Vanier News – February 16, 2014

This week at Georges Vanier:

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Last year, Surrey Schools and Georges Vanier Elementary were introduced to KIVA, a non-profit organization with a mission to connect people through lending to alleviate poverty. Using the internet and a worldwide network of microfinance institutions, Kiva lets individuals lend as little as $25 to help create opportunity for entrepreneurs around the world.

Last year, our Grade 7 students raised $3900 through their 30-Hour Famine and dedicated $1300 of that to Kiva. Since then, our students have gone on to administer more than 40 loans, all of which are being currently paid back.

This past week, many of our Grade 3, 4, and 5 students learned about the power of Kiva and began to do research on loans of their own. Students were completely engaged, and learned many life skills such as loans, repayment terms, risk levels, global issues, and geography. Mostly, they were empowered knowing they had the change to change a life! Here are some images of students researching loans:

Visit our KIVA PAGE often to stay updated on our loans and the status of their repayment.

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In recent weeks, many parents will have received a request to have them share their email address with their child’s classroom teacher. You can view this document here: FreshGrade Invite. The purpose of this request is so teachers can begin to send you evidence of learning, feedback regarding your child’s progress as well as areas requiring further improvement, and  suggestion of how you can support your child. Receiving this information in a timely manner throughout the term is much more effective than waiting until the end of the reporting period in March.

Our staff members are all at different stages in terms of this roll-out of student learning information. Some may be sharing already, others may soon begin, while yet others may still be at the collection phase. We appreciate your patience as our staff continues to learn and grow along side your children!

Your feedback and the feedback of our learners is VERY important and we need to hear it. Please speak with your child’s teacher directly, or Mr. Vendramin and Mrs. Porpaczy.

Likewise, CLICK THIS LINK and feel free to contribute your voice to the conversation through Today’s Meet.

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PARENTING CORNER: Monkeys or Mathematicians (Math is More Than Memorization)
Author: Dylan William
The recent parent-driven push for a “return to basics” shift in math curriculum in Alberta is not unexpected. Our post-industrial society remains regrettably focused on relaying and assessing content over process. The deeply embedded desire to quantify student thinking for the sake of a neat, uni-dimensional continuum that claims to represent student potential results in the inevitable association of learning with factual and procedural recall. Quite simply, we’ve designed schools to train and measure our children. We group them by age, divide their days into standardized units and test them at regular intervals in order to compare them to their peers. Memorization is easy to measure in math so we convince ourselves we’re holding kids accountable by measuring their recall. This also allows us to rank and sort students effectively without actually engaging them in conversation, something PISA has effectively mastered. However, making a judgement about the quality of an entire math curriculum based on data snapshots from a moment in time is not only irresponsible it’s ridiculous. Advocating that because memorization scores have dropped, an entire curriculum should re-focus on memory work is incredibly shortsighted. We’ve already been there. It wasn’t awesome.Continue reading…
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Student Drop-off and Pick-up
We appreciate that the majority of parents follow driving and parking rules around our school. It’s the best way to ensure our children stay safe. Here are a few suggestions how you can help:

  • Model safety…use the crosswalk.
  • Park in designated areas only. Many parents are parking along 70 Avenue in areas marked as NO PARKING zones. Children are running across the street and there have been a few near misses.
  • Please do not pick up or drop off in the staff parking lot. Parking lots are not safe for students.
  • Take your time, park further away, and walk the short distance to the school.

Nut Alerts
There are significantly more students at Georges Vanier how have severe allergies to nuts and nut products. Some allergies are so severe, children can die even if exposed to the oils from a nut. We ask what you would want for your own children, a school free of anything that can harm children. We kindly ask that you refrain from sending any food to school that contains (or may contain) nuts or nut products. This includes peanut butter. Thank you!

Adults In The School
We have worked SO HARD to make our school a place where everyone feels welcome. We want that to continue, but we also recognize that student and adult safety may be compromised with so many adults in and out of the building. With our Daycare and StrongStart program, there are many adults in our school and it’s difficult for students and staff to know if every adult they see should be in the school. In recent times, several unknown adults have been in the school and have stolen items. Therefore, we would like to ask for your help:

  • Please drop off all lunches at the table near the office. We are happy to have you wait and personally hand lunch to your child. Make sure they know to come visit you at the office when they come in from playing outside.
  • Ensure all exterior doors are locked after you use them.
  • StrongStart parents are asked to enter through the exterior StrongStart door.
  • Little Harvard parents are asked to enter through the exterior doors closest to the preschool, rather than through the front doors.
  • StrongStart and Little Harvard parents will shortly be given a bright visitor badge. All parents will be expected to display this badge when entering the school.
  • Parents who are visiting for longer periods of time, please sign in at the office and use a visitors badge.

Thank you in advance for your continued support in making Georges Vanier as safe as possible!

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  • March 4 PAC Meeting – 9:00 a.m.
  • March 7 Popcorn Day
  • April 1 PAC Meeting – 9:00 a.m.
  • April 8 Popcorn Day
  • May 9 Popcorn Day

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The Learning Commons has been celebrating how much Georges Vanier students LOVE learning. We learned about QR Codes and used the iPads to scan Valentine’s hearts. The QR Codes linked to examples of student creations. Some divisions took a screenshot and blogged “Celebrating Learning”.

