Thursday, September 27, 2012


A technocolour pencil for the first STUDENT to post a comment or to email me the name of this.  Anyone can post comments now but if you don't have a google account set up make sure to put your name!


Yesterday and on Monday my grade 8 students are learning to use microscopes, make wet-mounts, and get a closer look at the invisible!  It was a lot of fun and I cant wait to see some real cells up close!!!   Click HERE to see a Youtube video on how to use a microscope.

See EDQUEST for an English version of our notes and see what we are learning!!

Next week is about plant and animal cells.  Look at this Edquest site

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Owl Pellet

Today the grade 7s did an owl pellet dissection to teach them about the food chain and an early peek at some bone anatomy.  See this Youtube video for more information.  Keep posted for more pictures of the finished results.  
THE OWL PELLETS ARE ALL STERILE SO PLEASE DON'T WORRY!!!  It isn't as gross as it sounds.  VERY COOL actually!!
The owl pellets before
The owl pellets being dissected
Now to glue them in place
Some of the bones sorted out

Friday, September 21, 2012

Finch Beaks

Today the grade 7s got to play a game to illustrate biological diversity, competition for resources, and the advantages of adaptations.  They were each given a "beak" (fork, knife, or spoon) and a mommy or daddy bird with a nest (cup) then food was scattered around (candy and straws) and they had to see how fast they could gather it up.  The spoons had an advantage but the forks were especially good at picking up straws.  The knives did better the second time when they started to work together.  AWESOME!  See curriculum fit in English


Our kids got to attend "The NED show" today.  Ask them about it and what N.E.D stands for.  They can order professional yo-yos through the school for $6.50-$15.00 next week.  Order forms were given out today.

Thursday, September 20, 2012


We are starting MATHLETICS this week!  Every day 4 during period 7 (grade 7s) and period 8 (grade 8s) the kids will use the entire class to do mathletics.  It is a series of lessons and quizzes based on the topics directly related to the curriculum and chapter in the text we are working on.  For each completed section they get a certain amount of points.  They need to complete MINIMUM of 1000 points a week.  They should be able to do this within the time given if they really work hard.  If not, it is their responsibility to complete at home.  They need to do the lessons within the chapter currently studying.  There are other resources they can try as well for extra help. A weekly leader board for points will be tallied and the highest person will get a sticker!  The person to get the most points by the end of the year will get a reward to be determined.  The kids will all be given their username and password.  Unfortunately they are not the same as their other logins.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012


Our school is a proud supporter for the Terry Fox Run and we are asking each student to bring a "Toonie for Terry" in support.  If each student donates we will have over $1000!!!  If you would like to make an online donation please click HERE or on the link below.  A tax receipt will be mailed to you.
You can also TEXT “terryfox” TO 45678 TO DONATE $5


Today we started our compost lab in grade 7 (don't worry grade 8s next week is FULL of lab time!).  We are trying to see what substances are decomposable or not.  The lab will last two weeks and a report will be due after.  The kids all brought some great things to test!
Maybe we need a compost here at school?  Worms??  Has anyone ever done this?


Make sure to check out the ECES website for the Google calendar you can sync with your own (parents and students!) and the list of announcements too.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

More Gmail

Once students set up their Gmail accounts in class later this month they will get the following message.  Read over it so you know about the conditions of Gmail and that these accounts go through BGRS.  More info on student gmail here

Welcome to your new account
Welcome to your new account: Your account is compatible with nearly all Google products, but your administrator may decide which products are enabled for your account. For tips about using your new account, visit our Help Center.
Google has made its services available to organizations using Google Apps. In addition to the core suite of messaging and collaboration applications, you may access many Google services ("Additional Services") using your account. Your administrator determines which Additional Services you may access using your account. For tips about using your new account, visit the Google Help Center.
 Please be aware that when you use Google services, your domain administrator will have access to your account information, including your email. You can learn more here, or by consulting your domain administrator's privacy policy, if one exists. You can choose to maintain a separate account for your personal use of any Google services, including email. If you have multiple Google accounts, the username that appears at the upper right corner of most Google services will help you ensure that you're using the intended account.
 The Additional Services are provided by Google to you under these terms of service and privacy policy. Certain Additional Services may also have service-specific terms. If your domain administrator enables any of the Additional Services, Google will treat your use of any of the Additional Services as acceptance of the applicable service-specific terms.
 Click "Accept" below to indicate that you understand the changes to your account and agree to the Google Terms of Service and the Google Privacy Policy for your use of Additional Services. 

