Archive for the ‘events’ Category

May the Fourth

was an exciting day at Strathcona. It was our third annual Star Wars Reads celebration and the library offered numerous fun literacy activities. Above, you can see our bulletin board, that grew over a week, building anticipation. Staff and students came dressed as favourite Star Wars characters. One of my favourites, was the Princess Leia hoodie:


At recess and lunch we had Star Wars books on display and pencil/paper activities. The ultimate activity was the Star Wars Trivia Game Show, set up by tech guru Mme. Annie. Using the site, Kahoot and a projector/screen, kids answered Star Wars trivia questions using iPads. It was a tad tricky for some of the primary students to log in, but the intermediates gladly helped as many as they could. We also ran a draw for students who could guess how long the average Wookie lifespan is (400 years).

Locally raised brothers Jack and Holman Wang are the authors and needle felt artists of the Star Wars Epic Yarn board book series, one of my favourite children’s series. Ever popular, the Star Wars phonic books are a hit for hight interest low vocab seekers.


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Wednesday, May 4th is Star Wars Reads Day in the library. Drop by at recess, lunch or after school for lots of fun activities: character drawing contest, a trivia quiz, and a Star Wars word search. We will have lots of Star Wars book to read, so put on your favourite Star Wars costume and come to the library!

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Hour of Code

hour of code

Have you done Hour of Code yet? Hour of Code a great way to introduce coding to kids. Using command blocks instead of javascript, students instruct their character to perform certain tasks, working their way through the levels. Using popular characters, such as Elsa from Frozen and Steve from Minecraft, students of all ages are highly engaged in the activities. As a teacher, you can register your class and have them sign in. This way you are able to keep track of their work and when the wifi fails, the kids can log back in without losing any of their work. On the other hand, logging in is a bit of a pain, so with some classes, we did not bother to do this.

Above, you can see two kids playing with the Frozen game using the library Smartboard. Not only great for demoinstrating and watching the instructional videos, the Smartboard was also fun to code on. Such a big screen and easy to move the blocks around. Most of the kids used iPad minis in pairs and individually. You can also use desktops, other mobile devices, and even paper.

People in my generation grew up learning to code our Commodore 64’s, using Logo at school, and trying to get our games to work using DOS. As such, our generation had experience with coding, but kids these days, well with slick operating systems, they often have no exposure to coding at all. This is the second year I’ve participated in Hour of Code at Strathcona, having first heard about it from our fabulous Tech Mentor Annie Simard. I can’t wait to try it again. Hour of Code is a great introduction and a fabulous thing to do with your kids at home or in class.


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The Winter Reading Challenge is over today. Congratulations to all participants. Please bring your calendars back to the library to claim your book prize starting tomorrow, Tuesday, January 5 @ 8:30 am.

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Winter Reading Challenge

Strathcona library is hosting a Winter Reading Challenge. Read a minimum of 15 days from Monday, December 14 to Monday, Januay 4. Mark every day you read on the calendar provided. Beginning Tuesday, January 5, bring the calendar back to the library and colelct your prize – an brand new book to take home and keep!

Happy Winter Reading!

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What an honour it was to attend the Aboriginal Literacy K-12 Symposium at UBC in the gorgeous First Nations House of Learning. Squamish Chief Ian Campbell was a captivating storyteller who demonstrated the power and importance of oral storytelling, and encouraged us to look more critically at the colonial lens through which we teach and live.

Musqueam Elder Larry Grant explained what unceded territory means and the important of acknowledging the traditional territory of the land we are on. Larry Grant shared his published picture book, Let’s Take a Walk, co-authored by Sarah Ling and written in three languages: hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓, English and Chinese, as part of UBC’s First Nations Language Program and Oral Traditions Project. UBC offers courses in hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓. Let’s Take a Walk, is a memoir of Larry Grant’s childhood, growing up with a Musqueum mother and Chinese father.

School District #37 Delta circulated a wonderful resource Weaving Aboriginal Perspectives into the Curriculum, that include ’10 Ways to Weave Aboriginal Ways of Knowing into Classroom Curriculum, First Peoples Principles of Learning,and Place-Based Thinking Concepts.

Aboriginal Children’s Literature Online Resources

http://oyate.org/ Are your resources appropriate and authentic? Check out this site’s book reviews.

http://firstnationswriter.com/ Cree author Larry Loyie and partner Constance Brissenden promote writing in First Nations communities.

http://americanindiansinchildrensliterature.blogspot.ca/ Debbie Rees reviews many, many books.

http://www.goodminds.com/top-picks Book lists and other teaching resources for sale.

http://books.bc.ca/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/AbCat2014_Final_web2.pdf    Canadian Aboriginal Books for Schools published annually. Great resource. Poster available.

http://portal.acc-society.bc.ca/literacy/childrensbooks  BC Aboriginal Child Care Society’s literacy page with book recommendations and teaching resources.

https://www.portageandmainpress.com/lesson_plans/plan_286_1.pdf  Teaching guide for 7 Generations series, an excellent graphic novel depicting the story of a young man who struggles with his past.

http://thehealthyaboriginal.net/contact-us/  Graphic novels, posters and video on health and social issues for young people. French and English.

http://rabbitandbearpaws.com/ Series of funny graphic novels that are appropriate for elementary school students.

http://www.kids-bookreview.com/2013/07/book-list-picture-books-by-indigenous.html Lists of book reviews, this particular link provides a list of books written by Indigenous people of Australia.

http://www.firstnationliteracy.com/ Teaching resources, including book recommendations and lesson plans.

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May is Awesome Book Month in Strathcona Library, so share the awesome books you’ve read. If you borrowed a great book, return the book on the counter as usual, and add one of the Awesome Book Bookmarks. These are located on the front counter. Tell us why you thought this book was awesome!

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