| The Solution to Reading Comprehension

You’ll love this research-based reading comprehension curriculum. Check out!


“The non-profit ReadWorks is committed to solving the nation’s reading comprehension crisis by giving teachers the research-proven tools and support they need to improve the academic achievement of their students.

ReadWorks provides research-based units, lessons, and authentic, leveled non-fiction and literary passages directly to educators online, for free, to be shared broadly.”

This is a must see for all grades!

Digital Citizenship Webinar Dec 12th!


We are very excited to bring our teacher leader Jeremy Hirsch to share a webinar on digital citizenship on December 12th Pacific time 10.30 am!  But sign in 15 minutes early to check your sound:)

Jeremy will be opening the group to parents of students in all age groups.

Title: ‘Our Digital Footprint’

Description: We will take a look at the digital explosion that we are currently experiencing and what that has done to our society and our culture.  We will also look at cyber-bullying, social media, and what it means to teach our children how to leave a positive digital footprint.

Participant Link:

Collaborate for Participants

Maker Ed Movement

Defining Maker Ed With Heritage Christian Schools

IMG_0006 IMG_0003 ME Session 2 Fall2014 024 ME Session 2 Fall2014 006 ME in the LC Fall2014 023 ME in the LC Fall2014 017 ME in the LC Fall2014 015

Follow this Powtoon for a taste of what we’re up to!

We are happy to bring Maker Ed to both Campus and Distant Learning students this Fall with Grades 4, 5 and 6 participating in a variety of hands-on, collaborative activities.  We have explored force and motion science concepts with K’nex Education kits.

Students are learning about the design loop including defining a problem, building a prototype,  fair-test procedures, and documenting results.

With Makey-Makey kits, students are able to re-imagine how they might interact with everyday computers.

We learned valuable lessons about the teamwork needed to accomplish a common goal.  Learning how to think “outside-the-box”, we used everything from play-doh to bananas as keyboard keys.  We made musical stairs, played online games, and even connected alligator clips to each other!

Our final phase is working with Powtoons, an online video presentation platform.  Workplaces and teachers alike are all concerned with presentations that will impress and deliver and our Grade 4, 5 and 6 students are accomplishing video, soundtrack, and message within minutes using this platform.

We have received positive support from the University of BC Okanagan’s Education Faculty  as well as Trinity Western University.  These well respected Universities support our endeavor to have students challenged with a problem and collaboratively “making” creative, design solutions.

Our students are exploring, imagining, building, experimenting and designing.  They are challenging design concepts and using creative solutions.  Maker Ed at Heritage Christian Schools is bursting with innovation!

Getting Geeky with #diglit! Grades K-2

The last few weeks have seen our learning commons folks #gearingup and #gettinggeeky after our #gafesummit conference!

We are all looking for ways to improve our students digital literacy, and now that BC has draft digital literacy learning outcomes in all grade levels we can finally start moving our students towards meeting these ideals.  Victoria Woelders (Google certified teacher) has a wonderful website called My Kids Locker with some ideas to help integrate these new standards along with the ISTE standards.  We have these digital literacy standards already on our website here:

Digital Literacy

We know there are so many more resources out there that you have experienced and are enjoying with your students.  So this week we are going to try and match up the new outcomes for the grade K-2 learning outcomes and would love your ideas too!  Please comment below the blog post and we will share to our list:)

  1.  Illustrate and communicate original ideas and stories using digital tools and media-rich resources.  Kidblog, Storybird, Educreations, LittleBirdTales, Comics Creator, My Story Maker, Picture Book Maker, ABCya Animate
  2. Identify, research, and collect data on an environmental issue using digital resources and propose a developmentally appropriate solution.  Spongelab, Recycle City, NationalGeographic, Geotours Kids National Geographic,
  3. Engage in learning activities with learners from multiple cultures through e-mail and other electronic means.  Flat Stanley, Virtual Book Clubs, Skype, Blackboard Virtual Classroom LNBC, Petra’s Planet, GoogleHangoutsGuide EPals.
  4. In a collaborative work group, use a variety of technologies to produce a digital presentation or product in a curriculum area. BuildWithChrome  ThingLink, Popplet Kidblog, EduGlogster, CollaborizeClassroom.
  5. Find and evaluate information related to a current or historical person or event using digital resources.  MuseumBox  PebbleGo, Tiki-Toki Timeline,
  6. Use simulations and graphical organizers to explore and depict patterns of growth such as the life cycles of plants and animals.  ALifeCycleapp ProjectBudBurst  MonarchWatch
  7. Demonstrate the safe and cooperative use of technology. CommonSense  MediaSmarts HCOS Internet safety HCOSDigCit
  8. Independently apply digital tools and resources to address a variety of tasks and problems. MapTreasureHunt, Ebscohost Searchasaurus,  PebbleGo, ReadingEggs, PinkyDinkyDoo (podcasts) WeVideo (video making) Superlame (adding bubbles to images) StoryKeepers (digital storytelling apps)
  9. Communicate about technology using developmentally appropriate and accurate terminology.  Discovery Education, BrainPopJr,
  10. Demonstrate the ability to navigate in virtual environments such as electronic books, simulation software, and Web sites.  Overdrive E Library, RAZ Kids, Reading Eggs, Brainpop Learn360


