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Monday, October 29, 2012

November it's time to Remember!

Welcome to November, cooler temperatures, falling leaves, and heartfelt Poppies commemorating our veterans.  Celebrating some themes which resonate with the fall, we invite you to enjoy some classic novels for read aloud sessions in front of the hearth.

From our November Author birthday celebrations Natalie Sing reviews authors, Elizabeth George Speare, Frances Hodgson Burnett, whilst I share on  C.S Lewis and Lucy Maud Montgomery.  

 We also encourage you to prepare your students for possible earthquakes,  with earthquake preparation materials.

Scarlet poppy with neighbors
Scarlet poppy with neighbors (Photo credit: Martin LaBar)
Remembrance Day or Veteran's day
Enjoy some lesson plans or educational resources from our weblinking library on Remembrance Day.

Earthquake Preparation Materials and Lesson plans!

Need some ideas to teach earthquake preparation in your classroom?  With the recent earthquake in BC it is wise to have an emergency plan. Some ideas may be found in our Earthquake Links. 
Thanks Ryan and Michelle for sharing some of your links!

November Birthday Authors

November 21st
Elizabeth George Speare

Cover of
Cover of The Bronze Bow
In our home we have all four of Elizabeth George Speare’s books on our shelves and they have been read multiple times. Speare lived from 1908-1994, and really knew how to write engaging, interesting and inspiring historical fiction. We have certainly enjoyed her books!
You may recognize some of her titles:

Calico Captive - is based on a true story about a young woman during the French and Indian War, who is taken by the Abenakis tribe along with the rest of her family. She is sold into slavery in Montreal and has to learn how to survive.
Witch at Blackbird Pond - about a young woman who goes to live with her aunt and uncle in a Puritan community in 1687. This book has won many awards including the honoured Newberry Prize. 
The Bronze Bow - one of our family’s all time favorite books set in the time of Jesus and the rule of the Roman empire in Judea. This is a great book with great characters that is both moving and thought provoking! A great book to read and discuss! We have it in our Overdrive E library.
Sign of the Beaver - a wonderful coming of age story about a boy who survives a winter alone with the help of the Penobscot tribe. He teaches Attean how to read and in return he learns much. A wonderful book for Grade 4 students to read themselves or as a read aloud. We have this in our Overdrive library.

November 24th
Frances Hodgson Burnett
en: Frances Burnett, part of a photograph by H...
en: Frances Burnett, part of a photograph by Herbert Rose Barraud (1845-1896). de: Frances Burnett, Teil einer Fotografie von Herbert Rose Barraud (1845-1896). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Burnett is an author whose works would now be considered classics. She was born in 1849 and died in 1924. This means that her works are available in the public domain, and can be accessed through sites including Overdrive. You can find this icon on the lower left hand corner of the website.
We also have some of these books in our Campus library - see below.

My favorite works of hers are probably her best known ones:
The Secret Garden, The Little Princess and Little Lord Fauntleroy.
The Secret Garden  - was one of my favorite books as a teen! My mother came from India to Canada and Mary Lennox traveled from India to England. The book is really about Mary finding herself, where she belongs and has a sense of family. A wonderful story with vivid passages about nature.
The Little Princess  - is about the fall from a higher class to a much lower one in England.  It is about Sara Crewe and her journey from a life of  privilege to that of a servant. She learns to cope with disappointment and humiliation and yet still remains to not be shattered! It is a story about strength,compassion and true friendship.
Finally Little Lord Fauntleroy is almost the opposite of The Little Princess in that a poor boy is thrown into riches. It is about the overcoming of obstacles and winning people’s hearts. It is about kindness and caring.

Other November authors include C.S. Lewis, and Lucy Maud Montgomery
Are you a middle or high school student who has not discovered the world of C.S  Lewis or Montgomery?  Perhaps the most renowned Christian author in the world,  Lewis's classics such as The Narnia series and The Screwtape Letters live on in our memories,  and have been immortalized visually by many a great movie classic. To find out more about this famous author check out these sites Into the Wardrobe and Wikipedia C.S Lewis.  Many of his books are available on our E Library!

Green Gables
Green Gables (Photo credit: Stephen Downes)
Lucy Maud Montgomery is probably Canada's favourite authoress!  Anne of Green Gables was my introduction to Canada, when I was still a native of South Africa.  I remember reading about her homeland,  picturing Prince Edward Island vividly in my dreams, seen from the eyes of a gregarious, red headed orphan.  To find out more about her life and books you can enjoy browsing her commemoration site L.M. Montgomery Institute or share in her official movie site Anne of Green Gables site, or the Wiki on her lifeHaving read her books and seen the movies, now all I need to do is visit Prince Edward Island to truly catch a glimpse of her spirit.  To view her heritage collection in our E library go here.

