Thursday, December 9, 2010

1L Animal Research

Grade 1 students have been busy researching animals in science over the past couple weeks with Ms. LaBuick. Students have been studying living things, what they need to survive as well as how to grow within their environment. Through research, students have become familiar with differences and similarities in living things.

General Learner Expectations

Students will: Observe, describe and compare living things.

Specific Learner Expectations

Students will:
•Classify some animals into groups on the basis of visible characteristics; e.g., adaptations for survival, such as claws, beaks, prickles.

•Identify examples of animals that are normally under human care (domesticated) and those that are normally independent of human care (wild).

•Identify the requirements of animals to maintain life; i.e., air, food, water, shelter, space; and recognize that we must provide these for animals in our care.

Kidspiration software was used as the tool to give structure to the research project. This tool gave students creativity to visually organize their research information into web groupings such as:
•Looks like

Through the help of a cross-graded leadership activity with 5W, grade 1’s were shown how to import a digital picture in the centre of their web as well as given some assistance typing up their research information.

Ms. Tonhauser

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Wonderful Wordle

Check out this SlideShare Presentation:
Wordle is a wonderful tool for generating ‘word clouds’ out of text. This online tool does not require a login and allows users to originally design artistic word artowork with the option to print out the colourful creations.

Grade 3 students created their annual fall ‘Introduce Yourself’ Wordle. Students began the project by creating a personalized list of meaningful words in Microsoft Word 2007. Next, students copied and pasted their word list into the Wordle tool where they could customize font style, colour and text layout.

More interesting ways to use Wordle in the classroom include:
•Vocabulary words
•Novel study
•Highlighting key words
•Writing prompts
•Creating a learning poster

Ms. Tonhauser

Friday, October 29, 2010

Mrs. Kieftenbeld’s Blog

Welcome Mrs. Keiftenbeld to the blogosphere. She will be blogging for students, parents and staff while attending the Ottawa Teachers’ Institute on Canadian Parliamentary Democracy with 70 other teachers from across Canada. Please check out her blog, feel free to leave comments and celebrate in learning through the theme of the Institute, “Parliament in the Age of Social Media”.

Ms. Tonhauser

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Welcome Tech 7 Students to the Blogosphere!

Tech 7 students have entered the blogosphere as student bloggers. They are now web authors and collaborators by newly creating and maintaining individual public blogs. You can access the grade 7 student blogs on our main webpage titled Grade 7 @Camilla School. Please feel free to visit, read their postings and leave comments.

I decided to use as our blogging tool because it is simple, secure and presents straightforward formatting. Blogging is a great way to have an introduction to 21st century literacies, online participation and classroom sharing. Students will learn how to creatively design and edit blog posts, upload media files, and continue to grow as ethically responsible digital citizens.

There is a great article titled 20 Reasons Why Students Should Blog which outlines the power of student voice through this format. Blogging is a powerful learning community where sharing, learning, collaborating and responding is open 24/7. Students are engaged in writing meaningful posts and responding to blog comments, interacting not only with peers but potentially with a worldwide audience.

Take a little time to enjoy the view from our place in the blogosphere.

Ms. Tonhauser

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Cyber Safety

Last week Craig Krieger, Crown Prosecutor for Technology & Internet Crimes from the Government of Alberta, was invited in as a special speaker for grades 5-6 and 7-9 classes. Craig’s presentation titled Cybercrime: When Computers Go Bad gave students and teachers valuable information on cyber crimes, Internet safety, digital footprint awareness and identity theft. Some of the main points from his presentation include:
• Computers are used as tools, but can also be used as targets
• Keep your antivirus software up-to-date
• Think before you type!
• Carefully decided what information you give away online
• Protect your email address
• What you type to someone online is not private

Many of the Internet safety websites Craig referenced in his presentation can be found on this blog in an earlier posting under the Internet Safety tag.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Wecome Back!

We are all back and looking forward to another year of sharing, collaborating, creating, engaging and participating in new technology learning opportunities. The library computer lab has been updated and we are excited about having the addition of another mobile lab available for classrooms.

