January Field Trip Part 1 – BC Sports Hall of Fame

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We learned about the importance of:



Positive Attitude

Social Responsibility



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The highlight, next to meeting an Olympian, was the participation zone. Everyone enjoyed running around, exploring the exhibits and trying different sports.IMG_3852 IMG_3854 IMG_3859 IMG_3861 IMG_3863 IMG_3869 IMG_3874 IMG_3878 IMG_3881 IMG_3883   IMG_3887 IMG_3888 IMG_3890 IMG_3901 IMG_3903 IMG_3904 IMG_3905  IMG_3919



“I feel like Santa. Giving makes me feel warm inside.” – Jo. Li

We were inspired by Kid President and our virtue of generosity to give this month.

1) We sponsored a toy drive! All our toys were donated to the Salvation Army.




and after!!!


Thanks to Ms. Gil’s class who helped us collect all the toys!

2) We collected supplies for the Lookout Society. They provide assistance to the homeless on the downtown east side of Vancouver.

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Homelessness happens year-round. Donations can be made throughout the year!

3) Knitting! We took on the task of knitting scarves for the homeless. We will also donate these to the Lookout Society!

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This would not have been possible without the huge donation of yarn from sweetgeorgia yarns.

A big thank you to the sweetgeorgia crew who stayed at work late to help me choose yarns, who wound the yarn into kid friendly balls and who supplied us with extra boxes for our toy drive!

“There is no distinction

between the one who gives,

the one who receives,

and the gift itself.”

– thich nhat hanh




“As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands, one for helping yourself, the other for helping others.” – Audrey Hepburn

The virtue next month is generosity.

Here are some videos from Five Minute Film Festival to help inspire us!

TrueMove H: Giving (03:03)

“Though it’s actually a mobile carrier commercial from Thailand, this video went viral in September — with 14 million views, it’s clear people were really moved by this simple story of kindness repaid, 30 years later.”

Preschool Kindness (02:37)

Ethan and Emily are two best friends who started giving back early — while still in preschool, they raised over $5000 for a local food bank. Priceless quote: “It feeled great!”

Hello Internet! It’s #SOCKTOBER! Love, Kid President (04:40)

The effervescent Kid President ran a successful campaign to collect socks for the homeless last month by rallying the citizens of the internet. Equally awesome — this video of all the people who participated or this video of more people who participated!

How will you be generous today?

Classroom Pet

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We have taken time to consider and discuss what the most appropriate classroom pet would be. We looked at and discussed the BC SPCA’s guidelines for classroom pets. In the end, our compromise was to get a hamster* from the SPCA.

*The current classroom cage is the right size for a hamster. Any other animal would require a new cage.

I have contacted the SPCA and they directed me to their “Pet Search” adoption web site. Here is further information on “How to Adopt an Animal“.

The most important element is that this animal should be adopted by a family who is willing to take responsibility for the animal over the holidays and on weekends.Of course we will try to share the responsibility of weekend care but we need a family willing to take the animal if no one else is able.

If you and your family are interested in adopting an animal and lending it to the classroom for the school year, please let me know! Thank you!

Lest We Forget


Today we honoured Remembrance Day. We wore handmade poppies and heard a story from my grandfather, Trevor Harrop. My grandfather was about 12 years old and living in Scotland during World War II. I have grown up hearing stories about what it was like for my grandmother and him to grow up during the war.

My grandfather’s brother was in the war. He volunteered. My grandfather wrote a story in his honour and shared it with the class this morning.

“Lest we forget”

