Sunday, 11 December 2016

DL Christmas Party 2016

YouLearn Families and Staff - December 2016
This past week Oliver held its annual K-9 DL Christmas Party at our campus in Oliver.  We had over 30 people in attendance and enjoyed crafts, singing, skating and a special visit from the head elf himself - Santa!  I would like to give a special thanks to our support staff who made every effort to be sure the event was a success.  You can see two of them pictured in this photo - Colette (secretary) is in red beside Santa and Sonia (educational assistant) is in black on the far right.  Brenda and Margie (both secretaries - not pictured) were also instrumental in organizing this event.  In this photo, you can also see Natasha (teacher) in the very front and the tall guy with the tie is Glen (principal).  Thanks to all the families who participated!  Merry Christmas, everyone.

Saturday, 3 December 2016


Image result for communication

The first core competency is Communication.  In the BC revised curriculum, communication is broken up into the following four components: 
1. Connect and Engage with others  
2. Acquire, Interpret and Present information  
3. Collaborate to Plan, Carry out and Review constructions and activities  
4. Explain, Recount and Reflect on experiences and accomplishments
Students can assess themselves on an eight-point scale in which they make use of "I" statements. For example, "I can present information clearly and in an organized way".  These are outlined in this document.  These statements assist the student in self-evaluating.  
In addition, the ministry is building a repository of examples that illustrate the levels of the communication competency.  These illustrations are found on this page and can be viewed by clicking on the orange lettering.  Some are pictures and some are videos but serve as practical examples that demonstrate each level of the competency.  
Once you have explored this competency, why not take some time with your child to make an assessment of where they might fall on the 8 point scale?  Most of you will find these embedded in your PLP.
Communication matters!!

Sunday, 27 November 2016

Core Competencies

As all of you are aware by now, BC has revised its curricula this year.  One of the areas of focus for  the revised curricula is the Core Competencies.  I have embedded a video above from the Ministry which gives a brief overview of the core competencies.  In the coming weeks, I plan to focus on each of the core competencies in this blog in order to assist you in understanding these competencies.  By the end of the year, each student is expected to self-assess (with parental assistance) in the six core competencies.  Those of you with a PLP in Drive will have access to a core competency assessment within the PLP.  This is the first year of implementation so we are all learning together!

Saturday, 19 November 2016

Terrific Tap

This is my 5th year tap dancing at The Dance Studio in Oliver, BC.  My teacher is Miss Leah Moen.  She is extremely good at tapping and I have learned a lot from her over the years.  I am in Al Gilbert Tap Level 3/4, now.  Some of my favourite steps are lindys, sugars, and stomp buck time steps.  At our recent tap show, I tapped solo to "Little Bitty" by Alan Jackson.  I also tapped a duet with my brother, Kelan, to "Open the Door, Richard", sung by Al Simmons-- I was Richard!  To me, tap is very fun and the world wouldn't be the same without it!
By Laura Harty, proudly a YouLearn student since kindergarten, now in grade 4

Sunday, 13 November 2016

Hour of Code

Image result for hour of code

In order to support students initial steps into the world of coding, the movement called "The Hour of Code" began in 2013 to get as many students as possible participating in at least one hour of code.  Our school has signed up for this event which takes place from December 5-11; Computer Science Education Week.  However, you can try it out now!  To get started, go to this link, choose your child's grade level, experience level, type of device, topic, activity type (choose self-led), and length.  Also, to get inspired about the value of coding, please watch this Hour of Code Video.  Happy coding, everyone!

Friday, 4 November 2016

Tap is Tops

When I was in grade 4, my sister, Laura, and I started tap dancing at the Dance Studio in Oliver, BC.  Our tap teacher, Miss Leah Moen, is a very talented tapper and I have ameliorated greatly under her guidance.  I am now in Al Gilbert Tap 5, and some of my favourite steps are wings, pullbacks, and pickups.  Recently, I performed 2 solos in our tap show: "Don't Rock the Jukebox" and "Where I Come From", both by Alan Jackson.  One of these photos was captured of me doing a bell, (heel click), in mid-air during "Don't Rock the Jukebox"-- yee-haw!  I also danced a duet with Laura called "Open the Door, Richard", sung by Al Simmons.  I think tap dancing is a great exercise for both the mind and body, and I will definitely stick with it for life!

