Vanier News – December 24, 2013

This week at Georges Vanier:


IMG_2819December was a busy and exciting month at Georges Vanier Elementary. Report cards went home at the start of the month and reading teacher comments, I can tell that many of our students are making good personal progress and responding to our efforts to make learning experiences as interesting and authentic as possible.

From December 9-13, our school held our first ever INNOVATION WEEK. It was an opportunity for students to learn about anything they wanted to, and to share their learning with others. I was particularly impressed with students’ ability to be self-directed. While INNOVATION WEEK was taking place in the gym, students in other classes were participating in Learn A New Skill week and building Rube-Goldberg machines. How fun!

Last week, we held our Christmas Concerts. Based on the feedback I received from parents, our concerts were a great success.

Thank you parents for the tremendous amount of support you give the school. On a personal note, I want to say THANK YOU for the many gifts, cards, and well-wishes I received last week – it means a lot to me and makes me feel very fortunate to be part of such a warm, welcoming, connected community like ours!

I wish you all a safe and happy holiday and I look forward to seeing you all back at school on January 6, 2014!
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AUTHENTIC LEARNING: Mystery Number Skype
IMG_3773Last week, students in Ms. Henderson and Ms. Warkentin’s classes had the opportunity to participate in an activity called Mystery Number Skype. Essentially, students connect via video conference with students from other schools trying to guess a mystery number based on questions asked. For example, students can ask questions such as:

  • Is your number greater than…
  • Is your number a prime number?
  • Is the digit in the hundreds place odd?

IMG_3772Activities such as this help students develop number sense, or an understanding of what numbers represent and how numbers are related to each other. Students also learn that playing with numbers can be fun. In fact, once we had finished the session in Ms. Henderson’s class, a student immediately asked, “When can we do this again?” What a great sign!

This week, we worked together with classes from Beaver Creek Elementary in Surrey. Thank you Mr. Monroe and Mr. Mann. We look forward to connecting with other schools in Surrey and beyond!

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The weather outside may have been frightful but inside the Learning Commons it was so delightful! This week we served warm apple cider, sat by our virtual cozy fire and listened to some great Christmas stories.

Students in the Vanier Learning Commons are sharing their learning with the world. Follow us on Twitter @VanierLC to find out what the students are tweeting about. All tweets are moderated by the Teacher Librarian. We only access tweets that originate from other classes, schools and educators or those we can learn from. We are excited to explore the possibilities with this new way of connecting with the world.

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Anna Crosland M.Ed. – Teacher Librarian

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VIDEO of the WEEK: Paying it Forward
It feels great when people do something special for us. It feels even better when we do something special for others. Please watch and discuss this video with your child:

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  • 6 – School re-opens
  • 16 – Kindergarten Registration Begins
  • 23 – Primary Spelling Bee – 1:30 p.m. (this is a NEW date for this event)


  • 10 – Family Day – Classes not in session
  • 20 – Science Fair
  • 21 – Professional Development Day – Classes not in session


  • 11 – Term 2 Reports Home
  • 13 – Early Dismissal – 1:27 p.m.
  • 14 – Last day of classes before Spring Break
  • 17-28 – Spring Break – Classes not in session
  • 31 – Classes Resume


  • 10 – Intermediate Speechfest – 1:00 p.m.
  • 17 – Movie Night – Doors open at 6:00 p.m.
  • 18 – Good Friday – Classes not in session
  • 21 – Easter Monday – Classes not in session


  • 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
  • 26 – Professional Development Day – Classes not in session


  • 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…

Vanier News – January 20, 2013


Enjoy this week’s edition of the VANIER NEWS. This publication is meant to offer the opportunity for TWO-WAY communication. You will see at the bottom of each edition a COMMENTS section. Please share your ideas and thoughts.



Previous poll questions and results:

  • Do you think students are physically active enough? YES: 65% NO: 29% UNSURE: 6%
  • Should school uniforms be considered at Georges Vanier Elementary? YES: 68% NO: 32%
  • Does violence in video games promote violent behaviour in children? YES: 86% NO: 14%
  • Should security cameras be used at our school? YES: 89% NO: 11%

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Speeding and Parking enforcement have been stepped by the City of Surrey recently. The ultimate goal of this enforcement is student safety. Parents, please obey speed limits and parking regulations, and ensure that your precious cargo – your children – are secure in the back of your vehicle with their seatbelts on.


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2013 sees the start of a new basketball season and many student athletes interesting in participating and being active. Both our boys and girls teams are off to a strong start, earning victories in their first week of play. Each year, we marvel at the learning that takes place and how much progress is made in such a short time. Thank you to coaches Mr. McDonald and Mr. Vendramin for your dedication of time.

Boys Roster: Ethen B., Carlo, Hunter, Damon, Akash A., Akash U., Danny, Ali, Skylar, Jaskaran, Jeevan, Harman, Jasprit, Sky, Savraj, Cooper, and Harry.

Girls Roster: Rhea, Nyatoang, Jyoti, Trisha, Roshni, Dijana, Harjit, Gurneet, Ciara, Brianna, Simran, Simrat, Desiree, Amanpreet, Sahar, and Akilea.

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Students hear announcements every day at school. The purpose of these announcements is to share information regarding what’s happening that day as well as upcoming events. Morning announcements are also used to discuss important issues. So how can you “listen in”?

