Category Archives: Digital Resources

Dot Day 2020

No matter what, we’re determined to celebrate #InternationalDotDay in 2020. When the going gets tough, the creative get going. Join us!

Make your mark this school year!  September 15th-ish is International Dot Day!  Join the celebration of creativity, courage and collaboration! Based on the story “The Dot” by Peter H. Reynolds, this is a great way to start the year by celebrating the creative talents of children.

Watch the videos below to see examples of students collaborating creatively and get inspired to create:

 Resources:

International Dot Day website: Get Inspired

Multi-language Dot Day Posters

Poster Gallery:  (many themes, including A Thinking Journey & Think Globally)

Peter H. Reynolds Website

Fablevision Creative Learning Website

National Poetry Month 2020

 

From the League of Canadian Poets:

“We hope that this theme will inspire conversations, poems, and dialogues about the many ways poetry is expressed and honoured around the world, as well as the cultural impacts of poetry in different regions. We encourage poets from around the world to speak and write about what poetry means for their life experiences, perspectives and identity as well as the roots of poetry in their culture or country.

“What will you read this National Poetry Month? Will you start your own poetry writing project? Will you write your first poem? Will you share your poetry on stage for the first time?

  1. Tumblebooks has some fun poetry video books to read online:  (username: tumble735, password: books)

Cat Named HaikuA Cat Named Haiku: Haiku is a form of Japanese poetry. Haiku is also a little cat who can’t seem to stay out of trouble. “A Cat Named Haiku” tells the story of the day in the life of a mischievous little cat, as he learns a valuable lesson on love told completely in haiku. After disobeying his owner, Haiku discovers at the end of the day even if someone is mad at you it doesn’t mean they don’t still love you. From climbing the curtains to trying to eat the pet goldfish, all of Haiku’s antics are chronicled in the three line poetry of his namesake in this 40 page children’s book intended for ages 6 and up.

Ook the BookOok the Book

Ook the Book seems like it’s been around forever, dog-eared from decades of readings and rereadings. It could be the jaunty Seussian rhythms at play, but it has a classic quirkiness all its own–a blend of Calef Brown’s Polkabats and Octopus Slacks and the good Dr. Seuss’s The Cat in the Hat. With poem titles from “Ug the Bug” to “Eep the Sheep,” you can see that the rhyme is not exactly subtle. Therein lies its charm. While its simple rhymes make it perfect for building early reading skills, Shannon McNeill’s action-packed illustrations (awash in a delicious color palette) give readers of all ages plenty to snicker over. In “Ake the Snake,” for example, the snake has a cake, because he can bake. The snake, coiled by the lake (sporting a cupcake chef’s hat) is surrounded by baking ingredients and two tiny green traumatized bugs, who have indeed tried to take the snake cake, and therefore are being flung screaming into the lake, much to the dismay of another bug hiding behind a sack of what might be flour. We think it’s gutsy to write a poem as simple as “I am At, / At the cat. / Do you see Pat? / He is my rat. / I sat on Pat, / so he is flat.” And we like it. (Pat the flat rat doesn’t look too happy about it, however.) A wonderful primer for wee ones just starting to have fun with words. (Ages 2 to 5) –Karin Snelson —

2. Selections from: Tea and Bannock Stories: First Nations Community of Poetic Voices (Simon Fraser University, First Nations Studies. Compiled by annie ross, Brandon Bob, Eve Chuang and the Chuang Family, Steve Davis, Robert Pictou)

 

3. Selections from Poetry Foundation: Poetry for Children

Ideas for Teachers: (from the League of Canadian Poets)

Poetry Play Stations

Poetry play stations use different techniques to encourage young readers to craft poems. Here are some great stations to include:

Erasure poetry: Using a page of existing text, use a black marker to complete cross out sections of the text — the words or phrases that remain can be strung together to form an original poem! Part of the beauty of erasure poem is how the entire page looks when completed, blacked-out sections and all.  Try it with a newspaper article!

