Watch the Video from the Original Post in Sept 2015

Gr. 7 Learning Commons Orientation Video!!! Weclome to St. Joseph H.S. LC!!!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Canspell National Spelling Bee 2012!

Check out the prezi about the 7/8 Spelling Bee coming Jan. 17-19 during period 4 for all students!

You might qualify for the Regional Bee to be held in March...Study really hard and possibly win $5000 for post-secondary education!        

Why do the Bee?

For practice go to and check out the student page!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

What does the Learning Commons Mean to You?

Check out the new videos posted to the Learning Commons FB page!
See what the buzz is about...

Please Recommend a 'Hot Read' to chill out with on our FB page!  See display in the Learning Commons....

Read-a-thon Fundraisers a Huge Success!

Thank You to all the students who participated in the Gr. 7,8 and High School Read-a-thons!  Thank You to the parents and the school community who supported these readers through pledges and by allowing them to attend this literacy event and fundraiser.  All three events raised over $3000 for Learning Commons Resources.  Check out the new book display for the titles we have purchased with this money.

Also, stay tuned for the Learning Commons 'Christmas Cheer' Party complete with Christmas Cookie Day, MarioKart Wii and Glee Singalong competitions, Author visits, and Button making crafts...coming to the L.C. the week before the holidays!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Collected Works Bookfair @ Gr. 7/8 Parent-Teacher Interviews!

Christmas is Coming!

Buy a book for your library @ the Collected Works Bookfair fundraiser to be held during the gr. 7/8 Parent-Teacher night Nov. 10th.

The sale will start right after the school bell on Thursday, Nov. 10th. There will be new and discounted books for you to view in the gym while you wait for an interview!

Get your Christmas shopping done early

Friday, October 21, 2011

White Pine is Now on FACEBOOK!

Friend White Pine!

Please join the White Pine Facebook page and chat with students all across the province of Ontario about the nominated books!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Go Boldy through Cyberspace with our Netbooks!

“Cyberspace, the final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Learning Commons. Her five-year mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new information and new resources, to boldly cite where no student has cited before.”

Sign out one of our brand new Netbooks, which are mini-laptop computers and begin your explorations in cyberspace! 

Please pick up the permission forms in the L.C. today!

I don't like Mondays!

Thank You to the Ottawa Writer's Festival for our free guest author speaker Evan Munday!

Evan captivated seventy-five gr. 7 students for an hour with his detailed explanation of his first young adult fiction book "The Dead Kid Detective Agency"!  

Check out the very funny booktrailer here:  Dead Kid Detective Agency

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Do you do the C.R.A.P test for websites?

If the answer is NO!

Then please try using EBSCO during this new trial period.  There are many excellent academic sources of information for all your research needs available @  See your Student Agenda pg. 20 for the password and login from home.

You can sign in and create an account. 
You can add articles to a folder and email them with a few clicks. 
You can switch to the citation style of your choice:  APA, MLA etc.
You can download the article as an MP3 and listen to it in an American, British or Australian computer accent!
You can make notes and attach them to each article electronically...

Try the EBSCO TRIAL today!  Give me your feedback!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Coming Soon! The Red Maple and White Pine Book List! Oct. 17th!!!

The list of authors nominated for this year's Forest of Reading programs will be publicized on Monday, Oct. 17th!

Come on down to the Learning Commons in the meantime to read last years titles while you wait!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Enjoy your Lunch in the Cafeteria!

The Learning Commons staff invite you to enjoy your lunch in the cafeteria!  

Small snacks during study hall are acceptable.

Over the last four weeks, we have seen a dramatic increase in the amount of garbage and food remnants.  We ask students to respectfully eat lunch in the cafeteria in order to protect the long life of our new furniture and tables.   

We are NOT an alternate lunch room.  Please be prepared to LEARN in the Commons!  Bring educational material to read, study, or view in the library.

Thanks for your continued support in this transition!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Get Connected with technology in literature @ your L.C. today!

Having trouble finding a good read for FeVeR?

See the book display @ the Learning Commons.

Read "The Dumbest Generation"  How the Digital Age Stupifies Young Americans and Jeopardizes Our Future!  (don't trust anyone under 30!) 
Read Little Brother.   w1n5t0n is only 17 yrs old and he knows how to work the system.  He skips school and finds himself and his friends caught in the aftermath of a major terrorist attack.    A rousing tale of techno-geek rebellion.

