Thursday, February 28, 2013

Rabbit Hill

I had a great time at RabbiHill with the few Junior High kids who didn't go to Marmot.  It was a beautiful day, the snow was great, and it was wonderful to get outside to enjoy it!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

I love this

I watched this video last night and couldn't help but cry!  It is about how a group of teens on two different basketball teams treat one of the team's equipment managers.  He is a young man with a disability but that does not stop him from going for his dreams and being supported by his community.  It reminds me so much of my brother and his triumphs with Special Olympics and his cherish role a equipment manager, and self-proclaimed coach, of the St.Albert Merchants.

  This just goes to show how great young people can be.  

Warning this video plays an add before the news story.  It was a Molson Canadian commercial so not ideal for kids to see.  I just let it play muted (audio and video) before I showed this to my class.

Helping those in need

As part of our junior high health program I want to emphasize community involvement  volunteerism, and simply taking care of those in need.  A good friend of mine has been collecting items for a family in need and I was so inspired by this I thought we could all do it.

A family from Westlock lost their home in a fire earlier this month.  "A suspected chimney fire tore through a Linaria-area home last Wednesday night, destroying the building and leaving a family of seven homeless." (WN)  Read more about the details from the Westlock News.  They are a family of seven (5 girls and their Grandparents) and have lost everything.  

My friend and a group called "Edmonton Moms Give Back" (search them on facebook) are collecting items, not only for this family, but also for other local families in need.  

Here are some specifics of what they need the most:
For the Westlock area family - DONATIONS DUE FRIDAY MARCH 8th
  • Girls size 7/8
  • Ladies size 8 and 12/14
  • Men's XL shirts or 38" pants
  • Household items (linens, kitchen, etc.)
  • Books and movies are always nice.  
  • Maybe something to brighten up a little girl's day.  With 5 girls ages 4-14 they could all use some sunshine.
  • No large items like furniture as we have to deliver it to Westlock

For local Edmonton area families. - DONATIONS ONGOING
  • Baby and children's clothes (in good condition)
  • Gently used toys
  • Soaps and toiletries
  • Kids snacks
  • Dog food
  • toilet paper
  • Books and movies are always nice
  • Maternity clothes
  • Infant formula, wipes, diapers, or even coupons for these items.
  • Any larger items can be donated by joining and contacting the group.  There are a lot of new moms in need of furniture
I think it is important to teach our kids about community service and supporting those in need.  I want to challenge each family to do some de-cluttering and donate any gently used items that could help this family.  If it can fit in a garbage bag bring it to the school and I will make sure it get's donated.  Anything larger please email me and we will figure out how to get it there.  

Vote for Mr.Maltais

Make sure to go to this website and listen to some great music by a local artist, and teacher, Darren Maltais. He is a friend of mine and I have always enjoyed listening to his music live over the years.  He teaches in Beaumont at J.E Lapointe and is AWESOME!!

Darren has been performing from an early age. Originally from Beaumont, Alberta, music has brought him from Yellowknife to Vancouver Island, and across the Prairies. He has played in several bands and performed at many music clubs and bars along the way, but he has also had a chance to perform at festivals including the Edmonton Folk Music Festival. He is a singer-songwriter, but he can also be heard on the albums of other artists such as popular Alberta Francophone artist Joel Lavoie, and CBC Radio 2's Great Canadian Song Quest winner, Jay Sparrow. He is a musician and a teacher and though he may now write more songs about math and science than other, more exotic topics, his passion for crafting great songs is evident. 

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Pink Shirt Day

Today is PINK SHIRT DAY.  Show your solidarity against bullying and be cool enough to wear pink.  By donning your pink shirt you are making a statement that bullying is not okay, sometimes teasing an hurt a lot more than we think, and we need to follow the golden rule and "treat others the way you want to be treated."

Here are SEVEN WAYS you can participate in Pink Shirt Day and help end bullying.

Watch what happens when a bunch of kids want to send a message at a Vancouver Giants hockey game.  I would have LOVED to have seen this live!  CLICK HERE AWESOME!!

THIS is also a very powerful video I hope will inspire everyone to be kinder.  "Kids can be cruel" is not okay.  Kids can be awesome and should not be allowed to be cruel! 
Finally on Anderson Cooper an amazing story about bullying.  Viewer discretion is advised as they catch bullying on tape and the emotions are pretty raw.  It is horrendous but very moving.  THE BULLY EFFECT

Inside Ed at ECES

We were fortunate enough to have Pamela from Inside Education come and talk to the class about Energy, Ecosystems, and You!  It was a great way to end our latest unit on heat and temperature while adding concepts from our ecosystems unit.  The students participated in a variety of activities and a Pamela gave them a lot to think about.  We talked about stewardship and looked at THIS POSTER to brainstorm some ideas.  Make sure to ask them about it and how you, as a family, can reduce your carbon footprint and your impact on climate change.  

