About Huzzah! 2013-2014

Welcome to the classroom blog of Division 1, sometimes called Smarthlandia. Thanks for visiting–please leave a comment if you’d like to connect with us.

Where are we?


Who are we?

We are a Grade 6 and 7 class of 11 to 13 year old learners, along with three older learners, Ms. Jan Smith, Mrs. Cindy Arnet, and Ms. Kristi Hoidas. We have a lot to celebrate and share. Our school goes to up to Grade 7 and includes a drop-in program for pre-schoolers called StrongStart. Our classroom is in the beautiful Comox Valley on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada.

What about our strange name? Huzzah! is an old English expression of joy, encouragement, or triumph.  Listen to these fellas say it with enthusiasm. 



Teacher Blogger: Jan Smith

60 responses so far

60 Responses to “About Huzzah! 2013-2014”

  1.   Miss W.on 17 Sep 2008 at 6:33 am     Reply1

    Welcome to the edublogosphere. I hope you enjoy your class blog and earn the right to have your own individual blogs. Feel free to visit my class blog and talk to my students. http://wyatt67.edublogs.org

    •   Miss Saueron 30 Nov 2011 at 5:36 pm     Reply2

      Hello Huzzah!
      Thanks for your insight, I came to check out your blog as a good example of how it’s done. We’re just getting started over here in Hong Kong, and I’m happy to find fellow country-men and women (I’m Canadian) to help me out!

      Miss Suzzie Sauer

      •   Jan Smithon 02 Dec 2011 at 7:37 am     Reply3

        Hi Miss Sauer,
        When you get up and running, please send us your url!

        •   djmcgradyon 04 Oct 2012 at 9:30 pm     Reply4

          Hello! I am at the very beginnings of doing a blog with my students in grade 6. What a wonderful example you have for us! Merci! Mme Dominique

          •   Jan Smithon 08 Oct 2012 at 7:45 am     Reply5

            Bonjour, Mme Dominique! Bonne chance! And that is where I will stop my French for now lest I embarrass myself. I look forward to following your blog. Merci de visiter, Mme Smith

  2.   AllStarson 19 Sep 2008 at 4:17 am     Reply6

    Hello Canada!
    Welcome to blogging – we know that you will really enjoy all that you learn through blogging. Its a great, big, wonderful world filled with exciting people, places and ideas. Linking up through the blogosphere helps us learn together!

    Thanks for dropping by our AllStars blog – we will keep coming back to your blog to see what you are getting up to as well :)

  3.   Annon 14 Oct 2008 at 10:00 pm     Reply7

    We are twins!!!!
    I’m so impressed that your individual blogs and class blog look so fantastic after only three weeks. I need to show our year 5/6 students at St Monica’s.
    I’m going to add you to our blogroll so that we can keep visiting.

  4.   Mr.Von 07 Nov 2008 at 6:15 pm     Reply8

    Great looking blog! My grade sixes and sevens are going to begin their own blogging adventures soon, and they’ll be looking at your student bloggers as mentors. Keep up the good thinking and writing.

  5.   Paul Hamiltonon 21 Nov 2008 at 8:22 am     Reply9

    This class blog, and the blogs of individual class members are fantastic!!! The quality of what you share is excellent, and it seems that you’re having fun as you blog. As part of my job, I visit many schools, and I share what you are doing as an inspiration to others.

    I have a special place in my heart for your school because my daughter was a member of the very first grade 6 class there when your school first opened.

  6.   Mrs. Crawfordon 17 Dec 2008 at 5:10 am     Reply10

    What a fantastic site! We met you during our astronaut webcast with Yes I Can Science. Since then, we’ve visited your site and want to learn more about how to get an edublog site. We are ‘newbies’ with the technology and would love any hints on how to get started and maintain a site

  7.   Pam Thompsonon 29 Dec 2008 at 6:11 pm     Reply11

    Love your blog. I’ll add you to my blogroll on my new class blog. Maybe we could even collaborate sometime in 2009. We are Year 6/7s – 11-13 year olds.