By Kelan Harty, Oliver, BC, proudly a YouLearn student since kindergarten, now in grade 9

Friday, 28 October 2016

Sleep Deprived?

There has been a lot of research in recent years on the necessity of adequate sleep and its steady decline in our youth.  The chart above gives recommended amounts of sleep for children at various ages.  However, it is not enough to know how much sleep is needed without addressing the ways in which we can ensure our children meet the quota.  The following website gives some assistance in that regard.
To be successful in school, students need to be well rested.  If you have some good tips for getting a good night's sleep, why not post them below for everyone to read?

Monday, 17 October 2016

Covert Farms Tour

Enjoying Corn Tortillas at Covert Farms

On Thursday, October 13th, a group of eighteen YouLearners took a tour of Covert Farms in Oliver. We learned a lot about Covert Farms (size, water, diversity, staff, animals, etc) and about growing crops (planting, irrigating, pollination, harvesting, etc).  Although it was a little chilly, we avoided the rain, rode around on a truck, and felt a sense of community with our learners.

An interesting fact about Covert Farms is that it is on a plateau in the hills which means all water needs to be pumped up to the farm. As a result, they have a large reservoir which contains three days worth of irrigation water in case the pumps go down. They built a ski jump which has plastic discs that skiers can slide down on and land in the water during the summer months for practise. The Canadian Olympic Aerial Ski team trained at their facility last year.

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (Will and Cate) Visit Carcross

Hi. My name is Adney. I met the Duchess.  She was nice and pretty .
And i made the hat with my aunt😁.

As you may know, the Royal Visit included stops in BC and Yukon.  The Duke and Duchess made a stop in Carcross, Yukon, where YouLearn has several students.  Adney is a grade four student with YouLearn who made a colourfull hat specifically for the Royal Visit.  The hat caught the attention of the Duchess who graciously posed for a photo with Adney.  I am sure Adney, and her family, have made a memory that they will cherish for years to come.  

Monday, 27 June 2016

Together We Learn, Together We Grow

The world is filled with wonder that we occasionally overlook or fail to see. Often, it comes in small, simple forms blurred by chasing time or hidden somewhere between commitment and responsibility. A smile, a cool breeze, a group of learners coming together to learn how to make fire . . . a community.

Where ever summer takes you and your family, enjoy both the big and small! Find the wonder in the ordinary, or let your children find it for you. Either way, build fond and lasting memories. Have fun. Connect. Commune.

With full confidence I can speak for staff when I say: It's been our privilege and pleasure. Happy learning!

Monday, 30 May 2016

Yukon Year End Get Together

Last Thursday, Yukon families came together to celebrate the end of another school year. We started at the Copperbelt Mine and Museum where we learned how important copper was to keeping Whitehorse alive once the gold rush had ended. Next we played soccer, ate pizza and gave out student awards at Rotary Park. We ended the day with a trolly ride through downtown Whitehorse.

Congratulations to all of our students! Your year is almost complete. And thank you to all of our parents! Each time our school has an opportunity to connect with you, you are so welcoming. Each spring when we arrive, you are so accommodating. The past three years have truly been our pleasure!

Monday, 2 May 2016

Poetry - Free, Unpredictable Fun

Two weeks ago, our work experience student, Kayla introduced herself to you. Today, here is a link to a Language Arts folder that she has created. To access it you will need to be logged in.

In it you will find free, downloadable "Read and Understand Poetry" resources for grades 2-6. Many of our parent who use this resource appreciate how it helps them structure their poetry units. As your child reads and comes to understand the various forms of poetry and meanings behind each of the studied, this leads their writing to richer and deeper.

Thanks Kayala! This is another example of how a little bit of work can make a difference. If your child hasn't delved into poetry yet this year, this is an excellent place to start. Enjoy everyone!

Monday, 25 April 2016

Going to Swan Haven

Last Monday, I went with my brother and my mom and some other home-schoolers to Swan Haven. Swan Haven is a Wildlife Viewing Area at Marsh Lake, 30 minutes outside of Whitehorse, Yukon Territory.

Swan Haven is where all the migrating birds that fly North stopover. The swans and ducks
come from the South, some as far as Mexico, where they stay during the Winter time. In Spring, the birds fly all the way to Alaska to nest and raise their chicks. Marsh Lake is shallow and it opens early from the ice, so it is easy for the birds to find food and rest before flying further.