Blessings to you
From Natalie and Pippa
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Sunday, October 14, 2012

The Best Resources For Learning About Felix Baumgartner’s Jump From The Edge Of Space

The Best Resources For Learning About Felix Baumgartner’s Jump From The Edge Of Space

Ning = Connection=Community

Jesus washes the disciples' feet
Jesus washes the disciples' feet (Photo credit: teawithlizzie)

At one of our open learning commons meetings last year, our team brainstormed about how we could encourage community from a virtual capacity.  Spread all over the province many of our families have shared in the past that they felt disconnected from the school body.   Likewise our teens needed a safe space to gather away from the public glare of Facebook.   Something was needed to create a virtual flow of life between students, parents and teachers.  Where could our DL students play in cyberspace and develop community? 

John 13:34-35
So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples."

Enter the "Ning",  a private social network that was designed to bring people of similar tastes and ideas together to share in professional development or community.  We decided on "Ning", because it was fairly easy software to initiate, cheap and had very good reviews.  The bonus for our grade 8 and up teens was that finally they had a hangout place,  where they could debate, laugh, organise into groups and generally connect and encourage one another  as disciples do:) 

Our logo for our school is "discipleship based education".  If we were going to embrace "Ning" we needed to do it with wisdom and discernment.   After prayer and discussion our Learning commons team decided to stage the process that would allow people to register with the ning.  As moderators of the ning we did not want to be overwhelmed with a huge amount of email.  Everything gets cc'd to our inbox!  So we started with parents, and a few teens and slowly,  but surely the word spread that the ning was a "groovy" place to be. Our first intent was to teach social networking and we did that by showcasing one of our teachers, Ryan Johnston who gave an excellent webinar on digital citizenship. 

To share how our teens are connecting is a wonderful blessing!  As one of three moderators we check on our students, but yet have to speak into anything that has been discouraging or disturbing.  Yes our students are debating topics such as abortion, evolution, creation, bullying, and personal struggles.  Yes they might not agree with each other, but voice is being created and the fire has been lit. The ning is a place where everyone is welcomed and encouraged.  

Groups that have started!
Prayer groups, Bible study groups book clubs, teen geek squads, poetry groups, sports groups, regional groups, music and art groups, GPP (which is Grad Prep Program grade 8/9) Heart groups which are grade 10-12 groups based on region, a new fitness funatics group , and the HCOS Running group which is encouraging our students to stay fit, running clubs. 

Students and parents and teachers can create their own events and share them with RSVP details and other attachments like maps and websites.  Last year a poetry competition was proudly shared on the ning with prizes for winning students.  This year I would love to see a photography event and music event showcase our students gifts!

Media Sharing!
Much like media is shared on Google Plus and Facebook, students and adults can share photographs, create albums, share music and then also share on Twitter.

We now have about 400 participants with numbers climbing every day. Seeing our parents connecting and sharing with students is a wonderful and heartfelt blessing. 

On October 22 I will be running a Ning webinar.  If you are interested in joining please come and log on for a half hour introduction on using the ning for your purposes.  Here is the participant link:

Participant Link:  https://sas.elluminate.com/m.jnlp?sid=7345&password=M.157B3446A4C04509CB7AFC3DEB158D

So if you have not joined the ning, send me an email and I will invite you:)  Welcome to an amazing community in Christ!  Please let us know at any time if you have any concerns.

Pippa Davies and the learning commons team.

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Monday, October 1, 2012

Autumn colours!

Fall colours
Fall colours (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The dusky hues of Autumn, and the splendor of the bounty invites us to the home and hearth.  As we give thanks to Christ for all our blessings we encourage our students to do likewise:)   To capture some fun and exciting ideas to use in your fall classroom check out some of these links from Natalie and myself:

Homeschool Thanksgiving Ideas.

A-Z Homeschooling and Thanksgiving ideas.

Autumn leaves are falling unit study.

Montessori inspired Fall activities.

Fall crafts!

Fall calendar set.   Fun for kindergarten to grade 2.

Autumn Equivalent Fractions game. 

Autumn Photo Flashcard set

Autumn Brain Booster!

Autumn Boggle Game.  Perfect for middle grades.

Autumn acorn contractions.

Pumpkin Patch, compound match Autumn literary center.

 Bible crafts for Thanksgiving.

Kids Thanksgiving Bible study.

Teens bible study on Thanksgiving from Bible Planet.

Best ways to enjoy October.  Download the app and chronicle your blessings.  Ann Voskamp.   A Holy Experience.
For more links on Fall go to our seasons theme in our weblinking library.  

 Celebrating authors!!

Our favourite authors celebrated this month in the learning commons are Jan Brett and Sigmund Brouwer.  If you have not checked out these children's authors come into our learning commons and enjoy, as we have some of their books therein! Famous authors born in September include Roal Dahl, Agatha Christie, Scott Fitgerald,  our wonderful poet Shel Silverstein, and classic T.S. Elliot to name a few.  Explore literature and read a great author today!

New books in the E library!

Check out for a E Library webinar happening next Tuesday October the 9th.  Please sign into the following link below.

 Starts: Oct 09, 2012, [Tue] 03:30 PM Pacific Daylight Time
                   (You may join 30 minutes prior)

Ends: Oct 09, 2012, [Tue] 04:30 PM Pacific Daylight Time

Click here for Participant Link:

Many blessings to you this Thanksgiving weekend!

Psalm 107:1
"Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever." (NIV)

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