Favourite Language Arts Links

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Editing Tools using Titanpad, and Scribblar, with Guest April McLeod.

As a teacher Titanpad offers an excellent option for free online collaboration, whether it be in the classroom or in a conference.  You can engage with your students to mark their work, or you can collaborate with colleagues to finalize a project.  This application is really easy to share on the web!

Titanpad allows you to import text file, HTML, Word or RTF file formats. In addition to it, you can download the document as HTML, Plain text, bookmark file, Microsoft Word and in more formats.
 To get started all you need do is click on "Create Public Pad" and away you go!  This may be easier than Google docs for those students who don't have a gmail address.  Please let me know if you are using either and your evaluation thereof?:)

Image representing Scribblar as depicted in Cr...Image via CrunchBase

April McLeod (HCOS teacher and book club moderator) shares more on how she uses Scribblar in her book club as a collaborative tool:)  Thanks April!!:)

 Scribblar, what a great name for an amazing tool!  A couple of months ago the Sr. High Book Club had outgrown Skype, and I was on the hunt for a new venue.  Another need I had was to have a place to share with the Essay writing course I was beginning. I thought of Elluminate, but wanted to investigate other options.  My requirements were: a place to meet with audio, whiteboard, chat, and ability to import other video and images to share with the students.  Lastly and probably second highest on the list was ease of use.

While working within another program called CyberNet Worlds, I was introduced to Scribblar by Gord Holden, our Immersive Technology Expert.  The site has a whiteboard, chat room, and interactive classroom with sound.  Totally safe and really fun!   It has writing tools for the whiteboard that include text, pencil drawing, highlighting, stamps, shapes, etc.  You can fill up many pages, as they just move and open up another whiteboard at the click of a button.  My students have especially enjoyed the pencil drawing.  Each week we meet there, have chats, I teach the week’s material, they work in groups in different classrooms (while I am listening in), they communicate with each other via chat box or by voice, draw pictures, etc. One example of how I used it is with The Sr. High Book Club.  I post the questions for the upcoming Book Club,  and they go in and sign up for which question they would like to present on.  Then during the Book Club, notes will be written right on the white board to show what we are discussing. Superb visual tool!  You can also import other images or word documents to share.

 As with all technology there is a learning curve, but I can honestly say that this tool has benefited my students and myself more than almost any other I have used,  and has been the easiest to learn how to navigate.  I love it!!  Hope you will check Scribblar out and see how it can help you!!

 Blessings to you Pippa, April and the learning commons team!

Enhanced by Zemanta

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Online Diary? Penzu.com

Diary #1, CoverDiary #1, Cover (Photo credit: paperbackwriter)I was one of those students' who always had my diary close on hand, where I would write my most private thoughts on a daily basis.  I loved the fact that no-one else could see my thoughts, and here was one place I could talk to God about all my STUFF:)  But there was always the horrid thought that someone could find my diary, and read my most intimate words, even with the lock firmly clasped!  Well forward to the 21 century, and now online diaries are a secure way to totally ensure your thoughts stay private to only you, and your computer! Check out Penzu.com where you can share your thoughts in privacy!  This is a great tool to encourage your younger students in the process of writing just for themselves:)  Well maybe one day they will let you take a peek!

Enhanced by Zemanta

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Valentines Day 2012

It's that time of the year when you can snuggle with your sweetie and eat chocolate.   This year my sweetie and I will be celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary, and I am blessed to have a husband who treasures me and the sanctification of marriage.
Thank you God for husbands and their LOVE.   Happy Valentine's day!Happy Valentine's day! (Photo credit: DonnaGrayson)

Valentine Day can also be a time to thank our kids for their love and friendship in our lives.  I am thankful for my amazing kids who love me for who I am, (sometimes a little worn around the edges), and always forgiving me when I slip up!  Families, and the lasting LOVE of Jesus are all we need.  As the message in the video declares being Held by Him is all we need if we are to understand true love!

Valentine's Day is also a great time to teach your children Bible lessons on all the ways God loves us, and how we are to return that love both to Him and to others. Consider hands-on activities that you can use to teach your children some awesome Biblical truths

Ministry.com Bible lesson plans on Valentines Day.

Valentines Day Bible Verses

A Heart for Jesus craft

Lesson Planet for Teachers Valentines' Day

Ideas for Single Teens

Kidology Valentines Lesson plans  PS This site has a free open source Bible curriculum.  Check it out and let me know if is good please!

Valentines Day Craft Videos. from EHow.

Don't forget our Valentines Theme contest for mums on Valentines Day on our Ning.  Your child can help you win a $25 Chapters' card.  Post your art works on the ning!

