Just Say No!

Written by Amber Scotchburn. Posted in Uncategorized


Does Your Child Know How to Say No…with confidence, ease and even some humour thrown in ;)?!

Think about it…

Our society is set up to teach children to be people pleasers…to say yes to their parents, teachers, and other people of authority. And then we even go so far as to label a child as a trouble maker when they do say no. But then we tell them as teens when they get into awkward, intense, potential life changing situations, to “just say no”.

Where do children get opportunities to “just say no” with confidence, ease and humour? And how many people don’t learn this until they are well into adulthood or have never learned to “just say no”!

This article gives us a good way to start the conversation of how to teach your child to “just say no” with confidence, ease, and even some humour thrown in!

Read about it this article:






Life Skills: Procrastination!

Written by Amber Scotchburn. Posted in Uncategorized


“The Twist” in our Tutoring…With A Twist name means that we offer more than just what one might think of as tutoring. You may perhaps think of tutoring as sitting down with a teacher working on worksheets. Although that could compromise some of your time with us, we like to work on other skills: Life Skills! You may have heard of them?!

This picture gave me a chuckle as it is a great play on words (which of course a teacher likes) and a great life skill to be worked on!

Make today fantastical everybody!


Love of Learning: Math Humour!

Written by Amber Scotchburn. Posted in Uncategorized

Stay tuned to our Love of Learning posts this month but for now some Math Humour!




School to Summer Transition!

Written by Amber Scotchburn. Posted in Uncategorized

Transitioning from School to Summer!

School is almost at the end, do you have any tips on how to transition my kids from school to summer?

Yes! Here are five tips!

1. Routines: Choose a routine you are willing to bend on, and keep the others fairly close to the school year. Routines such as morning routine, evening routine, bedtime routine. Use which ever routine they have the easiest time adjusting to when it’s back to school.

2. Summer Fun List: Have each family member write down 5-8 activities they want to do over the summer. Have them gather all the information they can on the activity: who can participate in it from the family, when does the activity happen, where in your calandar can you fit it in, what is the cost. Have each family member pitch their idea’s to the rest of the family and have a vote!

3. Summer Reading: Head to the library and sign up for their free summer reading program. Start checking out books by asking the librarian for help, ask your child what they like and research where to find that in the library, and/or check in with their teacher for their reading recommendations.

4. Play Dates With Friends: Be sure to swap information with the parents of your child’s school friends before the end of the year. Ask them when they are around for the summer. See if they want to do any trades of kids for a day!

5. Stop Summer Brain Drain: Taking two months off from learning makes it difficult to step back into learning mode come September. Be sure to have asked their current teacher(s) what they recomend they practice over the summer.

Check back in and we will give more tips for Summer Learning to keep the brain from going down the drain :)!



Visual Learner

Written by Amber Scotchburn. Posted in Uncategorized


Confessions of a Visual Learner


“See how this works” …


“I can’t picture it” …


“Let’s draw a diagram/map” …


“I never forget a face” …


My language is all about pictures. I remember what I see more easily than what I hear. I have a great memory and tend to be good at spelling. I usually prefer art to music. I normally have a good sense of direction.


How to help me learn:

  • Write out directions/instructions with pictures and little writing.
  • Help me create to-do-lists, assignment logs, and written notes by teaching me a short hand of visual cues.
  • Let me highlight key words with different colours!
  • Show me PowerPoint presentations, pictures, graphs, and other visual media when it’s something you really want me to remember!
  • Encourage me to draw lots of diagrams, mind maps, graphs, pictures; on poster board if possible.
  • Encourage me to use lots of colour in notes, diagrams, etc.
  • Encourage me to use arrows and other shapes to connect key concepts.
  • Let me watch a video on the subject. Yes, even from YouTube! And the library!
  • Help me make flashcards.
  • I can get antsy if I it’s note-taking time and it’s a lot of words. Also, I may “tune out” while trying to listen & take wordy notes. Let me draw, doodle, or scribble. It actualy helps me pay attention!
  • Let me preview reading material if at all possible.
  • Let me see your facial expressions and body language. Please use expression in your voice and props in your explanations and lectures!
  • I work best when I have a clear line of site of what I should be looking at.
  • Help me create a visual journey or story to memorize concepts that aren’t easy to “see.”
  • I work best in a quiet environment.
  • Help me develop my other learning styles. Verbal and written information is all around me; it is often the preferred choice. Help me practice my note taking. Practicing dictation would help me learn how to process auditory information.  Encourage me to explain my visuals in words to other people.

