Thursday, February 28, 2008

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Grades 1-2: Stick Figures

Today, we're going to use Notebook to edit digital stick figures. By the end of the lesson, we will have practiced some cool stuff that you were not able to do at the beginning of the year: Isolating and viewing an image online; Copying and pasting an image from the internet into SMART Notebook; Editing an image using tool software; Saving a new file into a personal folder; and Selecting an appropriate networked printer to create a hardcopy.

Click on the stick person to view him full-sized, copy and paste him into a notebook file, and give him a little personality! What do you think his hair should look like? What is he wearing? What is he standing on? What is he looking at? Don't forget to print him out when you're finished so that you can hang him on the Wall.

Grades 3-6: World Book Online

The students of BG have the opportunity to try World Book Online, an electronic encyclopedia, free for the next few days.
  1. Surf on over to
  2. Enter the userID (canada) and the password (stars)
  3. Comment on this post to let me know what you think. Is it an encyclopedia that is worth buying a subscription to? Would you use it for research? What did you like about it? What didn't you like?

Technical Update: BG Students May Now Post Comments

Blogging is the act of writing an online journal. It's a lot like the journals that some of you write for school or at home. While blogs and journals both record thoughts, feelings, and events; a blog is meant to be public, and a journal is (generally) meant to be private. By reading this blog, you are joining hundreds of others who also read it - for information, entertainment, or curiosity. Since blogs are public, it makes sense that readers should be able to respond to posts that they read. should comments sound? What is the polite way to leave a comment to a post? These questions are all related to something called netiquette - the rules that tell us what's polite and what's not on the Internet.

Here's a summary of polite ways to comment on a blog post:
  • Use proper grammar, check your spelling, and avoid "txt tlk" (or, "text talk" - which is basically a type of shorthand used when people text message each other on phones). Othrwize ppl wil thnk u cnat spel!!!!!!!!!!!!1
  • Be polite.
  • Stick to the topic being discussed.
  • Always remember: your comment could be online forever! Don't write something online that you might regret later!
  • Be patient. If you cannot view your comment right away, the blog may have a delay for one reason or another. Comments are usually posted within 24 hours.
  • NEVER post personal information! Posting your last name, street or email address, phone number, or school information is a REALLY bad idea. Don't do it. Ever.
The brilliant people at the University of Western Ontario have made an even more detailed summary of netiquette. Click on the picture to enlarge it.

Congratulations to Lara: She was the first person to post a comment to the Brom Blog!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Mlle Kerr's Class: Martian Snow and Overdue Work

What a class! After reading over details about the Science Centre programs that we have the opportunity to take part in for our class trip (date to be announced), we made a chart on the SMARTBoard to help us decide which option seemed to be the best (click on the chart to enlarge).
After taking a vote, we decided that the "Solar System Revealed" session looked the best. Now all we have to decide is whether or not we are going to see the Omnimax film about Mars that'll be playing on the day of our trip.

A quick note to students with overdue work:
Essays must include...

  1. Name, date, and title
  2. Three facts from the Science Centre website regarding our trip (these facts could be about the program, costs, film, lunch room, arrival/departure times, or exhibit halls)
  3. Why you're excited about the trip: What's exciting? Why is it exciting? (Note: simply writing "I'm looking forward to learning about Mars because Mars is cool" is NOT an acceptable statement. But, of course, we already talked about this. :)

All overdue work is to be submitted to the Green Monster in the Lab (pictured below) *before* your next computer class. Feed him your homework as soon as you can so that you can move on to learning other fun stuff.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Mlle Kerr's Class: Blast Off to Awesome Town

The week before last, you researched, typed, and handed in persuasive essays suggesting locations for a cool class trip. To get an A on your paper, you had to:
  • Write your essay in Microsoft Word
  • Include the date
  • Include a title
  • Include the Web address of your class trip suggestion
  • Include the cost
  • Explain how your class trip suggestion could be connected to the things that we're studying in school
Now that I've counted up your well-written suggestions, I am pleased to announce that we will be going here to study space, and more specifically, Mars.

Today, we will decide on which program we'd like to have during our visit to the Science Centre. We will also talk about what we know (or what we think we know) about Mars. Finally, we will start to learn a little about the Red Planet through online research.

Here are our program choices:
  1. Exhibit Hall Visit PLUS Two Hour Program: Space Mission Simulation (about $15/student)
  2. Exhibit Hall Visit PLUS Forty-Five Minute Program: Destination Space (about $10/student)
  3. Exhibit Hall Visit PLUS Forty-Five Minute Program: Solar System Revealed (about $10/student)
  • We can add the fifty-minute Omnimax film (Roving Mars) to our trip for about $6/student.
Follow the links to learn about the programs. We will discuss the positives and negatives about each program after you've had a chance to read about them.


Mlle Holden's Class: Researching Topics Online

**********UPDATED: Links Fixed! **********
Mlle. Holden's students are nearing the end of the research phase of their Speech Arts projects. Many students have only a few facts left to gather. To help you through this process, I have collected some websites that may help. These sites are sorted by topic below. If you can't find what you're looking for, you could always search Google Kids.

