New Catalogue

curio-ca-catalogue-cover is a great subscription available to our grades 8-12 students. There are a variety of different Canadian programs including Canada, A People’s History, Disrupting Design, 8th Fire and many more. For some of the videos you can find teacher guides with lesson plans and project ideas. If you need more information on Curio, go to our subscription page here. Here is the September 2016 catalogue for Curio:

Curio Catalogue September 2016

Reading Eggs Lunch n Learn

Are you excited about teaching your young ones to read, but cannot find the extra time to motivate them and encourage them along the way?  Have you heard about our Reading Eggs subscription for students in grades K-6?

Come and be encouraged at our Reading Eggs Lunch n Learn on:

Tuesday Sep 27th from 11 a.m-1 p.m.   (come for part or all of the session)

Please register at the following link:

After registering you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the training.

Be sure to test the audio (speakers and microphone) portion of the training link prior to the start of the training. Thanks!  Click here to test GoToMeeting before the session.

* One computer with internet access for each participant, along with a projection device, if you wish to project the screen.

* A telephone with a multi-directional speakerphone should be in the room, or the ability to run audio via the computer using a microphone and speakers.

* If you need assistance with the setup of your program, please contact Edmentum Support at

* For additional technical assistance, contact Edmentum Support at

We look forward to seeing you there!

Blessings from the Learning Commons Team.


#eBookLove and The Most Magnificent Thing

Hello fellow bibliophiles

To celebrate #eBookLove day via @OverdriveLibs I am sharing a book review on the book I read at yesterday’s promotional e book webinar.


The Most Magnificent Thing is an adorable picture e book available on our Overdrive e library. Yay for BC and Canadian author Ashley Spires who has written and illustrated this book to inspire young children to enjoy and understand the growth mindset in the ‘making’ process.  Ashley has also written other books including Larf and more recently the graphic novel Fluffy Strikes Back.

Ashley Spires draws her audience in with winning illustrations, and clever wording that capture the young girl’s excitement, curiosity, frustration, anger and delightful resilience in the face of all odds and dogs😉 This book invites readers to ponder over words, enjoy the journey, share in compassion and become inspired to go make that next MAGNIFICENT thing.

If you are looking for that one special book to introduce #designthinking this is IT!




Physical Unit Studies Online Guides

If you are using one of our new physical unit studies, please be sure to access the online guide.  It has clickable links which will make using the unit much easier.  The guides can be found on this website under Distance Learning Resources, Unit studies K-9, where they are listed by grade.


The guides are also in L4U.  Just look up the title of  the unit and scroll to the bottom of the MARC record.  Under Resources you will see a blue hyper link to the guide.  If you are using Chrome web browser, the link may not open.  Firefox or Internet Explorer work fine.



New Unit Study Kits

If you have received one of our fabulous new unit studies recently, you may be feeling a little overwhelmed by the choices included!

Here is a planning form to use Unit Study Planning Sheet

And here is information about how to approach them: Different Approaches to the unit studies

L4U/Overdrive Access

Welcome back to the Learning Commons!  We have a lot of amazing resources, in both physical and digital format, for you and your students to access!  We know you are anxious to get started so here are some important tips to know:

Recently Enrolled/Registered

If you have recently enrolled or registered with HCOS and have all of your documentation in to the office, they will set up your Encom account.  Once that is set up,  you will receive an email from L4U with your client code and pin.  These are used to log into both L4U  and Overdrive, so be sure to save them in a Password Manager.  Read more about managers here.  New patrons are imported into L4U weekly, on Tuesdays, during September until mid-October, then we import monthly. Check your junk folder for the email from L4U as it often ends up there!

Only one set of Credentials

The credentials sent to you are used for both L4U (Library for You, Physical books), and Overdrive (eBooks and Audiobooks). When you click on the Overdrive icon to log in, it will take you to the same log in screen as L4U, but will redirect you once you log in.

Lost/Forgotten Credentials

If you have been with HCOS for a while, you should have your updated credentials which were sent in May and June.  If you have lost this information, please contact Shandra and then save them!  We have a lot of requests at this time of year, so please be patient!

Have you moved?

If you have moved or are planning to move, you need to contact the library directly with your change of address. We do not receive address changes from the HCOS office, so your items will be shipped to the wrong place unless you contact us!  Email Kelly at or Shandra at

Booking items in L4U

The most common mistake made when trying to book items is logging in to L4U with Student credentials. Students have credentials but they can only book items on Overdrive. All physical resources must be booked on the PARENT account due to our shipping process. Just imagine trying to track several children and parent requests to be shipped at the same time, and returned on time!

For tutorials and videos on how to use L4U: L4U

How to use Overdrive: Overdrive

Loan Periods, Limits and Renewals for Enrolled patrons:

The Learning Commons offers 16 FREE shipments per family per school year (August – July) for Enrolled users. That is one shipment every 6 weeks plus one extra per school year. Once the limit is reached, the enrolled family is responsible for paying 50% of the shipping cost which can paid be from student funding.

