P.L.A.Y Challenge

Play Shuswap is again hosting a fun event on BC Family Day weekend. SD83 Healthy Schools Coordinator and president of Play Shuswap, Laura Paiement, said last year the Family Day Play Challenge was such a success we decided to make it an annual event.

Join PLAY Shuswap and Salmon Arm Recreation, Enderby Recreation and Sicamous Recreation for a Family Day Weekend PLAY Challenge! Go to PLAY Shuswap on Facebook and submit a photo taken during Feb 18th-21st 2022 showing your household being active outdoors. See attached poster for fun ways to move outside with your family. There are great prizes to be won!

Thank you to the Province of B.C. for supporting this and other Family Day event.

Indigenous Veterans’ Day

On Monday, Nov. 8 Indigenous Veterans’ Day was commemorated. The First Nations, Inuit and Métis of Canada have a long and proud tradition of military service to our country. Thank you to A.L. Fortune’s Traditional Drum Group for this wonderful performance of Soldier Boy song. Please join and take time to reflect and remember. 

The song was introduced by student Lola Jones-Lee.

Please click here to view the performance.

It’s almost time for school

SD83 staff are eager to welcome our students and their families back for the 2021-22 school year. While much has changed in our province over the past year, SD83 remains committed to ensuring the safety of our students, staff and school communities by providing safe learning and working environments.

“I am personally very excited to join SD83 as Superintendent. I know that as we enter into a new year of learning, our district remains committed to our mission of engaging all students in meaningful and relevant learning experiences that develop their knowledge, skills, attitudes, creativity and the pursuit of personal success,” comments Superintendent of Schools Donna Kriger.

“Though COVID-19 is still posing challenges for all of us, we remain focussed on the possibilities and opportunities that the 2021-22 school year holds. As we have done throughout the pandemic, our schools will continue to adhere to the Provincial Health Officer’s (PHO) guidance. Our plan will be updated and changed based on regional requirements from Interior Health, the Provincial Health Officer and the Ministry of Education.”

Registration for those brand new to SD83 takes place today (please also ensure you register your child for the school bus if you live in a bus route area at 250-832-9415). The first day of school is Tuesday, September 7. School will be dismissed three hours earlier than usual on this first day.

Here is a brief summary of our return to school plan. The complete plan will be posted on the SD83 website later this week.

Parents/guardians play an essential role in supporting our schools by keeping their children home when sick. Before leaving home, staff, students and visitors should monitor for any symptoms daily using the B.C. Health Check (the health check and app for your smart phone can be found here).

Joyful Literacy

K-3 Summer Learning Opportunity

Joyful Literacy, developed by a BC Team, is a program to support teachers and parents who want to help prevent their young learners of Indigenous ancestry from experiencing more reading loss when schools are closed for the summer break. District Principal of Indigenous Education, Anne Tenning, explains this home-based and research-based program is comprised of 10 videos that teach parents how to teach and practice Foundational Skills (K-3) . Each video is supported with a handout package of over 100 games, activities, and read-aloud strategies.

Click to watch video and please download the handout package for games and activities.

1 – Alphabet Crazy Fun

2 – Alphabet Crazy Fun


3 – Phonemic Awareness and Play 1

4 – Phonemic Play


5 – Super Power Sight Words 1

6 – Super Power Sight Words 2


7 – Come Alive Reading – It’s Party-Time Reading In My Home

8 – Echo and Repeated Reading – I Read Just Like You


9 – Shared Reading – Teaching Me, Loving Me, Reading With Me

10 – Shared Writing – My Pen, Your Pen, Our Pen


Some examples of what is included in the handout package:

Alphabet:Kk Lesson

This is an example for explicitly teaching one letter of the alphabet using playful strategies! Starting with the letters in your child’s name can help your child make a connection to the learning, and in the end make learning more enjoyable! When possible, reinforce the letter name AND the sound in makes. Remember to always stop or take a break if your child is not enjoying the process.

Getting started:

Have all supplies ready to go

Introduction to letter (Kk).

