To coincide with Earth Day, April 19th was the 3rd annual Tim Hortons Community Clean Up on Vancouver Island and with over 10 000 students participating from Comox to Victoria, our Island home is a little cleaner. There were several schools within our district taking part and a number of classes within our school that joined us in our effort. The primary students kept close to the school, but we took the opportunity to walk to a nearby park to pitch in there. Along the way, we picked up what we could, but there really wasn’t a lot of litter to be found. Once in the park, we combed the wooded areas and eventually took the back trails that edged the nearby subdivisions. It ended up being quite the adventure – more than we bargained for – and our 45 minute walk soon turned into an hour and a half. It was well worth it, though. and it opened our eyes to our neighbourhood home just a little bit more.
We’d like to thank Tim Hortons for sponsoring this event and providing the yummy timbits, BFI for picking up our school’s collection of garbage and recyclable materials that were found, and the Comox Valley Regional District (CVRD) for waiving the tipping fees at our local landfill where it all eventually ended up. After this experience, it’s clear we need to head out into our community a little more often to do what we can to keep our neighbourhood clean and beautiful.
Division 1, what surprised you most on our walk? After commenting here, your task this week is to write about your impressions of our clean up adventure and what you think some of our next actions could be to address this.
If you or your class has ever participated in anything similar, we’d love to hear about it!
image: Earth Day 2012 by Bioversity International released under a CC Attribution – Noncommercial – No Derivative Works license
We’ve been looking at different types of portraits in art this year, from abstract to realistic ones. Our investigation into self-portraits revealed some interesting facts about our facial proportions that, at times, we’re hard to believe. A few points that could be heard more than once in class were:
It was an interesting challenge dissecting facial features and realizing the interesting proportions that complement each other altogether. In the end, though, Division 1 created an amazing set of self-portraits that captured each of them, appearance and personality-wise.
image:[ H ] Jenny Holma – Vanity (365/175) (2008) by Cea released under a CC Attribution license
The Ripplers are investigating how we can work towards becoming successful learners – and not just for school either. We’re interested in how to be the best learners possible wherever we go and with whatever we do.
So we’d like you to meet Danny MacAskill. He is from Dunvegan on the Isle of Skye in Scotland. One day in 2009, he uploaded a video to youtube showcasing his riding skills and by the next day, people around the world knew who Danny MacAskill was.
At one point in time, Danny wouldn’t have even been able to ride a bike. He had to learn how to do that just like many of us have. So how was he able to develop the skills he has now? What did it take for him to get to this level?
To help us answer these questions, please share your ideas in the comments below. We’re also hoping this post might attract the expert advice of our Huzzahnian neighbours, who we happen to know are also on a journey towards becoming successful learners.
We have an amazing opportunity in front of us! The Ripplers are heading to We Day this year and it’s pretty difficult to contain our excitement about it. Stemming from the Me to We movement sparked by the non-profit organization Free the Children, there are several We Day events all across Canada. In each location, the efforts of young people, who are dedicated to learning about social issues and being the change they want to see in this world, are recognized and celebrated.
In a single day we will get a chance to hear:
We will also get the chance to see Hedley, Shawn Desman, and Down With Webster perform. Incredible as that is, additions to this line-up are expected to be announced in the coming days. As part of our preparation to go, we have learned the We Day dance that was chorepgraphed by Shawn Desman to one of his own songs, Night Like This. At some point during this event, he will perform it and the arena will erupt into a sea of dancers.
This past week, we learned that we could enter a contest to potentially win a chance to dance on stage while he performs or the possibility of a dance party at our school with him present. How could we turn that opportunity down? Well, we didn’t. Our original idea to record our class dancing in the gym quickly evolved into a music video and luckily we have a really cool principal who agreed to play a role in it. We’re pretty pleased with what we created. Have fun watching it and wish us luck!
Ripplers … what are your thoughts on our video making process? Did one part of it stand out in your mind more than others? What are your thoughts on attending We Day? What do you hope to get out of the experience?
Today, it’s Thanksgiving in Canada. Schools are closed – so are many of the businesses in town. It is a day set aside each year on the second Monday of October to recognize all that we are grateful for. Sometimes we can get caught up in thinking about all we do not have, but as Division 1 is learning there are people all over this world who dream of having a life like ours. We need to remember that.
Although I hope we are thankful every day for all we have, since it’s Thanksgiving please take a moment and share your reasons for gratitude. We’d love to hear them.
One last suggestion from the Gratidudes … take some time out of your day to do the gratitude dance – it’s a pretty great feeling. Don’t know what this is? Watch the video below and find out!
image: Turkey Lurkey! by Sugar Daze (f/k/a LittleMissCupcakeParis)released under a CC Attributions – No Derivative Works license
At the end of September, we had a surprise visit from Miss Wyatt, creator of the Student Blogging Challenge! She had traveled to North America and up the coast from California to Vancouver Island from Tasmania, a state in Australia. We were one of two classes in our district that she stopped by – the other being Huzzah!
Lucky for us, we were just heading to the computer lab when she arrived, which gave her the chance to introduce us to Mr. Davo Devil, the Tasmanian Devil mascot that was accompanying her on her trip, and his blog outlining their adventures. Knowing that Miss Wyatt had a day to explore our beautiful island the next day, the Ripplers offered her several great suggestions on what to do and see. We were happy to hear she was able to visit a number of our museums and drive up to Mount Washington to see the amazing scenery there.
Before she left, she treated us to a number of souvenirs from Tasmania that have helped us learn more about her home … including Vegemite!
