Friday, 20 December 2013

Another Christmas

With another eventful Christmas celebration behind us, everyone at Youlearn wishes all of our students and families a warm and wonderful holiday with family and friends. From story time, through making fabric wreaths, to singing carols it was good to come together, not to mention commune over all of the fabulous food that Brenda and Sonia organized! Happy holidays!

Monday, 16 December 2013

Sister’s Newscast

I created a cornerstones presentation for an oil spill with two of my little sisters! Peyton- Reporter, Lyric- Weather girl. I learned about an oil spill on February 15, 1995, and how it's important not to get oil in the ocean because it can kill or make many plants and animals suffer. I also learned that its fun creating things like this, and that my sister Peyton is a pretty good actress!!

I honestly feel kind of embarrassed about my parts in the presentation, but I had a lot of fun and I know my sisters did too! Everyone I've showed this to so far has loved it, so I'm pretty happy about it! Thanks!

By Kaiya Ducharme!

Monday, 9 December 2013

Give Khan a Try!

On the left side of this page (mid may down) there’s an icon that links to the Khan Academy. This week, I encourage all students to explore the site. Speak with your parents and take the time (say 5 X 30 min.) directly out of your scheduled Math time (which should roughly be 5 x 60 min.), not your free time! Create an account (by signing into your Google account), explore the site’s content (videos and activities) and definitely sign up your teachers as a coaches (using their email). That’s it. Now, go check with your parents and let us know what you think and/or if you need any help Thanks to Lucas, Caius and Micah for returning our attention to this resource.

Happy researching!

(Last week, Ernie shared a student project with me. It’s from a student of his, Kaiya, who decided to take a small reading assignment and make it something more. Instead of putting pen to paper, Kaiya decided to create an actual newscast and elicited the help of her two little sisters. Mix up the products you create everyone, keep your learning interesting and fun, and don’t be afraid to involve others in your learning and take a risk. Here’s a link to Sister’s News. Thanks Kaiya! )

Monday, 2 December 2013

Until We Meet Again

Hi my name is Gracie Malcolm. I have been in the home school program since grade 3. I am now in grade 5 and have just recently switched to public school. In home school I didn't get to see the kids a lot, at O.E.S. I see kids every day, a lot of kids. In home school if I got sick my mom still made me do my work. At O.E.S if I get sick I have to stay home and my mom finds work for me to do. In home school the work was very challenging and there was always a lot of it, at O.E.S. we don't do as much work but we do keep busy with other things like field trips and preparing for special days and events. For Halloween we decorated a room and set up a haunted house for other grades to go through. I enjoyed the fun field trips I went on in home school, like Covert Farms. In O.E.S. we went to see the salmon in the river, it was nice but I still preferred the home school trips. Home school and O.E.S. are both amazing, and I just can't pick which one I like the best. By the way I miss you Mr. Eaton.

Monday, 25 November 2013

More Great Ideas

After doing a number of home visits last week and a lot of marking, I again got that old feeling: pockets of brilliance are all over our school! Mars rovers, 3-D family trees, expressive daily Art journals! For some time now, my wife, Lisa, has been encouraging me to explore Pinterest as an additional place students and parents might be able to mine for art ideas and more. A simple Google search for “educational Art journal ideas Pinterest” will pull up a number of useful curated sites, such as Sarabeth Berk’s or Emie’s Art Journal Inspiration page. No account is needed to view sites, but one is needed if you want to collect or “pin” ideas. This week, I’ve concluded I have to learn to find creative art ideas and projects quicker and more efficiently and share. So many people have already seemed to learn how. Good luck!

Monday, 11 November 2013

The Character of New

There are many perks to being in a new building. The character associated with a space that’s been lived in, however, is not one of them. You see, outside the doorway into our school stands empty showcases. Each day as I’ve walked by them since they were paneled with glass they’ve called to me, “Fill me, please . . . oh, please, fill me.” This is why I write. To all students: Help us quiet the cabinets. Help us turn something new, old. Help stop the madness! Please loan us one of your favourite creations by forwarding it to your teacher to put on display. We will care for and return it as soon as we are through. That is, as soon as the showcases, cabinets and walls stop their incessant pleading and are filled again with the flow of student learning. Sincerely, thanks!

