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.
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
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
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
Sounds a little crazy doesn’t it? Maybe, but that’s exactly what we did. In one school day, the Ripplers learned and recorded tracks to a song, mixed the tracks, created and practices scenarios to be filmed, and finally shot all the video footage using an iPhone. Then, because we were running out of time, I (Mrs. Braidwood) did my best to edit it all later that night.
Why the rush? Why did we only have one day? Our class was going to put together a quick video for our Earth Day assembly on Thursday, April 21st. Originally, it was set to be a series of photographs of Earth-friendly activities, but then late Tuesday night, I had the best idea ever … and from there it all exploded into an action-packed fun-filled day of adventure and singing.
After putting new meaning into Rebecca Black’s song “Friday” … OK, OK … I made it substantially more meaningful (sorry Rebecca Black fans). I brought it to school the next day and pitched it to the class. We also invited the other 2 Grade 6/7 classes to join in the video making process and Voilà! Here is what we ended up creating …
We know it’s not perfect, but considering it was primarily created within a 6 hour time-frame and without any high-tech equipment, we’re pretty happy with the result. It also showed us what we were capable of doing in a short amount of time and will surely inspire us to dabble in the production of a music video again. Who knows what we are capable of if we had a week or two to dedicate to this process.
We hope our video left you smiling and with an Earth Day message you might sing from time to time yourself. Please feel free to comment. We’d love to hear what you or your class did on Earth Day as well.
image: LEGO Rock Band Singer (1) by Dunechaser released under a CC Attribution – Noncommercial – Share Alike license
Trev is on his way again! While we’re a little sad to see him go, we know he has big adventures still waiting for him and we’re looking forward to seeing and reading all about it on Trev’s blog.
He’s headed north from us, up island a ways and then a bit east to a smaller island called Sointula [soy-n-too-la] where Ms. Watson‘s class has been patiently waiting for him.
We had hoped to ship him off a bit sooner, but we noticed that Trev was in need of some minor surgery, so we decided to make sure we sent him on his way good as new after Celina‘s mom patched him up. Thank goodness she came to his rescue, too because if I was his last resort he may have ended up with a wing sewn to his head accidentally.
While we were waiting for him to return to us, we prepared a few new items for his next travels. After we added a few pages to his scrapbook to document his visit, we started thinking he might run out of room after a few more visits. We didn’t want him to worry about that, so we’ve created a Part 2 scrapbook that can be used once the other one’s last page has been used up.
The Super 7 Scoopers will also notice we’ve added a Comox Valley pin to his bandana. He came to us with a New Zealand pin already attached, so we thought we’d help him start a collection that he could eventually bring back home as souvenirs of his travels.
Maddie also wanted him to leave with something distinctly Canadian as well so she has given Trev a new bandana to wear on any days that he is feeling a little nostalgic for us on this side of the world.
So we think we’ve sent him off well prepared for the next leg of his adventures! Good luck Trev! In the next couple of days, we hope to hear you’ve landed safe and sound at your destination. Please keep us posted on all the trouble you get up to.