Evergreen Center – Fall

We are so lucky to be close to the Evergreen Art Centre… we had TWO field trips in the fall!

Our first field trip was a PERFORMANCE by Bouge de la called “Bedtime“.


You can watch a bit of the show on YouTube because we weren’t allowed to take any photographs.
(Parents, be aware:  at the end of the YouTube it offers a variety of shows so only click on the “Bedtime” link!)

Our next field trip was an Art Gallery viewing of “Perfect Geometry” by Laurie Papou and a workshop called “Up Close and Far Away“.  We learned about hot and cold colours and sketched the geometric patterns found inside slices of different fruits and vegetables.  Then we painted the HOT coloured foods in COLD colours and the COLD coloured foods in HOT colours!  The workshop was SO MUCH fun, and the results were AMAZING!

art gallery 2015

Here’s a slide show of our two field trips.

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What was YOUR favourite part?


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!


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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?


Happy Summer: Part 5 NRG SUPER KIDS videos

What a treat… watching my class in action as I stitched together videos of some of our rehearsals for the  National Geographic Classroom Energy Diet VIDEO ChallengeEVERYONE  had worked SO HARD to put it all together. “Quiet on the set!” is not as easy as you might think, but the class did work (almost!) silently on other pen-and-paper challenges while the filming was going on. 

Special thanks to our film crew, Amanda and William, who alternated with the flipcam and the class camera. We always had 3 cameras shooting at once!  Our “kids with signs” did a great job of coloring, decorating, and marching with their poster signs.  Our two “invisible men” expertly scooted in and out of the scenes and our “snowman makers” did a great job of struggling with our “fake window”.  Several students are to be congratulated for their super job of playing the energy-wasting old couple in the “living room” and our 2 NRG Super Kids were… ahhhh… SUPER!  A big round of applause to the old neighbourhood couple who did such an excellent job of being “interviewed” and a standing ovation to our News Reporter who gave a magnificent performance!

Thank you to everyone who called up all their family and friends to vote for us!  We did make it to the finals (and won that flipcamera!) but unfortunately we didn’t get that grand prize of a SmartBoard.  Too bad… the video would have looked FANTASTIC on a SmartBoard!

What we did win was the PRICELESS MEMORY of working together to make a REAL VIDEO for NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC!  That’s something that doesn’t come along very often… it was certainly a “first” for this teacher!   I hope you all feel very proud of our hard work and who knows… maybe one or two of my students might grow up to work in the movies

Here is the 1 minute video (ah… gee… okay… it is actually 1 minute 3 seconds, but I just could NOT squish it down any further and meet the entry deadline!) that was entered into the contest.


NRG SuperKids- 60 sec version from Nora Boekhout on Vimeo.

Here is a combination of some of our rehearsals, put together into Scenes 1, 2, and 3.  The assignment challenge was to make a video to show how kids can help save energy.

The original “screenplay” (chuckle!) was as follows:
Scene 1. A News Reporter interviews an old couple in their neighbourhood, asking whether they think kids can make a difference to energy savings.  Kids are marching behind with posters that have energy saving tips on them, but the old folks don’t have a clue.
Scene 2. An energy-wasting couple are busy… wasting energy, of course, on a cold winter day (with kids making a snowman outside).  They are visited by the NRG Super Kids, who give them tips on how to save energy.
Scene 3. The News Reporter revisits the old couple , who have now heard about the NRG Super Kids and know that kids CAN help save energy. The marching kids flip their signs to say “kids can help”.

NRG rehearsals1 from Nora Boekhout on Vimeo.


NRG rehearsals2 from Nora Boekhout on Vimeo.


Another part of the (written) challenges was to make daily announcements on the P.A. system to encourage other students to save energy as well.  We then put these ideas into a presentation for our monthly Good Stuff Assembly in front of the whole school and visiting parents. This video is our rehearsal in the library.


Energy Tips Presentation – rehearsal from Nora Boekhout on Vimeo.


You can see more about our work back in April
by revisiting the Classroom Energy Diet post.


What was YOUR favourite part
of the Energy Diet Challenges? 


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!


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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!

Gung Hay Fat Choy! Happy Chinese New Year!

Bang! Bang! Bang! Ting-Ting! Phsst! Pop! Bang! Bang!

Let the Year of the Rabbit begin!

Today we celebrated the start of the Chinese New Year with our traditional Nestor Chinese New Year Parade. It is a VERY noisy activity with the sound of loud firecrackers and Chinese music coming over the PA system and the entire school cheering and waving Chinese lanterns and dragon puppets along the hallways.

We have a very special dragon… the head was made by Nestor teachers in 1998 and the body was made by Nestor parents in 2000 with material donated by almost every student in the school! We also have a traditional Chinese Lion head, as well as a “little” Lion head, brought back from Hong Kong by one of Mrs. Boekhout’s parents. Our Grade 5 Buddy class takes care of the heavy dragon head and the big banners, but Classroom 2 kids get to have a turn in the looooonnnnng dragon body, as well as the two lions!

Our class is all born in 2003, which is “Year of the Sheep” (or Goat), except for our students born in January, who are “Year of the Horse”!

You can check out some Chinese New Year information at Mrs. B’s website.

Here is a short VIDEO of the beginning of our parade!!!


and our dragon made it on to the front page of the local newspaper too!!!


What an EXCITING time!!!

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  http://www.damelahamid.ca/

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  http://www.damelahamid.ca/