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

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!

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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!

 

Digital Citizenship Webinar Dec 12th! Postponed!! January date coming soon!


We are very excited to bring our teacher leader Jeremy Hirsch to share a webinar on digital citizenship on December 12th Pacific time 10.30 am!  But sign in 15 minutes early to check your sound:) Jeremy will be opening the group to parents of students in all age groups.

Title: ‘Our Digital Footprint’

Description: We will take a look at the digital explosion that we are currently experiencing and what that has done to our society and our culture.  We will also look at cyber-bullying, social media, and what it means to teach our children how to leave a positive digital footprint.

Participant Link:

https://ca-sas.bbcollab.com/m.jnlp?sid=7345&password=M.5D3AE1B840AAE74723EFC30DAB1DC6

Collaborate for Participants

Learning to balance Digital Citizenship, Research and Publishing!


 

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Collaborative-multiauthors-multiculture Education

This article is a reblog from Pippa Davies blog.

own work

To protect or not protect our students from the net, that is the question? Does censorship, or continuing education work? I believe that the more we help guide our students online, the more likely they will, by osmosis, become excellent purveyors of online content, and creators of their own digital identity. They will learn to value what is true, worthy, current and reliable online!

At what age does critical thinking begin; when do we as parents, or teachers help our students learn the critical thinking that goes with the territory of being online in the 21 century? We used to think that around 11/ 12 years of age was the age of logic according to educational theorists like Piaget. However university professors can attest to the fact, that many graduate students still do not understand Bloom’s taxonomy of higher level…

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January News!


English: .. Dansk: Naturhistorisk Privatunderv...

Welcome to Winter in the learning commons;)

 This month we are focusing on some of the wonderful curriculum we have in our blended learning commons.  As research beckons, book reports get published and science experiments presented,  we thought we would invite you to try some amazing curriculum and learning resources.
Shandra Wiebe shares more about some of our science curriculum  found in the physical learning commons.  Click here.  To check out science non-fiction on the E Library  click here.  Feel free to add your suggestions, as we want to grow this area?

Are you interested in science lab reports?  Find some rubrics here.  General science websites are found here.

For information on assessment from a Christian worldview go here, and here.

New in social studies on the E Library we have activity guides, and books on ancient Egypt and Rome.  Grade 7 students we appreciate your opinion on these items and if you want us to order more?

Reading Promotions

Missions Read-A-thon starts this February and if you have a student in grades K-9 you might want to encourage them to take part in this exciting literary/missions event.  Please contact Shandra Wiebe if you have any queries in this regard.

Events happening on the E Library include the Device Raffle.  To learn more how to take part read this article. The only requirement to win an e reader is to read something on HCS E Library.  Contact Pippa if you need help setting up your device.

Social MediaNatalie shares more about using Google Plus for our community,  and how social media can work for you here.

Events on the Ning!  Currently we have The HCS Schools Innovator of the Year Awards.  Check out more about this new and interesting challenge for all students grade 4 and up here.

Current Awareness  Newsletter.  To learn more about upcoming Olympics fun, coding lessons, homeschooling goals and Valentine’s Day check out our latest newsletter.Blessings from all in the Learning Commons!

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Social Media and the Learning Commons


Image representing Twitter as depicted in Crun...

We have been discussing a lot about Social Media in the Learning Commons these days, trying to find the best ways that we can serve YOU!

Social Media can offer opportunities to find new resources, meet new people, collaborate with others, challenge your thinking, be a witness to others, mentor others or be mentored and be a life long learner! I am sure there are many more opportunities – these are just a few! Developing your own Personal Learning Network (PLN) is up to you!

As members of the Learning Commons, we want to support you in your Social Media adventures! Here are some ways that you can participate.

If you are on Google+, we have started a HCS Learning Commons Community – you can find us there. I would love to invite you to join and become part of our community. There will be a wide range of sharing here. You can look us up on Google+ or send a request to HCS Learning Commons or HCS Learning Commons Community.

