Thursday, October 31, 2013

Weekend Homework

Be sure to complete the assignment for the article, "Kids encouraged to build peace". Hand in this assignment Monday. Be sure to write in complete sentences. 

 In addition to this you will be researching life of child labourers them composing a monologue from the perspective of a child labourer. Start researching now. Explore sites to see what it's like to be a child who doesn't have the opportunity to go to school but instead must work in poverty.... 

Before Reading...
Big question... What is child labour and why should we care? 

Compose and write down 3 questions you have about child labour or issues related to child labour.

Check out the Government of Canada website below, and complete the following. 

After Reading
Look at the questions you composed before. 

What facts are provided in the link that can be answered in that website? 

Are your questions fully answered? 

Explain why or why not? 

Where are you going to find the answers?

After reading the information in the website, what questions do you have now? Write 2 more

On Kidblog, compose a blog post with your first 2 questions, answers you found from the Government of Canada website and also your 2 new questions. 

With Kidblog, you will have a chance to see who else shares the same questions as you, and explore answers with them. 

Tuesday, October 29, 2013


Grade 8's - if you have overdoes, you've had a chat with me. Make sure you are keeping your parents in the "loop" and remember I can help you after school!!

Homework... keep up with blogging especially comments for the Pink Day Blog posting on

How Will You Make Peace? Day Pledge... How can we encourage peace assignment... Google Doc... Download and print.

As we near Remembrance Day, I started thinking about sacrifices that our veterans made for us. I also started thinking about how lucky we are to live in a country where we can truly live in peace. However, I sometimes wonder if we take our peace for granted. I wonder if I take peace for granted... Do I live in a peaceful way or do do I allow for peace in my life? Am I making choices which allow others to live peacefully?

 Have you ever wondered if we could have a day of peace?

What would this look like around the world? Could world leaders do it? Why should we care about peace around the world??

Check out the Peace One Day Website. Navigate, explore and examine the main message...

WHAT'S IT ALL ABOUT?? Summarize the 5W's of Peace Day...
Who is the founder?
What is it all about?
Where will people be expected to carry out the mission?
When is the targeted date for Peace One Day? When are people expected to aim for peace?
Why was it created? (Why will it make a difference?)
How will it make a difference in the world if we are all aware?

Watch the video on the home page from Jeremy Gilles, founder of Peace One Day, as he examines the possibility.

Consider the following questions after you watch the video...

Who will you make peace with? What does it mean to make peace in our daily lives? Even if we do not live in a place of violence, why is it important for all of us to strive for peace in our daily lives?? How can we show peace at home, in school, on the playground, digitally or on-line??

Watch the video... The Day After Peace

This website all connects to our current article in Language Arts. Think about the message of the new story and how it connects to the Peace One Day Movement.

Peace One Day the Journey

As a tribute to making a conscious effort to make peace in our lives, we are going to create "Pledges for Peace" Where you will create a written pledge on how you plan on making an effort to allow for peace in your life and for those around you. Rather than just composing a blog about it, you are going to write your pledge, then record your voice using an on-line site called Vocaroo. We will then embed your Pledge for Peace in either a Wordle or an image that reflects your pledge using a site called Thinglink. I know it sounds crazy... we'll make it happen!

Saturday, October 26, 2013


Remember grade 8's - you have a French test on Tuesday! Study... Basic conversation phrases, days of the week, months, colours. You are allowed "a minute to win it" knowledge wall! So make a study sheet!

Ensure you fill out your agenda with other homework. 

More than homework...

Since we started blogging using Kidblog, I have noticed a big improvement in student writing. I'm not sure if it's knowing that there is really going to be someone more than your teacher or parents or maybe a couple peer editors - but actually members of your class reading the work. But overall I just wanted to say, great work grade 8! I also wanted to compliment you on your comments to other student's posts... Really well done! Every time you followed the 3 C + Q method to commenting, you actually said something meaningful to the writer about their post. 

Students who have not yet posted the Pink Shirt Day Reflection, make sure you do so! 

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Audiobooks to try

Try out audiobooks! There are some very recent titles on the site...
See the link below. 
The login is stfrancis 
The password is listen

Friday, October 18, 2013

Homework and Important Dates

ELA Make sure you complete your Pink Day Viewing Questions and hand them in. They were to be handed in for Friday. If you took them home to use to complete your Anti-bullying Pink Day assignment, ensure that you hand them in on Monday.

Pink Day Blog Reflections - Rough draft (this can be a rough draft on paper or on your blog). Remember 1-2 paragraphs of your reflection on Pink Day and it's importance.

