Friday, March 12th, 2021

Principal's Corner

Dear BFPP Families,

One of may favorite days happens the weekend, 3.14 (March 14th) otherwise known as Pi Day! Please see these fun videos and send us some pictures of your Pi Day fun, even if it includes baking/eating a real pie.

Hugs from afar, Kate

Pi Explained in 3:14

Math Antics - Circles, What Is Pi?

The Pi Song

Pi Day - Venn Piagram

Upcoming Learning Together Workshops

Writing Our Way Through the Moments ~ The Power of Expression

Two Tuesdays, March 16th & March 23rd | 3:00pm – 4:30pm

Join Jay S. Nahani, writing coach, embodied attunement specialist and group facilitator from Creative Insights for this two week workshop. We will use thoughtfully selected poetry and prose as prompts, open doorways to what is stirring, and play with expression in a safe, mindfully held space. Beginning or experienced writers – ALL are welcome. Please wear comfortable clothes and bring a journal and a pen. Please email Jay to register. The deadline for registration is today, Friday, March 12th.


Wednesday, March 17th | 10:00-10:45am

Want to play games and have fun while your kids learn? Join BFPP parents Josh and Andrea Shupack while they take a look at the Hows and Whys of Gameschooling.

Click here for more info and to sign up.

All registrants will receive a copy of the resources and a recording of the workshop.

Kindergarten 101: Play as a Pathway to Knowledge

4 Fridays: March 19th, April 2nd, April 23rd, May 7th | 1:00-2:00

Parents will leave with an understanding that adventure, experiences, mistakes, risk taking, creativity, freedom, and imagination are at the essence of how children learn. Join BFPP teachers Sammy Cousens and Kristy Tice for this hands on workshop: RSVP by March 17th.

Western SMATE Panel: The Power of Inquiry-Based Learning

Wednesday, March 24th | 4:00-6:00pm

Join three WWU professors- Rebecca Borowski, Josie Melton, and Debi Hanuscin- as they dive into inquiry-based learning. Learn what inquiry-based learning looks and sounds like as well as how to facilitate it within the math, science, and engineering disciplines.


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Bedtime and Books

Snuggle into your coziest pajamas, grab your most beloved stuffie and join your BFPP Community for some bedtime read-alouds and perhaps a lullaby or two! If you have a favorite bedtime story, please be ready to show and tell about it!

When: Thursday, March 18, at 7:00 pm


Bonus: We will be featuring a new book illustrated by local artist, Ben Mann. The first 30 families to RSVP and attend will receive a copy of Once Upon a Parsnip.

Please RSVP to Annie and mention if you plan to participate by showing the front cover of a favorite bedtime story.

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Early Learner's World ~ The Power of Play

by Sammy Cousens

The seasons bring opportunities to look at the world around us in new ways. As winter begins to fade away, I reflect on how my family likes to play. We like to snowboard, ski, go sledding, work on a puzzle, make a bonfire and play board games together. Now spring is upon us and all around me I smell, feel and hear bits of a new season. The birds are out, the days are longer and there is less mud in my backyard; these are all signs that spring is approaching. Soon I will notice my family spending more time outside playing in the garden, taking the dogs for walks, skateboarding, shooting hoops, or throwing the football in the backyard. If you really think about it, play is everywhere!

There are so many different types of play, that you can break them down into different categories and even then different experts have different lists of play! One early childhood expert, Dr. Stuart Brown, the founder of The National Institute for Play has broken play in to seven categories. Movement Play; figuring out space while jumping and running, Object Play; manipulating objects like puzzles or skipping rocks, Imaginative Play; make believe adventures, Social Play; Hide and Go Seek (organized games), Celebratory and Ritual Play; holiday dinners and birthdays, Story Telling and Narrative Play; help us process why things are the way they are (life lessons), and Creative Play; using the imagination to create new ways of doing things.

So why is play important?

  • Kids are natural researchers and learn through their experiences
  • Kids are guiding their own interests through play
  • Kids explore complex and abstract ideas while playing
  • Kids make sense of the world as they play
  • Kids are intrinsically motivated to learn through play
  • Kids attach new learning to already learned concepts as they play
  • Play reduces impulsivity as we mature

Researchers may break play into different groups and even sub groups and there are many different theories on play. However, all of the research I have read about the importance of play circles back to this one simple known truth: play is the foundation for learning. So today, when your kids are playing just think of how their brains are at the optimal state; they are growing, synthesizing information, problem solving and experiencing different emotions simultaneously, all while they are having fun playing!

-Until Next Time,

Sammy Cousens

Early Learner's World ~ Literacy Supports

by Carrie Vining

It’s funny how the pendulum swings in education. One decade our schools are all about teaching printing and another decade it’s hit or miss in a school whether a teacher works it into their year. I can’t express enough the importance of learning to form letters as part of a child’s foundational skills. Here is an article about just that!

At BFPP we have curriculum called Handwriting Without Tears to help a child learn letters with simple, guiding language. To help, I have created some videos that incorporate letter formation with letter/sound knowledge. These videos incorporate a kinesthetic and tactile approach to learning that comes from Orton Gillingham.

