Mrs.Wilkinson was inspired by our student’s passion displayed at the assembly yesterday.  It reminded her of an invention she heard about on the news.  ELP2 has a lot of creative and innovative students so she showed them a video about 2 inventors who made a boat powered by water and sun that picks up garbage caught in harbours.

A couple students drew pictures and wrote about their own environmentally friendly inventions to clean up our water and recycle the waste to make something new.

Welcome Mrs.Wilkinson

Today we welcomed Mrs.Wilkinson to Rousseau and ELP2.  The students greeted her with smiles and kindness.  Mrs.Wilkinson watched and learned about our daily routines and joined into play.  She already knows everyone’s name!

Mrs.Raymond reminded the students yesterday to always remember “kindness first”.  Our kind and caring students welcomed Mrs.Wilkinson with open arms.

We look forward to playing and learning with you, Mrs.Wilkinson!




Goodbye, But Not Gone

ELP2 had a beautiful gift for me! They all used their finger prints to make the leaves on a tree, and they all know how I feel about trees:) The tree is on a lovely ceramic plate I can have out on my coffee table all the time, to bring me a smile and happy memories every time I see it. We enjoyed a really yummy cake! Mrs. Carte Combs is so smart… it was CUPCAKES! so no plastic forks required:) Good thinking! I left ELP2 with a new globe to help further inspire their love and learning for our world, and some favourite rules of mine I hope they’ll never forget.

Rousseau staff and students presented me with a gorgeous scrap book containing personal messages and drawings from all of the students of Rousseau. I read every single one as soon as I got home:) I also received a young Magnolia tree I can PLANT IN MY YARD! I will love having my very own Mrs. Veryberry Trunks, seeing her beautiful blossom gown each spring, and remembering all my ELP2 friends who found their inner nature kid climbing the branches of Mrs. Veryberry Trunks at school.

So many drawings from students today! Too many to picture here, but a beautiful collection of portraits and designs and things I love!

Many, many messages. I have e-mails, texts and cards from families and children. The words are really, really touching and I am feeling the full strength of my connections here at Rousseau. Thank you to everyone who has reached out in some way, I’ve read every word and I am grateful for the relationships I have here.

You have always spoiled me, more than a little! Your gifts are thoughtful and generous. Thank you for everything!

Winter may be stubbornly standing in Spring’s way, but I’m feeling the warmth, drinking in the colours, and smelling the sweet fragrances… it’s all Spring in my heart right now! I’ve got flowers in every room of my house! I can’t walk anywhere without feeling loved:) Now THAT”S a great feeling!

Words cannot adequately capture all I’m feeling right now.  I do think you all understand, as so many of you have conveyed a mixture of sadness and joy as we’ve prepared for this goodbye.  Thank you for making my experience at Rousseau so supported and rich.  Our families are wonderful, and the children are great fun.

I feel really proud of the pillars of our kindergarten program we’ve built over the years; I feel like our program stands on nature, kindness, risk taking, and mindfulness, and those are really big things!  We wouldn’t have gotten there without parents who stay tuned in, open minded and involved… watching and seeing what their children are doing each day and supporting the teachers they spend their days with.

I am grateful Mrs. Carte Combs will carry this on, with the support of Mrs. Wilkinson now, and of course the rest of our kindergarten team!

Things will be different, for sure.  My role has changed, but I’ll be in and around, I’ll be able to check in, see the blog, hug the kids, and stay in the loop.  It’s my town too:), so I’m sure we’ll cross paths.

And I’ll be glad when we do<3


Mrs. Raymond



ELP2’s Plastic Planet Presentation

As you know, our students felt it was very important to tell the rest of Rousseau about how much plastic is in the ocean!  Many SK’s prepared a message they wanted to share, and we all learned a poem about the earth.  Today we invited the whole student body down to hear what we had to say.

We started by showing Plastic Planet… the video we watched that inspired us in the first place.

Then we shared our messages.  These students decided what they wanted to say and wrote it down, or drew a picture, and delivered those messages today to an audience of about 200!

After our messages, we recited our poem.

I love the earth, and everything that lives

I love the plants, and the beauty that they give

I love the animals, and the fish at sea

For I am part of Mother Earth, and she’s a part of me

Sharon Mattioli

After our assembly we challenged Rousseau to see if they could not use straws for the REST OF THE WEEK!  We hope more students will think twice before using and disposing of plastic.

Week Ahead: April 16 – 20

Each day this week, our whole school will engage in an Earth Week Challenge!  We are Nature Kids and we are ready for this!

