Tag Archives: writing

Posts are Popping Up!

The students of Smartlandia (long story, that) are new bloggers here at Huzzah! Well, except for four of them who are veterans. To get a taste of their writing, click on the Flipboard below, scroll down, and click again to read some fresh writing that includes poetry, narrative, and humour. Please leave a comment to encourage these young writers.

View my Flipboard Magazine.

Looking for Some Good Reading?

Things are beginning to hop on our student blogs. It takes a while to learn (and in some cases, relearn) digital citizenship, commenting process and etiquette, how to work with widgets, theme customization, how to plan, write, and revise posts, how to add Creative Commons images, how to tag, categorize, and make links…It’s a tall digital order!

So now it’s time to take a look at the fruits of our labours. Students have done a few assigned posts and now they are blogging about their own interests. Follow the links, read the posts, and why not leave a supportive comment? Please leave your blog url so students can return the favour.Grape divinity

Amy and Will tell you about their sailing experiences.
Faith has two cute, unique pets.
Boone knows about the biggest stuff on Earth!Tools
Gillian likes to dance. Here’s why.
Brayden has learned about Pugs.
Find out what Lauren collects.
Luke can wants to know if you prefer cats or dogs.
Maya has adventures at the lunchtime zoo.
Renée shares a delicious recipe.
Sara has changed her mind about being in Band.
Cameron plays Canada’s favourite game.
Curious about longboarding? Read Ethan V.‘s post.
Josh I likes a sport you can play inside while Mike likes one you play outside.
Kenzie shares her creativity.
Liam writes about pets, not once but twice and video games, not once but twice! Bonus, one more!
Logan is putting dinner on the table.
Scott is looking forward to winter weather.
Alana has re-read this great book many times.
Tengis tells you about robots.
Andrew, Eric, and Ethan P. share their favourite video games. Cade too. Ok, and Josh J. too.
Teyia has won six medals!
Trevor is flying high and enjoying life in the water.

Do you have some great posts for us to read? Why not leave a link. Thanks for stopping by!

Photo Credit: See1,Do1,Teach1 via Compfight

I Get Wobbly Knees


When I read powerful student writing, something happens to my knees. They actually shake. I know that sounds silly, but it just happens. I get weak in the knees. It’s a good thing I am usually sitting down when I read student posts because these days I would have to strap a pillow to my derriere.

Good writing is not effortless. My students are really sweating over their work. I am proud of their willingness to polish their writing and hope you can tell how much thought goes into each blog post. 

The post below is written by Jenna. You can tell she has a topic she cares about, one she has been thinking about. 

Photo Credit: squacco via Compfight


Art is a passion, not pass time.

I believe with art you can never go wrong with being yourself  and letting your true passion shine. When you pick up a pencil or paintbrush you can just let your feelings flow. I love art because it’s a way to express yourself,  inspire and be inspired.

With art you can express your passion and you can make a difference if you care. My favourite form of art is painting, I usually use acrylic paints and paint on canvas instead of paper. I don’t like painting “exact” but I don’t have a specific technique. There are many forms of art, sculptures, paintings, drawings, clay, origami, etc. Lots of artists have specific techniques that they use every time. One of my favourite artists is Gustav Klimt. I love his tree of life painting and I’ve even done one myself at our local 4Cats Art Studio.

Gustav Klimt
Creative Commons License Photo Credit: David Flam via Compfight

Art is not about being exact; it is about being spontaneous, courageous and creative. Some people get so caught up in trying to make it perfect that they lose the meaning and importance to the the piece because art isn’t about perfection it’s about having fun and being able to express yourself whether it’s with a pencil, or a paintbrush it’s your chance to be creative and I love that about art.

What about you?

Please comment on Jenna’s post here.

Marmots and Agents and Hair–Oh My!

We're not in Kansas anymoreLike Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz who was wide-eyed at the thought of “Lions and Tigers and Bears–oh my!”, my eyebrows are up as I read the engaging posts on Huzzahnian blogs. Just click your heels and click a link…

       There’s no place like blogs, there’s no place like blogs…

  • Are you a remote control buff? Visit Trevor‘s Blog.
  • On both Noah and Jacob‘s blog you’ll find great food reviews–burgers or bbq, anyone?
  •  Maddy tells you about a hair disaster.
  • Animals with hooves? Giraffes, donkeys, zebras frolic on Bailee, Kehana, and Jenna‘s blogs
  • Want to read about more unusual animals? Brendan, LiamKenzie, and Monica
  • Kyle talks about an animal you find everywhere.
  • Julia describes snowboarding
  • On Bekkam‘s blog you’ll read about his problems with pencils.
  • Reece tells you about his top 10 favourite dogs
  • Ever heard of Dr. Who? Let Roxanne tell you about him.
  • Sam tries her first zoom post–she wants your ideas, too.
  • Sophie discusses favourite seasons.
  • Got some random questions? Nicole is looking for your thoughts.
  • Favourite bands are discussed by Melanie and Kaiden.
  • Furry friends? SummerCole, Josh, and Spencer talk about them.
  • More good news about good deeds is shared by Adena.
  • Tristan reviews the video game Spore.
  • Becky writes poetically about fish.
  • Do you have an artistic side? So does Elysa.
  • Finally, want a little fiction? Chelsey is beginning a Secret Agent saga.
So, follow the yellow brick road to some terrific posts, and why not leave a comment or two? Do you have a great post for us to read? Let us know–and leave a link–in a comment. 