At  Swan Haven, I and the other home schoolers first went out on the ice and watched the swans and the ducks with binoculars and scopes. Then we went inside and one of the home schoolers dressed up as a swan. After that we went out and played two games. Last we sang a funny song.

I had lots of fun and learned about swans and duck. It is important to save Swan Haven for the northern migrating birds.

~ Cheyenne

Monday, 18 April 2016

Work Experience

My name is Kayla Michaud and I have been doing work experience in YouLearn since the
beginning of second semester at SOSS. It is a great working environment because the staff is
always so friendly. I have been learning how to file, photocopy and put homework packages
together. I’ve also been learning how to use Google Docs, scan books, send them to my email
and put them into PDF files. Working here at YouLearn is a great opportunity to gain work
experience and I enjoy it every time I come in.

~ Kayla, Gr.12

Monday, 4 April 2016

Imagine a Canada

I went to Ottawa!

I participated in a "to imagine a Canada" art contest. I won a trip to Ottawa. I stayed at Fairmont Château Laurier. I went to Rideau Hall. I met the Governor General.  I received an award. The Governor General shook my hand.

~ Laurick

Tuesday, 29 March 2016

Practice Makes Perfect

I can't recall being taught to handwrite, but I do know this: my penmanship is anything but art. For Jake Weidmann, however, handwriting and penmanship is his art, career and life. Jake is the youngest "Master Penman" in the Unites States and only one of twelve people in the world currently holding the title of "Master Penman". Over the break, I purposefully stepped back from technology and when I finally did return to it, a short (4:50) video documentary titled "Human" showcasing Jake and his work was one of the first videos I watched. In an age where so many things are moving digital, it's refreshing to see something as beautiful and simple as works of art created with pen and paper. Keep practicing your printing and handwriting, students! Better still, find the art inside what you do!

Monday, 1 February 2016

6 Volunteers, 6 Weeks, 6 Sentences!

If six students over the next six weeks were to agree to each write one 6 sentence blog post, our classroom website would be maintained until March Break! If you're a parent or teacher, please help inspire and commit a student this week to publicly sharing their learning. It's a small ask but a significantly important one. It allows us to grow and nurture what many DL schools lack: a school-wide learning community for our students filled with student voices.

To assist you, I've simplified the DL Classroom blog sign up sheet. No Google sign in is required and all student writing and photos can be placed right inside the sign up sheet table! Easy peasy. Click on the above link today, right now.

Thank you in advance for support and help with this.

~ Happy Learning

Monday, 25 January 2016

Storybird Awards

Congratulations to everyone who participated! Details of student awards and prizes will be emailed shortly to participating students and parents. Feel free to leave comments on students' stories inside the Storybird platform.

Without further ado, the winners of this year's awards are as follows:

The Insanely Engaging Story Award

Theo A. - Troubles While Hunting

The Movingly Insightful Theme and/or Character Award

Kara S. - Pat's Bad Day

The Exquisitely Poetic Style and Tone Award

Hunter V. - A Love Story

In addition to the above, four honourable mention awards we also give this year:

Best Use of Dialogue Award - Stella L. for One Little Horse
The Epic Story Award - Molly C. for The Wilderness Friends' First Adventure
Most Prodigious Author Award - Emily V. for Greedy Squirrels, among others
Best Use of Text and Images - Justine S. for The Rise of Fireclaw

Congrats again, enjoy your Storybird accounts and keep writing!

Monday, 18 January 2016

Learning Tales - Thomas

Thomas's and Anna's blog can be found at Below is Thomas's last entry.
In case you were wondering, this is not about lego - which you already know.  It is about the most awesome / fun / cool thing of all time, jumping stilts!!!!!!!  Jumping stilts ( J S ) look like this:

...And like I said, they are the most awesome / fun / cool thing ever!!! What is even better, is that I  got a pair for Christmas.  If you don't know what these are, jumping stilts are stilts that have a springy piece of metal on the back of them and with the proper weight you can make the springy piece of metal go down and then release up making you jump really high.  I'd wanted these since June and decided I would ask for a pair for Christmas.  Everything I'd seen on the internet made them look very cool but it said that they took a lot of practise to use.  Since I have used stilts and a pogo stick before and had a lot of practice, I thought I would probably be pretty good at them.  When I got them, I tried them on and I turned out to be right!  It took me about 10 minutes until I was able to jump.  I can't wait until the summer to use them outside.  Maybe I'll even learn a backflip!
Well, that's all for now!