More Carnaval Pictures

Here are some more pictures of our 
Winter Carnaval de Quebec!!  

A few faces had to be blurred for FOIP reasons.  

Mrs.Bauer doing a fine job making crepes in her Quebec regalia!

Make sure to go and visit Crepe and Shake Cafe across from Bellevue School!

Le Bonhomme helping with the triple ski


Cabane a sucre or Sugar Shack with maple taffy in the snow!
 Thank you to the Canadian Maple Shack!

Mme. Merriman avec le Bonhomme!

Le Bonhomme playing ballon balaish (broom ball)

Time for some bean-bag toss!

Tobogganing is always fun!

Lovely to have all of these activities in our own school yard!

The tug-o-war was a lot of fun too!

Friday, February 22, 2013


Quelle belle journée! Le Carnaval de Québec! Je suis tellement fière de nos 7e et 8e et tout le travail qu'ils ont accompli pour rendre cette carnaval si merveilleux. Ils sont devenus des chefs d'équipe de la famille en prenant des groupes d'enfants autour toutes les stations (hockey, souque-à-la guerre, les châteaux de sucre, relais, etc). Ils aident avec les règles, gardant Le Bonhomme et plus! Les enfants ont bien aimé toutes les activités, en particulier la cabane à sucre et les crêpes.  Un merci spécial à Mme Bauer! FANTASTIQUE!

What a wonderful day!! Quebec Winter Carnival!! I am so proud of our grade 7s & 8s and all of the work they have done to make this carnival happen. They are family team leaders taking groups of kids around, running stations (hockey, tug-o-war, sugar castles, relays, etc.) and helping out with keeping score and time, guarding Le Bonhomme, and more. The grade 4-6 kids are loving all of the activities especially the Cabane A Sucre and Crepes (A special thanks to Mrs.Bauer!)!! THE BEST DAY EVER!!!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Light Labs

We had an amazing time this week trying out a variety of labs all about light and optics!  It was VERY interesting!

Prisms break white light into the rainbow spectrum and also put it all back together!  Just like Pink Floyd
Additive properties of light
The Electromagnetic Spectrum - A key in understanding this entire lab!
Learning how light blends differently than colour

Check out more about this lab HERE

Using mini lights to blend colours
Now see how the colours combine when you spin them on  a colour wheel!

A green object looks green under white and green light (reflected) but with a red light it looks black-ish

Looking at light through spectrum film show us it's rainbow! - It's SPECTRA!
Comparing the spectra of various light sources

Studying how light converges and diverges with concave and convexe lenses

How do concave and convex mirrors work?
Now studying the laws of reflection with lasers and mirrors.

Check out more about how lasers work HERE

Using a slinky and water to study the properties of waves
You need to know this!

The science of sunsets and wavelength of light.

Google Your Mind!

Anyone wanting to learn more about GOOGLE and how e are using it in the classroom there are FREE online tutorials here!

Friday, February 15, 2013


Today we made ice cream in my grade 7 science class to show how salt changes the melting point of ice and thus makes it even colder and helps make ice cream even quicker.

I was loud, messy, and delicious!!!  We figured out why some group's ice cream worked and other's didn't and talked about all of the experimental errors.  The kids enjoyed adding toppings and various flavorings too.

Perhaps a fun idea for "Family Day Unplugged" - Remember to have the kids submit their forms for hours spent together "unplugged" from technology so that we can win a prize!!   A pizza or pool party!!

Here is the scientific explanation and recipe from 
Ice has to absorb energy in order to melt, changing the phase of water from a solid to a liquid. When you use ice to cool the ingredients for ice cream, the energy is absorbed from the ingredients and from the outside environment (like your hands, if you are holding the baggie of ice!). When you add salt to the ice, it lowers the freezing point of the ice, so even more energy has to be absorbed from the environment in order for the ice to melt. This makes the ice colder than it was before, which is how your ice cream freezes.
Add layers of ice and salt to a coffee can
Put the yummy ingredients for the ice cream in a baggie and then inside another 
Seal up the cans with tape and get rolling

Thursday, February 14, 2013

More light

Here are a few things that we learnt about today.  Fiber optics can transmit light over very long distances and are used for TV and telephone cables!

Next we learnt about laser light and how it is made.  

I also showed how light is transmitted through solids as opposed to air in this video.

 You can see another example of this demo here

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Mixing Light

When you mix all the colours of paint you get brown or black. Yuck!  But with light you get WHITE!!!  I did a demonstration that shows how light wavelengths combine to form the colours we see based on the same three colours you can see if you look closely at your TV pixels: red, blue, and green.  (Not red blue, and yellow like paint!)
Paint colour wheel
Films overlapping are like paint ... but when you use lights ...


Additive properties of light

Red, Blue, Green spotlights
Imagine that the pink background is more white and now notice the yellow, magenta and cyan shadows!