Learning Curve

We are all on a new learning journey. As I transition to working from a table in my living room, there have been up and a lot of downs. Over the last week, I have learned that is helps to pack patience, flexibility, and a willingness to reach out for help. If needed, step back and take a deep breath. Trust me, I’ve taken more than a few! I have never used Microsoft Teams before, and truly hope that I will be able to provide clear information/instructions, to ease all the students into this new format. Please expect that there will be challenges. Some things will work, some will not, and some things will change as we go.

All of us will take it day by day, moment by moment. Thank you for helping your child with the changes. My hope is that they will be able to transition to independent use quite quickly. If you have questions or concerns, feel free to email. I know a few of you use Teams for work, so if you see a way I can make things easier within the app, let me know. I am happy to learn more. Please continue to ensure your main focus in staying healthy.

Back to Blogging, Back to School

Well, I did not anticipate reviving my rusty blogging skills due to a global pandemic! A lot of unexpected changes have occurred and continue to occur for all of us. Nothing is quite the same as it used to be, including what school looks like. Although we cannot be together right now within the classroom, learning is still possible for all of us. I have heard a number of families and thank you for your well wishes and for the updates on your families. We are learning new skills and new ways of being. Be kind to yourself and take things one moment at a time.

Until we begin to meet digitally, some of you have asked to be set up on Epic! for access to a digital library specifically for children. Reading is a wonderful way to temporarily transport ourselves to another time and place; enjoy your reading. Epic! is just one of the tools I am looking at all of us using as we continue along this new journey. As we wait for more information on what school will be like, don’t forget to continue using your Tynker account and doing research on your LiD topic. You may want to begin a journal. What would you want to tell your future self about this historical moment in time? Below are a few other ideas you may want to check out.

Take care everyone. I am looking forward to connecting with all of you.

Digital Passport – Common Sense Media has designed six interactive games for grades 3-5 addressing the issues children face when navigating the digital world.

Continuing Learning Burnaby – Resources from the Burnaby School District to support student learning.

Keep Learning – Learning resources from the Government of British Columbia.

Symbaloo Webmix – A collection of webpages for children of a variety of ages and abilites. The collection can also be reached by clicking on Symbaloo under Bookmarks (on the right of this blog’s homepage).

Learning in Depth (LiD)

If one is the master of one thing and understands one thing well, one has, at the same time, insight into and understanding of many things. – Vincent Van Gogh


This week we will begin a new adventure. Students will be given a unique topic, which they will investigate and build their knowledge of throughout the school year. During LiD activities, each child will build a personal portfolio containing items such as pictures, texts, artifacts, interviews, movies, etc. Near the end of the school year, students will share their journey with the class. For three of our students, this is a journey that continues from last year. They are retaining the topics they were given last year and will continue to grow their understanding of their topic, perhaps branching off in new directions.

Later this week, we will have our opening ceremony, and we are excited to get underway. The enthusiasm generated by three students who participated last year has cemented our confidence that this will be an exciting opportunity for all. More information on this Canadian-developed program can be found on the Learning in Depth website.

Global Read Aloud 2016

One Book to Connect the World • This October, our class will be participating in the Global Read Aloud. Over 600,000 students are signed up to participate. While we read a Global Read Aloud book last year, this will be our first time using technology to share our experience with other classrooms.

We will be reading the book Pax by Sara Pennypacker and connecting with students around the world using technology tools such as Skype and Twitter. We are excited to take part in our first every Mystery Skype, to meet a class we will be connecting with throughout the project. To quote the Global Read Aloud welcome letter, we are hopeful “this project will allow for our students to use technology tools in a meaningful way, as well as learn about other cultures, all while listening to a fantastic read aloud.”

If you would like more information about the Global Read Aloud, you can visit their website, or connect with us.

Digital Relationships and Communication

This month, Burnaby School District’s Digital Literacy and Citizenship team challenged us to think about relationships and communication. Using a number of their lesson ideas, that is exactly what Division 8 did. We brainstormed and discussed the qualities of positive and negative relationships, and how these qualities are the same and different when online. The read-aloud book The Seeds of Friendship by Michael Foreman gave us more ideas to consider. For our concluding activity, we joined our individual thoughts on What makes a friendship or relationship? in a Padlet that we would like to share with you.

Digital Citizenship

SD41’s Learning Technolgies has gone live with their Digital Literacy & Citizenship site. Citizenship is woven throughout the new curriculum, and we are all responsible for learning and modelling positive citizenship both online and in-person. With a different theme each month, the new blog provides lesson ideas for the classroom as well as a home connection. This month we’ll be talking about relationships and communications. For parents, there is information on the popular app Snapchat. Chechildren-1056064_640ck it out.

Hour of Code

This December, we will be participating in the Hour of Code during Computer Science Education Week, December 7 – 13. Along with many other classes at Capitol Hill and students in over one-hundred eighty countries, we will spend one hour completing a coding tutorial.


The Hour of Code is organized, in part, by the non-profit
group Code.org. The group points out that “whatever field
our students choose to go into as adults, their ability to succeed will increasingly hinge on understanding how technology works. But only a tiny fraction of us are learning computer science, and less students are studying it than a decade ago.”

The students will do some blogging after the event to let you know how it went. We are excited to hear what they thought about the experience; it will be the first time many have coded. If you’d like to join us, or to volunteer with one of the other classes, please let us know. We can always use more volunteers.