On August 31st and September 1st teachers attended workshops by David Warlick titled Leading & Learning in the 21st Century and Cracking the Code. Some of the key points from David’s presentations included:
• Promoting life-long learning
• Preparing students for an unpredictable future
• Learning to live in a culture driven by hyper-connectedness
• Redefining and reinventing what it is to be an educator
• Teaching students ‘how to teach themselves’

Thursday, June 10, 2010

4L Novel Study: Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume

To view a full screen version of this VoiceThread and leave a comment for 4L through the VoiceThread tool, please use the following link:
4L Novel Study: Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing

VoiceThread is one our favourite Web 2.0 tools here at Camilla School. Teachers are using VoiceThread as a digital storytelling tool that can be shared in the classroom, school, and education community. This tool offers online collaboration, interaction, communication and participation from around the world.

4L students read Judy Blume’s book Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing as a novel study. Judy Blume is an award-winning author of children’s and young adult literature with over 80 million copies of books in print.

Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing tells the story of fourth grader Peter Hatcher and his little toddler brother Farley Drexel ‘Fudge’ Hatcher. As a big brother, Peter always has to help his little brother Fudge, who seems to get all of the attention. This makes Peter feels neglected by his parents. Peter feel like a fourth grade nothing! This book is filled with more interesting characters such as Mr. Yarby, Sheila, Jimmy, Sam, Jennie, Dr. Brown, Mr. Vincent, Dr. Cone and of course Dribble, Peter’s pet turtle.

Judy first got the idea for the book when her children’s babysitter showed her a newspaper article about a toddler who swallowed a turtle. This quirky story inspired Judy to write the story as a picture book titled “Peter, Fudge and Dribble.” Many publishers rejected the idea until several years later when it caught the eye of an editor who wanted the story to be told as a chapter book, and the novel was written. Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing is the first book in her Fudge series.

Ms. Tonhauser

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Teachers would help me learn better if…

I came across an article last week titled “Hey Teachers: This is How I Learn.” from a blog titled TeachPaperless: Seeking social solution to the mysteries of 21st century teaching and learning. The philosophy behind the blog is to help educators create paperless classroom through integrated technology learning communities. The blog posting reflects on a classroom discussion between one teacher and a class of students.

Ms. Tonhauser

Thursday, June 3, 2010

2K Ted Harrison Project: A Flickr Invitation

The Ted Harrison Studio in Victoria, British Columbia has begun collecting student artwork to share via the Internet. We are pleased to report that the 2K artwork from our April 18th Ted Harrison VoiceThread has been invited to be part of the online student gallery in Flickr photosharing. Flickr is a free Internet photo and video hosting website that houses over 4 billion images.

To visit the gallery’s online Flickr account, use the following link:
Ted Harrison Flickr Photostream

Congratulations 2K!

Ms. Tonhauser

Thursday, May 20, 2010

5B Novel Study: The Incredible Journey by Sheila Burnford

To view a full screen version of this VoiceThread and leave a comment for 5B through the tool, please use the following link:
5B Novel Study: The Incredible Journey

5B has just completed a novel study using the VoiceThread multimedia tool. The visual component of this VoiceThread project has allowed grade five students to showcase comprehensive volcabulary words, setting/locations and core characters from their novel study captured in a free tool called Wordle. This online tool is becoming increasingly popular in education because its versatility across all subject areas. Wordle creates ‘word clouds’ or a visual display using text.

During the reading of the novel, each student was responsible for creating a Microsoft Word document listing important vocabulary words, significant locations and main character names for each chapter. After the novel was finished, students copied and pasted their assigned chapter list into Wordle and a word cloud was created. Wordle gives users the artistic freedom to customize their image by choosing:
• foreground and background colour schemes
• horizontal/vertical layout of the words
• font style

Once Wordle images were uploaded into Voicethread, students recorded their chapter highlights through the use of an external microphone.

Ms. Tonhauser

5B has just completed technology enhanced project combining Wordle, language arts writing, summarizing skills and their recorded voices. Our VoiceThread focuses on the thrill seeking novel, The Incredible Journey that we read together as a class. Each student was assigned a partner and with that partner they were asked to summarize a chapter of the novel into eight main events. They also had to choose twenty interesting and important words found within the chapter for the wordle they created. We are lucky to also have some very talented artists in our class who recreated a beautiful cover for our project. Many students commented that it was an exact replica of the original on the cover of the book! The students were thrilled to see their finished work on display for the entire world to view! They had a fantastic time working collaboratively and creating their own summaries for The Incredible Journey.

