Showing posts from September, 2019

Throwback! IKEA Adventure

Welcome to the Wayback Machine! Before we'd even opened Blue Sky School, over two years ago, we gathered a bunch of youth together and went to IKEA to talk about how to furnish our dream school. This post has sat in our blog archives ever since! On Sunday, June 11th, 2017 twelve Blue Sky School Pioneer Students, Student Advisors and Future Students met at IKEA Pinecrest, enjoyed an awesome Swedish lunch and took an adventure around the enormous store to design and plan the furniture for our new space! We thought about the spaces we like to learn and work and wondered: how might we create those kinds of spaces for all learners at Blue Sky School to work. learn and explore? We checked out the blueprints for the school and talked about the types of ancient gathering spaces we are inspired by. We want to design spaces that are like Caves, for independent, cozy learning; Campfire, for circling up as a group and sharing ideas at an equal level; Watering Hole, for driftin

Meeting Melissa Coenraad by Alicia

On Wednesday, September 18th Melissa Coenraad the NDP candidate came to Blue Sky School to talk to the students. We talked with her about her ideas surrounded climate change, Medical care, Housing and so much more. Jess, a Blue Sky learner says “She was inspiring and open to new ideas”. We were allowed to openly ask her questions and we got the chance to be involved in learning about the candidate. She was open and honest and gave all the students chances to ask about her experiences and hopes for the future.  

Universal Basic Income: An Experience. By: Will

Payday for Thomas On Monday of this week , Deagan ran a workshop on universal basic income. At the start of this workshop we were handed professions with salaries that were either fixed or variable. These jobs would pay different amounts depending on the job, and if it was variable your pay was dependant on the roll of a die. In this workshop the people with fixed income did quite well, whilst the people with variable income struggled and scraped by because of social services. That was the first round of the game. After we debriefed that we moved onto the second round where each person could receive income from the government no questions asked, no paperwork and no strings attached. This helped everyone but it helped the people who were struggling so much in the first round most of all. They got to live life and not have to look on in envy as everyone else bought lavish items but buy them for themselves. “I found that the learners were instantly grasping onto the learning ou

House Meetings at Blue Sky School by Jaden Pladzyk-Daniels

At Blue Sky School instead of classes we have two “houses” that meet once a day for an hour. We discuss what’s coming up in the week, we play games, we practice the arts, we build teamwork skills, and much more! Everyone is part of a house and has a say in what we do. These past few weeks one of the main things we’ve talked about is what we wanted to name our houses. Itsarrr goto tdu eeed and RatAttackz are the names we decided on, Itsarrr goto tdu eeed was decided by playing a game with Scrabble pieces and RatAttackz was decided because Rat is Art mixed up and the RatA ttackz house does art every meeting. One of our learners gave their opinion on house meetings and this is what she said, “House meetings are fun and I like it when we talk about deep stuff because you get close to your house-mates!” - Bella    Also once a week on Thursday we have a full house meeting where we come up with new rules as a community.

Tracking Our Goals With Goal Posts by Bella

Goal posts! Now you’re probably wondering, what the heck are those? Let me explain.  As you may or may not know, each of the learners here at Blue Sky School have their own individual goals. They have all chosen these goals to work on during their free time, and we have had many systems to track these goals over our time in operation. But our newest way of tracking our goals are Goals Posts. Each goal post is different, and they are very customizable. We have already done around 3-4 iterations of them, each time adding something new. Today we added checking emails, and 20 minutes of numeracy every day.  As you can see from the photo below, each goal post is like a mini whiteboard with a permanent portion inside the whiteboard that allows us to check off our goals each day and then reuse it each week by simply erasing the dry erase. Will, a Blue Sky Learner says, “I think they’re very helpful to keep people on track while working and to be mindful of our goals” in regards to t

Breathtaking Adventures - by Alex and Mikey

On Tuesday September 24th we went on a field trip to Ikea. We started our day with breakfast with students from Sir Guy and then we played some card games, Friends trivia, and talked. Then we were sent off in groups to complete some measurement challenges. We split up into our groups then we were given a list of seven different exciting measurement challenges to complete within a two hour time frame. We learned so much information that will help us excel in the future. Each group completed as much as possible then met up to debrief with the whole group. This activity was so much fun, I hope there will be more fantastic activities like it.

Documentary Sketchnoting - by #charlotteworldwide

“Sketch-noting is a fun and productive way for me to express myself artistically” -Alicia, Blue Sky Learner Lately at Blue Sky, we have been watching some intriguing documentaries on topics such as dreams, K-pop and anxiety. During this educational period, us learners are encouraged to sketchnote about the key points/information that stuck with us. Sketchnoting doesn't just have to be writing in fact, it can be fun to push ourselves to try doodle out some ideas for another perspective on how our brains generate ideas. 

Theme Park Designs - by Jess

During the Discovery Weeks at Blue Sky, we had the experience of doing a Design Sprint that would allow us to create our own theme park. The inspiration came from Shauna's love for Disney design. To pique our interest, she told us about the history of Walt Disney and all his projects. After Shauna had clicked the creative switch inside all of our brains, we couldn't wait to get started. We learned about the audiences we were targeting, brainstormed and constructed ideas. Finally, we made our way to the final steps, prototyping and testing. Each of us students took our ideas and started forming them into a visible creation. Some designs were 3D others were blueprints, some learners did brochures and others did drawings. It was as if our school had turned into a creative warehouse of amazing ideas and imagination. Once everyone was done prototyping, it was time to see if others liked our theme parks, the final stage had begun. Each learner had the chance to pitch their th

Measurement Project - by Emerald (aka Emi)

Lately at Blue Sky School, we have been focusing on measurement.  Not too long ago we had HOMEWORK! I know what you’re thinking “WHAT, HOMEWORK AT BLUE SKY SCHOOL! NONSENSE!” I know! We had to measure our walls in our room, the windows and doors. Later we found out that we got to use the measurements to create a model of our rooms. We learned how to convert the measurements we took into a smaller scale.  After learning about measurement, we went on a field trip to Ikea for the morning. We went there to practice measurement and budgeting in the real world. 