Blog comments - Complete 2 comments for Monday on the Lorax/Two Islands... This was due on Friday!!!

Have an awesome Weekend!

Remember next Wednesday, October 23rd is Family Reading Night 6:30 to 8!

Grade 8 Outdoor Ed Meeting 6:30 - 7:15 pm in the Grade 8 classroom - (Ms. Stewart-Mitchell/Mr. Baumgartner's room)

Thursday, October 17, 2013


Blog entries are all complete, students are practicing making reflective comments.

Pink day viewing questions are due Friday. 

On Friday, Students are to compose a blog reflection of 1-2 paragraphs exploring the importance of taking a stand against bullying. They are to incorporate their reflections from the questions into their blog. They are also expected to use the writing process. 

1. Brainstorm key aspects of their viewing questions that they wish to include. 
2. Compose a rough draft using these questions. Reflecting on an effective introduction, topic sentence, supporting sentences with details from their questions, then an effective conclusion. 

3. Drafts are to be typed in Word, spell/grammar checked, then pasted into Kidblog. 

Due: Tuesday

If for some reason students can't type it they are to write on paper then come in early to work on the assignment.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Interesting video for the long weekend

You should check out this channel which offers basically a lecture in 2 minutes on a variety of topics...

And of course there are also kid snippets.

Thursday, October 10, 2013


ELA- Writing-  Blog posts listed below are overdue. Students need to ensure they are complete or one's ability to participate in blogging will be greatly reduced! If you can't blog, then write your answers and hand them in in Monday. You will still be expected to type them in our Kidblog account. 

AR Reading - students are expected to read novels and complete AR tests every 2-3 weeks. The focus is on reading of course and not necessity on points. Students will have a chance to set reading goals and improve their reading. 

In French, students are to ensure their Basic French handouts are complete. We will continue our lessons with "J'aime..." next week. 

School Run Fridays - be prepared! 

Note there are other assignments on the Agenda board for other teachers, therefore there is more than just this homework. Please monitor homework with the Agenda. 

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!! 
Ms. Stewie! 

Composing Quality Comments

This week we started blogging and sharing our thoughts on "Two Islands" and The Lorax from our Global Citizens Unit. Please see the assignment from a couple days ago on this blog. 

Blogging has many parts: the post, the comments, and the sidebar.

If you do a good job with all of the parts, your blog will be more interesting.

Today we discussed how to make a quality comment. This is especially important because blogging allows for interaction, almost like an on-line conversation. 

So to make what you say relevant to the person's post you are commenting on, there are a few tips you need to remember.

The Commenting 3C's + Q
1. Compliment - Start off positive. Compliment the person on something specific you have read or observed in the person's blog post. 

2. Comment - Comment on something relevant and meaningful about what the person wrote. Be specific about what you're commenting on. Remember your comment might not always be agreement. You can "politely and tactfully" disagree. 

3. Connect - Connect with something the person wrote. Text to self, text to text, text to world - but explain that connection with details. Try to give a complete explanation or picture to your audience of what you're talking about. Or think of it as adding information or insight - or another point of view. 

4. Question - Ask a specific question about something written or to the writer. Keep the conversation going! 

Content is key!
As a class, we will evaluate our blog comments. Each student will be expected to self and peer assess comments, as this opportunity to reflect and assess will make you a better writer.

The Quick Evaluation Guide to Comments...
A one-point comment is a general comment that doesn't add very much to the post. 
Example: I like your blog. Please visit mine! 

A two-point comment adds something to the comment conversation. A commenter might compliment the writer in a specific way or add new information.
Example: I like how you say.... I also think.... because...
Or, have you thought about....

A three point comment is when a Connection is made. Try to make a connection (text to self, text to text, text to world). Maybe the post reminds you of an experience that you've had or something you've read or seen in the news. Share that connection!  But explain the connection fully, so your audience knows what you're talking about. 
Example: In your post when you say.... It reminds me of .... (Connection explained)

Finally, for a four point comment... try to end your comment with a relevant question. That way, an interesting conversation can develop.
Example: After reading what you said about.... I wonder.... 
 Or - Why do you think that...?

Have you thought about...?

Remember, Bloggers should always proofread a comment before publishing!! 

If you are worried about spelling or grammar, use your tools... Your digital tools!! Type your blog post or comments in Word. Then use Spellcheck and grammar check to help catch mistakes. But be sure to revise for quality content, interesting voice and word choice - as the computer can't do all that.... Well, maybe try the thesaurus feature! After you compose in Word, copy/paste into Kidblog. 

Here is a video made by a group of young student from a class in Australia, with tips to help you take your comments to the next level!