  8.   Miss W.on 02 Feb 2009 at 8:46 pm     Reply12

    G’day again Mrs S.
    Thanks for registering your classblog again for the 2009 student blogging challenge. We will be getting underway in March and all activities will again be on my classblog – see the righthand sidebar above my avatar picture for all the links you will need.

  9.   Daniel Ron 16 Feb 2009 at 6:49 pm     Reply13

    Hiya i am from Glendal in Australia GREETINGS!

  10.   2R Shining Starson 03 May 2010 at 5:08 am     Reply14

    G’day from Brisbane, Australia. Thanks for commenting on our blog. We are just starting to set up our own blogs and we are all very excited. We will keep coming back to your blogs to help us improve our own blogs. Visiting your blog gave Mrs R great memories of when she taught in Barrie, Ontario in 2000.

    •   Jan Smithon 03 May 2010 at 5:29 am     Reply15

      Good luck, Shining Stars! I too have good memories of Austraila. I was in Darwin for a short period of time during an around the world voyage. I remember friendly people, and a memorable trip to Florence Falls. And my, it was HOT!

  11.   2R Shining Starson 03 May 2010 at 5:37 am     Reply16

    Hi again Huzzah! While I was looking at your blog I had a thought! Our class is learning about narratives and we are trying to answer the inquiry question, “How does where someone lives and when someone lives influence the stories they tell?” We are discussing lots of different stories like Little Red Riding Hood. We are investigating where the story was written, when it was written and why it might have been written. Do you know any First Nation or Inuit stories that were written or told to explain things to people. We heard a First Nations story called “Why Dogs sniff each other’s bottoms.” We thought it was an interesting story and that is how we came up with our Inquiry Question. Maybe you could share more of your country’s stories with us.

    2R Shiningstars

    •   Jan Smithon 03 May 2010 at 5:55 am     Reply17

      Your inquiry question is fascinating, Shining Stars. We have a very important First Nations story about the creation of our glacier, but first I must ask permission to tell this story as these traditional stories belong to families. I will find out if I have permission to share the Legend of Queneesh with you. Good luck on your inquiry. Our current inquiry is “How do people cope with adversity?”. We are reading novels and poetry to learn more.

  12.   Ronnieon 20 May 2010 at 4:34 pm     Reply18

    Hi! I wanted to leave you a quick comment to let you know that your class blog has been selected as Edublogs Blog of the Week! We love your dedication to student blogging – many educators around the world look to your blog as a model of excellent blogging! We’ve announced the blog-o-the-week on our Twitter and Facebook accounts and you might be seeing a bit more traffic to your site in the coming days. :)

    Thank you!
    -The Edublogs Team

  13.   Ms. B.on 22 May 2010 at 4:07 am     Reply19

    I am pleased to inform you that you have been chosen for an award. Burton’s Scholars presents you with The “Blog Chain – Pass it on” Award. Your blog has been named as one of ten blogs that I am “passing on” for others to follow.

    The rules of the award are as follows:
    1- Copy and display the picture of the award given to you;
    2- Link back to the blog that nominated you;
    3- Nominate 10 different blogs yourself;
    4- Inform the people you nominated, so they can in turn, continue the chain and spread the word about other great blogs out there.

    Congratulations. Keep up the good work, your hard work is appreciated.

  14.   Dennis Richardson 26 May 2010 at 8:55 am     Reply20

    What a wonderful display of learning, energy, and passion. Seems to me that you are answering Sir Ken Robinson’s call for a revolution in education. http://tinyurl.com/3axjcxs

    •   Jan Smithon 27 May 2010 at 5:38 am     Reply21

      Thank you kindly for your compliment, Dennis. I am a great admirer of Sir Ken. Student engagement (not just through technology)is our great pursuit–we aim to wind up on the positive side, and get there most days.

  15.   Jim Alvaroon 22 Jul 2010 at 7:15 pm     Reply22

    Hello Vancouver. I just discovered your blog today and I love it. You guys do some great stuff. I really like the anti- embarrassment glasses.

