Robotics Tournament at Gladstone

This Saturday,  Jan 17th Mr. Ablett is hosting a  robotics tournament in the gymnasium at Gladstone Secondary School.
There will be about 45 teams participating from around the province.
If you or someone you know wants to come see some of the action,  any time between 10 am and 4 pm would be a good viewing time!
Also one of their students, Joshua W,  produced a very slick looking 90 second promotion video for Gladstone’s team and what they think is one of the most important things you can learn in robotics.

Classroom Energy Diet Challenge


Classroom Energy Diet Challenge

Canadian Geographic Education is hosting the fourth year of the Classroom Energy Diet Challenge, an award-winning contest aimed at raising Canadian students’ energy literacy.  The contest will be held from February 2 to April 28, 2015.  At the beginning of the school year, the Intermediate students voted to participate in this year’s Challenge.

The Diet Challenge consists of three streams:  The Classroom Challenge, Video Contest and the School Energy Project Contest.  There are many prizes to be won, which is a fun motivational tool for sure, however, my emphasis in having our students participate will be the learning itself, and putting the learning into action.

I will be sending home activities for home participation and I do hope our students will lead a School Project.  That will be up to them.  If there is a parent or parents who would like to volunteer any expertise in helping the students produce a video, that would be most welcome!

You are welcome to check out the Classroom Energy Diet Challenge website at

The “What’s Your Favourite Animal” Project


In What’s Your Favorite Animal? a new book by Eric Carle & Friends, 14 amazing children’s book artists share their favorite animals.

They are inviting all children and adults to do the same!

For Spring 2014, The Carle Museum of Picture Book Art is creating a special exhibition to celebrate this new book. They will showcase the original work of the 14 published artists as well as a digital exhibition from friends from around the world.

They are inviting people of all ages to submit a digital image of an original work of art depicting your own favorite animal. Your submission will be available on a digital screen in their gallery from April 8-August 31 and will be included in an online exhibition that will live on their museum’s blog.  Submissions will be accepted from now until August 1, 2014.

For further information on submitting your art, click here.



Robot Event for Students Grades 4 +

The Teacher Facilitator for the Robotics program district-wide, Mr. Brian Yu is hosting a robotics celebration event – September 27thfrom 4:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., at University Hill Secondary School.  He is inviting students grades 4 and up (only students registered in our, or other schools’ Robotics programs) to come and try the various robotics challenges.  There will be no winners and/or losers; everyone will be having fun.  Everyone will have an equal opportunity to give the robots a try at solving the various challenges.  Even if you don’t have a robot, you will be added into a group and a robot will be provided for you.

There will be a cost for entry: $10 per student with no robot.

Students can attend with parents, or can be dropped off.  If your child would like to participate, please let Shannon or Juliana know asap.

I will post the start and end times as soon as I hear back from Mr. Yu.


The Great Nature Project

great-natureNow here is a great way to learn about nature around us, and the earth’s biodiversity!

 National Geographic Kids is hosting  the world’s largest citizen science project. The Great Nature Project is an international attempt to record our world’s biodiversity, and your family can join right from your backyard. Find out how your kids can see their photos on a National Geographic website, and be a part of a worldwide event!

In my own backyard, I will be taking photos of the Painted Lady butterflies that are still visiting my lilac tree, the wonderful striped spiders that seem to have webs everywhere right now (what kind of spiders are they, anyhow?), the finches and chickadees that visit my feeders, the skunk family that lives out back – oh, and – of course! Sam and Sophie – the Wonderdogs that find themselves in so many of the adventures your children hear about every school year!

What a great way also  to fulfill curricular requirements in Science and Social Studies!!

Let’s get started!

Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup

Join the Garibaldi Home Learners’ kick off to the school year with a hands-on learning activity!  We will be joining thousands of Canadians from coast to coast to coast taking part in the annual Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup event to remove shoreline litter from ponds, streams, rivers, lakes and oceans.

This year The Shoreline Cleanup has an ambitious goal to remove over 100,000 kg of harmful litter.

