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?
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.
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
March 26, 2011 at 8:30 pm is Earth Hour in Canada. What is Earth Hour? It’s actually an international event that began as a local one in Sydney, Australia in 2007. From there it has spread globally year after year. Last year, 1.3 billion people ranging from 128 countries participated in it. 10 million Canadians in over 300 cities were a part of this.
Why is Earth Hour important? It has been estimated that in the 1970′s humans were using 70% of nature’s yearly output of resources. By the early 1980’s that rose to 100% and in 1999 it topped the scales at 125%. 1999 was 12 years ago … I wonder what percent of nature’s yearly output we’re using today. I find those numbers mind boggling!
It’s our world to shape, not just to take ~ John Abbott
Earth Hour reminds us to think about how we are using and producing energy and what we can do to help make sure we have a sustainable future. Through this wave of darkness that unfolds across the globe, we hope world leaders will stand up and take notice of the message global citizens are sending.
Last year during Earth Hour, many of the students in my class played board games, read by candlelight or found fun activities to play like hide-n-seek. They embraced this hour without power to show their support and I hope this year even more will participate. The tricky bit for us, though, is that next week is Spring Break for our school district. That means I won’t have the opportunity to remind them on the Friday before. So I’m hoping with a little help from the counter above, they will stay committed to seeing Earth Hour through and afterward, numerous comments will appear on this post telling me how they creatively decided to spend this time.
Did you get that Ripplers? Next week, while you are off, check back to this site to see where the countdown is at and after Earth Hour is complete and you have power once more, please leave a comment telling us what you ended up doing for those 60 minutes. I’ll be doing the same to let you know what I was up to. Anyone of readers are welcome to let us know how their Earth Hour went as well.
My class is awesome! Absolutely awesome. So awesome, in fact, that I need to shout it out to the world,
We had such a fun time Friday afternoon at our school-wide dance celebration. There were so many great performances to watch within an atmosphere that oozed positivity and encouragement. It was an amazing afternoon – one that will stick out in our minds for a long time. We were the last student act of the day, and we were pumped to perform ….. because we had a little trick up our sleeve. I’ve decided to post the complete video here because truthfully, I could relive those 4 minutes a number of times over and over and I’d still be smiling ear to ear.
Now, unfortunately, the quality of video doesn’t quite do it complete justice, but I can assure you it was truly epic, and you know it’s been a great event when all you hear afterward is:
In fact, when it was over, a retired teacher in the audience approached our principal to say it was the best school dance event he’d seen in all his 35 years teaching. I’d have to agree. What made our contribution really special to me was the fact that the best parts of our dance were choreographed by the students and it was their idea to add the glow-sticks and turn out the lights. I’m so glad I listened to them. They were absolutely right.
World Math Day is done, but World Spelling Day is here! This is this event’s first year and next year the World Education Games is hosting a World Science Day as well. Scheduled to begin on March 3rd, we can actually access the site starting today, March 2nd because like World Math Day it is available to participants for as long as it’s March 3rd somewhere in the world.
We were all set to begin today in class, but we’ve run into a little problem. Schools were closed today in our district! Why? Well, it was a combination of snow, rain, and high winds that threatened to cause multiple power outages, flooding, and overall poor conditions on the roads that impacted safe transportation to and from school. By early this morning, some schools were already without power, areas higher up with snow didn’t have roads plowed, and lower areas had roads that were a slippery slushy mess. Add hurricane force winds into this and it was a very stormy site.
Lucky for us, the World Spelling Day site can be accessed from home, so I’m really hoping the Ripplers are getting a bit of a head start on their games. We’re still shooting for a minimum of 60 games and ideally 100 to be completed before midnight tomorrow night.
Happy Spelling everyone!
March 1, 2010 is World Math Day! This is a global event that has been held every year since 2007 to unite students, classrooms, and teachers with other individuals around the world through the joy of math and numbers.