Blessings Pippa and Natalie

Stay tuned for grades 3-6 next week!




November 15th is I Love to Write Day!


Do you love to write? Well November 15th is for you! I Love to Write day was established in 2002 – you can read all about it here. We wanted to highlight a few of our great writing resources in our Overdrive library to help you in all your writing endeavors.

We have many Evan Moor writing resources available including:

Paragraph Writing

Paragraph Writing

Give your students the structured practice and instruction they need to become strong writers without losing the creative spirit that makes writing fun! Paragraph Writing is jam-packed with activities that provide students with practice writing narrative, descriptive, how-to, and compare and contrast paragraphs. From writing forms to web diagrams, there are a variety of activities to support students’ varied learning levels, styles, and interests.

Creative Writing

Creative Writing

Provide your students with the inspiration they need to develop the vocabulary, ideas, and enthusiasm that will make their writing shine!The new edition of Creative Writing Ideas comes with a wide variety of creative activities that can be used for prewriting and drafting or as stand-alone activities. 78 motivating activities—including draw and write, riddles, story starters, cartoons, shape books, and more—provide students with the creative spark they need to start writing with confidence and success.

Writing Poetry

Writing Poetry with Children

Explore the inspirational and imaginative world of poetry with your students! Writing Poetry with Children provides structured practice writing six types of poetry using engaging learning experiences that support students’ creative side. How-to charts help guide students through the step-by-step process of writing each type of poem. Then students bring their work to life by choosing from 30 reproducible illustrated writing forms. And since each lesson is presented at three difficulty levels, it’s easy to support all your students.

Writing Centres

Take it to your Seat Writing Centers (part of a series)

Take It to Your Seat Writing Centers, Grades 1-2 contains everything you need for 13 centers. Center activities provide practice in the writing process. These centers are ideal for small group and individual practice.Skills include editing sentences and paragraphs and writing: personal information complete sentences informational paragraphs lists rhyming poems recipes stories letters and notes questions and answers

and many more…

Check out our resources from Teacher Notebook – here are just a few:

Fall writing


Winter Writing


Fall Writing and Winter Writing

Over 80 pages of everything you need to launch some great fall writing projects! These resources work well with the writing cycle and with student choice!

All About Me

All About Me

‘All About Me-Kindergarten and First Grade’ is the perfect writing project to engage your students in at the beginning of the school year or during your Writers’ Workshop All-About Unit. Students will gain confidence in their own writing skills as they share and write about themselves on each page. You can choose which pages to have your kids create the ideal All-About Me booklet.

Writing Narratives

Writing Personal Narratives

Everyone has a story to tell! Here are some wonderful supplemental resources for your Personal Narrative Writing Workshop Unit!

Elementary Poets

Writing Poetry for Elementary Poets

Fun resources for your Poetry Unit!

Inside you will find:
Figurative Language Definition Posters: Alliteration, Onomatopoeia, Metaphor, Simile, Personification, Rhyme, Hyperbole
What I Notice About Poetry Graphic Organizer
Characteristics of Poetry Graphic Organizer
Favorite Poems Graphic Organizer
Favorite Poets Graphic Organizer
Alliteration Activity
Sensory Images Collection Activity
Personification Collection Activity
Onomatopoeia Graphic Organizer
Metaphors in Poetry Collection Activity
Similes in Poetry Collection Activity
Bio-Poem Activity
Magnetic Poetry Activity
Our Class Poetry Book Cover
Publishing Stationary for Students

Finally, enjoy these great resources with your student:

Writing Adventure Stories

Writing Adventure Stories (part of a series)

This book introduces readers to the exciting world of writing adventure stories and is a perfect resource for meeting Common Core State Standards in writing. Key features of the genre are explained and readers are guided through the process of writing their own story. Top tips are given covering planning, writing dialogue, developing characters, adding narrative plot twists, using descriptive language and more! Engaging photographs, eye-catching illustrations, and a wealth of ideas bring the genre to life. An adventure story running throughout the book draws readers in, offers concrete examples of how the tips can be put into practice and will inspire readers to get writing their own adventure stories.

