A Thankful Community

Today we have our Thanksgiving chapel at school, we had our 8W class lead the worship and message for the entire middle and high school student body. It is awesome to take this Thanksgiving weekend to reflect on what we are grateful for. 8W did a video that I want to share with you. Please take a moment and watch it;

The Grade 8 class ended with students and staff taking a paper leaf and writing a message of thankfulness which they will stick to our “Tree of Gratitude”. The tree will grow as more leaves are attached. If you are in the school over the next week, find the tree and read some leaves!


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Our Grade 6 classes went away to Camp Kawkawa a few weeks ago for our annual retreat. The theme of the three-day camping trip was “Building Community”, and during scheduled devotion time, the students reflected on what the Bible tells us about community. They read in Acts 2 on the fellowship of believers and in Romans 12 on humble service. As well, they looked at what Philippians 2 teaches about humility, and in Ephesians 4 about unity and keeping the bond of peace. Finally, Hebrews 10 was sourced on how to build community in a Godly fashion.

In his book “Building Community in Schools”, Thomas Sergiovanni writes that in building community, there are two motivational rules: The first rule is that what is rewarded gets done, and the second rule is what we value and believe to be good gets done. The first rule is an example of an extrinsic tie to a community where we remain tied to others and to the work as long as we continue to receive and value the rewards that someone else gives us. The second rule is an example of a moral tie to a community where we accept the morals, values and obligations we feel towards others and toward the work of the community. At LCS we are intentional at encouraging students to want to do things for the moral ties we experience through shared values and belief, and not to do things just for extrinsic rewards. We work hard to instill in our students that a servant heart is the foundation for building community.

Having our parents help in the building of community is important. We need a strong parent community that supports our school, our teachers, and our administration. Together we can provide a positive environment for students to learn in.

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“What if education was primarily concerned with shaping our hopes and passions-our visions of the ‘good life’-and not merely about the dissemination of data and information as inputs to our thinking? What if the primary work of education was the transforming of our imagination rather than the saturation of our intellect?” James K.A. Smith

We are a story-formed people, and the teacher is the main storyteller in the educational setting. Our teachers are using Teaching for Transformation (TfT) to invite students into God’s story. TfT helps students discover the biblical narrative of creation, fall, redemption, and restoration. A phrase often used to describe Storyline in TfT is “see the story–live the story”. Storylines could include a classroom Storyline or a school wide Storyline that is used in lesson planning and unit planning. Storyline helps students discover how they can be co-creators with God in the present.

TfT believes that every unit and every learning experience tells a story. The TfT program tries, using the story discovered in each unit of study, to create a powerful and compelling image of God’s story. The TfT program invites students to imagine his or her place in God’s story. The TfT program does this by connecting the story of each unit with opportunities to tangibly practice living the grand narrative. Each student and teacher will begin to create a personal “storyline” and articulate how they see themselves living in God’s epic drama.

Our teachers have been training in TfT for the past year and we will be incorporating it into our upcoming year as we unpack the new BC learn plans for our classrooms. We are excited about this approach to learning and we know the students will be engaged in this learning model.

TfT is a trade mark of the Prairie Centre for Christian Education (PCCE)

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Faith Is An Acoustical Affair, We See By First Listening

Martin Luther once said that faith is an acoustical affair, we see by first listening.

If a nonbeliever walked past a group of believers sharing communion, what would they see? They would see a group of people eating bits of bread and drinking little cups of juice. Until they heard Gods words from Mathew 26:26-30, they would not see a communion service or understand what the bread and juice represent.

If a nonbeliever walked past a person being baptized in a river, what would they see? They would see people being dunked into water. Until they heard Gods words from Mathew 3, they would not see a baptism occurring. They would not understand the significance of being immersed in water as a symbol of leaving our old ways behind and surrendering to Gods ways as we emerge from the water a new living being in Christ.

Teaching is an acoustical affair as well. Students must hear what is being taught before they “see”. Teachers describe the students “seeing” by having the light bulb turn on, or having an “aha” moment, or having a switch in their head turn on.