Loan period is six weeks which does NOT include shipping time. You have the FULL six weeks to use the material!
• Unit Study Kits: there is a limit of 3 per family out at one time, and only one kit per subject and grade. ie. One grade 5 science kit and one grade 5 socials kit would be allowed, but not two grade 5 science kits out at once.
• There is a limit of 8 media items which includes DVDs, CDs and CDroms.
• Total limit of all items per shipment is 35.
• You can renew items online if no one else has put a hold on them and there are no fines on your account, (so renew them before they are overdue!).
• You can delete bookings and modify dates online.

Loan Periods, Limits and Renewals for Registered patrons:

  • The Learning Commons offers 10 FREE shipments per family per school year (August – July) . Once the limit is reached registered families pay the whole cost of shipping.
  • Loan period is six weeks which does NOT include shipping time. You have the FULL six weeks to use the material!
  • Registered families have access to all resources in L4U except the Unit Study kits and Special Education Department material. Access include curriculum, DVDs, fiction, special education general items and supplemental kits.
  • Registered families now have access to Overdrive!
  • There is a limit of 8 media items which includes DVDs, CDs and CDroms.
    • Total limit of all items per shipment is 35.
    • You can renew items online if no one else has put a hold on them and there are no fines on your account, (so renew them before they are overdue!).
    • You can delete bookings and modify dates online.


To make the most of your shipments:

  • Order items in groups for one 6 week period
  • Do not order one small item ie. CD at a time
  • Book items well in advance – you can book items up to a year in advance, from September to June. You can book items over the summer if you have re-enrolled and email Shandra to confirm:

 If you live outside of courier service area, we will ship by Canada Post. The family is responsible for paying for the items to be shipped back, but enrolled families can submit their receipts to the library and have the amount credited to their funding account. Registered families will not be reimbursed. The limit of 16 free shipments still applies for enrolled families.

Arranging Returns:  Call or e-mail Kelly Wiebe to arrange pick up:  250-862-2377 x312




Digital Safety

As we start our school year it is important to teach our K-12 students about digital safety.  If we teach digital citizenship skills when our students are young they will incorporate healthy boundaries when using technology, and make smart choices online.  To make this less daunting for you we have some amazing resources in our learning commons!

Online safety.png

Passport to the Internet is a wonderful way to educate our students in grades 4-7.

This interactive tutorial teaches students the critical thinking skills they need to apply to their online experiences, including online safety, authenticating online information, recognizing online marketing ploys, protecting their privacy, managing online relationships and dealing with cyberbullying.  Contact your teacher to get started with this free ERAC subscription or Beth Johnson in the learning commons.

Top Secret is a fun game for students in grades 6-8 to learn about online privacy.

This interactive narrated tutorial teaches students about the benefits and drawbacks of sharing information online. Students give their opinion about what the characters in the story should do about their privacy dilemmas, from posting photos to buying music online, and they receive feedback on their responses as the story unfolds.

Further tutorials from MediaSmarts may be found here.

CommonSense has lots of great ideas to help our students get started!  Student activity sheets, media logs and quizzes will help introduce the topic in a family friendly way. Teachers and families will like the scope and sequence laid out for students in grades K-12 here.

CommonSense also has  My Digital Passport for grades 3-5.

HCS Learning commons has also put together some awesome digital citizenship kits and research ideas on this page.

Overdrive e library has several books on research and digital safety.  One example is Raising a Digital Child; by Mark Ribble.  This book explores the digital world our students live in with easy to understand parent language. Contact Pippa if you need details on how to access.

Here is our school Internet policy.

During the school year we will host some webinars around digital safety.  Make sure to get your students signed up:)

Blessings on the wonderful journey of  digital citizenship!  Feel free to contact us if you have questions.

Pippa and the lc team.


Physical Unit Studies Available!

Hello Folks!

As you know we are working hard to get the new unit studies on the shelves for you.  At this time, we have Kindergarten to Grade 4 completed, along with one Grade 7 kit that covers Fossils!

Here is a list of the titles to search for in L4U.  If you add the word “unit” to your search it will refine your search for just unit studies.  i.e. If I type in: light unit all unit studies with the word light will show in my results. If you were booking kits previously, please note that several kits – Biodiversity Gr. 3, Explorers Gr. 4 and Habitats Gr. 4, were not showing up properly in the system, so you may have missed booking them.

