Skyping with Mrs. Hino’s Class

On Thursday evening we came back to school after supper so that we could Skype with our friends in Mrs. Hino’s class. It was 6:45 pm on Thursday here in British Columbia and it was 10:45 am Friday morning in Tokyo. Almost all of the students in our class came back for the call and many of them brought their parents along too.

Both classes were very excited about getting to chat with each other live. Even though we live so far apart we found out that we have a lot in common with each other. Students in both classes enjoy playing soccer, basketball, and baseball. We also like to play on the bars outside and ride scooters in the gym. Bike riding was another activity that students in both classes were very excited about.


Even though we have a lot in common and enjoy many of the same things, we found out that there were also some pretty big differences too:

  • There are 14 students in our class and there are 21 students in Mrs. Hino’s class
  • There are 49 students in our K-7 school and there are over 400 students in the K-12 school our friends attend
  • A.J. Elliott only has 3 classrooms and our friends have too many to count!
  • The students in Mrs. Hino’s class have special teachers for art, music, PE, and Japanese
  • Our town has a population of  about 700 and Higashikurume has a population of 116,000
  • The tallest building in our town is 2 stories.  Their school is 3 stories tall and they have many very tall buildings in their city.

We can’t wait to work with Mrs. Hino and her students on a collaborative project.  We are thinking that we might write stories together soon.

Thanks again for a wonderful call.  It was great to get to know you better!




Skype with Our Friends in B4

On Thursday we Skyped with our friends in B4. It was the last day of the school year in New Zealand and we were so glad that Mrs. McKenzie and her class could squeeze in a Skype call.

Mrs. McKenzie and B4 were a part of the Our World, Our Stories project. We also have connections with B4 going back to when we first started blogging. Last year the grade threes even wrote partner Storybirds with B4. Chatting today was like talking to good friends.

During our call we had a chance to talk about Our World, Our Stories, sing our traditional songs for each other (and a Christmas carol or two), compare wildlife, and share how we spend Christmas.

We hope you all have a wonderful Christmas and holiday break! We can’t wait to blog with you again in the new year!

Skype with 2KJ and 2KM

This afternoon (tomorrow morning in Australia) we had a chance to Skype with our blogging buddies from 2KJ and 2KM. This was our first Skype call of this school year and a first ever for the grade twos.

We have spent the last 6 weeks learning more about 2KJ and 2KM through the Our World, Our Stories project that we are both a part of. We have blogged about our school days, favourite activities, the foods we eat, what it is like where we live and we have even shared stories and songs with each other. It was so much fun to actually get to see and talk to their classes today.

Here are a few of the highlights from our Skype call:

  • The number of students in 2KJ and 2KM is just a little less than the number of students in our whole school.
  • Our town has a population of about 800, which is about the population of their school.
  • There are 32 classes in their school and we only have 3.
  • We thought that it was very cool that they have seen kangaroos.  Some students have even seen them boxing!  They also have two zoos that they can visit nearby.  At one of the zoos the animals aren’t in pens or cages and you can drive around and see them like a safari.  We shared about all the deer that live on our island.  We found out that they don’t have deer where they live.
  • It was also really amazing that two students from 2KJ and 2KM have been to Canada.  No one in our class has ever been to Australia, but we would all love to go for  a visit one day!
  • We loved hearing 2KJ and 2KM sing part of their traditional song for us.  We’ll all be humming G’day, G’day all evening.  We sang Land of the Silver BIrch for them. 
  • We found out that they like the Christmas song Jingle Bells.  They sang a bit and we couldn’t help but join in 🙂  Then we took a turn and sang part of Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer.

At the end of the call we also had a chance to thank Miss Jordan, Mrs. Morris, and all the students in 2KJ and 2KM for the wonderful present they sent us.  They made the most amazing book about all their blogging buddies around the world and sent us each a copy.   We received the book yesterday and the students cheered as we followed Santa on his journey to find the true meaning of Christmas and save the Internet.  A few pages in the students realized that the book was all about classes they knew through our blog.  Someone called out, “It’s all about our friends!”  and then someone else said, “I wonder if we will be in the book!”  As Santa was given each clue on his journey the students would shout out which class he must be headed for next.  When the clue was given for our town the students were bouncing and cheering!

