Building Abounds

This week at Pacific Heights has been about building and creating.  Renovations, outside construction,  and student projects.

Our most exciting news is that we have been successful in our application to the district for a new Learning Commons.  Our library will be going through a transformation into a mobile, flexible learning area for all.  The grant allows us $20,000 in technology, $2000 in new furniture and renovations to the space.  We will be sure to document the changes as they happen!

Tennis lessons continued this week.  Students have been learning many new skills and are beginning to play some games.  Unknown-1Unknown

You may have noticed some heavy equipment out front this week.  Our early primary students are thrilled to have the muddy grass area transformed into a mini gravel field for their daily soccer games.

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Some of our grade 5/6 students spent this week building animal cell models.  You cans see their work on display in our main foyer.

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Last week some of our students worked on soapstone carvings.  This week some of our students continued the work carving soap.

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Students in grade 6/7 found they had lots of leftover wire, and bits and pieces from taking apart different electronic devices.  Rather than disposing them, they instead created these BitBots!

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Next week, teachers will be spending time in grade groups, making sense of the redesigned BC curriculum.  Communicating Student Learning documents will go home on Thursday for some classes.  FreshGrade classes will be sending home a highlight.  We remind parents these digital portfolios provide ongoing, continuous assessment so we encourage parents and students check them regularly.

Our new assistant superintendent, Linda Reeve will also be visiting us this week.  We can’t wait to share with her all that makes us unique!

 

 

 

February Rain

While its been raining cats and dogs outside, some of our students have been working at helping out some cats and dogs on the inside.  A couple of weeks ago, a few of our grade 6/7 students approached me about raising money for the BCSPCA.  They started by offering their services to clean and organize teacher desks for a small fee.  They then held a school wide bake sale.  All in all, this small group raised a large amount of money to support our local animal shelter.  Their grand total was $182!  Congratulations girls!

This week, many of our classes took part in a soapstone carving workshop.  Students were provided with the basic shape of an animal and had to carve in all of the details.

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Our students have had an exciting opportunity this week.  All of our students K through grade 7 are participating in tennis lessons.  They will all be ready to hit the courts over Spring Break!  Pictures to come next week.

Many of classes meet a few times a month with their buddy class.  Older students make a connection with a younger student and do various activities together.  This week our grade 6/7’s spent some time reading with their Kindergarten buddies.

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Some of our grade three students are part of a special program called Roots of Empathy. The program helps teach students emotional empathy through a developed relationship with an infant.  At the heart of the program are a neighbourhood infant and parent who visit the classroom every three weeks over the school year. A trained Roots of Empathy Instructor coaches students to observe the baby’s development and to label the baby’s feelings. In this experiential learning, the baby is the “Teacher” and a lever, which the instructor uses to help children identify and reflect on their own feelings and the feelings of others.

The highlight of my week was spending the morning in grade one.  Students completed a journal entry and then shared them with me.  It is wonderful to see how what were just streams of letters at the beginning of the year have developed into sentences with capitals and periods.

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Next week is Canadathon.  On Thursday, students brought home their study questions and pledge sheets.  Money raised from this event directly supports students in classrooms. Students will be writing their “quiz” next Thursday.  Study hard everyone! Canada-Flag-Open-e1358696598990

Be My Valentine

Valentine’s Day week was busy with the making of Valentines and Heart holders.  We also raised a great deal of money for the Heart and Stroke Foundation through Jump Rope for Heart.  Our book fair began and one of the most popular events this week was “Groovy Day.” Check out this weeks highlights below.

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Making Valentine Holders with Mrs. E. 

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The Finished Result

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Jump Rope for Heart

This year we have raised more than $3400 for the Heart and Stroke Foundation, with donations still coming in.  Congratulations Pacific Heights!  We far exceeded our goal!

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The grade 5/6 problem of the week was to create a biplane that could fly in a straight line.  Students had to make many adjustments to their design to be successful. 

Grade 3 Inuit Projects

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Groovy Day

The Book Fair was once again a very busy place.  Monday is the last day to take advantage of the sale.

Next week, look for Canadathon pledge sheets and questions coming home.  Questions are grade specific and will be sent home on Thursday.  Students will have one week to collect pledges and study for the test next Thursday. Funds raised provide money to each division to purchase classroom supplies for students.  Friday is a professional development day for teachers so there is no school for students.  Our teachers are learning about the CPS (Collaborative Problem Solving) model of behavioural support from two counsellors in our district.

 

Creativity Abounds

One of the most exciting things for me to observe at Pacific Heights is how inspired our students are to create, to problem solve and come up with creative solutions to their problems.  I would like to think that much of this comes from the environment they are immersed in each day at Pacific Heights.

Our students are encouraged on an ongoing basis to problem solve, to create, to think, to make, and discover.  From school wide events like Maker Faire, to in-class Problems of the Week, 3D printer designs, and student initiatives including creative fundraising ideas, our students are encouraged to, “think outside the box.”  I believe strongly that the work being done at Pacific Heights, will serve them well as adults.  Our students are being encouraged to be independent, critical thinkers.  Here are some examples:

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Students in Grade 6/7 are building a quad-copter using the 3D printer.

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This week’s problem in grade 5/6 was to create a launcher that could go the distance!  Bonus points if you knock over the cup.  Students learned about angles, velocity and distance.

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A couple of students in grade 2 created this house in the crux of two trees for their imaginary creatures called “Zelfs.”

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Amy in grade 4/5 had a problem.  The desks in her class were replaced with group tables and the students didn’t know where to keep their things. Amy went home and quickly solved the problem by making a group supply holder for their table.  It even spins!

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Tommy, in grade 6/7 created an arduino circuit.  His car travels along a black tape line on the floor.

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….and he can explain his thinking.

India, in grade 6 noticed that we have had far too much garbage on our school grounds.  India created a PowerPoint presentation that was shown to all our students at our last assembly on how we can create litter-less lunches to help keep our grounds clean.  Thank you India!

To see her entire presentation, click the link below.

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And now a challenge for our entire community.  Our playgrounds are in need of replacement.  Our current playgrounds were re-purposed from the old Grandview Heights and Kensington Prairie school sites.  They are now at the end of their life cycle.  We have raised $15,000 but have a ways to go to reach our goal of $135,000.  Our PAC has begun a direct donation drive. Donations in any amount will be gratefully accepted at the office.  Thanks to all for your support.

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Next week, is the start of book fair. Don’t forget to dress “groovy” on Wednesday.

Some of our grade 3 students are off to the Maritime Museum on Tuesday.

Friday is Jump Rope for Heart Day.  Don’t forget to collect your pledges for the jump!