Our taste testing experience a few days later created quite a stir in our class, but I am very pleased to announce that everyone gave it a fair shot. When trying a new food, we often jump to conclusions based on the look, smell, and texture even before it hits our taste buds. It can be difficult to keep an open mind when it is unlike anything you’ve had before.
So …. what was the verdict?
Well, I liked it. In fact, I’ve had more since! I wasn’t alone either.
And then there were there the opportunistic ones looking to make a buck …
Thank you to Miss Wyatt for presenting us with such a fantastic opportunity to try something new and learn. We look forward to connecting with her again online and reading more about Mr. Davo’s adventures through the rest of Canada and the United States. Happy travels!
This year was the 31st annual Terry Fox Run. Just over 3 decades ago, Terry Fox - a 21 year-old from British Columbia set out to do the impossible. He was going to run across Canada, from Newfoundland to B.C. to raise awareness and money for cancer research. What was even more astounding was that Terry was running with a prosthetic leg having had his right leg amputated 2 years earlier after he was diagnosed with bone cancer.
Why didn’t he just run across B.C.? His mom asked him the same question. He responded by saying it had to be the whole country because it wasn’t just people in B.C. that were being affected by cancer.
On April 12, 1980, Terry dipped his artificial leg in the Atlantic Ocean on the east coast of Canada in St. John’s Newfoundland and began his journey, aptly named The Marathon of Hope. He ran an average of 42 km or 26 miles a day – a full marathon – through rain, gale force winds, and even snow. Before people really understood what he was trying to do, he also braved drivers that tried to run him off the road. It was a grueling journey - both mentally and physically.
In 143 days, he ran 5 373 km through six provinces – Newfoundland, PEI, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Quebec, and Ontario. By the time he reached Ontario, his efforts were known nationwide and his amazing spirit was being celebrated as Canadians cheered him on from town to town. Sadly, his indomitable spirit was hiding the fact that he was in increasing amounts of pain. On September 1, 1980, he was forced to stop his run because the cancer had returned, but this time in his lungs. He entered treatment immediately, but passed away on June 28, 1981 at the age of 22.
Terry’s heroic determination united our country; Canadians from every province and territory were inspired by his compassion, selflessness, and belief that ordinary people can do extraordinary things.
Before our school Terry Fox Run, Division 1 dedicated some time towards thinking of the best words to describe Terry Fox, his efforts, and his legacy. As we continued to learn about him, we also learned that most of us personally know someone who has been affected by cancer. Through Terry’s eyes and our own personal experience, each of us discovered what was going to motivate us on this year’s run.
September is here once again and we are off to a wild start! No, I don’t mean my new crew of Ripplers is wild ….. well, maybe they’re a little on the rowdy side right now, but we’ll work on that … I mean September’s been wild. It’s the weather. It’s almost like Mother Nature is letting us sample all she has to offer.
For the first few days of school, we started out with July-like weather – warm, sunny, a mild breeze – which is a pretty comfortable temperature because it’s not too hot, not to cool. Then, it quickly changed to what we expect in October, which is cloudy, a little rain, cool temperatures – not really shorts weather. We all thought Fall must be here. But then, after a few days of that it became really warm again. I mean really warm. The classrooms were heating up, there wasn’t any breeze, and it was too warm, even in the shade – bring out the shorts again. But then after about another week, it slowly became colder again. The rain came back and one day, we even thought it might be hailing outside, so we put the shorts away one more time.
Trying to predict what type of weather we’re in for each day has been a challenge and don’t even get me started on the days that start out warm and sunny only to end up cold and rainy or vice versa. Then, as if we haven’t had enough variety, a storm pulled in a few days back bringing with it sideways rain as well as wind gusts that rattled houses and broke fences and branches – all of which led to the usual power outages around town. Aside from it not yet being cold enough to snow … is there any weather we haven’t seen yet? Maybe I shouldn’t say that just yet ….
Seeing as we’re getting used to a little bit of everything this Fall, and our sporadic weather isn’t likely to change, I’m curious to know which types of weather you like best. Ripplers … what are you hoping the rest of Fall will be like? What weather makes the top of your list and why? If you’re visiting this post from somewhere else in the world, please tell us what your September has been like where you live.
image: Orangutan by kh 1234567890 released under a CC Attribution – Noncommercial – No Derivative Works license
Individually, we are one drop. Together, we are an ocean.
~ Ryunosuke Satoro
Welcome back for another school year! We’ve been off for a couple of months, but it’s time to get things moving again. What do we have in store for all of you? You’ll just have to wait and see!
This year, we’re lucky to have a few returning Ripplers leading the way again and they are joined by a great group of students who are destined to make their own magnificent ripples. There has been one minor change to our class - we’ve migrated from Division 2 to Division 1 as our classroom is teaming with Grade 7′s only! Whatever is Mrs. Braidwood going to do?
We’re just getting settled into our new routines and learning how we will learn best with each other. We’ll be letting you know how that’s going very soon.
In the meantime, Division 1 is going to let everyone know in their first comments of the year, what they are looking forward to now that they know they are part and parcel of The Ripple Effect. We hope everyone’s year is off to a great start!
image: Water drop no. 1 by mlaudisa released under a CC Attribution – Noncommercial – Share Alike license
We’ve had our iPods up and running for a few months now and it’s about time we shared some of our experiences with them. A little while back, I wrote about our initial plans for using them around literacy, which focused on comprehension strategies that are often reserved for teaching students to be better readers. We didn’t want to limit ourselves to reading though, so we expanded them to help us better understand the world through what we see, hear, and experience. Hopefully, our video helps explain the rest. We always love to hear feedback or if you have any questions, we’d love to try to answer them!