What can we do to protect our children from developing vision conditions related to screen time?
Myopia, or nearsightednesss, affects nearly 30% of the Canadian population. If you are Myopic, it means that you experience a blurry appearance of far-away objects, caused by excessive lengthening of the eye. Did you know that this condition normally starts during childhood and continues to increase until the age of 20? Registered Optician Amy Chow (also one of our Bayview Glen parents) shared insightful evidence at our Parent Association Meeting last Tuesday regarding Myopia.
Why should we be concerned about the rising cases of Myopia?
With increases in screen time for children and teens being seen across the world, it is important that we take measures now to avoid eye damage. Children ages 8-11 are spending an average six hours per day looking at screens, and kids age 11-14 are up to nine hours per day. Visual input is a crucial part of learning, and difficulties seeing can absolutely be attributed to problems in the classroom.
What are some signs of Myopia in kids?
- Trouble seeing signs in the distance, or needing to move closer to the front of the classroom
- Tilting or turning of the head –this may indicate Astigmatism
- Headaches, nausea, dizziness
- Rubbing the eyes frequently or blinking excessively
- Often losing their place on the page
What should we do about it?
- Bring your children for eye exams as early as 6 months of age – annual exams are covered by OHIP up to 19 years of age
- Enforce the 20-20-20 rule while looking at a screen: every 20 minutes, look 20 feet away for 20 seconds. This will give your eyes a break, and help to relax the eye muscles
- Limit your child’s “extra-curricular” or “fun” screen time
- Instead, promote colouring, reading or playing simple games like tic-tac-toe or a word search
- Encourage outdoor play – bright, natural light and vitamin D are helpful in keeping eyes healthy
- Toddlers should not have any screen time
- No screen time 1 hour before bed. Studies show that this blue light exposure can lead to interrupted sleep
The Eye See...Eye Learn® programme is available to children born in 2015 that will start junior kindergarten in September. If required, Eye See...Eye Learn® will provide one pair of free glasses. See more details here.
One of Canada's leading speakers on Cyber Safety delivered a powerful presentation to parents and Alumni as part of the ongoing Speaker Series at Bayview Glen. Paul Davis emphasized in his presentation "The Internet Never Forgets" that technology for children is a privilege and not a right. "Accountability and responsibility starts with the parents," said Paul. "It's up to adults to set the rules on screen time, when and where devices are allowed and what social media is permitted." Paul has spoken to over 500,000 students across the country and to thousands of parents. He stated he's not anti-technology. "Learning to code, building websites together as a family or learning how to be a game developer are all examples of appropriate use of tech." Paul told parents they need to lead by example and model good digital habits. Most importantly, he suggested parents engage regularly with their children about their digital world and ask questions.
Top three takeaways from Paul:
1. The hand held check-in: Set daily in and out times for mobile devices.
2. Snapchat audit. Without notice, ask to see your child's Snapchat feed and ask them about their connection to each "friend".
3. Unplug cable modem in the home to limit access after designated times.
Put a room full of five-year olds together and ask them what they like about toys, chances are, you'll hear more than a few enthusiastic responses. How about taking the conversation one step further and requesting they put pencil to paper and start designing? This group of SKs dove right in and started creating. But the process didn't end there. Next up, building the toy they had imagined on paper. This is problem-based learning with a great deal of trial and error. What if the glue won't quite keep the straws in place? What if the sponge is blocking the entrance where the ball is supposed to go? And maybe the colours don't work together after all. Once the students were done the creating stage, it was time to bring in the expert. Nick from Sago Mini visited the classroom to talk about how professionals develop toys and compatible online games. The students were eager to discuss their own creations with Nick and of course, they wanted to try his game. After working hard through the entire process, there was an outburst of excitement when it was announced their own toys were allowed to go home. Design thinking, one straw at a time.
Lisa Sonshine knows how to light up a room. The Lower School atrium was filled with music and high energy as children’s entertainers Sonshine and Broccoli took to the stage.
The BVG Alumna met her musical partner Brock Burford in the prestigious Sheridan College Musical Theatre programme. That fateful meeting was the beginning of a 15-year career as Sonshine and Broccoli. Their success has been meteoric. They have a China tour booked this summer and are hoping for a Juno nomination for best Children's Album of the year. They will also perform at the ROM over March break.
