Nature news

June 6

Jack made a video showing what he knows about dragonflies (Click to watch)Dragonfly

  • What do you wonder about dragonflies?
  • Send your questions to Mrs. St Pierre and I will pass them along to Jack!

Measuring a salamander tadpole:

  • The tadpoles remaining in my aquarium now measure 2 cm, or about the diameter of a dime.
  • Their toes are more developed, so they can now walk along the bottom or sides of the tank. How many toes do they have?


Salamander update:

May 19 –

Salamander home





There were 46 salamanders! Did you guess that many? 40 have now been released into their wetland home on 216 St at 100 Ave. 6 are still in the tank. They look the same as last week, just a little bigger, with more room to swim and hunt for food.

May 9 – The salamander egg mass is now empty. Can you count how many green egg sacs there are inside the jelly mass? How many salamanders do you think hatched?

The salamanders are very active this week. Salamanders are cold-blooded, like all amphibians. When the temperature warms up, they can move their bodies fast. When the temperature is cold, they move slowly.

What changes can you see this week in their body? Front legs! Their tank is also full of tiny insects and micro-organisms for them to eat and two pond snails to clean the algae from the glass.salamander_egg_mass_empty salamander_tadpole03

Our eggs hatched on April 28! Here is what the babies look like close up. They are salamander larvae. About 10 have hatched so far.

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  • Can you see their gills? They use those branches to collect oxygen in the water to ‘breathe’. Fish and frog tadpoles have gills inside their head.
  • Can you see their legs? They don’t have any! (Yet)
  • They have a lot of freckles and speckles. This helps them camouflage in their pond. They are really impossible to see unless they move.
  • They eat micro-organisms (very small bugs in the water that we can’t see)
  • I give them fresh pond water once a week and oxygen with a ‘bubbler’ in the tank. They like to hide next to the bubbler.

Here are two close up (Macro-photography) photos of the eggs taken on April 24.

  • Here are your guesses from last week:
  • Frog tadpoles: 7 guesses
  • Salmon: 1 guess
  • Turtle: 1 guess

I think they are salamander tadpoles. Here is why:

  • The eggs are laid in a clump the size of a baseball around a stem or stick in a pond.
  • The tadpoles are growing feathery gills on the outside of their head.

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I collected these eggs on April 12 from a nearby wetland ditch.

What kind of eggs do you think they are?

When do you think they will hatch?

How should I take care of them?


















May 1 – My celery has a very tiny sprout! My chickpeas went moldy. What did you sprout? The school garden looks beautiful with the tulips and daffodils we planted in the fall. Can you make a flower art project using this picture as inspiration?


Spuds in Tubs

Spuds 1 Spuds 2May 19

Both tubs of spuds have grown a lot!

Spuds May 1spuds Apr 24

Spuds April 15Can you see how they’ve grown?

Spuds April 3May 1




April 24





April 16









April 3



Update on Ms Blair’s salmon: Ms Blair released her classroom salmon into the Nicomekl River in Langley! They are at the fry stage now. They will stay in the creek for a year and then swim downstream to go to the ocean.

Small Fry

Bog Week

IMG_20200304_130725 IMG_20200304_113423At the park last week, students experimented with how water moves through sandy soil compared to spongy soil like in Burns Bog. They also painted their favourite scene of Brae Island with watercolours. What a great way to reflect on what makes this a special place. Fern Gabriel helped us learn stories of the animals that live here too, like raven, eagle, salmon and oolichan. Bannock was a delicious treat that took patience to cook over the fire.

Back at school on Friday, we learned about germs, how to avoid getting sick and had a reminder of how to properly wash our hands. Stay healthy, everyone!

The week ahead at a glance: March 9-13

* send in a cardboard box (shoe box or something similar sized) this week for making a leprechaun trap on Friday!*

  • Monday – at FLE.
  • Tuesday – Burns Bog field trip. Be on time at Fort Langley Elem. Bus leaves at 8:56. Pack a lunch, water and dress for wet conditions.
  • Wednesday – early dismissal at 1:45. Student-led conferences.
  • Thursday – early dismissal at 1:45 for Student-led conferences. Please return all library books.
  • Friday – Hot lunch. Family Reading. Leprechaun traps activity with big buddies. Movie in the gym at 1:00.

