Life in the classroom

UBC Math Department Students Visit Grades Six & Seven

In October, the Grades Six and Seven classes of ICS had some UBC students visit and lead us in an educational math workshop. In the workshop we were separated into five groups, each group had five ICS students and one UBC student .  We were all given a sheet with a lot of difficult word problems, then the groups had to solve as many of the questions together with the help of the UBC student.  We all enjoyed working with the enthusiastic UBC students so much.  

The feedback from Grades Six and Seven was overwhelmingly positive. Read on for some student quotes….

“It was very helpful, and the students helped my group and I understand the questions.  It was a very good experience.”

“I thought it was very generous for the UBC students to come to ICS. And it was interesting how they thought through the math problems.”

“It really pushed us to the limits, and we really had to think of the problem carefully.”

“It was a good chance to practice word problems.”

"It was really challenging.”

"It was fun, some of the questions were pretty challenging.”

“There was a math question that was pretty challenging, and one person got it.”

"I really enjoyed doing the math questions with my group, the UBC student helping us really made us think and understand the question thoroughly.”

Written By Grade Six Students

Back to School at ICS!

Welcome back to our new and returning families! Our September has started with a furor - we had a strong turn out for Meet the Teacher on September 14, beautiful weather for our Terry Fox Run on September 20, and many of our co-curricular and extra-curricular activities are up and running . . . Garden Buddies, cross country, volleyball, and choir.

We wish you all a happy 2017-18 school year and we look forward to seeing you around our lovely campus.

Kallie George Visits Grade One!

On Monday, February 6th, Kallie George came to our Grade One class. She taught us about being an author.  Kallie George did a writing activity with us. She drew a neck on a piece of paper and a person in our class had to draw a head.  It was fun.  We named our new magical animal “Snuggles the Merbunny.” Kallie George showed us her books.  Kallie George is a famous author.  It was a great visit! If you would like to learn about Kallie George, visit her website www.kalliegeorg.

Written by a Grade One Student

Grade Six Student Researchers

A trip to the main branch of the Vancouver Public Library in September inspired these words of thanks from the students in Grade Six to our host librarians . . .

“I had a lot of fun but I really liked the historical maps, they were so fascinating. It was interesting how in different time periods, the maps changed.”

“I liked the index cards better than Google because there was only one card for each event that happens instead of ten gazillion different websites with all sorts of strange things that don’t even have to do with what you looked up.”

“My favourite part of your tour was when you showed us the microfilm reader and explained how old newspapers crumbled over time as well as describing how scientists took photos of all the newspapers ever produced!”

“I am very grateful to the librarian who worked downstairs in the kids section, for showing us how to take and and put a book on hold.”

“I would like to thank the librarian for teaching me how to use one of the VPL computers. With that new knowledge, my friend and I found some information and printed it. We printed documents about Japanese Canadians such as information on the Asahi baseball team, the relocation of Japanese Canadians, and about Japanese Canadians themselves to share with our class.

I especially liked learning how to find a book using the Dewey Decimal System. Now, it is so much easier to find what I am looking for.”

“My favourite part by far was using the microfilm reader because it was amazing to zoom in on all of the little pictures and see newspaper articles from years ago.”

Due to popular demand, the Grade Six class will be making a return visit to the Special Collections Room at the Vancouver Public Library to engage in some more research around the topic of citizenship and justice . . . stay tuned!

Ellen Schwartz Visits Grade Six

On Tuesday May 24th, Ellen Schwartz, a New Jersey born author who now lives in Burnaby, came to Grade Six to talk to us about some of her experiences in writing and to share her latest book, Heart of a Champion, with usDuring her visit, Mrs. Schwartz assigned us some writing in which we would need to compose a scene inspired by one of the many paintings we have learned about in our art history studies. When we completed writing the scene, Mrs. Schwartz read and edited each one. She visited us one week later to individually conference with us. Since then, we have been working on using that scene in a story… stay tuned for the final results!

We anxiously await the start of the 2016-17 school year because Mrs. Schwartz will be back at ICS to lead a Writer in Residence Program with our Intermediate students – how lucky we are to have such an opportunity! To learn more about Ellen Schwartz, visit her website at:

Written by a Grade 6 student

Spring Miracles!

This Spring, the Kindergarten students witnessed the process of metamorphosis in butterflies! It was very exciting to watch as our tiny caterpillars grew into larger ones, and then changed into chrysalides.

We eagerly waited for the butterflies to emerge from these chrysalides! The transformation was magical for our student and teacher scientists. Along with Father Paul, a Grade 6 student documenter and two expert parent-gardeners, we released 24 butterflies in Father’s garden and prayed for safety in their travels.

