Category Archives: Digital Resources

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:

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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 Day 2020

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.”

2020 Theme:

Recover Better – Stand Up for Human Rights

“Human Rights must be at the centre of the post COVID-19 world.

The COVID-19 crisis has been fuelled by deepening poverty, rising inequalities, structural and entrenched discrimination and other gaps in human rights protection. Only measures to close these gaps and advance human rights can ensure we fully recover and build back a world that is better, more resilient, just, and sustainable.

  • End discrimination of any kind: Structural discrimination and racism have fuelled the COVID-19 crisis. Equality and non-discrimination are core requirements for a post-COVID world.
  • Address inequalities: To recover from the crisis, we must also address the inequality pandemic. For that, we need to promote and protect economic, social, and cultural rights. We need a new social contract for a new era.
  • Encourage participation and solidarity: We are all in this together. From individuals to governments, from civil society and grass-roots communities to the private sector, everyone has a role in building a post-COVID world that is better for present and future generations. We need to ensure the voices of the most affected and vulnerable inform the recovery efforts.
  • Promote sustainable development: We need sustainable development for people and planet. Human rights, the 2030 Agenda and the Paris Agreement are the cornerstone of a recovery that leaves no one behind.” (United Nations, 2020)

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

Watch the videos below and think about our responsibilities 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:

Media Literacy Week

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“October 31 to November 4, 2016 is Media Literacy Week! This year’s theme is Makers & Creators and focuses on all the ways young Canadians can become more creative, innovative, and entrepreneurial by embracing media production, remixing, maker, and DIY culture and coding.”

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

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)

Healthy Harvest

Autumn is a season full of rich traditions and celebrations in many cultures and nations.  It is a wonderful time to get outside and use all of your senses to observe changes on the land, in the air, and along our waterways.

Many schools are learning about apples, pumpkins, salmon and other food sources that are ready to harvest at this time of the year. There are wonderful books in your school library about cycles of growing, visiting farms, and autumn traditions.

Here is a song about the life cycle of a pumpkin:

Do you have a favourite fall activity?  What do you like about this season?  Do you have a favourite autumn meal in your family and/or community?

Better Together BC is a great place to find family-friendly recipes and resources.  Here are a few highlights that you might like to use at home or at school:

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“Spatulatta teaches children to cook with free step-by-step videos. It encourages children to take pride in their accomplishments in the kitchen and to understand the connection between farm and dinner table. It also encourages children to ask their family members and friends for recipes and to cook those dishes together.” (Better Together BC)

 For teachers:

My Seasonal Round was shared by Dewdney Elementary as an integrated unit for elementary Social Studies and Science.

“This unit illustrates the integration of Social Studies and Science. The seasonal round was chosen as a theme for this unit because it lends itself well to integrating the topics of BC First Nations study in Social Studies, and habitat in Science.”

Fire Prevention

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Fire Prevention Week

October 9 to 15, 2016

This year’s theme is “Don’t Wait, Check the Date!  Replace smoke alarms every ten years.”

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Here are some fun ways to learn about fire safety and the importance of smoke detectors:

Teach Fire Safety using resources from the National Fire Protection Association :

International Dot Day

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

Every Child Matters

OrangeShirtDay

September 30th has been declared annually as Orange Shirt Day to recognize the harm that was done to children in the residential school system and that ‘Every Child Matters’ as we move forward with the Truth and Reconciliation process.

This video clip shares Phyllis’ story about the origins and importance of Orange Shirt Day.

Mission’s Orange Shirt Day Event: The March to Heritage Park

On September 30th, 2016, students from MSS, HPMS, HMS and a few classes from participating elementary schools will march to Heritage park, (the site of St. Mary’s Indian Residential School).

  • All students and staff in the district will receive an Orange Pin from Siwal Si’wes to mark the day.
  • Before the march, each student will be given a card stock Turtle, outlining the year of Truth (and what it represents), discussing the purpose for “Orange Shirt Day” and the injustices of Canada’s Residential School system.
  • Each student will decorate their turtle and write a word or “commitment” of Reconciliation.
  • The students will march in orange shirts to the park.
  • Students and staff will be met by elders who attended St. Mary’s .
  • Each student will place their turtle into a cedar basket in front of the Elders.
  • There will be a few words from Elders at the covered area, some drumming and a small give away to each participant of a Reconciliation pin.

Turtle Design FL

Additional information for Educators:

Solstice Celebrations

The summer solstice occurs on Monday, June 20th.

Follow the links below to learn about two Canadian celebrations connected to the summer solstice.

National Aboriginal Day, June 21st: 

“Catch the spirit of the 20th Anniversary of National Aboriginal Day on June 21! Come celebrate the unique heritage, diverse cultures and outstanding achievements of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples in Canada.”

La Fête Nationale Du Québec, June 24th:

 

 

 

 

 

Pacific Underwater Calendar: Spring

Did you spot any sea life over spring break?

Here is a link to an interesting article about what sea life is like along the Pacific coast in the spring.

Pacific Underwater Calendar:  Spring is in the air and the water.

What you can do to help protect sea life (from the David Suzuki Foundation):

  • Monitor marine mammal populations with a digital app, such as Whale mAPP.

Want to learn about the ocean all year round? Visit the Pacific Underwater Calendar!

Featured Image: Credit to L. Lane, Parksville, BC for this great shot of sea lions with very full bellies after feasting on migrating herring!