Friday, 20 April 2018

Poetry Month Update:

We are a little over halfway through Poetry Month, but I wanted to give a quick update!

One of our brightest young learners submitted a poem to What's Up Yukon, and had her poem published!

Congratulations, Victoria!

"A Sea Shell" By Victoria
One day I walked
Down by the sea
I just was being me
and...
Look what I found!
Here on the ground!
Its a sea shell
Down by the Sea

Wednesday, 11 April 2018

Happy Birthday Beverly Cleary!

I'm guessing you've read at least one of Beverly Cleary's books in your life! Maybe you've read lots of them.



Some of my favourite literary characters are from her works!

Romona Quimby, Henry Huggins, Ralph S. Mouse, Ribsy, Dear Mr. Henshaw!


April 12, 2018 is her 102'nd Birthday!

Here are 100 facts from her 100th birthday (2 years ago) from the CBC.

Here are some awesome book resources for her books (from her website!)

What is your favourite Beverly Cleary book?



**Special thank you to Krystal and Adney for reminding me about this auspicious day!

Tuesday, 3 April 2018

National Poetry Month

April is National Poetry Month!

There are so many wonderful poetry activities you can do this month, but I wanted to highlight a couple of my favourite.

For several years as a teacher and homeschooler I've printed these Pocket Poems out and every day my students (and daughter!) would take one, practice it many times, and then recite it before school was out. It meant great practice in fluency, public speaking, performance, and made the day start and end with something special. I would also have students track the poems they read on a piece of paper so they didn't get the same poem twice.

Don't forget that when you are celebrating poetry, one of the best ways to do so is to listen to poets!
A Poem for Bacon by Nick Offerman
Asha Christensen
We are More By Shane Koyczan
Purple Paper People by Harry Baker


Another great activity is taking a poem, cutting all the lines apart and reassembling it back together in the order you think the poet wrote it in, then talk about why yours may be different or the same as the poet. Here is an example with a Langston Hughes poem called "Harlem".

If you have some old books around maybe try "Blackout PoetryText Based Unit. Openended Art of Apex High School: art three




found poems examples | Redacted sources exercise



Finally I love to do Visual Poetry- encourage your learner to draw what they are hearing, and go very slow, one verse at a time! Maybe have your student draw multiple pictures so they can see their understanding grow as they learn more about the poem's subject. Here are two great poems that may work for that! Jack Prelutsky and The Egg.

Finally, remember that poetry is about listening, feeling, and responding!

Happy Poetry Month!

Wednesday, 14 March 2018

Pi Day!

Happy Pi Day everyone!

Today is March 14, which can be rewritten as 3 14, the first three digits of Pi!


From WonderopolisThe circumference of a circle is its perimeter or the length around it. The distance from the center of a circle to its edge is the radius. The distance from one side of a circle to the opposite side (twice the radius) is the diameter. The area of a circle is the number of square units inside the circle.Since circles can vary in size, yet they all retain the same shape, ancient mathematicians knew there had to be a special relationship amongst the elements of a circle. That special relationship turns out to be the mathematical constant known as pi.
 Here is an article that shows 3 GIFs about how Pi actually works out. 

Here is a Time Article about the history of Pi.
In our Hyphen Class we are doing some Pi Pop Art, we are going to eat Pizza, Pie, and Oreos, and we are doing some graphing of the digits of Pi. I got a no-prep kit of activities from Momgineer.

How are you celebrating Pi day? Post below and let us know!

Residential Schools

After Spring Break, Sarah Moore will be leading a weekly session for the students in the Hyphen Project about the history of the residential school system in Canada.  Since this is such a heavy, complex topic, this will be a teacher-led discussion to work through the many inevitable questions that will arise.

In preparation for this discussion, we have added to our collection of materials regarding residential schools.  

Christy Jordan-Fenton has written 2 sets of books about her grandmother’s experience in a residential school in the Arctic.  The picture book set is When I Was Eight and Not My Girl, and the chapter book set is Fatty Legs and A Stranger at Home.  

The late Gord Downie of the Tragically Hip wrote a powerful book, called Secret Path, about Chanie Wenjack, a young boy who died trying to walk the 400 miles home after escaping from a residential school. This picture book is suitable for older students; it is made up of heartbreaking images, which are accompanied by Downie’s poignant song lyrics.  We will have available the Secret Path album of songs.

Sugar Falls:  a Residential School Story is a graphic novel written by David Alexander Robertson and is based on true the story of Betsy:  abandoned as a child, adopted into a loving family, and then taken away to a residential school to face abuse and hardships.

I am Not a Number, written by Jenny Kay Dupuis and Kathy Kacer, is the story of Irene and her family.  They live on Nipissing First Nation, when a government agent comes to take away the children to a residential school.  This picture book is beautifully written; the muted, almost sepia-toned illustrations convey the despair of the situation.  There is a section at the back with photos and information about the real-life Irene and her family.

For older readers, we have Richard Wagamese’s Indian Horse.  Saul Indian Horse looks back on his life while in a treatment centre, where he ended up after his last binge. From the horrors of a residential school to his success on the hockey rink, Saul knows he must examine his own life to finally be at peace with himself.  This book was a CBC Canada Reads 2013 selection.

They Called Me Number One by Bev Sellars is a more mature book and tells the stories of three generations of women who attended the St. Joseph’s Mission at Williams Lake, BC.  While including stories of abuse and denigration, it is also tells of the journey of healing for Sellars.