Marvelous Maker Motivators!


HCOS students STEAM ahead!

It has been a jammed packed Maker- Ed time this year so far in the Heritage School Learning Commons. We have been able to accommodate between 10 – 20 students in the sessions and have a registered list of 31 students from grades 3-6, which is brilliant! It has been so encouraging and exciting to see the students engaged and excited about learning through many of the hands-on activities offered with the STEAM education in mind. If some of you do not know what STEAM is all about, it is teaching using various Maker-Ed resources covering subjects such as Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math. This year we were  able to introduce coding using Lego Wedo, Scratch , Blockly and Ezrobot which have been great additions to our resource library!

Lego mazes and coding.

It hasn’t always just been technology! The students have also had fun with craft sticks, pom poms and elastic bands. Researching how to build there own catapults!

Christmas Cain’s Cardboard Arcade Challenge.

Animation with Lego, mixed media and imotion.

Makey Makey and Lunch box conductors! Making music with electrical currents , vegetables and fruit.

Tunnel Books- for the love of the classics!We read the wonderful book by Oliver Jeffers, ” A Child of Books” to inspire the students to plan, design and create their own tunnel books using their imagination!

 Meet JD the ezrobot!

We talked about robot safety, servos , coding and programing. The students had lots of fun using blockly to program JD robot to dance, talk and exercise! JD was very accommodating and obedient!


We have two  maker sessions remaining this term. Google cardboard ( where the students will need to bring a smart phone) on Thursday May 24th and Chatterpix and self portraits on Thursday June 7th. If either of these appeal to your students don’t hesitate to email Justine Dehod at to register your grade3-6 students or if you have any questions about Maker-Ed.

Looking forward to the future of Maker-Education at Heritage!

Discovery Education: Top 5 Things to Know

Interactive Learning Courses available

Interactive learning courses share tips, tricks, and practical integration strategies for using digital resources and maximizing your experience with Discovery Education. Whether you are new to Discovery Education or have been using it for years, the interactive learning courses offer opportunities to maximize Discovery Education with your students.

To access these Interactive Learning Courses, you will need to join the DEN (Discovery Educator Network) Online Community–it’s easy to do, just go to this link:

The course we would recommend for our teachers is “Top 5 Things to Know about Discovery Education” and these are the links with dates available:


You can view this training after May by going to the DEN archives.  For parents who would like to be part of this training, please sign up for a Discovery Education parent account (the same as our teacher accounts) at this link:

Spring Contests: Winners and More Fun

This spring the HCS Learning Commons & NING held some contests and our Talented Students showcased their skills.

#STEAM – A Project Based Learning Contest!
First Place: Jack Wilke – The Pop Machine
Second Place: Aven Duncan – My Quilt
Third Place: Emma Wiebe – My Project (dress)

Talent Show!!!! Spring 2018
First Place: Tiara Ilic – Forget the boy (last submission)
Second Place: Joshua Michael Wlodarczyk – Afterimages – Original Song)
Third Place: Avery Spark – My Favorite Things


Congratulations to our winners!! Thank you to everyone that entered and to those that judged! 

More fun: We still have one contest open. The Poetry Contest will run until the end of May and be judged the first week of June. The theme is Grace and it is open to HCOS students of all grades. If you or your students are interested please log into NING or email Erin Duncan ( for more information!

BC-CHEC Learning Commons Session

Here is our Learning Commons presentation from our BC-CHEC session.
BCCHEC Learning Commons Digital Resources – Created with Haiku Deck, presentation software that inspires;

OverDrive eLibrary Back Online

Dear Learning Commons patrons,

We’re happy to report that OverDrive eLibrary is working again.   We apologize for any inconvenience and happy reading!


Your Learning Commons Team



Overdrive Down

Good Morning patrons,

Overdrive shared this morning that there was an outage on the database.  We will follow up and let you know as soon as it is restored.  Thanks for your patience.



Pippa Davies

Director Learning Commons

Heritage Christian Online School

I’m in Grad; Where Do I Find Information about Canada???

For high school students wanting to find Canada-specific reference materials, here is a list of our reference subscriptions that should be of good help to you.


  1. Gale CENGAGE: Canada in Context

“Canada in Context” material spans the North American continent and includes Canadian and French first language publications. Discover topics on the First nations, Confederation of Canada—celebrating 150 years, Métis, Inuit, biographies of Canadian figures as well as information on technology, sports, industry, and more.

