Christmas Books!

Christmas is a great time for books! So many classic stories that can read year after year and that can become part of our holiday traditions!

Classes the past few weeks have looked at Dr. Seuss’ “The Grinch that Stole Christmas” and  Charles Dickens “A Christmas Carol and for the grade 4s ‘The Polar Express.” All three of these books have cartoon and/ or movie versions that are often available at this time of year. A great opportunity to compare the original story and  the movie/TV versions. We also listened to the “Night Before Christmas” and a new favorite “Mooseltoe.”

Some other favourites:

“The Crippled Lamb”

“Pippin the Christmas Pig”

“Porcupine in a Pine Tree”

Books are always great gifts!!

Have a blessed Christmas break!





Self Assessment of Core Competencies

All students in Grades K-9 are required to complete a self-assessment of Core Competencies (Personal and Social Identity, Thinking and Communication) at the end of the school year as part of the New BC Curriculum. The process of self-assessment can build student ownership and voice, and give students increased responsibility for the acquisition of the core competencies.  Through self-assessment, students can set yearly learning goals and identify ways in which they will further acquire and develop increased skill and ability in these areas. (

Library lessons will remind learners of the upcoming, May/June self-assessment and help in preparation.

Some tips to get started.

Collect data, thoughts, pictures, key words, experiences, about yourself and your family.  Sort into private/public. Some of what you think and do you may not want to share publicly.

Think about ways of sharing/presenting information about yourself:

  • a portfolio of art work,
  • a list of extra curricular activities,
  • file cards,       rolodex_6
  • post-it notes,
  • a haiku deck,
  • a power point.

When reading, watch to see how story characters share who they are.  In class, observe how classmates and teachers communicate their identity, what thinking skills they use.  Jesus used stories and comparisons (parables), sentences and actions to communicate his personal and social identity.  What can you learn from Jesus about setting yearly learning goals?


Interests.  Keeping a resume of interests. I am interested in  sports (soccer, basketball, volleyball, table tennis, tennis, badminton) and this is what I do about it: interval training, running, stretching, reading books, eye hand coordination (juggling, eye tracking), reading, watching/copying models, studying the court, thinking like a coach, helping younger kids. basketball_court_dimensions

Experiences.  Collecting photos of learning experiences.  Here I am learning coding! We build games:  Here is a picture of games we have built:  I will explain one to you.dance_stick_peopleMy friend and I are choreographing a dance!  We are researching ballet and First Nations dances.

Inquiry.  Inquiring into a topic of interest.  I love horses.  I have read 92 books about horses.   For my birthday I am asking for a riding lesson.  I do chores at home to save time so my family will take me to a riding stable to watch.  chess_piece_white_knight

I am interested in fashion design.  I look for pictures of olden day fashions.  I draw and label ones that interest me.  I collect fabrics of different textures.

Projects.  Keeping a record of projects you do or are doing, at school or at home.  For example: I study piano.  Here is an audio tape of me playing technical exercises and a recital piece. piano_w_rose Another example: I make representations (different kinds of models) of books I want to remember and places I have visited  I do not have room to keep all my projects and representations so I keep photos of them.

Problem-solving. Celebrate and record problems you have encountered and solved or are solving.

Reflections.  Keep a reflection diary: Reflect back on your learning and/or relationships at school.

Changes.  Notice and record changes every month: height, weight, distance run in 10 seconds distance run in 5 minutes, one foot balance in seconds. distance hopped in 10 seconds, balls caught, your idea.  Take pictures.  Keep a graph.graph

Games.  What games do you play?  What strategies do you use? What level are you at? What strategies do you use to advance?  (Video games, board games, sports games).

Creations. What things have you created?  In your imagination. On paper.  Using lego or other toys.  Take photos and label the imaginary worlds you create.

Prayer.  My mind is happy when I think about the Mysteries of the Rosary. I practice the thinking strategy of contemplation. I am memorizing all 20 mysteries so I can contemplate each one.  I name each mystery and ask Jesus to let me be present with him.  I really imagine I am there.  I see and feel the setting and the events in my mind and in my heart. For instance, the Nativity, Jesus is born in Bethlehem.  Angels and shepherds and wise men come.  I feel the cold air.  I smell the straw in the stable.  I pretend I am a bird flying around listening to Joseph and Mary talking.  I do not always have time to say the 10 Hail Mary’s because my mind is listening and feeling and I might fly out to look at the stars and the night sky and watch for the Wise Men.wisemen_on_camels

Toys and Play. Toys and play help me learn.  For example, I pretend my stuffed animals can listen and talk.  I read stories to them.  They keep me company.  I am keeping a list of toys I have had and how they have helped me learn.

