About Huzzah! 2017-2018

Welcome to our classroom blog. Please visit student blogs in our sidebar. 

Where are we?


Who are we?

We are a group of Canadian grade 6 & 7 students. 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. Teachers are Jan Smith, Val Roberts, and EA Val Harnden. We are grateful to be on the traditional, unceded territory of the K’ómoks First Nation, on whose land we work, learn, and play. 

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





    1. 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

        1. 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

          1. 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

  1. 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 🙂

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

    1. 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!

  9. 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

    1. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

    1. 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.

  12. 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


  13. 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!

  14. Hello!
    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 🙂

  15. 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.

  16. 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!

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

  17. 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

  18. 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! 😀

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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  21. 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

  22. 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

    1. 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.


  23. 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

  24. 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.

    1. 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

  25. 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

    1. 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.

  26. 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

  27. 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 🙂

    1. 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

  28. 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!


    1. 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

  29. 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!

    1. 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

  30. Hi Ms. Smith
    This is my first comment so I decided to start here! I love this video, we all watched it in class and I went home and watched it again! I’m excited to do lots of blogging and commenting on different classes!

  31. Dear Huzzah,
    I love your new blog header. It reminds me of one of my favorite quotes about writing.
    “Detail makes the difference between boring and terrific writing. It’s the difference between a pencil sketch and a lush oil painting. As a writer, words are your paint. Use all the colors.”
    —Rhys Alexander
    Colored pencils work equally as well as oil paints, in my opinion.
    We will be enjoying a short holiday for Thanksgiving beginning tomorrow. Thanksgiving has an interesting history as it began when our country was initially settled by the Pilgrims, but it took over two hundred years to become an official holiday. Do you have a similar holiday reminding people to give thanks to God and to others for the blessings in their lives? We are thankful for you!
    God bless,
    Mrs. Donofrio

    1. Hi Mrs. Donofrio,
      We used to have rotating headers–but a single one works too. I really like that quote and will share it with my class.
      We also have a Thanksgiving holiday, but ours is held in October. This is largely because harvest is earlier in the north. The two holidays are similar in that we too gather with friends and family to share our gratitude and a big meal. Enjoy your holiday; see you on your blog when you return!
      ~Ms. Smith

  32. Wow! This blog looks amazing! Love the idea of the blog name.
    My year 4 class have just started a blog up this week and have got very excited about suddenly interacting with the world, I’ll make sure I show them yours tomorrow. There’s not much yet but they’d love some more views from around the world 🙂 wpsyear4.edublogs.org

    Mr C

    1. Hi Mr. Cooper, I hope your bloggers are enjoying a brand new year. They should see a fresh dot on the class map from where we are on Vancouver Island, Canada.
      Happy Blogging,
      Ms. Smith

  33. Hello from outside of Toronto! I’m a junior literacy teacher to 4/5 and 5/6 students and I’m new to blogging. Can’t wait to see what you have in store for this year!

  34. Dear Ms. Smith,
    I really like the video. It is a good composition and it is really funny. I love the movies The Pirates of the Caribbean.
    The name of the class blog is perfect, for it is the blog of SMARTHLANDIA! Huzzah!
    Long live the Queen of the Universe,
    Autumn’s blog
    Huzzah! Our class blog

  35. Dear Ms. Smith,
    I just visited your very fun blog and wanted to make connections with you this year. We are a third grade classroom in West Linn, Oregon who just started the blogging challenge this year. After learning to respond and make comments, students just received their own personal blogs. This experience is so exciting to connect with other classrooms.

    When you have a moment, we’d love for you to respond to our blog. Come meet us! I’ll share your blog with my students tomorrow.

    Thank you,
    Mrs. Fordyce


    1. Hi Mrs. Fordyce,
      Your class blog is a real going concern! I know how much work is involved and I congratulate you and your class on your efforts. I have added you class to our blogroll to make it easier for our students to comment on your blog. Good luck on a fabulous year of blogging.
      Best wishes,
      Ms. Jan Smith

  36. Hello, Huzzah!

    Thank you for providing such a wonderful example for us to follow. We are new to all of this and your blogs helped us greatly. We hope you will visit our sites soon.


    Mrs. Neal’s Digital Design Class

  37. What a great blog! I am just now starting a class blog with the hope of having my students create their own as well. Thank you for the inspiration. I would love to have my class connect with you and your class once we are up and running.

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