The Home Learners’ are signed up to clean the Mitchell Island Beaver Pond – at the west end of the Michell Island. This is the perfect location for learning and helping the environment with its high density of wildlife including a beaver dam, river otters, wild ducks nest sites, eagle nests, hawks, cormorants, harbour seals, salmon and sturgeon.

Our cleanup event will be on Thursday, September 22nd at 1:00 p.m.  Mark your calendars!

More information, directions, supplies and carpooling info will be disseminated closer to the event date.


What Represents Canada?


The Canadian Wildlife Federation has just launched their of 2011 Reflections of Nature Photo Contest.

Next year marks 50 years of conservation for the Canadian Wildlife Federation and they want to start celebrating early! Set your sights on moments and photos that represent Canada’s past, present or future; it could be an owl perched on a century old pine, a chipmunk storing food near an urban center and everything else in between that reminds you of how Canada once was, is or might be someday. Since the winning photos from the contest will be featured in a 10-page spread in their magazines in January 2012, they thought it would be a perfect way to kick things off.

They will be judging all high resolution photos that feature flora, fauna, landscape or urban wildlife.

Prizes include a year-long magazine subscription to Canadian Wildlife, CWF goodies from their online store,   Photo printers from HP, a poster of your photo courtesy of Photojack and so much more!

So start snapping today! You have until October 31, 2011 to capture and submit your winning shot!

Participation in this type of project is a great way to incorporate curriculum areas such as community, Canada, weather, science, social studies, fine arts, even language arts!  What a great way to get us all thinking about all the things that represent Canada – and the things we cherish as Canadians!  Enjoy!

The Science of a Cheeseburger

As my students know (and most of their parents know)  I LOVE science and especially love chemistry.  Not only do I love it, but kids love it, and I think it is such an important topic for kids to learn in a fun and accessible way.

In my own nerdy way, I’ve had a pretty exciting morning – I was sent this fabulous Science 360 website and haven’t been able to pull myself away.  I hope you and your child enjoy and learn as much from this site as I am!  I will also post it under “favorite links.”

And, for my Grade 7’s, who are doing or are yet to be doing their chemistry unit – many great ideas here!


Jane Goodall

I am pleased to announce that our class – the Home Learners – has been selected to attend a special Dr. Jane Goodall event on October 20th being hosted by Science World and the Jane Goodall Institute.  This opportunity is being offered to only a select group of Metro Vancouver students and teachers.  We are truly fortunate to have been selected to attend and meet Dr. Goodall.

If you would like your child to participate, please ensure you complete and sign a field trip form – in your folder – and place in Shannon’s folder prior to October 20th.  Only students who have submitted their field trip forms by October 19th will be able to attend.

The event will take place at Science World in Vancouver.  Transportation to and from Science World is on your own.  Please arrive before our 9:15 check-in.  Our group will convene outside the front entrance.   This event is for registered students only.  Sorry, no parents or siblings.  Below is the itinerary for the morning:


9:15      Arrive at TELUS World of Science, check-in

9:30      OmniMAX Theatre

Welcome and Introductions

Dr. Jane Goodall

9:50        Watch Jane Goodall’s Wild Chimpanzees

10:30     Simon Jackson (Spirit Bear Youth Coalition)

10:45    Q & A with Dr. Jane Goodall

Opportunity to purchase Jane Goodall Institute merchandise

BC Green Games

Roots and Shoots

11:45     Leave TELUS World of Science

In preparation for this event, we will be learning about Dr. Goodall, her work with Chimpanzees, and Gombe, Africa from now until the event.  Following the event, we will debrief and perhaps embark upon a Roots and Shoots program or line of inquiry the children wish to pursue.

Earth Gauge

I found and checked out a great new science website designed for Intermediate students – but I think Primary students would really enjoy it as well. It is called Earth Gauge and focuses on a new Weather-Environment theme each month.  Students can find fun facts, activities, an interactive quiz and links to “cool tools” and games.  November’s theme was Migratory Birds and December’s theme is Winter Weather.  The Earth Gauge website is a project of the U.S. National Environmental Education Foundation.  Using the monthly themes of Earth Gauge might be a fun way to learn new science topics and stay engaged with science learning!