Good Things and the Week Ahead – November 4-8

Posted: November 3, 2019

Families of Shortreed,

We hope you enjoyed the past jam-packed week of parent-teacher conferences, book fair, Halloween, and PJ day!  I want to first acknowledge the staff for their ability to work so hard and stay so calm through such a busy week. This is the first time I have had parent-teacher conferences the same week as Halloween so the staff put in a ton of extra time and energy… even more than they normally do… to provide our students and families a fantastic week. I also want to thank all the parents who came out to volunteer at the book fair and Halloween festivities as well as those who came to conferences and supported our Halloween parade.

This week, we are changing things up a bit with our Good Things portion as our Eagle News Crew of Tristan, Tia, and Sally have gone around to all the classes to report on the good things happening in each classroom. Thank you to our new News Crew!  We hope that these summaries will shift the conversation from “what did you learn about in school?” to “tell me more about _____”. 

A reminder that next Friday is a day not in session (no school for students/staff).

Please take a moment to read about the good things happening in classrooms as well as some updates and info for the week/month ahead.

Good Things to Talk About

Putting the “I” in Kind!  This past week, our students have been asked to take the kindness challenge. In order to do this, they have to make a commitment to kindness, write their name on the poster and then take a photo of themselves putting the “I” in kind! The poster will be up for another few weeks for more students to take the challenge.

Parading Around – We held our annual Halloween Costume Parade on Thursday as students all showcased their costumes for others to see and cheer on. We love this tradition as it brings our community together to support each other on a fun day.

PAC-Man and the Ghosts Throw a Party! Our awesome PAC dressed up as PAC-Man and the Ghosts and put on a great Halloween party with music, games, and a table featuring Mike and his animals from Wild Education! Thank you so much to all the volunteers (and Mike from Wild Education) for making it another memorable event!

Costumes for Everyone!  Halloween can be added financial stress for many of our families so we were so thankful to have the incredible response to our Costume Rack! Many local families donated gently used items; Ms Cleeve (former Shortreed teacher) and her class at Richard Bulpitt Elementary did a costume drive and donated a number of costumes. It was great to see the smiles on the kids and the families as they picked out their free, fantastic costumes!

A Chat About Students  We held our fall parent-teacher conferences this past week and had a chance to focus on the strengths and stretches of our students. These are always an important time to check in to see how we can work as a team to best support students.

Div 1 – A New Perspective – Students in Mrs Parsons’ class have been working on perspective drawings for Remembrance Day. Check out their pastel artwork on display outside the classroom. They have also been practising using sensory words within their writing. 

Div 2 – Sharing About Our Community – Ms Bedard’s students continued to build on their new connection with their buddy class in Napa Valley as they created postcards to sent to them. The focus of the postcards was to highlight the many positive aspects of Aldergrove! 

Div 3 – A Web of Learning – Mrs Kirk’s class created some ZenDoodle Spiderwebs as a way of practising patterns.  Doodling is also a strategy to calm ourselves. Students also spent time looking for patterns in numbers and trying to determine the “WODB” –  which one doesn’t belong – and why!

Div 4 – The Difference Between Love and Hate – In preparation for Remembrance Day, Mr Milner has been guiding conversations about the difference between caring and hating and all the things in between. Students shared their thoughts on fighting and war and the horrible price people pay when they make the choice (or are forced) to engage in battle. They also reflected on all they can learn from those they disagree with. 

Div 5 – Math is a Treat! – For math, Ms Holmes and Mr Touzeau’s students have been practising place value… but with a Halloween spin to it. Since it is the week of candy and treats, they used gummy bears, pretzel sticks, and popcorn to represent hundreds, tens and ones. On Monday, the students also travelled to Science World!

Div 6 – The Colour of Life – Ms Rafighi’s students have been learning about colour theory. They have discussed the art and science of colour, created colour wheels, and discussed how colours mix and match.  Also, for a special Halloween time of silent reading, the students got to have some spooky flashlight reading.

Div 7 – Interest in the Living World – What do elephants, snails, and frogs have in common? In Mr. Davidson’s class, among other things, it is the chance for students to connect with what they are reading and learning about. They have been using non-fiction stories in their guided reading lessons to learn about the physiology and behaviours of these living things. Mr. D’s class also travelled to Science World on Monday!

