Join Us For a Day at Our School: Take a Look at Our Slide Show!

Student Post by Neneng and Mimi

Hi! My name is Neneng and right here beside me is my friend Mimi. We wrote this blog post to introduce our school to you. In this album you will see pictures of our elementary school and our teacher, Ms Clayton, also featuring her 5/6 class.

Here are some of the pictures of our middle staircase walls where you will see dragons, killer whales and two totem poles. Outside, we took some pictures of the primary playground. One side is for K to 2 and the other is for intermediate grades 3 to 6. We also took pictures of some of our classmates on play structures, basketball courts and just chilling. We also took some photos of our classmates doing funky poses and kooky faces and of course we have beautiful art made by the awesome creative arts club. So, we hope you enjoy it!

Things we Can Do to Improve Our Blog – An Interview With Mr. Stewart and Ms Evans

Student Post by Melody!

Interviews with Mr. Stewart and Ms Evans on Challenge 10 – How to improve one’s blog.

I interviewed two adults from our school to get other people’s perspective on our blog set up and content. I am interested in this because students in my class will soon have their own blogs so it is interesting to have another person’s opinion on what looks appealing in a blog.

When Mr. Stewart was looking at our blog, he would talk and let me know what he liked. Here are some of the things he said and some of the things he noticed. I will also tell you how he interacted with the blog.

Mr. Stewart interacting with "The Space Between"

Mr. Stewart Interacting with "The Space Between"

Mr. Stewart said he liked the Wordles, the pictures we had on the blogs and the background that we had chosen for The Space Between. He would read in his head, not out loud or in little mumbles. He liked how many students and teachers would give different links and how we could read other posts. He liked how you could see how some people were working on something for many years. He said it was interesting how you could see class art in a certain style and also see an artist completing the same style. I appreciated how much he talked to me to let me know what he liked and didn’t like. I noticed that he did not go onto any other blogs, but that was probably because I was asking about The Space Between.

Ms Evans Looking at "The Space Between"

Ms Evans Looking at "The Space Between"

Here is what I noticed about the way Ms Evans looked at the blog. She would read the posts in her head and do little mumbles once in a while. She was very interested in the blog. She did read some posts and then she went to visit our blogging neighbour, Huzzah!. She went to Matthew’s blog and read a post over there.

I asked some questions and here are the answers they gave:

1. What were your first impressions of the blog?

Mr. S: It’s pretty slick. I like all the different links.

Ms E: I like all the pictures. They got my attention.

2. What captured your attention on the blog?

Mr. S: The pictures and the different graphics.

Ms E: The pictures and the different posts.

3. What distracted you on the blog?

Mr. S: Nothing in particular, but blogs can be distracting.

Ms E: The different things that moved.

4. What suggestions do you have for us to improve on the blog?

Mr. S: I would have kids from other countries like Japan or other places in Asia.

Ms E: It could be a little more simpler.

5. If you could would you get a blog and what would you put on it?

Mr. S: Yes, I would and I would have lots of pictures and graphics.

Ms E: Yes, and I would have my students blog on it as well as just as a place to learn.

6. Did you enjoy going on this blog?

Mr. S: Yes, I loved it.

Ms E: Yes, it was fun.

As you can see, these are two very different teachers with completely different opinions on the blog.

If you want, maybe you could answer some of those questions and give us opinions of different things you like about this blog. We would appreciate your suggestions.

Challenge 10 – Have someone take a look at your blog and get his/her impression of the set up and content.

A Message to all Bloggers: We’d Like to Know What is Your Favourite Group of Animals?

Student Post by Darcy and Eric.

Two of Most People`s ``Best Friends``

Best Friends - Canine and Feline

We would really like to know what your favourite family of animals is. Can you help us out by responding to our poll below? We know that most people have a dog or cat, but times have changed and there is a greater variety of animals out there. Your favourite family of animals doesn’t need to be the type of animal you have as a pet, but it could just be a type of animal that interests you.

Sometimes when people have an interest in a particular family of animals they continue to get members of that specific family for pets. Please add a comment if you have, or have had, a pet that has not impressed other people including family members. We would be interested to hear about your pets as well.

Please take our Polldaddy poll  below to tell us!

We will be interested to see which animal family is liked best.

Image Credit: “Beagle“ by Claudio Matsuoka

Student Challenge 6

Our Thanks for a Delicious Turkey Lunch!

We had such a wonderful meal on Wednesday, December 8th. Student post by Katelyn and Kylee

1/3 of Clayton's Crew

1/3 of Clayton's Crew

Last Wednesday we had a turkey lunch for our whole school and staff. We would like to thank the Courtenay Rotary Club for serving the food and Vanier Interact Club for also helping serve. A huge thank you goes to Thrifty Foods and our big sponsor Vancouver Island Insurance Centres.

When we walked into the gym there were three tables set for each class. Each student had a juice box and a candy cane waiting on the table. For lunch we had stuffing, cooked vegetables, cranberry sauce, potatoes and of course turkey. We had a delicious dessert of squares and then we also could have seconds.

We would also like to thank our principal, Mr. Stewart, and our music teacher and choir leader, Ms Forsland, for all their hard work that special day.

Have you had a special day at your school? Please tell us about that day.

Learning to write, we are. Much to learn, we still have.

Yoda Must Determine the Criteria for Quality Writing

Yoda Considering the Criteria for Quality Writing

Excuse the language in the heading! We really don’t want to transform anyone’s language to that extent; however, we want to draw your attention to our current task.

Our task is to think about all the writing we have loved over the years and to try and define the characteristics that are present in a piece of quality writing. Think about your own favourite stories. Which authors engage you by their writing style? Have you collected memorable language that well-known authors or classmates have used in their writing? When we think of improving our writing in Division 2, we like to move back and forth between literature that serves as a model for writing and then to try hands-on writing of our own. We like the way reading and lots of practice writing work together to support us becoming better writers.

We decided that it is important to become very explicit or clear on what makes quality writing. When we are reading, what is it about the book or story that makes us continue on with reading? The same could be said for blog posts and comments. What makes us engage with the writing?

When we are engaged with the blog posts we find on student blogs we visit,  we see the importance of having quality writing in our own work. It is quality writing that beckons us and encourages our engagement in reading posts on blogs.

Student Challenge Number 9: Our challenge is to embed a digital tool in a blog post that will support or enhance the purpose of the blog post. We chose Wallwisher, which is an online notice board. We want to collect everyone’s ideas about what makes a piece of quality writing. Your ideas can be shared by placing a sticky note on our wall. We hope you will contribute something you know to be important in a piece of quality writing.

Much to learn about writing, we still have!

Image Credit: Star Wars – The Exhibition by Andres Rueda

East Asian Brush Painting – “Sumi-e” in Japanese

Ink Painting – Both a Chinese and a Japanese Tradition

We are studying Japan and comparing its culture with that in Canada. Lately, our focus has been on art styles and we gave the ancient style of “ink painting” a try. Sumi-e, as it is called in Japan, is a style of painting where the artist aims to create the image or the “essence” of the object (bamboo in our case) in as few brush strokes as possible. We started by investigating how an art style that is a tradition in both Japan and China could be related to their cultures and to their physical environments. We were able to watch a video (embedded below) which shows the painting of bamboo. Have a look at the video and then look at our own bamboo pictures which we just completed.

We had our own sample of bamboo stems in the classroom and we were able to use traditional paintbrushes from Japan. The only thing missing was Ms Clayton’s music from Japan which was found the next day. Traditionally, the artist grinds an inkstick over an inkstone to produce the ink for the painting. We used black tempera paint, but did need to add water to it for the correct consistency.

Take a look at Division 2′s bamboo brush paintings

It took patience to learn the technique of holding the brush in a specific way to create either a broad line or a fine line. The shading of the black paint was determined by control of the brush.

Can you think of a style of art that would reflect Canadian culture or Canada’s environment?

Music Credit: “Into the Woods” by The Kyoto Connection II – From Creative Commons