Gregorian Rant – Thursday, April 24

Congratulations Brennan!!

Congratulations Brennan!!

“The joyful news that He is risen does not change the contemporary world. Still before us lie work, discipline, sacrifice. But the fact of Easter gives us the spiritual power to do the work, accept the discipline, and make the sacrifice.”

  • Henry Knox Sherrill

We’re Melody and Sneha. We’re makers.

We’re putting out heads together to create something bold and beautiful, and we want you to be a part of it.

Right now, we’re design grad students at the School of Visual Arts, which means we spend most of our time tinkering. In past lives, we collectively studied animation, illustration, literature and society. We’ve had stints as a writer and strategist (Melody) and an animator and educator (Sneha).

When all is said and done, we think being a maker is about embracing learning by doing. We want to make a book that inspires kids to do just that!

St. Greg Today

Pita Pit today

Greg Larock concerts today- extended in the AM Immersion in the PM

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Gregorian Rant – Wednesday April 23


iPad (Photo credit: Sean MacEntee)

Happiness in this world, when it comes, comes incidentally. Make it the object of pursuit, and it leads us a wild-goose chase, and is never attained. Follow some other object, and very possibly we may find that we have caught happiness without dreaming of it.

5 Free iPad Apps That Help Students Learn to Spell

Screen Shot 2014-04-15 at 9.07.18 PM

I was recently contacted by a teacher who has just received a new iPad to use for the rest of the year before her students receive them in the fall. She was seeking recommendations for free spelling apps. Here are five that I pulled from my archives.

Rocket Speller is a fun iPad app designed for students in Kindergarten through grade two. The purpose of the app is to help students learn to spell words simple words that are three to ten letters long. As students progress through the levels of the app they get stars. After they get three stars students pick out the parts they want to use to build a rocket ship. Rocket Speller has five levels for students to work through. The first level uses three to six letter words and gives audio and visual clues to students. The second level features words up to ten letters in length and offers audio and visual hints. The third through fifth levels have words up to ten letters in length but reduce the number of clues available to students.

Bitsboard is a free iPad app that provides word games, memory games, spelling games, and reading practice activities, and dozens of other activities in one place. On the Bitsboard app students can learn new vocabulary words, how to tell time, and how to count money. Students can also use the app to learn basic geography. When students first open Bitsboard on their iPads they will have six topics shown on their homescreens. Those six topics are emotions, animals, famous places, first sentences, introductory English vocabulary, and introductory Spanish vocabulary. Opening any of those topics takes students to their choice of eight practice activities including flashcards, true or false quizzes, word building practice, reading practice, and matching activities.

Stumpy’s Alphabet Dinner is a fun app in which students feed letters and shapes to cartoon characters. The letters and shapes that students feed to the characters have to match the letter or shape displayed on the character’s stomach. If the child makes an incorrect match the character spits out the letter.

Spelling Monster is an iPad app (free and paid versions available) that students will enjoy using to practice spelling words. On Spelling Monster students can create their own lists of words or use lists shared with them (sharing only available in paid version). The app contains a half dozen games through which students can practice spelling the words in their lists. Spelling Monster keeps track of the number of times a game is played and the percentage of words spelled correctly. Students do not have to create an account to use Spelling Monster. The app can be used without a connection to the Internet.

Vocabulary and Spelling City has been available on the web for years. It’s a great place for students to go to learn and practice spelling new vocabulary words. Last year they launched an iPad and iPhone app. The free app grants students access to the same vocabulary lists that they use on the SpellingCity website. SpellingCity’s list of words for students currently exceeds 42,000. The Spelling and Vocabulary City app offers eight free practice activities. I am particularly fond of the Missing Letter and Audio Word Match activities. In Missing Letter students have to identify the letter that is missing in order to correctly spell the words that they see. Audio Word Match is a memory game in which students flip over cards, hear the words on the cards read aloud, then try to match the cards.

You might also like:

Spelling Monster – A Fun iPad App for Practicing Spelling …

Rocket Speller – Spell Words and Build Rockets

Vocabulary & Spelling City for iPad

Endless Alphabet – An iPad App To Help Students Spell and …

St. Greg Today

Pizza Day

KP Workshop (AM) – Linda and Paulaway

Little Horn Theatre Grade 5/6 session # 3

Celebrating Excellence – 400PM


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Gregorian Rant – The Week of April 22 – 25

I have thoughts and opinions that matter
I make good choices
I have hope for the future
I solve problems with knowledge, understanding and prayer
I know we are all equal and special
Because I have ideas, I have a purpose, and I will live my life like Jesus.

our next Challenge Cup Theme


Why There Are Fewer Men Than Women In The World

Thanks to Steven B.