The new direction of teaching is to incorporate as many experiential learning activities as we can. Students do “see” by doing things and engaging in work that needs to be done for a project to complete.

All year our staff have been training in Teaching for Transformation (TfT). We have been intentional at putting our biblical through lines and our story lines into our curriculum. We have been using the foundations of TfT to plan our new BC education curriculum for implementation this September 2016. The TfT training involves design of formational learning experiences that allow students to get into the messiness of problem solving, collaboration, creativity, and discernment that will take place in the classroom.

The “acoustics” of teaching are changing, if you walk down the halls, you would notice a shift away from the teacher in front of students disseminating information and moving towards a new formational learning experience teaching students to “hear and see” in a new way.

#darrelljohnson, #martinluther

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Creativity and Building Community

Recently our Grade 8 classes held their Renaissance Fair. This event was an afternoon and evening where our Grade 8’s had the opportunity to make presentations of learning to their family, friends and our entire school community.

Our teachers create real work with a real need for a real audience with their classes. The Renaissance Fair is a perfect example of such an activity. It provides each student with a formative learning experience that makes learning subject matter fun. The Renaissance Fair gave the students the opportunity to display a life skill that was needed to survive and live in the Renaissance Era. Students researched, visited local Artisans and spent time learning and honing a craft. Students learned about metal forging, baking, weaving, leatherwork, woodworking, weapons making, painting, candy making, and more.

To add a sense authenticity to the event, our teachers started roasting a whole pig first thing in the morning. The pig roasted all day and in the evening we served a “pork on a bun and ale” light dinner to the event guests. I have to qualify that last statement; the “ale” was ginger ale. Food and presentations of learning are a great combo to success.

I love it when teachers take learning out of the classroom.


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Service, Generosity and Justice

Recently our school held our Grade 6 Market Day. Our school is all about creating formational learning experiences where students do real work with a real need for a real audience. For the months of January and February, the Grade 6 wing explodes into a fury of activity with Market Day learning. Data survey collection, business plan formation, dragons den presentations, product research and development all work together to produce one glorious day.

The concept is simple; develop an idea into a tangible product to sell to consumers and make enough money to pay back your business loan and strive to make profit. The profit all goes to Opportunity International Charitable Organization that provides micro-loans to third world countries allowing people the opportunity to create micro- businesses that will provide income which enables them and their families to be fed, clothed, and educated.

Oh ya, do all of this in a five-hour window on Market Day.

This years event raised $4,250 for Opportunity International. That means that the total micro-loans of $3,761 was also raised and paid back. The micro-loans ranged from $40 to $414 depending on the product that was being made. Some of the ideas generated were: the bakery basket, Burgerama, sticky goodness, crepes, the bag boutique, happy hotdog stand, trivia spin, frozen frenzy, jarred up, martian mallow hot chocolate, floats for life, the grilled cheezerz, popcorn city, hair necessities, heat packs, pie in a jar, brunch in a cup, and many more.

The real formative learning evidence lies in what the students take away from the experience. Here are some quotes from students that participated; My favourite part of MarketDay was the day of. It was really fun because we got the real experience of a business. 

Now that I have learned about people in poverty, I can find more ways to help them. 

I liked doing MarketDay stuff instead of normal Math, LA, and Theme. I liked doing the business books because it felt like real life business. But some of it was hard. 

I learned that a business isn’t just about making money for yourself. Do it for the Lord and don’t be greedy. Like the Bible says, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men.”

I have learned that it is more rewarding to do work for Christ than to do work for yourself. I have also learned that you should always have a Christ-like perspective in business and all things you do. 

This is real learning!

market day 1market day 2

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Protect / Educate / Respect

Our Middle School has been advocating Good Digital Citizenship (GDC) for three years now. We have been at the forefront of bringing standards of GDC to our students in Grades 6-8. Its great to see other schools and organizations now realizing the importance of these standards and start to implement them. The government of Saskatchewan has recently published their plan to implement digital citizenship in their schools. Their publication has some interesting studies that reinforce our need to continue teaching GDC.

The International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) has compiled a list of standards for students, teachers, and administrators that outline the technology related skills that students need to master. Among the list is the development of Good Digital Citizenship.