    Mr. Alvaro
    5th grade


    •   Jan Smithon 03 Sep 2010 at 7:21 am     Reply23

      Hi Mr. Alvaro, you blog is mighty spiffy–I bet you have a lot of fun. Have a great start to your new year!

  16.   erinholl14on 30 Aug 2010 at 10:27 am     Reply24

    What a great blog! I am very new to all of this and am looking at your blog to help me!

    •   Jan Smithon 02 Sep 2010 at 8:30 pm     Reply25

      Hi Erin–good luck with your blogging–I bet you with have lots of fun and learn a lot.

  17.   Kami Thordarsonon 16 Sep 2010 at 7:39 pm     Reply26

    Hello Vancouver! I am so impressed with your blog. I hope you don’t mind that I have added you to our blog roll. We are just getting started in the world of blogging but are definitely excited!

    •   Jan Smithon 21 Sep 2010 at 6:03 am     Reply27

      Hello, Kami! Please send us your url so we can follow you too. Good luck with blogging. It’s satisfying and fun.

  18.   msthomas79on 03 Feb 2011 at 4:34 pm     Reply28

    I’m really impressed with what you have created for your classes! I have to say I’m a bit nervous when it comes to getting my students involved in a class blog but I really want to give it a go…I’ll be adding you to my blogroll & showing my students what 6th graders can accomplish! (mine are 8th grade)
    Keep up the good work :-)

  19.   Miss W.on 15 Mar 2011 at 10:47 pm     Reply29

    G’day Mrs Smith and students for the third year,
    Thanks for joining the March 2011 student blogging challenge.

    So you can contact other students and look at their blogs, make sure you keep referring to this page on the challenge blog.

    If you want to connect with other classes, then check out this link.

    Also each week starting in March, check out the student challenge blog for the different activities to do – look at ‘Latest challenge posts’ under the map on the right sidebar.

  20.   Abbeyon 04 Apr 2011 at 5:31 pm     Reply30

    Hello Mrs. Smith and Huzzah Bloggers!

    I have been assigned as a Student Challenge commenter for quite a few of your Huzzah blogs, and I just wanted to let you guys know that I have been really impressed with what I have seen. I can tell that a lot of thought, time, and editing goes into every post that y’all write! I have been able to have wonderful conversations with you through comments. Please, even once you have left Mrs. Smith’s class, continue to blog!

    Keep up the great work!

    •   Jan Smithon 20 May 2011 at 5:17 am     Reply31

      Abbey, you are an inspiration! Thank you for your kind efforts on behalf of these young bloggers. Good luck in all you do.

  21.   becon 01 Jun 2011 at 9:39 pm     Reply32

    Hi Huzzah!

    We are a class from Adelaide in South Australia and we have just started our own blog. We have been looking at your blog and think it is cool!

    We would love for you to look at our blog and comment on some of the things we have been doing.

    Our address is http://www.becshawfuss.edublogs.org.

    Thanks for sharing your fantastic blog! We love it!

    From Room 15

    •   Jan Smithon 02 Oct 2011 at 8:57 am     Reply33

      Hi Bec and Room 15. We wish you luck on your blog, and we will be visiting soon. :)

  22.   Erikaon 11 Oct 2011 at 1:54 pm     Reply34

    Hi! I’ve learned a great deal by looking at your blog! I really liked looking at your robot video. It was so cool! My class and I are starting a blog called “Shirley’s 6th grade,” and usually at the end of each week, we’ll post things that we did during that week. For example, last Tuesday, we went to Camp Ramapo which was in Rhinebeck, New York. We went there mostly to get to know each other and help each other with challenges such as climbing high ropes and working together in low ropes. We all had a great time. I hope you can share more stuff about what your doing. Thank you for sharing! :D

    •   Jan Smithon 24 Oct 2011 at 8:27 pm     Reply35

      Hi Erika, Thanks for your kind comments. You sound very busy! Thanks for visiting–we put your class in our blogroll.

  23.   Emmaon 27 Oct 2011 at 2:35 pm     Reply36

    Hi Mrs.Smith,

    My name is Emma and I am in Mrs.Braidwoods class we have also tried Vegemite. Most people thought it was different I was in that group and about three people loved it. Mrs.Wyatt has come to our class last month, the Vegemite tasted really salty and it smelt like gravy loaded with a bucket of salt.