Fewer men 1
Fewer men 2
Fewer men 4
Fewer men 5
Fewer men 6
Fewer men 7
Fewer men 8
Fewer men 9
Fewer men 10
Fewer men 11
Fewer men 12
Fewer men 14
Fewer men 15
Fewer men 16
Fewer men 17
Fewer men 18
Fewer men 19
Fewer men 20

St. Greg This Week

Tuesday, April 22

Inline images 1Tuesday, April 22nd
Check out the book displays in the Learning Commons.
Little Horn Theatre session 2 Gr. 5/6

Wednesday, April 23

Boys basketball at St. Cecilia

Pizza Day

Welcome To Kindergarten Session (AM) Paul and Linda out

Little Horn Theatre session 3 Gr. 5/6

Celebrating Excellence – 4:00 PM St. Paul H.S.

Thursday, April 24

Pita Pit Day – deadline for on-line orders Apr 25

Gregg LeRock concerts for juniors

Challenge Cup Assembly + team awards + anything else??

Friday, April 25

Time to pay for last $20.00 jeans day contributions – collected money will go to staff choice

Challenge Cup – new theme!

Image representing remind101 as depicted in Cr...

Image via CrunchBase


Common Core & Ed Tech blog

Communication Tools for the Chromebook

I bet there are a few of you who now have access to a cart of Chromebooks and are eager to start integrating them into your classroom strategies.  The combination of laptop and cloud-only storage (for the most part) might be a daunting proposition for some, but you will find that awesome classroom learning and student outcomes can happen using a Chromebook.
As always, keep your learning goals top of mind, and then find the applications that work best to accomplish them.  This post focuses on Communication applications and extensions you can use on a Chromebook.   As these are web-based tools, you can use just about all of them on Macs, PCs, and mobile devices too.
Remind101 – This is a one-way text message system that allows the teacher to keep students and parents informed of classroom and school activities.  More and more teachers tell me what a lifesaver this has been, especially those who teach younger students.
Blogger - Blogging made easy!  Indeed, blogging supports Common Core standards (ELA and math), provides for a broader audience, and gives students voice.  Consider it for teacher, student, or general sharing of learning.
Screencastify – Chromebook’s screen-casting extension.  This is simple to use, saves your video in Google Drive.  It’s still in beta, so anticipate some wonkiness.
Google Voice - Manage all your phones to one location (extension).  This is not really a classroom tool, but it’s nice to get emails with a voice message and a transcript of that message.
IFTTT (If This Then That) – Very fun! Create easy scripts (recipes) that allow your apps to play nice together!  Automagically post a Twitter update when a blog post goes live; send a text message on a regular schedule as a reminder; lots of combinations to consider.
There’s more, please let us know what communication tools you use, regardless of device!
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Gregorian Rant – Thursday, April 17

Preparing For Lent

Preparing For Lent (Photo credit: akahodag)


Lent—A Time to Choose Direction



Lent is an opportunity to look again at who we are, at where we’re going in life, at how we’re getting to where we say we want to go. The Chinese say, “If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will take you there.” But the aimlessness, the confusion, the anomie that go with it, wear us down, wear us out.

Everybody needs to know that they have lived for something. Everyone has a responsibility to leave this world better than when they found it. Everyone needs to carry light into the darkness of the world around them so that others, too, may follow and find the way.

To go through life with no thought of responsibility for anything other than the self is to live like a leech off the riches of the world around us. To not ask the questions: What is my life goal? What am I contributing to this world? and hear the answer in the echo of the soul, is to be living a hollow life indeed.

Lent does not permit us the luxury of such banality. Lent ends in the shadow of the empty cross and in the sunrise of an empty tomb. There are great things to be done by each of us and each of them takes great effort, requires great struggle, will face great resistance. But the way to the empty tomb goes through the mount of the cross.

Lent is our time to prepare to carry the crosses of the world ourselves. The people around us are hungry; it is up to us to see that they are fed, whatever the cost to ourselves. Children around us are in danger on the streets; it is up to us to see that they are safe. The world is at the mercy of US foreign policy, US economic policy and US militarism; it is up to us to soften the hearts of our own government so that the rest of the world can live a life of dignity and pride.

