TEDxBuenos Aires 2011 – Chris Temple & Zach Ingrasci – Viviendo con un dólar por día. – YouTube


Miembro de la Royal Society of Arts y fue nominado por la revista Creativity como “una de las 50 mentes más creativas e influyentes de 2009″. Es Senior UX D…

Source: www.youtube.com

Great video on how students can learn financial skills first hand by living in community, and learning how to micro finance, and help others in this capacity. Lets hack our own communities to find solutions in regards to poverty and discover how to be good stewards in the process!

Smart Start in Language Arts

Language Arts in the Learning Commons – great curriculum for the primary grades!

A Complete Program of Language Arts Instruction for Grades 1 & 2 by Jo Anne Mooresmart

The Smart Start Home Education Edition was written specifically for homeschoolers.

The child is guided by a workbook that introduces reading, writing and spelling skills in a sequential order. These are applied in the lessons and reviewed until mastery is obtained.

Parents discover a simple, effective method of teaching reading and writing using a teacher’s manual. Lesson plans and answer keys are presented in a simple, straightforward manner.

Smart Start In Language Arts Home Education Edition is a comprehensive, well-developed resource backed by research that supports the wide variety of activities that are presented in well-organized, day-by-day lessons. Activities presented in lessons range from directed to guided, thus allowing students to develop confidence in their own abilities as they learn to read, write, and explore their own creativity. While the lessons are consistent in format, different media are used to present activities to students. This set-up enables learners to work within their areas of strength and to develop their weak areas on an ongoing basis. This resource eliminates the pressure of testing because skills mastery is the primary goal. Learned skills are reinforced continually through a variety of review activities and the incorporation of old skills into new lessons.

1. The binder contains one workbook and four DVDs.
2. Summary of reading and comprehension strategies is included. These are supported by research.
3. The first DVD contains thirteen I SPY photographs for the alphabet lessons, and printable sight word and phonics games (lotto and bingo) for reading instruction fun. The other three DVDs have thirty-five puppet shows which introduce letter sounds, long vowel words with silent e and long vowel words with two vowels together.
4. Lesson plans and detailed instructions are located in the teacher’s manuals.

If you are looking for a great program for your child, you can take this out for 7 weeks to see if it’s a good fit. It’s nice to “try before you buy” when it comes to curriculum!  When booking the items in the L4U catalog, be sure to book both the teacher’s manual and workbook.

The 5 Best Plagiarism Detection Tools for Educators | Edudemic

The 5 Best Plagiarism Detection Tools for Educators by @atxcopywriter http://t.co/5081mepUFX

Source: www.edudemic.com

Some of my favourites.  Students learn how to create authentic and honest presentations.

Welcome To The Maker-Industrial Revolution

How General Electric, Local Motors, and an army of DIY inventors are rebuilding American manufacturing

Source: www.popsci.com

The maker revolution is a driving force for our economy.  Lets become makers in Canada!

Winner of Subscription Survey

Yippee we have a winner from our recent Subscription Survey.  The number drawn randomly from the survey is Kent Goertzen!  Kent please email me with your details for your Amazon gift?

A HUGE thank you to all our survey participants.  Your advice is what makes our learning commons such a great place to work!  We will share the learning commons results both for the physical and virtual commons in our next newsletter!


Pippa and team

Scoopit! Curation – Open to Students Grades 8 and up


This morning we had a blackboard session with students from BC and Quebec all about Scoopit! We learned how to curate Scoopit! titles for educational purposes. We have many Scoopit! boards available in our school’s site and we would love to add even more! Each teacher (or student) would need their own Scoopit! account, and then we could easily add a board to your curating platform. It is exciting to see the learning and sharing possibilities available to our students. Just sign up, get the Scoopit! bookmarklet and start adding your favorite sites!

You may want to start a Scoopit! topic on Current Events, Art, Engineering or even Health and Career topics. Whatever you are interested in researching that you would like to share with others!


Here are just a few of the Scoopit! topics that are currently being curated by our staff and students:

21st Century Education

21st Century Homeschooling


Educational Leadership in the 21st Century

Christianity in Education

Teachers may use a Scoopit curation site for the following 10 applications:

  • Teaching digital citizenship!
  • Teaching keywording, and how to create a research topic in a project!
  • Teaching effective use of blogging and social media!
  • Helping students learn how to evaluate sites for authority, currency and validity!
  • Helping students load digital portfolios quickly for their teacher using the upload function!
  • Teach students the importance of open access and sharing academic, and authoritative articles about their interest!
  • Helps teachers curate alongside their students and share safely!
  • Show how to effectively market a collection of articles in an open arena!
  • Share the importance of a digital archiving process, and the search function using tagging!
  • Teach about the advantages of a personal learning network!

If you and your students would like to co-curate with us please contact either Natalie or Pippa and we will get you started.  We love gleaning from you via Scoopit!

Blessings the learning commons team!


Overdrive Training

Overdrive Training – If you would like extra Overdrive training, please come to our virtual Blackboard session on Thursday, January 15th at 9am and we will walk you through getting onto Overdrive; including how to use the software, how to borrow materials, and how to print them. This will be between 30 and 45 minutes, depending on questions, and this is your opportunity to experience a walk through of the Overdrive borrowing process. Here is the link to Blackboard Collaborate where the session will be held.  Please sign in a few minutes early to check your sound!

