Some pretty interesting individuals showed up to class yesterday, and a wide range of personalities shone through making the day both memorable and full of fun. So, without further ado, I’d like to introduce ….
|Little did we know what was still in store for us. Suddenly, we were faced with …|
|But you’ll all be relieved to know we survived, although it was a close call when …|
|The scariest was still to come, though. The unimaginable happened next. Yes, it’s true. Suddenly, we were face to face with …|
|But, luck was definitely on our side before things really got out of hand.|
|We also quickly realized that …|
|Knowing we were in good hands – with whatever or whoever crossed our path – was comforting. In fact, our halls were bursting with superheroes.|
|We were reassured to know that we could always count on back up, and surprisingly, things actually started to settle down by lunch, but then ….. things got a little weird when this lady showed up!|
|Thankfully, she and her attitude didn’t stick around for long and we were able to continue with our afternoon festivities. With so much imagination and a whole lot of smiles, nothing and no one was going to get in the way of us enjoying our day together!|
|In any case, that was my take on the day. How about you, Ripplers? What stood out for you yesterday?|
A few years back, I came across a video made by the Gratidudes – two young men who were encouraging others to focus on the positives in our lives and to remember all that we have to be thankful for. Ever since then, I have wanted to create a video with my students to showcase our own Gratitude Dance. This year is finally my year to do this! The Ripplers this year are clearly a grateful bunch, and we set out to do exactly what Brad and Matty suggested:
If there was a fourth step, I bet it would be: film your gratitude fuelled dancing and share it. So, that’s exactly what we’ve done and in the process, I was able to accomplish a long-time goal.
What does enthusiasm have to do with being successful? Being enthusiastic means approaching tasks with an open mind and a good attitude, willingly taking on challenges and being interested in expanding your understanding. These are all characteristics of an engaged learner. When we are engaged in an activity, we open ourselves up to a much richer experience and ultimately, we learn more. We achieve more. We benefit. So what can happen when a rather ordinary task that requires a little more effort is made more enjoyable? Would others choose it over the usual option – an easier route?
Think back to a time where you were asked to complete something you really knew you wouldn’t enjoy doing. Were you able to find a way to make it more enjoyable? If not, what strategies could you have used to help you become more engaged and motivated? Tell us your story.
As we get to know each other in the class, the Ripplers have been figuring out what we’d like our classroom learning environment to look like. To do this, students started out with 10 Creative Commons images that were selected from Flickr. They were asked to think about the ways each one could be connected back to our classroom. There were so many fantastic ideas! It’s always so interesting to see how a picture can speak to us in different ways. As each picture gathered more thoughts, some common ideas emerged. Below is the result of our efforts and we can begin to see that by following these class agreements, we can create a pretty amazing place for learning.
Ripplers, how are you feeling about our classroom agreements? Are there any that stand out for you more than others? Which ones do you feel might impact your learning the most?
After a longer hiatus than expected, the Ripplers are back! We’ve had a busy first few weeks of school and we’re getting our feet wet in the blogosphere again. One of our first tasks has been to visit Mrs. Smith and the Huzzahnians as we learn how to be effective commenters. We really enjoyed her post Be More Awesome and watching Kid President’s Pep Talk. We know he was speaking to us, too! It fit right in with what we’ve been discussing in class.
We’ve been talking a lot about what it means to “show up” to learn and how to keep thinking our way through those tough spots that we all encounter at some point. What can we do to help ourselves? Sometimes, it’s easy to get caught up in our struggles rather than search out creative solutions that move our thinking forward. Watching The Broken Escalator got us thinking about what our options are when we get stuck in the different and sometimes difficult learning situations we face.
What do you do when you face the unexpected? How can we find solutions to difficult situations where we just feel stuck? What skills do we need to be solution-oriented rather than problem-focused? We’d love to hear your thoughts on this, too.
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