530 INT       Interacting with Matter K/1
581 NEE     The Needs of Plants and Animals Unit Study
531 MOT     Motion of Objects
508 DAI       Daily and Seasonal Changes
307 PER     Personal and Family History
307 FRE     Communities
796 MOR    Physical Education kit
508 HAN     Fall Nature Study: Trees and Birds
508 HAN     Spring Nature Study: Plants & Insects
302.2 FRE  Digital Citizenship Unit Study Gr. K-3
231.7 TAE   Creation, the Flood and Dinosaurs
Grade 1
307 WHA    What is a Community
523 SKY     The Sky: Weather, Sun, Moon and Stars
307 LOC     Local Environment
508 FEA      Features of Living Things
530 LIG       Light & Sound Unit Study
530 INT       Interacting with Matter K/1
302.2 FRE  Digital Citizenship Unit Study Gr. K-3
796 MOR    Physical Education kit
508 HAN     Fall Nature Study: Trees and Birds
508 HAN     Spring Nature Study: Plants & Insects
231.7 TAE   Creation, the Flood and Dinosaurs
Grade 2
530.4 SOL  Matter can undergo Changes
581 PLA      Life Cycle of Plants Animals
971 CAN     Canada has diverse Communities
333.7 LOC  Local Actions have Global Consequences
531 FOR    Forces unit
551 LEN     Water unit
231.7 TAE  Creation, the Flood and Dinosaurs
796 MOR    Physical Education kit
508 HAN     Fall Nature Study: Trees and Birds
508 HAN     Spring Nature Study: Plants & Insects
Grade 3
531 THE     Thermal Energy
577 BIO      Biodiversity and Ecosystems
551 LAN      Landforms and Erosion
530.4 ALL   All Matter is Made of Particles
971 IND      Indigenous People of Canada
979 IND      Indigenous People Around the World
302.2 FRE  Digital Citizenship Unit Study Gr. K-3
796 MOR    Physical Education kit
Grade 4
574.5 HAB   Habitats, Biomes, and Ecosystems
530 ENE     Energy  Unit Study
530.4 SOL  Solids Liquids & Gases
523.2 SPA  Space, motion of earth & Moon
971 FRE     Explorers Unit study
971 HIS      History of  British Columbia
Grade 7   Fossils Unit Study


If you are not sure how to book items, please visit our How To page: How to use L4U

Grade 4 Kit Guides Ready!

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We are very excited to announce that our Grade 4 kit guides are ready! Soon we will announce that all the Grade 4 physical kits are ready for borrowing, but for now, please access the digital kits or download the guides for the physical kits, get prepared and book them as they are ready to go.

Keep on checking our website as we add more kits in the new school year. We continue to work diligently to get as many kits done as possible with the highest quality for you and your students! If you haven’t subscribed yet to our blog, now would be a great time. You can do that on the home page of this website.




Why Ebooks as a digital tool?

As we start our school year we are looking for tools which will help our students meet the new inquiry method and help transition them into the 21st century.  Did you know we had a huge collection of e books, and audiobooks for students K-12 available in our learning commons?

Overdrive recently blogged about why you should choose e books when you approach the new school year. Here are their thoughts:

How eBooks support your current curriculum: by Christina Samek, Overdrive specialist.

” We make it easy to talk to students about eBooks. OverDrive’s custom school platform allows for a quick introduction and most importantly, a quick launching pad into individualized reading. Because it’s reading, you aren’t introducing a new skill into your classroom, you are enhancing an already necessary skill.

eBooks are an excellent, approachable gateway into a lifelong relationship with technology. A tool that fosters reading—a skill essential to success in any subject—is good technology. OverDrive’s catalog provides thousands of titles to choose from, whether it’s for your beginning readers or those preparing for college. We provide service to the full K-12 space. Our eBooks are easy to use and come equipped with key features such as an exportable note-taking and highlighting tool, a built-in dictionary, and a dyslexic font. We can serve your high achievers and your struggling readers on the same, easy-to-use platform. We connect to your existing systems to ensure your students access our eBooks using the same credentials they use every day.  OverDrive helps you individualize the learning experience!

Reading is at the core of what you’ve been teaching all along. English/Language Arts, History, and yes, even Mathematics. Great reading comprehension lends itself to all facets of your curriculum. The benefit of digital reading allows your students to absorb content at their own pace. Your high achievers can push forward without worry they’ll be judged for wanting to. Your struggling readers can take their time and utilize the built-in tools to increase their comprehension, without worrying they’ll be judged for lagging behind. It’s simple, built-in differentiated instruction. Learning behind a screen creates an innate sense of privacy. It lets your students explore their learning capacity on a device like a SmartPhone or tablet, some of their first and most familiar learning tools in today’s world.

Start talking to your students about eBooks. We have audiobooks, too, because reading is reading. We have dedicated analysts to help you build a content list to match all of your curriculum needs. We have time to help.

Make eBooks the first dip into the waters of integrating technology in your classrooms. Start with reading, because, didn’t we all?”

I would also add that with the new BC Ed plan which allows for so much choice in how our students meet their learning needs, Overdrive will help equip our students with an inquiry approach, using a format that meets new technology standards.  An e or audio book can be in your hands as soon as you get those passwords🙂.  Please note students under the age of 13 should always be supervised when borrowing materials on Overdrive.

If you would like to get started using our Overdrive e library please contact Shandra Wiebe for your passwords and then for training/research/curriculum ideas Pippa Davies.

Blessings from your learning commons team!


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