Even though it is technically scheduled for March 1st, the activities are open to participants for as long as it is March 1st somewhere in the world. Since we are in the western hemisphere, we are one of the last locations in the world to greet the first day of March, so we actually began World Math Day today. Now if the behaviour of the Ripplers who participated in it today is an accurate measurement of fun and success, then I think we may be on to something “big” and we will continue until midnight tomorrow night. Students
Everyone in our class is trying to complete a minimum of 60 games. That equals 60 minutes of mental math questions. Ultimately, we’re hoping to complete 100 to maximize our point accumulation and since students can visit the World Math Day site at school, on our iPods, or at home, there are many opportunities available to help us achieve this.
Also, an overall goal for this event is to set a newworld record for the most number of questions answered in a single event. A new Guiness World Record was set during last year’s event with almost 500,000,000 questions answered then. I wonder what the total number will be this year?
Division 2, I’m curious to know your thoughts about participating in this global math event. Please share them in your comments to this post.
Today was Pink Shirt Day – a day we set aside to bring awareness to bullying issues and the devastating effects it can have. This past week, we have been looking more closely at the hidden scars it can leave on people as well as how powerless it can make a person feel. We each have an important role and responsibility if we ever discover someone is mistreating others or someone is being mistreated.
There are four types of bullying: physical, verbal, social, and cyberbullying. As a teacher, I find social bullying one of the hardest forms to deal with. Why? Because most students don’t even realize they are taking part in it. And those that do know what they are doing tend to operate very covertly so it doesn’t bring a lot of attention to it. Social bullying puts a person’s social safety at risk by using the power of a group to encourage teasing, exclusion, spreading rumors, and/or any of the other three forms of bullying.
We have learned that it’s human nature to want to be a part of a group. We are social creatures. But unfortunately, while we seek acceptance “in” a group, one of the strategies to keep ourselves there can be to point out the “out” group. Group dynamics is a powerful force. After watching a video clip of the 1950′s Asch experiment, we were able to see just how powerful group thinking can be. It’s easy to say we wouldn’t be swayed so easily, but time and time again over the years, that experiment continues to generate the same results. Sadly, I see it happening at school too many times to count. Sometimes people conform because they are afraid of backlash from the group while other times they conform to the group because the group convinces them they are wrong.
It’s difficult to stand up to a group of people. No question. Especially, if you don’t feel like you have a lot of power or stability in the group. More than anything, I want the Ripplers to remember that sometimes the right thing to do is the hardest thing to do.
This year is the 21st anniversary of The Convention on the Rights of the Child Convention (CRC) and we need to ask ourselves: Are children’s rights around the world being respected? There are over 1 billion children living in poverty today. Hunger, child labour, exploitation, discrimination, lack of education and a lack of medical care continue to impact children’s lives around the world.
In 1989, the CRC established a universal set of human rights for children that should be respected by governments around the world. These standards are supposed to be non-negotiable and include 54 articles that outline children’s rights.
Article 13 states:
The child shall have the right to freedom of expression; this right shall include freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers, either orally, in writing or in print, in the form of art, or through other media of the child’s choice.
Article 13 fit perfectly with our decision to participate once again in the Vow of Silence sponsored by Free the Children. We want to let the voices of children everywhere be heard. We want their rights to be upheld. So today, along with 3 other classes in the school, we were silent – for the entire school day. We learned in silence. I taught in silence. It wasn’t easy, but it was worth it if we were able to bring that much more attention to the unthinkable conditions some children live and work in. Family and friends also pledged us for every hour we were silent and we’ll let you know our total soon. the money we raise will go towards a Free the Children project.
We have another video in the works as well – a combined effort of all the classes involved in the Vow today. We’ll post it as soon as we can.
I have to say the Ripplers were a determined bunch. Today was our first day of snow, too! Normally that would create quite a scene in class, but today it came in second to their commitment. This year’s students outlasted last year’s class by quite a bit. It was clear that this mattered to them. It was clear they took it seriously.
And this was only one day … we know it takes much more than one day of activism to make a difference … but it’s a start. Now, the discussion begins … what will we set our sights on next?
(While you are waiting for this year’s video, feel free to watch our masterpiece from last year)