We hope you enjoy our VoiceThread!
Mrs. Berube

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Kids in the Know

Engage, Empower, Educate

Kids in the Know is an interactive educational website to support parents and educators in promoting online safety for K-12 students in Canadian schools. This site contains safety tools, online quizzes, safety checklists and cyber strategies.

Ms. Tonhauser

Cluster Maps

On April 17th our blog visitor ClusterMap was archived and a new visitor map was created. ClusterMap archives the map automatically after one year. Hard to believe this blog is already one year old! In the first year of Camilla School’s technology blog, we have hosted over 1500 visitors from around the globe. It is interesting to notice that we have had visitors from almost every continent.

Ms. Tonhauser

Thursday, April 29, 2010

2K VoiceThread: Part 2

"I can develop age-appropriate behavior for social involvement as responsible citizens contributing to my community."
Grade 7 Social Studies Learner Outcome

At Camilla School, cross-age learning occurs year round to promote community building. Such activities are mutually beneficial to both younger and older students; resulting in both academic and social gains. For our teenage students, it is an opportunity to model their skills and knowledge for their younger peers. Mr. Paustian’s Grade 7 class provided a wonderful finish to our 2K Ted Harrison project. In Assessment for Learning, descriptive feedback is an important strategy that supports improvement. To provide responses for the 2K VoiceThreads, each 7P student first listened and viewed a presentation with care. After taking notes of key words, they then created responses to express their connections and opinions. Finally, they shared their fine comments using audio, text, and or doodling. The 2K students were delighted with the thoughtful feedback. A huge “THANKS!” goes to Mr. Paustian and his class for taking the time to do extra from their busy schedule. What a great example of student contribution and leadership made possible by VoiceThread!

Ms. Kwan

Sunday, April 18, 2010

2K Ted Harrison Project: An Inuit Study

2K has just completed a technology infused project combining original digital artwork in the styling of Ted Harrison, social studies research, language arts writing skills and their recorded voice. For an introduction to the VoiceThread Web 2.0 tool, please visit the following link:
Introduction to VoiceThread

To view a full screen version of this VoiceThread and read visitor comments posted for 2K through the tool, please visit the following link:
2K Ted Harrison Project

Sturgeon School Division has been promoting research-based instructional practices to improve student learning. One area of focus is Assessment for Learning (AfL). In this process, both students and teachers worked together to achieve targeted learning outcomes. This AfL learning journey was infused by the wonders of technology.

This Ted Harrison Project provided the students a purposeful opportunity to share their learning with local and global friends. The students were guided by the Big Question: How do (did) the Inuit adapt to the Arctic? An introduction was made using a previous VoiceThread project. Our class was fueled with enthusiasm. After each child had decided on a topic of interest to address, we studied the remarkable artwork of Ted Harrison on the Internet. The experience was magnified by the use of our Promethean board. Noting the patterns, our class established criteria as to what their art should target:

We analyzed and discussed how best to apply our KidPix skills to create the visuals. While the children experimented with the KidPix drawing tools for appropriate effects, they collected information relevant to their presentation. By assessing examples of grade level VoiceThreads, they determined the criteria for their content and presentation. In AfL, these powerful conversations enable students to understand “quality” and their own capacity to improve. Essentially, the children’s choice and voice scripted the teaching. The on-going references to where “we’re at” and “where we’re going” uncovered instructional needs. When students are involved in the assessment process, they take on ownership of their learning and progress.