Monday, 4 November 2013

Needles and Gnomes

Every Thursday my mom brother and I go to the Waldorf School for art class. The first class we made gnomes. Gnomes are magical little people shaped like carrots. I made a blue on which was not going so well, my mom was making an orange one which was going well, so we traded. We use wool to make gnomes. We use a special needle with barbs to poke it with. What you do with the wool is simple. You role it up tight as you can, then you poke it really fast. The reason we poke it is because we have to make it firm or it will fall apart. To put the eyes on you take very little wool and make two balls then you needle them on. You do the same thing for the mouth except you make a noodle shape. This whole process is called needle felting.

~ Blanci, Gr. 4

Calling All Teeth Brushers

With National Oral Health Month behind us (October) and candy probably littered around most students’ houses, here’s a challenge. This week, write a detailed set of instructions for teeth brushing. Start from walking into and end with leaving the bathroom. Now, although this task seems easy, be careful. Instructions need to be logically organized, thorough and sufficiently detailed to allow someone unfamiliar with the task to accomplish the task. It’s easy to forget the nuances of things we take for granted. For those who wish to take this project a little farther, include an illustration with your write up and/or video tape your explanation. Either way, writing instructions and procedures is part of this month’s writing portfolio focus, so be sure to include at least two examples of this form of writing inside your writing portfolio. Happy brushing!

Monday, 28 October 2013

Out a Window and Through the Mist

Thursday evening I left Penticton on a flight that was the first flight out since Tuesday. Returning home late Saturday afternoon, we were informed that flights into Penticton had been “hit and miss” all day and that there was a strong chance we might have to return to Vancouver because of low hanging mist. Familiar with lake effect, I had neither seen it from this particular point of view nor had it jeopardize a flight home to family. It’s quite beautiful from above and disorienting as you descend through it, hoping for the sight of ground and clearance to land. Upon touch down everyone clapped. On the tarmac I became keenly aware that windows open and close all around us, most not as obvious as the one I had just experienced. Fly and land when and while you can!

Monday, 21 October 2013

Who Says Horseback Riding Can’t be Part of PE?

My Horse Riding Lessons
My first teacher was Carrie. Now my teacher is Leann. I have ridden Sada and Valentine! Horses feel soft and smell good! I feel good when I’m up there so high! When my horse is trotting it feels bouncy! I love riding horses!
~ Laura, gr. 1

Monday, 14 October 2013

A Place Called Horsefly

Horsefly is a very, very small town that used to be called 'Harper's Camp'. You might be interested to know that Horsefly (Harper's Camp) is one of the first places that gold was found in BC! I used to live there for seven years. During that time, we met many close friends.

You won't believe it, but last summer we lived in a tent at a friend's house, in their backyard. Yards aren't like in Keremeos or Penticton; yards are GIGANTIC! Some people have twenty acres of yard!

When we first got there, there were lots of bugs. Were you expecting lots of Horsefies? Well, there weren't that many actually! Instead of horseflies there were blackflies, and mosquitoes. They were annoying for a few days, but we later got used to them. Those pesky bugs weren't the only annoying thing! The nights were annoying, because they were so cold!!! The nights were so cold that I would hug the heater and have three blankets in my bed at night. There were also quite a few strange things happening. Like the cute and innocent cat, Sid, hunting in the middle of the night and bringing dead rabbits into our tent! Sid would sleep with one of us every night. He gave us two gifts during that time, and when we took the first one away, Sid decided to do some investigating and scratch the spot where his bunny had last been, and later stop and go back to sleep.

According to the person we were staying with, they had a fat cat named Oscar, and they said he was such a little scaredy cat. Boy, were they right!! You can only find him rarely, and petting him is even rarer! Thankfully I got to pet the cautious kitty without him running or jumping away. Only about three times in an entire month though! Think you can do better? Try it! It's tough but rewarding because he's so SOFT and FLUFFY!!!

When we still lived in Horsefly, my friends and I would go tubing and play at the school park. Instead of staying inside all day, like some of my friends now do, we would be outside all day except for suppertime. My friends were my best friends in the whole world when we still lived there, and we all had lots of fun...a lot!!! Yes, Horsefly may be a small town and may be far away, but really, it is one of my most favourite places in the world. You would know if you were me, because I love Horsefly a lot. We still visit there once or twice a year,so I can say, "hi" to my friends and to Oscar, Sid, and the rest of the cats. And Horsefly itself, of course.