  24.   Caitlynon 28 Oct 2011 at 9:33 am     Reply37

    Hi Emma,
    I did not like Vegemite either. But some people in my class did like it but mostly they didn’t like it. I thought it was way too salty and it mostly it tasted like soya sauce. So I thought it was very different too.

  25.   Mrs. Ressleron 05 Jan 2012 at 9:00 am     Reply38

    Hello Huzzah!

    My fifth graders are just about to meet you all for the first time in my Technology class. You all have a FANTASTIC blog and I’m so excited that they’ll be able to explore such a wonderful site. Our school is located about a half-hour drive from Washington DC. We’ll be starting our own blog so we’re looking forward to using your class as a shining example!

    All the best,
    Mrs. Ressler

  26.   nicholas.selmeson 11 Sep 2012 at 5:30 pm     Reply39

    Hi Huzzah
    I love your web site and your movie

    •   Jan Smithon 11 Sep 2012 at 7:09 pm     Reply40

      I’m glad you liked it, Nicholas!

  27.   Chelseyon 15 Nov 2012 at 3:32 pm     Reply41

    I would have to say that the people in this blog is beyond smart.

    •   Jan Smithon 18 Nov 2012 at 9:24 am     Reply42

      –of course we are, we are Huzzahnians, Chelsey! :)

  28.   MbBrownon 16 Nov 2012 at 10:19 pm     Reply43

    Hi Ms. Smith,
    Very inspired by your blog. Not only does the blog skillfully show the kids’ work, the kids’ work itself appears rich, engaging and stuffed with crit thinking! ;-) My blog is very prosaic, more of a homework list: http://markbrownmonterey.weebly.com/
    A couple of things I struggle with:
    1. To whom am I writing? is it primarily to the students? or their parents?
    2. what’s it for? Interactive forum–students talking to students? a virtual agenda (homework list)? an advertisement for their learning (not my job?) ? a celebration of their learning (you achieve this!)
    3. How do you legitimately work on the blog during your workday? I have ethical issues burying myself in front of my computer screen while students do…?

    To echo the others, I too give you a ‘huzzah’ for your class’ awesome work here! -Mark

    •   Jan Smithon 18 Nov 2012 at 9:40 am     Reply44

      Hi Mr. Brown,

      You ask some great questions so here are my answers–just my opinion.

      A class blog is what you make it. I have chosen it to be a celebration of and a focus on class life and learning in all its forms. I emphasize to my students that blogging is about reading first and that they should use a 3-2-1 approach (Read three, comment on two, write one post).

      I use email to communicate directly with parents as most use and check it regularly. If there is something on the blog I think they should see I link to it. I have a google site for links to content and assignments, and I use google docs and a planner for homework/communication. The audience for the blog is anyone who visits, so that means anyone in the world including my students, their families, other classes and complete strangers. I never work on our blog at school when I am with the kids unless I am demonstrating how I do something. I do a lot of over the shoulder coaching while kids blog–I am almost always on my feet.

      The student blogs (still evolving) are where the rich learning and communicating takes place. I roll out blogs quite slowly–they need a good understanding of and experience with the ethic of blogging before they get their own.

      Hope that is of some use.


  29.   bdonofrioon 03 Feb 2013 at 5:45 am     Reply45

    Dear Huzzahnians,
    Today I came across a class studying Canada. They are from the Midwest part of the United States. They are looking for some blogging buddies to help them in their studies, and I thought you might like to connect with them. Here is the link to their post.
    (I hope that works. As Ms. Smith knows, I am still getting the hang of all things blogging. Like the tortoise in Aesop’s fable, I am slow but determined. )
    Have a wonderful week! We look forward to our next exchange.
    ~Mrs. Donofrio

    •   Jan Smithon 03 Feb 2013 at 9:30 am     Reply46

      As a matter of fact, Mrs. Donofrio, I found that blog post too by chance when I was referring to Mrs. Kreb’s excellent commenting guidelines. I left a comment on her blog and we connected on Twitter. I think we will connect via Skype soon.
      And by the way, you are no tortoise–more like an eagle. You are soaring.
      ~Ms. Smith

  30.   mrskahnon 17 Feb 2013 at 11:38 am     Reply47

    WOW! What a great site! I am just starting my classroom blog. I am going to follow your classroom blog to get great examples. I teach 6th grade math and hope to get my kids talking and writing about math.