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Care Lab

Today we did the CARE PACKAGE lab with the students to learn about being GREEN and using more energy efficient products at home and school.  So much fun!  Thank you to Inside Education for this great resource!  I will email pictures home!  Have a talk as a family about a few of the things that you would like to try and do at home and save the earth and some money!

"This kit is filled with over 20 items that will help you and your students explore simple yet effective ways to conserve energy and water and reduce waste. Kits are limited to one per school.
Due to the popularity of this resources we have distributed all the CARE kits available for the 2011-2012 school year! All of the items in the CARE kit are listed in the teachers guide as well as great ideas for promoting stewardship in your school - check it out!" - Inside Education

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

3 R's!

For Topic 3 of the Ecology unit in Science 7 we are learning about our ecological footprint and the three R's.  I have challenged the students to pack a waste/garbage-free lunch tomorrow.  I would like to see them use a lunch bag or box, containers, recyclable drink containers, organic matter to compost, and food that isn't individually wrapped. 

It is very hard to do sometimes so I am asking them to try their best for tomorrow to be 100% garbage free and then apply at least two methods in their daily lunches for the rest of the year.  (See blog post below for more ideas)

They will all get a sticker for a garbage free lunch tomorrow and then I will try and keep track as often as possible and give a prize at the end of the month to the student with the most eco-friendly and healthy lunch.

Take the eco-footprint quiz as a family and see where you can reduce your footprint.

Enjoy Jack Johnson's song about the three R's.  It is from the Curious George soundtrack and is the only kids music I can handle.  Love it!

Sunday, September 9, 2012


A hypercolour pencil to the first student to get it right!!
Don't forget BEDMAS! (PEDMAS en Francais!)

Friday, September 7, 2012

Green lunches

I would love to see the amount of plastic thrown out at lunch reduced but I know it is impossible to do that every day.  Some tips are to use re-usable containers, re-use ziplock bags, have a paper bag lunch and recycle it, bring compostable materials home for the compost, keep on recycling beverage containers, and try to avoid pre-packaged foods.  It is sometimes a pain to do all of these things so just pick a few that work for you.  
Another great idea are these bento box lunch kits.  They are a system of containers or bins that help you have a green lunch!

I have a Goodbyn for my daughter's lunch and love it!  Maybe I need to get one for myself!


I've just bombarded my parents with emails home about a plethora of things!  Here are copies of what I sent.  Also see the weeks homework photo and the important dates to come!  Email me anytime if you need anything!

