STEAM buddies January

I cannot believe we are almost at the end of our book club on all things STEM!  This month we have become savvy researchers using Pebble Go database,  and our iPads to create awesome research reports.

Students learned how to create statements on their facts after researching one or two aspects/interests on the water cycle, and then shared illustrations and notes on their findings. We explored how water is so important in God’s creation, and what extremes we have in North America with our diverse geography.  I just love the fact that my littles can cite their work so easily using Pebble Go.

Some students built their own water cycles from lego, and craft paper, whilst others tried to be chemists and made their own water filters.  Here is Juniper sharing what she learned via video recording.

We learned about fact and fiction, and read several inquiry picture books on the water cycle, including the lovely books as shared above which include keywords and awesome content tied to the new science standards.  In Follow that Tap Water a lovely design thinking experiment is included to help students become compassionate caring citizens.

This last week we studied First Peoples usage of water by reading the beautiful e book The Salmon Twins  by Caroll Simpson, and discussed how important water is in their economy of fishing.  We spent time exploring the beautiful art work and shapes inherent in this lovely picture book.  Students shared how each page was like an art work!   We also became problem solvers with this video Small Number and the salmon harvest from SFU.  I learned about the importance of tides and fishing besides the math problem.  🙂

Next week we will celebrate First Peoples artwork by painting, making or drawing our own version of sea life in Haida style.

I am going to miss my buddies!

What is Love?

“Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.” 

John 15:13

With Valentine’s Day on the horizon, these books on Overdrive may encourage you to read and discuss how God has loved us and how we can love others.

“So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.”

1 Corinthians 13:13


How Big is Love by Amy Parker (K-3)

“Mama, just how does love get so big?”Little Hedgehog is determined to understand just how love works. His curious questions will warm your heart, and his sweet story will remind you that love grows every time you give it away.Based on the important message of 1 Corinthians 13:13, the Faith, Hope, Love series will plant important seeds in children’s hearts. Don’t miss the other titles in the series: How Far Is Faith?, How High Is Hope?, and The Faith, Hope, Love Devotional.


Franklin Says I Love You by Paulette Bourgeois (K-3)
In this Franklin Classic Storybook, our hero is a very lucky turtle. He has the best friends, the best little sister, the best goldfish, and, of course, the best mother. But when he discovers that his mother’s birthday is coming up, he can’t find the best present. After giving it some serious thought, Franklin decides to do everything for his mom. On the morning of her birthday he takes her breakfast in bed, makes a brooch, draws a picture, and cuts fresh flowers from the garden! And then Franklin gives his mom a great big hug and says, “I love you”—which is, of course, the best gift of all.


Jacob I Have Loved by Katherine Patterson (4-8) and Literature Study

“Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated . . .” With her grandmother’s taunt, Louise knew that she, like the biblical Esau, was the despised elder twin. Caroline, her selfish younger sister, was the one everyone loved.

Growing up on a tiny Chesapeake Bay island in the early 1940s, angry Louise reveals how Caroline robbed her of everything: her hopes for schooling, her friends, her mother, even her name. While everyone pampered Caroline, Wheeze (her sister’s name for her) began to learn the ways of the watermen and the secrets of the island, especially of old Captain Wallace, who had mysteriously returned after fifty years. The war unexpectedly gave this independent girl a chance to fulfill her childish dream to work as a watermen alongside her father. But the dream did not satisfy the woman she was becoming. Alone and unsure, Louise began to fight her way to a place where Caroline could not reach.

Renowned author Katherine Paterson here chooses a little-known area off the Maryland shore as her setting for a fresh telling of the ancient story of an elder twin’s lost birthright.


“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.”

1 Corinthians 4-8


Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte (9-12)

Jane Eyre is raised in her aunt’s house after the death of her parents. Her aunt cannot stand the queer, quiet child and sends her off to a spartan boarding school where she is severely mistreated. She survives, however, and eventually finds herself a situation as a governess in the household of Edward Rochester. She and Rochester fall passionately in love, in one of the great literary love stories. But a dark secret in his house will tear them apart and send her alone into the wilderness before she can find her way back to him.


Mama, I’ll Give You the World by Roni Schotter (K-3)

Exquisite artwork and an exceptionally tender text showcase the special bond between a mother and her daughter. Every day after school, Luisa goes to Walter’s World of Beauty to watch her mama work–cutting, coloring, and curling customers’ hair. Before they go home, Mama puts her tip money in a special envelope for Luisa–for college. She wants to give Luisa the world! But Luisa has a plan of her own. For Mama’s birthday, Luisa wants to give Mama the world. . . . This touching story of a loving child and a single, hard-working mother is sure to be a favorite of families everywhere.


