Friday, 16 December 2011

Merry Christmas

Yesterday we had our annual Christmas skate and pizza party. A number of families were in attendance to enjoy the festivities and celebrate the end of first term. A big thanks to Brenda Zakall for organizing the food, games and prizes! Congratulations to Charlotte for winning “The Most Christmasy, Christmas Tree” and Joel for create, well, “The Most Bizarro Christmas Tree”. With all of the learners, parents, secretaries and Caroline there, it was the first time all of us had been together all year. So often it’s easy to forget we are a community. Today, through laughter, smiles, songs and well wishes I felt connected and happy to be part of something so special. To everyone: thank you for including me so quickly as a part of Youlearn, and thank you for all of the generous gifts. May your break be filled with family, friends, good memories and peace.
~ Will

Monday, 12 December 2011

Winter Crafts

I enjoyed felting. I didn't know anything about it at first because I pretty much was new two the entire thing. My first thought was this is gonna be boring. Stitching and sewing, etc. has really never has been my thing. I've always enjoy drawing manga, a type of japanese cartooning such as Vampire Knight or Sailor Moon. Anyway, actually participating in felting was the complete opposite of what I first thought. It’s addicting. I went home and as soon as I found some foam I worked on my project that I had started in class until it was done. Thanks Naomi.

~ Samantha

Monday, 5 December 2011

Presenter’s Cafe

On Wednesday evening in the Oliver Elementary School library, six students presented a variety of topics to family and friends as part of YouLearn’s public speaking finale. Not surprisingly everyone did well. Reflecting on the evening, however, what was interesting was the fact that each presenter succeeded in their own unique way. From a teaching point of view this is most pleasing. It reminds me that learning is not about memorizing a formula then replicating it. It’s about understanding what’s important, weaving it into who we are then growing and developing. It’s quite beautiful, actually. Bravo to everyone and all who attended what was truly a memorable community event.

~ W. Eaton

Monday, 28 November 2011

Learning to Sew

This year Michael and I are learning to sew as part of Fine Arts. At first we hand sewed some teddy bears, then we made pillows on the machine.  I chose pink fabric with kittens on them and Michael chose blue fabric with penguins. Then we ironed the fabric and put pins in it to hold it in place.  We got the sewing machine out, and started sewing. Our friend Jennifer helped us do it.  When we finished, we put our pillows in the case and they turned out really well! I loved this project, and I would do it again!

-Emily Hahn

Monday, 21 November 2011

Goats and Swans

Mom, Emily and I, took a trip up to Salmon Arm. On the way back, we stopped at a goat farm. We got to feed them, pet them and play with them. When we arrived, there were new-born goats. They were so adorable! They had built a bridge over the road for the goats where there was a gadget, that when you put some corn in a little tin can attached to the rope, the goats would pull it up and eat the corn. They also had a little pond where there were row boats in the shape of a swan you could row around. We had so much fun!

~ Michael Hahn

Monday, 14 November 2011

Home Visits

Last week I met with a number of learners and parents. To see the diversity of approaches and number of creative ways in which parents are supporting their children and providing them with rich experiences was inspiring. Interestingly, structure appeared to be one of the key elements shared. Each learner was supported with a routine, or a regular time and place to study. In other words, each was following a plan. This week I will re-visit my routines and re-shape them to further my goals. It’s funny what you can learn through building on the success of others.
~ Mr. Eaton

Monday, 7 November 2011

Online Help

I am attending the Oral Language Arts workshops, and I am learning how to improve my public speaking skills. While I was online adding pictures to my slides for my presentation, Mr. Eaton contacted and informed me about the chat function connected to our YouLearn email accounts. I tried it out, and found it quite neat. Mr. Eaton and I chatted back and forth about my presentation over the internet without having to email one another. I was surprised I could get help so easily.
~ Sadi

Monday, 31 October 2011

DL Website

A website can be any number of things. At Youlearn, however, we want our K-9 DL website to be one thing: a meaningful, learning portal to enhance our students’ learning. In order to do this, we need to keep it current, relevant and connected to our learners as well as the content and tools that will enrich their learning. In other words we need your help! Bookmark it, visit it, watch it grow and develop, send us your suggestions on how to improve it, write and submit a learning journal entry along with a picture to be published on it . . . whatever! 
~ Mr. Eaton

Monday, 24 October 2011

Community Art

This Saturday my brother Julian and I were invited to paint on the Field's store wall. Some local artists had painted a desert landscape and invited us to paint our favorite desert creatures. I chose a spider and a snake, and Julian chose geckos. At first we weren't happy with our paintings but once we had all the details included our pictures improved. We learned that painting is challenging and very different from drawing but once we got the hang of it, it was fun.