Read Our Own Devices.  How Technology Remakes Humanity. How the things we have created have a tendency to bounce back and change US. 

Read Girl Parts.  Meet Charlie whose parents give him a hot Companion Bot designed to encourage healthy bonds and treat "dissociative disorder". This book takes aim at Internet culture and our craving for meaningful connection in an uber-connected world. 

Get connected @ your Learning Commons!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Feeling Dumb about the Smartboard?

Teen Tech tips coming soon @ your Learning Commons.  

See Ms. Murray in the library for the free Notebook software download for your home computer.  

Use the Learning Commons Smartboard for your next presentation to impress your teacher and wow your friends!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Welcome Back! Our Learning Commons is Under Construction!

We are still in transition in the Learning Commons.  

Come by and check out our new look as it evolves!  

Every day we are getting more organized.  
Sit in the comfy couches and chairs!  
Use a desktop computer in the Quiet Seminar Room.  

Bring your own devices to access our wifi!  

Coming Soon:   
  • 24 Net books for loan to students!  
  • 5 Ipads for our cafe!
  • 5 Ipads for loan to students!
  • 3 Ipod Touches for loan to students!
  • 70" Plasma T.V. for gaming!
  • Surround Sound System for special events!
Drop by the L.C. and see what's what today!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Human Library Success! Listen to the CBC interview with Hallie Cotnam!

The first Human Library took place at Roskilde Festival 2000 in Denmark. Essentially, people volunteer to be ‘living books’ to be ‘read’ by other participants. The main goal of the exchange is to allow ‘readers’ to ‘take out’ their prejudice from the human library.  For more information go to

I first learned about the human library at the OLA Super Conference earlier this year in Toronto. I wanted to celebrate Education Week by hosting a similar event. The event grew out of contacts that I have through family in the Ottawa Police force and at the Royal Ottawa Hospital. Jay and Joe offered to come with my cousin Sargent John Gibbons.

Jay and Joe were formerly homeless men, with serious drug and alcohol addictions that contributed to their ensuing life of crime. Brigitte came from the Royal Ottawa Client Empowerment Council where she advocates on behalf of people living with addictions. She shared her very moving story of abuse and cocaine addiction and her present conflicted relationship with her teenage daughter. Dan is a recent graduate of St. Joe’s. He shared his life as a gay teen and his recent contraction of HIV/AIDS virus. Liz works as an outreach teacher at Operation Come Home in the market that supports teen runaways. My aunt Maggie, a mental health nurse at the ROH, volunteered at the last minute to replace the book “Average Guy Living with Schizophrenia” who had a bad cold!

I was very reluctant to have media at the event because I wasn’t sure how it would unfold and was leery of having the intrusion interrupt the flow of conversation between the students and the books. However, my friend who is a producer at CBC encouraged me to allow him to share the information with his friend Hallie Cotnam. I couldn’t believe that she would come all the way out to Barrhaven early Tuesday morning after the election and Osama news to cover
our little human library event.

Hallie followed a group of Grade 12 students as they moved from book to book recording their questions and the answers. Her news story and the interview with Kathleen Petty of Ottawa Morning really captured the essence of the day! Take the time to listen to her interview on CBC Radio.

One parent emailed the school as she was moved to tears by the coverage and was full of praise for a concept that allows students to have an authentic learning experience outside the strict guidelines of the curriculum!

As a result of a challenge proposed by Joe and Jay, the Grade 12’s are volunteering to spend the day at the Shepherd’s of Good Hope making sandwiches and serving lunch to patrons.

Monday, May 16, 2011

White Pine Toronto Trip!

The White Pine Club Readers went to Toronto to see the musical Billy Elliot and to attend the Forest of Reading Celebration at Harbourfront Centre.   Congratulations to Keelia Lafreniere, whose 100 word introduction for author Natale Ghent, before an audience of 850 avid teenage readers, was spectacular! Kayla Duguay and Rachel Gomes held signs for the authors.    Courtney Summers, author of Some Girls Are and Don Calame, author of Swim the Fly,  were Honour Book Award winners.  Richard Scarsbrook, author of The Monkeyface Chronicles,  won the White Pine Award for the most popular book out of 10 others in the province wide vote by teenagers.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Collected Works Book Fair @ Open House

Please visit the Canadian Independent bookseller:  
Collected Works at the Open House BBQ to support our library!

