Monday, November 30, 2015

Wishing You All a Wonderful Winter

Winter is a wonderful time to spend outdoors, exploring activities such as: 
skiing, snow shoeing, sliding .... and so much more!
We hope you find an opportunity to explore some activities you have not done before.
Enjoy the great outdoors with family and friends!!

Thank you for following us over the past year!
For the time being we are going to break from posting on a regular basis.

Thursday, November 05, 2015

A Time to Remember ....

REMEMBRANCE DAY is a day to honour people who helped keep us safe and made Canada what it is today. As one young child shared a few years ago ....

Peace is when you smile at someone and make the world a tiny bit brighter
Peace is when you hear a baby laugh, or give a hug to the hurt

— Excerpt from a poem by 10-year-old Amaya M from Winnipeg

The World War I poem, "In Flanders Fields," by John McCrea, inspired the Memorial Day custom of wearing red artificial poppies. 
In addition to wearing a poppy, we give a moment of 'silence' on November 11 to remember loved ones and honour those who helped to make Canada what it is today.

How do you and your family honour soldiers who made a sacrifice?
Is there anyone you know who has served or is serving our country?

Friday, October 30, 2015

Witching you a SAFE Halloween

Many of you will participate in activities ranging from carving pumpkins, attending costume parties or trick-or-treating.  Regardless of how you spend October 31, the staff would like to wish you a safe Halloween and share a few safety tips.

Share your plans for Halloween and what you are dressing up as this year!

Friday, October 09, 2015

So Much to be Thankful for!

Thanksgiving is celebrated on the second Monday of October every year in Canada.  For many, it is celebrated with family and friends, and is a time to be thankful for our fortunes.  Our staff at Northern BC Distance Education school shares their gratitude for so many things.

... my good health.
... laughter and smiles.
... family, friends & colleagues.
... going to sleep tired every night.
... that I love to come to work every day.
... the parents who support our students to reach their academic goals.
... for the challenges that each day brings and the answers to those challenges. family and friends, for the beautiful world we live in and the great people (friends!) I work with.
... a warm home, hugs from my kids, and a husband who has never, ever said one unkind word to me.
... finding new ways to interact and learn with our students, families and staff.
... the opportunity to help people learn, grow and work towards their goals.
... my loving husband, beautiful children and thoughtful parents.
... all the students, families and people I get to meet.
... for my family and our good health.
... family, friends and our health.
... our free country.
... grandchildren.

Please share with us, what you are thankful for and how you plan to spend Thanksgiving this year.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Digital Citizenship and Safety

Students at NBCDES have been participating in lessons 
to help them learn about being safe online.

What are some of the things students have been learning?

1. Parental permission is required for you to use a Google Apps for Education account.

2. Think before posting because even with carefully selected privacy settings, postings are easily shared.  Supporting link here.

3.  Choose the Digital Footprint that you would like to positively represent yourself.

4.  Ask permission before sharing other people's personal information or photos.  

5.  Use your Learn60 account for schoolwork only.

6.  Private information or photos should not be shared, and always tell an adult if something makes you feel uncomfortable.  Supporting link here.

7.  Be careful of cyber tricks.  If it is too good to be true, it probably is a trap.  Supporting link here.

8.  Evaluate the validity of what you read online, and never share your password.  Supporting link here.

9.  Block, report or un-follow users who post inappropriate content.

10.  Be responsible about copyright and give credit by citing your work and resources.  Supporting link here.

11.  By using online tools appropriately, you can do amazing things.  Show your awesomeness!

To view School District #60's Digital Citizenship and Safety full presentation for students using accounts click here.

Share something you learned or that surprised you in your Digital Citizenship lesson.
Share your digital awesomeness - what amazing things have you been doing digitally? 

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Why Choose Northern BC Distance Education?

At the beginning of the school year, we are all anxious for our children
and hope that their classroom experiences for the next ten months will bring success.

So what are the reasons that some families choose
Northern BC Distance Education School?

1.  There is more time to spend with your children and be the main influence for instilling life long values.  Being your child's home facilitator allows you to do this.

2.  Staying at home with your children allows you to embrace all teachable moments.  If your child says, "I wonder why...", you can take the time to explore his/her curiosities and interests developing intrinsic motivation to be a life long learner.

3.  There is less pressure to fit into the latest fads and fashions in order to be socially accepted by peers.

4.  Flexibility in scheduling allows families to learn and still fit in travel, extracurricular activities, family events, etc.

