Cardboard Challenge

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The school that I teach at decided to hold a school-wide “Cardboard Challenge“, inspired by the youtube video “Caine’s Arcade“. There were many reasons why we decided to take on this challenge, but... READ MORE

Hands-on Inspiration

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It seems like an old concept, “hands-on” learning; but isn’t that what the new curriculum in British Columbia is really all about?  I always feel inspired by the local “Hyde Creek Salmon Festival”.... READ MORE

Weekend Away

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I enjoy a fall weekend away, just to relax, spend time together and to notice the changes of the season. Fall walks are my favourite kinds of walks.  Through the woods, or even along... READ MORE

Cloudy summer day? Bake a pie.

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 We’ve had plenty of days like this lately, but in my opinion, it’s the best weather for berry-picking.   We have farms like these a few blocks from our house, which makes it convenient.  And... READ MORE

First Days of Summer…

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  We’ve been starting our summer out right with all of our favourite beginning of summer activities.  This is the Point Roberts Marina.  I’ve been getting more time to run.  Here’s my favourite route... READ MORE

Explorer Art: Northwest Passage

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          My students have been beyond excited to learn about the first Canadian Explorers, especially the stories, the risk and the adventure.  I came upon this book, called Northwest... READ MORE

A Few of My Favourite Things…

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Over the holidays, I get time to enjoy the things I love the most: To name a few; running and hiking in nature, trips to the library to take out many books, time spent... READ MORE

Is it May or July? May Long Weekend

posted in: Cottage Life, Family Life | 0

We had a fantastic long weekend at our beach house and the weather was twenty-five degrees!   It felt just like summer!


We got the grass mowed, spent some time at the Community Hall,

IMG_1404 IMG_1406 IMG_1408spent time at the beach and took in the scenery.


_MG_4484 IMG_4486 IMG_4488 IMG_4491 _MG_4501 IMG_1411We got some gardening projects done as well, and Mark’s parents took us out for an amazing Greek dinner.



Now I’m really looking forward to July!

How to Build Inukshuks


As a part of our Canada and Rocks unit, the students in my class have been doing some rock collecting and greatly enjoyed creating inukshuks out of plasticine and stone.


Before starting we read:


Two intriguing stories about inukshuks, the first written by a class of students.  We also watched this video on our class projector which inspired the students and gave them building ideas.

Then we did some more rock collecting and went to work creating the inukshuks.  I was impressed with their designs!IMG_1232 IMG_1226We used white and grey clay to secure the stones together and  to cement them to the cardstock base.  Quite a bit of plasticine was needed to make the rocks stick.IMG_1221_MG_4442 _MG_4443IMG_1209_MG_4422 _MG_4421 _MG_4420IMG_1208_MG_4417

IMG_1229A treasure to point the way home.

Releasing a Salmon Fry

posted in: Events, Family Life, West Coast | 0

Yesterday our local hatchery, just a bike ride away, had a celebration and an opportunity for the community to help release the salmon back into the creek.IMG_1160


We got to see salmon fry that have been raised in the hatchery,


we observed dissected salmon,

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and most excitingly, a real fry to take to the creek and release.


The fry swam so fast, we couldn’t catch a photo of it.



The beautiful creek and the beginning of a new journey for our salmon fry.


Rice Bin for Kids-Sensory Play

posted in: Classroom, DIY, Family Life | 0

IMG_9099  Whether at home or in the classroom, the Spring is a wonderful time to set up a rice bin for your toddlers and preschoolers. IMG_9095 All it takes is a plastic bin and some measuring instruments, funnels etc. from the dollar store, for hours of fun and exploration.  I recommend doing it outside for less mess and clean-up. IMG_9094 I know my children enjoyed this immensely when they were young and I hope yours will too!

Pink and Yellow

posted in: West Coast | 0


Spring seems to have come early to Vancouver, and it’s exciting to see some colour starting to appear.

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I’ve especially been enjoying the forsythia bushes, including the one in our front garden, as well as the cherry blossoms popping up here and there, and of course the cheerful daffodils.


I’m certainly looking forward to seeing more green, but for now I’m delighted with yellow and pink.

Easter Chick Craft

posted in: Crafts for Kids, Events | 0


Every year the kids love to decorate our Easter tree.

Each year we seem to make and collect more and more ornaments.  One of our favourites is the Easter Chick ornaments that we made ourselves.  Here’s how we did it:



We painted those little styrofoam eggs from the dollar store with satiny yellow paint.  We also covered some with ripped yellow tissue paper applied with glue (an idea from Usborne).  This gives a textured, feathery look.