Found poetry: Found poetry is very similar to erasure poetry — well, erasure poetry is a kind of found poetry — but with a little more freedom. Again using an existing text, participants select words or phrases from the text that they think will make a great poem: using the found words and phrases, they can play with line breaks, stanzas, and other ways of construction an original poem from the found text!

Book spine poetry: This is a great poetic experiment that takes over Twitter every April — using as few as three or as many as… well, as many as you can stack, create a poem using the titles of books as they appear on the spines. These make excellent photos and are great for sharing!

Magnet poetry: A classic! Choosing words from a pile of individual words to string together an original poem. This could be from a magnetic poetry set, but you could also simply prepare an assortment of words for participants to choose from.” (Source: League of Canadian Poets)

 

Black History Month 2020

“Black History Month is an opportunity for all Canadians to learn about the many contributions Black Canadians have made to Canada. This year’s theme for Black History Month is “Canadians of African Descent: Going forward, guided by the past”. This was inspired by the theme of the United Nations’ International Decade for People of African Descent (2015-2024).

Feet forward, head turned backward, the Sankofa bird reflects on the past to build a successful future.” (Government of Canada)

Viola Desmond: 

Additional Resources:

 

National Poetry Month

 

From the League of Canadian Poets:

Celebrate nature with poetry this April!

“The League of Canadian Poets invites you to celebrate the 21st annual National Poetry Month in April with nature – whether it’s mountain ranges, deserts, forests, oceans, or plains; whether it’s a cityscape or a landscape. Read, write, and share poetry that translates the emotional, practical, and reciprocal relationships we build – as individuals and communities – to the natural world onto the page.”

“What will you read this National Poetry Month? What events will you organize, attend? Will you start your own poetry writing project? Will you write your first poem? Will you share your poetry on stage for the first time?

Ideas for Teachers:

And now, let’s make a poetry party!

Poetry-palooza

Organize a poetry-palooza for a group of young readers to engage them with the many sides to poetry. Participants can read a poem aloud — original or not — to the others, or they could distribute their favourite written poem–again, original or not. But there’s more to poetry than the poems! Encourage young readers to write fanmail to their favourite poets, or take the fun even farther away from poetry and hide poems around the room (book spine poetry, anyone?), or have other poetry game stations for participants to engage with.

Poetry Play Stations

Poetry play stations use different techniques to encourage young readers to craft poems. Here are some great stations to include:

Erasure poetry: Using a page of existing text, use a black marker to complete cross out sections of the text — the words or phrases that remain can be strung together to form an original poem! Part of the beauty of erasure poem is how the entire page looks when completed, blacked-out sections and all.

Found poetry: Found poetry is very similar to erasure poetry — well, erasure poetry is a kind of found poetry — but with a little more freedom. Again using an existing text, participants select words or phrases from the text that they think will make a great poem: using the found words and phrases, they can play with line breaks, stanzas, and other ways of construction an original poem from the found text!

Book spine poetry: This is a great poetic experiment that takes over Twitter every April — using as few as three or as many as… well, as many as you can stack, create a poem using the titles of books as they appear on the spines. These make excellent photos and are great for sharing on social media!

Magnet poetry: A classic! Choosing words from a pile of individual words to string together an original poem. This could be from a magnetic poetry set, but you could also simply prepare an assortment of words for participants to choose from.” (Source: League of Canadian Poets)

Songs and Poems for Elementary Students (Source: CanTeach)

Media Literacy Week 2018

November 5 to 9, 2018 is Media Literacy Week! This year’s theme is Fact or Fake: Help the World Stop Misinformation in Its Tracks. The week will highlight the importance of verifying that online information is true, unbiased and relevant.

Here is a sample video from the ‘Media Minute’ series – a unit of videos and lessons designed specifically for elementary students.

For Families:

Ideas for Families (Tips, Games, Videos, Tutorials)

For Teachers:

Learning Resources (Media Literacy Week)

All About Me (Career Education Resource) – Digital Literacy Lesson Plans

Use, Understand & Create: A Digital Literacy Framework for Canadian Schools (“Teachers can access digital literacy classroom resources aligned with curriculum outcomes set out by their province or territory.”)