The Railway Children by Edith Nesbit (4-8)

When Father is taken away unexpectedly, Roberta, Peter, Phyllis, and their mother have to leave their comfortable life in London to go and live in a small cottage in the country. The children seek solace in the nearby railway station, and make friends with Perks the Porter and the Station Master himself. Each day, Roberta, Peter, and Phyllis run down the field to the railway track and wave at the passing London train, sending their love to Father. Little do they know that the kindly old gentleman passenger who waves back holds the key to their father’s disappearance.


The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett (4-8)

Mary Lennox is born in India. She is a sickly, sallow child, whose parents hide her away with her Ayah. After her parents die in a cholera outbreak she is sent to live in Yorkshire with her uncle. She is, once more, left mostly to herself. Her uncle still mourns his beautiful wife ten years after her death, and seeks to escape his grief by traveling. When a chambermaid tells Mary about her mistress’s garden, which her master locked up on her death, Mary is determined to find it. Bit by bit, as the garden comes back to life, so do the lives of those around her begin to mend.


Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen (9-12)

When Mr. Dashwood dies, he leaves his second wife and her three daughters at the mercy of his son and heir, John. John’s wife convinces him to turn his step-mother and half-sisters out, and they move to a country cottage, rented to them by a distant relative. In their newly reduced circumstances Elinor and Marianne, the two eldest daughters, wrestle with ideas of romance and reality and their apparent opposition to each other. Elinor struggles in silent propriety, while Marianne is as violently romantic as her ideals. Life, however, teaches the girls to balance sense and sensibility in their approach to love and marriage.

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”

John 3:16

Reviews by Overdrive

They’re READY!

You may not have known that you were waiting for these, but you were!

The Learning Commons team has been working to create the ultimate resource for parents and teachers wanting to meet the requirements of the new BC Education Plan.  These pages for Kindergarten through Grade 9 are now ready for you to use.  Wait till you see what’s available to help you plan for your students’ schooling!  Look for this icon on the right-hand side of the Learning Commons website or click on the icon below:


For more information, go to BC Ed Plan New Curriculum


BrainPOP Jr. – Redesigned

Have you seen the new BrainPOP Jr.?  It has an amazing new design that is touchscreen-friendly and can be used by your various devices.


BrainPOP Jr. is the K-3 version of our popular BrainPOP website.  (Did you know that BrainPOP is our most used subscription of all?)  BrainPOP Jr. has some new and improved features:

  • With the improved Write About It, students can explore key vocabulary words to use as they write.
  • A richer Draw About It allows young learners to drag and drop shapes onto their drawings, and even add movie images.
  • The new Word Play enables students to explore and practice key vocabulary words through both drawing and writing.
  • Students can even collaborate to create a skit using BrainPOP Jr. characters.

There’s more information at the BrainPOP Educators’ Blog.  Parents, if you would like information about how to access the free BrainPOP Educator site, just email

Teachers will enjoy that their teacher rosters in My BrainPOP are now able to link to BrainPOP Jr.

Book-a-neer Read-a-thon Starts Today!


Starts Monday January 16!

Register Now!

MAKER-ED 2017!

Dates for the up and coming Maker-Ed sessions.

January 27th 9-11: Claymation ( please bring a shoe box for each student)

February 17th 9-11: Rube Goldberg Contraption- using marbles, string, KEVA planks and cardboard ramps.

March 10th 9-11: 2D-3D Design- Pinwheels and Flowers!

April 21st 9-11: KEVA -Chutes and Tunnels!

May 12th 9-11: Makey Makey!

If you would like to register any of your students in Grade 3 to 6 please email Justine Dehod at .

Shiver me Timbers! Pirate titles in Overdrive!!

Ahoy there! We have some great pirate titles for you in Overdrive to inspire you to join our Bookaneer Read-a-thon! Yarr! Sign up now!!

Are You a Pirate Captain? by Gareth P. Jones

First Mate Hugh has the whole crew and the pirate ship ready, but they can’t set sail until they find a captain! Come on this swashbuckling adventure as Hugh and his scurvy sea dogs try to find the perfect pirate for the job. Rather than a peg leg or a hook, it turns out that what their captain needs is the brains to lead! End pages adorned with lively pirate songs make this book a seaworthy tale from beginning to end!

Beware Pirates by Frieda Wishinsky

In Beware, Pirates!, the debut title in the Canadian Flyer Adventures series, friends Matt and Emily discover the Canadian Flyer, a magical time-traveling sled, in Emily’s attic. The magic sled transports them back to the year 1577 where they find themselves aboard Martin Frobisher’s ship, The Aid. Adventure beckons, and Emily and Matt are happy to follow. Until, that is, they encounter a crew of pirates! Author Frieda Wishinsky weaves well-researched and accurate historical facts into her compelling, kid-friendly storytelling, while Dean Griffith’s evocative illustrations situate readers perfectly in place and time. At the end of their adventure, Emily and Matt share additional facts about pirate ships, Nunavut, and Martin Frobisher, and Wishinsky gives additional facts here too, in an informative Q&A format.

