The grade 2 and 3 students in Ms. Welch’s class experimented with creating shadows with their bear art using chalk pastels while the grade 1 and 2 students in Ms. Rakhra’s and Ms. Nijjar’s class created some lovely reindeer portraits.
Due to covid restrictions, we were not able to have a school wide assembly in the gym this year; so the teachers spoke to their individual classes on the importance of Remembrance Day. After lunch, we headed outside for our “Moment of Silence”, reflecting on those who sacrificed their lives to secure the freedom we enjoy. Below, is a video clip Mr. Brion put together of our outdoor event. It also includes some previously recorded performances of some of our students. For instance, the grade 7 students in division 1 and 2 did a poem in French and English while the grade 4 and 5 students in division 4 and 5 played the violins and ukuleles.
As we walk through the hallways, we see fall art replaced with art honouring Remembrance Day including an acrostic on peace by Ms. Johnson’s grade 1/2 class, poppy art by students in division 5, 9, and 17. The grade 6 students in division 2 wrote out individual wishes for peace. Das wrote, “I wish for everyone to be kind and be thankful for all the good things that we have.” Naiad wrote, “I wish everyone and everything in the world gets treated with respect and kindness.” Bhullar wrote, “The world will be at peace when other people can accept who others are.” Some great words of wisdoms among our young.
Each class created a beautiful wreath for our outdoor event. Each one uniquely designed. Division 2 grade 7’s read Eleanor Coerr’s novel, “Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes” and created their own origami paper cranes. The grade 4/5 students in division 5 created a stunning wreath with the three doves symbolizing peace, the rolled up scrolls symbolizing the letters written home from soldiers, and the poppies symbolizing those who gave their lives in battle.
Making connections is a critical reading comprehension strategy that helps students make meaning of what they are reading. When students make connections with self, the text, and the world, it helps them make sense of what they read and retain the information better.
The grade 1, 2, and 3 students in Ms. Le’s blended learning class listened to the story, “Tiny Perfect Things” written by M. H. Clark. They were then challenged with the following question by their teacher: “What can you create out of the tiny, perfect things found in our forest?”
On the bulletin boards outside Ms. Callegari’s and Ms. Russell’s classrooms, there is always a display of the students’ work under the title, “We Are Artists.” To start the school year, the grade 3 and 4 students used orange paint to create a “scary background” for their paper cut out of a house. They had to add something spooky in one of the windows.
The 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”.
“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.
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.