Before you get started, there are two things you need to remember:
  • Don't copypasta! Write your notes in your own words to avoid plagiarism, and write down the web address where you got your information!
  • While I will always try my best to provide you with kid-friendly sites, surfing the Web is like walking around a really big city - and certain parts of cities are not always great for brilliant young adults like you. If you surf onto an inappropriate website by accident, use your net-smarts: leave the site, and tell an adult.
Amazing Animals and Awful Animal Cruelty
National Geographic – Creature Feature
World Wildlife Fund – Endangered Species
Zoobooks – Animal Directory
Wikipedia – Octopus
TONMO – Octopus News Magazine
Family Education – Vegetarian Kids

Youth Noise – Facts About Animal Cruelty
Buzzle – Animal Cruelty

Awesome American Election Process
Ben’s Guide – The Election Process for Kids
Library of Congress – Elections The American Way

Cool Cities and Countries
Wikipedia – Quebec City
QuebecWeb - Quebec City
Ville De Quebec – About
United Nations - Country at a Glance (takes a second to load)
Government of Canada - Cultural Profiles Project
Fact Monster - Countries of the World

Famous Figures
Disney Channel - Hanna Montana
Wikipedia – Hanna Montana
Scholastic – Geronimo Stilton
Wikipedia – Geronimo Stilton
BBC – Mona Lisa
Louvre – A Closer Look at the Mona Lisa

Marvelous Medieval Times
4th and 5th Grade Students - Medieval Quest
4th and 5th Grade Students - Life in the Middle Ages
Horace Mann Middle School – Medieval Islamic Cultures

Spectacular Sports
Exploratorium – Skateboard Science
Private Site - Skateboard Dictionary
X-Village – Skateboarding 101
Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta – Skateboard Safety
Historica Minutes – Basketball
(You’ll need to turn your sound on to hear the video. If you’re in the Computer Lab, ask for permission first!)
Naismith Museum and Hall of Fame – James Naismith
Exploratorium – The Science of Hockey
Musée de la civilisation - Mad About Hockey

Terrific Technology
Tekmom - Technology Buzzwords
How Stuff Works – Computers

Twisty Tornadoes and Spectacular Shooting Stars
National Severe Storms Laboratory – Tornadoes: Nature’s Most Violent Storms
Federal Emergency Management Agency – Tornadoes
World Almanac for Kids – Comets
BBC – Comets
Amazing Space – Famous Comets

Monday, February 18, 2008

Just For Fun: A Two Second Tour of the B.G. Lab

Our second floor Computer Lab is one of a handful of self-contained rooms at Beverly Glen – a mostly open concept school. While the back wall of the lab is typical painted cinderblock, the two side walls are made of magnetic paneling and the front is walled in giant sheets of glass. Students in the lab are able to look out into BG’s huge, multi-lingual Library.

Our Lab houses twenty five desktop PCs, a SMARTBoard, and a high-capacity printer…plus a few plants and a tank with about thirty well-fed Giant African Millipedes. Our overflow area contains four iMacs and one PC on wheels (for large-group presentations).

The 'Technology Tree', which can be seen on one of the Lab's windows, is covered in leaves that display student work. Each leaf depicts one technological item that we use in our everyday lives. Almost every student, from kindergarten to grade six, created a leaf. Our tree's branches are heavy with the work of hundreds of tech-savvy kids!

Each class in the school has a section of magnetic wall to call their own - this is where student work is hung and special announcements are made. There is always something new to see in the Lab, computer-generated art is constantly put up and taken down. The neatest parts about the class boards are the picture clips: Each child has their own picture attached to a magnetic clothes peg. Work that they can be proud of is always hung with their personal magnet. This way, the entire school can celebrate individual success. At the end of the year, each student will get to take home their photo-magnet (hey, parents! I'll bet these photo-magnets would look really cool on your fridge doors at home!)

There is always tons to see and do at the BG Computer Lab. Make an appointment, come by, and visit us sometime!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Computer Club: Animated GIFs

An animated GIF (Graphics Interchange Format) file is a graphic image on a Web page that moves - for example, a twirling icon or a banner with a hand that waves or letters that magically get larger. They are frequently used in Web advertisement banners.

All animated GIFs have the file extension ".gif". This means that, when the files are saved, the computer automatically adds ".gif" to the end of the file name. For example, if I named a file "bunnycarrot", it would be saved as "bunnycarrot.gif"

Still image files contain only one picture. Animated GIF files contain a set of images that are presented in a specified order. These images can either loop endlessly or they can have action that stops at the end of a picture sequence, telling a miniature story.

While Java, Flash, and other tools can be used to achieve the same effects as an animated GIF, animated GIFs are generally easier to create than comparable images with Java or Flash and usually smaller in size (thus faster to display).

Click on the still image above to see the animated GIF version. Press the back button to return to this page.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Grades 4-6: Researching and Writing the Honest Way

Copypasta, verb. (1) Internet slang term for the act of copying and pasting another person's work and reposting it as one's own. (2) Plagiarism in an online environment.

With many junior classes beginning research for speech projects, it is an exciting time at Beverly Glen. It's also the perfect time to talk about academic honesty. Click on the picture to learn more.

You can make your own copypasta motivational poster by going here.

Grade 6: Media Literacy

"Children spend the majority of their days consuming mass media. On average, children spend four-and-a-half hours a day using television, video games and computers. Yet children are not provided with the tools needed to evaluate and analyze the media messages they see.

"Teachers have the ability to engage students in media literacy — the ability to access, evaluate, analyze and produce both electronic and print media — by dissecting pop culture and advertisements. Media literacy education can help students build critical thinking and analytic skills, become more discriminating in the use of mass media, distinguish between reality and fantasy, and consider whether media values are their values."

KCTS Television. Don't Buy It: Get Media Smart. [Online] 12/02/08.

As students explore this unit, they will:
  1. demonstrate an understanding of a variety of media texts;
  2. identify some media forms and explain how the conventions and techniques associated with them are used to create meaning;
  3. create a variety of media texts for different purposes and audiences, using appropriate forms, conventions, and techniques;
  4. reflect on and identify their strengths as media interpreters and creators, areas for improvement, and the strategies they found most helpful in understanding and creating media texts.
Ministry of Education, Government of Ontario. Language Arts Curriculum Document, Grade Six, Media Literacy. pg. 113-115 [Online] 12/02/08.