5.  At NBCDES you still get to work with a teacher who provides or helps tailor the educational program for your child.

6.  You can provide a bully-free environment.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Summer Activities to Keep Your Brain Active

How active is your brain? 
Does it take a vacation in the summer when you do?

Research has shown that exercising your brain all year long is a healthy choice. It boosts your brain power, which can help you do better in school and in all endeavours you pursue. 

Your transition from school in June to school in September is an important one. 
Some activities you can do to exercise your brain this summer might include: 
swimming, walking, running, reading, 
playing board and card games.
Here is a link to some classic card games.

Keep active and enjoy your summer!!

Monday, June 15, 2015

We Love and Appreciate you, Dad!

In many parts of the world, 
we take the time to honour our fathers on Father's Day. 

 In Canada, we show our appreciation for our Fathers 
on the third Sunday of June each year.

Consider taking the time to remind 
your father and grandfather how much you care!

Please share ways that you have shown your appreciation
for your father whether it is an act of kindness, 
homemade card or gift,
special moments shared together, etc.

As a father, have there been special ways 
that you have been appreciated?

Monday, June 08, 2015

Benefits of Participating in Sports

Physical activities and Sports, whether team-based or individual, provide students with a variety of benefits. Participation in any sport can help build self-esteem, confidence, 
as well as motivate children to excel academically. 
Furthermore, sports can help develop social skills 
and teach children the benefits of goal-setting and practice.

At NBCDES, drop in Physical Activity afternoon has always been a favourite. This year, we decided to take it to the next level by offering some of the district sports events to our students. We surveyed our students to find out their interests and our student number count in order to select sports that we would successfully be able to participate in as a school team. This year, our district sports teams included badminton, along with track and field.

Badminton was a wonderful experience, as we were able to enter the individual and team events. It was a very small team, but we were able to work together and support each other throughout the day. Our students practiced regularly, as did the teachers ;) We look forward to a larger team next year, providing even more opportunities for our students.

Track and Field was our most recent experience, as it was this past Friday. We practiced every Wednesday afternoon for the past couple months to prepare for the event. Students were so excited to have the opportunity to be included in the district meet, as this was a first time for many. As a coach, I was eager to put in a team and give them the experience that I have had in the past as a participant, volunteer, and coach. Despite our students smiles and positive attitudes, I wished the venue would have allowed for a more TEAM centered environment. This also would have allowed for coaches to ensure that their students did not miss any events, as you can see/hear how each event is progressing. This year, with the variance of event locations (both inside and outside events), students were unable to stay together as a team and support one another. I missed the 'good ole days' where all the events were outside, the track was the outer perimeter, and all of the events took place inside the track. Teams had little tents/areas in which they stationed as a team base, and you could see and hear what was going on during the meet. In addition, I missed the running events, where 'little Johnny' was struggling to finish his race, so his teammates ran along the inside of the track with him, cheering him on and physically supporting him. This is team spirit! I was sad that my students did not get to see that in this year's meet. However, in saying that, students did participate, they enjoyed their experience, and hosting it inside ensured that the track meet continued rain or shine. So as a coach, I guess the 'good ole days' may have enhanced the team experience for my students and they would have benefited from it, but they did enjoy a day of physical activity. 

We are so excited that we are now a part of the district sporting events. 
Due to the benefits of participating in physical activities and sports, 
we look forward to further opportunities for our students.

Monday, June 01, 2015

Reflection of Activities Passed...

As we are nearing the end of the school year, 
we thought it would be a great opportunity to 
reflect on the extra activities that we explored 
with our students. 

For us, providing the students with extra opportunites, has many positive outcomes such as:

  1. Providing students with meaningful, authentic learning opportunities, to enhance learning and creativity
  2. Develop community and working relationships
  3. Enhance curricular learning outcomes 
  4. Promote social skills through engaged participation
  5. And many more little benefits based on each individual

At NBCDES, we tried to provide a variety of activities to meet each of our students' interests and learning needs. Some of the activities we explored this year, include:
  1. Open House BBQ and Games
  2. Drop in PE on Wednesday Afternoons
  3. Halloween Activity Afternoon
  4. Online Remembrance Day Celebration (students shared)
  5. Bones and Archeology: 2 Separate Presentations
  6. Collaborative Christmas Story
  7. Skating at Pomeroy Center: Once a Month during Winter Months
  8. Christmas Activity Afternoon
  9. Attended the Nutcracker Dance Performance
  10. Attended the Pirates of Penzance Perfromance
  11. Bowling Afternoon
  12. Art with Eliza Stanford: Wire Art
  13. Art with Barb Daley: Art Journaling 
  14. All Green Activity Day
  15. Science Fair
  16. Badminton Tournament
  17. Track and Field Team/Meet
  18. Up Coming Year End Activity Afternoon
  19. Blogging Every Monday
  20. Anything We May Have Forgot To List :)


We always enjoy the special activities and memories 
that are created. 