Explore Like a Pirate by Michael Matera

Are you ready to transform your classroom into an experiential world that flourishes on collaboration and creativity? Then set sail with classroom game designer and educator Michael Matera as he reveals the possibilities and power of game-based learning. In Explore Like a Pirate, Matera serves as your experienced guide to help you apply the most motivational techniques of gameplay to your classroom. You’ll learn gamification strategies that will work with and enhance (rather than replace) your current curriculum and discover how these engaging methods can be applied to any grade level or subject.

Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson

In 1751, after the untimely deaths of his parents, Scotsman David Balfour, the 17-year-old protagonist and narrator of Stevenson’s classic adventure yarn, travels to his father’s childhood home to meet with his uncle, Ebenezer. Instead of a warm welcome, Ebenezer pays the captain of a pirate ship to kidnap his nephew and transport him to America. On board, David meets dashing Highlander Alan Breck Stewart, and together they manage to take over the ship, beginning a friendship that continues through several land-based adventures. One of these involves witness (and escaping blame for) a murder. Scottish actor Rintoul does an amazing job of delivering a bouquet of brogues—including David’s mild-mannered narration, his uncle’s croaky, angry snarl, and Alan Stewart’s almost musical, supremely confident pronouncements.

The Pirate and the Pig by Frank Rodgers

“Stop that soppy snivelling!” yelled Billy Blackheart. “It’s time for a dip!” Captain Peg-Leg Doubloon and Matey the pig are best friends. And best friends stick together – especially when the black-hearted crew of the Jolly Rotter decide to mutiny… A delightful and heart-warming tale of friendship and bravery.

Meet Zarina, The Pirate Fairy by Disney

Read along with Disney! Zarina is a misunderstood dust-keeper fairy who dreams of creating different colors of pixie dust. After she causes an accident that destroys the Dust Depot, she leaves Pixie Hollow to continue her experiments…and become a pirate! Follow along with the word-for-word narration in this illustrated leveled reader based on the new animated Disney Fairies movie.

Pirate Diary by Richard Platt

Curious about life on a pirate ship? Climb aboard this account of adventure on the high seas as told by a feisty nine-year-old carpenter’s apprentice, circa 1716. Historically accurate illustrations of ship and crew, a map of Jake’s travels, and a detailed glossary and index vividly reveal the fascinating—and harsh—life of a pirate in the eighteenth century. Ships ahoy!

Pirate Island Treasure by Marilyn Helmer

Charlotte and her brother, Jacob, are thrilled to head off on an adventure in their grandpa’s boat, The Seawind. As they set sail for Pirate Island, they look forward to a day of beachcombing, playing pirates and storytelling. There are plenty of great treasures to be found, but Charlotte, who can be very bossy, is having trouble sharing with Jacob. When Charlotte accidentally loses one of Jacob’s best finds, a piece of driftwood that looks just like a pirate’s cutlass, it’s the final straw. Feeling horrible for upsetting her brother, Charlotte is determined to set things right.

Pirate Pups by Nickelodeon Publishing

Set sail with the rescue pups from Nickelodeon’s PAW Patrol as they search for lost pirate treasure! Kids ages 2 to 5 are sure to love this all-new, full-color book. This Nickelodeon Read-Along contains audio narration.

Pirate, Viking and Scientist by Jared Chapman

In this tale of a classic friendship conundrum, a determined little boy won’t rest until he proves his theory that you really can have more than one best friend!

Pirate is friends with Scientist. Scientist is friends with Viking. Pirate and Viking are NOT friends. What will Scientist do? Use his brain, of course! Scientist forms a hypothesis, conducts an experiment, observes his results, and tests his subjects again and again until he discovers the perfect formula for friendship.

No Pirates Allowed by Rhonda Gowler Greene

At Seabreezy Library, things were just right. / Booklovers were cozy. The sky was blue-bright / when—Shiver me timbers!—through Seabreezy’s door / stormed big Pirate Pete and his parrot, Igor! Argh!! Things are looking—and smelling!!—a little fishy at Seabreezy Library. When the big X on Pirate Pete’s treasure map leads him and his parrot-sidekick Igor to believe buried treasure is hidden at the library, the patrons are quaking in their shoes. But never fear! Library Lou, Seabreezy’s librarian-extraordinaire, is as cool as a cucumber and knows how to handle an irate pirate or two. She knows exactly where the treasure is buried. But first she needs to help Pirate Pete and Igor get a handle on their hygiene, brush up on library etiquette, and then tackle learning their letters. And that will lead them to the treasure that can always be found at the library.

Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson (and novel study guide)

Perhaps Stevenson’s best-known work, this adventure novel set in the eighteenth century is inspired by the actual exploits of pirate Captain Kidd and the search for his buried treasure. For pure imaginative delight, Treasure Island is unsurpassed. From the moment young Jim Hawkins meets the blind pirate Pew at the Admiral Benbow inn, to the spirited battle for hidden treasure on a tropical island, the novel spawns unforgettable scenes and characters that have thrilled young and old for more than a century.

Stevenson’s romance is noted for its swift, clearly depicted action, its memorable character types—especially of Long John Silver—and its sustained atmosphere of menace. A story of a classic battle between good and evil, it illustrates one young boy’s rite of passage into the dangerous world of mature responsibilities.

Reviews by Overdrive

Why Read in 2017?



January is one of our main reading months of the year!  It has been interesting to see the stats in our Overdrive e library soar over the holidays, and we can see that students and families are enjoying their reading!  This month we launch our Bookaneer Readathon and here are some of the factors for resolving to read this month!

  1.  Time to use your learning commons and discover your next adventure!   If you have not discovered the joys of our physical and virtual commons please contact Shandra Wiebe, and she will get you going with your membership to a beautiful array of non-fiction and fiction resources.  You can find resources which may be read to you or listen to, or you can read the old-fashioned way with a physical book.  Our Overdrive digital library appeals to students in all grades and is immediately accessible.  Our physical commons has a multitude of curriculum and fiction resources and our staff will ship materials to your home.  Feel free to contact us at our Contact Us sign for your reference queries.
  2. This year for our Bookaneer Read-a-Thon we are focusing on our reading pleasures; habits, hobbies, or treasure, whatever that may be.  Perhaps choose a book from a different genre that you normally read, to enlighten your mind.  Or read a book set in a location you would like to visit.  Read more about an area that you have been praying about, or feel compassion.  Read up on a hobby or subject you want to know more about.  It could encompass both fiction and non-fiction.
  3. Picture books are a wonderful and precious leeway into many of our new BCEDplan standards.  Especially our Inquiry picture books on Overdrive e library, which cover fiction and non fiction beautifully.  Many of these books are read-aloud, which allow our younger students who are not reading able to enjoy.  Click on the Dyslexia font in the settings if you have a student who needs help reading.
  4. Write a book review after reading your books.  Journaling is a great way for younger students to write about what they are seeing, hearing or viewing.  Encourage them to share their opinions along the way.  Then share with our learning commons staff.  We will post to our blog 🙂
  5. Listen to an audiobook as a family and then share your thoughts at the dinner table or tea time!
  6.  Send us your requests for what you would like to read either on Overdrive or L4U.  Just keep on reading!  The literacy results will show!

Blessings from the learning commons team.

Lunch n Learn – L4U Training

Searching! Booking!  Shipping!  Come to our Lunch n Learn with Shandra, and unravel the mysteries of L4U (Library for You!), our physical library of resources! You will learn how easy it is to search, book items individually and as a group for one date, book for the year, renew,  modify and delete bookings!  We have amazing resources for all ages so come learn how to take advantage of them!

Date: Thursday, 26/Jan/2017

Time:  12pm-1pm

Who may attend:  Staff and parents, students

Where:  Zoom videoconferencing meeting room.

Please click on this link on the day:

Join URL: L4U Meeting


Opening our Spiritual Gifts from God

Each of us has been wonderfully made in God’s hands. He has given us spiritual gifts that help to make us unique individuals. Knowing the spiritual gifts that God has given us can help us throughout life, be it personal or business, work or play.


Sometimes it is hard to know what our spiritual gifts are. Sometimes it is very apparent to ourselves or to others that we are gifted a certain way. A fun thing about spiritual gifts is that they are gifts. We don’t have to earn them. We don’t have a limit on how many we get. God will give us what we need as we serve Him throughout our lives.

Young adults

The main spiritual gifts often have personality traits that help us know that they are there. Over the years quite a few fun tests have been created to help us both find out and better understand what our spiritual gifts are. We have a few of these tests available through our HCOS Web-Link Library ,and invite you to use them to find out what spiritual gift you have been given so far.

You can also check out our RightNowMedia library for more Bible studies on spiritual gifts; like Your Divine Design by Chuck Ingram.  Our grad students discover more about their spiritual gifts be mentoring younger students in our mentoring program, and Forum moderation leadership on the Ning.

Primary students

If you have a younger primary student they might prefer the resource God Given Gifts in our Overdrive e library.

Blessings Erin

FMT leader.

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