Gale Cengage - Canada in Context

This site allows you to save content to your own folder within the site.  Log in on your parent home page in Encom, choose “Curriculum Resources” and scroll down to find the links and password for Gale CENGAGE.  Choosing the “Curriculum Standards” heading will allow you to choose BC learning standards and topics for English Language Arts, Science or Social Studies.

Gale SS curriculum standards - BC _2018

Videos explaining how to use “Canada in Context”:


Search Results:



curio_ca Image

The platform gives grade 8-12 students streaming access to the best in educational content from CBC and Radio-Canada.  You will find documentaries from television and radio, news reports and archival material.  There is also closed captioning for the hearing impaired.  Educational content is correlated to the new British Columbia curriculum.

BC Ed Plan Curriculum for Arts in Curio_ca

To set up your account, go to your parent homepage in Encom, choose “Curriculum Resources” from the menu at the top, and scroll down to the section “Create Your Own Login”.  This allows you to save your own playlists in your account.

NOTE:  Please be aware that, although the CBC-appropriate age range is highlighted for each program, parents need to view the programs to see if they will consider them appropriate for their own students.  You may agree with our staff that a number of the programs should have an older rating.

Social Studies programs in 

Tutorials for use of


  1. Discovery Education Streaming

The Discovery Education Streaming site has thousands of educational videos, including Canadian content, and is correlated to Provincial standards for grad students.  This site includes hundreds of Canadian topics such as Canadian geography, Canadian history, Canadian culture, Canadian attractions, famous historical figures, and much more.  Look for “Canadian Studies” to find Ancient Times, Colonial, Confederation, Canada’s Role in World History, Civics, Government, Geography, Famous People, Economic System, Culture and French Canada.

Discovery Education - Canadian Studies homepage

Log in to Discovery Education Canada with the username/password that you will find on your parent homepage in Encom.  To save material, you will need to have your parents email for a parent account.  Then under “My Content”, you can save and organize the material you wish to access later.

“Student Basics” for use of Discovery Education:


  1. EBSCOhost’s Explora Secondary

EBSCOhost’s Explora Canada is a premium online information resource specializing in Canadian content.  Explora Canada includes:

  • Simple search, including primary source documents, news articles, and video clips.
  • Easy-to-browse categories organized by popular topic
  • Topic Overviews that provide students with a starting point for research
  • Citation help, including the ability to export citation information to online bibliography generators such as EasyBib and NoodleTools

EBSCOhost search bar

EBSCOhost Explora may be accessed by choosing “Curriculum Resources” on the parent homepage in Encom, and scrolling down to choose EBSCOhost: Explora High School.  Choosing “Search Other Databases” from the top menu will allow students to choose “Canadian Libraries” and “Explora Canada”.

EBSCO Other Databases Site - includes magazines, images

EBSCO help is found at  To set up your own folder in Explora go to



  1. KnowBC

Encyclopaedia of BC through includes more than 4000 authoritative entries and 1500 photographs, maps, charts, tables, sound, and video clips covering BC people, places, events, culture, accomplishments, inventions, and resources.  Log in to KnowBC with the username/password that you will find on your parent homepage in Encom.

KnowBC homepage

The easiest way to search this site is by going to “Books” on the top menu, choosing a title, then going to the Table of Contents to find your topic of choice.  The Encyclopedia of British Columbia, itself, has a detailed index.


  1. Learn360

Learn360 is a website for K-12 multimedia and non-video resources.  There are thousands of video and audio materials available, plus images, articles, timelines, maps, experiments, activities, fact sheets, and more.  Students can use the search to find Canadian content, or search by BC curriculum standards.

Learn360 Logo

To log in, HCOS enrolled students should go to the parent homepage in Encom, choose “Curriculum Resources” on the top menu bar, and then scroll down to the “Shared Login” section for the username and password.  Students should email for the passkey to set up a personal account, which allows you to bookmark favourite content, add documents, create playlists, etc.

Learn360 - search by standards

Help for using Learn360:  Here is an 18-minute video to help you learn how to use the Learn360 site, or read “Search Basics – Searching for Video Content”, found at—searching-for-video-content.

* * * * *

Last, but not least, for students who wish to prepare for exams, there is BC ExamBank.  This is a powerful resource for British Columbia students in all grades.  You can write randomized practice exams that relate directly to the curriculum as outlined by British Columbia’s Ministry of Education. The computer will mark your practice exam as soon as you’re done, so that you can immediately see where your strengths and weaknesses lie.

BC ExamBank home page

Log in at with the username/password that you will find on your parent homepage in Encom.

Keep Calm and Study On

Changing it UP for Spring on Overdrive!

