Eric Walters Readathon and Midland Public Library Visit


Hello Bayview Staff and Students:

Greetings from your Friendly Neighbourhood librarian.

I have exciting news.  On November 10,  Canadian Author Eric Walters is coming to Midland Public Library and Students from Grade 4 to 8 can win a tickets to go on a walking field trip to see him.

To enter, all you have to do is read an Eric Walters Book before October 26 and complete a ballot online at

Throughout October, Mr. McGaughey will announce other ways for you to get a ballot to win.


On Halloween, Mr. McGaughey will notify the winning students.

On the morning of November 10, winning students and teachers will walk down to the Midland Public Library for the presentation.


Happy Reading,


Mr. McGaughey,

Your Friendly Neighbourhood Librarian


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Put on your codebreaking hats.

Hello Bayview Students.

As part of getting the school community to think about password safety and encryption, I am going to share a secret code with the school every week.

Here are a few of the codes students cracked in September.sept26-secret-message sept-20-secretmessage

Some resources for Codebreaking and Cryptology:  Crypto Club .


Some of my favorite videos for choosing a good password.


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I have the biggest classroom in the school


Last June, Mrs. Hamelin retired from the library at Bayview School after a 30 year career, most of it in the library.  For the last two years I have been part-time librarian with Mrs. Hamelin, and the rest of my time was as a primary planning time teacher.  I am very excited to be Bayview School’s full-time librarian this year.

We Got Mail from Duo Percussion


On April 3, all the Grade 1-3 classes walked to the Midland Cultural Centre to see a performance of Victory Quest, by Duo Percussion presentd by the Brookside Music Association.  Brendan and Dave charmed children and adults alilke with their journey through an imaginary video game quest.  On the way, they introduced  percussion instruments from around the world, and performed a variety of musical styles ranging from classical and jazz to popular music.  The duo shine most brightly when performing as a vibraphone duo and the children were all excited by their closing number, a vibraphone rendition of Adele’s Rolling in the Deep.  In my 20 years teaching, this is one of the best programs geared ‘for school-aged children’ that I have seen.

After we got back to school, my grade 2/3 social studies class and I wrote a letter to Brennan and Dave of Duo Percussion.

Ms. Graham’s

Grade 2-3 Class

Bayview Public School


Thursday, April 03, 2014


Dear Brennan and Dave:

We saw you performing Victory Quest at the Midland Cultural Centre today.  We enjoyed the Mario music at the start of the show.  We all enjoyed the last song, Rolling in the Deep.  Mr. McGaughey likes how you told an adventure story while showcasing a variety of musical styles and instruments.  We also enjoyed the Harry Potter theme.


We have a few questions for you.

  • What do you like the most about being a professional musician?
  • How do you tell the difference between crash cymbals and ride cymbals?
    How long did it take to learn how to be a professional percussionist?
  • Do you ever get scared on stage?


Thank you again for your wonderful show this afternoon.

Yours truly,


Mr. McGaughey with Ms. Graham’s Grade 2-3 class.


Last week a package arrived for us from Duo Percussion containing answers to our questions, postcards, a signed glossy photo, and enough Duo Percussion stickers for everyone in the class.  Thank you, Brennan and Dave.





Duopercussion(11) Duopercussion(12)

Instant Snow

In my grade 2 science classes, I have been teaching about the three phases of matter: solid, liquids and gases, and how to change the state of the matter between them.

The past two weeks have been very cold in Midland.  One afternoon when it was abou -20C, I conducted a demonstration with several of my classes.

While the children watched from the window, I took a kettle of boiling water outdoors and tossed it into the air.    The near boiling water began to turn into steam and immediately flash froze in a puff of white steam and ice crystals.  For it to work you need a very cold day (below -20C and very hot, almost boiling water).

*Caution:  Don’t try this without an adult.   You could scald yourself with the boiling water before it freezes.  Be careful that the wind is not blowing back towards you.




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Halloween Safety

As part of our grade 1 and 2 Health (
Safety) and Social Studies (Traditions and Celebrations) classes, today my class and I discussed Halloween Safety Rules. Here are some of the sites and games I used.

Halloween Safety Video:

Billy Brings His Buddies: Halloween Matching Game

Halloween Safety Game  This one has some great tips but there is alot of reading.  It is probably more suitable for grade 3 up.

Pumpkin Carving Game 

PBS Games

Welcome Home to

A couple of months ago I realized that I have had a classroom blog for over 10 years.  This blog has existed in various forms using a variety of blogging platforms and software since 2003, and I had experimented with classroom websites for a few years prior to that.  With my new role as planning time teacher and librarian, I have not been very active posting to it the past school year, but that is still an accomplishment.  Over the years, through several changes of address and servers, many of the pictures and the links may not work properly, and the dates of the first couple of years seem to be out of sync with their contents, but the site as a whole still provides a window into my classroom, and a record of many of the activities I have done with my students over the past decade.

Today I moved the blog from the free hosting provider, Edublogs, to my own site at  This move to a new permanent home gives me more space, and more flexibility how to present my website.   I’m still sweeping up the cobwebs and making sure that everything moved over smoothly, but it will always be a bit of a work in progress.

Welcome to my classroom on the web.

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We Got an Email… From the International Space Station


Last month Mr. McGaughey wrote a song entitled: Countdown, The Ballad of Chris Hadfield. He teaches music and science to Ms. Graham’s grade 3 class and they asked to record it with him to send to Chris Hadfield.