Start here:

Vowel Practice

Magic C Letters

Then add these in any order:

Tail Letters

Frog Jump Letters

Vowels and Straight-Line Letters

Railroad Track Letters

Other ideas for practicing letter formation with letter sound are:

  • Write in shaving cream that is spread on an old cookie sheet
  • Place hair gel in a Ziploc bag, enough to lay the bag flat and have ¼ in of gel. Double bag it and seal the top with duct tape. Lay flat and use finger or Qtip to practice letter formation.
  • Write in salt or flour on an old cookie sheet.

Early Learner's World ~ World Language Supports

by Piper Mertle

Question: Are kindergartens required to offer World Languages?

Answer: Yes. Washington schools that receive state funding for full-day kindergarten are required to provide experiences in a world language other than English.

Fact: Young children are great at learning language. Their brains are hard-wired for it. I teach French at BFPP, but I have studied several languages (Spanish, Mandarin Chinese & Russian). I love opening a window to the world that learning a new language offers.

To give you and your learner a little peek at different cultures and lives, here are some videos of people counting their age in four different countries. With your student, choose one video to watch. Listen to and look at the people in that country. What do you notice?

Help you learner count to 100, make a collection of 100 things, take 100 steps or draw 100 of something. Research these countries, find them on a globe or map.

Let me know what else these videos inspire you to do. Enjoy!

Early Learner's World ~ Book Recommendations

by Kristy Tice

Dear Families,

Did you know that time spent reading with your child can boost your child’s intelligence? Not only that, but children learn more about themselves, the world, and people different from them while reading. Children also gain focus and concentration through reading. Reading with your child will help your child develop better mastery of language and speech. Snuggling with your child and reading a book will build a bond and wonderful memories that will last a lifetime. Reading to your child sends an important message; that reading is FUN!

I know for me, it’s crucial that I enjoy the read aloud myself, so I can be more animated, engaged and entertained as I read! Sometimes you may find yourself in a rut, and may be struggling to find ideas of new and “old favorites” to read with your child! I have compiled a list of some of my very favorite read alouds. I hope you will find this to be helpful!


Teacher Kristy

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Promise Tomorrow Initiative: 3rd-12th graders

Do you like thinking about cool inventions, technologies, and ways to make the world a better place?

The Promise Tomorrow Initiative is a great opportunity for motivated students to engage in student-driven inquiry! This is project-based learning at its best. Students will research complex topics, then innovate technologies, designs, or plans to mobilize behavior. Student teams will meet weekly via Zoom, be supported by a volunteer, and be supervised by a Promise Tomorrow Coordinator. Projects will be presented quarterly with a final symposium in June.

Sign up here

Sign up deadline for 4th quarter is March 22nd!

Needed: Heat Lamp and Aquarium for Gecko

A BFPP family is looking for an aquarium with a heat lamp for their gecko. Perhaps someone has a set up currently gathering dust? If you have something you'd be willing to donate, please contact teacher Jackie Brown. Thank you!

Calling all 4th Graders!

Each year, the "Every Kid Outdoors" program offers a free Federal Parks, Lands, and Waters Pass to all 4th grader students. There's still time to get one if you haven't already. Click here to sign up and get your pass that's valid until August 2021!

Wild Whatcom

Wild Whatcom is now registering for Spring Weekday Programs. During Wild Whatcom programs, participants connect with the natural world and each other by exploring the changing seasons, developing naturalist knowledge, and, of course, playing games! In-person programs are offered at local parks Monday-Thursday for grades K-8. Financial assistance is available. For more information or to register, please visit Need assistance with online registration? Give us a call at 360.389.3414.

Wings Over Water Birding Festival

Wings Over Water 2021 Northwest Birding Festival has gone (mostly) virtual and will take place on March 19, 20, and 21 with live webinars, video bird walks, kids’ activities and more to enhance your outdoor experience and love of birding.

Registration is free and now open and the virtual schedule is online.

Here's one of the featured kids' activities:

Outdoor Live Birding Adventures for Kids: Saturday, March 20th: 11:00-2:00 PM

Blaine-Birch Bay Park and Recreation has created a live activity to encourage kids of all ages to get outside and experience some Ornitherapy. Visit one or all four of the stations and collect different kids' activity bags at each. The activities can be easily modified to participate wherever you are.

Stuart Gibbs Author Visit

Recently, Bellingham Schools and Village Books hosted a virtual author visit with Stuart Gibbs, author of five popular series for middle graders: Spy School, FunJungle, Charlie Thorne, Moon Base Alpha and The Last Musketeer. You can watch it here.

Kindergarten Registration Fall 2021

Registration for kindergarten has begun in Bellingham Public Schools. All children who will be 5 before Sept. 1, 2021 can be registered for kindergarten. Families can register their kindergartner online on our kindergarten webpage.

Kindergarten open house videos and virtual tours will be posted on school websites and sent to registered kindergarten families in May.

Newsletter Contributions Welcome

Please email Heidi Zollner with your news items.
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