Tutoring…With a Twist tutors not only support learners in every subject area; we also support them with a predetermined life-skill. By helping learners develop the tools they need to succeed in the classroom, we also help them develop the tools to succeed in life.


Strike & Your Child’s Report Card

Written by Amber Scotchburn. Posted in Uncategorized

It appears the strike action may be ongoing into the summer; in the meantime, for report cards…

Report Cards
Grades K-9
The strike action will NOT allow for the completion and distribution of report cards for students in Grades K through 9. The assessment information that we need in order to produce report cards is not consistently available due to the strike, nor do we have resources available to produce full report cards. Therefore, we are not able to produce an accurate statement of your child’s progress at this time. Unless you have been notified otherwise,
your child will progress to the next grade and no final report card will be issued.

Grades 10, 11 and 12
The Labour Relations Board has ruled that final marks for students in Grades 10, 11 and 12 must be submitted by
teachers. Students in these grades will receive abbreviated report cards that will include final course marks and attendance, but will not include comments or a description of work habits. It is our intention to have these minimal report cards available at the end of August. Also, please note that Grade 12 graduating students will receive their transcripts in the mail from the Ministry of Education in July.

Distance Learning/Summer School
The BCTF has announced that if there is no resolution to the strike by June 30, traditional summer school programs will be picketed.

The BC Public Schools Employers Association (BCPSEA) has applied for an essential services order that would allow some summer school programs to go ahead. 


Strike to Start NEXT WEEK…

Written by Amber Scotchburn. Posted in Uncategorized

B.C. teachers strike to start next week

First 4 days of rotating strikes will run May 26 until May 29.

Posted:May 20, 2014 7:52 AM PT

Last Updated:May 20, 2014 11:11 AM PT

During the last round of failed contract negotiations in 2012, striking teachers in staged a rally against back to work legislation at the legislature.

During the last round of failed contract negotiations in 2012, striking teachers in staged a rally against back to work legislation at the legislature.

B.C.’s teachers will stage a rotating strike May 26 to May 29, affecting every school in the province, BCTF president Jim Iker announced this morning.

Under the rotating strike schedule, the province has been divided by the BCTF into four zones. Schools in every district of the province will be closed for one day each, over four days of rotating strikes. Classes will resume province-wide on Friday.

Jim Iker

BCTF President Jim Iker says teachers will begin rotating strike action next week. (CBC)

Iker said the strike is in response to the threat of wage roll rollbacks made last week.

“Last week, teachers were hopeful when they saw the government and BCPSEA put out an olive branch by backing off the unrealistic 10-year term,” said Iker on Tuesday morning.

“But the next day, hope that this government would start negotiating in good faith faded when the employer announced a series of threats around wage rollbacks, lockouts, and attempts to divide teachers, parents, and students.”


On Friday the government threatened to cut teachers’ pay by five per cent because of the limited job action that started last month. The government also promised the teachers a $1,200 bonus if a six-year contract deal was signed by the end of the school year in June.

Iker said there won’t be a deal unless the government is prepared to put appropriate class size limits, class size composition guarantees and guaranteed staffing levels for specialist teachers into the contract.

“There are six days left before the first schools shut down.” he said. “I encourage Christy Clark and Peter Fassbender to be in touch, move off their unreasonable demands, and empower BCPSEA to negotiate a fair deal.”

Fassbender says he will respond to the BCTF strike plan this afternoon.

