videos of what they have made or created at home.

Thien made a three tiered windmill and video taped it spinning for his teacher to see.  Nash painted a moon in the sky, while Liam chose rock for his squid figure art.  Felicity used silver and grey for her lovely rock art and Rehat painted the moon.  Zonish wanted to create a thank you poster of our front line workers.

 

 

Learning With Seesaw

Screen Shot 2020-05-01 at 12.33.23 PMThe grade one and two students in Ms. Han’s and Ms. Labuda’s class are connecting with their teachers using the Seesaw platform.  It’s quite user friendly for the younger students where they are able to post video and audio recordings of themselves for their teachers to see.  They are able to continue with their writing assignments and other work from home and post online for their teachers to gain insight into their learning.

Above, we see evidence of some of the students’ learning from Ms. Han’s class.  The students created notes for fiction and non-fiction books.  They did voice recordings of words starting with “th” and “wh”, and had fun with some art assignments.  Note the voice recording below on measurement.

The children in Ms. Labuda’s class have also been demonstrating their learning to their teacher.  They are able to do a writing piece using paper and pencil, photograph it, and post for Ms. Labuda to evaluate.  I am impressed with the quality of work the students are producing.  Many of them are clearly “digital natives”.

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Online Learning for Early Primary

“I miss going to school and also missing seeing you and all my friends too. I told my mom that if the corona virus is done maybe we can go to the places where we always went. I can’t wait for that to happen, but I understand that for now staying home is the safest thing to do.” (Kendra, Kindergarten student in Ms. Cuthbert’s class).

What a true and profound statement made by one of our youngest students at Berkshire Park, and I am sure she speaks for so many of the other students.  School is all about learning through our human connections with each other.  And though social distancing is what we have to do for now, I am happy to note that learning is still happening among students from the youngest age group to the oldest. Many of the Kindergarten and grade one students are learning through play in their homes by working on tasks provided by their teachers.

The above photos are some of the students from Ms. Cuthbert’s Kindergarten class.  Fahad enjoyed making his rock art and placing it with his action figures.  After the children read Mrs. Lintott’s book, “I Went For a Walk in the Woods”, they were asked to gather some natural materials such as sticks, rocks, and pinecones to create a “nature picture.”  Deborah came up with a creative stick figure.  The children were also given a recipe to make homemade paints and asked to paint a spring tree.  We see a Arjun’s sample, which included a red sun.  Deborah didn’t have the ingredients for making paint, so she improvised and use the parts of a tree to create her own lovely tree.  Kylee especially enjoyed making her homemade playdough.  Kendra was proud of her lovely collage: “During a time when the world needed everyone to stay apart…together was our favourite place to be.”

Saint collected 5 rocks and sorted them from smallest to biggest and engaged in math stories with them.  For instance, 1 little rock + 4 big rocks = 5 rocks (1+4=5) and 3 round shaped rocks + 2 sharp edged rocks = 5 rocks (3+2=5).  He ended the project by painting the rocks he collected and put them outside by his lawn.

By engaging in these simple yet meaningful tasks, the children are learning important skills.  One parent thanked the teacher the variety of learning activities because it made her child forget about watching TV and videos!

The Kindergarten students from Ms. Eaket’s class in the photos above enjoyed the same activities as making homemade play dough and paints.  Many of them also learned how to make their own lunches after a video demonstration from their teacher.  As you can see, many of the children are proud of their accomplishments.

Ms. Eaket’s students enjoyed rock art, creating math pattern with whatever materials they had at home, doing acts of kindness around the house, and using sidewalk chalk to spread messages of joy and happiness in the community.

The Kindergarten and grade 1 students in Ms. Nijar’s and Ms. Rakhra’s class were challenged to create AABB patterns after being provided a sample to learn from.  They also created other patterns, important foundation skills for mathematics.  While unloading the dishwasher, Aliyah thought of using the items for her patterns assignment.

Aliyah made a lovely picture of the world while Akira worked with her younger sister on a letter scavenger hunt around the house.  Jovan not only did the letter scavenger hunt but practiced his printing and spelling of items.  Abigail learned how to draw a cat after watching a video with constructive feedback.  The class did a mini unit on community, so the children drew pictures and maps of places that are important to us.  For Earth Day, they also created some art projects using recyclables.

The grade one students in Ms. Johnson’s class have big smiles on their faces after completing their projects: “Trash to Treasure” and “Family Handprint”.  They get the weekly instructions via email and send back photos of their finished products.  We are thankful for all of our parents’ support with the learning of their children at home together with the remote guidance of the teachers.