Throughout the process, we posed many questions and posted these on our Wonder Wall. Some of these questions were:

What do caterpillars eat?
• How much do caterpillars eat?
• Why do caterpillars shed?
• Do some butterflies have pink and purple on their wings?
• How does the caterpillar change into a butterfly?
• Why does the caterpillar turn into a chrysalis?

To find the answers to our questions, we read stories, engaged in learning activities, asked experts and enlisted the help of our Grade Four buddies. What an amazing learning experience!

Grade Four School Gardeners!

Last week, we harvested our lettuce to make salad. We shared our salads with the school. We harvested arugula, head lettuce, carrots, kale, basil, pea shoots, and kohlrabi for our salads. The classes thought our salad was amazing!

Many students asked for seconds and one student asked for our dressing recipe. One girl said she didn’t like salad before she tried ours, but now she does now.

We also learned about bolting. Bolting is when the plant gets too hot or too dry and it thinks it might die, so it makes seeds. Sometimes bolting makes the vegetable taste different.

We had a fun time in the garden and making salads. We are really grateful to our garden buddies who volunteer to garden with us.

Written by Grade Four Students

Final Days of School 2015

Our final month of school at ICS was filled with learning, fun, and sharing our gifts with others. We also continued with activities and projects that we started earlier in the year. Our Grade Four garden was an incredible success and will continue to be looked after by the families of the Grade Four class over the summer. What bounty we have to share – our garden is a true metaphor for our school community. Read on to discover more about the final days of the 2014-15 school year.

Our Math Club, which met every Wednesday at lunch time and was led by Dr. Van Raamsdonk, had its final meeting and the students received certificates from the Caribou Math Competition in which they competed regularly. The Caribou Math Competition is a world wide online contest that is organized by Brock University. There are six contests throughout the school year and in between the contests, the members of the Math club spent their time working cooperatively to solve creative math problems – these sessions were boisterous and full of laughter and competition. If you love Math, this was the place to be on Wednesdays at 12:15.

The final days in Grade Five were spent learning, learning, learning. The students worked together to design and assemble structures using tinker toys and other creative building materials. They also put together a truly informative and unique history fair, focusing specifically on Chinese immigration in Canada.  Parents, students, and teachers alike learned a great deal when touring the displays.

The final days of school were not all work, as can be seen below in the photos of the Grade Seven field trip to Jericho Beach. Sports Day, held at Memorial Park on Friday, June 19th was a huge success. The Grade Six and Seven students composed cheers and taught them to the members of each of their teams, which was no easy feat!

Over the final weeks of school each class collected a box of unused school supplies to be donated to the Salvation Army back to school charitable program which helps supply elementary school children in need with new school supplies. The drive was organized by one of our parents who also made the delivery of the items to the Salvation Army. Thank you to those who donated goods.

We wish you all a safe and joy filled summer!

Kindergarten Scientist for the Day!

Each week in Kindergarten, two children have the opportunity to be Scientist for the Day! After preparing at home, the children bring their equipment to school, put the lab coat on and share their experiment and research with the class. We have learned so much from our classmates! Some of the experiments that we have enjoyed:

• oil and water fireworks •  float or sink? • density • transfer of energy • erupting volcanoes • Ooblek • jumping pepper
• lava lamps with alka seltzer (seen in photo) • static electricity • circuits • growing our own crystals

Here’s what some of the Kinders have to say about Scientist for the Day:


They were just like a real Scientist!

Calling up classmates to help was fun!


Spectacular and wonderful!

They were surprising!

Grade Four Garden Buddies


The Grade Four students have taken on the great responsibility of planting and tending to the ICS gardens over the course of this school year. Several times a month they meet with a group of Master Gardeners and gardening enthusiasts to learn about the fine art of planning, planting, tending to, and harvesting vegetables and flowers.  It has been a wonderful experience in which they have involved the rest of the school community in the areas of composting and taste testing. They have harvested and tasted many micro-greens and the most recent and deliciously crunchy harvest was radish. Thank you Grade Four for your dedication and hard work with our gardens!

The following excerpts were written by two Grade Four students:

Garden buddies are people that come to work with us when we garden.  They help us plant seeds in the garden.  The garden is in the back of the school.  Our buddies come every other Tuesday.  I feel happy and excited to work with our Garden Buddies.

This picture is about a group of students building a trellis to support the peas they’re about to plant. They’re going to plant Arugula. I chose this because they used teamwork to build the trellis. Each student is trying to do his or her best. I really like my garden buddy because she’s really nice and she tries to help when we need help.