Thank you for reading!

Gabriel Sipponen

Monday, 7 October 2013

Meet and Greet at Covert Farms

This is me at Covert Farms. We went on a huge tour of their 630 acre farm! We got to pick a pumpkin, try different foods, and eat tomato's and tons of strawberries. (Yum!) We also learned how to make pumpkin pie, and we got to eat it! Me and my friend Tyanna went through the corn maze together, and a black dog decided to jump out at us and literally scare us to death. I hope they have a Halloween party so we can go again!

~ Justine

Monday, 30 September 2013

A Creature on High

For art one day I decided to draw a dragon. I have shading pencils that I shaded it with. I only used one shading pencil. To get different shades I rubbed it with my finger. It was really fun to draw because it had so much detail.

~ Enzo, Gr. 4

Monday, 23 September 2013

Take a Risk: Journal

Journals come in all shapes, sizes and forms, and there are numerous benefits to having them be a regular part of your learning. Some are structured, such as investigations of books read or personal accounts of experiences lived, while others are more poetic and free, illustrating and reflecting ideas and imaginings. To each of my students, there are few other recommendations I feel more committed to than this: keep a journal! Discover your thinking through uncovering conversations with yourself. At the very least you will have a pretty cool keepsake when you get older!

Monday, 16 September 2013

Know Your Mainsail

I almost titled this post, "Anchor Yourself", which would have been a mistaken. Instead, keeping the nautical theme, the above is much more appropriate and what I ultimately wish for my students, all students. By now, my guess is that the juggling has begun: courses, assignments, timelines . . . goals. Do not allow yourself to become distracted. Do not confuse activity with accomplishment. Do not anchor yourself! Although boats in the harbour are safe, what do they learn? Ride the winds this year! Enjoy the journey, in times both tumultuous and still, while all the while keeping eye on your mainsail and the wind at your back . . .

~ Will

Monday, 9 September 2013

Skill Building

Five students in grades 1, 2 and 4 are off to a good start in IXL! Over the first four days of school, they attempted 178 problems, practiced 7 skills and earned two medals! Way to go! Regular practice, even for 10-15 min. a day over an extended period is an excellent way to develop skills. Anyone wanting or having problems accessing your IXL account contact your teacher.

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Ends and Beginnings

This weekend while hiking, I was gently struck by a falling leaf and had the exclusivity of summer thoughts shattered. Not in a bad way, mind you, just in one of those ways that catches you off guard when you happen to forget the concept of impermanence. Indeed, nature is good for keeping one grounded and connected to things larger than ourselves. As your year begins, students, may your transition back to school be smooth and may you quickly settle into the natural learning patterns and rhythms that are you!

Monday, 1 July 2013


Another year has come and gone. Our efforts and actions are behind us. It’s odd how when we think of the past we tend to think of us having traversed it, when it’s equally reasonable, I believe, to view it as the other way around. Like water in a stream, time flows through us, and who we are currents with it into the future. Your year has made a difference; our year has made a difference, to each of us, and others, both in the moment and downstream. Thank you for all of your sincere and positive actions and efforts this year to learn and grow and help others. Happy learning!


Monday, 24 June 2013

Attention Casting Directors

Considering that this was my first year of homeschooling, it has been a great year for opportunities. Some opportunities I would never had been able to do if I was still in regular school. It's in the area of fine arts that I have had the chance to perform. Acting is something I enjoy very much! This year, I have been in two theater productions. One was a professional play where I had dual roles. In the other, I was the lead in a group production with eight other home schoolers.

Recently, I was cast as an extra, (Look out for me rinding a bike) for a Disney move, "My Sister's Nightmare." It was filmed here in the Okanagan and is due to be released in September. I now have an acting agent and go to Vancouver for auditions. I'm hoping to appear in commercials or a TV series. If I'm lucky maybe I'll even have a role in a feature movie.