Devices.  What devices do I use?  How do they help me think and do?abacus

Goals.  I might be a vet so I inquire about pets.  I interview people who have pets.  I read about pets and how to look after them, also farm and wild animals.  I have applied to volunteer in an animal rescue center.

experience_teaches.  I do not yet know what I want so I explore different subjects, like religion, science, history, world records. I read biographies about what other people do.  I try new things.  I keep a digital journal showing pictures and words of a lot of the things I have tried already.portable_projection_screen

Challenge.  From year to year your sense of personal and social identity will grow stronger and your thinking and communication skills will improve.  This year cast your net out into the deep, take a risk, prepare to self report on your identity, your thinking and your ability to communicate.

space_shuttle_liftoffWayne Gretzky says, ‘You miss 100 % of the shots you do not take’.



Core Competencies in the SFX Library

New BC Curriculum      Core Competencies: Identity (Personal and Social), Thinking, Communication

In the SFX Library we will be using fact and fiction books to discover how authors illustrators and characters explore Personal and Social Identity and Thinking Skills to Communicate.

Example:  The Bible, a treasure of truth about personal and social identity.  Mark 10:14 Jesus loves little children.  “Let the little children come to me.”  As learners at SFX Jesus is part of our Social Identity.  His words guide us to the security of eternal life, show us how to form relationships, and lead us into the adventure of evangelizing.

Example: Peter Reynolds’ book, The Dot.   Vashti, the little girl in the story, thinks she cannot draw.  Her teacher encourages her.  Vashti has a growth mindset and once her teacher encourages her she thinks, ‘I can do better than that dot!’  And she does!  Further, she becomes an encourager, like her teacher, and she helps another student. Vasti’s personal identity changes in response to social interaction.

In light of the New BC Curriculum this year let us read with a new focus, through the lens of the Core Competencies. Let us read to discover the identity of literary characters, the thinking skills authors and characters use, and the ways authors and characters use to communicate.  Let’s read new books  and reread favorite books to connect tto the Core Competencies!


HI all,

Well it is almost here! One more week until our production of Little Mermaid Jr!  Students have been working so hard in all grades to learn songs and lines and helping decorate the gym.

In library we have learned about Hans Christian Anderson who wrote the original version of the Little Mermaid from which the Disney story is based. We have also read “Rainbow Fish” by Marcus Pfister and ” Mister Seahorse” by Eric Carle. Both are great stories with beautiful illustrations that inspired our pastel sea creature decorations for the gym.

Students have also read ” The Lorax” by Dr. Seuss, which we can compare to the movie version. It is a great book to read in the spring because it reminds us to take care of creation and all our natural resources.

Other authors with birthdays we have celebrated last month and this month.

Dr Seuss

Beverly Cleary

Mo Wilems

Hans Christian Anderson

Great nonfiction topics to learn about this spring:

  • bugs, ladybugs- which creatures help gardens and which are harmful to plants
  • bees and butterflies
  • forest, rainforest ecosystems
  • water conservation
  • plants, flowers, trees
  • life cycles of frogs, salmon, butterflies, chickens
  • baby animals and farm animals

For older students: Things in the News!

  • Keep up to date on the Syrian Refugee crisis. How are the refugees that have come to Vancouver doing?
  • Did you know Pope Francis brought several refugee families to Rome and the Vatican is going to help them settle in Rome ?
  • First nations- communities in crisis. Many first nations communities lack clean water and services for health and education. What can we do to help?
  • Pipelines- should they be built or not?

Happy reading and learning!!

Mrs Moffatt


2016 04 celebrating     Celebrating Easter, birthdays, progress, successes.  Being thankful.  Remembering.

In the new curriculum students are being asked to explore and develop personal interests.   portfolio

A portfolio, updated from year to year, is one way to remember the discovery, exploration and progress of personal interests.  An e-portfolio along with a paper portfolio is good preparation for applying for High School, Technical School and University entrance.  Celebrate and remember sports achievements, service work, musical progress, speech work and extra classes taken on weekends and in the summer studying languages, art camps, exploring natural environments.

Last year, in March as part of digital literacy, students were introduced to Tux Paint, a drawing program.  For students to be able to keep a journal of their interests this year we are introducing Haiku Deck. 1563_haikudeck_featured Haiku Deck is like Microsoft’s Power Point.   Like Tux Paint, Haiku Deck is a free download.  Three things to bear in mind: 1) Block automatic sharing via Twitter or Facebook.  2) Connect your child’s drawings, and family photos to Haiku so these can become backgrounds or focus features of future decks. 3) Haiku deck has a feature which allows searching a copyright-free data base for background pictures.  Parents should help their children develop discretion if this search feature is being used.

Use building a portfolio as a time to listen to your child’s interests. Help them use technology to develop, extend and record their personal journey.  The listening and asking questions about your child’s interests, and the skill development using technology, are perhaps more important than the portfolio itself.