Photo Credit: Here’s Kate via Compfight cc

Have you got what it takes?

We’re hiring! Looking for a few good men  Huzzahnians…

Gorilla Rentals: Now Hiring

Ms. Steak is on the street looking for future Huzzahnians.

The call has gone out and applications for the position of Grade 7 students are pouring  in. Ms. Steak is reviewing each candidate carefully. What do you think–do these applicants have what it takes to be a Grade 7 Huzzahnian?

Some applicants let her know how wonderful they are right away:

  • I would love to apply as a Grade 7 student. I am very amazing and hope I meet your expectations. ~Kaiden
  • I would love to apply for the position of Grade 7 student, just like I did for that unicorn raising job, which was very cool. My friends and family told me I’d do great. (Not really. They just said go to Grade 7.) ~Roxanne
  • I am the best student you’ll ever have (sometimes)…So when I get this job, and I know I will, you will be proud! ~Julia

Many have special talents:

  • I have a great number of eating trophies from the USSR, but sadly I got kicked out for trying to eat the national monument.  ~Kyle
  • If you accept me you will never regret it. I am a genius. I am an awesome cartoonist  and I could make millions if I showed the world my talents. ~Noah
  • One of my qualities is that I am athletic. I play soccer and I make Ronaldo look like he has never touched a soccer ball before. ~Spencer
  • I am also creative and raise unicorns with moustaches in my backyard. Just kidding. See? Creative. ~Adena
  • I am such a fabulous genius. I have created a miniature ferris wheel that can hypnotize anyone, even Superman. ~Tristan

Some have fabulous personalities:

  • I am very easy going so I know, like, legitimately, positively that EVERYONE will like me. I’m not even kidding. Everyone loves me. ~Sophie
  • I am a great role model, and am nice and friendly. I will try my best to work hard and listen. And I have great manners. ~Trevor

A few were making excuses already:

  • I will try my best to listen and work hard but I can’t come to school on all days that end in a Y because I have to make McNuggets at McDonalds. ~Cole
  • You should know that I have very important meetings in NY (New York) and may not get to do homework. ~Chelsey

Some know how to…appeal to Ms. Steak:

  • I would like to, wait, no, LOVE to be a student in your Grade 7 class! It would be an honour. ~Summer
  • You sound like an amazing teacher! I’m very quiet in and out of class and won’t waste your time with stupid questions. ~Melanie
  • All the teachers have said that I have been a very good student and that I listen to the teacher at all times. ~Reece

There were a few perfect students in the pile:

  • I am known as the teacher’s pet. Everyday I will bring and apple for the teacher. NEVER will I be late or miss one day of learning; all my homework will be finished before it is due. ~Kehana
  • I truly believe that I would be a fantastic Grade 7 student because I’m funky fresh and have an extraordinary sense of humour. I also have convinced myself that I have a fabulous voice that I can keep quiet at the right time. ~Josh

Some applicants shared their limitations:

  • I would also like to inform you that my greatest dislike of all is my arch enemy…BROCCOLI (scream). ~Liam
  • My least favourite subject is math because it requires hard work and smartness. ~Bekkam
  • I am amazing at art. It’s just…I have no control over a pencil (I got my mom to write this for me). I have not sense in colour, pictures, or shadowing. But aside from all that, I make a great artist! ~Elysa

Others knew how to wrap it up with a bit of begging:

  • So, Ms. BBQ–I meant Ms. Steak, I hope you will accept me as a great Grade 7 student. ~Monica
  • I hope my good manners, leadership skills, and awesome personality will help you make the right decision for this awesome job! ~Maddy
  • I have just informed you of all the reasons why you should let me into Grade 7. I hope you don’t make a “mistake” and not pick me. ~Becky

Creative Commons image. Link and credit on the image itself.

So the pressure is on. Ms. Steak is finalizing her list of new hires for the 2012 – 2013 team. What do you think? What qualities should she be looking for in her new students? Leave us a comment, we’ll let her know.

We’re Cooking with Gas!

Cooking with gas is a favourite idiomatic expression of mine. It means you’re on fire–full of enthusiasm–efficient–getting things done.

And we are! The student blogs are loaded with great writing worth reading. These bloggers have only been at it for a month, but I think they are really getting the hang of it, don’t you? (By the way there is a lot of great reading beyond the posts listed here–take a gander, read a little or a lot, leave a comment, leave some more…but I digress.)