~ Jera, grade 7

Monday, 17 June 2013


The other day Cody and I were talking about student learning. We both agreed, that as teachers, we generally don’t ask students enough to connect and synthesize the concepts they learn. I told Cody about how I used to have my classes knowledge model, something I oddly haven’t done with any of my DL students, yet. Hmmm. Anyway, together we agreed on the benefits. I used to use VUE, but given we are now a Google school, I recommend using LucidCharts. Here’s a short video describing its collaborative power. It’s a free Google app that can be found under the “more” menu once you are logged into your @youlearn accounts. I’ve used it for a few months now. It runs pretty deep and is simple to use. Is anyone else already using it? I know you are Miles! Expect to hear more about concept mapping in the future and/or spend some time exploring LucidChart this summer.
~ Will

Monday, 10 June 2013

Castle Monea

"A long and rutted dirt road snakes around the corner. It is flanked with giant oaks, like patriotic, imperial guards ushering travellers through the green tunnel of foliage. Winding and twisting, the road suddenly opens out, spewing its faithful followers out into a field. A wide umbrella of dense, cloudy sky, pierced by wandering sunlight, provides a majestic backdrop. On the distant skyline the sparkling waters of Loch Erne are just visible, fringed with trees and scraggy, deep hedgerows.

Rolling hills, verdant hedges, and sparkling dew laden turf surround the ruins. In the middle of a field, perched on a hill, the haphazard walls and mossy stones of Castle Monea sit like the damp bones of a Celtic giant. An aurora of quiet sadness and solemn reverence settles quietly over the countryside, interrupted only by dropping rain.”

Written in January, I titled this piece Castle Monea after a real castle in Western Northern Ireland, I wrote it as part of an enrichment assignment on descriptive essay writing-practising techniques and tricks that I may not use too much in regular writing. Armed and equipped with new tricks and tips, I set about planning out the skeleton of my essay. Using the barest thoughts, I outlined a simple thought stream on rough paper. I listed things I wanted to describe first. Then, I went over it and under each section added in descriptive words or phrases that came to mind which I really wanted to include. After this was complete, and I was happy with my planning page, I started off my introduction paragraph. Just to interrupt myself here, I would like to mention how important a planning page is. I have, over the years, disliked planning pages and tended to skip them, or not spend too much time n them. In the lower grades, this did not make too much difference to me, but now I am really seeing how crucial they are. It is a fabulous thing to see how much easier they make any piece of writing; even a subject or topic you are uncomfortable or shaky one. So, it is always important to start with a steady, firm foundation, once the planning page is done, you pretty much have half your essay done!

As I was saying before this, starting with the introduction paragraph, I followed the eye into the castle area, and eventually into it itself. This is by far more effective than to say, for example, describe the door, then the walls, then the roof, then the hills, and so on. One of the most important things for me especially I find with descriptive essays is I have a tendency to keep going, and going, without pausing, when shorter sentences would be much more effective. It’s always good to maintain a good balance between short, light material, and lots of juicy adjectives. It’s always good to prioritize as well...that is, not spend a paragraph describing the door, to skip over the country side in a few sentences.

This essay actually made several changes along its journey from start to finish. My idea of adding in the flashbacks into history actually came right at the end of the piece! This is the main reason I like typing my essays, it is so easy to go back and add in entire paragraphs if necessary! I felt that these were a great addition, not only because they bulked up the essay volume, but because they provided a little bit more setting, and also because it was an idea I had never really utilised before. Here is an example...

“The soft blanket of inky blackness covers the country. Lonely clouds scud across the sky, obscuring the stars. Winkling and blinking, hundreds of lights gutter and flash in the hedges around Castle Monea. Like malicious fireflies, they converse among themselves, planning the demise of the castle. Helmets and weaponry can just be made out, glinting blood red in the torchlight. The dark bulk of the castle stands solid, impregnable, and unmovable in the dark. Nervous soldiers pace about on the wooden ramparts, their boots making hollow ringing sounds on the boards. The clatter of arrows and other weaponry fills the air, and spearheads glint evilly, winking with malignant humor. The scene is set.”

I feel that it adds realism, depth, and a bit of weight to the entire story.

A little while after this was written we discovered a Canada-wide children’s writing competition, for grads 4-12. I decided to enter this and a narrative essay I had written at the same time (also readable on my blog). We submitted them in February, and I spent a long 3 months before the results were published. There was one winner, and two honourable mentions to be awarded for each grade, and I am quite pleased to say that I was given an honorable mention, published on their site, and what makes his even better is that there was only a handful over all grades from B.C.!

I must say that I think that this is the best piece I have ever written in my academic life.