Overdrive is happening with new curated picture books for all ages!

Just in time for Spring we have some amazing Inquiry style picture books, and Doring Kindersley books to get students wondering about our amazing creation and growth mindset.  Check out whats new on a regular basis on Overdrive by signing in and scrolling down to the Newest Additions tab on the home page.

Are you looking for ideas regarding Spring?  Look no further as we have curated a collection for you called Calendar/Seasonal/Spring under the Collections Tab!

Elementary School

The Bee Book by Charlotte Milner.  Doring Kindersley Publications.

Its almost time to explore the secret world of bees not only outside but in this picture book: how they live, how they work, how they support each other and their hive.

DK’s The Bee Book is a wonderful introduction to the humble honeybee: nature’s hardest worker, and much more than just a provider of honey! Bees are incredibly industrious, brilliant at building, super social, and-most importantly-responsible for a third of every mouthful of food you eat! Find out how bees talk to one another, what it takes to become a queen bee, what the life of a worker bee is like, and more. The contents include bee anatomy, types of bee, hives, colonies, pollination, making honey, and more. Discover just how much they matter, why they are declining, and what you can do to help!

Over and Under the Pond by Kate Messner

In this gorgeous companion to the acclaimed Over and Under the Snow and Up in the Garden and Down in the Dirt, Kate Messner and Christopher Silas Neal bring to life a secret underwater world. In this book, readers will discover the plants and animals that make up the rich, interconnected ecosystem of a mountain pond. Over the pond, the water is a mirror, reflecting the sky. But under the pond is a hidden world of minnows darting, beavers diving, tadpoles growing. These and many other secrets are waiting to be discovered…over and under the pond.

Iggy Peck’s Book for Amazing Architects by Andrea Beatty

Creativity meets curiosity and critical thinking in Iggy Peck’s Big Project Book for Amazing Architects, the new hands-on STEM project book from the #1 New York Times bestselling team behind Iggy Peck, ArchitectRosie Revere, Engineer; and Ada Twist, Scientist.

Iggy Peck has one passion: building. His parents are proud of his fabulous creations, though they’re sometimes surprised by his materials—who could forget the tower he built of dirty diapers? This empowering workbook book features art and the characters from the picture book Iggy Peck, Architect, and it will inspire young readers with activities of all kinds.

Iggy Peck takes readers through more than forty exciting STEM and design projects, from drafting and doodling to building and blueprints. Aspiring architects and young dreamers will get a sense of the unique mix of science, technology, and art skills used to create lasting structures. Packed with the same quirky humor and gorgeous illustrations that made Iggy Peck, Architect a favorite with kids, parents, and educators, the project book will appeal to fans who crave more from Miss Lila Greer’s clever class.

In this interactive activity book, kids will have the chance to:

  • Imagine a brand-new cityscape
  • Invent energy-saving gizmos
  • Design a dwelling on Mars
  • Draw a gargoyle
  • Build a bridge out of marshmallows and spaghetti
  • and much more

Play With Art by DK

More than 50 projects to draw, paint, print, stencil, model, and more.

The perfect starting point for teaching your little one about all types of art, delve into more than 50 fun art projects for kids. From handprinting and sponge painting to mapmaking and origami animals, this is the perfect book for a little learner starting on their art journey. Play with Art is simple, fun, and it’s packed with fun and creative hands-on activities to share and enjoy. This is a perfect addition to any classroom’s STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) library or home book collection.

Pool by JiHyeon Lee

What happens when two shy children meet at a very crowded pool? Dive in to find out! Deceptively simple, this masterful book tells a story of quiet moments and surprising encounters, and reminds us that friendship and imagination have no bounds. Plus, this is a fixed-format version of the book, which looks nearly identical to the print version.


The Shape of Ideas by Grant Snider
What does an idea look like? And where do they come from? Grant Snider’s illustrations will motivate you to explore these questions, inspire you to come up with your own answers and, like all Gordian knots, prompt even more questions. Whether you are a professional artist or designer, a student pursuing a creative career, a person of faith, someone who likes walks on the beach, or a dreamer who sits on the front porch contemplating life, this collection of one- and two-page comics will provide insight into the joys and frustrations of creativity, inspiration, and process—no matter your age or creative background.


Exciting Changes Ahead!

Dear Patrons,
Thanks for your patience as we experience some issues with our learning commons portal over the next couple of weeks as we reorganize the system.