Blessings and Love In Christ.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Learning Camps update Jan-June 2012

Los Marineros, a marine education program for ...Image via Wikipedia
Please note that listings marked with a red asterix -* denote camps suitable for grad program students (gr. 10-12), and may be applicable resources for or towards credit courses.  Ask your teacher for details or contact Christine Loewen cloewen@onlineschool.ca for further inquiries.

Please note, when an event is full, the online registration link will be disabled.  If you are having trouble opening a link, this could be why.  Please contact your support teacher if you have any further questions and/ or if you have further Learning Camp ideas you would like to see offered in your area.  We appreciate your interest and value your participation.  Have fun learning!
Lower Mainland
Greater BC
All Areas:

*HCOS Memory Challenge (Charlotte cstace@onlineschool.ca ) Further details and memorization tips are also outlined in the monthly HCOS Newsletter.  www.newsletter.onlineschool.ca Recitation deadline is May 30th – you can do it!

* Grade 7/8 Book club.  We are also reading Shadowspinner and our next meeting is on Feb 22.  Newcomers are welcome to come and join us before or after the event.  Please note if you join after the event the charge is the same.    Click here to register.  Book club blog  

*Gr. 9 & 10 Book Club with Kathy Strebchuk, soon voting on the next book to read and discuss.  Newcomers welcome to join.  Click here to register.

*Sr. High Book Club (Gr. 11 & 12) with April McLeod.  Next reading chosen by the group is a Shakespearean Play, Romeo and Juliet.  Our 4th book is going to be Les Miserables, and a fun ending book called The Life of Pi.   Click here to register.  Book Club Blog.

*Scripture Memory Challenge Wrap-up in May – remember to recite your verses by May 31st to a non-family member and inform your support teacher to be eligible for your reward!

*Historical Trip:  Barkerville - Family Learning Camp:  4 nights, 3 days, all ages welcome!  June 10th- 13th.  Click here to register.  Registration deadline is February 14th.  (note, this camp is currently on a waitlisted basis, we will do what we can to accommodate-- more details TBA)


Nanaimo/ Parksville:
*French camp.   Feb 24th, Apr 20, May 18.   1-2 p.m. Contact Angela apaine@onlineschool.ca

*Research, note-taking, report outlines in Nanoose. February 28th 12:30 – 4:00 p.m. Gr. 4-9  Click here to register.

*Speech camp in Parksville:  6 sessions April/May 11 a.m. – 12 p.m.  Contact Angela  apaine@onlineschool.ca

*Island Track Meet in June – Nanaimo; more details TBA.  Nola  nmorgan@onlineschool.ca

Campbell River/ Black Creek:
*Research, note-taking, report outlines in Black Creek. February 29th 12:30 – 4:00 p.m. Gr. 4-9  Click here to register.  Deadline to register is February 18th.

*Cross Country Skiing at Mount Washington.  Thursdays in February. Contact Lonnie lpenner@onlineschool.ca

*Stay tuned for upcoming events

Powell River:
*Interpretive Hikes with guide Carla Chapple in April.  Possible series of 3, with varied terrains.   More details TBA – Marie mboettger@onlineschool.ca

*Outdoor Adventure Sessions in spring with Chris Moore, 3 2-hour sessions.  More details and dates TBA.

*Field Trip to Powell River Historical Museum, Willingdon Beach Nature Trail Walk and beach picnic in May.  More details TBA – Marie mboettger@onlineschool.ca

Lower Mainland:

*5-Day Snowboard/Ski Lessons between Jan 26th – Feb 23rd at Hemlock Resort; Contact Allana Alemke@onlineschool.ca to register
*VSO presents Peter and the Wolf for Gr. K-3.  February 8th, 12 – 1 p.m. at the Orpheum Theatre.  Click here to register.   Spaces still available.

*Poverty Revolution Boot Camp, February 29th for Grades 8 to 12 from 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. at Living Waters Church, Fort Langley.  Join us for a day of challenging our deeply-held assumptions and of exploring worldviews to better understand the nature of poverty and God’s intended solution.   Click here to register; deadline for registrations is February 22nd.

*Songwriting with Steve Codling March 29th 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.:  Learn how to write a song from ground up. Topics covered will include Chord Progressions, Song Structures, Lyrics, Melody, Instrumentation/Arranging and Recording Technology.  It's not as much of a mysterious black box as you might think!  Suitable for grades 6-12; maximum 20 students, minimum 4.   Register here by March 15th—needs at least four students by February 28th for this camp to occur. 

*Vancouver Art Gallery fieldtrip possibility in March.  More details TBA.  Andria alengkeek@onlineschool.ca

*MarketDay™ Adventures – Thursdays April 19 – May 24 + MarketPlace™ Day.  Abbotsford Free Church.  Allana  alemke@onlineschool.ca

*Arts Fair in May for Grades K-9+.  More details TBA.