2KJ and 2KM, we can’t thank you enough for the wonderful story you wrote and illustrated.  It will have a special spot on our classroom shelves and will definitely be well read and cherished.

We hope you have a wonderful Christmas and summer break (It seems very funny to say both of those things in the same sentence)!

Skype with the Techie Kids

On Thursday, we had a chance to chat with the Techie Kids again. Mrs. Moore and the grade 2’s sent us a very cool book a few weeks ago so that we could try choral reading together. The Techie Kids chose the poem, The Two Mice, for us to work on. We practiced our parts so that we would be ready to read it together. You can hear a bit of the poem in the video at the end of this post.

We also had a chance to find out a little more about each other.   Oceana and Karin did a great job of recording the facts we learned in a back channel on Fay took wonderful pictures and all of the students did a super job of asking and answering questions. Here are a few of the facts we learned about our friends:

*The Techie Kids have 400 students in their school and we only have 46
*There are more students in the second grade than there are students in our whole K-7 school
*They have a much longer school day than we do, they start 20 minutes earlier and finish 50 minutes later
*They don’t have a morning recess and we do
*The Techie kids play first and then eat lunch (We do it the other way around)
*Students in their school can buy lunch in the cafeteria or bring their own. We don’t have a cafeteria. We eat in our classroom or go home for lunch.
*We have a lot of the same wildlife, but one big difference was that we have ocean wildlife
*The Techie kids have a lot of stores and restaurants in their town. We only have a few stores and two restaurants

We can’t wait for our next chance to visit with our friends!

What was the most interesting thing you learned about our buddies?

What do you want to find out in our next call?

Our Skype Call with Mr. Avery’s Class

Before spring break we had a chance to Skype with Mr. Avery and the students in his class. It was a lot of fun getting to know more about them. We got to see how our schools, towns, and provinces/states are similar and different.

Here are some of the things we thought were really interesting:
Lily-Our province is bigger than their state, but they have way more people than we do.
Sophie- MS has a lot of state symbols compared to our provincial symbols!
Fay-They only have 15 students in their class and we have 17
Jenny-They have 235 students in their school and we only have 45
Niall- Their tree is the American elm. We don’t have American elms in Sointula. Our tree is a Western Red Cedar.
Sahara-Their provincial mammal is the Right Whale. We don’t have Right whales, but we do have Orcas and Humpbacks.

Here are a few more cool facts we learned:
•British Columbia is larger than Massachusetts (944,000 square kilometers compared to 16,986 square kilometers).
•About 4,400,000 people live in British Columbia, but about 6,500,000 people live in Massachusetts.
•Sointula has a population of 800. Plympton has a population of about 2,600.

Thanks for a great call! We hope we can talk again sometime 🙂

A Super Special Call

We love quad blogging and thought it would be fantastic if we could Skype with our new friends in Mrs. Ranney’s class. We had a great time getting to know each other better and learned so many cool facts about their school, community, state, and country.   Jordan and Sahara did an amazing job of back channeling all the great information our quad buddies shared with us.

Here are some of the things we learned from our friends in California:

  • California’s population is 8x larger than British Columbia’s.
  • British Columbia is 2x the size of California.
  • There are 9x more people living in the United States than in Canada even though Canada is a bigger country.
  • Their community has a population of 23,058 and our population is only 800.
  • There are 600 students in their K-5 school and we only have 45 student in grades K-7.
  • In our class we have 17 grade 2/3 students.  Mrs. Ranney’s class of 22 students is one of 5 grade 3 classes in their school.
  • Their state flower is the California poppy and ours is the Pacific Dogwood
  • Their state tree is the California redwood and ours is the Western Red Cedar
  • Their state bird is the quail and ours is the Steller’s Jay
  • Their state animal is the California grizzly bear, even though the only grizzly in their state is on their flag.  Our provincial mammal is the Kermode Bear.
  • Mrs. Ranney’s class have all seen coyotes walking around their neighborhood.  We don’t have coyotes, but we might have a few wolves and occasionally a bear swims over to our island.
  • Both classes love to play games outside.  We both like some of the same games, but have some new ones it would be fun to show each other how to play.
  • We both like a lot of the same foods.

Thanks for the the wonderful call today!  We hope we can Skype again 🙂

A New Connection

Today we Skyped with Mrs. Donnellon’s Grade 1 class in New Jersey. We were really excited to be their first Skype call. They are studying communities and wanted to find out more about our community and compare it to theirs.