Human Library Event @ St. Joseph Education Week!

The library will host seven 'living books' who will talk to Ms. Lee's Gr. 12 Peer Mentorship class about their life experiences.  The following books will be available to be 'read' by our students:
  • Recovering addict
  • Homeless person
  • Operation Come home outreach worker
  • Ottawa Police Seargent
  • Gay Teen
  • Average guy living with Schizophrenia
Visit your library and TAKE OUT your PREJUDICE!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Fridays are Open Mic Lunch hours in the Learning Commons!

This Friday, April 15th, our very own Improv Club will perform before our lunch hour patrons and 90 kids involved in the Think Fast!  If you want to sign up for the line up for future Friday Open Mics, see Ms. Murray @ your library!

White Pine Goes to the Big Smoke!

On May 10-11th the students in the White Pine Reading club will travel by train to Toronto.  Students will attend the musical Billy Elliot and spend the next day at the Harbourfront Centre meeting with their favorite authors.  Keelia Lafreniere has been selected to introduce another before 1500 adoring teenage fans!  Break a Leg Keelia!

Collected Works Visiting our Library for Education Week

Our local independant book store, Collected Works will be selling hot new fiction titles and interesting non-ficiton in our library from April 26-28th.  Classes may sign up to preview the wares on Tuesday and Wednesday.  Collected Works will also display titles for parents on Tuesday evening from 5pm-8pm during our Education Week Open House.  Drop by and support your library by buying books!!!  Proceeds from the total sales will support our library in new books!

Human Library Event Coming to St. Joseph!!! Education Week!!!

Ms. Lee's Gr. 12 Peer Mentorship class will host a Human Library Project on  Tuesday May 3rd from 9-12 am.  Students will meet 'living books' and have the opportunity to ask questions about their life experiences.

We will be have the honour of 'reading' the following titles:

"Average Guy Living with Schizophrenia"
"Recovering Addict"
"Recovering Homeless Person"
"Runaway Teenager"
"Ottawa Police Sargeant"
"Canadian Forces Reservist"
"Gay Teen"

Stay tuned for further updates regarding this event!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Winner of the Verbal Spelling Bee!!!

On Tuesday January 25, Gr. 8 student Olivia Bishop won the first annual St. Joseph Library Spelling Bee after 19 rounds of competition!!!

Honourable mention go to Mariam Abdelmesih and Jordan Beer who hung on for the last 5 rounds of competition. 

Congratulations to all 27 competitors. 

Olivia must pass yet another written bee to qualify for one of the coveted 60 spots in the Easter Ontario Regional Bee to be held at the National Art Gallery in March.  Good Luck Olivia!

Thanks to all students, staff, the administration and parents who support this literacy initiative!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Canspell 2011 Written Spelling Bee Winners!

The following students will compete in the Verbal Bee to be held on Tuesday Jan. 25th in the St. Joseph Library during period 5 and 6.  These students were the top scorers in their respective homerooms and top scorers of all gr. 7/8 students over the three days of testing.  Congratulations to all students who attempted the first annual school-wide spelling bee!

1. 7-03 Mariam Abdelmesih 56

2. 8-01 Sean Ricketts 51

3. 8-07 Olivia Bishop 50

4. 7-02 Samantha Palmero 48

5. 8-04 Ramel Bautista 47

6. 8-01 James Rawlings 46

7. 8-03 Szabo, David 45

7. 7-03 Zoe Tuen 45

9. 8-01 Sean Barrer 44

9. 8-01 Nick McConkey 44

9. 7-01 Cameron Stanzel 44

12. 8-07 Mahdi Aden 43

12. 7-02 Jordan Beer 43

12. 8-01 Dylan Davis 43

15. 7-02 Cameron Mattie 42

15. 7-02 Emiley Prak 42

15. 7-03 Adam Dickson 42

18. 8-03 Katherine Koutras 41

18. 8-04 Jillian Rodger 41

18. 7-02 Matthew Desjardins 41

18. 7-03 Ann Hanchuk 41

22. 8-02 Miranda Heredia 38

23. 7-04 Tyler Page 37

24. 8-05 Sunny Elvin 35

24. 8-06 Sean Remedios 35

24. 7-06 Iain Newman 35

27. 7-05 Wsam Majeed 27