As a BVG Alumna, Lisa recalls how many of their performances were in the bubble. She fondly remembers participating in Leader of the Pack. “Taking part in musical theatre here at BVG helped influence my future path,” says Lisa. “Ms. Astrella in the Prep School is someone who I think of to this day as a person who helped shape me.”
Sonshine and Broccoli are releasing their 4th album called “It’s Cool to be Kind”. Lisa held her CD launch party at Bayview Glen in early January.
Tickets can be purchased here.
Nurturing a global perspective is one of the foundations of a Bayview Glen education. An exciting new option is now being offered to our future graduates. The Global Studies Certificate, in addition to the Bayview Glen Diploma will provide students with an interest in global studies the opportunity to deepen their understanding of the world and their place in it.
Our students currently participate in a wide range of experiential learning from Round Square activities to co-curriculars like the model UN and the Global Ideas Institute. This certificate is designed to recognize what students learn in class, the wider context of our school and the world outside our borders. It also allows them to translate their ideas and experiences into appropriate actions to improve conditions locally and globally. There are four criteria with a focus on learning, participating in international experiences, engagement and action. (For a more detailed look, please click here for a PDF with the specific criteria).
Grade 8 students and their parents were introduced to the Global Studies Certificate at the 2019 course selection evening. Our Director of Global Education, Michelle Yarndley, outlined the new initiative saying, “Global Competency is part of the “leading edge” that you develop as a student at Bayview Glen.”
The class of 2023 will be the first cohort to graduate with the new certificate. For further information or any questions, please contact Michelle at firstname.lastname@example.org
"Unlike footprints on the sand that can be washed away by the ocean, a digital footprint can last for years." Cybersecurity expert Paul Davis.
With more than 25 years of experience in the world of Information Technology, Paul Davis is our featured guest in January as part of our ongoing Speaker Series. He has spoken to more than 400,000 students in North America, along with the OPP, Department of Defense, Alberta RCMP and Canada Border Service.
Paul spoke to our students about how to legally, safely and conscientiously navigate the internet and the ever-expanding field of social media. His presentations were so well received, we invited Paul back to speak with parents and alumni.
To register for the event before January 27th, please click here.
When: Jan. 29th
Time: 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
Where: J.T.M. Guest Theatre Moatfield Campus
Celebrating all the unique ways to give of one's time, talent and acts of kindness were the focus of #givingtuesday at Bayview Glen. The students were asked a question to start the day. What are some of the ways we give to those in our community and to each other? Students in the Lower School took their markers to a kindness wall and started a conversation. In the Prep and Upper Schools, it was also about conversation in mentor groups and highlighting the amazing giving around our annual Better Beginnings campaign helping those in need.
If excitement could be measured, Grade two STEAM day in the Lower School would be off the charts. It all started with a question: "How might we clean dirty water?" Working together in groups, the students enthusiastically built their own water filtration devices. This was more than just building structures. The story actually connects to Get Me Outside Day that took place earlier this fall. On October 24th, students explored the Don River behind the Lower School observing habitats and the flow of the river. In the classroom, teachers have engaged students with discussions about the importance of water and our eco-system. More specifically, they have been learning about the water cycle, properties of air and water and different filtration devices as part of the Grade two curriculum. This all culminated with a special STEAM day. With the help of parent volunteers and teachers, the students spent time in both the science and art rooms developing their structures. This engineering knowledge is part of problem based learning and design thinking. And the students had loads of fun!
"We are preparing our children for an inter-connected world where they don't just survive but thrive." Michelle Yarndley, Director of Global Education.
Listening to guest speakers and learning more about the school community is a major focus of the BVG Parent Association general monthly meeting. The new Director of Global Education, Michelle Yarndley, made a presentation at the November gathering on the many ways our students are exposed to global thinking. In fact, Michelle told the group, global education is part of the fabric of everything we do at Bayview Glen.
To learn more about her approach, click on this slide show presentation here.
Exploring the forest, listening for animals and collecting leaves was all part of Take Me Outside Day on Oct. 24th in the Lower School. Our urban campus backs onto the lush Duncan Mill Green Belt. The Don River, which straddles our backyard, is home to countless habitats and native trees. Students spent time foraging for twigs and rocks to turn into crafts and special class projects.
It was seven years ago when Colin Harris ran across the country as part of a campaign to encourage more outdoor play and exploration. His mission is to motivate young people to put down their screens and get outside to enjoy the beauty of our neighbourhoods.
Check out our photo gallery here.