Friday, December 21, 2012


The grade 7s were lucky enough to go to the Telus World of Science to see some great exhibits, an IMAX movie about polar bears and the arctic  and Star Wars Identities!  It was a lot of fun and a great way.  More pictures will be posted on my google drive to share with the kids.

TRIVIA - A TWOS Hypercolour pencil to the first TWO kids who can tell me the names of all six Star Wars movies.  (You can not win more than once on trivia questions posted in Dec or January so pick just one)
All girls my age wanted to be Lea!
Come to the dark side!
When nine hundred years old you reach, look as good, you will not, hmmm?
SEE!!  The world did not end!!!!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Joyeux Noel

I hope everyone has a great Christmas break and will be re-charged for life in the new year!  I just wanted to put up a quick post to wish all of your families a very Merry Christmas.  Coming to ECES was a huge change for me and I have found a new home here with an exceptional group of students, teachers, parents, and friends.  Thank you so much for your support, communication, and for the guidance and care you put into your kids education.  On a side note I have found some great online resources I want to try with the kids in the New Year and they will need a set of ear buds/headphones to use with the netbooks.  They make great stocking stuffers!

Check out my Elf dance!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Musique Francais

The French Immersion kids were treated to some rock n roll music thanks to the high school students at EBCHS.  It was a great way to spend an afternoon in French!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Author Visit

We were fortunate enough to have a local author, Diane Stringam Tolley, come and talk to our ELA 7 class today.  She read excerpts from her book, "Kris Kringle's Magic", and talked about the message of love, charity and the underlying theme of prejudice in society.  The kids will be bringing home forms to order autographed copies of the book and another one she wrote called "Carving Angels" if they want to read more.  They are due on Monday, December 17th, 2012.

You can learn more about her and even order items online at 

Tuesday, December 11, 2012


Remember watching "Medicine Man" and imagining what it would be like to work in the rain forest searching for plants that could cure diseases like cancer and help a lot of people?  Well I found this AMAZING possible advancement in biotechnology (the use of living systems and organisms to develop or make useful products) where they hope a simple plant, a type of tomatillo, may be the key in fighting cancer!  Good thing I grow these at my house and make amazing salsa verde!!  Read below to learn more.


Win a hypercolour pencil and a tasty treat if you can find me another example of a medicinal plant.  Tell me the name of the plant and what it cures/treats with a website that backs it up.  The most exciting, innovative, and recent finding will win!!  Dont forget to login to your google accounts to comment or leave your name.  

Newly discovered plant-based molecules showing cancer-fighting potential

Physalis longifolia

LAWRENCE – To the casual observer, the wild tomatillo is just your everyday, run-of-the-mill weed.
But to University of Kansas scientists Barbara Timmermann, Kelly Kindscher and Mark Cohen, this common North American plant might be the key to a new line of cancer-fighting treatments based on molecules present in nature.
The three KU researchers have discovered 14 new compounds in the wild tomatillo that are showing significant anti-cancer properties in preclinical testing. The new compounds, known as withanolides, are already showing promise in combating a number of different cancers and tumors – without any noticeable side effects or toxicity.

Friday, December 7, 2012

PT Interviews

Parent Teacher Interviews went well this year and I was happy to see so many kids coming out with their parents.  Here is a list of things I suggested to help keep on track:

  1. Keep up with homework.  Check Power School for what is missing and get it in
  2. ASK FOR HELP!!  I want your hands up at least once per period in math and 1-2 times a week in science.  The squeaky wheel gets the grease so make sure to make sure you are heard
  3. Make sure to be prepared for tests.  Dates are posted in advance HERE or on the whiteboard.  Foldables for math and review books for science must be well done to help you do your best.  Make it a priority
  4. Make sure your lab work and projects are handed in and completed.  They are worth a lot
  5. Use your agendas (paper or digital) daily for homework and to schedule study times for tests and quizzes
  6. Keep organized.  A storage binder at home for each subject and all of your units as you finish them and one binder at school with the current items.  Lockers should not have papers floating around in them.
  7. Come for help!!  Day 4 is mathletics lunch but I am also free at lunch to give extra help.  Sometimes during gym I am also free for some one-on-one attention.  Make use of it.
Thank you so much!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Kitchen Lava Lamp

I found this idea online and it is PERFECT to demonstrate density!  The oil floats on the water because it is less dense.  If you add an alkaseltzer tablet it makes bubbles that are less dense than oil and rise to the top carrying drops of water with it.  Once they reach the top and the gas escapes the water sinks back down.  Very cool!  Click HERE to see the video

A water bottle with air, oil, and water
Add some food colouring to the water!

Alkaseltzer bubbles - LAVA LAMP!!