BCTF rotating strike schedule



Monday, May 26

  • #5 – Southeast Kootenay
  • #6 – Rocky Mountain
  • #28 – Quesnel
  • #39 – Vancouver
  • #40 – New Westminster
  • #48 – Sea to Sky
  • #49 – Central Coast
  • #59 – Peace River South
  • #62 – Sooke
  • #67 – Okanagan Skaha
  • #72 – Campbell River
  • #74 – Gold Trail
  • #75 – Mission
  • #78 – Fraser-Cascade
  • #85 – Vancouver Island North
  • #87 – Stikine


Tuesday, May 27

  • #10 – Arrow Lakes
  • #19 – Revelstoke
  • #20 – Kootenay-Columbia
  • #23 – Central Okanagan
  • #27 – Cariboo-Chilcotin
  • #35 – Langley
  • #38 – Richmond
  • #42 – Maple Ridge
  • #52 – Prince Rupert
  • #54 – Bulkley Valley
  • #63 – Saanich
  • #68 – Nanaimo
  • #70 – Alberni
  • #81 – Fort Nelson
  • #83 – North Okanagan-Shuswap


Wednesday, May 28

  • #34 – Abbotsford
  • #37 – Delta
  • #43 – Coquitlam
  • #47 – Powell River
  • #50 – Haida Gwaii
  • #51 – Boundary
  • #53 – Okanagan Similkameen
  • #60 – Peace River North
  • #61 – Greater Victoria
  • #69 – Qualicum
  • #73 – Kamloops Thompson
  • #84 – Vancouver Island West
  • #91 – Nechako Lakes
  • #92 – Nisga’a


Thursday May, 29

  • #8 – Kootenay Lake
  • #22 – Vernon
  • #33 – Chilliwack
  • #36 – Surrey
  • #41 – Burnaby
  • #44 – North Vancouver
  • #45 – West Vancouver
  • #46 – Sunshine Coast
  • #57 – Prince George
  • #58 – Nicola Similkameen
  • #64 – Gulf Islands
  • #71 – Comox
  • #79 – Cowichan Valley
  • #82 – Coast MountainsSchool District


#93 (Conseil Scolaire Francophone)

  • Schools will be closed with others in their local communities throughout the week.

Helping Children Educate Themselves

Written by Amber Scotchburn. Posted in Uncategorized

A Path of Their Own: Helping Children Educate Themselves
Harbourfront Branch of the Vancouver Island Regional Library on May 20th from 6 to 7:30 pm.

Interested in homeschooling? Local author Lael Whitehead discusses how she removed her children from the traditional school system and guided them on a path of self education and self-directed learning. Lael will be reading from her recent book and answering audience questions.

Lael Whitehead tells how she took her children out of school and allowed them to learn from life in a natural, self-directed way, without curriculum, grades, discipline or rewards. Whitehead describes the various ways in which her three daughters each designed their own unique ‘educations.’ She introduces her concept of ‘radical respect’ as the cornerstone of compassionate parenting. Sharing stories from her own experience, she shows that when children are deeply respected — seen as they are, and not as we might wish them to be — they flourish, both emotionally and intellectually. Respectful parenting allows children to trust their own instincts and to pursue their individual passions and curiosities. They grow up to be creative, resilient and innerdirected adults who stay open and engaged with the world throughout their lives. 


School District 68…

Written by Amber Scotchburn. Posted in Uncategorized

May 7, 2014

Dear Parents/Guardians

Re: Field Trips and Special Events during the BCTF Strike Action

There are a wide variety of field trip activities taking place in schools in the next eight weeks, as well as special year-end school events such as graduation ceremonies and awards nights. I am writing to let you know that it is possible that a number of these trips and events will be affected by the current Stage 1 strike action currently being undertaken by the B.C. Teachers’ Federation (BCTF) and/or any escalation of strike activity, and some trips or events may need to be cancelled:

 The status of each field trip will depend on what phase of strike action is underway at the time of the trip, and the nature and destination of the trip.