Many of us are on Twitter already and we have several HCS related hashtags so that we are able to share information and collaborate there as well.  They are: #hcsreads, #hcsedchat and #hcslearningcommons

 You can follow us @rnsing, @PippaDavies, @PaulKellyBC, @GordHolden and we will follow back.

We have many bloggers in our HCS Community and you can find many of our bloggerson this page. If you are a blogger and we have not added you please let us know and we would love to add you to our list!

Many of you are now on the Ning. If you have not joined our community there, please ask Pippa Davies at pdavies@onlineschool.ca or nsing@onlineschool.ca for an invitation. We have built an amazing group of students interacting and collaborating on the Ning. It has been wonderful to see!! We have many opportunities there to share – join a few groups and get involved!

We would love to meet you in any of these venues! If you have other ways that we can serve you in Social Media or in any other way, just let us know! Happy 2014!!

Blessings from your Learning Commons Team

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A Must Read Google Plus Guide for Schools ~ Educational Technology and Mobile Learning


See on Scoop.itHCS Learning Commons Newsletter

Pippa Davies @PippaDavies ‘s insight:

Great guide to using Google Plus and Hangouts.

See on www.educatorstechnology.com

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Trends That Will Shape 2014 | Social Media Today


See on Scoop.it21 century education

As Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus make it harder to get found organically, niche sites are going to prove to be more valuable than ever to get in front of your customers.

Pippa Davies @PippaDavies ‘s insight:

As schools configure how to connect with students these top sites will encourage 21 century education. Collaboration, analytics, and positive advertising are part of the social networking influence!!

See on socialmediatoday.com

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Social Media and Parenting


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facebook (Photo credit: sitmonkeysupreme)

This past week I  watched a very sad indictment of the “Sextortion of Amanda Todd” being aired on CBC The Fifth Estate, to commemorate the anniversary of Amanda’s death.  I was horrified to hear how twelve and thirteen year old teens are sharing lewd images of themselves on group blogging and webcam sites.  I was even more than horrified to see how online predators could take advantage of such students,  and blackmail them into sharing more revealing images.  This tragedy exemplifies some insidious dangers inherent with image sharing sites,  such as SnapChat and Instagram, and with private chat rooms.   Media literacy is not the topic on display, and images provoke more than just fear, or isolation, they can provoke students to suicide.

This brought to mind many ways as parents we need to be involved in our students’ “online time”?

You will often hear students saying that the time they spend alone on their computers is private and they have the “rights” to not share their online behaviour.  Not only are cases of cyber bullying on the increase,  many are not being reported for fear of reprisal.  Often the RCMP cannot respond to complaints in time,  due to the nature of time sensitive issues regarding the Internet.

So what can we as parents/teachers do in this situation?

  • Help our students gain awareness of maintaining appropriate digital citizenship, about creating a digital footprint, empowering them with rules and behaviour for fostering online friends.
  • Consider and decide how your family may choose to monitor online and offline conversations.  Teens are often awake late into the night when lights go out.
  • Encourage loving relationship with your developing teen,  that includes lots of openness to discuss all kinds of  topics.
  • Discuss and encourage safe digital citizenship such as those found in moderated sites like our school Ning.
  • Discuss and apply safe strategies around online activities in group Skype/webcam/google hangout chats if there are no moderators.
  • Discuss why there are age restrictions set by social media sites.  As a parent you know your child’s emotional maturity and ability to communicate responsibly.  You may choose to wait until your student is 13 or older before establishing a social network profile.
  • Pray for your students to imbibe wisdom in relationship, and in sharing personal information and healthy self esteem.

My prayer is that as a community we can be accountable for all of our students, and that together we can partner with you as parents to help keep our students safe.

For information on sites which can help you deal with bullying and preventative education go here.  To watch a great powerpoint with good discussion topics go here

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