Very pretty!!

Kitchen Lava Lamp Video

How cool is this??  Click HERE to learn more and get instructions on how to easily do this at home!


Using gelatin in petri dishes, a few drops of food colouring, and time you can see how it diffuses from an area of high concentration to an area of low concentration and which colours are quicker to diffuse.  I found the idea HERE

Start                                                                 1 Day                                                              2 days

Beans - 10 days

Our bean plants have grow so quickly!!  In just 10 days most have outgrown their CD cases!!  I had the kids measure them and then label all of the parts of the plant right on the case.  They all got to take them home to transplant and enjoy.  Some winter beans sound YUMMY!!

It also became a major feature on our class bulletin board!

Click HERE to see the original post.

Squash it!

I wanted to see if this would work.  I found the idea using a pumpkin but they are out of season.  Hopefully an acorn squash will work.  Basically you cut it open, shove in some dirt and water, and let it grow!!  Keep posted for our progress.

Thursday, November 29, 2012


A hypercolour pencil to the first student to comment (login to your gshare or put your name) and tell me what these little guys are called!!  LOVE IT!! I had never heard of them until today so it just goes to show you can learn something new every day! 

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Gummy Bear Osmosis

I taught my grade 8 science class today about osmosis using gummy bears!!  YUM!!  I got the idea from THIS site.  

The idea is that if you put a gummy bear in water it is going to swell and absorb the water (high concentration of water in the dish to the low concentration of water in the bear).  When you put a gummy bear in salt water now there is a higher relative concentration of water in the gummy bear than in the salt water AND a higher concentration of salt in the water than in the bear.  The salt can not move in to the bear because it's selectively permeable membrane wont let in such big molecules so the water from the bear has to move out to equalize the concentrations   If you look closely you can even see the red colouring leaking into the salt water from the bear.  Very cool.

If that blew your mind just watch this video to explain osmosis again.

**See HERE for how we challenged Canadian Astronaut, Jeremy Hansen, to the gummy bear lab challenge under the sea!  See the results HERE**

AFTER only TWO hours!  - Notice how the ones on the left are larger and the ones on the right (salt) are smaller and the red dye has spread in to the salt solution.

I let them dry overnight.  Look at how the salt soaked ones are SMALLER than the normal ones even when dry!
Look at the results after 24 hours!!  The ones in water are HUGE and even though the ones in the salt water have grown they are not nearly as large and have lost their colour into the solution.  I wonder what they will look like once they dry out?

Compost plants II

We have amazing results already from our "Planting from your compost" lab!  These pictures are after 4-5  days!!  Se HERE for the original lab and explanation.

Garlic after 4 days then 5 days!
Carrot tops after 4 days

Beet tops after 4 days

Beans After a Week

About a week after we planted out beans in CD cases they have burst into life!!  Here are some pictures of how they have grown! See HERE for the original posting and HERE to see how they did after 10 days!

Strange plants!

A hypercolour pencil for the first person to comment below (login with your google account or add your name) who can tell me what this flower is called!!

Hint:  It is parasitic, can be over three feet tall, and has no leaves, stems, or roots!!  The centre can hold up to six litres of water!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Density Tower

I did another fun demonstration for my grade 8s this week.  First we looked at what solid objects float on water and which sink (see photo below for results).  Then we talked about density and how less dense fluids will float on those that are more dense.  I constructed a density tower with NINE different fluids.  Then we took the same solid objects and observed which ones floated, which ones sank and at what level they rested.  It was very good at showing them everything we have been learning and something you can try at home.  See this website for instructions.

To illustrate the practical applications, other then petrochemical ones, I made them each a mini Shirley Temple showing them how orange juice floats on grenadine!  YUM!!

What floats on water?

Tower before and after!

Separation Labs

The grade 8s learnt all about separating mixtures in a very fun Science lab this month.  They got to observe or perform various tasks including distillation, filtration, evaporation, chromatography, and using magnets to separate metals.  It was very interesting and there were some surprising results.

Tree Lab

My grade 7 science class got to learn all about Canadian trees, most from Alberta.  This summer and fall I collected leaves, branches, cones, and pictures of all the species of trees we have at our cabin by Calling Lake.  I made laminated cards with a diagram, photo, and pressed leaf/branch of each species.  The students circulated around the stations and uses a dichotomous key to figure out which tree they were observing.  So the next time you are in the woods have them point them all out to you.

Any teachers out there who want my templates, worksheets, or power point presentation to go with the lab please email me!

Planting from your compost

For our grade 7 science unit on plants we wanted to see which plants would re-grow and even produce food from our kitchen scraps.  Keep posted for an update on the growth

Click HERE to see the results