I can Write about History

I Can Write a Book about… History (part of a series)

This fascinating book shows children what to include in a book about history. Students can create a book that may involve dates and events, or it may be a social history, such as life in a colonial city or a pioneer village. Suggestions for research include a visit to a nearby historic site, reading stories or watching television shows about children who lived during that time in history, and reading non-fiction books about the subject. Children can draw their own pictures or find images on the Internet of clothing, tools, craftspeople, furniture, homes, schools, and family and community life. Other options include writing an alphabet book on a historic community or focusing on one aspect, such as a family home or one-room school.

Write a Speech

How to Write and Give a Speech

Learn how to organize your ideas for a speech and how to talk in front of an audience.

Spectrum Writing

Spectrum Writing K (through to Grade 8)

Spectrum(R) Writing for kindergarten guides students through each step of the writing process as they write sentences, personal stories, descriptions, how-to instructions, book reports, and more. Spectrum(R) Writing workbooks guide students as they write for a variety of purposes, including writing to tell a story, writing to provide information, and writing to state an opinion. Lessons support current state standards. Step-by-step instructions help with planning, drafting, revising, proofreading, and sharing writing. A Writer’s Handbook reinforces grammar and language skills, and a complete Answer Key is included. Engaging, open-ended writing projects combined with standards-based learning make these workbooks an essential resource for school success. Spectrum, the best-selling workbook series, is proud to provide quality educational materials that support your students’ learning achievement and success.

Reviews from Overdrive

New Upper Level Literature Guides in Overdrive


Did you know that we have recently added a wide variety of novel study/literature guides to our Overdrive library?  We have added many Spark Notes and Smoop Guides for our older students. We have a wide variety for your reading pleasure! You can find a complete list on this page, and here are a few newer titles you may want to take a look at, as well as some classics you may not have tackled yet:

Newer Titles:

the Alchemist

The Alchemist and The Alchemist Literature Guide

“My heart is afraid that it will have to suffer,” the boy told the alchemist one night as they looked up at the moonless sky.” Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself. And that no heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its dreams.”Every few decades a book is published that changes the lives of its readers forever. The Alchemist is such a book. With over a million and a half copies sold around the world, The Alchemist has already established itself as a modern classic, universally admired. Paulo Coelho’s charming fable, now available in English for the first time, will enchant and inspire an even wider audience of readers for generations to come.The Alchemist is the magical story of Santiago, an Andalusian shepherd boy who yearns to travel in search of a worldly treasure as extravagant as any ever found. From his home in Spain he journeys to the markets of Tangiers and across the Egyptian desert to a fateful encounter with the alchemist.The story of the treasures Santiago finds along the way teaches us, as only a few stories have done, about the essential wisdom of listening to our hearts, learning to read the omens strewn along life’s path, and, above all, following our dreams.

The Chocolate War

The Chocolate War and The Chocolate War Literature Guide

One of the most controversial YA novels of all time, The Chocolate War is a modern masterpiece that speaks to fans of S. E. Hinton’s The Outsiders and John Knowles’s A Separate Peace.

After suffering rejection from seven major publishers, The Chocolate War made its debut in 1974, and quickly became a bestselling–and provocative–classic for young adults. This chilling portrait of an all-boys prep school casts an unflinching eye on the pitfalls of conformity and corruption in our most elite cultural institutions.

“Masterfully structured and rich in theme; the action is well crafted, well timed, suspenseful.”–The New York Times Book Review

A Curious Incident of the dog in the nightime

the curious incident of the dog in the night-time and the curious incident of the dog in the night-time Literature Guide and Book Club Guide

Narrated by a fifteen-year-old autistic savant obsessed with Sherlock Holmes, this dazzling novel weaves together an old-fashioned mystery, a contemporary coming-of-age story, and a fascinating excursion into a mind incapable of processing emotions.