If Vimeo is blocked, here it is on YouTube.

Pink Shirt Day on Tuesday

On Tuesday, October 15, it's PINK SHIRT DAY here at St. Francis...

So what's it all about??? Go to the link below, from a former post on my blog, on why PINK SHIRT DAY started... It has Canadian roots!

The questions we did in class...


On Tuesday, Oct. 15th ... students are asked to wear pink as a statement to stand up to bullying. The purpose is to create awareness regarding bullying and how students can stand up in solidarity to show that they actually care about this issue.

The story behind the event...

Visit for

Pink Shirt Day / Anti- Bullying Awareness Questions (I posted this last year... teachers feel free to use any of these questions... Students in my class, we will be exploring these questions in discussion...
* Write in Sentence form being sure to use the question in your answer.
This will be evaluated in ELA as part of Viewing...

Previewing questions...
1. Why do you need to take a stand against bullying?

2. Why is it worth it to take the risk and show you care?

Viewing Questions...
1. Where did the video take place?

2. Who were the two boys that started the movement, "Pink Shirt Day"?

3. a)What did they do to start the movement?

b)How did this gesture make a difference to the boy who was being bullied? To other victims? Bystanders? Bullies?
4. Why do you think that the movement has gained such popularity around the world?

5. Why is it important to note that an American News station reported on this event?

6. What would have been the consequences of doing nothing or being "apathetic"? How are bystanders almost as bad as the bullies? What do bystanders need to develop within themselves?

Post Viewing Questions...
Watch 2 other videos - you must watch the ANTI BULLYING AD (boy with red hair) plus one additional video...

1. a) What do you notice about the bullies? Are they ever alone?

b) Why do you think that the bullies targeted a person?

2. If you ever confront a bully one-on-one, they always back down, because they are __________. They lack the confidence to stand up to you because deep in their heart they know that their behaviour is wrong. Why do you think that some people bully?

What do their actions say about them?

3. What did the people who stood up to bullying do to make a positive differernce? What strategies did they employ? What challenges did they confront? What did they accomplish?

4. What responsibility do you think teenagers have to address bullying problems in their schools and communities (this includes cyber community ie: Facebook)?

5. Do teens have more, less or equal responsibilities to address these problems as the adults in the community?

Remember that with every person, even a bully, we all have reasons why we behave the way we do. The bully acts out because he or she don't feel good about themselves (sometimes they might not be willing to admit this - even themselves) so they put others down. It is for this reason, that we need to do what Jesus taught us and forgive.

It may take time... but it's important to do. If you have ever been a bully, forgive yourself - then try to make a difference and change your behaviour (and attitude) for the better. It's never too late.

6. Go to your blog ( and write a reflection on this day and what it means. Use these questions to assist you.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Manga High Math Challenges

Hi Grade 8, I set up a math interactive "gamification" site to reinforce what you are doing in Math. It is similar to Mathletics, with one exception, it's FREE!

Mr. Baumgartner explained what you are currently working on, so I hope to set up some challenges and games to reflect your unit on Ratios, Rates and Proportion.

The link to access the site is below, and each of you will be given a special login id and password. Here is the link to the site, passwords and logins will be administered in class.

Our School ID Number is:  166249

Here's the Google doc with id's. Please be considerate and demonstrate effective digital citizenship by entering your id into the Manga High site...

Monday, October 7, 2013

A blog Challenge

Click on the blog challenge below...

This challenge is also on Flipboard, which is an on-line magazine. You could have your voice published....

Perhaps it's something we need to explore as a class....

Something else to try if you have  a microphone... It's vocaroo (voice-a-too, not voc-a-roo...)

Audio and voice recording >>

Dear Families:

Throughout the 2013-14 school year, our class will be using technology to enhance learning and prepare students for future challenges. Many of these technologies require students to publish to the Internet. These include the use of blogs, podcasts, and digital photography.

A Weblog, or blog as they are commonly called, is a special type of Web page that can be created and easily updated using a Web browser. Each new entry has its own date stamp. Each entry has a comments section where visitors to the blog may leave comments for the author. For example, students in our class will respond to prompts and discuss quality literature within our class blog. 

When we start blogging, we will focus on just blogging with students from our class. as we become more proficient as bloggers, then we will increase our audience to another class in the Regina Catholic School Division. Later we will move towards blogging with classrooms from other parts if the world. In part of this process, students will have the opportunity to examine on-line safety, ethical use if technology and digital citizenship. 

