Makered Presentation #CHEC2015

Common Sense :: Digital Compass


New digital citizenship game for students gr 6-8 from Commonsense Media.

Providing On-Line CS Teacher Education, Designed for Teachers

Announcing a research-based resource for helping high school teachers to learn Python and CS Principles


Free E book on learning how to teach Python in high school.

Meet Edison – Educational LEGO Compatible Robotics

At last a LEGO® compatible robot that not only has all the features for teaching robotics and programming, but at a price your school can afford.


Fun with makered, lego robotics at a cheaper price and fun, fun, fun!

Celebrate Shakespeare’s Birthday with us!

We are not one hundred percent sure when Shakespeare was born, but we celebrate his birthday on April 23rd. Here are some facts about Shakespeare. There is very little known about Shakespeare, which has spawned many conspiracies about him and his life. You can watch one video called The Shakespeare Conspiracy here.

Many of his plays are available in our Learn 360 subscription. You can watch Romeo and Juliet (in Ballet form), Othello, The Taming of the Shrew, Antony and Cleopatra, King Richard II, The Tempest, Romeo and Juliet (in play form), Macbeth and The Merry Wives of Windsor. You can also find several videos about Shakespeare’s poetry and the Globe Theatre. In Discovery Education you can find WordPlay Shakespeare, which includes the play alongside the original and modern Texts. There is Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. You can also find Standard Deviants Shakespeare Tragedies in Discovery Education with great explanations of all of Shakespeare’s great tragedies.

Discover Shakespeare resources for all ages in our L4U library: several retellings of Shakespeare Plays; Irresistible Shakespeare, which includes several Readers Theatre Scripts; The World of Shakespeare; Shakespeare and the Globe,  and several audio retellings of Shakespeare.

In Overdrive we recently added a range of study guides for you, the texts can be found at Project Gutenberg which you can access from our Overdrive site.

Cliffs Complete

Cliffs Complete: Macbeth, Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Julius Caesar

Complete Classroom Press

Complete Classroom Press: Hamlet and Romeo and Juliet

The Globe Education

Globe Education Shakespeare: Macbeth, Much Ado about Nothing and Romeo and Juliet

Shmoop Guide

Shmoop Guides: Romeo and Juliet

The Plays the Thing

For more information about Shakespeare read The Play’s the Thing by Ruth Turk

Gary Blackwood

And if you are looking for a springboard to Shakespeare, Gary Blackwood’s books are great options: The Shakespeare Stealer and The Shakespeare Scribe.

If you are wanting to study Shakespeare with younger children I would suggest using the following:

Beautiful Stories from Shakespeare by Edith Nesbit

Tales from Shakespeare by Charles and Mary Lamb

And finally a few great resources for all students are Video SparkNotes for Shakespeare  and these note booking pages for Shakespeare plays.

Have fun exploring Shakespeare!

Blessings, The Learning Commons Team

What’s New in Overdrive!

We continue to add many new resources to our Learning Commons! Today we are going to highlight just a few of the new resources in Overdrive for you to borrow. If you have yet to access Overdrive, we suggest that you go to this page first and download the software: Overdrive and Adobe Digital Editions. Once you have this in place, then you can feel free to borrow curriculum, ebooks, audiobooks and streaming video. If you have any problems, please contact us via the Ask Us button on the front page of our HCS Learning Commons site.

Bible Resources

We have added many more printable Bible resources for you that include craft projects, service projects, creative ideas for memorizing scripture and much more:

The Fruit of the Spirit (Grades 1-3)

Name that Bible Character (Grades 4-6)

God Given Gifts (Grades 3-6)

Living Like Jesus (Grades 3-6)

Shout to the Lord! (Grades K-5)

Scripture Adventures (Grades K-2)

Spiritual Practices (Grades 3-6)

Rainbow Horizons

We have recently also added 16 new Rainbow Horizons Publishing printable unit studies (with lesson plans, worksheets, project ideas, information sheets and much more) on the following topics:

Ancient Egypt

Ancient Rome

Awesome Animals of Canada

Energy Around Us

Forces on Structures and Mechanisms

Habitats and Communities

The Inuit

Light, Colour and the Eye

Nutrition: Food and Health

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police

World Explorers

Canada and the Great War

World War II

Canadian Cities

Kids Love Canada: Symbols and Communities

Medieval Times


We have added this great series of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) books for your next Science project:

Using STEM to Investigate Issues in Alternative Energy

Using STEM to Investigate Issues in Food Production

Using STEM to Investigate Issues in Managing Waste

Daily Science

We have also added more grades of Evan Moor Daily Science:

Daily Science 2

Daily Science 3

We continue to add to our Overdrive regularly, so check back often! Blessings from your Learning Commons team!

YA Audiobooks for the summer c/o Overdrive E Library.


The SYNC program is back, providing free YA audiobooks all summer long!

Posted: 03 Apr 2015 04:12 AM PDT

The summer SYNC program is back again for 2015, offering two free audiobooks each week all summer long! The program starts May 7th and will offer two Young Adult audiobooks, one classic title and one current title, that users can keep as long as they wish. Once the week ends two new titles will become available so be sure to sign up for alerts at so you don’t miss out on any of these great books!

This year’s program includes classics like Great Expectations, Dracula, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and Around the World in Eighty Days as well as popular current titles by Kami Garcia, Terry Pratchett and many others. The selections are designed to pair perfectly with school and library summer reading programs but audiobook lovers of all ages are sure to love them as well. Never tried an audiobook before? Well now is the perfect opportunity!

To help get the word out we are offering three free webinars with Audiofile for our partners to further explain the Sync program. The first will take place on April 22nd and you can sign up for it here. Audiofile has also created a tool kit to help promote the Sync program to your patrons which you can find at

Join us in discovering wonderful YA audiobook content both classic and new all summer long!


Adam Sockel is a Social Media Specialist with OverDrive

Welcome to April and National Poetry Month!

April heralds new spring bulbs, life and creativity in the learning commons.  As we celebrate Easter we are gently reminded that through the sacrificial death on the cross,  Life and Love may be found in our Saviour Jesus Christ.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.  John 3:16


Resources for Easter:

Here is our Scoop it! Newsletter.

Here is Natalie’s article with a wide variety of Easter Resources from the Learning Commons.

Ning Contests!

To celebrate all writers and poets in National Poetry Month we are having a writing contest on our Ning.  If you would like to join in the fun of writing please go to this site and learn more.  This contest is open to all students from grades 5-12.  Parents may join Ning to help younger students sign up for this event. Please contact Pippa if you need an invite for Ning.

Curriculum and Resources:

Natalie shares on some recent articles on Rainbow PublishersEvan Moor and Teacher’s Notebook on Overdrive!

Our celebrated author’s this month are Lois Lowry and Pauline Johnson Canadian poet.

We have added some K/1 Resource Units (for bible, Language Arts and Math) into Overdrive. There are the following: Apples, Fall, The NewsPirates, Rainforest, Trains and Winter Fun.

We have added many new titles to Overdrive this month – check out our Newest Additons!

New Kits:

We have been adding answer keys to our Digital Science Kits for Grade 8. These answer keys are available in Overdrive for you to download. We have keys available for Cells and Systems, Optics, Water Systems and Fluid and Dynamics.

Natural Resources Digital Kit is a new kit available this month.

Physical Learning Commons Survey:

Thank you so much for completing our Physical Commons Survey.  Your responses are shared below and will help us in the learning commons determine how to move forward:)

Here were your responses:

What resources have you used in the Learning Commons?

What resources have you used in the Learning Commons?

Due to the funding allocation changes in 2014/15 have you chosen to use the Learning Commons more?

Due to the funding allocation changes in 2014/15 have you chosen to use the Learning Commons more?


Did you find the Physical Kits easy to use?

Did you find the Physical Kits easy to use?


For Grades K-6 which resources do you prefer to use?