Christopher John Francis Boone knows all the countries of the world and their capitals and every prime number up to 7,057. Although gifted with a superbly logical brain, Christopher is autistic. Everyday interactions and admonishments have little meaning for him. At fifteen, Christopher’s carefully constructed world falls apart when he finds his neighbour’s dog Wellington impaled on a garden fork, and he is initially blamed for the killing.

Christopher decides that he will track down the real killer, and turns to his favourite fictional character, the impeccably logical Sherlock Holmes, for inspiration. But the investigation leads him down some unexpected paths and ultimately brings him face to face with the dissolution of his parents’ marriage. As Christopher tries to deal with the crisis within his own family, the narrative draws readers into the workings of Christopher’s mind.

And herein lies the key to the brilliance of Mark Haddon’s choice of narrator: The most wrenching of emotional moments are chronicled by a boy who cannot fathom emotions. The effect is dazzling, making for one of the freshest debut in years: a comedy, a tearjerker, a mystery story, a novel of exceptional literary merit that is great fun to read.

Life of Pi

Life of Pi and Life of Pi Literature Guide

Life of Pi is a masterful and utterly original novel that is at once the story of a young castaway who faces immeasurable hardships on the high seas, and a meditation on religion, faith, art and life that is as witty as it is profound. Using the threads of all of our best stories, Yann Martel has woven a glorious spiritual adventure that makes us question what it means to be alive, and to believe.


All Quiet on the Western Front

All Quiet on the Western Front and All Quiet on the Western Front Literature Guide

Considered by many the greatest war novel of all time, All Quiet on the Western Front is Erich Maria Remarque’s masterpiece of the German experience during World War I.

I am young, I am twenty years old; yet I know nothing of life but despair, death, fear, and fatuous superficiality cast over an abyss of sorrow. . . .

This is the testament of Paul Bäumer, who enlists with his classmates in the German army during World War I. They become soldiers with youthful enthusiasm. But the world of duty, culture, and progress they had been taught breaks in pieces under the first bombardment in the trenches.

Through years of vivid horror, Paul holds fast to a single vow: to fight against the principle of hate that meaninglessly pits young men of the same generation but different uniforms against one another . . . if only he can come out of the war alive.

A Christmas Carol

A Christmas Carol and A Christmas Carol Literature Guide

Dickens wrote A Christmas Carol under financial duress, but it became one of his most popular and enduring stories. The old miser Ebenezer Scrooge cares nothing for family, friends, love or Christmas. All he cares about is money. Then one Christmas Eve he is visited by three ghosts: Christmas Past, Christmas Present and Christmas Yet To Come. These encounters leave Scrooge deeply moved and forever changed. Historians believe that A Christmas Carol contributed greatly to the modern sentimental Christmas.

Fahrenheit 451

Fahrenheit 451 audiobook and Fahrenheit 451 Literature Guide

The system was simple. Everyone understood it. Books were for burning, along with the houses in which they were hidden. Guy Montag was a fireman whose job it was to start fires, and he enjoys his job. He had been a fireman for ten years, and never questioned the pleasure of the midnight runs nor the joy of watching pages consumed by flames. He never questioned anything until he met a seventeen-year-old girl who told him of a past when people were not afraid and a professor who told him of a future in which people could think. Guy Montag suddenly realized what he had to do.

Pride and Prejudice

Pride and Prejudice and Pride and Prejudice Literature Guide

Mr and Mrs Bennet have five unmarried daughters. When the amiable Mr Bingly moves into the neighbourhood, Mrs Bennet therefore feels entirely sure that he is meant for one of her girls. Her eldest Miss Bennet captures his attention, but Mr Bingley’s proud friend Mr Darcy does not approve the match and takes his friend away to London. Though not before losing his own heart to the second eldest, Lizzie. With an indolent father on one side and a nervous, ignorant mother on the other, the girls soon find themselves in the middle of a disaster which throws them back in with the two gentlemen. All parties must re-think their pride and the prejudice of first impressions.

Three Musketeers

The Three Musketeers and The Three Musketeers Literature Guide

The Three Musketeers follows the young d’Artagnan in his quest to become a musketeer. He befriends the three musketeers Athos, Porthos and Aramis, whose motto is “all for one, one for all.”

There are many more titles to explore! Explore them all here.  Blessings!

reviews by Overdrive

Geography Awareness Week – Take a look at our Geography Resources!