Sharing Breakfast with New Friends from Sir Guy Carleton - by Julia Smith

“It was full of new experiences and new friendships”- Jessica, Blue Sky learner A unique experience that we have the chance to be a part of at Blue Sky school is something called community partnerships. A community partnership is a way to forge relationships with other businesses, learners and companies in and out of our community.  A partnership that we have just recently developed is our partnership with the students at Sir Guy Carleton Secondary School. We met up for breakfast at IKEA to practice our budgeting skills, and later in the day our measurement skills.  It was perfect that we were going to IKEA for a field trip already, because the Sir Guy learners are working on budgeting and life skills so breakfast at IKEA was the perfect way to get to know each other.  We were separated into different tables with 3-4 Blue Sky learners and 2-3 Sir Guy learners. The tables were filled with pleasant conversations about what we do in the school day, what projects we are workin

Theme Park Design Sprint by Bella

Theme Park Design Sprint by Bella Day One Crazy 8s Crazy 8s is a quick way to come up with and plan ideas. “How does it work?”, you might ask. It works like this; first, you fold a piece of paper into eight sections. Then, set a timer for 40 seconds, and focus only on one section for the entire time. Repeat for all sections. Most of the learners have done Crazy 8s before, although the newer learners hadn’t, and it went surprisingly well. After we completed all the sections, we shared what we came up with. Day Two Disney stuff: On the second day of planning, we learned more about the Disney parks around the world to help inspire us. We learned about some of the behind the scenes, and secret things around the parks. Written plans: After we learned about the Disney stuff, we began to plan out our parks. We wrote, and drew ideas, and got our creative minds going! Feedback: After planning our parks, we taped them to the walls, and went around looking at everyone e

The First Day Of...

During the first few weeks of school, if you check your social media feed, it is sure to be filled with the smiling faces of learners as they return to school. Many families have an annual tradition of getting dressed, putting on backpacks and holding signs of the grade a child is entering. Tracking these photos over the years is an incredible way to watch children grow up. On the first days of Blue Sky, we wanted to capture photos of our learners starting their new learning journeys. However, all of our learners are in multi-age groups and we don't focus on calendar age or grade level, we had to come up with a Blue Sky way to share OUR first days. As a result, we are proud to present our first ever "The First Day Of..." series where our learners capture what is important to them as they embark on this year's learning journey! This September, what firsts did you celebrate?  

Lunchtime - by Alex

Lunchtime By Alex Every school day, we have tried different things during lunch. We always start by joining the tables together like they do at Hogwarts. We then bring over our big rolly chairs which are not Hogwart’s Style, and have a seat. After about 30 minutes of eating together, and having wacky conversations, we clean up and choose an activity. Sometimes, we play games at the park, sometimes we go for a walk and sometimes we can choose to stay inside to do work or play games.

Kindness - by Alicia

Kindness by Alicia Kindness is an important skill we practice here at Blue Sky, an example of the importance of kindness is the ripple effect. If you were to throw a rock in water, the water would move, causing water all around it to ripple in waves. This is a good analogy toward kindness. If you do a kind thing it may affect people all around you just like the rock does to the water.  Another thing that I learned on my first day at Blue sky is RAK. RAK stands for Random Acts of Kindness. I have a Socratic Wheel to track my own school goals, and on it, one of my goals is to do three RAKs a day.  At Blue Sky, Kindness and Nurtured Heart are used by both the staff and the students to make Blue Sky a safe and fun environment for all learners.

Blue Sky School and the Nurtured Heart Approach - by Grace and Emi

The Nurtured Heart Approach by Grace (with consultation from Emi) The “Nurtured Heart Approach” (NHA) is an approach we use at school and are encouraged to use in other areas of our life. This approach was introduced to us by our very own Karen who is very familiar with it and uses frequently in her day to day life. She has also applied it to her old BIP classroom at Bridlewood. NHA is a practice for  seeing people and the world in a more positive light through the power of kindness. The way it works is simple, you give tons of energy to the positive things you notice, and zero energy to the negative things you see.  How do you do this? It’s simple, once you see somebody doing something that's nurturing the environment or their learning  in any way, especially the little things, you stop and recognize that person for it in a real and authentic way. For example, you see someone open the door for someone else, stop them, say something like: “I just want to stop a

Red Pine Camp 2019 - by the Blue Sky learners

Responsibilities by Mikey At Red Pine Camp, we each contributed at meal times. Some learners set tables and some cleaned the dishes. At RPC, washing the dishes is called slopping. The “sloppers” wear rain boots and aprons because you can get wet. The staff really appreciated our help in the kitchen.  Red Pine Waterfront by Julia Something that is always a highlight  when we go to Red Pine Camp is the amazing waterfront and beautiful Golden Lake. In the beginning we were all worried that it was going to be rainy and the water was going to be cold. Boy, were we wrong! When we got there the weather was sunny and a crisp 19 degrees. The first afternoon we were there we had independent choice time, practically everyone wanted to go swimming, boating or just hang out by the water.  We made our way down to the waterfront and immediately jumped into the water! It was very refreshing and crisp (in other words really really cold). After a few jumps in and out, the water seemed