Digital and Media Literacy Fundamentals

Media Literacy 101 (Media Minute Videos and Lessons)

MediaSmarts Lessons and Resources (Search by topic/grade)

Visit http://www.medialiteracyweek.ca/ and follow along with #MediaLitWk to learn more about events and programming across Canada!

Picture Book Month!

November is Picture Book Month! 

Author Katie Davis produced this video with quotes from beloved and famous authors and illustrators all answering the same question;

“What is a picture book?”

Why Picture Books are Important:

rukhsana-khan-book-coverRukhsana Khan

rob-scotton-book-coverRob Scotton

ame-dyckman-coverAme Dyckman

For Students:

What is a picture book to you?  Do you have a favourite picture book?  Visit your school library to borrow picture books this month.

You might like these books for “Roc Your Mocs” Day in November:

moccasins3moccasins moccasins2  moccasins4

For Teachers:

  • Picture Book Month Teacher’s Guide (Ideas for using picture books in ELA, Science, Math and Social Studies)
  • Adrienne Gear’s new units featuring picture books for Grades 2-7 ” We Are All Connected

 

Veterans Week 2019

Here are some resources that connect with the theme of Remembrance:

Our Freedom:

Radio Minute: Tommy Prince

Additional Resources:

 

 

 

 

Canadian Encyclopedia Articles:

  • Interactive Activity: (Ages 10+)

Over the Top: An Interactive Adventure

“An activity created by the Canadian War Museum to help students understand the First World War from a soldier’s perspective. The activity’s interactive nature and its animation-based format will appeal to younger students. Includes a glossary of terms. (Recommended for ages 10 and up.)”

Additional Resources:

 

Dot Day 2018

Make your mark this school year!  September 15th-ish is International Dot Day!  Join the celebration of creativity, courage and collaboration! Based on the story “The Dot” by Peter H. Reynolds, this is a great way to start the year by celebrating the creative talents of children.

Watch the videos below to see examples of students collaborating creatively and get inspired to create:

 Resources:

Clip Art Collection (by Peter H. Reynolds)

International Dot Day website: Get Inspired

Multi-language Dot Day Posters

Poster Gallery:  (many themes, including A Thinking Journey & Think Globally)

Sparking the Creative Spirit: Tips for Inspiring Writing, Creativity, Self-Expression and a Wonderful Journey

 

 

Media Literacy Week 2017

mlwlogo

Here is a sample video from the ‘Media Minute’ series – a unit of videos and lessons designed specifically for elementary students.

For Families:

Ideas for Families (Tips, Games, Videos, Tutorials)

For Teachers:

Ideas for Educators (Media Literacy Week)

All About Me (Career Education Resource) – Digital Literacy Lesson Plans

Use, Understand & Create: A Digital Literacy Framework for Canadian Schools (“Teachers can access digital literacy classroom resources aligned with curriculum outcomes set out by their province or territory.”)

Digital and Media Literacy Fundamentals

Media Literacy 101 (Media Minute Videos and Lessons)

MediaSmarts Lessons and Resources (Search by topic/grade)

 

Veteran’s Week 2017

#CanadaRemembers

Veterans’ Week 2017, November 5 to 11

Remembering Passchendaele

“Canadians have a proud history of bravely serving in the cause of peace and freedom over the years. A name from Canada’s First World War military heritage that still stirs emotions is “Passchendaele.” On a muddy battlefield in northwest Belgium, Canadians overcame almost unimaginable hardships to win an impressive victory in the fall of 1917.” (Source: Veterans Affairs Canada)

Link to Indigenous-Canadian Veterans information: (Indigenous Veterans Day is November 8th)

Radio Minute: Tommy Prince

Information about and significance of the National Aboriginal Veterans Monument :national-aboriginal-monument

Song: A Pittance of Time

Interactive Activity: (Ages 10+)

Over the Top: An Interactive Adventure

“An activity created by the Canadian War Museum to help students understand the First World War from a soldier’s perspective. The activity’s interactive nature and its animation-based format will appeal to younger students. Includes a glossary of terms. (Recommended for ages 10 and up.)”