 

Basketball Season

What a fantastic fun season!  We are so proud of both the boys’ and girls’ teams for bringing home the first place blue ribbons!  The students improved significantly on their basketball skills and learned the importance of working as a team.  They demonstrated good sportsmanship and great tenacity, playing strong defence and “attacking” when they needed to.  A big thank you to Armondo, PJ’s brother, for coaching the boys.  We learned so much from him.  Thank you to Ms. Kular for her time with the girls and to Ms. Johnson for helping manage the boys’ teams.  We had great fun with these outstanding athletes.  The grade 6 boys were invited to a second Play Day and had so much fun winning our third BLUE ribbon.

Surrey Biofuel Facility

On Valentine’s Day, the grade 4 and 5 students in Ms. Mahal’s class headed to the Surrey Biofuel facility after their unit on sustainability and the environment.  They learned interesting facts about anaerobic organisms; how compost is collected and turned into methane gas; and how the soil is used for trees and on farms in their local community. Students had the opportunity to look at what happens to compost as it is dropped off at the facility and all the different phases it goes through before it is turned into soil. The Surrey Biofuel Facility is the first of its kind in Canada to have a zero emissions rate.

 

Surrey Food Bank

Most schools in Surrey hold Food Bank drives.  On February 11th, 20 of the grade 7 students in Ms. Villeneuve’s class headed down to Surrey’s Food Bank to volunteer some of their time.  They created Valentine cards for the clients and helped hand out food items.  The students also learned how much money is required to cover the basic cost of living and the challenges of making ends meet with minimum wages.

Did you know that the Surrey Food Bank serves 14,000 people every month and that 41% are below the age of 18.  23% are new to Canada, and there are many seniors on a fixed income that use the Food Bank.  The most needed items are powdered baby formula, whole wheat pasta and rice, canned fish and meats, pasta sauces, canned fruit and vegetables, hot and cold cereal, and canned soup.

This was a wonderful opportunity for the students to learn and to give back a little to their community.  20 grade 7 students from division 2 plan to do the same thing on March 3rd.

Self Portraits

All of our students from Kindergarten to grade 7 had three weeks of lessons with Michael  Markowsky, an award-winning artist who teaches drawing at Emily Carr.  The students created self-portraits using water colours.  A big thank you to our PAC for helping support these wonderful learning opportunities for our students!  We were proud to host  an Art Show and show case our students’ talents on February 6th.

 

Building a School in the Dominican Republic

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As many of you know, I had the wonderful opportunity to help build on to a school in the Dominican Republic.  It was a life changing experience, and I learned many new things.  It was such a joy to be part of a team of leaders from all across North America who not only believed in, but clearly practiced, service leadership.  Each morning, we loaded up two mini buses and headed to Rio Grande, a rural community just outside of Constanza.

The first thing I learned was how to mix cement (6 wheel barrows of sand, 4 of gravel, cement powder, and mix with water) and lay brick to build walls.  We made human chains to pass along buckets and buckets of heavy cement to pour and form a staircase to the second floor, and human chains to pass along heavy bricks.

Building on to a school was one thing, but the more important thing was the joy of building relationships because relationships changes lives, not just in the Dominican Republic but here as well in Canada.  Education provides opportunities for a better life, but it is the relationships that are formed that is most important.  If children feel safe and cared fore, learning will improve!

Education is the key to success, and we are so fortunate to have free, good education.  Because of the school, the children had opportunities to learn and develop their potential.  For instance, Christopher, a grade 3 boy in this rural community, had the highest math score in the country last year!

I also was reminded you don’t have to have a lot of “things” to be happy in life, and that people all around the world all smile in the same language. We went to build a school, but we did more than put up brick walls.  We had the joy of building relationships as well as building hope! It truly was an honour and a privilege to be part of this mission.  Thank you Berkshire Broncs for helping fundraise for this worthy cause!

Forces & Motion at Science World

The grade 1 and 2 students in Ms. Johnson’s, Ms. Labuda’s, Ms. Han’s, and Ms. Rakhra’s/Ms. Nijar’s class boarded two school buses and headed to Science World in Vancouver.  They learned about force and motion and explored different questions. What happens when a bat hits a baseball? Why does a rolling ball eventually stop? How do we walk, jump or run? One word… physics!

The students then worked in small groups.  They made a ramp using a few objects and tested to see if a circular block would roll down the ramp. Later, they made predictions and then tested to see how slow or quick the block would roll if they put different materials onto the ramp (i.e. carpet and plastic liner).  The students enjoyed exploring all of the hands on activities at Science World. A fun day had by all!