*Sports Day for Lower Mainland in June.  Contact Nate nfarr@onlineschool.ca

*JA Learning Camp:  Dollars and Sense – Grades 7-8 students only.  Tentative date: Friday, March 2nd at Grace MB Church from 8:30 – 12:30.  Min class size: 12; max class size 30.  Contact Colleen cerzinger@onlineschool.ca

*Okanagan Symphony – Feb 14th  suitable for Gr. 1-7  Sorry, registrations are now closed.

*“Art Basics 101” with Kathleen Bird possibility:  1-hour lessons for 6 weeks, Grades 7-10, to be held at Emmanuel Baptist Church on March 5th, 12th, April 2nd, 16th, 23rd, 30th.  Click here to register.  Deadline for registration is January 31st, 2012. 

*“Intro 2 Canadian Artists” with Kathleen Bird possibility:  1-hour and 45-minute lessons for 6 weeks, Grades 7-10, to be held at Emmanuel Baptist Church on May 14th, 21st, 28th, June 4th, 11th, 18th.  Click here to register.  Deadline for registration is February 29th.

*Gym class possibility.  More details TBA.

*Family Fun Day and Track Meet on June 15th at Polson Park in Vernon.  More details TBA – Sheri sprice@onlineschool.ca

*Spanish January 9th – March 12th; Contact Lori Taetz ltaetz@onlineschool.ca

*Intermediate level French; concluding with performing a play in French at the end of May.  January 12th – May 17th; Grade 7 level French a prerequisite.  New students welcome.  Contact Sarah at sbennett@onlineschool.ca

*Your Story at the Symphony – Okanagan Symphony – Feb 13th suitable for Gr. 1-7 – Sorry, Registrations are now closed

*February Art classes (using a variety of mediums) with Heather Parlane.
·    Monday class: Feb. 13 – Mar. 5 for 9 – 13 year olds Monday Class 2 - 3pm                 
·    Tuesday classes:   Feb. 14 – Mar.7
o   9 – 13 year olds   Tuesday class 10am – 11am
o   6 – 8 year olds  Tuesday class 11:30 – 12:30

*Winter Survival, Animal Tracking and Plant Identification with Selah Outdoor, Feb 17 – 18 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Crystal Mountain Resort, grades 3+ (parents welcome.)  Registration deadline February 10th, only 30 spots available.  Click here  to register.

*Art classes (using a variety of mediums) with Heather Parlane.  Mondays & Tuesdays in April with 4 classes for ages 9 – 13 and 6 – 8. Maximum of 8 students per class.  Contact Roberta rmacdonald@onlineschool.ca

*Spanish – third term April to June 2012; For information contact Lori ltaetz@onlineschool.ca (Sorry, registrations are now closed)

Harper Mountain Learn to Ski/Snowboard program.  February 23rd Contact  Christine cloewen@onlineschool.ca (sorry, full, registrations are closed)

Greater BC:
*Stay tuned for upcoming events.  Remember, the Barkerville trip Jun 10-13th is open to all areas.  Click here to register (note, this camp is currently on a waitlisted basis, we will do what we can to accommodate-- more details TBA)

Enhanced by Zemanta

Monday, February 6, 2012

Cool Happenings in the Learning Commons

Many cool things happen in the HCS Learning Commons, and the last few months have been no exception!  From physical renovations and weeding our inventory, to gathering new collaborative space, purchasing new tables, and electronic equipment,  our Learning Commons is hopping!  Students can enjoy more of a 21st century experience with tables designed for collaboration, iPads and Netbooks for research, as well as E readers for reading.  Our Learning Commons staff has risen to the challenge of learning many new devices quickly,  and efficiently in the past few months,  with digital training from Paul Kelly.  I am SO thankful that God has blessed us with such an amazing team, who bring many gifts to the fore!

 Flat StanleyImage via WikipediaOur Flat Stanley wiki has taken shape, and students in the physical commons are already contributing.  Grade 5 HCS students have taken up the writing challenge,  and Natalie will soon be sharing their work on the wiki.  If you have not had a chance to take a look we encourage you to join in this literacy campaign!
Thanks Steve for leading this in the Physical commons, and to Natalie for compiling on the wiki!

Read Around the World has captured many student's interest,  and we have about 130 students registered. Fantastic prizes are in store for our winners in each grade, with  2 E readers as prizes for the primary and high school divisions.  Thanks Shandra, Eirena and Sherri for launching  this program!

Book Clubs are really flying this year as our adult and student book clubs take shape under the leadership of Kathy Strebchuk,  April Mcleod, Mark Daley, Joris Kempers, Paul Kelly and myself.  They are encouraging wonderful facilitation in these classrooms using amazing techie tools to inspire learning.  I hope to have them share at our April meetings.  Adult book clubs are underway and there is lots of personal interaction and amazing prayer support.  Mark Daley has shared how his group has enjoyed wonderful collaboration as they meet on a weekly basis.  A huge thank you to all of our book club moderators, who enjoy giving voice to our community.