Monday, 11 January 2016

Learning Tales - Anna

Anna's and Thomas's blog can be found at Below is Anna's latest entry.

Hi! My name is Anna and I do level 6 gymnastics. Gymnastics is a sport where there are 4 events. Event number 1 is floor.  Floor is a layer of springy foam covered by thick blue carpet pieces held together by Velcro tape. On floor I have 2 tumbling passes. One of my tumbling passes is a roundoff - a roundoff is just a cartwheel landing with 2 feet. Connecting from my roundoff I have a backhandspring which is where I land out of my roundoff, jump back, land on my hands, fling out of that landing on my feet. The last skill in my first tumbling pass comes from the power out of my backhandspring and I rebound into the air and do a backflip! My second pass is simply running, jumping and doing a front flip. I also have a leap connection which is a sashay split leap (I leap in a split position), then land and jump into a split again but just straight up and down this time. Then I do a 1-½ turn (I spin on my toe for a complete 1-½ spin). The rest is dance. The dancing is a mix between tumbling/turning/leaping to create a routine which is all done to music and practiced and practiced and practiced until it is perfect! 

Event number 2 is beam. A beam is a 4” wide wooden strip balanced above the ground by metal poles that can move the beam up and down depending on the level of gymnastics that the gymnast is in. I don’t necessarily have a beam routine yet but I know all the skills that will be in it… I will have a back walkover, which is like a backhandspring with staggered feet and done slower to show the splits while upside down. I have another turn in this event but only a full turn. I also have a jump connection of split jump, tuck jump (tuck jump is jumping in the air and making a ball with arms out stretched in front of you), then I have a dismount. My dismount is a backflip off the end landing on a mat. 

Event number 3 is vault. A vault is thick and flat on the top with a downward hill on the front and it can be raised or lowered depending on the level of the gymnast vaulting. I don’t exactly know the height for my level so I’ll just continue with what I do with the vault. First there is a springboard in front of it which are 2 pieces of wood, one flat and the other slightly rounded upward.  Between the 2 pieces of wood are 5 springs. So for vault I will run down a long strip of carpet, jump on the springboard launching myself into the air while keeping a strait body I will land in a handstand on top of the vault then pushing with my shoulders and hands I will bounce off the vault landing on the mat on the other side and hopefully sticking (landing on 2 feet and not moving my feet at all) my landing!

Event number 4 is bars. Bars are a set of round wooden sticks about the same thickness of monkey bars except there are only 2 and they are staggered so that one is higher than the other and fairly far apart. For my routine I take a few steps and jump into a piked swing, at the end of the swing I bring my toes to the bar then swing back while pulling my hips to the bar (this is called a kip). I then lift my body above the bar (cast) and as I fall I lean back and swing around the bar keeping my hips to the bar in a full circle (back-hip circle).  Next I cast out of that and put my feet on the bar, fall back again and go around the bar while keeping my feet and hands on the bar and then I end up standing on top of the bar (this is called a sole circle). Next I jump to the high bar and do another kip. I cast out of that and swing down, about ¾ around the bar I then bring my hips to the bar (baby giant), then I cast and swing again this time at the top of my swing in the front (opposite side of the low bar) I let go and do a flat body back flip (called a flyaway), and hopefully stick my landing back on the ground. 

Well that’s my 4 events that I will be competing in Vancouver at the end of this month!
Meaning I have to practice, practice, practice! ☺ 

Until next time,

Monday, 4 January 2016


Ending 2015, my family and I hiked to a waterfall we had visited many times before in summers past (Downstream, 2013). Interesting it is how we often become bored of the things that are familiar. How we perceive them to be the same and overlook them. That is until something as dramatic as water freezing awakens your lackadaisical ignorance. Ha!

Wherever life takes you this year, my wish for you is that you're present. That you deeply experience and appreciate the gifts your life gives; that the words "take for granted" never enter your soul; that the familiar be as wondrous and rewarding as the new.

Happy learning! May the coming year for you be filled with Nature, Beauty and Gratitude!