Auditory strategy

1) Open by singing the alphabet song together

2) Teach the letter of the day by drawing an upper case K and lower case k on a whiteboard or paper. Say the letter as you write it.

3) Draw a kite beside the letters. K says /k/ like “kite”. You can say a little song: K says /k/, K says /k/, flying kite, flying kite, /k/, /k/,/k/!

Visual strategy

1) Show 3 cut-out letters from magazines or newspapers. Say the letters as you point to each. Then ask your child to point to the letter Kk.

2) Give your child a bright piece of paper with the letter Kk, a glue stick, and a pile of cut-out letters. Have them sort the letters by gluing only the letter Kk’s on the paper. Every time they glue a letter, have them say the name or the sound it makes. Next time, you could have them help cut out letters!!

Nutrition break and optional snacky Kk!

1) Use fishy crackers (bunnies, teddy grahams etc.) to trace an upper case and lower case letter Kk (have a Kk template made up).

2) Enjoy the snack together with some water or milk! Maybe have a little walk or dance break too. This is a great time for one of Jack Hartmann’s alphabet songs!

Kinesthetic strategy

1) Using a letter Kk template, have your child work their hand muscles by squishing and rolling playdough snakes to make the upper case and lower case letter Kk.

Writing/Drawing strategy

1) Using a letter Kk template and a variety of colourful markers or crayons, have your child “rainbow write” over top of the letter. This means they get to trace with one colour then pick another. They can continue until they have a beautiful, colourful piece!

2) If they would like, they could flip the paper over and draw something that begins with the letter Kk.

Of course, there are letters everywhere and you can continue practicing the letter Kk at the grocery store, on a walk around the block, and even in your backyard! One of my favourite things to do is to make alphabet letters using natural items outside. Your child could make the letter Kk with sticks, rocks, or leaves!

Have fun!!

Mrs. Mytko’s Favourite Alphabet Resources

Favourite YouTube Channels and Songs

Jack Hartmann – He does hundreds of learning songs including some great alphabet songs which include sign language!

This is his YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/JackHartmann

Some of my favourite Jack Hartmann songs include:

Animal Alphabet Moove and Groove:

Workout to the Letter Sounds: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VFa0b_IIRac

Miss Molly – She has so many wonderfully joyful and calm songs to help children learn letters, numbers, sight words and

more! This is her YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCs5BAp78NOWx0V6d_Dq4IIw

Some of my favourite Miss Molly songs include her letter specific songs as well as her alphabet song:

ABC Mouse – Again, so many learning songs! Their songs are very upbeat and will have your little one grooving! Here is their YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCMYiUkvAckoKbbx8FXTOrnA

Favourite Websites

There are many websites that provide free printables for alphabet games and activities. There are also some sites that have interactive digital games for free. I have listed some of my favourites below.

Interactive digital games available at http://www.education.com you can find them directly using this link:


Printables and active game ideas at:

This Reading Mama: https://thisreadingmama.com/101-alphabet-activities-printables/

123homeschool4me: https://www.123homeschool4me.com/alphabet-printables/

Fun learning for kids: https://funlearningforkids.com/alphabet-activities-list/

PreKinders: https://www.prekinders.com/alphabet-printables/

A dab of glue will do: https://www.adabofgluewilldo.com/alphabet/

Ninja letters!

Has your child ever wanted to be a ninja? Well now is the time!

Here is what you will need: letters taped/tacked low on the wall, optional ninja headband (I like using ties)!

Find a long wall (hallways are best) where you can attach letters to the wall. We want these low so your child has to roll or crawl. Call out a letter and have your child move like a ninja to the letter and slap it.

Then they can tell you the letter again along with the sound it makes eand a word that begins with that letter (Bb, b says /b/, bat).


All you need for this easy game is a few cups that you can’t see through, masking tape, a sharpie or marker, and something special to hide under a cup.

First, write the letters your child has been working on on the top of the cups using a sharpie. Take turns hiding the special item under one of the cups while other players close their eyes. Then, take turns pointing to a cup and saying the letter/letter/sound/word that begins with that letter.

