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!
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.
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.
Looking at Challenge 2 this week, you have completed most of the activities under the “Heads” option. By now you should have your avatar uploaded and attached to your username in edublogs. If you haven’t yet, and I know there are a few of you, then stop reading this now and go to your dashboard User widget to upload your avatar!
Phew … if you’re reading this next part it must mean you have an avatar uploaded now. Wait! You still don’t? Then, reread the paragraph above and come back when you are done!
OK … now that you have an avatar attached to your blogging username, make sure you have also saved a copy in the 2010_Braidwood folder called Avatars. Your name needs to be part of the file name, something like yourname_avatar.
Now, you can finally move on to Activity 4, the “Feet” option, which will help you learn more about your digital footprint. Miss Wyatt has found a great video to help explain the online trail of breadcrumbs you may inadvertently leave about your life. I’ve embedded it below so you can watch it here.
After watching this and thinking about your own digital dossier, your task is to write a post about the digital footprint you are currently leaving. In your post, reflect on:
Remember to add some personal thoughts in your answers to these questions and when you are writing think of how you would begin explaining this to a friend. Avoid using large parts of the question in your sentences unless you are sure this is how you would word your answers in a conversation.
Next, Google your name or nickname but include our town in your search as well. In your post, explain what you find. If you are found in a search, how did your name get there? Is it a surprise?
How many cookies or footprints are you leaving behind? Are you comfortable with this amount? What will you do to minimize your current digital dossier?
Remember to creatively embedded a link to Challenge 2 in your post. Have fun exploring your impact. I’m looking forward to hearing your responses!
image: Footprints by Matt_McL released under a CC Attribution – Noncommercial – Share Alike license
You’ve probably heard of outer space, right? You know … our solar system, galaxies far far away, etc. But have you ever heard of inner space? This is the universe that exists right before our eyes, yet we actually see very little of it …. unless we have a microscope! In fact, microscopic organisms outnumber all other species on Earth.
To put this into perspective, visit Secret Worlds: The Universe Within to first see the Milky Way 10 million light years from Earth and then watch as the magnification increases or decreases by powers of 10 (remember that means by 10 times greater or smaller) until it reaches a plant cell here on Earth. It’s pretty amazing.
This week we are exploring the microscopic world using microscopes in class. Earlier in the year, we posted images of the edible cell projects that students created to show their growing understanding of how cells work, which was a great introduction to what we are about to see in the next few days. To prepare for this, students have been learning about the parts of the microscope and trying out their skills online using this interactive tutorial about the compound microscope.
While we studied plant and animal cells using online and printed images, I think we’ll appreciate the micro-organisms living in inner space a lot more when we get to experience seeing them first hand. Here’s hoping we end up hitting the jackpot and we’re in for a cell extravaganza! We’ll keep you posted about what we end up finding.
image: 25c by uafcde released under a CC Attribution – Noncommercial – Share Alike license