Be a “Zero Hero”

École Nestor Elementary School is working hard to become totally LITTERLESS, so we brought in the Planet Protectors from DreamRider Theater to present a fun-but-educational show about being a “Zero Hero”!  Esmerelda Planet Protector and her sidekick, Goober, worked hard to battle the Evil Dr. Carbon.  He wanted to put SMALL things in BIG packages, just to make money! I think Esmerelda won the day this time!

What are YOU doing to be a ZERO HERO?





Denis Chang Gypsy Jazz

Pizza! Cue in the music… Pizza!
I can’t give you anything but love/PIZZA!

Oh… sorry…
I was starting off to tell about the FANTASTIC musical performance by the Denis Chang Quartet and got swept up in his Pizza Theme! (No… the teachers are NOT going to have a Pizza Party afterwards.)  It was wonderful to have my class experience a professional music performance!

What a treat for the ears!  The music was so fast and energetic that it made you want to snap your fingers in time and then suddenly, it was slow and rhythmic in a way that it made you close your eyes in complete relaxation.  It was exciting to know that a special part of “jazz music” is that much of it is “improvised”… that means, some of the music is created right on the spot!  Each member of the quartet had his own special talent.  The youngest member, Connor, was only 18 and still in high school!  He played like a pro on two saxophones, a tenor sax and a soprano sax.  Another member played guitar and had a velvety singing voice, even when Denis told him he had to sing about “pizza”!  The stand-up bass player really delighted the audience with his oh-so-low notes.  Denis Chang was, of course, AMAZING with his lightning fast fingers on the guitar.  We also enjoyed hearing him sing in the traditional Romanian Gypsy language.
(This is not the performance/musicians we saw, but it does show Denis Chang and the same instruments.)

Our class was especially delighted to see THE MR. BEAR with his stuffed guitar, on the stage. (We had spotted him in some of the Youtube videos.)  Mrs. Boekhout brought Monty Moose “just in case” and before the concert started, Monty had a chance for a little chat and a photo with Mr. Bear.  Mr. Bear has been all over the world, just like Monty Moose, and the two of them have even been to some of the same places!

After an extremely wet walk to the Evergreen Center, we were treated to a short break in the rain as we returned to school.  This gave us time to check out the local ducks in Lafarge Lake. We saw at least THREE different species!  The Mallard males and females were the easiest to identify.

So, what started off to be a potentially dismal wet day turned out to be a lovely adventure!  As we walked along in that soggy-doggy weather, it brought to mind some OTHER musicians… of the “Kids’ Music” variety!

I’ve got new boots, my raincoat too. I’ve got my hat, and it’s bright blue!
I’m ready for, you’re ready for, we’re ready for… the puddles!
(Thanks, Charlotte Diamond!)

Ducks like rain, ducks like rain!
Ducks like to widdle waddle in the rain!
(Thanks, Raffi!)

Which instrument was your favorite?


Parent Appreciation Tea

After such a WONDERFUL “Teacher Appreciation” lunch, it was hard for the teachers to match the high expectations for our “Parent Appreciation” tea!!!

We hope that those parents who were able to attend feasted on the goodies made by the teachers (although we couldn’t hope to compete with YOUR culinary skills!) Instead, we hope that you especially enjoyed the performances by the choir and other student classes.

Here are the two songs performed by the Grade 2s. Enjoy!


Click to play this Smilebox thank you
Create your own thank you - Powered by Smilebox
Thank you personalized with Smilebox

Thank you, dear Parents, for all you do!

Happy Summer Part 6: Monty Moose and Uncle Mike

Oh my goodness… but Monty Moose had such a LOVELY holiday with “Uncle Mike” aka Michael Bublé !  Right now he is just “chilling” after all the excitement… Monty, that is… Uncle Mike is off jet-setting the world again!

Here are some of the outrageous photos of the holiday.  It is still incredible to think that such a famous, award-winning singer would have such a fun-loving personality that he would travel with our dear little stuffed moose! It really shows what a “down home” attitude this nice young man has! (Mrs. Boekhout thinks he is just as handsome and hug-able… well, ALMOST… as her OWN handsome, hug-able 32 year old son!)


You can check out a version of  Monty Moose’s Crazy Moose song at:
The Boy Scout Trail

You can visit Uncle Mike at:

What song would YOU record

with Michael Bublé?


HighTech Science and “Earthworks”

It’s dark, it’s mucky, it’s under your fingernails!… Do you go “Yuck”? Do you head for the soap and water? NO WAY! You slip on your white lab coat, take out a magnifying glass, and stroke your chin saying, “Verrrrry interesting!”

You’re a scientist called a Geologist!

Today we got the chance to transform our classroom into “Particle Pete’s Science Lab”! As Scientists we knew we had to notice EVERYTHING, using all of our senses. (Oh… except for the sense of taste, that could be dangerous!) We learned how to “waft” a scent towards our noses and how to do the Scientist Safety Signal with our fingers in the air. Good scientists have good questions, curiosity, and imagination… but they need to LISTEN when the Head Scientist is talking!

We learned that the 4 ingredients of life are sun, water, air, and soil. Did you know that the sun is 4.6 BILLION years old and is about 149 MILLION kilometers away? Our first experiment showed how Solar Energy can be transformed into Mechanical Energy. It was such a rainy day that we needed to use a light, but we still were able to get the little windmill to turn. Then we did our own Water Cycle experiment. We made our little “clouds” soak up the water into the sky and then “rain down” again! The AirZooka was a BLAST (of AIR, that is!) High and low pressures make the air move to different places. That’s how we get wind!