Strong Start Pre-School also joined in and the Love Bugs learned about caterpillars and made a Valentine’s butterfly. We had a full house and even had time to explore on the iPads.

Our Natural Disasters club for Divisions 7, 8 and 9 is almost finished our novel, ‘I Survived the Japanese Tsunami’ and we will be next be creating with clay to make our own tsunami iMovies. Division 4 has been trying out the ProCreate App. Students are importing their art into PicCollage App and adding their poems.

Did you know…?
Many students that bring their own devices to school are using the CardStar App to check out books from the Learning Commons. This is a free app that generates a bar code that can be read by the scanner on the Learning Commons computer. It works much like scanning a Starbucks card! The App uses the number on the front of the student’s planner. See Ms. Crosland if you would like help generating your own barcode.
Tip: Some students have taken a screen shot of the code so they do not have to open the App each time.

And finally, some K to Gr 2 classes have been learning how to create an avatar: a cartoon that looks like them. We added to our avatars by turning them into Pirates. We used IMadeFace App and DoodleBuddy. Check out our great faces:

What Do You Love? Come on by the Learning Commons and add to our banner. So far we love the beach, basketball, reading, our families, BFFs and much more. See Ms. Crosland for a marker and help us to celebrate Valentine’s Day. Stay up to date with student learning by following @VanierLC on twitter. Here’s the link to our latest stories:

Division 5 and 9 learned about the art of Ted Harrison and used the Pro-Create App to make their own digital creations in the style of the famous Canadian artist. Check out their work on the student blogs on the link found at:

Strong Start Pre-school celebrated Chinese New Year in the Learning Commons with a 3D horse colouring activity, horse pictures and videos. Grade One and Two students are learning how to use screenshots, photo editing, the camera and dropbox to save and share their work. Check out their 45 second video.

Anna Crosland M.Ed. – Teacher Librarian

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Screen Shot 2014-02-16 at 12.21.57 PM
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VIDEO of the WEEK: The Power of Athletics and Team Work
We’ve had a very successful basketball season thus far for both our boys and girls teams. Our student-athletes have continued to learn and master new skills, as well as have a lot of fun. In keeping with the theme of basketball and teamwork, enjoy this video on the power of athletics and the lessons we can learn from working as a team.

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  • 17-21 – Foundations Skills Assessment – Grade 4 and 7 students – Week 2
  • 18 – COPEing with Toddler Behaviour – 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.
  • 19 – Boys Basketball Playday – 12:00 – 5:00 p.m. – AT HOME
  • 20 – Science Fair – A.M.
  • 20 – Girls Basketball Playday -12:00 – 5:00 p.m. – AT HOME
  • 21 – Professional Development Day – Classes not in session
  • 25 – Fine Arts Performance – Teddy Anderson, Hoop Dancer – 1:00 p.m.
  • 25 – COPEing with Toddler Behaviour – 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.
  • 27 – Frank Hurt OPEN HOUSE – 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.


  • 4 – COPEing with Toddler Behaviour – 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.
  • 6 – Grade 6 Students to Kwantlen Polytechnic University – 9 a.m. – noon
  • 7 – Free The Children Assembly for Intermediate Students – 1:45 p.m.
  • 11 – Term 2 Student Learning Communication Home
  • 11 – Choir to the District Choral Festival at Bell Centre – PM
  • 11 – COPEing with Toddler Behaviour – 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.
  • 13 – Early Dismissal – 1:27 p.m.
  • 14 – Last day of classes before Spring Break
  • 17-28 – Spring Break – Classes not in session
  • 24-28 – DREAM CAMP at Vanier. Details to follow
  • 31 – Classes Resume


  • 4 – Grade 7 – 30-Hour Famine begins – 8:00 a.m.
  • 5 – Grade 7 – 30-Hour Famine ends – 2:00 p.m.
  • 10 – Intermediate Speechfest – 1:00 p.m.
  • 15 – Ready, Set, Learn Event – 8:30 – 10:00 a.m.
  • 16 – Spring Portraits
  • 17 – Movie Night – Doors open at 6:00 p.m.
  • 18 – Good Friday – Classes not in session
  • 21 – Easter Monday – Classes not in session
  • 30 – Grade 7 Hornet Experience – Frank Hurt Secondary


  • 2 – Professional Development Day – Classes not in session
  • 8 – Primary Speechfest – 1:00 p.m.
  • 14 – Early dismissal at 1:27 p.m. for Student-Led Conferences
  • 19 – Victoria Day – Classes not in session
  • 21-23 – Divisions 1 and 4 – Camping at Camp Elphinstone
  • 26 – Professional Development Day – Classes not in session


  • 2 – District Track Meet – Bear Creek Park
  • 9 – Welcome to Kindergarten Event – 9-10 a.m.
  • 13 – Sports Day
  • 20 – Grade 7 Celebration – 9:00 a.m.
  • 26 – Year-End Assembly – 9:00 a.m.
  • 26 – Term 3 Reports Home/Early Dismissal at 1:27 p.m./Last day of classes

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Parents, please leave a COMMENT…

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