Listen to the song on Soundcloud

or watch it on Youtube


Countdown: The Ballad of Chris Hadfield
Sean McGaughey © Feb 8, 2013
Key of G- 6/8 time moderate to brisk tempo

Growing up on the farm, Chris Hadfield would dream,
of soaring around in a flying machine.
As a boy Chris resolved that he would try
to go out and make his mark in the sky
As a scientist, pilot and astronaut
Chris still made music and never forgot
As he and his brothers would play their guitars,
His dream of bringing his songs to the stars,

He’s the first folksinger in space
Singing tunes far above the whole human race
He takes pictures and tweets as he orbits around
picking at 23 times speed of sound.

A Canadian proud who has travelled the world,
He takes time to tell all the young boys and girls,
To dream their own journeys beyond what we know
And make a bright future wherever they go.

He’s the first folksinger in space
Singing tunes far above the whole human race
He takes pictures and tweets he orbits around
picking at 23 times speed of sound.

When we finished the recording, the children also had a bunch of questions for Chris Hadfield. We emailed these questions to Chris.

April 5, 2013
Hello Commander Hadfield:
My name is Sean McGaughey. I’m an elementary school teacher at Bayview Public School in Midland Ontario and a singer songwriter. Last month I wrote a song entitled: Countdown, The Ballad of Chris Hadfield. I teach music and science to Ms. Graham’s grade 3 class and they asked to record it with me to send to you.
The students also had some questions for you.

  1. How do you deal with homesickness on the space station?
  2. Do you ever get annoyed being around the same people all the time?
  3. What is it like to wear a space suit?
  4. Have you recorded any kid’s songs in space?


Thank you for inspiring all of us. We hope you enjoy our song.

Sean McGaughey and Ms. Graham’s Grade 3 class

On April 9, we received this response from Commander Hadfield on the International Space station.

Chris Hadfield

Dear Sean and Bayview students:

Thanks for the song! I love it! That was really nice of you to write and sing it, and send it to me. And it turns out I CAN play G in zero G.

Answers for the questions:

  1. I talk with my family almost every day, and email too, so I don’t feel so far away.
  2. The only time I get annoyed is with myself. The other people are working hard and doing as well as they can, always.
  3. Space suits are very uncomfortable, stiff and bulky, like a snow suit combined with hockey gear and metal pieces. But really they’re a 1-person spaceship, so they have to be that way.
  4. Yes, I wrote and recorded a space lullaby for my daughter. It came out very pretty, and so did she.

Take care, make a point of learning and understanding things

Best from ISS!


February, March Newsletter

We have finished the first two terms of the school year and things are going well in the Gifted Class. Report cards go home this week, and I am pleased with the progress that all of my students have made this term.

Over the next few months, we have several activities and projects planned.

Intermediate Math Olympics

On March 5, we have the Intermediate Math Olympics at the school board office. I will send home a permission form for this event shortly.

Forest of Reading

This year, from February to April, all my students are participating in the Red Maple, or Silver Birch reading programs at our school. They will need to read 5 novels by April 24 when we have a special trip to the school board office to see one of the Silver Birch nominated authors. The cost of this trip will be about $15. There is a note from Mrs. Hamelin attached which further explains this program. I will be giving my students about 30 minutes daily to read their novels, but they may also need to read a bit at home in order to complete all the novels in the assigned time.

Heritage Fair

In March and April we will be preparing history projects to present at the Simcoe County Heritage Fair on April 25 at the Simcoe County Museum. We will be working in partnership with the Midland Public Library when preparing these projects. As a kickoff to this project, we are going to do a history walk of Downtown Midland and it’s murals on Wednesday February 22. We will have lunch here at 12:05, then walk downtown at about 12:30. At the end of our mural walk, we will stop at the Midland library to warm up and discuss plans for the project. We will be walking back to the school in time for dismissal at the end of the day.

Further information about the History Fair Project is attached.

Gifted Class Open House

On Wednesday February 29 from 4-5 pm we will be hosting a Gifted Class Open House for parents and students interested in enrolling in the gifted class in the fall. I would like to have some of my students stay after school to share with prospective students what it is like to be in the gifted class. If they stay that day, they will need to be picked up at 5pm.


Quest Art Projects

The Quest Art Gallery is returning to Bayview for Art Projects. The Junior students will be creating relief self portraits on the afternoon of February 24, and the Intermediate Students will be making mandalas on the afternoon of Friday March 2.

Rocks and Rings: At the end of February, the Midland Curling Club is presenting Rocks and Rings to all our classes as part of the Phys-Ed program. Our Juniors will be participating on Monday February 27 at 2:25 pm, and the Intermediates at 9:45 am on Tuesday February 29.

Cross Country Skiing on the Schoolyard:

On March 9, our class will be participating in cross country skiing on the our schoolyard, presented by Mountainview Ski Club. The cost of this event is being covered by Bayview Parent Council.

Gifted Outreach Conference

On May 4, we are planning to attend the annual Gifted Outreach Conference hosted by Laurentian University in Orillia for Simcoe County Gifted students.

I am also arranging for a couple other projects and special events this spring. I will keep you posted as they are arranged. I will also post this newsletter and our upcoming events on the class blog at


Mr. McGaughey


A Christmas Carol

This December, my intermediate students and I are reading,  A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens.

Here are links to the Librivox audiobook of A Christmas Carol (dramatic reading)