So to begin, our Class Blog will be found at This site provides secure and private safety features. This blog is a "Walled" environment, that requires passwords and userids. Some features include:

1. Teachers have administrative control over all student blogs and student accounts.

2. Comment privacy settings block unsolicited comments from outside sources. The only comments permitted are those that are approved by the teacher or moderator. All audio and video productions are uploaded by me and, as subscriber to the site, all comments must be approved by me in order for them to go public.

3. Kidblog does not collect any personal information from teachers or students.

Having a real audience is one of the key components to this program. In addition to receiving comments from their classmates, as I mentioned previously, I hope to arrange collaborative opportunities for our class to receive comments from other classes who are invited to visit our web pages. It would be quite engaging for students in other parts of the country or world to visit our blogs and comment on our writing.

A podcast is a digital audio and/or video recording published on the Internet and available for downloading. For example, select student presentations will be published to the class website via podcasts. We will be using web tools such as and as voice recording services and embedding student mini-podcasts into our blogs.

Digital Photography
A digital photograph is a still picture that can be stored electronically and published to the Internet. Students may post pictures of class activities, student work, and special events in their classroom blog, which is not open to outside users of the Internet. The context of the photos will connect only with student work, as the blog will be used as a Digital Portfolio of the student’s learning.

Our use of the aforementioned technologies has been designed to minimize risk to your child. All student blogs, podcasts, and any other published work will be closely monitored by me and will be published online only after I give my approval. Students will be required to refrain from sharing personally identifying information such as last name, address, phone number, age, etc. Students will take part in Digital Citizenship lessons or tutorials to further educate them in using digital technology appropriately and safely. Lessons as well as additional home resources can be accessed at Or feel free to visit the library website for links at www.stfrancisschoollibrary.

Before your child may start blogging, podcasting, or using these collaborative digital tools, I am asking for you and your child to discuss and sign this form. Please keep the second copy for your future reference and return the form to Ms. Stewart-Mitchell as soon as possible.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Ms. Stewart-Mitchell at St. Francis School or by email at


Ms. Stewart- Mitchell

Student Blogging Guidelines/Podcast Consent
1. Students using blogs are expected to act safely by keeping personal information out of their posts. You agree not to post or give out your family name, password, user name, email address, home address, city, country or other information that could help someone locate or contact you in person. You may share your interests, ideas and preferences, although most posts will relate specifically to a writing task.(Keep in mind that most of our blogging will be predominantly within the confines of our classroom. If there are opportunities to blog with another classroom, further information will be sent home).

2. Students agree to never log in as another student.

3. Students using blogs are expected to treat blogspaces as classroom spaces. Speech that is inappropriate for class is not appropriate for your blog. While I encourage students to have discussions with other bloggers, I also expect that they will be respectful and represent our school in a positive way. Keep in mind all posts come to your teacher first, so if inappropriate language or content is shared, it will be moderated.

4. Blogs are to be a place for students to give their opinions. However, they are first and foremost, a tool for learning, and students will be expected to follow the same rules we have for classroom discussions.

5. Blogs are a way for students to share their writing with real audiences. Classroom peers who visit your blog will leave comments or respectful, helpful messages. The idea is that students are able to give each other feedback and collaborate.

6. Students who do not follow these guidelines may lose their opportunity to take part in the blogging activities. And in these situations, students will do alternate assignments using more "pen and paper traditional means". 

Please sign and return one copy of this letter and keep the other for your information.

I have read and understood these blogging guidelines. I agree to follow them.

Student’s Signature:_____________________________ Date: ________________
Parent’s Signature: _____________________________ Date: ________________


Two Islands questions hand in - at the latest Tuesday.

Blogging with Kidblog tomorrow. Making connections between The Lorax, "Two Islands","I Need to Wake Up" 

French- basic conversation handouts 

Friday, October 4, 2013

The Lorax and Two Islands

Blogging Reflection Questions.

Responses are to be written in complete sentences, using the question in your answer. Write your response on


1. What does this mean?

2. What message can you infer?

3. What was the author's intent or purpose in writing the book and for choosing an "open ending"? (Open ending means you can imagine an ending or leaves room for a sequel).

4. What connections can you make?

a)Text to self...

b)Text to text... ("Two Islands" and The Lorax)

c)Text to world...(Two Islands, The Lorax and what's happening in the world. Find an article or a video, create a link in your blog and explain the connection.)

I Need to Wake Up...
Go to another post on my blog to view/listen to the song...

and be sure to think of connections to The Lorax and Two Islands.

What CONNECTIONS CAN YOU MAKE?? Add these to your blog response. If you can't make any connections, see my other selection of songs related to the Environment theme. Click on those links.