Login
Copyright (c) 2015 by Derek Milloy Conditions of Use    Privacy Policy Return to Blogmeister
Derek Milloy -- Blogmeister

Growing Awareness-

Mr. Milloy's Class

We are an intermediate classroom in an elementary school in British Columbia, Canada. We use our blogs as a place to practise expressing our ideas in writing (and maybe even sound, pictures & video when we're ready). We try to leave thoughtful comments for classmates & other bloggers we visit. Click "comment" to leave your thoughts on any particular article. Comments will be published after I have had a chance to read them.

by Derek Milloy
Related Links

Eric Walters, inspiring author for kids
Cynthia Kadohata, author of Kira Kira, Winner of the 2005 Newbery Medal
Mr Fisher's class, Snow Lake, MB
Deborah Hodge, children's author

Teacher Assignments
Teacher Entries
Show All
Student Entries
Show All

Article posted January 21, 2015 at 06:14 PM GMT0 • comment • Reads 1038

We've been talking a lot about the many reasons we don't like Cole Matthews much in Touching Spirit Bear so far. We've talked about the qualities he has and our reasons for not liking him nor much of what he does. That led us to discuss some of the other characters, their qualities (both positive & negative), and evidence from the story to support our opinions. The papers we used in class gave us a place to start recording our thoughts, but our online tools give us more chances to share our ideas, so I thought I'd share our wall of notes here and hope you'll return to see our ideas grow.



Article posted January 21, 2015 at 06:14 PM GMT0 • comment • Reads 1038



Article posted January 14, 2015 at 12:57 AM GMT0 • comment (13) • Reads 1096

The saying, "You are what you eat," may help us remember that our food gives our bodies the building material to grow new cells. But it's also interesting (and important) to remember that what we say and do affects not only how others see us but also the kind of person each of us will become.



A few chapters (3) into our novel, Touching Spirit Bear, we have all started to form opinions about what kind of person Cole Matthews is. Some say that it doesn't matter what other people think about you, but it sure seems like what other people think is going to play a part in what happens to Cole (like whether he goes to jail). And what people in the story and in our class think about Cole definitely comes from what he says and does. (And isn't that also true for all of us!)



In class, we started talking about what words we'd use to describe or characterise Cole and why. It seems a shame to limit those thoughts & words to a particular room at a particular time, so I've invited the class to comment here to share 1) a word that describes Cole 2) and example of words or actions from the story that fit that word 3) what do you think should happen to or be done with Cole. It will be interesting to see our ideas all in one place (and to look back on them later in our reading).

Article posted January 14, 2015 at 12:57 AM GMT0 • comment (13) • Reads 1096



Article posted January 13, 2015 at 03:59 PM GMT0 • comment (5) • Reads 90

The question, "How can a black bear be white?" was among the most frequently asked by students in our class after we read the first chapter of one of my favourite novels for young people: Touching Spirit Bear by Ben Mikaelsen. I like the story's themes, the advice, the invitation to question and think about what justice is and how we bring it about (or don't). It is interesting for me that the two settings in the story happen to be my former home and near my current home. Although I share the hesitation some other educators have expressed about the representation of First Nations, the story has been a catalyst for powerful thought & discussion each time I've used it.



I was initially surprised to see the question about the bear's colour asked so many times by a group of children who had already learned about the Kermode bear from the story of Simon Jackson and the Sprit Bear Youth Coalition. But any momentary fear I might have felt about our thinking staying in the shallow end was quickly abated as the number, variety, and nature of readers' questions expanded. (Have a look; even add your own.)



Backing up to look on that first question about colour, maybe the dichotomy reveals and provokes the most interesting, most powerful and most difficult ideas. Black or white? Good or bad? Right or wrong? True or not? It will be interesting to see what path we take as we follow Cole's.

Article posted January 13, 2015 at 03:59 PM GMT0 • comment (5) • Reads 90



Article posted January 5, 2015 at 06:27 PM GMT0 • comment (16) • Reads 1090

While it might seem like we've taken a long, long break here, we have been working away all this time (just not writing on our blogs). We are just back from a healthy winter break and have returned to start the new year, ready or not!



A large part of my break was spent visiting family. Something I look forward to when I spend time at my mother's is getting to peruse my father's collection of old books in their glass-covered bookcases. I used to enjoy looking over these classic volumes as a kid, even before I was able to read any of them. Now, they are part of a trip back in time to visit old friends. I have my own copies of some of them. Others I do not yet have and have yet to read. But it is a comforting thing to read beside and among those shelves full of good books.