Bonjour parents and guardians of ECES grade 7F 8F classes!
As most of you know my name is Amanda Merriman and I teach your kids French Immersion Math and Science, English Language Arts, and Health. We are getting settled into our new school routine and learning how thing work in grade 7. I am new to ECES and they have all been very helpful showing me the ropes too! I have told them many times that junior high is a time of growth and maturity and that I will work with them to help them be more responsible for their own work and school life. I am very hopeful for this year and so far we have been off to a good start.
I need to clarify a few things that were sent home in the epic course outline as well as add a few information items.
1. Check out my blog for weekly updates and more about me and our school year ahead!! Make sure to write down the dates for tests and quizzes.
2. No nuts (other than your kids!!). We have a student who is deathly allergic to nuts, especially almonds, so please don’t send any peanut butter, granola bars, cookies, or other treats with any kind of nuts for lunch or snacks.
3. If you have not signed the course outline form for my class please do so and return it ASAP. Also don’t forget about the school forms for going home at lunch, the volunteer survey, and school fees.
4. English copies of science 7 and math 7 text book are available in the library for parents to check out to help with homework at home or students in dire need of help. These are not to be used by the student or brought to school. Also see my blog for useful links in English for both math and science.
5. There will be a few field trips this year. We will let you know more when they get closer and if we need any volunteers.
6. Personal technology use. After talking to Mario Morin and hearing more about the exciting ways he uses technology I am going to allow monitored personal technology use. This means smart phones, tablets, MP3 players, eBooks, cameras, etc. They have to be used openly on top of the desk (no hiding and texting under the desk). They are for research, digital calendars/agendas, taking a picture of the homework board, reading, and listening to music during quiet individual work times. If any of the above becomes a distraction we will have to remove it. If a student is caught on facebook, email, texting, playing games, or anything else inappropriate we will not let these items back into the class for a month and you will be notified. We are not responsible for lost, stolen, or damaged items and urge students to lock them away in lockers, especially when not in use.
7. See my blog for information on the kid’s gmail accounts. More details to come.
8. CHECK AGENDAS!! They should have all homework and important dates written down in them.
9. Some of the school supplies I need for the students are above and beyond what was on the school’s list. I apologize in advance as the list was made before my coming to the school. So here is my list:
Math – coil ring notebook, 2 duotangs, binder*
Science – Binder, 5 duotangs
ELA – coil ring notebook* for journaling, binder**, book for free reading
Health - coil ring notebook *for journaling, binder**
*They can use the same binder for 2-5 subjects with dividers.
**They can use the same coil ring notebook for ELA and Health.
10. I am BIG on review and learning how to study. The above duotangs are to make study booklets for math and science. The math one will be made up for a “foldable” for each chapter, like a study guide/summary, and the unit quiz. They can use the foldable during tests and quizzes. In science we will put together a review booklet for each of the five units. Details coming soon! They will receive a bonus mark on their test for completion and a final mark on all five at the end of the year.
11. I will be modifying some of my weighting for math. Final marks will be the same but the terms will now be 60% homework and assignments including mathletics and 40% for quizzes and tests. This is to keep the grading distribution for math 7F, 8F1 and 8F2 on the same level between myself and Mlle Skerry who also teaches math 8.
12. You should be able to access your child’s marks, attendance, and comments on Power School soon. If you need login information you have to ask at the office. I will update it religiously once I am able to start using it within the next week or so.
13. About 4 of the kids in my homeroom do not have locks for their lockers and about half of the class do not lock them. My class is not always monitored and we have many groups of kids rotating through. We are not responsible for items kept in lockers and need kids to use their locks.
Thank you to everyone who came out to Meet the Teacher night. If you missed it I think I covered it all in this email! Please feel free to email me anytime with any concerns and I will do the same. Thank you for emailing me and letting me know in advance for any absences.
Make sure to check out the school’s website too and if you have a google calendar you can add our schedule to yours!
I think that is it for now. I am very excited to be teaching your children and am looking forward to a great year together.
Amanda Merriman

Hello all!!
After talking to some parents, staff, and going to my first assembly I have yet another list of things to let you know about!!!
1. The availability of the textbooks in English is very limited so I would like to ask if you need a copy to make sure it is because your child is truly struggling and you are going to need it to help them at home. It is too soon to know who I think could use it so we will see as the year progresses. Just check with me first and then I will send you on down to our lovely librarian.
2. The Power School logins will be mailed out to you shortly. If you haven’t received it within the next two weeks or if it doesn’t work then check with the office.
3. I am a HUGE supporter of the Terry Fox run and think his legacy is so important and can truly teach our children about the difference one person with strong convictions can make. WE are asking each kid to collect “Twoonies for Terry”! If every kid in the school brought a Twoonie we would have well over a thousand dollars!! There is a bin at the front office for the twoonies. If you would like to make a larger donation please send it in an envelope with your child.
4. The office also collects wrist bands from the local pools for draws to encourage physical fitness
5. They also collect Campbell soup labels to hand in for art and school supplies
6. Our daily announcements are posted on the ECES’s website daily. Check it out! Tis the season to sign up for various clubs and sports including cross country, volleyball, , intramurals, library club, cartoon club and more!
7. Students in grade 7 & 8 can leave at lunch to eat at home or elsewhere in the community. For my grade 7s who stay in my homeroom please make sure to clean up after yourselves and I will be encouraging you to have healthy lunches with fresh fruits and veggies as well as garbage-free lunches. I will take note starting next week and as their points build up I will figure out some kind of reward.
8. ELA 7 kids will need small post-it-notes while reading our novel, “The Cay” to make notes or mark pages. No rush. I have some in the mean time.
I know that between this and my previous email it is a lot to take in so please don’t worry. I will email home if I need anything and please keep checking my blog for more information.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Student Gmail

BGRS now has Gmail for student email. Their email name is the same as their username for network login followed by The password is also the same as their network login.

With Gmail students also gain access to Google Docs – word processor, spreadsheet, forms, calendar and drawing as well as Google calendar, Google Sites – web page creation and hosting, Google images, etc. A variety of Google tools. Included with this is 25 GB of online storage.