Cool finds for Hands-on Learning!

I was browsing in a great store, Vernon Teach and Learn, and loved, loved, Loved! All of the great options they had for hands on learning! Lego in abundance, but lots of other great options as well!  Many homeschoolers already own a lot of these, but it’s nice to add something “new” to the mix! My guys would have loved the Minecraft Periodic Table when they were younger!  Here is just a sample of what they carried – glad VTL is coming to the BC Christian Home Educators’ Convention in April!

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Fairy Tales, Folk Tales, Myths and Legends


Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm

In February is Wilhelm Grimm’s Birthday. What a great time to take a look at all of the Fairy Tale, Folk Tale, Myth and Legend resources we have in Overdrive. We have audiobooks and ebooks, picture books and printable resources for you to explore!

The full collection of these resources is in our Teacher’s Lounge where we highlight for you our themed resources. Here are just a few for you to take a peek at:

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We also have many other resources for you in our many subscriptions and online databases. Discovery Education has the entire Rabbit Ears collection filled with Folk and Fairy Tales. They also have Fairy Tales Classics, Folk Tales from Around the World and the Myths and Legends series. Learn 360 includes many Weston Woods titles, Draw Me a Story titles and many videos based on Myths. Enchanted Learning has activities based on several Fairy Tales or Folk Tales.

Another great resource for Fairy Tales, Folk Tales, Myths and Legends is this board on Pinterest with STEM ideas, Art projects and printable resources.

Blessings from your Learning Commons Team!

Ash Wednesday!

Today is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of the Lenten season.  Lent lasts for 46 days, ending on Holy Saturday, the 26th of March. The six Sundays in Lent are not counted among the forty days of lent because each Sunday represents a “mini-Easter”, a celebration of Jesus’ victory over sin and death.

This 40-day period reflects the suffering endured by Jesus when he fasted in the wilderness of the desert before beginning his ministry.

During his time in the desert he was tempted three times by Satan, and each time he overcame the temptation.

When he was then crucified, his disciples fasted, giving us the final fasting period of Lent during Holy Week.

For this reason, Christians tend to fast during Lent and on specific days in the Lenten calendar.

To learn more about Lent and the Passover, we have some excellent resources you can share with your children:

Celebrating Jesus in the Biblical Feasts:

Weaving the Scarlet Thread From the Feasts of Israel to Jesus! This intriguing and biblically sound book clearly shows the significance of each Feast of the Lord—and how they all point to Jesus. Dr. Richard Booker depicts the unity found in God’s unfolding purposes for His people, be they Jew or Gentile, from the new birth found in Passover and the Crucifixion, all the way to entering God’s rest found in the Feast of Tabernacles and the Second Coming. The Always-Present One said to Moses, “Tell the people of Israel: ‘You will announce the Always-Present One’s appointed feasts (festivals) as holy gatherings. These {are} My special feasts (Leviticus 23:1-2 PEB). The Feasts of the Lord given originally to Israel are pictures of the Messiah, and represent seven phases of spiritual growth in the life of believers: • Passover. • Unleavened Bread. • First Fruits. • Pentecost. • Trumpets. • Atonement. • Tabernacles. Welcome the relevance and richness of celebrating the feasts today!

Walk with Y’shua through the Jewish Year

Holiday comes from the words Holy Day — which always means something we want to remember and commemorate in a special way. Jesus did! When Jesus (Y’shua) was growing up in Nazareth, the cycle of Jewish holidays provided natural opportunities to grow in wisdom and stature in favor with God and man (Luke 2:52). Knowing and following the same cycle that He did will give our children, grandchildren and kids of all ages the opportunity to likewise grow. Your family will be blessed and enriched! This is a great resource for all those who love to learn and to teach. Fifteen Jewish holidays are explained with illustrations and examples, and a special place to record your family’s celebration experience and create a living heirloom. From the staff of Jews for Jesus to you.

A Picture Book of Passover

Describes the events which led to the liberation of the children of Israel from slavery in Egypt, and explains some of the Passover traditions and customs.

All About Passover

Retells the story of the Passover and the Israelites’ flight from Egypt explaining the traditions of the Passover Seder, and includes recipes of the various foods eaten during the celebration.

Amon’s Adventure

Amon, the thirteen-year-old son of Jotham and Tabitha, willingly gives up his childhood ways to save his father after Jotham is accused of a terrible crime, and his search for justice leads him to Jerusalem where he witnesses the events of the final days in the life of Jesus. Includes short devotions.

All of these resources are available in the the L4U library. Log in to L4U



February is Black History Month



February is Black History Month and a great time to study the Underground Railway, Africa, Human Rights, and all aspects of Black History. There are many resources available, and this resource about Canadian Black History is excellent for our students. It includes a downloadable guide with learning tools to add to your studies. You may also want to take advantage of the National Film Board’s playlist for Black History Month  in Canada.

We have a collection of Black History resources in our Overdrive library. They are in our Teacher’s Lounge which is where we will be highlighting some of our great collections in Overdrive. Here are just a few of the resources to give you a taste of the collection.