~ Cameron, Grade 9

Monday, 3 June 2013

Lessons from Our Primary Program

As the Primary Division teacher with Youlearn I have the delightful opportunity to work with younger students where there is so much excitement even with the simplest achievements.
This week was not special in any particular way, but rather amazing and rewarding in its usual way. Every week I try to read with each student and plant a few seeds in their learning journey. Together with the student’s huge effort, great parental support and my small bit of encouragement, each student continues on their personal path to success. What I have learned throughout my years of teaching is that in the garden of education one never knows if the planted seed will germinate quickly or percolate over time. Some of the most innocent actions can blossom and produce terrific fruits of labour yet the best laid plans can be destroyed by unpredictable forces of nature called life. That in itself is a wonderful component of teaching and within the DL model of learning there is both opportunity and flexibility built in at every corner or hill. One need not be a master gardener to succeed but rather to recognize that teaching at Youlearn is a partnership; together we sow, nourish and cultivate our students. So let’s remember to stand back and celebrate the uniqueness, growth and successes of our students in the garden of education.

Happy Gardening! Ms. Marianne

Monday, 27 May 2013

Express Yourself

On Sunday, my family and I toured a number of artist studios and had a chance to meet and speak with several artists. Each visit was a unique opportunity to learn. From witnessing Ocean Jasper ( a rock off the coast of Madagascar) ground and polished into jewelery through exploring the ironic beauty of devore, or fabric burn, to experiencing the making of an encaustic painting, each artist shared their trade with creative enthusiasm. As a challenge for June students: consider creating a new, never before tried work of art! I say this because ending our tour I was left with several feelings but one overwhelming conclusion: regardless your age or medium, it’s good to express yourself!

Monday, 20 May 2013

Field Trips and Learning

Today I will tell you about one of my mom's amazing field trips she organized! We went to the Kelowna Museum with another Youlearn parent and a lot more homeschool families. We all met up at the first exhibit where the large black bear is at the front door. Some home schoolers and I met the teacher named Jen and the other group of kids aged 9-13. The whole group headed downstairs to the classroom, and we learned all about the first nations of the Okanogan, the men and women's jobs and about the life size small version of a pithouse, that we got to go inside of. The aboriginal mens’ jobs were maintaining the camps, making the teepees and helping fellow families build their winter pit houses. Men were the hunters and fishers, and they caught everything from rabbit to elk. Another job the men had around camp was making weapons like bows, arrows, knives, and a hammer like objects for grinding. It took a long time making all the weapons because the men chipped stone to get the shapes. I thought this was a very interesting part of the trip, because we got to hold and feel the tools that the First Nations’ People made! The women's jobs were cooking, and often more mellow and did not need as much physical strength. Most women made baskets out of cedar (because cedar baskets can hold water), and clothes out of animal hide. They also dried the hide for the clothes and put deer brains on it so it soften up. The women's jobs were equally as hard just in different way. I felt good knowing that I hunt with my Dad and Grandpa, to provide food for our family! The pit houses were ideal for shelter and warmth in the winter, and took about 6 months to build. The pit houses were traditionally built about 8 feet underground, and had a ladder onto the roof (the fire pit is under the ladder and to the side 2 feet) for the men to use, and a tunnel out for the children and the wives. The first nations people would build a new pithouse every 25-30 years. I love my mom’s field trips, and especially that one, and I suggest you visit the Kelowna Museum some time soon!
~ Liam, gr. 7

Monday, 13 May 2013

My Two Years

For two years I have been homeschool and it was an interesting time. With all of the events it was difficult to be bored, whether it was skiing, skating, curling, or swimming. I never really had a chance to be bored. Though homeschooling didn't make me the most "social" person, it certainly didn't limit me, and it gave me plenty of opportunities to make a lot of good friends, and meet a lot of new people with similar interests as me. Overall, it was the best two years of school to date. I had a chance to do so many things I would never have had the chance to do in regular schooling and I loved learning things like Spanish and bagpipes! Though I am now going back into public school. I will never forget YouLearn and all the great things it has done for me! Thank you.

~ Cole

Monday, 6 May 2013

Time to Ring!

I am part of the Swingin’ Bronze, which is Oliver’s youth handbell group. This week we performed three concerts. We played at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, McKinney Place, and Sunnybank. I enjoy seeing the happiness on the residents’ faces while we play. I can see them tapping and hear them humming to the music.