Far-called our navies melt away—
On dune and headland sinks the fire—
Lo, all our pomp of yesterday
Is one with Nineveh and Tyre!
Judge of the Nations, spare us yet,
Lest we forget—lest we forget![i]
The 11th of November is Memorial Day throughout much of the world. It reminds us of the terrible events of conflicts and wars. They, in turn, remind us of those lost and those who served. Birthdays remind us of our friends and family.  On occasions they are close enough to combine. Such is this story. While true, the details may be misplaced or out of order. I make no apologies.  I, certainly, have a well-worn memory. But, still “We recall without repining, all the heat of bygone noon!”
Today is my brother’s ninetieth. Good for him. While people are living longer, he is above the norm. “Congratulations John and may you live to hear your hundredth”. Please note I said ‘hear’ because he is blind but this doesn’t deter him from living. He has the sharpest mind which allows him to have a fine conversation. And on occasion somewhat more than fine.
John worked in AB’s (Anderson and Boyce. An engineering firm in a suburb of Motherwell in Scotland that manufactured among other things, coal-cutting machines.) When the Second WW broke out in 1939 he was finishing his apprentice term of five years. All engineers at AB’s were exempt from military call-up or conscription.  However, they could volunteer for service if so inclined. Haggs Reid worked in AB’s beside John and he volunteered for naval service. Some months later John volunteered too. And he too volunteered for the Royal Navy. Haggs was sent to Rossyth and John to Porstmouth for their preliminary training. As qualified engineers they were given officer status immediately. I do not know who and how their locations were decided but – but for the toss of a coin ‘there go I’. One went East and one went South.
After his induction to naval regulations, John was sent to Mombasa on the west coast of Africa a port that served the whole of Kenya. He went in a large troop ship as a part of a team of naval repairmen to the dockyards. This base served the whole of the Indian ocean. Shortly thereafter, his team was needed in Alexandria the major port for Egypt. They sailed up the Red Sea to the port of Suez at the south end of the canal. From there via railway to Alexandria, no luxury hotels in wartime, a tent city with troops for the Libya campaign . Following that stint, they were sent up the Persian Gulf to the island of Bahrain, then over to India and across to Sri Lanka (Ceylon in those days). Their posting was to the East Coast of Sri Lanka at Trincomalee. The harbor here was a huge lake with a small easily defended opening  into the ocean.  John remained in Ceylon for approximately six months when he was shipped back to Mombasa once more. Fortunately this repair crew never saw any hostile action. Finally after two years they were all shipped back to Portsmouth, then to Leith on the Firth of Forth where he was seconded to a minesweeper for duty on the North Sea. Billeted in this port, he managed many short weekend passes to our home in Motherwell. Minesweeping was a hazardous duty since they had to cut the mines anchor rode. When the mine floated to the surface, the crew took turns shooting at the activating cones on the mines thus blowing them to pieces. This assignment terminated  John‘s service in the Royal Navy. Demobbed they called it!
Haggs Reid was visiting us after his induction. I can see him yet, sitting on one of the kitchen chairs in his full naval uniform wearing his skipped cap, white shirt and dark tie. He had fair hair and a healthy ruddy complexion which emphasized his white regular teeth. “I’m off to Murmansk tomorrow,” he said. We never saw him again but we learned later that the “Murmansk Run” was the most dangerous assignment of WW11 naval encounters.
When you think of these two sailors, you realize that somewhere a clerk was sitting at a desk and had a list of names before him. His job was to fill vacancies in crews. A toss of a coin! Of the thousands and thousands of vacant wartime positions to fill, your future was a small pen mark on a list! The short or long straw.
As a young boy of twelve, I adored my brother and still enjoy his company with brotherly love and respect. And yes, we will chat once more when we visit with him this coming holiday season.
You, too, can imagine that this story would never have been written if the pencil or pen ticks had been reversed.
Tjh ©
Following our assembly, DWF read us “The Enemy: A Book About Peace” by Davide Cali. Here is a YouTube reading of “The Enemy: A Book About Peace“.
I also found some great questions for you to think about when reading the book.


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Our virtue this month is THANKFULNESS.

To open our Thankfulness assembly, we had Mr. Henry Charles of the Musqueam First Nation to give us a traditional welcome. He told us a story about how the Musqueam got their name. I encourage you to ask your child about the story. It was a challenge for many of us as he told the story in the Musqueam language. I thought that the language sounded very poetic.

In our classroom, not only do we use our manners and say thank you to each other but we have also been practicing gratitude and saying thank you every week for both the little and big things in life. Many of the students are thankful and appreciate their families, friends and classmates.

Thank you for creating such thoughtful and insightful children.

Courtesy & Courage

The virtues for the month of September were COURAGE and COURTESY.

We were inspired by Terry Fox’s Marathon of Hope. Terry Fox demonstrated outstanding amounts of courage in his journey across Canada to raise funds to cure cancer.

In a conversation with some of the students, we discussed the idea that if Terry Fox were alive today with the same type of cancer, he would not lose his leg or die due to cancer.

But more importantly, we thought, where would we be in our fight against cancer if we did not have Terry Fox and his Marathon of Hope to motivate us?