  • Sign up for a Twitter account and follow @georgesvanier36
  • Check this blog everyday and read the Twitter stream on the left
  • Text “follow @georgesvanier36” to 21212
  • Google #gvnews

Here is what you will hear: (audio feature may not operate on mobile devices)

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We were fortunate to have the Uzume Taiko Drumming group visit our school. Fine Arts performances take place throughout the year and provide students the opportunity to learn about culture, the world, and different artistic forms. Our students LOVED the drumming performance. Have a look and listen… (audio feature may not operate on mobile devices)



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Children who turn 5 before January 1, 2014 are eligible to begin school in September, 2013. Registration begins at all Elementary schools in Surrey on Monday, January 21, 2013. Please click here to read more…
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Author: Kate Bassford Baker

Dear Other Parents At The Park:

Please do not lift my daughters to the top of the ladder, especially after you’ve just heard me tell them I wasn’t going to do it for them and encourage them to try it themselves.

I am not sitting here, 15 whole feet away from my kids, because I am too lazy to get up. I am sitting here because I didn’t bring them to the park so they could learn how to manipulate others into doing the hard work for them. I brought them here so they could learn to do it themselves.

They’re not here to be at the top of the ladder; they are here to learn to climb. If they can’t do it on their own, they will survive the disappointment. What’s more, they will have a goal and the incentive to work to achieve it.

In the meantime, they can use the stairs. I want them to tire of their own limitations and decide to push past them and put in the effort to make that happen without any help from me.

It is not my job — and it is certainly not yours — to prevent my children from feeling frustration, fear, or discomfort. If I do, I have robbed them of the opportunity to learn that those things are not the end of the world, and can be overcome or used to their advantage.

If they get stuck, it is not my job to save them immediately. If I do, I have robbed them of the opportunity to learn to calm themselves, assess their situation, and try to problem solve their own way out of it.

It is not my job to keep them from falling. If I do, I have robbed them of the opportunity to learn that falling is possible but worth the risk, and that they can, in fact, get up again.

I don’t want my daughters to learn that they can’t overcome obstacles without help. I don’t want them to learn that they can reach great heights without effort. I don’t want them to learn that they are entitled to the reward without having to push through whatever it is that’s holding them back and *earn* it.

Because — and this might come as a surprise to you — none of those things are true. And if I let them think for one moment that they are, I have failed them as a mother.

I want my girls to know the exhilaration of overcoming fear and doubt and achieving a hard-won success.

I want them to believe in their own abilities and be confident and determined in their actions.

I want them to accept their limitations until they can figure out a way past them on their own significant power.

I want them to feel capable of making their own decisions, developing their own skills, taking their own risks, and coping with their own feelings.

I want them to climb that ladder without any help, however well-intentioned, from you.

Because they can. I know it. And if I give them a little space, they will soon know it, too.

So I’ll thank you to stand back and let me do my job, here, which consists mostly of resisting the very same impulses you are indulging, and biting my tongue when I want to yell, “BE CAREFUL,” and choosing, deliberately, painfully, repeatedly, to stand back instead of rush forward.

Because, as they grow up, the ladders will only get taller, and scarier, and much more difficult to climb. And I don’t know about you, but I’d rather help them learn the skills they’ll need to navigate them now, while a misstep means a bumped head or scraped knee that can be healed with a kiss, while the most difficult of hills can be conquered by chanting, “I think I can, I think I can”, and while those 15 whole feet between us still feels, to them, like I’m much too far away.
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It’s a Rainforest in the Learning Commons.

In the library, students are learning about life in a tropical rainforest. This week many classes learned about chameleons. Check out the chameleon plates in the hallways.

Division 7 has been learning about exploration in Canada and the development of the railways. They used the Grafio App to create Tall Ships and Steam Trains. Check out their Slide Share at


Click here to see what’s happening in the Georges Vanier Learning Commons…

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In addition to services provided at Georges Vanier by counsellor Lisa Jouzy, students in Surrey School District and their parents or guardians have access to a range of free family counselling services through a partnership with Simon Fraser University’s Faculty of Education.

SFU provides counsellors for the centre — qualified staff and graduate students conducting practicums — while the school district contributes the clinic facilities.
Counselling promotes the mental health of individuals and families and this often also addresses barriers to student learning.

Counselling services are available for a range of personal issues, including parenting, bereavement, depression, anxiety, bullying and sexual orientation.

The SFU Surrey Counselling Centre, which opened in 2009, is located at L.A. Matheson Secondary, 9484 122nd St. Call 604-587-7320 to make an appointment.

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January 21 – Kindergarten Registration Begins
January 22 – Community Schools Partnership On-Site Registration – 2:30 p.m.
January 25 – JumpStart Academy – after school field trip to Newton Wave Pool
January 28 – Clothes on Wheels at Vanier – 12:00 to 4:00 p.m.
January 29 – PAC Hot Lunch
January 31 – Assembly – 1:30 p.m. – Come join us Parents!
February 8 – Professional Development Day – Classes not in session
February 11 – Family Day Holiday – Classes not in session
March 18-28 – Spring Break – Classes not in session
March 29 – Good Friday – Classes not in session
April 1 – Easter Monday – Classes not in session
April 2 – Term 2 Reports Home
April 4 – Early Dismissal at 1:27 p.m.
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Parents, please leave a COMMENT…