Friday, December 4th, 2020

Caring Connections ~ Conversations with Erica

Authentic Learning Happens Everywhere and Anywhere and All the Time.

Yesterday one of my learning plan partners told me about a play her kiddos wrote while taking a bath together. They performed it for their family in the water under the bright glow of flashlights. In the play, Santa overslept and forgot to deliver presents to the hummingbirds.

A month ago, one of my students in my Writing Wrocks class joined us via Zoom from a boat in Barbados. When she read her writing out loud to her community, the ocean and the wind served as the perfect backdrop to augment her story.

This week a friend shared a persuasive letter her middle school son wrote to convince her to allow him to wear his Christmas gift shoes a month before Christmas.

My husband recently stood in the waves with his eyes closed and tried to count the seconds between each wave as they washed over him. He noticed the pattern might match the Fibonacci sequence.

We are homeschoolers, so we know. We know that authentic learning happens anywhere and everywhere, beyond the walls of schools and under the guidance of all things like nature and mentors and neighbors and failures and discoveries.

And yet...

Every week I am in conversation with smart and capable people who still worry they are not “doing it right.” They worry there is a standard which must be met for “real learning” to occur. They fret over curriculum choices and keeping up and being at grade level.

And yet…

How could writing and performing a play in the bathtub with your siblings, your first and most important relationships, not be “doing it right?”

What better standard for writing than the aqua blue water with the waves and the birds and the new sights offering the exact sensory details we want writers to add in their writing?

When is it more at grade level than when your heart is completely committed to getting those shoes you have coveted all year from the person who is most dedicated to making sure you are growing into the very best version of yourself?

Where else do we find better curriculum than standing in the middle of the ocean with eyes closed, counting on fingers, posing questions about the natural order of things?

Authentic LEARNING does not require curriculum written by someone who doesn’t know you or your learner.

Authentic LEARNING does not require the approval of others.

Authentic LEARNING does not require trained educators, or desks or walls.

Authentic learning only requires the good bits of life like curiosity, questioning, passion, intrigue, purpose, relevance, failure, mistakes….all of which can be found everywhere and anywhere and all the time.

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Materials Pick Up and Returns

Material pick up times continue on Wednesdays from 9-11 am and 4:30-5:30pm. Please also return any materials from first quarter classes during these times.

Important: If you or someone in your household has a confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19, please do not come onsite for supply pick up/materials distribution or any other reason until your quarantine period is over. We will assist in any way we can including getting needed supplies to you. This is for our safety and yours.

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Wednesday, Dec. 9th 10-11:30am ~ Knowing Your Learner Deeply

-Create your own unique Family Map based on the theories of Multiple Intelligences, Learning Styles, and Love Language

-Use a variety of tools to help gain insight into your own teaching style and your learners learning style

-Increase the impact of your homeschooling practice by using these tools to help choose learning opportunities which are most in line with the needs of your unique family.

RSVP to Erica for the zoom link.

Lexia Reading

Have you had a chance to try the Lexia Core 5 Reading program yet?

This year, Lexia® Core5® Reading is available for all BFPP students through grade 5. It is a fun computer-based program that can provide you with information toward your next teaching steps and learning goals as the primary educator. The activities in Core5 support reading and focus on developing skills in six areas: phonological awareness, phonics, structural analysis, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension.

How to Get Started:

1. To use on a computer, use Google Chrome and go to

2. To use on an iPad or Android device, download the free Lexia Core5 Reading app.

3. When prompted for your teacher's email, enter your learning plan partner's email address.

4. Next, click 'Log in with Clever' and use your student's school email and password.

*The algorithm for your student's email is the first 5 letters of their last name followed by the first 3 letters of their first name, followed by The password is the same one used to log into school laptops.

Please contact your Learning Plan Partner if you need help with your account info or the login process.

Next Tuesday: BFPP Village Books Day

It's right around the corner- Tuesday, December 8th is Village Books Day for BFPP!

As they did last year, Village Books is generously donating 20% of our purchases on this day to our school library. This is a wonderful chance to support our local bookstore and our school at the same time.

Books, gift cards, toys, games....everything from Village Books or Paper Dreams is eligible!

For in-store purchases: Print out, fill out and bring in the form below. Don't have a way to print? Contact Heidi Zollner for a paper copy.

For online purchases: Type "BFPP" in the comments box on the Village Books ordering website.

Get Ready to Yeti!

Calling all 4th & 5th grade bibliophiles! Wade King Librarian (and former BFPP teacher!) Julie Hunter is inviting 4th and 5th graders to join her Yeti Zoom Room starting in January on Wednesdays at 9:00. Please contact her at if you are interested in participating. Let her know you're from BFPP. Students will participate in book club discussions, play games and have fun.

The Yeti 2021 book list is:

Arlo Finch in the Valley of Fire by John August

Ban This Book by Alan Gratz

Chester and Gus by Cammie McGovern

Explorer Academy: The Nebula Secret by Trudi Trueit

Finding Langston by Lesa Cline Ransome

Front Desk by Kelly Yang

Nowhere Boy by Katherine Marsh

Saving Winslow by Sharon Creech

Small Spaces by Katherine Arden

The Season of Styx Malone by Kekla Magoon

The Serpent’s Secret by Sayantani DasGupta

Sweep: The Story of a Girl and her Monster by Jonathan Auxier

​The following two​ *Bonus* ​books are for 5th grade only​:

I Can Make this Promise by Christine Day

The Truth as Told by Mason Buttle by Leslie Connor

Calling all Pokémon lovers!

BFPP student Tenzin and his mom Kolleen are starting a virtual club for all things Pokemon. The first meeting is Wednesday, December 9th at 1:00pm.

Parents are asked to hang out and monitor their student until things get organized. The club members will work together to decide what sort of activities to do.

Please email Kolleen for the zoom link.

Minecraft Anybody?

Terence (11), a BFPP veteran, has a few spots open on his Minecraft realm. If you are a BFPP student, 10-12 years of age, and interested in connecting with a new Minecraft buddy, please contact Terence's dad Thomas. Thanks!

Whatcom Museum FIG at Home

Looking for some crafting inspiration? Check out this collection of ideas from the Family Interactive Gallery. They are featuring lots of nature and science activities with an artistic bent.

Downtown Snowflake Scavenger Hunt

Bellingham Parks and Rec is offering a winter scavenger hunt. Venture around downtown, looking for snowflakes in all the holiday windows. Take a selfie with each snowflake and be entered in a festive holiday raffle full of fun prizes! The hunt is open Nov. 30th - Dec. 14th and costs $5 per person. Sign up here.

Photomath App

Here's a nifty tool for families when that math problem has your student (and you!) stumped.... simply take a picture of it and let this app guide you through the steps to the answer. This free app is available for Apple and Android devices.

Next week is District Spirit Week!