Canadian Encyclopedia Articles:

Additional Resources:

 

Everyone Can Learn!

Welcome back to school!  

You are a valued member of this learning community! 

It’s a great time of year to set goals for new learning challenges and adventures.  Watch the videos below for an introduction to the idea of using a ‘Growth Mindset’ as you learn new ideas this year.

What is a Growth Mindset?

Growth Mindset for Students (video series by ClassDojo.com)

Sesame Street Songs:

  • What I Am by will.i.am

 

Look for these Growth Mindset books at a school library near you:

  

Picture

Resources for Teachers/Parents:

Beautiful Oops!  Educator’s Guide & Project Ideas

Mindset Kit: “The Mindset Kit is a free set of online lessons and practices designed to help you teach and foster adaptive beliefs about learning.”

The Growth Mindset Coach: Recommended by Adrienne Gear as a Professional Development resource.  The messages, books and videos in this post are recommended in this book.

The Most Magnificent Thing: Teaching Guide

The Power of Believing that You Can Improve (Carol Dweck)

International Museum Day

International Museum Day is on May 18th.

The goal of this day is to raise awareness that “Museums are an important means of cultural exchange, enrichment of cultures and development of mutual understanding, cooperation and peace among peoples.” (International Council of Museums)

Do you have a favourite museum that you like to visit?  What is it that you like about the museum?

Here are some virtual museum exhibits that you might like to visit:

Sq’éwlets: A Stó:lō-Coast Salish Community in the Fraser River Valley (available in English and French with Halq̓eméylem) (Creators: The Stó:lō Research and Resource Management Centre)

A Scholar’s Garden (available in English, French and Chinese) (Creator(s): Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden)

Canada Under the Stars (available in English and French) (Creator(s): ASTROLab du Mont-Mégantic)

Video Clips from Canadian Museums:

The Canadian Stamp (Canadian Museum of History)

Nature Scoop Playlist: (Canadian Museum of Nature)

Begins with: Forest and seaside lichen adventure in Kejimkujik

For Teachers:

“On May 18th, through the celebration of International Museum Day, museums around the world will raise awareness of the important role they play in the development of society. Established in 1977 by the International Council of Museums (ICOM), this day reminds us that museums are “an important means of cultural exchange, enrichment of cultures and development of mutual understanding, cooperation and peace among peoples”. *

This month’s resources allow students to think critically about the decisions that museums and historians make. Younger students can begin by examining local historical landmarks and the clues they offer about their community. For older students, considering the rightful ownership of historical artifacts, the naming and dedication of museums and the techniques experts use to detect forgeries will assist them in recognizing and thinking critically about some of the issues museum curators may face.” (Source: The Thinking Teacher, The Critical Thinking Consortium, April 19, 2017.)

Free resources:

Critical Challenge: Community landmarks have stories to tell [PDF]

Grade range: Primary

View more resources in the Critical Challenges collection.

Critical Challenge: Alberta’s fossil heritage [Web]

Grade range: Intermediate

View more resources in the Critical Challenges collection.

 

EarthPLAY for Earth Day

Click on the links below to find resources from the EarthPLAY Toolkit or visit the Earth Day Canada website.

Earth Day Reading:

Visit your school library to borrow books about the Earth and protecting it. Some books to look for are:

636809

 

For Teachers/Principals/Parents:

Action Ideas from Earth Day Canada:

This Earth Day, take all of that learning and hold an extra or extended recess. Or go all out – host an Adventure Play Day!

Hold an extra or extended recess: Demonstrate your school’s commitment to outdoor free play. Support accessible and inclusive play by bringing out loose parts. Consider setting up a temporary mud kitchen!

Host an Adventure Play Day: Provide an opportunity for students to connect to nature through outdoor play by hosting an Adventure Play Day! Provide a variety of natural and upcycled materials (loose parts), and transform your schoolyard into an adventure playground where all sorts of neat and unexpected things can be created, constructed, and organized.

