October 4th is World Animal Day – Overdrive Animal Resources


World Animal Day

With October 4th, 2015 set aside as World Animal Day we thought that it would be great to share many of the wonderful resources we have in Overdrive for your study of animals.

Learning About Animals

Learning About Animals by Evan Moor (Grades K-1)

Learning About Animalscovers concepts that address National Science Education Standards.Concepts covered include: animals are living things; living things are alike in many ways there are many kinds of animals; animals live in different habitats; an animal’s body and behaviors help it survive in its environment animals are many sizes animals are many colors animals’ bodies have different kinds of coverings animals have different types of appendages animals find and eat food in different ways animals have different methods of self-defense animals need air, food, and water; animals depend on plants for food animals grow and change; animals look like their parents A variety of engaging activities present the concepts in ways that young students can understand. Each concept presented includes: teacher directions for lessons reproducible resource pages such as sets of picture cards, minibooks, and lab sheets to record the results of hands-on investigations.

Animal Classification

Animal Classification by 1st Grade Fireworks (Teacher’s Notebook) (Grades K-2)

Animal Classification and Writing Mini-Unit. Includes: Cover for Unit folder. Graphic Organizers for writing about each type of animal. Fill-in charts for use in discussions and/or readings Lined pap

Animal Classification and Writing Mini-Unit.
Cover for Unit folder.
Graphic Organizers for writing about each
type of animal.
Fill-in charts for use in discussions and/or readings
Lined paper for sloppy copies & final drafts.
(Multiple type of papers for many grade levels)
Editing Self-check papers.

Animals in Fall

Animals in Fall by Martha E.H. Rusted (Grades K-2)

Honk! Geese are flying south. Grr! Black bears are looking for a den. Munch! Deer are eating extra food. Find out what other animals do to get ready for winter. What happens in fall? Find out in the Fall’s Here! series, part of the Cloverleaf Books™ collection. These nonfiction picture books feature kid-friendly text and illustrations to make learning fun!

Awesome Animals of Canada

Awesome Animals of Canada (Rainbow Horizons Publishing) by Vera Trembach (Grades 2-3)

Awesome Animals is a resource package about some of the animals of Canada. Upon completion, your students will have retained factual information about Canadian wildlife, be aware of environmental issues and discover an empathy towards animals. Creative Task Cards have been developed for independent learning. Skills covered in our resource are: Creative Thinking and Problem Solving, Communication, Numerical Literacy, and Social Values. Topics covered in our resource are: Animal Homes, Adapting to the Environment, Pollution, Conservation, Forest Fires, Animal Babies, and Animal Characteristics and Comparisons. This Animal Science lesson provides a teacher and student section with reading passages, activities, board game, and word search to create a well-rounded lesson plan.

Animal Life Cycles

Animal Life Cycles (Rainbow Horizon Publishing) by Natalie Reiger (Grades 2-3)

Our “Animal Life Cycles” unit looks at the life cycles of ten different animals. It studies two different mammals, reptiles, amphibians, birds and insects. Children learn how these animals live, plus how they grow and change as they move from young animals to adults. Children practice their reading and writing skills as they read and learn about the different animals. They use their knowledge to answer a number of questions. Animals studies are: Black Bears, Blue Whales, Turtles, Garter Snakes, Frogs, Salamanders, Canada Geese, Penguins, Ladybugs, and Honeybees. Also included in this unit are: Animal Fact Cards, Research Outline, Final Report Outline, Match Game, Riddles, Unit Test and Unit Evaluation. This Animal Science lesson provides a teacher and student section with a variety of reading passages, lessons, activities, crossword and word search to create a well-rounded lesson plan.

Salmon Forest

Salmon Forest by David Suzuki (Grades K-3)

One fall day, Kate goes with her father, a fish biologist, to the river where he works — a river in the Pacific rain forest — the “salmon forest,” as he calls it. Together they watch the sockeye salmon returning to the river to spawn, and witness a bear scooping up a salmon. Next, Kate and her dad run into a Native boy named Brett and his family fishing at a pool in the river. From her adventures, Kate discovers how the forest and the salmon need each other and why the forest is called the salmon forest. David Suzuki and Sarah Ellis’s charming and informative text and Sheena Lott’s watercolors magically evoke the spirit and mystery of the West Coast rain forest.

Animal Reports

Animal Reports by Johnson Creations (Grades 2-4)

This packet will help your students become successful report writers! Included are two parent letters, two animal report planning sheets, two web sheets, two covers, a full sheet of lines, a Glossary page, a Table of Contents page, eleven topic pages to choose from and a blank topic page.