~ Kelan, grade 5

Monday, 29 April 2013


Some of my fondest memories of elementary school were playing chess with my friends during lunch and recess in a conspired effort to improve and beat my grade 6 teacher, Mr. Talbot. Days outside in the hot sun practicing various openings remain as clear in my mind as does the feeling of the cold linoleum hallway floor I sat on rehearsing castling defense moves. In total there was about seven of us. Continually, from September to June we strategized and egged Mr. Talbot into games every chance we could. And we laughed, Mr. Talbot at us and we at him, and at ourselves, as good natured rivals so often do . . .
Reflecting on memories that are dear to us is so very important; inside of them there are lessons to be learned. Students: please take some time this week to click on and answer the question above.

Monday, 22 April 2013

Lemons and Lemonade

No one likes doing things they have to do over what they want to do. I was personally reminded of this this past week. Luckily, an old adage quickly came to mind: “when life gives you lemons, make lemonade!” Sometimes, simple platitudes can be a powerful thing, as “it’s not the cards your dealt that matter, but rather how you play them” for “the quickest way to change the world is to change your mind” . . .

Monday, 15 April 2013

Three Birds by Three Sisters

This is me and my sisters, Natalie and Adalia, holding our birds. We made birds at the 4 Cats Art Studio over the spring break. On the first day we blew up balloons and made a mixture of glue and water. Then we put newspaper squares on the balloon and made papier-mâché layers. To top it off we put tissue paper squares on the balloon. Then we painted it. I painted mine blue and purple and added glitter. Last we put on the wings, eyes, beak and feathers and finally popped the balloon. We all loved it and we want to go again!

~ Alina, Grade 4

Monday, 8 April 2013

Bye Bye Birdie

This is me and my classmates in my musical theater class. My play is called Bye Bye Birdie. When I grow up, I want to be on a singing show. For example: American Idol!!! I really want to be a famous singer when I grow up! I have a lot of fun doing theater classes. Sometimes I am nervous when I go on stage.

~ Justine, Gr. 4

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Digital Bootcamp and IDS

During March Break I worked with two high school students who are enrolled in Youlearn’s Independent Directed Studies (IDS) course. As part of IDS, students pick a learning outcome and pursue it. Teachers act as facilitators, helping students achieve their learning goals. In this case, both students explored filmmaking, participating in the Centre for Arts and Technology’s Digital Bootcamp up in Kelowna. As an educator, seeing students pursue their interests and passions while taking control of their learning always excites me. Thanks Jamie and Jenna for helping set the stage such that other students’ learning outside of the classroom can be acknowledged!

Monday, 11 March 2013

Gaining Experience


My name is Zachary. For the past 3 weeks I have been working for YouLearn through work experience. I learn a lot about how they do things around there. I learn how to check in and out library books and how to enter emails into the computer for them. It’s a lot of work doing these things. But every day is something new that I look forward to doing. It’s a blast there.

~ Zachary, Gr. 12

Monday, 4 March 2013

Two Frogs: Be Careful out there Everyone

Two Frogs lived together in a marsh. But one hot summer the marsh dried up, and they left it to look for another place to live in: for frogs like damp places if they can get them. By and by they came to a deep well, and one of them looked down into it, and said to the other, "This looks a nice cool place: let us jump in and settle here." But the other, who had a wiser head on his shoulders, replied, "Not so fast, my friend: supposing this well dried up like the marsh, how should we get out again?"

Monday, 25 February 2013

Do you Miss Hearing the Birds Sing?

On Friday 22nd February it struck me that this was the day I was going to speak to the first Canadian Commander of the International Space station. I felt wonderful and a little bit nervous all at one time.

As I entered the gymnasium at Uplands school in Penticton, I felt nervous. My question for Mr Hadfield was written on a card. It said "Do you miss hearing the birds sing?".

After quite a while we got to ask our questions. Claudio in Italy helped connect us to the ISS with Ham radio signals. I was so relieved to hear Mr. Hadfield's first words, because after waiting so long I was thinking I would not be able to speak to him after all. I asked my question and his reply was that his friend had made MP3s of the birds singing and when he felt homesick he could just turn on one of the recordings.

This was a once in a life time opportunity to talk to someone in Space and I will never forget it.