Then we added an orange paper beak, googly eyes and feathers to make the wings.  We attatched ribbon at the top with a pin and then hung the cuties on our tree.
Easter chick bliss.

Restitution and Reggio Emilia

posted in: Classroom | 0


There is a discipline strategy that is being used in my teaching district, called Restitution.  Restitution comes originally from aboriginal philosophy, and it also fits well into my own Christian beliefs.

Restitution is a move against using punishment, “guilting”, or acting as a buddy or a monitor towards children.  Rather, it builds on creating “common beliefs”, guiding the children to know the beliefs and to “make it right” when they are not following those beliefs.  For example:  If children are speaking unkindly to each other, ask them,  “Do you believe in respect?  (yes.)  Then try to say that in a different way to your sister.”

And that’s it.  Simple.

Restitution refers to William Glasser‘s theory that all people have basic needs for belonging, autonomy, freedom and pleasure.  Sometimes children (and adults) try to get these needs met in negative ways, hence, negative behaviour.  All behaviour is trying to meet a need.  This is a far more compassionate way of viewing our children, than labeling them as “naughty”, “lazy”, “bad” etc. when they make a mistake.

I use Restitution in my classroom, as well as at home with my children.  I grew up in a home that used a lot of punishment and guilt messages, which I don’t think served me well.  I want to use different kinds of loving discipline with my own children that leaves them feeling empowered.

Another book that has many “restitutionish” ideas is the tried and true, How to Talk so Kids Can Listen and Listen so Kids Can Talk


Reggio Emilia is an early childhood learning philosophy that originated in Italy.  It is based on observing children, creating learning experiences based on their interests, recording their conversations and building on their discoveries, using colourful, texture-rich materials and play areas.

The photos in this post are taken at my daughter’s preschool, Childgarden Preschool, which is centered in this approach.




A book that I am currently relishing is called, Bringing Learning to Life: The Reggio Approach to Early Childhood Education by Louise Boyd Cadwell.  Her other book is in my sidebar.

This might sound like a lot of information, so please ask me any questions.  I hope to elaborate on both these philosophies in future posts!  I’ve been working on my sidebar and writing posts to make links, so look for this one there soon!

Hope you’re having a great week!

Jug Island Hike

posted in: West Coast | 0



The weather for Spring Break has been gorgeous so far!  Today we tried a hike at Belcarra, which takes you to a beach cove right in front of Jug Island.

_MG_4177 (1)

It was a 6km walk (3km there and 3km back) and it was a good trek with some uphill and downhill.  There was a lookout over Belcarra and a great view of Deep Cove at the end of the trail from the beach.

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It was great hike that the kids enjoyed.  _MG_4188 (1)

Hope you are all enjoying your Spring Break!


Valentines Crafts

posted in: Classroom, Crafts for Kids | 0

I thought I’d go back and post some old photos from past Valentines posts.  We’ve done different crafts over the years…IMG_3797IMG_3798


We did dollie heart prints to make Valentines cards:IMG_3799IMG_3801 This time we made hearts out of homemade “rose” paper, buy making swirls with a white crayon and painting over top,IMG_2026 IMG_2016

Here are some Valentine bags I made with my class.  The students enjoy using a variety of different paper to make hearts and embellishments like sparkles and sequins.DSCN0134 DSCN0138 DSCN0139 DSCN0141 DSCN0146 DSCN0148Happy Valentines Crafting!!

Cross-Country Skiing Mount Baker

posted in: West Coast | 0

We recently enjoyed some downhill and cross-country skiing at Mt. Baker.  For some reason it is difficult to find information about cross-country skiing at Baker, but there are actually a lot of different options, all with incredible scenery.


Years ago we cross country skied on White Salmon Road, which is a logging road with an entrance off the highway slightly before the downhill ski area. IMG_3140 IMG_3146 There’s not a lot of parking near this road and the trail is not groomed, but it offers forest trails and mountain-edge vistas.


This year we tried a new route, which was actually part of a green ski run which starts from the far right (east) Heather Meadows parking lot.  The trail is at the end of the Blueberry Cat Track black diamond run.


It is a gradual, mild up-hill ski, again with beautiful views and look-outs.  We didn’t ski the entire way, but apparently you could go quite high.  IMG_0467 We also enjoyed the gentle, slow ski back down.  There is one more cross-country trail nearer to the base of the mountain that we hope to try when there is more snow.  They are called Hannegan Pass Road 32 and Salmon Ridge Snow Park and are groomed as well.  More exploring to look forward to for next time.  Hope you are enjoying some winter sports and activities.

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