This week teachers hosted families as part of our Celebrations of Learning week. We were fortunate to see many family members visit with us throughout the week and see learning and teaching in action. Our students enjoyed sharing with their parents (or grandparents) what they are working on or what they have learned.

It has been a pleasure to see adults and students interact through art activities or critical thinking activities related to government or the fur trade. Other activities this week included dancing, music, double digit math, story writing, space technology, understanding identity.

Thanks for coming in this week.

Take care


Medical Discoveries

Today the grade 5 students invited me in to the library to observe their Reader’s Theatre presentations on medical discoveries. The students collaborated to develop their scripts based on the work they were doing in their latest Unit of Inquiry (central idea: Our understanding of the human body has evolved through the process of scientific discovery). During this unit, students in both grade 5 classes examined the human body as a series of systems, making informed choices about our bodies and medical discoveries.

The topics presented today included: polio vaccine, child safety caps, the iron lung, anesthesiology, pablum, x-rays, and penicillin.

It was wonderful to see the students present their scripts and the effort they made to project their voices, vary their expressions, and demonstrate appreciation for the work done by other students.

Thank you to the grade 5 students for sharing your learning with me this afternoon.

Take care

Poetry Evening

This past Thursday evening, thanks to the leadership of two teachers and a book store owner, as well as with the help of a number of other individuals, Cleveland Elementary was home to Words in the Woods, a celebration of poetry.

Thank you Mme Santarosa and Mme Berry for inspiring our young poets, and this old one too. Thanks to Deb from 32 Books for her invaluable contributions to this evening. We appreciate the hours and hours of extra effort you all made to make this a special evening.

The evening was magical. The gym was transformed into a forest. Trees, large mushrooms, ferns, a couple of deer and some birds hiding in the foliage drew us into their world, where children (and adults) were invited to create poetry on river rocks, on clotheslines, on quilts and on magnetic boards. Our fishing pond for poems was a hit with the little ones, as was being able to write their poems outside with sidewalk chalk.

The most magical part of the evening for me was watching the students recite poems that they had written or ones they wanted to share. Thank you to the following students who helped to create the magic:

Nika (grade 1), Brennan (grade 4), Maddi (grade 3), Tessa (grade 3), Diba (grade 6), Cameron (grade 6), Sydney (grade 6), Oliver (grade 6), Zozia (grade 5), Robyn (grade 5), Jennifer (grade 5), Dreya (grade 3), Hayden (grade 1), Cassandra (grade 6), Ben (grade 6), Grace (grade 6), Murray (grade 1), Mone (grade 6), Alyssa (grade 6), Tianna (grade 6), Cierra (grade 5), Staffania (grade 5), Nicole (grade 5), Claire (grade 4), Kobi (grade 6) and Simon (grade 5).

They did an outstanding job speaking in front of over 300 people.

We also had a guest from the Squamish Nation, a former student share a slam poem, a father of one of our students, a singer/songwriter perform a couple of songs, and a few adults read what they have written. Thanks to Stewart Gonzales (Aboriginal Drummer), Andrew Warner (Handsworth student), Chris Mizzoni (father and author), (Jody Quinne (singer/songwriter), Dhana Musil (creative writer), and Charles Van Sandwyk (artist and writer). I also read a poem, and will include it at the end of this post.

Thanks to Mel and the Cleveland parents. We are so fortunate to be partners with such a supportive and encouraging PAC at Cleveland. Together, the parents, staff and students work to create a fantastic school culture, and it is a joy to be part of this team.

Thanks as well to the parents who lent us items (kiddie pools) for our forest. Maple Leaf Gardens lent us some ferns for our forest. Thanks Loni.

Thanks as well to everyone who came along and supported this wonderful evening. Our wonderful crepe makers (former teachers from Clevleand) fed the crowd. The number of students and adults who volunteered their time to make this event a success is mind boggling. Again, we are so fortunate to be part of such a wonderful community.

Please visit 32 Books in the village.

Take care

Walk the Streets
By Doug Beveridge
In parts of the city people suffer.
My fancy hotel serves as a buffer.
From men of the streets who beg for some change,
From me every time I come within range.
Walk the streets. Stare straight ahead.
You may not see those less fed.
They live in the gutters. Sleep on the streets.
Survival for them is a tremendous feat.
Some are aggressive. Some are quite calm.
They think you are rich and beg you for alms.
You shake your head and keep on walking.
Can’t you hear your conscience talking?
You’re just one man. What can you do?
A few spare coins won’t see them through.
To help these poor souls would feel great,
But perhaps it should be left up to fate.
Is it really my calling to feed the poor?
Perhaps it is not, but could I do more?
Once in a while, I could give just a bit.
Some of my change. Do I need all of it?


Gardening Season

Are you ready for Spring? Thanks to Emma (grade 1), her mother and father, and our Edible Garden team (students and teachers), we will be ready soon.

We have our plants getting ready to grow in our front hallway. When they are ready, they will be moved to the courtyard planters.

We are looking forward to seeing all our vegetables grow.

Take care

The Electronic Project

At Cleveland Elementary, some classes have been allowed to make use of personal electronic devices to support learning and organizing. It has been seen as something that is more suitable for grade 7’s .

Ava, a grade 4 student, has written a persuasive essay arguing for students in all classes to be allowed to bring their own devices. I am sharing her essay with her permission.


The Electronic Project

If schools across the country allowed kids to bring one electronic device to school to help them with their work and to listen to music when working, kids would be happy coming to school. We should have one electronic device on our desk or in our desk during school hours because the people who don’t speak English as well as other children could use the translator on their device to help them understand difficult words like literacy. I also think kids should be listening to music when we are working, and that we can take a picture of the agenda.

Many children in our schools don’t have English as their first language. So if we had an electronic device at school the ELL children (English Language Learners) could use the translator on their device to look up the words that they don’t understand when the teacher is speaking. Another reason is that the ELL children could use the translator when they come across a word when reading that they do not know or understand.

I think kids should be allowed to listen to music when they are working. Listening to music is going to make kids work more because they will be listening to music and not talking to other children. You are probably thinking, “What if kids are listening to explicit music?” Well, I have a solution. Kids would make a playlist with no explicit music and check it over with their teacher or their guardian. If they are listening to explicit music during class time, there will be consequences by the teacher and guardian.

If we were allowed to bring an electronic device to school we could take a picture of the agenda or homework. I know that lots of kids don’t like writing in their homework agenda. But if we could take a picture of the agenda, then everybody would. It only takes seconds. It also saves time, like if you are on a hurry to get your work done.

Since electronics are so useful in our lives, we should be allowed to bring an electronic device to school. Why not let the ELL children use the translator? Why not let us listen to music when we are working? Why not let us take a picture of the agenda? “WHY NOT?”

That is why we should be allowed to have one electronic device at school.

Thanks Ava,

Take care