Monday, April 16 (day 1)

  • Gym
  • Lunch Lady
  • Earth Week Initiative: Lights Out!! (we’ve been asked to keep them off for period 3, but we can probably do better than that!)

Tuesday, April 17 (day 2)

  • Music (SK group)
  • Earth Week Initiative: School Yard CleanUp (we do this a lot anyway… today we’ll do our yard and we will ALSO go look after the park next door!!)

Wednesday, April 18 (day 3)

  • Popcorn (2$, will be sent home with children who purchase)
  • Gym
  • Earth Week Initiative: Litterless Lunch (no plastic, no bags, no wrappers! Can we do it?)
  • A number of our SK students have approached Mr. Gris about speaking to the rest of the student body about plastic and how it is impacting our world.  Today, we will invite the school to the gym and tell them what we’ve learned about plastic.  We think once they know better, they’ll do better!
  • This is Mrs. Raymond’s last day in ELP2 🙁 

Thursday, April 19 (day 4)

  • Pizza Day
  • Music (JK group)
  • Library (SK group)
  • Earth Week Initiative: Extra Recess! Spending Time in Nature:)  We spend a lot of time outside every day… today it will be even MORE!  

Friday, April 20 (day 5)

  • Library (JK group)
  • Emergency Evacuation Drill (postponed from last week due to rain)
  • Earth Week Initiative: No Paper Today! This is our own ELP2 Challenge.  We’ll see who else joins us.

The Support of Others When You Take a Leap

This was a really lovely process to watch, and I have to admit I resisted intervening on several occasions.  I was on close standby, which means the events are not well documented, but I did get a photo once they demonstrated their sound decision making.

A group of SK’s were climbing to this height and jumping!  It was a big leap for them.

The climb itself was a risk, and required some tricky maneuvering to get through and around and up.  There is a way to do it, and they coached each other from the bottom.

Then the jump is another risk.  And once one did it, they all wanted to try.  But here’s the best part: they were patient and cautious and worked up to it.  They were encouraging to each other, and they had the confidence in themselves to wait until it felt right for them.  Which meant each climb and jump looked a little different.

Chase perfected the jump and roll.  Evan was trying to spread his arms to get some degree of lift, and really felt like he did soar for a split second.  Thomas did a jump followed by a splat:)  Avery and Katie worked up to it, solicited a hand from me for the first attempt or 2 and then felt ready to try.  They’d watched, they’d reflected, then they felt ready to try.  We’d talked about knees bending, arms out and they did it!  What a rush!  They felt so proud.  Emma was more comfortable at a different height and was confident enough to do it her way.  They were all really supportive of each other and empowered to find the right way for themselves.

Later that morning, I used the analogy of this jumping as I talked about my new upcoming position with the Board.  Students wanted to know why I was leaving and I told them, that just like them, it’s good for adults to look for the next challenge, and to give something a try even if it seems hard or uncomfortable at first.

Avery wondered what I would do if it didn’t work out well, and I said I would remember the example they set, and I would try, try again, take a few deep breaths, listen to my friends, and do my very best.

Broken, but Calm

June was very proud of how calm she remained despite being so clearly broken and stuck in this predicament the other day!  You can see just how completely hopeless the situation is… which is, of course, why I paused to snap a pic!!  

June, you do make me giggle:)

A Whittle Job

Evan and Chase were ‘carving’ these branches in the woods the other day.  We recently read a series of stories with a wood carver in them and the idea has stuck.  When the boys mentioned carving, I was reminded that awhile back I’d purchased some potato peelers when I’d heard they could be a safe way for kids to whittle!  I dug them out and invited the boys to bring some branches into the classroom.

Our branch collection has grown, and the interest has remained throughout the week.  Evan carved a humpback whale!  For many, the ‘work’ itself is the reward, and there have been many visits over to the whittling centre!  Great for fine motor strength and self regulation!

Educating Others

These ladies are working on more posters to communicate learning to others about caring for our environment.

We are working on the messages we feel are important to communicate to other students at Rousseau.

A few friends practiced what they want to say to Rousseau.

They have our painting of the world, showing 5 ocean garbage patches they felt it was important for kids to know about.

Thomas has spotted the single use plastic in his lunch and is thinking about it differently.  My guess is the Crawfords will be investing in more tupperware if Thomas and Katie have any say in the matter!!

Jack is showing Sam the recycling logo on this water bottle.  He fished it out of the recycling to help Sam draw a recycling logo in his Yes, No book!