Next week, starting on November 16th, is Geography Awareness Week. We have some amazing Geography resources in Overdrive! There is also a variety of resources from National Geographic for you to explore and if you want a challenge you might enjoy Geoguessr – it’s so much fun!

Map Reading Skills

Map Reading Skills Grades 5-8

Get your GPS going with students in grades 5–8 using Map Reading Skills! The activities in this 80-page book provide students with ample opportunities to practice and apply map skills. Map and diagram exercises and hands-on activities reinforce skills. This book includes reproducible maps and a special section on GPS and its uses, and it highlights essential vocabulary in bold. The book aligns with state, national, and Canadian provincial standards.



Develop geography literacy while learning about the unique characteristics of Asia! The 7 Continents: Asia helps students learn about Asia through engaging reading and writing activities.

South America

South America

Develop geography literacy while learning about the unique characteristics of South America! The 7 Continents: South America helps students learn about South America through fun reading and writing activities.

Community Maps

Community Maps

Gives information on types and features of community maps. Includes quizzes and a mapmaking activity to reinforce map literacy.

Charting the World

Charting the World

Maps have been a part of human culture since the days of scratching on cave walls, and this richly illustrated history chronicles the road from simple diagrams used to avoid danger to the complex, navigational charts used today. Displaying an array of historic atlases and a variety of cartography styles, this book allows young readers to test their map-reading skills while discovering the intricate beauty and the wealth of information held within. Geographical concepts are spotlighted through an assortment of guided activities—including finding the elevation of hills, plotting a course with a magnetic compass, creating three-dimensional land models using a contour map, and performing a plot survey. Drawing the conclusion that the study of geography and maps is crucial to understanding an ever-changing planet, this handbook discloses the ways in which technological advances in cartography can further discussions on climate change, warfare, environmental conservation, population growth, and other timely topics.

Country Reports
Country Reports – a Step by Step Guide

Country Reports will be easy for your students to write with this step by step guide.
This Country Report project is a wonderful learning experience for all students!
I teach in a primary multiage classroom and I have 1-3rd graders, I needed to make this report writing easier so all our students could learn and get the idea of how to write a report. So I created this pack. I first have the students collect the data and information and then write their findings into paragraphs.
Some concepts are tough but each day the students complete a page. Each day the students are writing and I am modeling how the report should be written, every day I am teaching key concepts, such as, ethnic groups, imports, exports, natural resources etc..
This project will help your students stay organized and your country reports will turn out awesome!


I Can Write a Book about Countries

With the help of this book, children can write a book about different countries or concentrate on one country. When writing about a country, students need to establish the geographic location of that country with maps and globes. They will learn how to draw maps showing the continent on which the country is located, its capital city or cities, important regions, and proximity to oceans, polar regions, or the equator. Concepts for this book include climate, landforms, languages, history, and culture. Creating a book about a country will inspire students to learn about other places and ignite a love for travel.


Finally the Exploring Countries series:






Reviews by Overdrive

Many New Kits – Both Digital and Physical!


We are blessed with an incredible kit writer in the Learning Commons, Rachael Freed. Rachael has written kits that are easy to follow, with Learning Commons resources as well as many creative projects and learning opportunities. Rachael has been working very hard this fall to provide you with many new kits including the following:

Exploring Africa Grade 6 Physical Kit
Human Body Physical Kit
Communities K Digital Kit
Communities 2 Digital Kit
Matter 2 Physical Kit
Extreme Environments Physical Kit
Weather Physical Kit
Habitats Physical Kit

(note that some of these are updated from past kits)

You can find all of the digital kits listed on this page. You can find all of the physical kits listed by Grade under Homeschool Resources and Resource Kits K-9 on our page.

If you haven’t started using the Learning Commons yet and need any help we would love to get you started! You can contact Shandra Wiebe at, Pippa Davies at or Natalie Sing at Blessings!

Freedom in the Busy

Celebrating Sabbath in a World That Never Stops


Beautiful video on the Sabbath including the voice of Ann Voskamp.  Great listening!  Thanks Pat for sharing! – Canadian War Museum – Remembrance Day Toolkit

The Canadian War Museum created the
Remembrance Kit as part of its mission to promote public understanding
of Canada’s military history in its personal, national and international
dimensions. The Kit contributes to this goal by providing students and
teachers with access to the Museum’s unique archival resources.


Ed activities on Remembrance Day for students of all ages.


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