~ Charlotte, G.2

Monday, 18 February 2013

Creative Journaling

This is my invention journal. In it I write down my ideas for possible inventions. I started this journal so that when I see something that gives me an idea, or when one just pops into my head, I have somewhere to write it down before I forget it. What I like most about having this journal is reading it to people and reviewing the ideas that I have thought of. I think that by the time I am 20 I will probably be on invention #106.

~ Silas

Monday, 11 February 2013

Music’s Many Forms

In October, I began bagpipe lessons with a Pipe Major named Geordie. I am learning on a 'practice chanter'. The bagpipes are supposedly the hardest instrument to learn, and have 8 holes to cover while playing the notes. I am only on my second song, but that is considerably far for only being a few months into lessons. I hope to master the bagpipes so that I can travel the world like my teacher. (He has been to Japan twice, Hong Kong, Europe, Australia and more.) There are a lot of opportunities to be had if you can play the bagpipes, and if I decide to join Cadets like my brother, I will have a great start if I join their Pipes & Drums band.

~ Cole, grade 7

Monday, 4 February 2013

Multimedia Workshops

On Tuesday I went to Coworks in Penticton. We learned about Pixlr, which is an online photo editing program. We learned lots of different things like how to change the color and the brightness of a picture. We learned how to whiten teeth and cover up pimples. My favorite part was being able to shrink, enlarge, and push whatever I wanted to on the picture. I can't wait until the next Cowork class.

~ Kaelan, gr. 7

Monday, 28 January 2013

Bronze Medal Win

I am going to tell you about this past weekend’s ski competition. I received a bronze medal in the mogul event on Friday. The first run I did a 360 off the medium kicker, and the second jump I performed the same trick. I got sixth place out of twenty-one competitors. In the moguls competition on Saturday, I did a twister spread for my first jump, then a 360 for my second jump. The medal I won was in the mogul event out of 26 people. In the park event on Sunday, I did a switch 180, (a backwards 180 rotation) and then did a 360 off the second jump. I came into the third jump, and did another 360 rotation, and 90 degree rotation onto a rail, and 90 off. I then landed switch, and came into the last jump and then did a switch 360 and landed backwards and finished the course. I also got sixth place in the park event out of 29. I did well in my ski competition, and tried really hard to put spins and tricks into my runs to get a good score.

~ Liam, Gr. 6

Monday, 21 January 2013

Just Imagine

From the first moment I heard about blind art I was intrigued and started imagining. Needless to say, after attending a panel discussion at the Kelowna Art Gallery and meeting five diverse, blind, visual artists first hand, I remain intrigued but also inspired. Wherever there’s a will, there’s a way, and where ever there’s an obstacle, there can always be found someone overcoming it. In two weeks I will be attending my first blind theatre performance. I’m so looking forward to it. There’s so much to learn.
 ~ Will

Monday, 14 January 2013

On the Farm

This year we visited my Grandpa's farm in Ontario. It is very quiet and peaceful there because it is far out in the country. In one of the barns is where a group of barn cats hangout. When we went to feed the cats we found four new kittens lying at the back of the barn. We picked them up and cradled them in our arms. In the picture here is the calico (the orange one) and the black/gray one. There were two grey ones, one calico and one kitten with orange patches AND black and grey. I think the calico was my favourite. Her eyes were the deepest ocean blue and had the most adorable little face, so curious and playful. (Reader, I am sorry that the picture does not show the kittens faces -they are so cute!) We wanted to bring our little Cally home with us, in fact, we wanted to bring all of them home. We had even gotten permission from Grandpa and Grandma. The only thing that stopped us was that our wonderful Granny at home has an allergy. I really feel sorry for Granny, she loves cats. When I grow up, I have already decided that I will have at least one cat. They are so magnificently wonderful.

~ Isabella, Gr. 4

Monday, 7 January 2013

New Opportunities

Each new year seems to bring with it new opportunities. Somehow that which has been before us all along appears different, more inviting. Not one for making resolutions because I feel each of us has the opportunity to improve each and every day, I cannot help but feel the wonder of starting fresh and new, even if it is a bit of an illusion. Regardless, the way we view things I’ve long believed is paramount, so I guess I will embrace the matter for what it is. May the opportunities, old and new, around you abound!

~ Will