HCS Learning Commons

Dear Learning Commons patrons,

The Learning Commons team is making changes to our Learning Commons website after surveys revealed you had problems finding materials.   In mid June we hope to release a simpler information portal, and a more visually pleasing layout.  We have purchased a new resource manager via Insignia, and are in process of upgrading our WordPress website,  Over the next few months, we will transfer some existing data, and have the new circulation system installed.

What does this mean to you as a patron?

  • Your search and booking process will be easier, and more authentic.
  • Sign up will be faster via Encom authentication, or for our campus patrons Google Suite. One set of passwords will be applicable for all systems.
  • The Learning Commons hub will allow you to search seamlessly in one place for web links, digital and non-digital books, and some of our…

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As we enjoy Poetry Month, you may be wondering where to find poetry selections for your students, at the reading level they can manage best.  I would like to remind you that Reading Eggspress has poetry selections for your students at various Lexile levels.

Teachers or parents who wish to find the poetry books in Reading Eggspress will log in to the Reading Eggs site, choose “Teacher Toolkit” from the menu on the left, choose “Book Notes”, and then look for the blue link on the page which says, “Go to Library”.  This will take them into a page with this menu on the left, where they can choose “Poetry” at the bottom right-hand side:

Reading Eggspress - poetry

It is possible to choose the Lexile level of reading, or reading age, by moving the slider to the level of your choice.

Reading Eggspress - lexile and age level choices

Parents who wish to access the Reading Eggspress “Book Notes” will need to email me and I will set them up with an account.  Please feel free to email me with any questions you’re having, as I am glad to help you.

Poetry: Whats the word?

Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash

Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash

Poetry has been around for thousands of years. Long before it was written and read it was used orally to share stories, remember genealogy, teach laws. It was also used to: entertain in song and spoken word with historical accounts; tell tales of happenings in the day to day life; share fictional works that pass on the identity of a culture; and inspire with love stories and more.

Celebrate right now with Poetry eBooks on Overdrive here in this collection!


How do I write a poem? It can be hard to get started. What should it be about? Does it have to rhyme? Creative Writing Now’s site has the answers to those questions and more to help you get started! Creative Writing Now: Poetry

Poetry Games: Children’s Author Ken Nesbitt has a list of fun games to help kids learn about and enjoy poetry. Poetry Fun and Games

To Rhyme?: One fun aspect of many poems is making the poem rhyme. However, it can sometimes be hard to find words that rhyme and fit your poem. Thankfully there are tools to help with this. Rhyming Dictionary

Poetry in our culture today: One of the current most popular works of poetry and spoken word is the musical ‘Hamilton’ by Lin-Manuel Miranda. Lin’s inspiration was Alexander Hamilton, a man who used his talent in both written and spoken word to influence people, to ignite passionate opinions and ultimately to help shape the nation. Lin first introduced this concept at the White House Poetry Jam that the Obama’s held and it became a cultural sensation. One that has ignited a new generation’s passion for spoken word. I have included a link to a video of this first performance at the Whitehouse. Please know that there is some language used that today may not be considered the best, but is used in its correct historical context in this piece. Words are powerful! Lin-Manuel Miranda Performs at the White House Poetry Jam

Poetry Contest: Heritage Christian School Learning Commons and NING are hosting a Poetry contest open to all HCOS students running from April 2nd to May 25th. The theme for this year’s contest is Grace. The contest is hosted on NING: NING Poetry Contest – Spring 2018 NING is open to students Grade 8-12, parents and teachers. For students Grade 7 and under who would like to take part in this contest a family account can be made.  If you do not have a NING account and you would like more info on NING or the Poetry Contest please email Erin Duncan.

Let’s have fun and write poems!

Happy Poetry Month!!

Erin Duncan

Math + Fun = Learning

The month of April is not only special for the spring flowers, but also for the new Math possibility springing up.  We have been given a pilot or test account in Matific from now until the end of April.  Every HCOS teacher has been given an account in this site, which is available to them until April 30th.  Contact your HCOS support teacher to be placed in Matific to prove that math + fun = learning.

A Matific episode is a game-oriented group of tasks designed to convey a specific mathematical concept, skill, or insight. Each episode engages children from 5 to 15 minutes.  It feels like playing games to the students, but allows them to master core math concepts.

Parents, if you would like to try some sample activities, go to this link:  Matific Sample Activities.  Scroll down the page to find a menu of grades, each of which has a number of fun learning activities.  Note the description  of the game is below the screen with the activity.

Matific Sample Activities

One big “plus” is that Matific has established a Canadian site; another “plus” is the content is correlated to our BC curriculum, including assessment available to teachers.  This site comes highly recommended to us by HCOS teachers.


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