 Special school events may need to be rescheduled to ensure that they take place during the normal school day, and may need to be cancelled if there is a full-scale strike. Accompanying this letter is an information sheet about the factors that may affect planned field trips, as well as information about district events that have been cancelled. We have advised school principals that they must take the various factors into consideration and have contingency plans in place should a trip or event need to be cancelled. We recognize that many of these planned field trips and events are special occasions that students and parents have been planning for, raising money for, and looking forward to for a long time. While we will not cancel field trips or events unnecessarily, our first priority will be to ensure that there are appropriate measures in place to ensure student safety and supervision. If you have questions about a particular trip or event, please discuss those with your school principal.


Dave Hutchinson, Superintendent of Schools/CEO

Information about the Impact of BCTF Strike Action on Activities in Nanaimo Ladysmith Public Schools District Events that Have Been Cancelled, To Date

 Elementary Zone and District Track and Field Meets – These meets are large events which bring together students from a number of elementary schools. Given the current situation with the BCTF strike action, the district believes that it cannot provide the required level of student supervision at these meets and has, regretfully, decided to cancel them.

 Aboriginal Student Graduation Celebration – Regretfully, it has been decided that it is not feasible to proceed with this annual celebration, which was scheduled for the evening of May 22.

 The May 6 Success for All Non-Instructional Day was cancelled, as were the one-hour early dismissals for Professional Learning Communities on April 28 and May 12. Factors Affecting Field Trips and School Events – May and June 2014

Type of Strike Activity that Is Occurring or Anticipated:

 Stage 1 of the strike by the BCTF is currently underway. Stage 1 involves the withdrawal of many teacher activities including: Teachers removing themselves from administrative tasks, including written communication with the school principal. This type of strike activity could prevent the required documents for field trips being provided to principals. Teachers are only providing limited supervision of students before or after school or at recess, although they may provide voluntary extra-curricular supervision during this stage. Teachers are limiting their attendance at schools outside of instructional time to one hour before classes and one hour after classes.

 Stage 2 of a strike would include teachers withdrawing from work on a rotating basis around the province. Picket lines may be at schools. If a rotating strike were to take place in our district on a day that a field trip or special event was scheduled, that trip or event would have to be cancelled. BCTF is required to give two days’ notice about rotating strikes. A rotating strike could cause problems with multi-day field trips out of the school district, since it is possible we would not know about the strike until after students had left on the trip.

 Stage 3 would be a complete strike, province-wide. If this were to take place this spring, all trips and events would be cancelled, and students already on trips would likely be required to return home as soon as possible.

 We do not know when, or if, Stages 2 or 3 might take place.

Safety Requirements

 With all field trips, there is important documentation that must be completed. This includes providing the school principal with details of the trip, emergency contact information, and a list of students going on the trip. This information must be provided to the principal in order for a field trip to proceed, and the principal must be satisfied that there will be adequate supervision of the students on the field trip.

 For overnight field trips, the district requires that at least one school district employee accompanies the group. Because there are a large number of overnight trips being planned, the district is not able to ensure that staff sponsors will be available to supervise all such trips. Contingency Planning and Cancellation Fees

 Parents should be aware that because of the uncertainty about the current strike action and potential rotating or full-scale strike action, there is a possibility that money committed will not be refundable. Graduation Activities and Year-End Events

 Events that are held during the school day should be able to proceed as planned unless there is a Stage 2 rotating strike or Stage 3 full strike on that particular day. For events taking place after school hours, the situation will vary from school to school, depending on the availability of organizers and supervision.


Stage 1 Job Action

Written by Amber Scotchburn. Posted in Uncategorized

Stage 1 Job Action starts today, Wednesday, April 23, 2014. 

During Stage 1 Job Action teachers will not:

  • Undertake any mandated supervision of students outside of regularly scheduled classes, except as set out by an essential services order.
  • Attend any meetings with management other than meetings of the worksite Joint Health and Safety Committee.
  • Provide principals or administrators with any routine printed, written, or electronic communication.
  • Receive any printed, written, or electronic communication from an administrator.
  • Be at a worksite prior to one hour before commencement of instructional time and one hour after the end of instructional time, other than for pre-arranged voluntary activities.


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