Tips for Tuning-Up Your Grammar Skills


Annual Grammar Day is March 4th


 

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SandraBoynton.com

 

1.  Try Out a New Tool

Grammarly:  This online proofreading tool checks your text for grammar, punctuation, and style, and features a contextual spelling checker and plagiarism detector.  It is available as an add-on for Office, for Windows, and as a Chrome Extension.

2.  Follow a Facebook Page With a Little Humour

  • Grammar Girl:  This page is a good mix of light-hearted fun, and short, friendly tips to improve your writing. Grammar Girl makes complex grammar concepts simple with memory tricks to help you recall and apply those troublesome grammar rules.
  • The Grammar Police:  Because sometimes we need a bit of humour to engage our minds with grammar.  And yes, I just began and sentence with “because”.  Oh, and there again with “and”…
theofficialgrammarpolice-croppedhttp://www.facebook.com/theofficialgrammarpolice

 

3.  Check Out Some Books in Overdrive

 

overdrive-bookSkin Like Milk, Hair of Silk:  What Are Similes and Metaphors? by Brian P. Cleary.    

Overdrive description:  Are you as clever as a fox? Or perhaps you’re as sharp as any spike? If so, this book will be a piece of cake! Clever rhymes from Brian P. Cleary and humorous illustrations from Brian Gable present similes and metaphors. When it comes to grammar, this team is not as slow as thick molasses. Oh no, they’re as bright as polished pennies! Each simile and metaphor is printed in colour for easy identification in this gem of a book. Read it aloud and share in the delight of the sense – and nonsense – of words. 

 

the-grammar-teachers-activity-a-dayThe Grammar Teacher’s Activity-a-Day180 Ready-to-Use Lessons to Teach Grammar and Usage by Jack Umstatter

Overdrive description:  This must-have resource features 180 practical, ready-to-use grammar and usage lessons and activities–one for each day of the school year. The activities included help students in grades 5-12 to acquire, improve, and expand their grammar skills, and become more adept and confident writers.

 

4.  Have Some Fun with Apps, Videos, and BrainPop

  • Grammar Wonderland Apps available on iTunes and Google Play

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!

Pippa

Professional Development for U.


Reading

Hi learning commons friends,

Education is constantly changing.  Are you finding it hard to keep up with new educational technology, and constant ideas and buzzwords that are floating around the education hemisphere?  Having enjoyed Gafe (Google) summit and BC ERAC conferences recently I enjoyed gleaning and learning from others!  With that in mind we have purchased some great professional development for you to discover on Overdrive e library.  Grab your coffee and come and enjoy some wonderful reads which might inspire you to try something different!

Reading in the Wild:  Donalyn Miller

In Reading in the Wild, reading expert Donalyn Miller continues the conversation that began in her bestselling book, The Book Whisperer. While The Book Whisperer revealed the secrets of getting students to love reading, Reading in the Wild, written with reading teacher Susan Kelley, describes how to truly instill lifelong “wild” reading habits in our students.

Based, in part, on survey responses from adult readers as well as students, Reading in the Wild offers solid advice and strategies on how to develop, encourage, and assess five key reading habits that cultivate a lifelong love of reading. Also included are strategies, lesson plans, management tools, and comprehensive lists of recommended books. Copublished with Editorial Projects in Education, publisher of Education Week and Teacher magazine, Reading in the Wild is packed with ideas for helping students build capacity for a lifetime of “wild” reading.

Unwrapping the Greatest Gift; Ann Voskamp

Based on the overwhelming success of The Greatest Gift, Ann Voskamp has expanded her presentation of the timeless Advent tradition of the Jesse Tree so families can celebrate together. Each day, families can listen to the provided Scripture passage (which connects with the original adult book), engage with a special devotion to help children of all ages understand the Advent theme for the day, and participate in suggested activities to apply the theme.

This audiobook can serve as a precious guide to help recapture the sacredness of the Advent season and help the entire family understand and celebrate the epic pageantry of humankind from Adam to the Messiah.

Tribes; Seth Godin

A tribe is any group of people, large or small, who are connected to one another, a leader, and an idea. For millions of years, humans have been seeking out tribes, be they religious, ethnic, economic, political, or even musical (think of the Deadheads). It’s our nature.

Now the Internet has eliminated the barriers of geography, cost, and time. All those blogs and social networking sites are helping existing tribes get bigger. But more important, they’re enabling countless new tribes to be born—groups of ten or ten thousand or ten million who care about their iPhones, or a political campaign, or a new way to fight global warming.

And so the key question: Who is going to lead us?

The Web can do amazing things, but it can’t provide leadership. That still has to come from individuals— people just like you who have passion about something. The explosion in tribes means that anyone who wants to make a difference now has the tools at her fingertips.

 

One Word that will change your life! Jon Gordon

One Word explains how to simplify your life and business by focusing on just ONE WORD for the entire year. The simplicity of choosing one word makes it a catalyst for life-change. Clutter and complexity lead to procrastination and paralysis, while simplicity and focus lead to success and clarity. By celebrated authors Dan Britton, Jimmy Page, and Jon Gordon, One Word That Will Change Your Life shows you how to cut through to the core of your intention for the next year. It offers an action plan and simple process to discover your word for the year. It also explains how your one word will impact the six dimensions of your life—mental, physical, emotional, relational, spiritual, and financial.