The ISTE has listed four standards:

  1. Advocate and practice safe, legal, and responsible use of information and technology
  2. Exhibit a positive attitude toward using technology that supports collaboration, learning, and productivity
  3. Demonstrate personal responsibility for lifelong learning
  4. Exhibit leadership for digital citizenship

Dr. Mike Ribble has research on the nine elements of digital citizenship that match our Langley Christian Middle School GDC elements. I like his addition of grouping the nine elements into three categories; Protect, Educate, and Respect.


to read more on this, cut and paste this URL into your web browser:



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Hour of Code

This week has been designated in North America for students of all ages to experience writing code for computer graphic design. The organization “Hour of Code” has written many one hour tutorials for teachers of all grades to bring into their classroom during this week. The goal of this program is to expose students to what writing code is, what is does, and how it works. This exposure may spark an interest for a student that may pursue a career in computer graphic design.

The tutorials are engaging and exciting. We had several classes do their hour of code yesterday, the results where amazing. As I walked into the rooms, each student was quiet, focused and engaged for the whole hour! I heard comments like, “this is cool”, “I want to do this for a job”, “I just made BB-8 pick up scrap metal”.

In each tutorial, students can use the pre-organized drag and drop commands or venture into writing Javascript commands. Students worked in Minecraft, Star Wars, and Frozen graphics to create their puzzle or game. Check it out at home you will be amazed at how easy it is, give it a try!


Check out our middle school instagram @lcsmiddleschool, #HourOfCode, or our twitter @_berkleyglazer, @LCSlangley



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New BC Education Plan


Parents want their kids equipped to succeed. So do teachers. So do we.

The world is changing – and we have to change too. Technology and innovation are reshaping society – and the future. 

That’s why it’s critical we refine our education system, designed in the last century, so students can succeed in the 21st Century.” — BC Ministry of Education

The above excerpt is taken from BC’s curriculum website… we are on the cusp of change and what an exciting time to be a part of education!

There has been a new paradigm shift to educate for a “way of being” rather than just the delivery of “knowledge”. Which, as a Christian School, we have already known is best way to approach education. This now gives us the space and opportunity to refine and be even more intentional with this in our classrooms.

The Ministry of Education for BC has rolled out a new BC Ed Plan that will commence September 2016. In preparation for this, our teachers and staff are currently doing Professional Development for understanding new strategies in delivery and formation of education in BC. September 2016 will see the implementation of this new initiative in Grades K-9 with High School to follow in September 2017.

The New BC Ed Plan has developed Core Competencies that we want our graduates to attain during their education experience K-12. The Core Competencies focus on the student to develop confidence and aptitude in: Communication, Creative Thinking, Critical Thinking, Positive Personal and Cultural Identity, Personal Awareness and Responsibility, and Social Responsibility.

As Parents of school age children you should read them at the new ministry website;


When you read the profiles for each competency, you quickly see the “I am” statements written from the students’ perspective. This is a refreshing look at the learner and a learner profile for each student. Getting to know students for how they learn and who they are as learners provides us with a foundation to build on that is unique and individual for each student.

This change in education delivery will bring a new way of assessment and reporting on students’ progress. We are waiting for the Ministry of BC to send out their latest publication in this area so we can formulate how we will assess and report.

How do you see this New BC Ed Plan helping your child as a learner in our educational system?

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Real work with a Real need for a Real audience

Our school recently held a cross graded theme week that involved our entire student body. We had 1,010 students buddied up and paired in classes that matched an older grade with  a younger grade. Together our students explored earth keeping which we called “EEK Week”. Students worked on exploring water renewal, our carbon footprint, our energy consumption, forestry and mining resources, first nation’s perspective and sustainability. It was awesome to see our older students engaged and being positive mentors for our younger students. Stories of younger students sad that the week was over was testament to the friendship bonds that were created.

Our week ended with an evening open house for our students to show their families exactly what they accomplished and what they learned giving them a real audience to showcase their learning.


Earth Keeping is real work that our students have learned brings a real need; for us to work collectively and personally work to be good stewards of this world God has given us.


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