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?


Christmas Concert

December is such a busy month… all the special activities we do have to be squished in between the many, MANY concert practice sessions. Sometimes it seems as if we have just sat down to do some “work” when we have to line up again (in “concert order”!) to go practice our songs! It’s a good thing that we had such fun songs to sing… I think we had the BEST ones of all!  In addition, Ms. Stevenson worked hard to get all our timing just right… we are so lucky to have her as our Drama/Music teacher as well as our “Wonderful Wednesday teacher”!


“The Man in the Bright Red Suit”

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“I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas”

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Which song was STUCK IN YOUR HEAD
throughout the holidays?


Milton Randall Drumming

The “Milton Randall Drumming” session is such a wonderful hands-on activity!  You get to learn about rhythm, patterns (math! yeah!), and percussion instruments by actually playing your own drum! From past experience, I know how much you really would have enjoyed this activity, so I’m sorry to have missed being there. Thanks to Ms. Stevenson though, we have a few photos of the event.


You can read more about Milton Randall at his website.


Spooktacular Hallowe’en!

Dead leaves, rotten eggs, purple paint too… stir them in my Witches’ Brew!

Hallowe’en is such a SPOOKTACULAR time!  It was hard to recognize the students (and the teacher!) in the afternoon… what creative costumes!   Too bad that it was too rainy to have the parade outside, but we still got to enjoy seeing each other in the gym and down the hallways.

You and your parents did a horrible job (just kidding!) of making the Canada Food Guide selections into dreadful things to eat (just kidding again!).  There were bloody fingers,  mini pumpkins, monster toes, and other horrific decorations at every table!  Our Witches’ Brew was sooooooo  nasty, with all the goblin guts and slimy worms in it.  You did a monster-ific job of calling out  YUCK! and HORRIBLE! as I stirred in each ingredient.

We ended off by singing and dancing to the Hallowe’en Sing-along slide show while “somebody’s grandma” kindly did ALL the dishes! (We don’t like to use disposable plates.)   Thanks to all those students and parents who took the extra trouble to make Hallowe’en Goody Bags for each student! (I enjoyed them too!)


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It was a very Happy Hallowe’en!



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?


Surprise Visit from Michael Bublé !

Well, sometimes a Monday morning brings a WHOLE UNEXPECTED SURPRISE! (To quote Fred Penner: What a day, what a day! Full of surprises!) Last week it was the hatching of our first Painted Lady Butterfly. This week it was a quick visit by the ever-so-famous singer, Mr. Michael Bublé and his lovely wife, Luisana! It seems that Michael is quite familar with Nestor school!

Naturally we brought him down to see OUR classroom, and it turns out that they are both a real `animal fans`… Michael knew all about walking stick insects (who would have guessed that!) and Luisana has helped saved thousands of animals by supporting  Michael took a turn to hold Spotty, our leopard gecko, and Luisana petted Fluffy, our teddy bear hamster. We showed them our Painted Lady pupas and then took them down to the library, where we have placed our `Butterfly Pavilion`. When Mrs. Boekhout heard that Luisana had never held a butterfly on her finger, she just KNEW that Luisana NEEDED a turn in the butterfly tent. Getting one to land on your finger is not always that easy, so a student went into the tent and helped her! It was very exciting for us alland it was nice that we could give THEM somethingexciting to remember too!

When Michael and Luisana came back to the classroom, we took a group photo. It`s too bad that we didn`t have time to sing them a song, but he`s a pretty busy guy. Naturally we introduced him to Monty Moose, and told him about his world travels. Michael and Monty just seemed to hit it off as buddies right away… but who could believe it when Michael said that it would be great if Monty could go to ROME WITH HIM next week! Wowsers! Monty packed his bag (hahaha!), gave Mrs. B. a very quick kiss, and then headed right out the door with Michael.  Mrs. B. still is shaking her head, wondering what happened!

Whew! I hope they get some good photos because we`ll post them on Monty`s website!

Very Special Visitors on PhotoPeach

Where would YOU travel to,
if you could go ANYWHERE in the world


Valentine “Yee-Haa” Dance Fest

It was a true Cowboy Valentine’s Day, complete with the hats, boots, swirly skirts, and some old-fashioned square dancing in the gym!  After weeks of practicing our steps, we were finally ready to give those heel-and-toe dances our best shot.  Not only did we do the easy dances, but we also did our own versions of “Oh Johnny“, “Bad, Bad Leroy Brown“, “Hi Lee Hi Low“, and “Gentle on My Mind“.   We did circle right and left, single file, swing, allemande, promenade, do-sa-do, star in the middle and MORE!

The last two dances are Nestor favourites… the chicken dance and the macarena!  Thank goodness it was almost lunchtime when we finished.  After a few liters of water, we were glad to tuck into our fabulous “friendship fruit salad“.  The pink Strawberry ice cream was a coooool delight as well!  At the end of the day, we took our near-to-bursting Valentine Pocket Garden off the wall so that we could open up all those Valentines we collected!

Yee-Haa… there may be a few tired cowboys and cowgirls tonight!


Dance Fest – Square Dancing from Nora Boekhout on Vimeo.

Dance Fest – Fun Dances from Nora Boekhout on Vimeo.


Which was your favourite dance?

What was the prettiest, funniest, or sweetest  Valentine
that YOU received? 



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!


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


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


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Merry Christmas
Happy New Year!