Flip the cup over to see if anything was hiding. Play until you find the item, then hide again!


Simple is sometimes best! For this game, you can use popsicle sticks (or anything you can write on like rocks, cubes, pieces of crumpled paper). Write the letters that your child has been working on on the edge of the popsicle sticks (I like to do upper case on one side and lower case on the other). Have a few of each letter. Then, write the word KABOOM on a few of the popsicle sticks. Place these in a cup (letters facing down). Take turns pulling a stick and saying the letter/letter sound/a word that begins with that letter. If you get KABOOM, all of your sticks have to go back in the cup!!


Bowling for letters is so much fun! We combine some physical activity with learning letters (always a good combination)! For this game you can use plastic bowling pins if you have them or simply some plastic cups.Add letters to the top or sides of the cups with masking tape and a sharpie. Find anything to use for a ball (crumpled paper, toy ball). Take turns rolling or throwing a ball at the targets. When you knock a target over, run and grab the target. Say the letter/letter sound/a word that begins with that letter. Replace the targets for the next player.


This classic game is still a favourite! You can make memory cards using construction paper, felt or foam! Use the letters your child has been learning and write two sets of each letter on the cards. Mix them up, turn them upside down and you are ready! Take turns flipping over 2 cards. Say the letter/letter sound/a word that starts with that letter for at least one of the letters you flip over. If you make a match, you get to keep the cards! Play until all matches have been found.

Shaving Cream Writing Bags


The sensory writing bags are a great alternative to giving children pen and paper while they practice printing their letters. Cookie sheets are ideal for learning letters with shaving cream. It becomes an engaging, playful and multi-sensory experience for your child – and the clean up is not a huge chore!

Resources Required

• A large Ziploc bag or a cookie sheet, shaving cream, food colouring, and Q-tips.


• Use about 2 cups of shaving cream for these 30cm x 20cm bags, just enough to have it completely cover the inside surface. Then add about 2 tablespoons of food colouring to the bag before removing the air and sealing the Ziploc bag completely. Ask your child to start carefully massaging the bag so that the colouring mixes with the shaving cream. You can use more than one colour and have your child experiment with mixing colours – a little science lesson added to the literacy fun!

• Pile shaving cream in the middle of the tray and have your child spread it out evenly. Printing letters with their fingers in the shaving cream will add another rich layer of sensory delight to the activity.


• Use dirt or sand in the tray and use a stick to make the letters.

https://youtu.be/NM-KbR6lCDE A video for more shaving cream writing idea

Race Time Dinosaur Game


Teach letter identification and letter sounds.

Resources Required

• Print the editable board game board from the site given below, or draw your own on paper, or use the game online

with your children.

• Dice.




• Students will roll a dice, move it that many spaces, land on a word and identify the beginning letter and its sound. This game can also be played online with dinosaur icons.

Student Survey

All students in Grades 6-12 are being invited to take part in an optional survey to ensure a more safe, respectful, and equitable school-learning experience for all students.

“Your voice is important,” says District Principal Anne Tenning as she encourages all students to take part. She adds that much thought went into the survey and the district is hoping for a high participation rate from students as the information will be used to help set district goals, student improvement plans, and in-service, particularly for the Ministry’s Indigenous Education day. The survey was developed by the SD83 Equity Committee, which includes representatives from the local Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), North Okanagan Shuswap Teachers’ Association (NOSTA), SD83 Principals and Vice-Principals (PVP) and SD83’s senior leadership team (SLT).


All participant identities will be kept anonymous.

The survey will take about 10 to 20 minutes, depending on answers to a few of the open ended questions. Students are also invited to enter a separate contest at the end of the survey and have a chance to win some great prizes, including seven Samsung Galaxy Tablets. This survey closes on May 28, 2021 and the prize draw will take place on May 31, 2021.

Tenning explains the district received a small grant from the Ministry, and chose to use the funds for prizes for the students.