Category Archives: Learning

Be More Awesome.

I will confess, I have often felt the word “awesome” is over-used. I had an awesome weekend. My bike is awesome. It would be awesome if I could borrow your pencil. Are those things truly awesome? If we say they are when other words are more accurate, does the word awesome loose its meaning and power?

Then this summer I traveled to a beautiful part of our country called Haida Gwaii. While on our journey aboard the 52 ft sailboat Sölskin we kept a journal called Our Book of Awesome fashioned after Neil Pasricha’s  The Book of Awesome in which he zooms in on those specific gems in the day that he calls simple, universal little joys .

Each day at dinner we would talk and then write about the special moments in the day that stood out for us. One day I wrote that it was awesome that I didn’t get seasick; on another I marveled at the beauty of the bald eagle I saw. Capturing with my camera its translucent eyelid as it blinked was awesome indeed. Then there was that time I was able to stand on my tippy toes and reach the perfect huckleberry. Awesome.

And here we are, at the beginning of new school year. We’re about to embark on ten months of learning together. I think we should be on the lookout for awesome. I am convinced it’s everywhere if we just notice it.

Let’s pay attention to those simple, universal little joys–those awesome moments– every single day.

Kid President  gives us a pep talk in the video below, reminding us that we are  all teachers and students. In his silly way, he invites us to think about what we’re teaching the world– and to be more awesome, because “life is school and you gotta show up”.

What do you think of his message? What do you teach the world? What are you learning from the teachers in your life? And what awesomes have you noticed since school started? Please teach us!

We Tried “Try a Trade”

“When I grow up, I want to be a….” Well, chances are you will “be” many things during your lifetime, by choice or by chance. The trades might be part of your future.  Most people think of the building or construction trades first (carpentry, plumbing, electrical and so on), but people also earn a good living through satisfying hands-on work in the  automotive trades, personal service (hairdressing, cosmetology), information technology, and as chefs. We learned more about the possibilities at Discover Trades and through our trip to Sandwick Technical Education Centre. Take a look at our video and read what some of our bloggers had to say about the experience, below.

Have you ever poured concrete to make a picnic table? How about wiring a light bulb? No? Well, now our class can say we have because we just went on a field trip to learn about future jobs we might want to have. We learned so much while we were  there.   (Elysa)

Sandwick [the career and  training centre we visited] is a great place for kids to learn about the trades and take a big part in them. I think it  provides a great opportunity for kids who like to learn with their hands and not just sitting in a desk all day. They give the kids what they need to do the job and what they have to practice to become a real master of the trades. (Kyle)

Mr. Grey [career and trades coordinator] was very informative and showed us a really good video on safety in the workplace. He also let us hang from the ceiling on a Fall Arrest. A fall arrest is a harness that you wear when working on a roof or any place that is high off the ground that breaks your fall so that you don’t hit the ground. We also did competitions where we had to hammer a nail in to a piece of wood, and put two pieces of metal together with a screw. (Melanie)

My group got to do construction and drywall. In construction we followed a plan for a little house. We then built one of the walls. After that we went on to drywall. In drywall we got to cut holes in the wall. We then learned how to fix it. Cut out a piece of drywall, the same size as the hole, then tape the remaining cracks, and apply the mud. Let it dry and paint over. Then your wall is as good as new! (Becky)

There many fun activities in each trades station. The one I enjoyed the most was a part of plumbing and it was soldering. Soldering is similar to welding but involves solder and a tiger torch. You melt the solder to where the parts of the pipes connect and it acts as a glue or like a weld. (Josh)

This experience has definitely given me a better idea of what the trades are, and what I want to do when I get older.  If I were to do a trade, it would probably be hairdressing or cooking but I think that I would rather do something that involves going back to school because there is so many options. But it was still nice to learn about all of these things so I can do it if I need to, instead of hiring someone to do it for me. This has also changed the way I see buildings and even my own house. I know how it was built and the effort it took for that to happen. (Sophie)

If you could have one job, what would it be? I could tell you one thing it might be. It might be a trade. As I had said, there are a lot of trades out there. Pouring cement is a trade along with welding. Mainly anything you do with your hands is a trade. Well. Almost everything. I don’t think playing video games is a trade… Yet. (Chelsey)

So, have you begun to think about what you’ll do in the future? You’re likely to have more than one job in your lifetime–perhaps one will be a trade. After seeing the video and reading about the trades, would you consider the trades? What do you think your career path will look like?


Managing Worry

Everybody worries. It could be about friendships, being on stage, or performing on the soccer field. Worry, as our counsellor Mr. Montgomery says, has a bad reputation, but really it is normal and can be a positive force in life. We learned about strategies to manage worry, then combined what we learned into cartoons.