Now that I am back amid my own books at home and at school, I am looking forward to finishing a book recently published from one of our district counselors, Bev Ogilvie. I'm also anticipating the latest version of Pasi Sahlberg's book, Finnish Lessons 2.0, while at school I'm anxious to introduce my class to one of my favourite novels, one with connections to the city I just visited for the Holidays. What have you been reading, or what is on top of your list of books to read?

Article posted January 5, 2015 at 06:27 PM GMT0 • comment (16) • Reads 1090



Article posted February 6, 2014 at 01:27 AM GMT0 • comment (1) • Reads 35831

Well, it has taken us a while to get to our blogs this year. Between network changes complicating our computer access; other interesting projects eating up our school days; and finding some ways to add interactivity to some of our other online spaces, we just haven't been able to put much writing here.



Today, most of us got our login information and are ready to go. (A couple of us - Hasnain and Simran - have already started to customise the look of our blogs.) We should have articles for our readers in a matter of days.

Article posted February 6, 2014 at 01:27 AM GMT0 • comment (1) • Reads 35831



Article posted September 20, 2013 at 10:49 PM GMT0 • comment • Reads 190

It hasn't been long since we met each other in our new class. We've worked on getting used to new routines and ways of doing things, and we are getting to know each other. We've had an daily soccer program; we made & shared apple crisp; we had a MAD Science assembly; parents have come to meet teachers, and we had an after school picnic. It is a good idea to look back and reflect on the start of the year while thinking about what is ahead. What are your reflections on our first two weeks together?

Article posted September 20, 2013 at 10:49 PM GMT0 • comment • Reads 190



Article posted September 2, 2013 at 07:29 PM GMT0 • comment • Reads 249

School starts tomorrow. I'm excited.



There are plenty of stories in the media about the start of school and people feeling anxious about it. It's natural to wonder what the future will bring. What will it be like? Will it go well? What will people think, do, and say? What if...? The uncertainty can be scary.



Last September, Josh Yandt decided to make a good start to his school year. From his story on CBC's The National, it's safe to say he had more reason than most students to be anxious about it, and he can't have known how things would turn out - none of us can. But he focused on what was within his control: his mindset and his actions. His intentional, consistent, polite actions showed everyone at his school what kind of person he was and how kind their school could be. He made sure he started his year well and helped others have a good year in the process.



I know not every day will be great. I know I'll make mistakes. I know there will be problems. I know I can't just decide that everything will turn out well. Josh couldn't decide what would happen, but he decided what he could do, and so he made a good start and a good year. What kind of year will you have?









Article posted September 2, 2013 at 07:29 PM GMT0 • comment • Reads 249



Article posted May 5, 2013 at 06:05 AM GMT0 • comment • Reads 175

On May 1st, May Day, we went to the movies to watch Rob Stewart's film, Revolution. Mayday indeed! His TED Talk from TEDx WesternU retells his story. Where do leadership & political will come from?



Article posted May 5, 2013 at 06:05 AM GMT0 • comment • Reads 175



Article posted March 21, 2013 at 08:54 PM GMT0 • comment • Reads 209

Some folks have asked for help with leaving comments on our blogs. I thought I'd use the question to practise making a how-to screencast. I hope it is helpful.

Article posted March 21, 2013 at 08:54 PM GMT0 • comment • Reads 209



Article posted January 10, 2013 at 04:24 PM GMT0 • comment (25) • Reads 170

We are beginning Ben Mikaelsen's book, Touching Spirit Bear.  In just the first few pages, the main character, Cole, makes quite an impression.  Already having a history of run-ins with the law, he has brutally beaten another boy's head into the sidewalk causing severe injuries. He figures he wouldn't be facing a possible jail sentence now if the other boy, Peter, had known how to fight back. What should happen to a boy who does such a thing? What should happen to Cole? Please leave a comment with your reaction. (Students: don't forget to follow our online guidelines ! Please also include a link to your blog.)



Touching Spirit Bear cover

Article posted January 10, 2013 at 04:24 PM GMT0 • comment (25) • Reads 170



Previous Entries All Entries       All Titles

My Classes & Students

2014-2015
alumni

About the Blogger

We support Pennies for Peace Locations of visitors to this page Click on the Geovisitors link below to see visits in the last 24 hours. Geo Visitors Map

Login
Copyright (c) 2015 by Derek Milloy Conditions of Use    Privacy Policy Return to Blogmeister