Ms. Kwan

Ted Harrison is a Canadian treasure who is an author, artist and teacher. Harrison's work is displayed in art galleries and private collections worldwide. He is also well-known for his best selling illustrative books including The Cremation of Sam McGee. For further biographical information and illustrative examples, visit the following websites:
Ted Harrison Painting Paradise
Official Ted Harrison Website

Grade 2 students created original digital artwork using Kidpix software. This drawing software allows students the flexibility to define their pictures using a variety of art mediums such as a paint brush, pencil, marker, crayons and a colour fill bucket. Students outlined the template of their picture first using a pencil, carefully mapping out the landscape background. It was imperative to the success of the picture that all lines were connected so the colours filling in each section would not spill out into neighbouring landscape sections. The foreground details were the next part of the drawing process. Once pencil sketches were completed, students choose vibrant colours to fill in their artwork in the styling of Ted Harrison. Part of the instructions outlined to students was to create multiple pieces of artwork and then choose which picture would best represent their written text. Once each picture was uploaded to the VoiceThread tool, students recorded their voice with the help an external microphone. Each student was asked to evaluate the quality of their recording, remembering that a clear, articulate voice was needed to capture the listening attention of blog visitors.

Enjoy the VoiceThread!

Ms. Tonhauser

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Sweet Search

Sweet Search is a new search engine passed along to me via a blog visitor who first heard about the resource through a webcast on EdTechTalk. Sweet Search is an engine that is designed for students through the expertise of research professionals, teachers and librarians. It searches approximately 35,000 researched and approved websites, whereby drastically cutting down the number of search hits students would encounter through the major search engines. This kind of search engine is a welcome addition in information literacy learning as educators continuously strive to help students receive the most relevant and credible information possible in their learning environment.

Ms. Tonhauser

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Digital Citizenship

One of the focuses we continue to address in education is digital citizenship, Internet safety and cyber ethics.

“Digital Citizenship is more than just a teaching tool; it is a way to prepare students/technology users for a society full of technology.” (Digital Citizenship, 2010).

Many online websites have developed specific resources for teachers, students and parents. The Internet is an exciting tool full of infinite resources, information, education and entertainment. However, students need guidance and direction of how best to appropriately explore the Internet and become responsible, safe digital citizens.

Get Web Wise
The Government of Alberta created this website to educate parents, teens and children on Internet safety.

Be Web Aware
Be Web Aware was developed by the Media Awareness Network, Microsoft Canada and Bell as a national Internet safety program.

We’re On To You
This provincial site is sponsored by Alberta and Children Youth Services.

NetSmartz has created resources for educators, parents/guardians, teens and kids.

This site was developed to help online users make informed choices and decisions using the Internet.

SafeKids provides tips for social networking, Internet safety, cell phone use, and cyberbullying.

An Internet safety website for students, teachers and parents full of resources and interactive activities.

OnGuard, Online
This site provides tips and multimedia resources on how to protect your personal information when using the Internet.

Ms. Tonhauser

Digital Citizenship, (2010). Digital Citizenship: Using Technology Appropriately. Retrieved from

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Microsoft Office 2007

Camilla School is currently transitioning staff and students into using Microsoft Office 2007 software. This new software is running in a mode which allows students to save files that are fully compatible with Office 2003. Microsoft Office Online offers free training for all 2007 products.

Microsoft Office Online Training

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Atlas of Canada: The Olympic Spirit

Natural Resources Canada is providing in-depth resources of the Winter Olympics and Paralympics through historical, statistical, cultural and environmental information. The 2010 map series includes:
• Canadian Olympian places of birth
• Vancouver Olympic geographic regions
• Winter Olympic medallists by Canadian region
• Winter sports participation statistics

Atlas of Canada: The Olympic Spirit

Ms. Tonhauser

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Inside the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics with Google Maps

Google Maps is providing great online real time coverage, medal counts, news and event schedules of the Vancouver 2010 Games. See the Olympic venues up close, ride the Alpine slope or check out the statistics on medal winners from around the world.
Get Inside the Games with Google Maps
Google Maps: Choose a Sport

Ms. Tonhauser

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics

The Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics is right around the corner. With three days…and counting until the Opening Ceremonies, there is a flurry of Olympic research and learning happening here at the school.

We were very fortunate to have an Olympic torch bearer visit Camilla School a couple weeks ago, which in turn sparked more excitement and Canadian pride for the Vancouver games.

Teachers and students have been accessing some of the amazing educational resources available online. Here are a few Olympic sites worth visiting:
With Glowing Hearts
Canadian Olympic Committee
Canadian Olympic School Program
CBC Vancouver Now

Ms. Tonhauser

Thursday, January 28, 2010

What Are You Searching For? Part 2

New studies reveal students are indeed having more trouble searching the Internet that we realize. This podcast discusses the way parents can help mentor and motivate children to refine their information search skills.