Then we had to use our best observation skills to check out the different parts of soil: rocks, sand, silt, and humus. Did you know that it takes the Earth 500 years just to make 1 inch (3 cm.) of soil? We put them all together into a mini-mountain and used pipettes to “drop the rain” onto them. It didn’t take much for us to see the power of erosion by water! We also checked out the “holding capacity” of the different materials. Rocks let the water run through – that would make the ground too dry for plants to grow well. Clay wouldn’t let water through at all – that would drown plants! It’s important for good soil to have all the different components… especially the rich, nutritious humus.

Finally we had to chance to check out some of the Earth’s most important “soil creatures”… earthworms! They are a lot bigger than our classroom red wiggler compost worms, and they aren’t nearly as shy!

Particle Pete” gave us a great Science Workshop and he was a fun guy too (he even taught us a Water Cycle song!)
Thanks to “High Tech Science” for a great learning experience!





Here’s a fun idea… Hightouch Hightech Science is running SUMMER SCIENCE CAMPS!   You can also book a Scientist to come to a Birthday Party!

The Maple Man… La Grande Coulée

We had such a special treat today…
the “Maple Man” came to perform at our school! 

It was a real coincidence in timing, because Mrs. Boekhout and Monty Moose had just come back from their very first (but very short) trip to Quebec.  (They didn’t get to see a Maple farm, but they did get to go dogsledding!  That, however, will be in ANOTHER post!)

The Maple Man, René Turmel, is a third generation “Maple Sugar” producer.  His Maple tree grove is in Sainte-Marie de Beauce, near Quebec City, Quebec but most of the year he lives in the Okanagan Valley, BC.  He travels across Canada sharing some of the traditions and history of French Canadians

Watch our video to see some of the wonderful learning from this session:


The Maple Man Video 

 Have you ever eaten “Le tire” (Maple Taffy)?
Has the Maple Man ever been to your school?

Here are some videos of us “in action” with the Maple Man!

1. It was fun learning how sticks and spoons can make rhythms and music!

Maple Man Music

2.  We also learned some fancy dance steps from a wooden puppet!

Maple Man Dancing

3. Finally, we got to see the making of “le tire” and EAT SOME! Yum!

Maple Man Taffy

Which instrument would you like to play the most…
the spoons,  the fiddle,  or  the accordian?




Year-End Blog… Christmas Activities

It’s hard to believe that the Christmas ‘frenzy’ is already over, and we are on to “Happy New Year”!!! We had a wonderful school-time end to 2011 (can you believe that it will be 2012 when we return to school?)

I have to admit that I felt a lot of nostalgia watching my current students in our videos as I put together our “year-end” blog.  It makes me think of a saying that reminds us to treat the “Present” as a “Gift”.  When I look at these delightful young children (no where near knowing where their lives will take them) I feel a good deal of happiness knowing that this was one of the “good times” in their school experiences.

Let’s start with a “Pot Pourri” of some of our activities!


Click to play this Smilebox greeting
Create your own greeting - Powered by Smilebox
Personalize a free ecard


Next comes our “Yule Log” Christmas gift to our families.


Click to play this Smilebox slideshow
Create your own slideshow - Powered by Smilebox
Customize a picture slideshow


Finally, the “Best of the Best”… the songs from our Christmas Concert!


Click to play this Smilebox slideshow
Create your own slideshow - Powered by Smilebox
Personalize your own slideshow

Merry Christmas
Happy New Year!

Dancers of Damelahamid

What a marvellous performance our school enjoyed this week!  The Dancers of Damelahamid not only danced and sang, but also shared some of their rich First Nations culture with us.  It was such an entertaining way to learn about some of their traditions!

We are a Gitksan dance collective originally from the Skeena River area in north western BC. The Gitksan are part of the northwest coastal group of cultures that have the distinctive button blanket regalia. We perform with intricately carved & painted masks, headdresses and elaborate regalia. “ You can find more information and photos at their website

The Artistic Director, Margaret Grenier, was truly a gracious narrator and a very elegant dancer.  (Her hand movements were exquisite!) She explained the stories behind the dances and spoke of how the Gitksan people respect and honour our earth.  


We had several favourite dances.  We loved the dance about the chirping birds saving the land from a plague of grasshoppers.  (One of our students is of aboriginal ancestry and we found out that her name means “grasshopper”!!!)  We enjoyed watching a few volunteers get to try out some of the dance movements at the front, but the audience was so excited to call out the “cheep cheep cheep” of the birds that we did it at all the wrong times! We also enjoyed seeing the Raven dance. The clacking sound of the wooden Raven mask made everyone laugh.  The “Happy Dance” really spread its joy outward!.  The audience couldn’t stop themselves from imitating the hand movements!

One of the connections that we made with the performance was with our MATH LEARNING!  There were so many PATTERNS!  The gorgeous regalia (ceremonial dress) were filled with beautiful patterns of buttons, fringes, and animal skins.  The drumming had a strong beat of repeated patterns.  The songs and dances were all in patterns too!  After our weekly sing-along, our class used the multi-purpose room to try out one of the dance patterns ourselves!  It was the paddling song and here is how we did it. First we stood in two diagonal lines.  The dance steps were 1) hold your (imaginary) paddle up,  2) drop your paddle to the side (one line drops left and the other line drops right), 3) take a long deep step forward.   This pattern (AAB) is repeated over and over. After a few steps, the two lines intersect and we have to “weave through” each other.  What a great way to study patterns!



Photos are from the website