Charlottes Web

Charlotte’s Web Audiobook by E.B. White (Grades 3-4) Novel Study

Since its publication in 1952, Charlotte’s Web has become one of America’s best-loved children’s books. For fifty years, this timeless story of the pig named Wilbur and the wise spider named Charlotte who saved him has continued to warm the hearts of readers everywhere. Now this classic, a 1953 Newbery Honor book, comes to life in a delightful unabridged recording, read lovingly by the author himself.

Burgess Animal Book

The Burgess Animal Book for Children by Thonton Burgess (Grades K-4 – read aloud)

Abundantly illustrated, simply written classic by a master storyteller acquaints youngsters with the habits and characteristics of four-footed animals. Porcupines, field mice, squirrels, coyotes, and other creatures take on appealing personalities in informative, entertaining tales about the inhabitants of the Green Forest and beyond. 73 illustrations.

Owl in the Family

Owls in the Family by Farley Mowat Novel Study (Grades 3-4) and Novel Study (Grades 4-7)

Every child needs to have a pet. No one could argue with that.

But what happens when your pet is an owl, and your owl is terrorizing the neighbourhood?

In Farley Mowat’s exciting children’s story, a young boy’s pet menagerie — which includes crows, magpies, gophers and a dog — grows out of control with the addition of two cantankerous pet owls. The story of how Wol and Weeps turn the whole town upside down is warm, funny, and bursting with adventure and suspense.

Ginger Pye

Ginger Pye by Eleanor Estes (Grades 4-8)

Meet Ginger Pye, the smartest dog you’ll ever know. Jerry Pye and his sister, Rachel, feel pretty smart themselves for buying Ginger. It was the best dollar they ever spent. Ginger steals everybody’s heart . . . until someone steals him!

Mr. Poppers Penguins

Mr. Popper’s Penguins by Richard and Florence Atwater Novel Study (Grades 5-6)

Mr. Popper has penguins in his fridge, an ice rink in the basement, and a family for whom life will never be the same

How many penguins in the house is too many? Mr. Popper is a humble house painter living in Stillwater who dreams of faraway places like the South Pole. When an explorer responds to his letter by sending him a penguin named Captain Cook, Mr. Popper and his family’s lives change forever. Soon one penguin becomes twelve, and the Poppers must set out on their own adventure to preserve their home.

First published in 1938, Mr. Popper’s Penguins is a classic tale that has enchanted young readers for generations.

This ebook features an illustrated biography of Richard and Florence Atwater including rare photos from the authors’ estate, as well as a two videos from Fox Entertainment: a brief documentary on the legacy of Mr. Popper’s Penguins and the complete 2011 motion picture trailer.

The Story of Doctor Dolittle

The Story of Dr. Doolittle by Hugh Lofting (5-8)

Respected physician John Dolittle swaps human patients for animal ones as his parrot Polynesia teaches him the secret of talking to the animals. His fame spreads and he travels to Africa to treat a monkey epidemic. Setting out with his favorite crew of creatures, Dolittle must face trial after trial; being shipwrecked, escaping the king of Jolligingki and figuring out what do do with a pushmi-pullyu, the shy two-headed gazelle-unicorn cross.

Mysteries in Overdrive


Sharing our theme of the month with you all. If you like mysteries you can find many in our Overdrive E book Library!

Originally posted on :

September 15th was Agatha Christie’s Birthday. In honour of this amazing mystery writer, we thought it would be great to highlight a few of our wide range of mysteries in the Overdrive library.

Murder on the Orient ExpressMurder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie

Just after midnight, a snowstorm stops the Orient Express dead in its tracks in the middle of Yugoslavia. The luxurious train is surprisingly full for this time of year. But by morning there is one passenger less. A ‘respectable American gentleman’ lies dead in his compartment, stabbed a dozen times, his door locked from the inside . . . Hercule Poirot is also aboard, having arrived in the nick of time to claim a second-class compartment — and the most astounding case of his illustrious career. Grades 9-12

Mini MysteriesJudy Moody’s Mini Mysteries – and other Sneaky Stuff for Super Sleuths by Megan MacDonald

Join detective Judy Drewdy to create…

View original 804 more words

September Newsletter in the Learning Commons

Wow September has flown by and Fall is officially here!  We hope your return to school has been fun and exciting.  The learning commons team has been hard at work trying to find you the resources you need, and if you are still stuck please Skype with Natalie, Pippa, Beth or Shandra for your own personal screen share.  If you need help getting started don’t forget our contact us email information may be found here.

As our students get back in front of the computer for longer stretches of the day it is important to stretch and move every twenty minutes.  Here is an educational video  on ergonomics from TechQuickie for your family to watch.

  • Learning commons training.