Div 8 – A Season of Learning – Mrs North’s students have been using the fall season to inspire their learning. They recently wrote some Fall colour poems (using prepositional phrases) and read the story called “Spookley, the Square Pumpkin”. They had a great discussion about uniqueness and acceptance of others and even made our own unique pumpkins.

Div 9 – Flipping Over Math – Mrs Zelter’s students have been excited to extend their learning of their addition math facts. This past week, they learned how to do flip flop adding (5+4=9, 4+5=9). They are also excited that their superworms in class have been turning into pupae. Up next comes the beetles! 

Div 10 – Spooktacular StoriesThis week, Ms Bain’s students tapped into the excitement of Halloween to use some spooky writing prompts to write spooktacular stories. One of the most important motivators of practising writing is student interest. By using prompts relevant to the interests of students, they are much more motivated to practice and engage in the writing process. 

Div 11 Patterns, Patterns Everywhere! – Mrs Manhas’ students have been noticing patterns everywhere in math, reading, and writing. They continue to learn more about the numbers within the calendar while also practising various patterns in math. They’ve also been challenged to count and group numbers and items by 5s and 10s learned about calendars and letters, patterns and numbers in math. 

Div 12 – Walking the Line in Math –  Before math facts are put in our long-term memory, we must use visuals to help us. Mrs Datema’s students have been practising using their number lines to help them with their math facts (ex. Counting on). They have also been learning and practising their spelling with the words that end in A and Y. 

Div 13 – Developing That Stamina – Mrs Kelly and Mrs Vleeming’s students have been building up their reading stamina as they are now at 13 minutes of quiet reading (including a flashlight quiet reading time on Halloween)! Taking the time to engage quietly with books is so important. They have also been engaging in an author study on the work of Julia Donaldson.

Div 14 – For the Love of Letters – Miss Petersen’s students have started handwriting heroes – a routine to help students work on correct letter formation. They’ve also been working on letter sounds (which is a critical skill when learning to read) through various strategies like Word Works Daily, Alphabet Jive, and letter of the day.

Div 15 – Rollin the Dice – Ms Coghill’s students have been working on their “subitizing” skills – not sure what this is? This is a really important skill that we all eventually become better at in which objects that are grouped together in a certain way can be instantly counted together. One of the best ways to do practice this is with dice (we instantly know that 2 rows of 3 dots is 6) so these kindies have been learning about dice games. They have also been learning about the letters Z, H, P, and X and had our nursing students from KPU do a lesson on healthy eating.

ELL – Buddying Up for LearningOur ELL buddy reading program involves our grade one students working with our older grade five students, they’re paired with the little buddies and the little buddies read with the older buddies some books from their classroom after lunch each day. 

Library – Literacy in the LibraryThis week the primary’s grades have been doing literacy centres focusing on letter sounds and recognition. The LEGO challenge of the week was to make a ghost on the LEGO wall. Intermediate grades listened to a creepy story on the internet, having miss McKay read them the story and they watched the ending on the site. It was creepy and totally awesome at the same time. 

Aboriginal Education – Letters for Water – Students have finished their letters to our Federal Government about the importance of ALL Canadians to have access to clean water. Did you know that, up until 2019, the people of the Semiahmoo First Nation (Surrey/White Rock) have had a boil water advisory for 15 years!

The Week Ahead

Monday, Nov 4 – Fire Drill #2 at 11:45.
Tuesday, Nov 5 – Photo Retakes
Tuesday, Nov 5 – Supporting Your Child’s Literacy – Parkside has invited our Shortreed Community to their K-3 Parent Literacy Nights and the first one is Tuesday 6:30-7:30. Click here for more info.
Wednesday, Nov 6 – Club Wednesdays continue
Thursday, Nov 7 – Remembrance Day Assembly at 11:00
Friday, Nov 8 – Aboriginal Veterans Day and a Day Not in Session in SD35
Monday, Nov 11 – Remembrance Day – stat holiday – schools not in session