~ Tristan Duursma

Monday, 17 October 2011

Oral Language Skills

Last week YouLearn began offering its first face-to-face French and Language Arts workshops out of its Oliver classroom located in Oliver Elementary School. As an introduction to effective public speaking we examined a mystery liquid which Mr. Eaton had brought in to share with us. Unfortunately, no one was brave enough to taste the concoction. Instead, what we did was compare it to the skills we are hoping to develop. Instead of using cloudy language, we want to focus on using clear language. Likewise, instead of having our speech be “chunky”, we want it to flow. By the end of our classes, instead of lumpy gravy we are hoping more to speak like apple juice.
~ Will

Monday, 10 October 2011

Learners Teach...

While in Ottawa a group of teachers and I were asked to create a list of things we felt students teach us. Not surprisingly, we all agreed we had a lot to learn and felt that a significant part of teaching is listening to what students have to teach us. Here are the top ten things we felt learners teach us.
Students teach us . . .
  1. we are not always needed, that they too can teach and there are many ways to learn
  2. not to underestimate them, not to give up on them, and that they can rise to challenges
  3. about their worlds . . .
  4. to live in the moment and to stay young: to not take life too seriously, to have fun, to laugh, to be spontaneous . . .
  5. there are many experts, that we need not know everything (i.e. technology)
  6. to adapt, to be flexible, to change direction when necessary
  7. to re-evaluate ourselves, to be honest
  8. failure is a key part of learning
  9. choice and relevance leads to engagement
  10. we are a community, a team, a part of something larger than ourselves . . .

~ Mr. Eaton

Monday, 3 October 2011


For the past week I have been doing work experience at the YouLearn centre in Oliver. So far I am thoroughly enjoying myself. It is a very good learning experience. I am doing work on computers using Google documents and Microsoft Office. It is turning out to be very fun. I am learning a considerable amount of things. I have been making a spreadsheet of the learning outcomes for grades kindergarten to grade seven.  Mr. Eaton is a very good teacher; I look forward to continuing work with him.

~ Quintin

Monday, 26 September 2011

Meet and Greet

On September 21 there was a potluck brunch in Oliver with parents and students from

YouLearn. For food there were muffins, cookies, fruit, croissants, and cinnamon sticks. Afterwards we played learning games on the grass. In one game we lined up from tallest to smallest without communicating. We also played rooster army tag. It is a game in which when the person who is “it” tags somebody, they chase others with their arm over their head like a rooster comb. We also played a game in which we all sat on benches and 3 people stood up at a time, then 5 then 7. Afterward, there was a Language Arts meeting with a slide show. The slide show outlined three areas in which all learners will be working to grow and improve: reading and viewing, writing and representing and speaking and listening. Approximately seven families attended. The food was tasty, and we enjoyed ourselves.

~ Kelan Harty

Monday, 19 September 2011

Keeton's Art

This is a drawing of the Garbage Dumpster Robot.  This robot has many functions that are controlled by two aliens and one person from pods within the robot.  In this picture the Sonic Boom Robot, which is under the rain cloud,  is going to battle the Garbage Dumpster Robot.  Who do you think will win?

~ Keeton

Monday, 12 September 2011


Change can be a beautiful thing. However, it can also be a number of other things to a number of different people. Having just completed my first week with students at YouLearn, already I can see myself beginning to change. The places we inhabit and the people with whom we live and work impress upon us. Every experience is an opportunity to grow and develop. Over the coming months and years I look forward to this and the ways in which together we will work to improve and reform YouLearn to better serve our learners.

~ Mr. Eaton