Recently Natalie and Pippa shared in a seminar on how to get going with L4U catalogue, shipping and using our E Library.  To access this recording all other training seminars please go to this page here.  We will be updating this page with our Lunch n Learn seminars.

  • Events in the Learning Commons.
  1. Scoopit and Curation webinar  Come and learn how to surf the web and archive with ease in this virtual workshop with Pippa Davies on Wed 30th Sep @ 11 .
  2. Fall MakerEd Open Houses. These open houses are free for all students in all grades and take place in the campus learning commons every second Friday in October and throughout the year.    Our MakerEd library specialist Jessie Davis will be running these open houses.
  3. Lunch n Learn webinar with Natalie, Beth and Pippa on October 16th at 12pm.  Introduction to all our Subscription Databases.

Click on this link to use the classroom:

Book clubs are starting soon!  To find out more go to our book club page for sign up details shortly.

  • Events on Ning:

a.  Learning commons Logo Contest

b.  Mentor and Protege Group (accreditation provided)  For more on what the course offers check out this google doc and contact Pippa for more information.

c.  HCOS Chapel group with weekly meetings.  James Nelson is our school chaplain.

d.  FMT forum moderation team sign up page. (grades 10-12)  Erin Duncan is our Forum and Ning moderator.

If you cannot access these please contact Erin Duncan for your email invite: eduncan@onlineschool.ca

  • Physical Workshop in the Lower mainland for patrons wishing to know more about the learning commons.


Come and find out about the HCOS Learning Commons and the Online Subscriptions that HCOS offers our families.

Date: Tuesday, October 13th

Time: 1-3 pm

Place: Abby E-Free Church (33218 Marshall Rd, Abbotsford)

Highlighting the Subscription Databases.

This year we have two new subscriptions:  Peekapak and MathSeeds.

To find out more how to use these subscriptions go to these pages for the pilot Peekapak and MathSeeds. To gain access contact your teacher for username and passwords, or the links, to get you going.

Also this year we have a special pricing code for students wanting MathBuddies a supplementary program for Singapore math users.  Contact Beth Johnson if you need further help.


Pippa and the learning commons team!

Fall MakerEd Open House Hosted in the Learning Commons

The Learning Commons welcomes all HCOS students to drop in and join Jessie Davis on Campus October 16th and November 27th to tinker and experiment with some of our MakerEd materials.  On October 16th, there will be an introduction to KEVA Planks with challenges ranging from beginner to advanced. Screen shot 2015-09-27 at 12.29.09 AM

K’nex simple machines will also be the challenge of the day, whether to follow the model designs or to create one of your own!

Screen shot 2015-09-27 at 1.09.59 AM

On November 27th there will be Squishy Circuits to light up your imagination;

Screen shot 2015-09-27 at 1.16.06 AM

and LEGO simple machines to build!    Screen shot 2015-09-27 at 1.22.57 AMYou can drop by anytime between 10:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. and challenge your brain with some STEAM!

Scoopit and Curation Webinar

Do you love to surf the web, but don’t know how to curate articles into the right places, how to tag and make sure your articles are retrievable?  Do you want to learn more about using social media, while becoming more engaging with your fellow researchers using Twitter?  Or maybe you are researching a topic and need current and reliable information to share with your audience.  Come and learn how to curate using Scoopit with Pippa Davies our HCOS teacher librarian.

Who may attend?  Teachers, parents and High school students.

Time: 11 am Wednesday 30th September.

Cost:  Free

Where:  Blackboard Classroom:  LearnNowBc

Participant Resources

Register here using this poll.

On the day just click on this link:

Fall Into Fall with Overdrive

Welcome back all ye digital citizens :)

It’s time to dig into learning and what better way than with an e book, audiobook, digital kit or digital workbook, some of which you can deliver right to your printer!  Just in time for Fall we have numerous workbooks which address the younger crowd!  Just search under the keywords Fall and many colourful books will pop up!

Fall Images

New to Overdrive this year is the ability for students to work in a Dyslexic font.  This will help your student read with ease!

Overdrive dyslexic font

Our collection of picture books continues to grow with narrated versions available for your non reading students.  Just choose Overdrive Read with Narration in the Format Feature as shared above in the image.  As more and more publishers come on board with Overdrive all of your favourite authors can be discovered, including; Robert Munsch, Dr Seuss, and Paulette Bourgeois.  Don’t forget you can recommend your favourite author to us as well using the Recommend Feature!

Don’t forget our many workbooks in Overdrive with publishers like Carson Dellosa, Evan Moor, and Rainbow Horizons.  These workbooks are correlated to BC learning outcomes on this page here.