Have a wonderful spring break!

Last week at Brae Island

It is hard to believe that winter is almost over and we will be moving on from Brae Island. It’s been a wonderful place to learn and play. Seeing our students quietly observing snakes coming out of hibernation and teaming up to create with sand bring into focus what a special place this is. Our painted Kindness Rocks are now sprinkled throughout the campground as a small way to spread happiness to others that visit or live there. This week, Indigenous Language teacher Fern Gabriel will share a story about this land and help us make bannock over the fire.

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Monday – At FLE. Gym.

Tuesday – At the park. Bannock and storytelling with Fern.

Wednesday – At the park. Last day here for Term 2! We’ll be investigating the differences between Brae Island and Burns Bog.

Thursday – At FLE. Library book exchange.

Friday – At FLE. Family Reading. Term 2 Report cards sent home.

*Please return Burns Bog permission form and waiver*

*Please sign up for a Student-led Conference on-line*

Respect and Diversity Week


This past week was fantastic with sunny weather and skating. It was amazing to see the progress students had made on their skates! Thank you so much to all the parents who were able to join us, and especially to those who came each week to help with skates. It was a huge help and we couldn’t do it without your support.

At the park, we read and shared about different families and the ways they support each other. I hope you enjoyed the ‘family rocks’ project.IMG_20200218_125415

February 25-28 is Respect and Diversity Week across many school districts. We will take this time to focus on showing kindness to others and recognizing that diversity makes our world a better place! Remember to send a loonie or two on Thursday and Friday for your child to purchase cookies and rocks!

The week at a glance: February 24-28

Please return permission forms for Burns Bog. *Fill in both sides*

  • Monday – No school. Report Card Preparation for teachers.
  • Tuesday – At the park. We’ll be painting Kindness Rocks on Tuesday to leave positive messages around the park. Clothing may get acrylic paint on it.
  • Wednesday – At the park. Pink shirt day.
  • Thursday – At FLE. Library book exchange. Cookie Sale for Canuck Place.
  • Friday – At FLE. Family Reading. Hot lunch. Rock & Mineral Sale after school (funds go to our Breakfast Club at FLE).

February Fun

Here we are half-way through February. There have been so many special days: Groundhog Day, Olympics 10 year anniversary, Hundredth Day, Valentine’s Day and Family Day! In addition to fun, these themes have led to some terrific learning outdoors.

In Science we are learning about matter – how to describe it with rich vocabulary and experience it with our five senses. At a new stretch of beach, we discovered a different mix of clay and sand that offered new ways to play.IMG_20200212_143746

At the end of the day Wednesday, we discovered snowdrops – it lifted our spirits to see this sign of spring!IMG_20200212_144557


On the hundredth day of school, students worked in teams to gather and sort 100 natural items. IMG_20200212_114708

At this point in the year, many students are feeling ready to reach new heights. It is great to see the growing confidence in their own abilities!IMG_20200212_090914







The week ahead: February 18-21

  • Monday – Family Day holiday
  • Tuesday-Wednesday  – At the park. *Important* I need to know who can drive their own child, and who is able to drive other children as well, and who needs a ride provided for their child for skating. Please email me or sign up your availability at the park.
  • Thursday – Library. Family Fun Skate. If you are able to join us, please arrive at the classroom to pick up your child at 12:30. We can skate from 1:00-2:30. All 3 classes will be allowed on the ice at once to skate with their family. Rentals are available for adults too.
  • Friday – Family Fun Reading. Assembly.
  • Monday, Feb. 24 – No school for students. Professional Day.

















Photo Album

Here are some photos of the activities at the park lately. We’ve dramatized the story ‘The Mitten’, turned the beach into both a volcanic mountain range and a Dim Sum restaurant, hiked to the other side of the island, and discovered living things coming out of hiding with the warm wet IMG_20200129_094806 (768x1024)weather.

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The week ahead: February 3-7

This week we will investigate matter, light and sound. The outdoors gives us plenty of opportunities to explore matter!

Monday – Skating Lesson #4, Shadow investigation in the sun.

Tuesday & Wednesday – at the park. Weather looks cold and wet. We will email out any potential changes.

