Wednesday, 14 March 2018

Pi Day!

Happy Pi Day everyone!

Today is March 14, which can be rewritten as 3 14, the first three digits of Pi!

From WonderopolisThe circumference of a circle is its perimeter or the length around it. The distance from the center of a circle to its edge is the radius. The distance from one side of a circle to the opposite side (twice the radius) is the diameter. The area of a circle is the number of square units inside the circle.Since circles can vary in size, yet they all retain the same shape, ancient mathematicians knew there had to be a special relationship amongst the elements of a circle. That special relationship turns out to be the mathematical constant known as pi.
 Here is an article that shows 3 GIFs about how Pi actually works out. 

Here is a Time Article about the history of Pi.
In our Hyphen Class we are doing some Pi Pop Art, we are going to eat Pizza, Pie, and Oreos, and we are doing some graphing of the digits of Pi. I got a no-prep kit of activities from Momgineer.

How are you celebrating Pi day? Post below and let us know!

Residential Schools

After Spring Break, Sarah Moore will be leading a weekly session for the students in the Hyphen Project about the history of the residential school system in Canada.  Since this is such a heavy, complex topic, this will be a teacher-led discussion to work through the many inevitable questions that will arise.

In preparation for this discussion, we have added to our collection of materials regarding residential schools.  

Christy Jordan-Fenton has written 2 sets of books about her grandmother’s experience in a residential school in the Arctic.  The picture book set is When I Was Eight and Not My Girl, and the chapter book set is Fatty Legs and A Stranger at Home.  

The late Gord Downie of the Tragically Hip wrote a powerful book, called Secret Path, about Chanie Wenjack, a young boy who died trying to walk the 400 miles home after escaping from a residential school. This picture book is suitable for older students; it is made up of heartbreaking images, which are accompanied by Downie’s poignant song lyrics.  We will have available the Secret Path album of songs.

Sugar Falls:  a Residential School Story is a graphic novel written by David Alexander Robertson and is based on true the story of Betsy:  abandoned as a child, adopted into a loving family, and then taken away to a residential school to face abuse and hardships.

I am Not a Number, written by Jenny Kay Dupuis and Kathy Kacer, is the story of Irene and her family.  They live on Nipissing First Nation, when a government agent comes to take away the children to a residential school.  This picture book is beautifully written; the muted, almost sepia-toned illustrations convey the despair of the situation.  There is a section at the back with photos and information about the real-life Irene and her family.

For older readers, we have Richard Wagamese’s Indian Horse.  Saul Indian Horse looks back on his life while in a treatment centre, where he ended up after his last binge. From the horrors of a residential school to his success on the hockey rink, Saul knows he must examine his own life to finally be at peace with himself.  This book was a CBC Canada Reads 2013 selection.

They Called Me Number One by Bev Sellars is a more mature book and tells the stories of three generations of women who attended the St. Joseph’s Mission at Williams Lake, BC.  While including stories of abuse and denigration, it is also tells of the journey of healing for Sellars.

Thursday, 8 March 2018

4 Centuries of Ballet

As I was scrolling through Youtube tonight, I came across a remarkable history lesson. It is done by the Royal Opera House, and it covers 400 years of ballet. The video series star young dancers showing how ballet has evolved over time. 

You can watch the whole playlist here.

Wednesday, 7 March 2018

International Women's Day

Thursday March 8, 2018 is International Women's Day. This year the theme is Press For Progress. International Women's Day was organized to promote gender parity, including wages, opportunities, and education. To that end, here are some of my favourite movies to get you thinking and talking with your learners about the considerable challenges that women around the world, and here in Canada face. This list was compiled with input and help from our #HyphenProject students!

  1. Hidden Figures is a movie about 3 women at NASA in the 50's and 60's. Specifically a supervisor and computer programmer, an engineer, and a mathematician. These women overcame both gender and racial barriers to fulfill their life's work. 
  2. Moana is a Disney movie about a future chieftess of her Polynesian island. Moana feels that she is called to a much bigger future: sending her people back to the sea they once navigated with ease. Disney filmmakers collaborated with Polynesian peoples to tell a story that explained why there was a significant chunk of time in which the Polynesian peoples stopped navigating, and then started again. Here is more information about that.
  3. Queen of Katwe is another Disney movie, live action this time. Phiona comes from the slums of Kampala, Uganda to becomes a chess master. 
  4. Whale Rider is a book and movie about a young Maori woman who is struggling to fit into her role, despite women not traditionally being welcomed into leadership positions in her family. 
Do you have other movies you'd recommend to our families and learners? Add a comment and I'll keep the list updated!

Tuesday, 6 March 2018

March is Red Cross Month!

The Canadian Red Cross is known for their humanitarian aid after disasters in Canada and all around the world.  They are also responsible for blood drives, first aid training, and swimming lessons, amongst many other things!  Take a look at this infographic for more facts about the Canadian Red Cross!

Inspired by all the good the Red Cross does, take a look some of the humanitarian-based books
YouLearn has on its shelves:

I Am Malala - original and young readers edition
Malala Yousafzai was fifteen years old when she was shot in the head
while riding the bus on the way home from school.
She stood up to the Taliban and fought for hers, and all girls’,
right to an education.

We have both the original version and the young readers edition.

Race Against Time

“I have spent the last four years watching people die.” Stephen Lewis
worked for the United Nations trying to combat HIV/AIDS. He shows in this
Massey Lecture series how the international community needs to do more
to improve the education, health, and poverty in AIDS-ravaged Africa.
This book  won the CBA Libris Nonfiction Book of the Year award!

Three Cups of Tea -
original and young readers edition

“With the first cup of tea you are a stranger.
With the second...a friend.

With the third cup of tea, you are family.”

Greg got lost in the mountains of Pakistan while trying to climb K2.
The village he wandered into was so kind to him; he promised to return
and build a school for the children.  Greg ended up building more than
sixty schools in Pakistan and Afghanistan! He faced lots of dangerous
situations while trying to help the children.

Ryan was a six-year-old boy when he started saving up his allowance
so that he could build a well in Uganda. Lots of people helped him out to
save up for the very expensive well.

Jimmy, a boy in the village where the well was built, wanted to thank Ryan
in person. When they meet, an unbreakable bond is formed.

This book won the Parents' Choice Award, as well as the award for
Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People.

Elements of Art: Line

This is a project I created for my Hyphen Project students, but I wanted to share it with those of you who have budding artists (or struggle to think of art projects!).

There are 6 Elements of Art. Here is a great handout from the Getty Museum that explains them.

Here is a project I curated that introduces the concept of Line.

Be aware that this was created for a grade 7-9 group, so read through it before you give it to your students, as it talks about art and artists who may be too mature for your youngest learners.

Have a great day!