 

The Montessori Method; Maria Montessori

The Montessori method is characterized by an emphasis on self-directed activity on the part of the child and clinical observation on the part of the teacher. It stresses the importance of adapting the child’s learning environment to his or her developmental level, and of the role of physical activity in absorbing abstract concepts and practical skills. The Montessori method teaches reading via phonics and whole language, the comparative benefits of which are currently being recognized.

“To all educators this book should prove most interesting. All who are fair-minded will admit the genius that shines from the pages which follow, and the remarkable suggestiveness of Dr. Montessori’s labors.” -Henry W. Holmes

We also have copies of The Absorbent Mind and The Montessori Reader.

Science as Enquiry by Jack Hassard

Their eyes light up, they ask good questions, they can explain the concept to other students, and they relate what they learn in class to what happens in the world. That’s how students respond to the project-based, cooperative-inquiry Earth, life, environmental, and physical science lessons this book fully describes. Theoretical discussion of constructivist learning introduces the detailed lessons, many of which hinge on reproducible handouts to present a puzzling scientific phenomenon for students to investigate. Grades 5-8.

 

Digital Leadership by Eric Sheninger

Digital leadership is a strategic mindset and set of behaviors that leverages resources to create a meaningful, transparent, and engaging school culture. It takes into account recent changes such as ubiquitous connectivity, open-source technology, mobile devices, and personalization to dramatically shift how schools have been run and structured for over a century. Leading in education becomes exponentially powerful when using technology to your advantage.

Eric Sheninger—”Principal Twitter”—shares his Pillars of Digital Leadership to help readers

 

  • Transform school culture by initiating sustainable change
  • Use free social media tools to improve communication, enhance public relations, and create a positive brand presence
  • Integrate digital tools into the classroom to increase student engagement and achievement
  • Facilitate professional learning and access new opportunities and resources

 

Let me know  if you need help getting going on our e library.

Blessings

Pippa

 

 

 

Michelle shares #Gafe Summit


Gleanings from the EdTech Summit

Screen Shot 2015-11-17 at 10.18.01 AM

I was fortunate to be able to attend the Kamloops EdTechTeam Global Summit featuring Google for Education conference in October. I was joined by the Learning Commons Team as well as Kathy Kanda, Heather Douglas and Shannon Beglaw.
The two day event was well attended and offered some great workshops on Google-related technology resources. All levels of tech were welcome from beginners to geeky. The speakers were Monica Isabel Martinez, Kim Randall, Michelle Armstrong, Donnie Piercey, James Sanders, William Lewis, Tracy Poelzer, and Davis Carlson. Each speaker opened our eyes to the opportunities that abounded to do with everything Google.

The virtual book called “20 Things I Learned About Browsers and the Web” gives a brief taste of what the conference delivered in the way of knowledge and training for educators and Google enthusiasts. The workshops on Google apps and extensions were my particular favourite.
If you haven’t already explored the Google Chrome WebStore, it offers many apps and extensions that you can add to your Chrome browser. I have included some hyperlinks to demonstrate just a smattering of what is possible with Chrome apps and extensions. To access these links you will need to download Chrome on to your computer. The links are:

*Explain and Send Screenshots : Capture a webpage, write text and arrows and share it safely
*goo.gl URL Shortner : Shorten lengthy URL so that they are more managable to share
*TabJump : Ever closed a tab by accident or can’t find the right tab, this app helps manage your tabs
*WolframAlpha Search : Computational knowledge search engine
*Boomeranggmail: Lets you write your email and defer sending it
For More Info on Chrome: Chrome and Plugins

When searching online using Google Chrome you can eliminate a lot of the results that you get by using the Google search operators. These Youtube tutorials are great for students and parents to make their Google searches more efficient. The hyperlinks to each of these Youtube videos have been changed to Quietube links for your viewing pleasure.

Title: Conducting a Google Search by Color
Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K-0RqQWFubM&feature=player_embedded
Video Length: 6:09
Source: Google

Title: Conducting a Google Search by Image and Other Media
Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4TcrHV1kums&feature=player_embedded#at=95
Video Length: 3:56
Source: Google
Title: Conducting a Google Search by Filetype
Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v5Z9603QPHQ&feature=player_embedded
Video Length: 4:40
Source: Google
Title: Conducting a Google Search by the ‘OR’ Search Operator
Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5JEtMAsUAgY&feature=player_embedded
Video Length: 5:04
Source: Google
Title: Finding Content within a Page using Ctrl (PC) or CMD (MAC) + F
Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VyhNTtNDfcM&feature=player_embedded
Video Length: 7:06
Source: Google
Title: Searching Using the ‘Site:’ Operator
Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DndOoEVCWfI&feature=player_embedded
Video Length: 5:58
Source: Google
Monica Martinez Google site is to be found here.