We must “set our faces like flint,” let nothing deter the Jesus life in us, continue the journey from Galilee to Jerusalem, knowing that however our efforts end, the resurrection is surely on its way.


Keeping your passwords secure – a very simple way to keep all your passwords secure in one place.

Jeans Day today – next $20.00 instalment April 25

Roof Top Photo – 9:50

Rosary group visiting all classes

Stations of the Cross in the gym

Pita Pit today!

Bingo for Kakinada and El Salvador

Challenge Cup

Little Horn Theatre Session # 1 Grade 4

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Gregorian Rant – Wednesday April 16

I’ve had a few arguments with people, but I never carry a grudge. You know why? While you’re carrying a grudge, they’re out dancing.

Buddy Hackett


St. Greg Today

Paul in late today

Pizza Day

Junior triad – (AM) @St. Greg’s

Junior French Triad (PM) @St. Greg’s

Girls basketball @St. Cecelia Tanya out

April Science Live Stream: Wacky Weather on – 1:00 PM

Little Horn Theatre Grade 5/6 Drama session #1 – 3:00 PM

Our Dream of 1:1 ChromeBooks

Shauna went to a conference called the Google Apps for Education Summit in Montreal two weekends ago and learned that the EdTechTeam who put it on is providing class sets of ChromeBooks or Nexus 7s to some classes in order to give back!

We realized that we consistently take our tech to the next level and hope that we can get 1:1 devices in our classroom.

Students created the amazing video above and we all worked together to write our application for the grant.

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Gregorian Rant Tuesday, April 15

“The privilege of a lifetime is to become who you truly are.”
~ Carl Gustav Jung

Yet another cool Google Tool you can use to encourage students to write – Paul

Story Builder

A great story making tool – please click the link to see how easy it is to create a story (misspelled Josephine – sorry!)

Symbaloo JK Page



you can follow this Symbaloo by clicking here

 St. Greg Today

Y Kids Academy

Young Rembrandts


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Gregorian Rant The week of April 14 – 17

Photo taken in 1897, St Helens vs Batley in th...

Photo taken in 1897, St Helens vs Batley in the first Challenge Cup Final (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Cease to inquire what the future has in store, and take as a gift whatever the day brings forth.




tips from the worlds smartest duck best of actual advice mallard (13)


 An interesting ‘walking talk’ – the importance of audience for students – great motivator, students writing for a global audience!



Join us and watch the Music Monday webcast on May 5th, 2014

On May 5th, come and visit our homepage ( and there will be a link to watch our live webcast. The webcast will focus on special events in 10 cities across Canada, representing music education from each region. This live showcase will include performances by school groups and local musicians, to messages from prominent Canadian musicians, politicians and leaders, and inspiration and encouragement from local youth, parents and industry advocates.

Register here

St. Gregory this week

Monday, April 14

Lunch Lady

Chad Wolfe Fiddle session #1 Grade 5/6 – 2:30 PM

Tuesday, April 15

Y Kids Academy (PM)

Young Rembrandts

Wednesday, April 16

Pizza Day

Junior Triad Meeting (AM)

Paul out – Board office (AM)

Little Horn Theatre Grade 5/6 session #1

Junior French Triad (PM)

Thursday, April 17

Roof top photo – 9:50 all students and staff

Rosary group visit today

Pita Pit

Little Horn Theatre session 1 Gr. 4 3:00 PM

Challenge Cup


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Gregorian Rant Friday, April 11

tips from the worlds smartest duck best of actual advice mallard (25)



Stop Digging

Don’t let other people’s opinions burn holes in your dreams. ~Elsa Joy Bailey

Only he that has traveled the road knows where the holes are deep. ~ Chinese proverb

When I was a little girl you use to learn to sew all the holes in things, darning socks, but nobody mends things anymore. ~ Vivienne Westwood

Fill your every day holes with patches of gratitude. ~ unknown

It’s a good thing to follow The First Law of Holes: if you are in one, stop digging. ~ Denis Healey

Hope fills the holes of frustration in my heart. ~ Emanuel Clever

Quotes about holes, resilience


Discovery Education:

Creating Multimedia Projects with Discovery Ed...

