Now that’s tacky!

grinch_sweaterOn our last day before Winter Break, we decided to spend most of the afternoon exchanging gifts. But not any gifts … tacky gifts! So how do we define tacky?

According to the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary “tacky” means not having or exhibiting good taste or marked by a lack of style

So with that thought in mind, everyone set out to find an item at home that fit this description. It really could be anything, but the deal was it needed to be in suitable regifting condition. That meant it needed to be in respectable shape and appropriate for school.

Everyone in the class drew a random number out of a container to determine the order of the gift selection. When gifts were opened, everyone waited for a resounding “Wow! This is the best gift ever! I’ve always wanted a _____.” and then waited to see if it was followed by “but ….” because gift openers could trade their gift for another that was already opened. No right to refusal. No complaints. Gifts could only be exchanged 3 times, though, as time was precious. We ended up discovering that we would have benefitted from starting the exchange even earlier. After the last gift was opened and exchanged a few times, we feasted on the fabulous treats brought for the afternoon.

The process proved to be extremely funny and full of community spirit. It’s truly amazing what you can find laying around the house!

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image: holidays christmas sweater by Sterin through Creative Commons license

Let the Dancing Begin!

stereosThe first few 2009 Dance Off videos are emerging! We’re looking forward to seeing each others’ as well as those of our neighbouring Huzzahnians. We’re hoping to see a dance or two from other bloggers out there as well.

The first three students to post their dances on their blogs are Tara, Daniel, and Michael. Visit each of their posts to watch their unique videos. More will be posted soon as we hope to have everyone’s up before Winter Break begins.

The process to create our videos took a bit more time than we anticipated. Despite a  few glitches with Windows Movie Maker, we found ways to help each other as well as hone our trouble shooting skills. The results are quite entertaining and well worth watching!

Fellow Ripplers, what did you find most challenging about this experience? What did you enjoy most?

image: SPEAKers by the camera is a toy

Scrumptious Treats…Yum!

christmas_cookiesLet the holiday baking begin! I’ve noticed a few students have recently written posts that include delicious and festive recipes. There are definitely some recipes here that you might want to check out.

 If you are interested in edible ornaments visit Jazmin’s blog  The Fun Fair.  Want to know how to make butterscotch confetti? Myah can help you out on her blog, The Food Court. Interestingly enough, Kennedy has found a recipe for eggnog cheesecake. Quite the combination! Read more about it on The Food Lover.          

If any other Division 2 students are writing recipe posts, please let me know and I’ll link them through here.

image: 2007_6786 Holiday Cookies by cococello through Creative Commons license

Are you ready to dance!

breakdance_dinoThe Ripple Effect and Huzzah! are all set to dance off! And all of our readers are invited…

No, this isn’t a competition. In fact, we’re not the ones dancing at all (although dancing in class is fun … we’ve done that before). This is a chance to share your creativity and technology skills through the use of Pivot Animation. Why dancing? Well, we are down to the last 8 days of school left before Winter Break, and we all feel like dancing! What better way to end 2009? We’ll be dancing our way into the New Year, ready for our next round of adventures in 2010.

To get a better idea of what we’re looking for, here’s my first attempt at Pivot Animation. I’m sure you will all surpass my abilities in a short amount of time.


2009 Dance Off! from Jaki Braidwood on Vimeo.


The more dancing the better. If you’d like to be a part of our 2009 Dance Off, here is the criteria that the two classes will be following. Each video segment will include:

  • A stickman dancing sequence created using Pivot Stickfigure Animator (free to download)
  • A Christmas/Winter background (we’re uploading CC Flickr images to our Pivot files)
    • hint: the program defaults to look for bmp files. Change the drop down menu to .jpg file types
  • Pivot animations are imported into a movie program (We’re using Windows Movie Maker)
    • hint: save your pivot animation as a .gif file, not a .piv file
  • Titles, credits and music are added into the movie program to finish the dance video
    • Find a techno/electro CC song that has a strong beat (your teacher can help with this one)
  • Once the movies are made, we’re uploading them into our class Vimeo account so we can post them on our individual blogs (we chose Vimeo because many students can’t view You Tube at school).

When you post your video, please link back to this post. We’re looking forward to exploring everyone’s creative dance moves. Let the dancing begin!

image: Internet Group – Tururu Tururu by Rodrigo David

The Day of Silence

Guest post by Daniel

On November 20th, 2009, our class participated in a vow of silence. An organization called “Free the Children” asked people around the world to take a vow of silence for the whole day to represent the children of the world whose voices are not being heard and whose rights are not being recognized.

It was very hard to stay silent for the day, especially because we were at school, and with school being a very sociable place it proved to be very challenging. To speak to our classmates, we brought notebooks, pens and pencils so we could write what we were trying to say. The people who were taking part in the vow of silence wore a tag around their neck with a fact written on it about how children’s rights were not being upheld so people would know why we were silent. We still did all of the normal activities we would do on any normal day, but we had to improvise ways to do them without speaking. We learned how to play a math game, but it took some of us a while to understand what the teacher was trying to ask us to do (like me), because she was spending the day in silence as well.

At the end of the week, we went to an assembly with all of the intermediate students to discuss the vow of silence and child rights which Mrs. Braidwood and Mrs. Anderson put together. In the days that led up to National Child Day, Mrs. Braidwood shared a few facts about child rights and videos. The videos had a lot of information, like how some children’s rights are not recognized by their country’s government. One boy got sold to a carpet factory for the rest of his life to pay off a debt for his family; that debt was $20. It’s pretty sad that this happens to some children, but there are organizations around the world who are trying to help end child poverty, like Free the Children. They have built over 500 schools and clean water systems for children living in poverty.

Together our class (Division2), Division 1, and Division 3 created the video above to share what we had learned about children’s rights with the other intermediate classes at the school.

A Cozy Start to December

bunny_slippersWinter weather, “inside days”, and 3 weeks from a “real” break – Division 2’s solution … Pyjamas & Stuffy Day! But, not just for us … 

Seeing as we’ve had so much fun organizing activities and assemblies this year, we wanted the whole school to join in. What better way to welcome December? Who could resist spending the day in cozy pyjamas and comfortable slippers? Not us!

Bed heads and bath robes filled our hallways and there were stuffies galore. We might just have to consider having Pyjama Day more often!


Image: Bunny slippers by peppergrass through Creative Commons license