Thursday – Scholastic Book fair this week in the library means no book exchange. LEPS class workshop about water.

Friday – Family Reading. Assembly.

Thinking ahead…

More skating: Mon, Feb. 10 (bus) and Thurs, Feb. 20 (parent drivers)

Wednesday, Feb. 12 – 100th day of school activities

Thursday, Feb. 13 – Valentine’s Day activities, hot lunch


Here are some upcoming schedule details about skating:

Monday, Feb. 3 – skating lesson #4 (travel by bus)

Monday, Feb. 10 – skating lesson #5 (travel by bus)

Thursday, Feb. 20 – skating lesson #6 (parent drivers – fun family skate)

Please let me know if you can drive Feb. 20 and how many students you can safely transport.


A snowy week

It was so cold, we had to cancel our skating and outdoor days – that is a first in the three years of our program! I noticed the kids were missing the outdoor play so we tried to get out in the snow even though it was cold. We will try again for outdoor days next week. It will probably be wet but not as cold and we do have an indoor space we can dry off in. Skating is rescheduled to Thursday, Feb. 20. This will be our last ‘family fun skate’ day so we will travel with parent drivers and hope you can join us on the ice.

Home reading has started. I know some of the kids are excited and some are maybe stressed that they don’t know how to read. It is perfectly fine at this point to either read the books TO your child first (they are all repetitive books so they will quickly be able to memorize the words) or allow your child to tell the story using the pictures even if the words do not exactly match. We are beginning to grow our ‘sight word’ knowledge in class, so they should soon recognize the small connecting words like a, I, the, and, to…It is also very beneficial to read the same book many times. This builds confidence and pride in their success, which is the main point of home reading! Please come talk to me if you have any questions or concerns.

The week at a glance: January 20-24

Monday – Skating. Please send all gear in a bag that your child can carry on the bus. Parent helpers meet at the arena at 12:30. Thank you! Our group gets skates on and eats lunch first, then skates at 1:30.

Tuesday/Wednesday – Outdoor days. Hand warmers and extra rain layer will help them be comfortable all day.

Thursday – Library.

Friday – Family Reading. Home reading book exchange.

Winter has arrived

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Friday’s snow was such a fun way to end the week. This week we learned about New Year’s traditions such as staying up late, counting down and making resolutions. Students have each set a goal for their learning. Outdoor days were spent exploring the new location and learning who shares this special place with us.

The week ahead at a glance: January 13-17

Monday: Skating lesson. Remember to send all needed equipment – skates, helmet, long socks, gloves, snow/rain pants – in a sturdy bag. Labeling everything makes it so much easier to help your child stay organized. Thank you to all our adult helpers this week. Remember that our K class skates 2nd, so will get skates on, then eat at benches, then skate at 1:30. All K students should leave their belongings in Change Room 12 please. We have a black and a red helmet that were left behind last time.

Tuesday/Wednesday: Stay tuned for an update on Monday about where to drop off and pick up. We are watching the weather closely and want to be sure everyone can stay safe. We will email families on Monday.

Thursday: Library. Hip Hop Hoop Dance presentation at 9:15 in the gym. Home reading starts this week! (Info will be sent home)

Friday: Family Reading. Hot Lunch.



Happy New Year

New Year 2020I wish all our LEAP families a happy, healthy year!

The week at a glance:

Monday, Jan. 6Arrive at Fort Langley Elementary at 8:51. Send skates, helmet, gloves, snow/rain pants. We board the bus at 12:00 for Sportsplex. Pick up at Sportsplex at 2:45 in the main lobby. We are looking forward to skating lessons for the next 6 Mondays. Thank you to the parent helpers who are meeting us at the arena at 12:30 to lace up skates. If your child is renting skates, I need to know their shoe size. This first week will be a bit of a trial getting sizes just right!

Tuesday, Wednesday, Jan. 7-8 – Drop off and Pick up at Brae Island in the area next to the public washrooms. We typically start our mornings in the field close to the parking and then walk to the McTavish Group Camp shelter for snack around 9:45.

Thursday, Jan.9 – At FLE. Library book exchange.

Friday, Jan. 10 – At FLE. Family Read and Assembly in the AM.