This is harder than you would expect–developing a scenario that demonstrates effective strategies and creating effective panels requires creativity, thinking, and determination. Completed student cartoons will pop up on their blogs in the coming days.

So, readers, what do you worry about? How do you manage it? Are there strategies that you could suggest that will help us keep anxiety in perspective? Let us know in a comment!

Learning Among the Trees

Regal Douglas firs towering overhead, sword ferns blanketing the under-story, and slanting sun rays illuminating our path: what a spectacular place to learn. Our class was fortunate to spend a morning with Natasha Taylor, environmental educator, in Courtenay’s Millard Nature Park. Our experiences are documented below.

Huzzahnians, what do you remember about our trip? Did one of the activities especially help you learn about forest ecosystems? In your comments below, please tell us what you learned during our morning in the park. Natasha sent some questions along for you to consider. Answer one or contribute facts of your own in your comment.

  • What is a symbiotic relationship? Give an example.
  • What is the difference between a conifer (evergreen) tree and a deciduous tree?
  • A habitat is comprised of three elements. What are they?
  • Why do you think it is important to have dead wood (standing dead trees, fallen dead trees, tree stumps) in a forest ecosystem?
  • What important job do fungi perform in the forest ecosystem?

Finally, what is the most interesting thing that you learned, saw, or experienced in Millard Nature Park? Would you recommend your friends and family visit the park?

Blog visitors, do you have a favourite nature park or wilderness near you? What is the ecosystem like? Let us know why you value wild spaces.

Say Your Say!

Do you like sharing your opinions? Do you know things about things? Do you like helping people learn? Of course you do! So do Huzzahnians. All Grade 6 & 7 students are conducting inquiry research on a wide variety of topics from Samurai to guitars, and trench warfare to traditional fishing practices. Many students want to gather information and opinions from people around the world. Not all projects suit surveys, but the ones below do. Please help these learners out!

**When you finish the survey and submit your results you can select “see previous responses” to learn what others said!

It’s survey time!  Our surveys are now closed–we are grateful to you for all your support!

Kyle thinks skateboarding is cool. Do you?

Kehana asks you who does the laundry at your house?

Chelsey asks for your thoughts on Kenneth Oppel

Charlie likes chocolate and wants to know if you do, too

Kenzie is interested in your thoughts on another winter sport: snowboarding

Bekkam wants your thoughts on hockey skates

Dylan is curious about going fishing.

Mya wants to know about ironing and irons

Brianne wants your opinion about drinking tea

Sophie is curious about your taste in music

Summer would like to know how you feel about visiting your dentist

Tristan wants to know about your video game habits

Mara is curious about telephones and cell phones

Colt thinks you might have a thing or two to say about hats

Caitlyn asks how do you listen to music?

Reece wonders what you would say about goalie masks

Julia is into skiing and has questions for you

Colton believes you know a thing or two about hockey helmets

Do you have any suggestions for us to help improve our survey writing?  Should we have asked different questions? Formatted them another way? Thanks again for taking the time to support these students.   Thanks again to all those who filled in the surveys. We used the data to understand out topics and we shared the results at our Heritage Fair.

Survey says–we’re running our own businesses!

And we need your help! Please don’t leave without filling out our surveys at the bottom of this post.

(This guest post was written by 3 graduated Huzzahnians: Greyson, Meghan, and Andrew)

For the past month our class has been learning something very special: how to start and run our own businesses. Grade 6 classes from our school (and our grade 7s) are being sponsored the Coastal Community Credit Union to take part in  The Young Entrepreneur Program.

We have been learning all about the different types of businesses. There are retail, manufacturing, and service businesses.

When you own a retail business you sell products that are designed and produced by other businesses. For example WalMart is a retail business. Owning a services business means  you do things for people. For example, when you go to the dentist, they are supplying a service to you, not selling tooth brushes like a retail business or manufacturing tooth paste like a manufacturing business. But when you own a manufacturing business (like us) you  produce a product and sell it. For example, Duracell produces batteries and sells them to retailer like Canadian Tire. In our case, we are selling our products ourselves!

Another thing we learned about is how to conduct a market research survey. We put our questions into Google Forms and embedded them on our blogs. We hope they will tell us about what our customers want so we can  improve our products. Our fair is on Friday, February 10th in our school gym–less than 2 weeks away.

So, to help us out, please visit our surveys below. Just click on the link to go to the post–it takes less than a minute to answer a survey! (And while you are visiting, why not check out the excellent posts written by these young bloggers?)

**** Neat Feature! When you have finished the survey click on See previous responses. –what a great way to know what others thought.***

Thank you for your feedback!

Image credit: raw coins and leaves #7 by steveleenow