How to host an Adventure Play Day

Set up a play day team

Gather a core group of five to six staff to facilitate this fun day! Put together a team of play champions: two teachers, an administrator, a couple of parents, and maybe a caretaker to lead the collection and organization of loose parts and event delivery.

Announce the day

Let the whole school know! Spread the word via student-made posters, social media, newsletters, and morning announcements.

Start a loose parts collection

Four loose parts per child will likely ensure you will have enough loose parts for everyone. They should be easy-to-source, free, or reusable materials that can ideally be recycled after the day.

Plan to cycle between 60-100 children through 60-90-minute play sessions

Play should not be rushed. The reality of recess and lunch hours will hopefully not have to apply to your play day. Depending on the size of your school, we also recommend mixing age groups!

Assess the space you will use for this event

It’s helpful to designate an adventure play section in the playground – about a baseball diamond size space (excluding the outfield), preferably including sand/mud, and not too far from a water source. Supervision won’t be spread out too far and the rest of the playground will be available for other children during the day. Identify the perimeter of the play area and where loose parts will be placed (e.g. a cardboard tube placed near a sandpit will often become a tool for digging and exploration).

On the big day, consider how you will lay out the loose parts 

Avoid creating obvious play stations but spread out loose parts with hints as to how they might be used. Not all of the loose parts need be laid out on the site initially. Try introducing new parts as some things become too worn for play.

Supervising play on your big day

When given the freedom to play with loose parts, students will surprise you with new and creative ways to play! This can be a challenge to supervise, and requires that you balance the opportunity for students to direct their own play with the rules of the playground and risk of injury. Rather than over-policing play, focus on three simple rules: stay within the boundaries, everyone helps clean up, and have fun!

Tidy up

Be sure to include tidy up time in your schedule. Have students re-organize the play field for the next group. Make sure supervisors have transition time between groups to rest and regroup. At the end of the day, sort the waste from the stuff you need to return or store. Be extra nice to your caretakers as they will have the extra work of making sure that waste is properly recycled or disposed. Thank them!

 

 

 

 

Human Rights

A right delayed is a right denied.

– Martin Luther King Jr.

Shared by TC2 -Thinking Teacher:

December 10th commemorates the day when the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). Translated into almost 500 languages, the UDHR details the fundamental rights of citizens around the world. Each year, we are reminded of our collective responsibility to stand up and defend these rights not only for ourselves, but also on behalf of those who may not be in a position to do so.”

2019 Theme: Youth Standing Up for Human Rights

What are human rights?  How are we connected to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights ?

Watch the videos below and think about our responsibilites to ourselves, our families and our communities.

Have you heard of UNDRIP? Watch the video below to learn about Indigenous rights.

For Teachers:

“The resources featured this month will inspire younger students to think critically as active citizens while they examine the concept of fairness as it relates to a situation in a fictional community.”

 Free resources:

Thoughtful Books: Each One Special by Frieda Wishinsky and H. Werner Zimmerman  [PDF]

Grade range: Primary

View more resources in the Thoughtful Books collection

From Amnesty International:

“Downloadable activities to accompany the award-winning book ‘We Are All Born Free’ – thirty beautiful illustrations that interpret our human rights for ages 5+.

Illustrators include Axel Scheffler (of Gruffalo fame), Korky Paul and John Burningham. The activities available to download below introduce the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) through creative writing and story-telling.”

We Are All Born Free can be ordered from the Amnesty shop.

‘Amnesty’s delightful book We Are All Born Free explains the importance of human rights through truly beautiful illustrations. It is clear, simple and uplifting and makes it very easy to raise difficult subjects, even with young children. It is a wonderful educational tool and I strongly believe that every school should own a copy.’
Actress and author Emma Thompson

Downloads
We Are All Born Free – Activity
We Are All Born Free – Powerpoint

Hour of Code

The Hour of Code is celebrated in early December each year, but you can participate year round!  Watch the videos below to be inspired by the idea of creating and computational thinking.