    •   Jan Smithon 19 Feb 2013 at 4:30 am     Reply48

      Hi Mrs. Kahn, Thanks so much for visiting, reading, and commenting! I look forward to hearing what your students have to say about math–we are working on Algebra at the moment.
      Best wishes, Ms. Smith

  31.   lgh84on 11 Mar 2013 at 10:59 am     Reply49

    Howdy Ms. Smith

    I am a grade six teacher, in a small rural community about 2 hours from you. I love your blog and have copied your format. Paul Hamilton said you would not mind helping me contacting you as I am the learning stages of blogging.

    My class has learnt to post their writing and after spring break we are going to work on leaving acceptable comments on other blogs.

    I noticed on your class blog that you have other blog sites linked. Once we learn what is an acceptable blogging post I hope we can be linked.

    I look forward to your reply.


    Linda Harris

    •   Jan Smithon 13 Mar 2013 at 6:32 am     Reply50

      Hi Linda,
      Thanks for writing. Paul is one of my ed heroes–what a wonderful man. I look forward to watching your blog grow and connecting our kids. Commenting is a great way for kids to see the power of online communication. I noticed your blog is “locked”. When it is open I will be able to link to you, include you in our class links, and we will be sure to visit.
      Best wishes to you as you launch blogging with your kids.

  32.   Nathan Tofton 22 Sep 2013 at 7:40 am     Reply51

    Hi Mrs. Smith,

    It’s been awhile since we have connected. This year I have a group of fantastic grade 5 students here in Ottawa. We have put together a challenge that we hope your class is willing to try. We videotaped ourselves playing a ball passing game and managed 47 passes in one minute.

    Can your students beat our score? You can see our video at http://portableradio.ca

  33.   mswhitingon 02 Oct 2013 at 9:12 am     Reply52

    Hello Huzzah!!!!!!!! We just used your blog as a sample for starting our own classroom blog! Thank you for the great ideas! We are also located on Vancouver Island and look forward to communicating with you in the future! If you have any cool tips on how to add things to our blogs (we are brand new at this) please let us know :)

    K-school students :)

    •   Jan Smithon 02 Oct 2013 at 11:10 am     Reply53

      Well, thank you so much for the kind compliment. You’ll learn a lot as you go. My suggestion for success is to read and comment on lots of blogs. It was how I became inspired.
      Have a great year of blogging, fellow Vancouver Islanders!
      ~Ms. Smith

  34.   Ryanon 04 Oct 2013 at 1:19 pm     Reply54

    Hi Ms. Smith!

    I am very honored to be a Huzzahnian! I think your class is wonderful and I think we will have a wonderful year together! I am excited because it is a mystery of what the wonderful Ms. Smith might teach me! Ciao!


    •   Jan Smithon 05 Oct 2013 at 1:23 pm     Reply55

      Ryan, I feel so fortunate to have you as a student. We are going to have a great year together. I am excited because it is a mystery to me what the wonderful Ryan might teach me!
      ~ Ms. Smith

  35.   kimberlybakeron 08 Nov 2013 at 6:13 pm     Reply56

    Wow! I’m very impressed with the thoughtful organization and information provided by this blog. I’m currently researching other middle school blogs to see how others are going about it, and I must say I’m excited to see what is out here, and how we can implement similar ideas in our own class. Huzzah!

    •   Jan Smithon 09 Nov 2013 at 1:27 pm     Reply57

      Hi Kimberly,
      Thanks for your kind words! If you get a chance, look at Mr. Miller and Mrs. Donoforio’s blogs listed in our side bar. They are doing many amazing things with their classes. Good luck with blogging,
      Jan Smith


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