For Grades K-6 which resources do you prefer to use?


For grades 7-9 which resources do you prefer to use?

For grades 7-9 which resources do you prefer to use?

For a downloadable copy of our survey results, please go here.

Our winner of the random survey is Ai Ling Mok. Your Amazon prize will be emailed to you. Congratulations!!

From all of us to all of you we wish a very Happy Easter and blessings during this Holy time.

Your Learning Commons team.





Resources in the Learning Commons for Easter

First and foremost, please take a look at the amazing resources on Right Now Media as we celebrate The Resurrection. Right Now Media have videos for children, lessons for adults and inspiring messages that remind us about Easter and the importance of it to our Christian faith.

Here are just a few examples:

The First Easter:

The First Easter

The Easter Promise and The Witness:

The Easter Promise and The Witness

The Bible Discovery Series:

The Bible Discovery Series

The Easter Experience:

The Easter Experience

In Overdrive we have the following Resources:

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Easter Fun by Linda Standee

Have fun with faith using Easter Fun for grades 1–3! This 32-page book helps children observe the Lenten season through expressive art and craft activities, fun recipes, and an assortment of engaging puzzles. The meaningful activities delight young believers and prepare their hearts for Resurrection Sunday. The book also includes reproducibles and an answer key.

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My First Story of Easter by Tim Dowley

Tim Dowley’s My First Story of Easter retells the biblical account in simple terms, complete with bright, cheery illustrations that are sure to put a smile on the face of the reader. This Easter, give the children in your life the best gift of all-a story that explains the reason for celebration!

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Easter Eggs for Anya by Virginia Kroll

A Ukrainian Celebration of New Life in Christ Children love coloring Easter eggs, and here’s a story to explain one of the origins of this tradition. In early nineteenth-century Ukraine, Christians celebrated Easter by exchanging colorful, hand-decorated pysanky eggs—but with Papa away at the war and Mama is struggling to make ends meet, Anya’s family was too poor to buy eggs to decorate one year. That is, until Anya discovered an abandoned nest of goose eggs and began planning an Easter surprise for her family. But God had an even better surprise in store, and when the eggs unexpectedly began to hatch, Anya learned what the Easter story teaches: spring brings gifts of myriad new beginnings, just as the risen Christ gave the gift of new life to us all. Each Traditions of Faith book features a story of how significant Christian traditions emerged in cultures around the world, with a note about the origin and history of the tradition, and offers ideas and activities each family can adopt as its own.

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The Berenstain Bears and the Easter Story

‘He has risen!’ Mark 16:6 Brother and Sister have come to value all the candy and Easter eggs they get on Easter morning. But a much more important value gets emphasized one Eastern morn when Papa read them the Easter story (featuring people not bears).

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Amazing Journey by Susie Poole

An accurate retelling of Christ’s death from creation to the cross that helps children learn the meaning of the resurrection.

Don’t forget the great craft ideas and printables in Enchanted Learning.

Order books from L4U! We have many great resources in L4U. Just search under Easter in the main search engine.

To learn about the celebration of Easter in other cultures, look to Discovery Education.

Good Friday and Easter Sunday in Ouro Preto:

Good Friday and Easter Sunday in Brazil

Eastern Orthodox Easter:

Eastern Orthodox Easter

Enjoy some resources about Easter from Learn 360.

Rechenka’s Eggs:

Rechenka's Eggs

Clifford’s Happy Easter in Audiobook:

Clifford's Happy Easter

Peter Cottontail in Audiobook:

Peter Cottontail

Let’s Celebrate 9 (Easter):

Let's Celebrate 9

May God Bless you this Easter!

Your Learning Commons Team

(ebook reviews by Overdrive)

Killing Jesus Trailer

Based on the New York Times best-selling book, Killing Jesus charts the political and historical conflicts that led to the execution of one of history’s most well-known figures. The 3-hour television event, premieres on Sunday, March 29 at 8 PM ET/PT.


Watch telly this Sunday for this new series to premier!


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