Let us know your thoughts on the extra activities.

Which events did you participate in?

Which events did you enjoy?

What events would you recommend or suggest us to look into for next year?

Monday, May 25, 2015

Yukon Road Trip

Sharlene, Christine, Norbert and I (Gerri) are travelling through the Yukon to visit our students and their familes. Our journey began today at 4:00am...Yes, I said that correct 4:00am. 

As a school we travel through the Yukon twice a year to meet and connect with our students and their families. This is such an amazing trip as we establish and enhance relationships along the way. It is so wonderful to see the variety of cultures and personalities. Our students are such wonderful and unique people. We truly cherish this experience. Sharlene, Christine and I are going to take turns writing each day about our journey.

In Math, we learn about statistics and charting. We decided to keep a running tally chart to illustrate the wildlife we have seen along the way. We will update this overview as we travel:

Bears: 28
Moose: 13
Buffalo: 50
Mountain Sheep: 15
Rabbits: 2
Gophers: 4 seen (1 not seen, but clearly heard)
Elk: 3
White Swan: 2 
Squirrels: 10
Porcupine: 2
Marmot: 2
Lynx: 1
Fox: 1 (with prey in his mouth for breakfast)
Mountain Goats: 2
Chipmunk: 1

Day 1:

Like I (Gerri) menitoned, the first leg of our trip started at 4:00am (not that I am complaining lol) and we arrived in Whitehorse this evening. It was nothing short of spectacular. The scenery and wildlife along the journey were majestic. We may have stopped along the way to take a few pictures to share.

Upon our arrival, we were greeted by a grade 6 student and his mother. We hadn't met this boy yet, but we were able to meet his mom last fall. He lives in a very remote area, so remote that he has to fly in and out. We were very lucky that he happened to be in Whitehorse, as we were not able to arrange for us to fly to his community. I (Gerri) have been teaching this boy all year online and am very thankful for the experience to meet him in person. What a great start to our trip.

Please enjoy the pictures below :)

Day 2:

The girls and I (Sharlene) dropped Norbert off to get a rental car for the day to do some administrative duties, while we ventured out to the surrounding area of Whitehorse.

Our first stop of the day, after Tim Hortons of course, was to see a family with two children. Unfortunately, we missed one of the siblings as he was in Portland playing soccer on a select team. We did however, visit his sister who was very excited about the elective edynamic veterinary course.

With such excitement, we were already behind our set schedule.  I really hate being late!! ...  Set back into the countryside, on our way to Carcross, we visited a family that truly loves the outdoors.  We got to work with a couple of our students with their language arts and math.  They are excited about trying some of our teaching tips and utilizing the internet a bit more (such as IXL math) to support their learning.

From there, we passed the Carcross desert on our way to Tagish for our next stop.  This family of three students welcomed us with a wild game lunch.  Tasting mountain sheep was a first for all of us - it was very tender and tasty. Over lunch we shared many stories including those of travels and how they are able to participate in classes regardless of where they are.  "Thank you very much for lunch and your hospitality!"

Running late, our next family graciously met us in town to save us time.  This family was really pleased with the program and the progress made over the year.  Along with their excitement for learning, they are now looking forward to a summer filled with visits from family mixed with camping trips.

Christine and I visited one of our grade ten parents, while Norbert and Gerri visited another family. With both families we were able to learn more about the students' needs and answer questions.  It's great to hear how they successfully balance a cross-enrolled program where they take courses at their high school and with us.

As I write this, Norbert is finishing up the last of the visits for the day.

Please enjoy the pictures below :)

Day 3:

Off to another early start this morning we began our day with a breakfast at Timmies, followed by coffee at McDonalds. Our first visit takes us out west towards Haines to visit a student of mine (Christine) who has a passion for dance and animals. After some reading and math discussion we got a tour of the animals on her farm with a special visit from 'Shooter' ~ her horse and best friend.

Back on the road again, we prepare ourselves for the long drive up to Dawson City. The drive is met with intermittent stops for road construction. Quick stops in Carmacks and at Pelley Crossing allow us to visit the local schools to say 'Hi' and drop off some eDynamic course information.

Back on the road .... our animal count continues to grow with our newest and most unique animal being the white swan.