You can try coding with any type of device.  You can try coding without a device!  Code.org has activities for trying coding on all kinds of tools and paper activities as well.

Remember, you need your family’s permission if you want to try coding on an app or program that asks you to create an account or  for any of your personal information.

Your teacher librarian might even have some books about coding in the school library!

 

 

FAQs (Source: Code.org)

What is the Hour of Code?

The Hour of Code started as a one-hour introduction to computer science, designed to demystify “code”, to show that anybody can learn the basics, and to broaden participation in the field of computer science. It has since become a worldwide effort to celebrate computer science, starting with 1-hour coding activities but expanding to all sorts of community efforts. Check out the tutorials and activities. This grassroots campaign is supported by over 400 partners and 200,000 educators worldwide.

When is the Hour of Code?

The Hour of Code takes place each year during Computer Science Education Week. The 2016 Computer Science Education Week will be December 5-11, but you can host an Hour of Code all year round. Computer Science Education Week is held annually in recognition of the birthday of computing pioneer Admiral Grace Murray Hopper (December 9, 1906).

Why computer science?

Every student should have the opportunity to learn computer science. It helps nurture problem-solving skills, logic and creativity. By starting early, students will have a foundation for success in any 21st-century career path. See more stats here.

How do I participate in the Hour of Code?

Start planning here by reviewing our how-to guide. You can organize an Hour of Code event at your school or in your community — like in an extracurricular club, non-profit or at work. Or, just try it yourself when Dec. 5 arrives.

Who is behind the Hour of Code?

The Hour of Code is driven by the Hour of Code and Computer Science Education Week Advisory and Review Committees as well as an unprecedented coalition of partners that have come together to support the Hour of Code — including Microsoft, Apple, Amazon, Boys and Girls Clubs of America and the College Board.

I don’t know anything about coding. Can I still host an event?

Of course. Hour of Code activities are self-guided. All you have to do is try our current tutorials, pick the tutorial you want, and pick an hour — we take care of the rest. We also have options for every age and experience-level, from kindergarten and up. Start planning your event by reading our how to guide.

What devices should I use for my students?

Code.org tutorials work on all devices and browsers. You can see more information about Code.org’s tutorial tech needs here. Tech needs for non-Code.org tutorials can be found on code.org/learn in the tutorial specific description. Don’t forget we also offer unplugged activities if your school can’t accommodate the tutorials!

Do I need computers for every participant?

No. We have Hour of Code tutorials that work on PCs, smartphones, tablets, and some that require no computer at all! You can join wherever you are, with whatever you have.Here are a few options:

  • Work in pairs. Research shows students learn best with pair programming, sharing a computer and working together. Encourage your students to double up.

  • Use a projected screen. If you have a projector and screen for a Web-connected computer, your entire group can do an Hour of Code together. Watch video portions together and take turns solving puzzles or answering questions.
  • Go unplugged. We offer tutorials that require no computer at all.

I am in Canada. How do I participate internationally?

Anyone can organize an Hour of Code event, anywhere in the world. Last year, students worldwide joined together for the Hour of Code. Find out more here.

Do students need to log on using an account?

No. Absolutely no signup or login is required for students to try the Hour of Code. Most of the follow-on courses require account creation to save student progress. Also, signing up for the Hour of Code does NOT automatically create a Code Studio account. If you do want to create accounts for your students, please follow these instructions.

Remembrance Day

2016 Remembrance Day Resources

Veterans Affairs:

Information about and significance of the National Aboriginal Veterans Monument :national-aboriginal-monument

Song: A Pittance of Time

Interactive Activity: (Ages 10+)

Over the Top: An Interactive Adventure

“An activity created by the Canadian War Museum to help students understand the First World War from a soldier’s perspective. The activity’s interactive nature and its animation-based format will appeal to younger students. Includes a glossary of terms. (Recommended for ages 10 and up.)”

Canadian Encyclopedia Articles: