Category Archives: Our Life

EaRtHqUaKe PrEpArEdNeSs

Wednesday, January 26th, 2011 is the Great British Columbia Shake Out. While our global neighbours face and prepare for floods, droughts, tsunami, and hurricanes, we train to be ready for earthquakes. Those of you who live in the Pacific Ring of Fire or another earthquake-prone area will likely have done drills at school. Those facing other threats will have prepared for those emergencies.  In a comment, please share how you practice and stay safe–what is your advice?

This guest post is by Laina. She shares safety advice as well as her personal plan. Other posts on earthquake preparedness will be popping up on student blogs soon!


BOOM! The TV falls to the floor while the ceiling fan in your room crashes to your bed and the paintings fly off the walls. Drop! Cover! Hold on! Surprise! It’s an earthquake.

Every year students everywhere take part in earthquake drills. Most students just dismiss them as boring drills that you always have to do.

drop cover hold on But these are important, they could save lives if you remember what you did at that boring drill at school last week.

What not to do.

You may have heard that standing in a doorway, running outside, or using the ‘Triangle of Life‘ are the safest things to do rather than going underneath something. Well, that’s not true.

If you try to run outside then the ground can move under your feet and knock you off balance. You could also be hit by falling, flying items or tripped by objects on the ground.

Okay, then, I’ll stand in the doorway. No! Despite what people have told you before, standing in the doorway is NOT safe. People would say that because about eight to ten years ago there was an earthquake in California, and it showed a house with only the door standing. This is why we believe that the door frame is safe. But in houses today, doorways are no safer than standing where you are doing nothing when the earthquake appears.

What’s the Triangle of Life? (notice how I crossed it out so you won’t do it?)

The Triangle of Life is the theory to seek shelter next to a large building, because  if you hide under a table, the roof will collapse and crush you under the table (it is not true). The theory is that if you squat next to tables or stand next to a building outside it will act as a roof beam that will prevent other things from falling on you.

The best thing to do is find a table or solid structure and crawl under, and count to sixty Mississippi’s: one Mississippi, two Mississippi, three Mississippi and so on. If the earthquake lasts more than sixty seconds, then keep counting or wait til’ an adult gives you the all-clear.


First thing you need to do is make a plan. You need to make a plan about where you would go and what you would do at school and home. If I was entering the bathroom when it occurred, I would get in the cupboard. If I was in my room, I would go under my bed and if I was in the kitchen I would crawl under the kitchen table.

If I was at school in the hallway I would run into the nearest room, if I was really close, and get under the nearest table. In the classroom or the computer lab, I would get under the desks or computer desks and hold on.

Everyone needs a plan, make yours now.

For more info visit: The Shake Out BC website or visit here to play Beat The Quake to learn about how to secure items in your house.

Image credit to

Reminding Us To Be Our Better Selves

A school is more than teachers and kids.

We couldn’t succeed without the support of our parents, administrators, educational assistants, clerk librarians, custodians, and secretaries. We ask a lot of them, and each of us has a story to tell of how, every day, each of these people has helped us solve problems or find the things we need.

One person who does a tremendous amount for all of us is our secretary, Mrs. Crawford. She is the one who keeps our school ticking along. In many ways she reminds me of the Energizer Bunny

Our school's Super Secretary, Mrs. Crawford

Our school's Super Secretary, Mrs. Crawford

She must have at least 500 interactions a day, from phone calls, emails, drop-ins, and requests for any number of things,–yet somehow she handles them all with grace and good humour. Students ask for permission forms, band aids, containers for lost teeth, and if they can use the phone. Usually, these interactions are courteous, but sometimes they are curt, demanding, and impolite.

We could say people are in a hurry, or lazy, or not aware, or maybe just in need of a little reminding. A little reminder to be, well, our better selves. Huzzahnians, a creative and thoughtful bunch, staged a bit of a Door Decoration Intervention to promote what all of us already know: good manners matter.

Here are some of our mini posters. Click on the thumbnail to see the whole poster.

We would love it if you would leave a comment.

Is there someone you know who is especially courteous? What difference does it make to you? Do you sometimes forget one of these habits when you are interacting with others? Is one of them especially important to you, and you really notice it when people forget? Please tell us if we forget to mention anything.

And by the way, thanks for stopping by. Do drop in again!

‘Tis the (Halloween) Season

This post is written by Mr. Carmichael (Yes, that Mr. Carmichael!) over at Building Blocks. You’ll soon find a similar post at Mrs. Braidwood’s Ripple Effect and Mr. Ferneyhough’s Chili Sauce, too. Huzzahnians, I will be sending you to these blogs to comment and connect with our Valley neighbours. Visitors, please feel free to comment here or visit the blogs above and spread the blog luv around!

Do we just want to have fun? Or are we greedy?

Do we just want to have fun? Or are we greedy?

Halloween is this weekend. Regina’s Leader Post has some interesting information in its article.

  • Americans are prepared to spend $5.8 billion dollars on Halloween this year.
  • Two out of every five Americans are planning on wearing a costume this year.
  • The money will be spent on candy, decorations, and costumes for adults, children, and pets.
  • The average American will spend $66.28 on Halloween this year, even during these tough economic times.
  • This makes Halloween the second biggest money generator for Canadian and American businesses.  Halloween follows behind Christmas and leads Back to School for most money spent.

This raises some interesting questions for you to ponder….

Do these statistics surprise you? What do our spending habits around Halloween say about us as a culture?

Are you looking forward to Halloween? What has been your very best costume?  What is your favourite candy treat?  Do you eat your candy all at once or do you ration it, only eating a few pieces of candy a day?

Looking forward to your spooktacular comments!

Image: Candy Domo by matoutah

Why Visit Us?

WelcomeMiss Wyatt has set us a task in the first week of the Student Blogging Challenge (which began last week, so we are running to catch up). She asked us to answer this question: Why on earth should anyone visit us here at Huzzah!?

Well, to answer that question, I will ask ten more:

  1. Is it Spring where you are? It’s not here. It’s a rainy, windy Fall here, so we would like to be reminded of the best days of Spring. What’s like where you are?
  2. Do you play cricket? We don’t, but we’d like to know what it’s like. We could tell you about hockey, soccer, and lacrosse.
  3. Do you have a President? We don’t. We have a Prime Minister…and a Queen! (A real one, not an impostor–did I say that?)
  4. Do you speak Urdu? German? Swahili? We don’t. But maybe you could teach us. We could teach you how to ask to sharpen your pencil in French. We are full of practical knowledge.
  5. Are you surrounded by large buildings where you live? Do you have a major sports team in your city? We don’t. We live in a relatively small town, but it’s very friendly and we find lots of great things to do outdoors.
  6. Do you get heaps of snow in winter and have lots of snow days? We don’t. The snow is generally on the mountains which are only forty minutes away, and sadly we didn’t have a single snow day last year.
  7. Do you wear a uniform to school? We don’t, and we want to know what it’s like to wear one.
  8. Do you live near a desert and get to see cactuses –or is that cacti? We don’t. We live near the ocean in a temperate rain forest with large Douglas firs. We’d like to know what a desert is like…and a deciduous forest, and the savanna, and the tundra.
  9. Do you like snakes? Art? Skateboarding? Technology? Turtles–jellyfish–dogs? Music? Hockey? Math? Space? WE DO! Wow, we could learn from you! Wait until we start blogging–we will have so much to say, and we hope you will share your knowledge, thoughts, opinions, and experiences with us.
  10. Are you a learner? Curious about people all over the world? WE ARE! The reason to come to our blog is because we are curious about YOU. We hope that what we present on our class blog, and soon on our student blogs, will peak your curiosity and stir up some questions.  Maybe you’ll tell us a little about yourself.

Glad to meet you! Thanks for visiting. Got something to say? Leave a comment after the beep. Beep!

Image credit: Welcome by Claudio Matsuoka

We have a lot in common, but…

…there are some surprises when it comes to candy.

We have been working with our friends on Long Island, New York, in Mrs. Parisi and Ms Southard’s class (the South Paris Collaborative) and we discovered many similarities. But here is a surprise: some of our candy is different!

canada smarties



The first picture shows Smarties in Canada, the second shows Smarties in the USA, and the last shows Rockets candies from Canada. Why do you think these tasty treats are different in our two countries? Does it matter? Can you think of or find any other quirky, crazy little surprises like this? And if you are not from Canada or the USA, do you have Smarties or Rockets?


no title by mzffTwo recent posts from Huzzahnian bloggers: Lizzie and Eric:


As most of you know Haiti has just had an enormous earthquake that has changed the lives of many people. All you need to know is that we can help! The Red Cross is collecting money, so that is a great place to donate to.  Our class is  working on doing the best we can to make a difference. When you think about what has happened… you feel powerless!

And I bet the people in Haiti want our help. As Rebekah said yesterday in class “If the earthquake had happened where you lived… wouldn’t you want people to help?” And I totally stand by that! Think. If you got someone half way across the world that was thinking about you, praying for you, sending money for your benefit…wouldn’t you want it? People you didn’t even know existed are now sending money to help you and your country. That’s amazing and it is all happening! You can be one of those people who can help save the lives of many. There is still Hope.

Everyone is trying to make a difference with telethons and fundraisers. This is going to stay here for a lot of time. It’s not quick as in a few months,  this is a long time shock that will affect people forever. It will always be stuck in their minds and it may never go away. With missing limbs it’s not something you can forget… it will live with them till the day they die.

Please help all the people in need!

Eric did not say that this poem was specifically about Haiti–but somehow it feels like could be:


I sit in the dark
Waiting for something that will never come

As I stare into coal-black darkness
I  see the shadows dancing ominously

They sneer and cackle at me viciously

I heard the eerie silence speak to me
Luring me deeper into the empty abyss
Where I finally see a spark of light
That lit up the whole world
And everything became clear—

I was staring at hope.

What gives you hope when you are feeling hopeless? When others are suffering, how should we respond?

Image (no title) by Mzff®

I’ve got choices…I’m not bored.

bored children zenWe have started DARE. It’s a 10-week program designed to help students explore strategies and decision making options around personal safety and peer pressure, particularly in the areas of smoking, alcohol, and drugs. A “big idea” in the program is that we are in charge of our choices. Having options for ways to have a good time makes life fun and rewarding, and is an insulator against drifting into unsafe choices.

Huzzahnians know they have lots of options, which you can read on their blogs. Here are just some ideas from their 10 Cool Things To Do posts:

  • Biking through the woods, bushes and trees flying past as you speed down a rocky trail, you fly past a man walking his dog and realize that you’re free. —Tyler
  • Swimming at lakes, rivers, beaches and pools is a great way to spend summertime or go to indoor pools in the winter. —Rebekah
  • Riding my bike to Co-op and buying a Slurpie. — Riley
  • Play badminton with my family in the back yard. — Priya
  • Karaoke: you get to sing and it is a super fun time. It is a great thing to do with family and friends. — Payton
  • Play on my Wii game system. —Matteo
  • Read graphic  novels that have some pictures because the pictures let me know what the characters look like and the background looks like. —Mark
  • Pat a dog. Dogs always appreciate it! —Rosa
  • Listening to music (that you like, of course) because the beat, rhythm, and lyrics that make you want to listen to the song all day. Eric
  • Photography:  it is not fast-paced but it is a good activity to calm yourself and it is peaceful.  —Easton
  • Writing is an activity that can also make my mood come back to normal if I’m really excited or really tired. I like to write songs and poems. Blogging–I love blogging! —Sierra

We think we have come up with a pretty thorough list of activities. What do you think? Have we missed anything? Let us know!

Image: Bored Children by zen (Thanks to Rebekah for finding this image.)