The road north to Dawson City is a quiet, lonely road riddled with potholes, which Gerri desperately attempts to avoid. After several hours we reach our destination. After a quick bite to eat we head out to visit the first of three of our families in Dawson City.  A 'tin man' marks the home of two enthusiastic young boys who share the highlights of their school year and stories of their travels. They are excited for the opportunity to explore our online courses in the upcoming year.

Please enjoy the pictures below :)

Day 4:

Last night we stayed in Dawson City in a cozy hotel, the Aurora Inn. The hotel was very nice, as it felt more like a house...Our room had three little wooden beds, we kind of felt like we were in the fairy tale, "Goldilocks and the Three Bears". Christine and I (Gerri) may have stayed up a little late catching up on some computer work..."Sorry, Sharlene."

We started our morning off with a great breakfast at the Riverside Bistro on Frontage Street. We then dropped Norbert off at the highschool, as us ladies ventured just outside of Dawson City.

Our first stop was a grade 7 boy that I taught this year online. He greeted us with blue hair and a great smile. This boy was such a great addition to our online classroom this year, contributing to class discussions and letting his character shine through. The visit with him this morning, was very much the same. I helped him with a few math problems, as we laughed and learned together. 

From there, we travelled further into the great outdoors to a family of two girls. Believe this or not, but we were actually half an hour early...look at us go! This family is originally from Czechoslovakia and now have their own placer mining claim. These girls dazzled us with their kind smiles, poetry, piano playing, singing, reading aloud, and so much more. Our visit was so wonderful, that we were no longer early lol.

After our two morning visits, we drove back into Dawson City to pick up the boss man and then began our venture back to Whitehorse. This time, Norbert was in the drivers seat and I must say that I am certain he hit more pot holes than I did yesterday.

We enjoyed a nice supper together (actually at supper time). After supper, the four of us went for a nice walk along the river. Norbert is meeting another student now, as I write the blog. Tomorrow is a super early morning, as we are departing before 7am to make our way to Dease Lake. 

Please enjoy the pictures below :)



Day 5:

Sharlene here...  Last night was another short one, not only because there is almost no darkness, but also because once we get back to the room in the evenings we open up our computers to take care of a few things.  It was however, a beautiful morning to set out early from Whitehorse - in fact 6* degrees warmer than Fort St. John.

Our first stop of the day was in Teslin to top up with fuel.  This quick stop gave us our closest bear encounter so far (he many not have been real, but definitely cute).  We had a great visit with two of our families at the Watson Lake library.  I was excited to see the great progress made by one of my students, and to hear about her family's trip planned to Germany and France leaving tomorrow. Unfortunately, she said there wasn't enough room for me in her suitcase.  

The road from Watson Lake to Dease Lake was quite the adventure with its winding trail through the rocky mountains with no shoulders on the side of the road.  In Dease Lake, we enjoyed a meal with Norbert's friends, Monique and Cathy at the Rumors cafe, followed by dessert at Monique's house. Thank you Cathy and Monique for your hospitality.

Even though the days and drives are long, I have thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to connect with my students and families!  It has also been great to collaborate with Norbert, Christine and Gerri on the road.  There are always so many great educational discussions about what we hope to accomplish and improve upon in the future.  

Please enjoy the pictures :)



Day 6:    We can "bear"-ly keep count......

Our wildlife count continues to rise ~ many more black bears ~ as we venture out on our last day of student visits. As we head south from Dease Lake (leaving Norbert behind for visits at the College), the hour drive to Iskut, BC. takes us through the brilliant green wilderness showing signs of early growth and young wildlife. 

Our first stop just before Iskut is to drop in and see a family who is no longer with us. The two children shared what they have been up to and how well they are doing.  I (Christine) is pleased to hear that they are doing so well. With a quick 'See you soon' .... We are on our way.

As we approach Iskut we find a small community nestled at the base of a mountain ~ BEAUTIFUL!! Here we visit a young man with a winter passion for hockey and snowboarding and a summer passion for hiking and hunting with his dad. He shared some hunting stories and his excitement for hockey tournaments in Whitehorse and Prince George. There is a lot of travel required when you live so far from a bigger community.

Travelling back to Dease Lake we remembered to pick up Norbert. He sure was happy to see we didn't forget about him! :) Back on the road, we decided to have a few lunch snacks. After eating our "travelling cuisine" of meat, cheese, crackers ... Norbert decided to help with cleanup. Being on dish duty he attempted waterless cleaning only to lose his grip on our makeshift cutting board as it flew out the window of the moving vehicle. This gave us a good chuckle :) Yes!... We stopped, turned around and picked it up! We wouldn't want to litter. 