This training is in response to the Subscriptions survey that we sent out for your opinion. If you haven’t filled yours out, we would love to hear from you! Here is the link.

January News!

Welcome back learning commons families!


We hope that your Christmas season was blessed with special family fun, and now you are ready to tackle those awesome school research and writing projects!  :D

Curriculum Resources and Kits

To help you get started with your research Natalie has written a few articles on finding resources in our learning commons!

Middle grade students learning about the United Nations can check out this blog post!

Grade 8 and 9 resources for your high school students!

Physics Resources for grades 4 and up.

New Kits!

Fluids and Dynamics Digital Kit.

Grade 8 Math Shape and Space Unit Study

Missions Read-A-Thon!

Read-A-Thon starting soon!  To sign up, please go to this article and learn more!

Overdrive Training – If you would like additional Overdrive training, please come to our session on January 15th at 9am and we will walk you through getting onto Overdrive and how to borrow materials and print them. This will be between 30 and 45 minutes, depending on questions and this is your opportunity to experience a walk through of the Overdrive borrowing process. Here is the link to Blackboard Collaborate where the session will be held.


Here is a recording of our last webinar on RightNowMedia if you did not have time to attend:

Recording Link:



We would so appreciate your time completing this survey on our digital databases and Overdrive E library please?


There will be a random draw for a $25 Amazon certificate to one of the participants!!

Coming soon a webinar on our latest subscription Dimension U!

Research Tools

Pippa Davies will be hosting a webinar on Tuesday 13th @10 am Pacific time for high school students to learn about social media, using Scoopit as a tool to curate research topics safely.  To join this webinar please go to this virtual classroom link here:


Coming soon a webinar on our latest subscription Dimension U from our IMT team!

Current awareness newsletter on Scoopit!

Blessings from the learning commons team!

United Nations – Founded on January 10th, 1946


On January 10th, 1946 in London the first meeting of the United Nations was held. Since then, the United Nations has been an active force all around the world. Here are the current countries that are members of the UN. We thought it would be great for you to learn more about the United Nations and the countries that belong to it. You can find more information on the UN here and the UN charter here. We also have this video in Learn360.


The United Nations How do they help?

The United Nations is a very important international organization. Around the world this agency’s staff and volunteers are working to provide children with access to medical treatment and education. Have you ever wondered how this important work gets done? How do organizations like the United Nations help? What kinds of problems do they have to solve? Read How Do They Help? UNICEF to learn more about many people who help in your community and around the world.



Afghanistan borders seven different countries and is a connection point for East, South, West, and Central Asia. It has long been a centre of trade and culture, with many different civilizations throughout history calling it home. In this title, students will read about Afghanistan’s wildlife, landscape, culture, and more.

Families in Afghanistan

Families of Afghanistan (video)

In Families of Afghanistan, we meet 13-year-old Zamora who lives in the country with her parents, three sisters, two brothers and two uncles. An early riser, Zamora has chores to complete before breakfast, including tending to the cows and chickens. She shows us how the homes in her village are built around a common courtyard to help protect them and their vegetable gardens from the elements. At meals, she often helps feed her uncle, who lost his arms and eyesight to a land mine. She attends religion class, where she studies the Koran, and performs her daily prayers (five times a day). Twelve-year-old Madina lives in Kabul with her parents, two sisters, uncle and cousin. Unlike Zamora, who attends school in the afternoon, Madina’s classes are in the morning and include studies in math, science, language, history and sports. She also tutors another student twice a week in computers. After school and the midday meal she shares with her family, Madina helps with household chores like vacuuming and ironing, then enjoys an afternoon snowball fight before doing her homework, eating supper and playing games. The Families of the World Series takes you on a fantastic journey to another country where you view the unique lives of two children and their families. Each program focuses on a different culture, their way of life, family interaction, foods and even celebrations. Join us in our visit to the countryside, cities, communities, schools and homes of two families—from breakfast to bedtime and all the fun-filled activities in between.



China, with over one billion people, is the most populated country in the world. China’s most famous tourist attraction is the Great Wall, which runs across about 5,000 miles of northern China. Rich with Chinese culture, this title explores Chinese food, holidays, and daily life. Eager readers will also get to challenge their tongues with a few common words from the unique Chinese language!



The Queen is England’s most recognizable symbol. Her Royal Guards stand at attention to protect London’s famous Buckingham Palace. In this book, young readers will discover the landmarks, traditions, and food of a country known for sophistication and afternoon tea.



France’s most famous icon is the Eiffel Tower. This tower in Paris is the height of an 81-story building and ranks as the most visited monument in the world! This book introduces children to the classic beauty, revolutionary people, and fine foods of a country known for the arts.



Japan is a nation made up of many islands in the western Pacific Ocean. Over 100 million people live in this small nation of islands. Many live in the countryside, but millions live in crowded cities like Tokyo. Students will learn about the physical features of the landscape and surrounding waters as well as the cultural aspects of the Japanese from old traditions to modern everyday life.

reviews from Overdrive

2014 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 52,000 times in 2014. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 19 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,186 other followers