Source material for this article:

Martinez, Monica. Monica’s Google Site 101. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Nov. 2015.

 

Blessings

Michelle

Innovators/Makers/Ideas/Disciples Welcome!


 

Innovation and Evaluation

What does Innovation mean to you?  How do you see our schools growing and changing to meet the needs of the 21st century?  How do we encourage our students to grow as disciples?  We want to hear from you as staff, parents and students.  With the move to newer learning outcomes in British Columbia coming shortly and the focus on more project based learning our hope is to build a learning commons which reflects your voice on the integration of Christian education, technology, curriculum, e books and physical books.

If you have ideas in this regard to please share below in our comments area or on our Ning at our Innovation Think Tank.  If you need an invite to our Ning  please contact me via email.

Blessings

Pippa Davies

 

 

 

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!

logo_scoopit_bg-black

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

MakerEd

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!

 

Getting Geeky with #diglit! Grades K-2


The last few weeks have seen our learning commons folks #gearingup and #gettinggeeky after our #gafesummit conference!

We are all looking for ways to improve our students digital literacy, and now that BC has draft digital literacy learning outcomes in all grade levels we can finally start moving our students towards meeting these ideals.  Victoria Woelders (Google certified teacher) has a wonderful website called My Kids Locker with some ideas to help integrate these new standards along with the ISTE standards.  We have these digital literacy standards already on our website here:

Digital Literacy

We know there are so many more resources out there that you have experienced and are enjoying with your students.  So this week we are going to try and match up the new outcomes for the grade K-2 learning outcomes and would love your ideas too!  Please comment below the blog post and we will share to our list:)

  1.  Illustrate and communicate original ideas and stories using digital tools and media-rich resources.  Kidblog, Storybird, Educreations, LittleBirdTales, Comics Creator, My Story Maker, Picture Book Maker, ABCya Animate
  2. Identify, research, and collect data on an environmental issue using digital resources and propose a developmentally appropriate solution.  Spongelab, Recycle City, NationalGeographic, Geotours Kids National Geographic,
  3. Engage in learning activities with learners from multiple cultures through e-mail and other electronic means.  Flat Stanley, Virtual Book Clubs, Skype, Blackboard Virtual Classroom LNBC, Petra’s Planet, GoogleHangoutsGuide EPals.
  4. In a collaborative work group, use a variety of technologies to produce a digital presentation or product in a curriculum area. BuildWithChrome  ThingLink, Popplet Kidblog, EduGlogster, CollaborizeClassroom.
  5. Find and evaluate information related to a current or historical person or event using digital resources.  MuseumBox  PebbleGo, Tiki-Toki Timeline,
  6. Use simulations and graphical organizers to explore and depict patterns of growth such as the life cycles of plants and animals.  ALifeCycleapp ProjectBudBurst  MonarchWatch
  7. Demonstrate the safe and cooperative use of technology. CommonSense  MediaSmarts HCOS Internet safety HCOSDigCit
  8. Independently apply digital tools and resources to address a variety of tasks and problems. MapTreasureHunt, Ebscohost Searchasaurus,  PebbleGo, ReadingEggs, PinkyDinkyDoo (podcasts) WeVideo (video making) Superlame (adding bubbles to images) StoryKeepers (digital storytelling apps)
  9. Communicate about technology using developmentally appropriate and accurate terminology.  Discovery Education, BrainPopJr,
  10. Demonstrate the ability to navigate in virtual environments such as electronic books, simulation software, and Web sites.  Overdrive E Library, RAZ Kids, Reading Eggs, Brainpop Learn360

 

Blessings Pippa and Natalie

Stay tuned for grades 3-6 next week!

 

 

 

The Student Organizers Collection by Shonda Brisco


See on Scoop.itLibrary Web 2.0 skills

A collection of education technology by Shonda Brisco

Pippa Davies @PippaDavies ‘s insight:

Some student planning tools for the upcoming year.  Start practicing  over the summer with some of these handy tools.

See on edshelf.com

Technology Trends Driving the Future of Tomorrow


See on Scoop.it21 century education

Challenge what you think you know (What are the killer business trends driving the future of digital content?

Pippa Davies @PippaDavies‘s insight:

Interesting techie trends to make you want to draw some boundaries:)  How much can our brains change to accomodate this state of adaptive learning?

See on www.rethinkeverythingblog.com

BC Christian Home Educators’ Convention 2013


Hands up if you are coming to Convention!

Hands up if you are coming to Convention!

BC CHEC registration opens this Monday, Feburary 18th! Come and join us for a time of encouragement and inspiration. Our Keynote Speakers are Catherine Levison and Cori Dean. Catherine is hosting a full day of workshops based on the Charlotte Mason method! We also have over 40 workshops featuring great speakers such as Paul Faris of HSLDA, Marie Filion, Greg Bitgood and more! Visit our website at: http://bcconvention.ca/index.php
BC CHEC also offers programs for children and teens so the whole family can participate!
Join our Facebook page for updates, contests and great prizes! http://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/groups/48469982549/

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