We chuckled and reminisced as we found our way back to Watson Lake. Unfortunately, our last family was unable to meet with us in Watson Lake. We will try to catch up with them next week. A few hours and many more animal sightings later (check out our numbers...), our drive ended at Liard Hot Springs. Once there, we rewarded ourselves with a relaxing soak in the HOT hot springs and a good night's sleep. There was no service in this area so I was unable to post to the blog .... instead, I had to wait until we were back in Fort St. John ~ sorry for the delay to those who are following each day!

Please enjoy the pictures :)


Day 7: 

Kilometers Travelled: 5205 kms
Sleepless Nights: Many
Early Mornings: Every Morning
Travel Costs: Approx. $4000
Seeing Our Students' Smile: Priceless

We left the Liard Hotspring early Saturday morning, arriving home around supper time. It was a very long journey home; our boodies perhaps a little sore and tired. We truly appreciated the hot springs Friday evening and were thankful to be home in our own beds Saturday night.

As a staff, we try to travel to the Yukon once in the fall and once in the spring. This is such a great opportunity for us to meet with our students and help them with any of their learning needs. As we drove home on Saturday, we discussed this trip, our memorable moments and perhaps a few bloopers that we would like to share with you.

Memorable Moments:
  • All of the warm welcomes we get from our students and their families. The excitement in the students' faces and smiles when we walk in.
    • As we drove up a long driveway, we saw a girl bouncing on a trampoline as we came into sight. From there, the girl ran excitedly into the house...The best part, it was a mom of our students.
  • Being able to observe the students' progress and their growth in learning and in life, from our last visit.
  • Hugs, high 5's, fist pumps we give/get from the students in appreciation for all of the hard work and effort we all put into their learning.
  • Hearing about our students year: their learning, extra curricular events, family moments, and so much more.
  • Running out of space on our tally sheet, as we counted all of the wildlife along the trip.
  • Norbert's quiet, "Whoop," as the cutting board flies out of his hand and window.
  • Norbert's $5.00 a bump rule: He would announce to the driver that they owed $5.00 every pot hole we hit...Trust me, a few of us would be broke if we paid up. Lol
  • Gas Cap...Hmmm Norbert again lol. Perhaps the gas cap was not placed back on the tank two times after gassing up. No worries though because Norbert had us ladies to teach him 'Gas Cap Return 101'.

The Value in the Trip:

  • The opportunity to communicate face to face with our students and their families, connect with everyone and further develop working/learning relationships.
    • On our travels home, we came across a distance education graduate, as she shared the importance of meeting the teacher in person.
  • The opportunity to help students and parents with their learning: sharing strategies, tips, trouble shooting, and so much more.
  • Assessment opportunities, which enable us to develop future student learning plans, to meet each student's individual needs.
  • Meet new people and help them with any of their learning questions, needs, and so forth.
  • The collaboration and generating of ideas that we participate in during our time in the car are such a value.
    • We discuss learning/teaching strategies.
    • Goals for the building and school in the future.
    • We work on generating personal development ideas to enhance our teaching.
    • We have discussions, contributing our thoughts and opinions.
  • The warm welcoming nature of the families, reinforces the importance and value of these trips!!
At school, we are nearing the end of the year. Teacher's are super busy presenting course work, assisting learning, marking, registering students for the upcoming year, and all of our other responsibilities. However, we know and appreciate the importance of these trips and are thankful to be a part of such an amazing journey. The trip is beyond busy, and yet it goes by so quickly for us. At times, we wish that we had more time to spend with the families in person, but know that by making these visits, the families feel even more comfortable to contact us for support and discussions. What a journey!

As teachers, we truly appreciate being a part of this wonderful, community building experience. 
Thank you to all of the families for their hospitality and smiles! 
We look forward to seeing you again.

Please enjoy the pictures :)

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Google Apps and Extensions

In our school, we utilize google for many things, 
as it is the core of our online learning. 
As we become more familiar with it, 
both through use and through Google Conferences, 
we come across amazing apps and extensions that are very useful.

Extensions are small add-ons to the Chrome Browser that allow you to do cool things quickly.

Apps are basically direct links to web-based programs. By adding them to Chrome, you usually gain an added functionality (example: saving directly to drive).

Extensions and Apps can be found in your Google Apps store...
When you login to your gmail account, the colorful apps icon (top left) takes you to the webstore. If the apps icon is not on your toolbar, you may need to go into your settings to find it.

The KEY is there are many FREE useful apps out there, so share and explore.

We would like to take a moment to share 
a few useful apps or extensions:

What apps do you use that you would be helpful for others? 
Share and/or recommend some.