Image representing Ning as depicted in CrunchBaseImage via CrunchBase

Our Ning community is growing, collaboration is happening and our techie geek squad is really sharing and discussing all things techie.  We encourage you to start your own groups and use the ning as a place to share E learning with your families.  Some of our families are already using, by posting images/photographs for their teachers.  Christine Loewen is encouraging all teachers to share their learning camps via the ning by adding events.  Stay tuned for more training. Thanks to our ning moderators who continue to lead the way in the ning!  Stay tuned for more of Janet's forums:)

A screenshot of the Elluminate Live programImage via Wikipedia 
Learning Commons webinars are happening via Elluminate,  and Ryan Johnson did an awesome presentation on social networking.  We are excited  to see how Ted Talk star, Dave Krismer, who is also an HCOS student leads in video tutorial workshops on Van Island.   Gord is helping facilitate this workshop.   If you would like to present a webinar on your specific passion or niche please let us know?

various e-book readers. From right to left iPa...

Overdrive E Book library has launched well and we are happy to see many books flying off the E shelves.  If you or your families have experienced any difficulties during the sign in process please contact us and we will be happy to help.

Renovations continue to happen in the LC.  We have cleared space for our new spiffy tables, and completed a huge weed of our collection to make space for these changes.  We look forward to seeing how our digital presenter will be used for future presentations!  We also hope to have some new comfy chairs to complement our desks.  Big thumbs up to all our learning commons team for making this transition so smooth!

We appreciate constructive feedback on how the learning commons is growing, and look forward to seeing you all on the ning.

God Bless!

Pippa and  the Learning Commons team.
Enhanced by Zemanta

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Pinterest: Techie Site of the Week

English: Red Pinterest logoImage via Wikipedia
This week I am happy to have Natalie Sing as a guest blogger share her new passion:)

 Pinterest  is a visual Social Networking opportunity, and an awesome tool for teachers and home educators to find inspirational projects on the internet.  When you register for Pinterest it is similar to Twitter. You begin following people and they can follow you. You can begin to pin websites, blogs, pictures and have a visual reminder of potential future projects. 

 What I like about Pinterest is the ability to produce “boards”. Each board can be for a specific purpose. This makes it great if you want to look at doing an art project later.   You can just go to your Art board and find a project you thought you might like to do “one day” with your student.

Your followers have the ability to repin one of your posts onto their boards. This is the aspect of community. You share, others share what you have shared and so on and so on....

There is an Iphone app for Pinterest as well. Even though I am quite new at Pinterest I can tell you that it is free, useful and fun!!
I encourage you to apply for a Pinterest account and then have a great time pinning!!
My boards are under NatalieSing or bchomeschoolmom.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Encyclopedias, Open Resources and Online Repositories as Research Tools

English: logo of the edu-sharing open source p...Image via Wikipedia Our world is changing with the exponential tide of information, and the ebb of the one authoritarian voice on a particular topic.  Wikipedia is still a hot favorite with students as a first resource in projects, but as most university students will attest they are sometimes not reliable, and should be used as a starting point for further research.  So where do we send our students for current factual information on particular topics especially in the K-4 grades where fact getting is still based on encyclopedia resources?

Here is a list of links for starting your research topic, from learning how to write your first paper, to using many free tools to make your project look professional !

How to Write a Report
Learn some basics!

Note Taking Tools
Discover some new tools!

Search Engines  
Search safely!

Elementary students learn how to research using encyclopedias!

Book Reports
Discover some techie book reporting tools!

Don't forget your bibliography!

Subscriptions for high school students include Ebscohost for academic secondary resources, and Discovery Streaming for great archived images.  Ask your teacher for sign in information:)

Open source textbooks which are all the rage right now will allow students to build their own learning tools, and will enable teachers to find learning outcomes that match their needs in building lesson plans.  Here are some of my favorite finds for searching, during project season, or during homework time for tutorials.

Open Source Textbooks

Blessings to you as you enjoy researching!
Enhanced by Zemanta

February: Black History Month

The Life of Josiah Henson, Formerly a Slave, N...Image via Wikipedia Josiah Henson former slave Black History Month is celebrated in February in many countries around the world, including Canada. It's an opportunity to share the history, contributions and culture of Black Canadians. To learn more about Black History Month in February, here are some educational resources for you to check out.

Canada's History  Learn more about the Underground Railway, with an upcoming PBS show .

Citizenship and Immigration Canada.  The War of 1812 and the Contribution of Black Soldiers in the Fight for Canada.

Black History Month.  Wikipedia article. 

Black History Month in Vancouver.   City of Vancouver.

Black History Month.  Canada had slaves too!  Vancouver Sun article.

Check our HCS learning commons website for more resources

Blessings to you


Enhanced by Zemanta