Friday, 19 December 2014

#YYCLC Day 76: Yoga in the Learning Commons

Taking a breather in the Keeler Commons during the business of Winter Concert preparations, the grade 4s came down to practice their yoga.

Thursday, 18 December 2014

#YYCLC Day 75: Santa is Coming to the LC

Santa dropped by the book fair to read some Elephant and Piggie (one of our favorites!).

Have a GREAT Christmas and Winter Break!
From the YYCLC Team!

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

#YYCLC Day 74: Learning about Nutrition

Today our Grade 1 students were learning about healthy eating and nutrition. We had a nutritionist, Jamie, from Food Impact here to help us learn.

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Monday, 15 December 2014

#YYCLC Day 72:

We got some new white board tables - here is the message that was left one day....

Thursday, 11 December 2014

#YYCLC Day 70: International Dot Day

International Dot Day - How will we make the world a better place? 
One more Dot and one more voice helping us make the world a better place!


Danielle Smith stopped by to read with us and make some Dots!

Monday, 8 December 2014

Monday, 1 December 2014

#YYCLC Day 62: Searching for Books

This week we welcome and thank Tracy Tuttosi who is sharing some action from the learning commons at Dr. Morris Gibson School in Okotoks. 

Searching for books using the iPad

Friday, 28 November 2014

#YYCLC Day 61: Sketchbook Pro at Keeler School

Grade 5 students at Keeler School using Sketchbook Pro in iPads with stylus pens to sketch photos of themselves.  These will be sent to their class pen pals.

Thursday, 27 November 2014

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

#YYCLC Day 59: Wall Pops Dry Erase Spots

One of classroom teachers discovered these little gems. We are trying them out as a why for students to collaborate when when in the Learning Commons.

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

#YYCLC Day 58: Kindergarten & Pic Collage

At Chris Akkerman, our kindergarten students were learning how to use Pic Collage today. We had previously taken some photos of shapes and today we were adding text to our pictures. 

Monday, 24 November 2014

#YYCLC Day 57: Stopmotion Studio in the Learning Commons

We've had an meal worm observation station in our learning commons for a couple of months. Now it's time for the those creepy crawlies to change!

We documented part of the process with this stop motion video. 600 pictures and 4 or 5 hours later we ended up with the following video

or watch on YouTube here - 

Friday, 21 November 2014

#YYCLC Day56: littleBits are taking over!

These littleBits are taking over our learning commons. Interest is building fast about these amazingly designed electronic circuit modules. 

Thursday, 20 November 2014

#YYCLC Day 55: Wikiseat Project

Recently I was given a catalyst by #canADE colleague and friend Jared Nichol from Cold Lake High School in Northern Alberta. I'm trying to create interest in this project by having students interact with the this metal object. What do you think it is?

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

#YYCLC Day 54: Pulley Maker Station

Grade 4 students trying the Pulley Maker Station out for the first time. Great hands on learning challenge!

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

#YYCLC Day 53: Peer Assessment in the LC

Mrs. Schurig's grade 8 class spread all their Renaissance Timelines out in the Learning Commons and then walked through them giving each other written feedback. Yay for authentic formative assessment :)

Monday, 17 November 2014

#YYCLC Day 52: Gamers Club

Unofficial club of gamers meet between the graphic novels and the science fiction to game it up at lunch time in the Learning Commons.

Friday, 14 November 2014

Monday, 10 November 2014

Friday, 7 November 2014

#YYCLC Day 47: We're Hardcore with Arts Core

On Friday we teach Arts Core Education or "ACE". Pictured here grade 5 students explore fairytales through drama.

Thursday, 6 November 2014

#YYCLC Day 46: Welcoming WordFest With Author Visits!

Willow Park Learning Commons welcomed Kenneth Oppel and Eric Walters during Calgary's Wordfest Festival. Our students enjoyed hands on writing workshops and amazingly engaging book talks. Pictured here | Kenneth Oppel setting the stage for his new "Boundless", historical fiction based on the Canadian Railway.

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

#YYCLC Day45: The Beauty of Self Checkout

Here is funny story I'm glad I caught a picture of! As many of you know Rick Riordan's "Blood of Olympus" was recently released, this created quite a stir with Willow Park fans. Pictured here we have two friends sharing the pleasure of reading by using self checkout to their advantage - as one girl checks the book in - the other happily checks it out!

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

#YYCLC Day44: Mockumentary Filmmaking

These students are getting makeup on to film their mockumentary which features Willow Park in some strange alternate reality/future.

Monday, 3 November 2014

#YYCLC Day 43: Book Club Reads

This week we have Karena Munroe and the Willow Park Learning Commons sharing some action photos from things happening in their learning Commons

After the kind of debate reserved for Canada Reads book club has decided to read "Between the Lines" next. It's written for YA by Jodi Picoult and her daughter Samantha Van Leer, it features Samantha's art and her story idea.

Thursday, 30 October 2014

#YYCLC Day42: The Learning Commons - A busy place

Today the learning commons was busy with two opposite ends of the school. Kindergarten were creating sets as a math sorting centre and also documenting with iPads. Grade 5 were creating in their DC Project using MacBooks, iPad and digital cameras.

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

#YYCLC Day40: Grade 5s Explaining Everything

The learning commons is a great place to spread out when recording audio (or video) to explain a concept.

Monday, 27 October 2014

#YYCLC Day39: Kindergraten Centres

Kindergarten doing a centre station in the Akkerman LC to sort objects and document their work

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

White Board Dots

These look awesome! We are going to  buy some of these and create writeable workspaces on our learning commons tables.

They can be found here:
Ghost Dry Erase Dots - Dry Erase Decals

eBooks Are Awesome

In June 2014, Willow Park Middle School’s eLibrary went live. Over the summer, early adopter teachers and students started reading online. Some of us took our eLibrary traveling all summer. It was awesome!

I know. Some people think that students need to feel paper, that reading on screen causes eye strain and that a device that could die if dropped in a bathtub, can’t be seen in harsh sunlight and depends on battery life is so far inferior to a book it’s not even worth trying, never mind investing in a library of said choices. Fair enough.

For naysayers, I know that you know that eBooks are a done deal. They exist with or without your approval. For those people that don’t want to read eBooks, don’t. For those people that do… here’s what we love about eBooks:

  • they are delivered instantaneously
  • they are available every where, all the time
  • they take up very little space
  • you can read them on a laptop, computer, phone, tablet…
  • they’re simple to download or read in a browser
  • they’re leveled

We’re using OverDrive, it’s an expensive subscription and it contains eBooks and audiobooks. We choose it because of the ease of enrolling our school population and because the Calgary Public Library uses it. We have a pretty strong partnership with Fish Creek Public Library. For those of us that were already using the OverDrive app, it was really simple to just add a new library.

One of the coolest things about OverDrive School Library is the Book Club ebook. OverDrive has a program called “Big Library Read”. It’s world wide and your school can borrow unlimited copies of “Anatomy of A Misfit” by Andrea Portes in either an audio or eBook version. They’re marketing it as “Mean Girls meets The Perks of Being Being a Wallflower” and so far the Willow Park Book Club loves it!

If you’re thinking about using eBooks in your library, you’ll have some serious things to consider. With OverDrive you buy a subscription… every year. With Follett you buy the book one time and you have it forever. We’ve tried having a few tablets with certain eBooks and audio books on them available for sign out and we didn’t find huge success with that route. We are finding huge success with our eLibrary, because it suits our student population.  We’ve also had a huge amount of success with students creating their own eBooks and eMagazines. I don’t think eBooks are going away, just like I still read hard copy books and I don’t see them going anywhere fast either. I choose to embrace them. To me it’s not should we use eBooks, it’s how should we use eBooks.

Karena Munroe
Learning Commons Teacher
Willow Park Arts-Centered Middle School

#YYCLC Day36: Building with Kindergarten

Building with Kindergarten and Grade One

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Living Wall at Andrew Sibbald School

We received a $10 000 grant from the BP A+ for Energy program last spring. Our project was designed to promote Solar Energy and sustainability through the installation of Solar Panels on our school, tracking the amount of energy stored and redirecting the solar energy to our new Living Wall.

The Living Wall engages students in learning about the needs of plants and animals as they help our school community care for the plants and fish. Each grade team has been assigned specific roles that correlate to their curriculum in areas ranging from; science, math, language arts, visual arts and health. 

Teachers worked with a Calgary based company called, Vertical Oxygen to design, build and plant the Living Wall in our Learning Commons. Students, teachers and parents participated in designing the plant placement and planting the Living Wall. 

Students have been drawn to the Living Wall for many reasons, such as, the calming sound of the water flowing, watching the fish and observing and sketching the plants.


Our school community is able to track the Living Wall through a Twitter account, @SibbaldSolar. This creates a connection between home, school and our community.