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Discovery Education and Learn360 also have many videos available under the search headings Slavery, Civil Rights and African American, including Reading Rainbow titles, Rabbit Ears Titles and titles with Teacher guides and/or Student pages. Brain Pop has many titles on Civil Rights, Slavery and the Haarlem Renaissance.

If we can be of service to you in finding a specific resource for your studies, just send an email to Pippa Davies at, Shandra Wiebe or Natalie Sing

Classroom Complete Press Unit Studies – Inquiry and Project Based available in Overdrive

We have added many titles from Classroom Complete Press to Overdrive and these will work very well for your students learning about topics from Water Conservation to World Politics and many, many more!  At present we have Science Units, Social Studies Units and Literature Kits for all grades.

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To find Classroom Complete Press in Overdrive E Library just use the words Classroom Complete Press in the search bar and all of the available titles will show up.  Or go to the Non fiction tab under Subjects and refine your search by publisher.

Now, let us tell you why we prefer these workbooks as opposed to others.

First of all, they are on subjects and topics that meet many of the new BCEDPlan curriculum content. These include many Environmental Awareness and Sustainability, World Conflicts and Social Justice issues.

Second they have great inquiry based questions that your student can answer themselves through their own research. There are many questions that require your student to dig a little deeper and give an opinion based on their own thoughts and research.

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Third they have both Assessment Rubrics and Bloom’s Taxonomy correlations in each of the units. This will allow you to have a sense of your student’s progress and where you want to focus your efforts.

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Fourth they include Graphic Organizers and Hands on Experiments and Activities. Many of the Activities include a choice from the student of what and how they would like to present the information they have learned. They also include more traditional vocabulary activities, comprehension questions and all of the information to learn about the basics of the topic.

Finally, for you a great benefit is that we have the digital rights for printing under copyright rules! Many of them come in the Overdrive Read or PDF Ebook formats for ease in downloading and printing.

We urge you to check out these unit studies today! If you need some help getting started with Overdrive, please feel free to email Pippa at or Natalie at

Blessings! The Learning Common’s Team

New Digital Kindergarten Kits available now for the New BCEDPlan

Kindergarten Kits

We are so excited in the Learning Commons to offer you the first kits based on the new BCEDPlan. We have completed Kindergarten and are just bursting to share them with you! These kits are much more open ended and allow for student and parent choice. There are many fiction and non-fiction suggestions, video suggestions (from Discovery and Learn 360), hands on projects and activity ideas along with ways to use our other subscriptions.

We have added many new titles to our Overdrive library to make these kits interesting, engaging and an exciting learning experience for you and your children. They include integrated Biblical content, First People’s content and many of the Curricular Competencies for both Science or Social Studies and Language Arts.

Even if you don’t have a student in Kindergarten next year you may want to look at the new format. I think you will find these kits amazing – when we have each grade ready to go we will let you know via our blog. If you haven’t signed up to follow our blog now would be a great time!

Here are links to all of the Kindergarten Kits:

Communities Kindergarten 510x680

Communities – Kindergarten (using Overdrive Resources)

Daily and Seasonal Changes Cover

Daily and Seasonal Changes – Kindergarten (using Overdrive Resources)

Personal and Family History

Family and Personal History – Kindergarten (using Overdrive Resources)

Needs of Plants and Animals Kindergarten 510x680

Needs of Plants and Animals – Kindergarten (using Overdrive Resources)

Motion of Objects - Kindergarten 510x680

Motion of Objects – Kindergarten (using Overdrive Resources)

Thanks to our kit writer Rachael Freed and the whole Learning Commons team for their great work! Stay tuned for more Digital and Physical kit guides coming soon! Blessings!!

Lunch n Learn Thursday Jan 28

Hi folks,

Here is a reminder for our Lunch n Learn webinar happening this week Thursday.

Research Skills Workshop– Pippa Davies (Learning commons)

Pippa will teach high school students how to research using web tools, and how to create a digital footprint.

Where:  Blackboard virtual classroom

Who may attend:  Students in grades 8-12, parents, staff

When: Thursday  Jan 28th 2016 12-1 pm PAC time

Link to sign into Blackboard classroom on the day

Lunch & Learn Webinar Thursday!

How to Access L4U and Overdrive – Shandra Wiebe (Learning Commons)

Shandra will help you explore L4U, show you how to search for and book items, including unit studies. She will also show you how to access Overdrive E-books.
Where:  Blackboard Virtual Classroom

Who may attend:  Staff, parents, students.

When:  Thursday January 21th 2016 12.30-1.30 pm PAC

Sign into the classroom here at this link on the day:

MakerEd Idea for Families

Folks have been asking for ideas for doing MakerEd at home.  Over the weekend, I was browsing at a local store (Princess Auto in Kelowna),  and was pleasantly surprised to find these:

Tinkerkits, Arduino kits, Minitronics and electronic kits!  You can find cool kits in the most unusual places!

Read-a-thon starts on Monday, Jan.18th!

Be sure to register your students!  All of the information is located here.


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