Creating Virtual Machines

Our grade 8 Science students are just starting on a project building digital Goldberg machines. To accomplish this, the students will be using an application called Phun, which is a free, 2D physics simulator. Phun allows students to digitally build and combine a variety of objects including gears, wheels, springs, etc and to control different variable including gravity, wind speed, density of objects, etc. By using Phun, we are asking the students will be able to create something like this in order to demonstrate their understanding of simple machines. Here is the initial planning document for the unit, including a … Continue reading Creating Virtual Machines

Cross Border Skyping – Part 1 of Many?

Yesterday two of our grade 9 Humanities classes had the opportunity to have a discussion with two classes of grade 8 students at Wayne Highland Middle School in Honesdale, PA. Using Skype, the students were able to ask other questions about the differences between the political systems in our two countries. Student on both ends enjoyed the discussion, as the topics ranged from political process, to troops in Afghanistan, to healthcare reforms and Olympic Hockey. Our thanks to the teachers involved, as well as Lori Sheldon for helping set up the opportunity through twitter. One of the most significant … Continue reading Cross Border Skyping – Part 1 of Many?

Libraries Can Be Open to All

This post is written by our Teacher/Librarian Donna Alden, in response to an article titled “The Unhappy Place: What libraries can do to welcome kids who struggle with print” written by Ira Socol and published at School Library Journal. Well Ira, I am glad to hear you persevered, despite the unfriendly and foreboding presence the libraries of your childhood presented! To provide some context: I am a qualified teacher-librarian working in a dynamic middle school in Alberta, Canada, and I’d like to respond to your article in School Library Journal called “The Unhappy Place…Libraries …Welcoming Kids Who Struggle with Print”. … Continue reading Libraries Can Be Open to All