Lent Springtime Growth

Lent, the Anglo-Saxon word for springtime, a season of quickening, of new growth.  Pay attention to the wonder of growth in your children,and in yourselves.  Families do the planting, and the feeding and the watering. God activates the growth. The school is here to help you feed and hydrate minds and spirits.
 lent 2016 newsletter
The standby lenten nourishment is : prayer, paradoxically, fasting and alms-giving, sharing our time, talent and treasure.  On the recent professional days, Feb 4th and 5th, one of the speakers was Chris Hatfield, the first Canadian astronaut. He spent 21 years preparing for his 6 months in space.  Fasting from what would distract him from his goal; visualizing and praying about what perfect success would look like, seeking help and guidance to clarify and refine his vision; giving of himself.
Three questions.
1.  – What is your perfect vision for your family?  Do you have a process for praying together about your vision for your family’s future, for clarifying and refining how you relate to each other and to God.  If not, start with a wish, a dream, a prayer. Then take steps together to perfecting it!
2.  Is your vision for your family part or all of the foundation for family choices?  To reach your vision what do you need to fast from?
3. – How does your family reach out together, stretch itself, with purpose, to help, to give of your time and talent and treasure.  On those professional days we learned that motivation for learning is less related to rewards than to connecting the learning to a purpose.  Helping one’s family help others is a solid purpose to begin with.
Many speakers at the professional day conference, including Chris Hatfield, spoke about change. Does your family see the change of springtime, of aging, as an opportunity?  Is it growth?  Is change welcomed and embraced with faith?
Thanks be to God Jesus has told us, ‘Unless you become as little children you will not enter the kingdom of heaven’. Therefore we can welcome change and growth with joy and delight, having faith that God’s plan must be a good one! Families and schools especially welcome growth in wisdom and knowledge.
Library resources for parents:
Mindsets: the new psychology of success, by Carol Dweck
Drive: the surprising truth about what motivates us, by Daniel Pink. The
Hatfield, Chris  An Astronaut’s Guide To Life on Earth.
Dr. Shimi Kang. The Dolphin Parent

Time Management and Order in the New Year.

Time Management and Order in the New Year.

Important library skills:

Good order:  – alphabetical order    – numerical order

sorting by size to keep our desks and shelves neat

collecting what we need, pruning away what is not needed

Managing time to facilitate learning and health.

– recent brain and fitness research suggests working in short intervals.

– psychology suggests children who are 5 years old can concentrate for 5 minutes, 6 years old 6 minutes, 7 years old 7 minutes, to a maximum of 15 minutes.  Adults too experience less stress if they rest between work/learning intervals.

– include downtime, time for parts of the brain to absorb, rest, integrate.  Breath deeply.

vary activities.  The left side of the brain works more actively learning language and math.  The right side works more actively drawing, and manipulating spacial relationships (putting things away, moving shapes, decoding maps).  Music and exercise challenge different brain areas.  Rest allows the unconscious to integrate and problem solve.

schedule:  language (5 minutes), exercise (2), drawing (5), rest (2), back to language (5).  Some discipline is required to move into a modified schedule.  Be flexible.  Try a short interval schedule.  Come back to it.  Try it again.  Observe how short interval scheduling influences your and your child’s creativity, relaxation level, productivity and enjoyment.


Speech Festival Preparation

Holiday Search

Go to the Public Library.  Look for good poems or stories in rhyme.  Choose one or two that are worth memorizing.

Start learning the poems now in preparation for this year’s Speech Arts Festival.

Speech Festival Rules were posted in February 2015.


Speech Festival Dates for 2016 are

Feb 16 (intermediate) and Feb 17 (primary) for the SFX festival.

Feb 29 ( individual entries) and March 2 (group entries)  for the James Carney Festival.

One quality source of poetry and prose (classic stories) is The Book of Virtues: a treasury of great moral stories, edited by William J. Bennett.  This book is out of print but can often be purchased second hand on-line.  It can also be found in libraries.  But if your children are young it is worth purchasing.

Another source of quality material, humourously presented and adabtible for presentation as poems, are the series of books by Mary Ann Hoberman, You Read to Me, I’ll Read to You.  The books cost about $8.00 each.  There are Fairy Tales, Fables, Mother Goose Rhymes, Very Short Stories and Scary Tales to read together.  Children learn 600 times faster when they are laughing and reading these stories with a partner leads to laughter!

Intermediate Library is Awoken by the Force!


For the Grade 5’s, 6’s, and 7’s in the library, December’s topics will continue on from November. We have tackled making predictions through a variety of mediums – from Neil Gaiman’s The Wolves in the Walls to the Star Wars: The Force Awakens movie trailer. As well, we have been looking at genre – what it is and what categories fiction stories can be divided into. Again, we have used a multitude of mediums to accomplish this – from film clips, short stories, novels and graphic novels. Focusing on fiction, we’ve been exploring genres such as mystery, science fiction, fantasy, adventure, romance, humour and horror.