Ms. Tonhauser
NPR (2010). Study: Not All Kids Are Computer Whizzes. Retrieved from

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

What Are You Searching For?

Search Engines

Search engines are tools intended to help people search out information on the World Wide Web. Some of the information retrieved by search engines includes websites, images, video as well as many other types of files. When searching the web, there are a few basic tips to remember:
• Narrow the search topic into keywords or phrases
• Spelling counts!
• Searches are not case sensitive
• Use precise words for your search topic
• Punctuation is usually not necessary
• To locate an exact phrase, place quotes around the words
• Explore as many search results as possible

What is a Phrase Search?
A phrase search is a great search technique for significantly reducing your search results. Place double quotations around the search phrase, which in turn will tell the search engine to only retrieve the phrase indicated.
Example: “John A Macdonald”

What is a Boolean Search?
A Boolean search is a system using standardized words to connect search words or phrases. Using this kind of search will narrow or broaden a web search by using the words AND, OR, NOT (use all caps) as keywords. It is important to recognize that not all search engines support Boolean searches.

Web searching for required words, use the plus sign (+) or AND to require both words be found in the search.

Web searching for excluded words, use the minus sign (-) or AND NOT to request a word not be included in the search.

Web searching for multiple words, use the term OR to request that either one of the words be found in the search.

There are dozens of search engines available for online users to access. It is important to recognize that while Google is the most popular search engine on the web today, it is advantageous to explore different engines and not simply rely on retrieving information from one source. Students need to be well-informed citizens that are able to seek out information from multiple sources, or what we call being information literate. “To be information literate, a person must be able to recognize when information is needed and have the ability to locate, evaluate, and use effectively the needed information" (Wikipedia, 2010).

While Google continues to dominate as the number one search engine, it should not be the only means to which students are researching, retrieving and using information. There are a handful of effective search engines specifically designed for excellent educational results. Recommended search engines for students include:
Ask Kids
Quintura for Kids

Here are a few of the poplar search engines today used by people searching the web:

The most popular search engine with over 1 billion pages of web content

A meta search engine that searches Google, Yahoo, Bing and Ask all at once

All The Web
Searches over 600 million websites

Offers simple and advanced searches of over 500 million websites

Has a database of approximately 500 million websites

Searches over 250 million websites

Microsoft’s new search engine launched in 2009
A ‘decision engine’ to help users make better information decisions

Ms. Tonhauser
Wikipedia (2010). Retrieved from

Thursday, January 14, 2010

2P Travels on the Polar Express

In the month of December class 2P studied the Caldecott winning picture book “The Polar Express” by Chris Van Allsburg. This book’s rich vocabulary and theme of believing without seeing created many learning opportunities for students. Naturally most of the learning outcomes derived from the use of this book were directly tied to the Language Arts curriculum. This year however, we decided that under the guidance of Ms. Tonhauser that we would integrate the “Polar Express” unit into technology. The students and I were given Microsoft Word as our toolbox and Ms. Tonhauser as our conductor guided us to creating these awesome cars and train. The kids were encouraged to be creative and by the looks of these train cars we were not disappointed. Enjoy the slide show thanks to Ms. Tonhauser!

Mr. Presseau

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Flip Video Camcorder

The Flip video camcorder is here and is an amazing little technology tool!

Ms. Tonhauser

"A Different Journey" by Positively Dark, free music download by

Thursday, January 7, 2010

2010: Continuing Our Tech Odyssey

2010 is hear and we will continue create, collaborate, investigate, motivate and communicate technology learning @Camilla School. Technology continues to evolve rapidly and new trends in education are always an interesting read. Here are a few of the attention-grabbing articles circulating throughout online media sources and social networks. Some predict technology trends will continue to grow in the areas of:
• Interactive whiteboards
• Mobile devices
• eBooks vs textbooks
• Realtime searches
• Educational social networking

Questions about the Next Decade
David Warlick

2020 Vision?
Will Richardson

K-12 Technology Trends for 2010
The Journal: Transforming Education through Technology

Ten Technologies that will Rock 2010
TechCrunch: Ercik Schonfeld

Ms. Tonhauser