Important Reminders and Updates

  • Information About School Status During Inclement Weather Snow closures and power outages are an annual occurrence in Langley School District. So where do you go to get information about the status of schools during periods of inclement weather? If you are able to access the internet via computer or smartphone, current information about Langley schools can be accessed on all school websites or Updates are also posted to Twitter @LangleySchools and Facebook at If you don’t have internet connectivity but your phone is working, call a relative or friend in an area that has not been affected by the storm and ask them to check the district website for you. Local radio stations are also informed of school status in Langley. Tune in to CKWX 1130AM, CKNW 980AM, Country Radio 107.1FM, Pulse 107.7 or CBC 690AM or 88.1FM for updates.Please note that Langley District schools are all considered ‘open’ until a decision to close is required. Decisions on school closures are usually made by 6:30am. As always, it is a parent’s decision whether to send their child to school based on safety and individual circumstances. If you feel it is unsafe for you or your child to travel to or attend an open school for any reason, please keep your child home and report an absence to the school.
  • Social and Emotional Learning: Supporting Kids at Home and School
    WHERE YOU ARE – Listen on Apple Podcasts Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) is a hot topic in schools and parent communities right now. Gail Markin (parent, school counsellor and District SEL Lead) and Dr. Kimberly Schonert-Reichl (Psychologist, Professor and world-renowned SEL expert) unpack what parents and caregivers can do to support SEL at home, as well as learn about the role of schools in promoting SEL. Brought to you by BC Children’s Kelty Mental Health Resource Centre.
  • Is it Bullying?  The difference between mean behaviour and bullying is important as it has an impact on how we, as adults, support kids. Read this short article by our counsellor, Mrs Manhas, called “Is it Bullying?”.
  • Breakfast Program – A reminder that we have a great breakfast program run by local volunteers. If you would like your child to access this program, you can find the form here. Also, please let us know if you would like to volunteer as we are extremely short this year and our volunteers are burning out!
  • After School Program – Did you know we have a flexible, low-cost option for an after school program at our school? The Township of Langley offers “Active Beyond the Bell” each day from 2:45-4:45 in our gym! Click here to get more info and call the Aldergrove Credit Union Community Centre to register.
  • Home Reading Website – be sure to check out our website designed to support families in home reading.
  • Parking – Our parking lot is closed from 8:15-8:45 and from 2:15-2:45. We only have enough space for our staff and drivers with a disability. The parking area is only open for staff, school district buses, and daycare transportation during these times. Please park along 28th Ave or in the Catholic Church across the street who have once again graciously donated their lot to us.
  • Pick Up and Drop Off – To ensure our students have appropriate supervision and are safe, please do not drop off your students before 8:20. Also, unless there are extenuating circumstances, please do not pick up your child before the bell nor after 2:45 (as we do not have supervision past 2:45).

PAC Information

  • The Willowbrook Mall charity shopping night is November 19th! If you are interested in tickets please contact Cashmere or Jodi. Tickets are $10. This is an adult-only event. For more information here is the event details or you can email
  • Entertainment Books – notices will be coming out soon on how to sell/purchase and support our school!
  • Otter Co-op Receipts – If you have receipts from Otter Co-op that you no longer need, please bring them in and drop them off in our box in the office. A portion of all these proofs of purchases comes back to our school in the form of gift cards!

Month at a Glance

  • Monday, November 11 – Remembrance Day – stat holiday
  • Friday, November 15 – Grade 5s to Vancouver Symphony Orchestra
  • Monday, November 18 – Report Card Prep/Design and Assessment Day – no school for students
  • Friday, November 22 – PAC Dollar Sale in the gym. 1-6pm
    Friday, November 22 – Hot Lunch
  • Tuesday, November 26 – PAC Meeting 7pm
  • Thursday, November 28 – Lockdown Drill #1 – 11:45am
  • Tuesday, December 3 – Fire Drill #3 – 10:05
  • Friday, December 6 – Santa Breakfast 7:00-8:30
    Friday, December 6 – Term 1 Report Cards Home

Community Events

Child Care Consultation: City and Township of Langley

Do you think Langley needs more childcare spaces? Are you in need of before and after school care in your neighbourhood? The City and Township of Langley want to hear from parents, guardians and providers about childcare. They are asking for your input to help planners address childcare needs in the future. Please take this survey here.

Click here to view some awesome opportunities for kids and families in our community.



Shortreed Community Elementary

27330 28 Avenue, Aldergrove
BC, V4W 3K1
Phone: 604-856-4167
Fax: 604-856-7523