Creating Multimedia Projects with Discovery Education streaming (Photo credit: EducationPlus’s Learning Division)

Discovery Education is an online resource of educational videos, photography, clip art and writing prompts. The site is best known for the library of educational videos available for download or real time viewing. The videos are segmented into small clips so that a teacher, student or class can view the exact segment of the video that pertains to the lesson or activity. All videos can be viewed in their entirety as well. Videos are accompanied by lesson/unit ideas and resources.
Username: e + employee# . ocsb (do not forget the DOT between employee# and ocsb) e.g. (e1234567.ocsb)
Password: Welcome2FL (UPPER CASE: Firstname Initial, Lastname Initial) (e.g. John Smith : Welcome2JS)
Username: s + student# . ocsb (do not forget the DOT between student# and ocsb) (s1234567.ocsb)
Password: Welcome2FL (UPPER CASE: Firstname Initial, Lastname Initial (e.g. Mary Smith : Welcome2MS)
If a staff member requires assistance (account creation or password recovery, they should send a help ticket to the helpdesk).

Note: My article for today is cross posted from OSSEMOOC: Day 5 of 30 days of learning.

Preparing my Next Sermon
Creative Commons License Photo Credit: Mark Hunter via Compfight

Last week, we were asked as a staff to once again articulate what technology needs we  have. Like many schools and school districts, we are working hard to upgrade our infrastructure and our hardware. This is necessary work, to be sure. But as I listened to the ‘wish list’ that teachers have, I reflected on how this conversation about tools did not stem from the need to change practice.

And maybe it can’t. Maybe the process of the integration of technology and shifting practice has to happen at the individual level.

I have a class set of Chromebooks, and the impetus for acquiring them was not pedagogical. In the fall of 2013, I was asked to teach grade 10 communications technology, and the Chromebooks were purchased to support that course. But I had them, so why not use them in all of my classes? This could be a bit of a pilot program, we (the principal and I) told ourselves. Let’s see how these devices work out in the non-tech classroom.

The Chromebooks worked marvelously.

I didn’t.

Sure, I knew how to use the machines and the apps. I knew how to set up student blogs and wikis. I knew how to organize documents and folders, to comment, and to share. What I didn’t know how to do was to integrate the devices into the teaching that I do.  Let me try that again. What I didn’t know was that I needed to see the curriculum (English) in a completely different way. What I didn’t know was that ‘changing my practice’ meant reconsidering every aspect of my practice from how I structured the course (traditionally thematically) to what essential skills I believed my students needed to have and how they would/could demonstrate them.

Here’s an example: Senior students need to demonstrate their ability to research, organize ideas, write, revise, format for publication, and cite sources appropriately. For many teachers, this translates into a research report or essay that is produced in Word or Google documents and that is printed or shared. Is that traditional research report/essay format still valid? Do I need to teach them how to produce their thinking in this manner because that’s the format required or expected in higher ed? Or can students research, curate, embed, link, write, and cite in a wiki? Or is the conversation really about choice?

This past February, I had a conversation with Steve Anderson (@Web20Classroom ) about content curation, in which I raised these same questions. His response? We need to understand that “there is no final solution when it comes to [student] learning.”

No final solution. No one way. No program. No script.

What I learn a bit more each day is to be okay with feeling off balance as I figure out what to hang on to from how I taught before and what to let go of. And this, I think, is not something that anyone else can do for me.


St. Greg Today

Heads up…
I am taking my class outside to mark the edge of the ice and later record how much it melts in a day.
We are using sidewalk chalk to mark the pavement in the yard at the back.
I will take pictures.
Bingo for Kakinada/El Salvador
Challenge Cup today
Srarr Gymnastics – last day
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Gregorian Rant – Thursday, April 10

Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.
John Adams


Savage Chickens

St. Greg’s Today

Pit Pit

Lunch for staff with Dean Shareski

FSL In-service Caroline out, Melanie in, Jen out, Natasha in.

Cathy out (PM) Marina Costa in

Starr Gymnastics in all day

27 Ways Teachers Can Give and Receive Feedback Infographic


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Gregorian Rant – Wednesday, April 9

Maybe you are searching among the branches, for what only appears in the roots.


Everyone is quick to laugh at this dog and yell, “FAIL”. I see it differently. This little guy went for it. Sure he didn’t make it, but that didn’t stop him from getting right back up, trying again and succeeding!

Nanakorobi yaoki is a Japanese proverb that translates to: Fall seven times and stand up eight. When life knocks you down, stand back up and keep trying :)

ps. the slow-motion, music and expression on the dog’s face as he ‘goes for it’ are hilarious. Nobody’s debating that!


St. Greg Today


(Teresa out Jillian in)

Pizza Day

Starr Gymnastics – week II

Vimy Ridge Day


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