There’s something here for everyone (student names are linked to the post):

  • Are you interested in penguins? Do you know the difference between crows and ravens? Colt and Chelsey are experts.
  • And more on birds–Mya shares cool facts about owls.
  • Turtles, too. Jared has deep knowledge to share.
  • Are you a sports fan? Read about Bekkam‘s love of hockey and Coltons latest soccer goal.
  • Are you a skateboarder? Kyle, Jordan, and Jackson have reviews for you.
  • From rap to a capella, Sophie‘s got the history of music.
  • Want a little Halloween fright? Read Kehana and Summer‘s blogs.
  • Family pets? Reece is a fan of gerbils and Kenzie has dogs, cats, and chickens!
  • Do you want to remember the summer? Travel to Italy with Julia.
  • Have you done something that made a difference? Read about Tristan‘ s efforts.
  • Are interested in Minecraft? Max dishes the dirt on the latest 1.9 release.
  • Like TV shows? Nic tells you about his favourite.
  • Want a dose of creepy? Tommy has a post that will curl your toes.
  • Are you hungry? Try a yummy dessert on Caitlyn‘s blog
  • Looking to try designing video games? Griffin as a great post on Stencylworks.
  • Find out about Charlie‘s favourite book, Briannes first books,  and where Mara likes to read. Oh, and read all the other Me as a Reader autobiographies on the student blogs.
  • And of course you want to read some great monster stories with ink monster art by Dylan and Jack (and the whole gang–just look).

You can cook with gas, too. Read, think, comment!

image: 3D Frozen Flame – 2D friendly! by bufivla



How to Grab ‘Em at the First Sentence

A blogger only gets one chance to make a first impression.

The Expectant Gnome

He's opening with a bouquet, trying to make a good first impression.

As a blogger you have to give careful thought to your first few sentences–what we are calling “openers”.  We have been auditioning a few on our soon-to-be-published Where I Live pages. We are trying to grab your attention and invite you to read on. Tell us: do our openers grab you?

Because we are especially generous, we will share our strategies. Actually, they are used by other writers use, too. Feel free to improve upon our ideas–and then tell us about your writing. (Not all of our Where I Live pages are published yet–the drafts are still being polished. Stay tuned.)

You can start a piece of writing with a question. Like this:

Do you live somewhere where you are close to big white mountains, fresh-water rivers, and amazing wildlife? I do! ~ Matt

Have you ever wondered why our license plate has “Beautiful British Columbia” written on it?  ~ Arwen

How much further West can you get in Canada? Not much!    ~ Jared

You can start a piece of writing with humour. Like this:

Where do I live, you ask? I live …uh…..I…(check map)…I’m just kidding. I live in breathtaking British Columbia, Canada.  ~ Kendra

It’s where I live. It has grass, trees, and the occasional Camspot (camel refueling station).  ~ Noah

You can start a piece of writing with a strong statement. Like this:

I live in the most beautiful place of all: the Comox Valley, where it’s not too cold and not too warm.  ~ Charlie

The world is huge, the world is amazing… and lucky for me, I live in the best, most beautiful place ever!  ~ Jane

You can start a piece of writing with a triple phrase. Like this:

Tall trees, fresh air, and icy, crystal clear water… I have them here.  ~ Darion

The stunning view of the Comox Glacier, the crashing waves at Goose Spit, and the soaring bald eagles are enough to make someone faint.   ~ Matthew

Do you live by the ocean? Can you see towering mountains off into the distance? Are you able to go to a beach and swim all day? ~ Greyson

You can start a piece of writing by painting a scene for the reader. Like this:

The eagle screeches in the the early morning, soaring over the sky, the great glacier in the distance. ~ Jack

I live in the beautiful Comox Valley where all the Douglas fir trees are and the Comox Glacier has a blanket of snow and ice on it all the time.  ~ Ethan

You can start a piece of writing with by creating a sound-scape for the reader. Like this:

Puff…    That’s unmistakable sound of the rippling, powdery snow as I carve down the newly blanketed face of our mountain, Mt. Washington.  ~ Jordan

You can start a piece of writing with a very short sentence. Like this:

Everything. That’s what I have where I live. I have everything I could ever want: lakes, oceans, forests, mountains.    ~ Maya

Beautiful British Columbia. A place of everything from mountains to shopping. A place of nature and the 21 century.  ~ Meghan

You can start a piece of writing with a surprising fact. Like this:

I live on Vancouver Island in the Comox Valley, where deer walk the streets.  ~ Zach

I have the ocean and snow-filled mountains close by. That means I can fish and ski all in the same day!   ~ Reid

I live in Canada, the second largest country in the world.  ~ Amber

I’m going to take you on a journey, outside the computer screen and into my world. ~ Laina

You can start a piece of writing with a combination–a question and a triple phrase. Like this:

Have you ever wanted to just unwind in a beautiful landscape? Imagine the salty spray in your face, the smell of sweet sap on a pine tree, the taste of freshly cooked salmon.  ~ Andrew

Well, that’s quite a variety. Each student is writing about essentially the same topic–our home, the Comox Valley–and yet there is wonderful diversity in their writing. We are writing these pages to help visitors, many of whom are taking part in the Student Blogging Challenge, have a sense of where we live. Please take time to visit and encourage these bloggers. I suspect you will be entertained, informed, and inspired.