First Nations Unit Study

For our high school (and all other) students Natalie has curated a lovely collection of novel studies and they can be found under the Collection Tab Novel/Literature studies.

Novel studies

If you are unsure how to access Overdrive make sure you watch our recent webinar on Blackboard.   Natalie Sing nsing@onlineschool.ca and Pippa Davies pdavies@onlineschool.ca can help you with your Overdrive queries or suggestions.

Blessings from the learning commons team.

Lunch ‘n Learn with the Learning Commons

Good Morning learning commons friends,

This year we are delighted to bring to you a series of Lunch ‘n Learn workshops once a month, highlighting resources and tools in the learning commons.   All of our webinars will be hosted on Blackboard Classroom run by LearnNowBC.

Our first one on September 22 @12 pm is for you to learn more about how to use the library: including L4U, our catalogue, Overdrive, and the awesome curriculum to be found using these sources.  Other webinars during the year will include our subscriptions, literacy/research promotions, and changes to the new learning outcomes and how to apply them in your day to day learning.  We hope to host these on Thursdays towards the end of each month.

Here are the details for our first Lunch ‘n Learn.  Please invite your friends and patrons who are new to our blended learning commons!  We welcome all! :)

Date:  September 22 @12 pm- 1 pm

Where:  Blackboard Collaborate (Virtual classroom)  Simply register at the following poll.  

On the day of the webinar, simply click on the following link:  https://ca-sas.bbcollab.com/m.jnlp?sid=7345&username=foo&password=M.3421B37C56B7601419027539FD1E99

Participant Resources for learning how to use Blackboard

We look forward to connecting with you to learn your specific needs in our learning commons.


Pippa, and our Learning Commons team

Sigmund Brouwer Author in Residence Program

Hi learning commons folks,

First day back at school excitement!  I pray it is going well for you :)


We still have spaces in our Sigmund Brouwer program for this year.  Please take a peek at the website and click on Register for this online course here to read more, and sign up for these engaging workshops!



L4U and Overdrive Access

Hello Folks!

As the new year begins, many of you are asking for access to L4U and Overdrive. Here are some important notes regarding your client codes and pins:

If you are new to HCOS:

  • Client codes/pins are sent out at the beginning of the month; in September we will also do a mid-month import. Please be patient as we have many new families to add!
  • The email comes from L4U, so check your junk folder as it often ends up there!
  • If you have lost your info, or if you have moved:

  • Send me your name, address and phone number so I can update your account. Please note that if you move and change your address with the HCOS office, you still have to contact the library to make the address change. Our systems do not connect so we don’t get automatic updates.
  • Once you have your client codes/pins, please review the tutorials on our website under How Do I? We are happy to walk you through the process of booking over the phone, but September is a very busy month and it may be faster to access the tutorials.

    How to Access L4U

    Please contact Kelly Wiebe for shipping information shipping@heritagechristian.ca

    Shandra Wiebe for account and curriculum information swiebe@onlineschool.ca

    School Year Dreams and Goals!

    Good Morning learning commons friends,

    Welcome back to school!  As we start our school year I am so excited to see what the new school year 2015/16 will bring. This summer I experienced the joy of helping my daughter Emily bring our new granddaughter into the world.  Isabelle Grace is a beauty, and we have great hopes and dreams for her!

    Isabelle Grace

    Along with our learning commons vision and goals we pray that our students are filled with the Lord’s wisdom and encouragement to fulfil their hopes and dreams this coming year.  Are they filled with hope and joy, excited about discovering their passions and interests.  Or are they worried about meeting the needs of their textbook and the learning outcomes?  Can they do both?

    I do believe they can!  When we go to the Lord and ask Him to bring joy and curiosity, or fire in our hearts, to question what it is that interests us, we can begin to thrive on learning.  If we want our students to develop a growth mindset  we need to develop the habit of prayer and question in their lives.  I need to remember to role model that myself with my family.  How can I keep the love of learning and inquiry closely tied to my core values.

    Purpose is so closely linked to the growing #MakerEd movement.  To see the wonder and passion in students’ eyes as learning sparks, is what makes teaching so rewarding.  We are so excited about seeing the project based movement meet the needs of many of our students, and our learning commons is developing a wonderful #MakeredSpace with this in mind.  Developing your students skills and talents, while imbuing them with the Love of the Lord, is what our school does best!  We pray that as your students become involved in their community, whether it is in missions, #makered, creativity, or hobbies they find joy and spark in their learning.   We would love to know what is working best for your students with their learning, how are they hacking their community?

    Watch this inspiring video from Peter Benson from TedTalks to learn more about starting off your school year with a spark.

    Blessings to you as you start your new school year!



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