Justin and Oceana did a great job of writing down the information that the classes shared and Jordan tried back channeling for the first time. Niall was our photographer. Here is what we found out:

*Their community is much larger than ours is. They have 10 elementary schools and 2 highschools. We only have one elementary school with 47 students and no highschool.
*The have a lot of police officers in their community. We have no police officers in our town.
*They have firemen and so do we.
*They have lots of traffic lights and lines on their roads. We only have stop signs.
*They have a lot of big buildings in their community. They have some apartment buildings that are 20 stories high. We have one 2 story hotel.
*There are 18 students in their class and 16 students in our class.
*They eat their lunch in the room where they have gym. None of their students go home for lunch. We eat our packed lunches in our classroom or go home for lunch.
*We both like to go swimming in lakes and many students in both classes have cats and dogs for pets.
*They are not allowed to hunt in their community
*They have bears in their community and we sometimes do if one swims over to our island.

Thanks so much for Skyping with us!

Our Last Skype Call of the Year

Today was our second to last day of school and we got to Skype with Mrs. McKenzie and her class from New Zealand. We have been following their blog since we started blogging this year. It was great to finally really meet them. We found out that we have a lot in common with our friends on the other side of the world!

The students in B4 will start their winter holiday on Friday. They will have two weeks off and the students have all sorts of great plans. We will start our summer vacation on Wednesday and will come back on September 7th to start our new school year.

The students in Mrs. McKenzie’s class start school earlier than we do each day and finish later than we do, but they get an hour for lunch and we only get 45 minutes. We also found out that we both have more girls than boys in our classes.

Our friends taught us to count in Māori and we taught them to count in french. It was pretty tricky!

One of their students, JiaJia, was celebrating her birthday today. We sang her happy birthday. The students in B4 shared with us the funny way they sometimes sing the birthday song. It was the same one we sing too! The birthday girl brought in a stuffed Kereru (wood pigeon) that even made the sound the bird makes when you squeeze its tummy. We had never heard of the Kereru before. Here is a picture of the Kereru and the type of pigeons we see where we live.

They play netball which is kind of like basketball, except it is played outside. There is no backboard, and you can pass the ball, but can’t run and dribble it. Rosealeigha wore her netball uniform to show us. Here is a video Mrs. W found showing teams playing netball.

Several of their students play rugby. Tessa showed us her uniform and the trophy and medal she won. Nikaya and Adam showed us their rugby boots. They look like the soccer and baseball cleats that we wear. We got to see their uniforms and even the mouth guards they wear. We don’t play rugby in our town, but other places in Canada do.

Thor brought in his skateboard and told us about a trick he can do. Several students in our class have skateboards too, but we don’t have a skate park like they do in Reefton.

The closest beach is a half hour away from Reefton school. Our beach is just down the road. Their beaches are sandy and our beaches are rocky. We both like to look for creatures in the rock pools.

They don’t have any dangerous wildlife where they live either, although there is a poisonous spider in NZ, but not where they live.

Mrs. McKenzie showed us some New Zealand money. That have beautiful coloured bills just like we do.

Most students bring lunch to school like we do, but they can order lunch from a local shop as well. On Fridays, they can order a hot lunch like chips (fries) and hot dogs.

We hope that we can talk to Mrs. McKenzie and the students in B4 again after we start our new school year!

You’ll Never Guess Who We Talked To!

Custom Glitter Text
It was fantastic to finally get to talk to our blogging buddies from 2KJ! We stayed after school until 4:00 to make the call. It was 9:00 am for the students in Australia. We thought it was pretty amazing that it was already tomorrow there!

We had a Canadian/Australian show and tell. The students in Miss Jordan’s class brought some wonderful things to school to show us. We got to see and hear a real didgeridoo. We also got to see a boomerang and learned that the aboriginal people used them to hunt.

We also learned about some different foods that they have in Australia. The students showed us a jar of Vegemite and told us that they eat it on toast and some people even add it to their Weetabix cereal. We also found out that they call “Rice Krispies” Rice Bubbles. Micheal brought in maple syrup to show and we found out that they have maple syrup in Australia too. Then a student showed the Monkey Tacos that her grandma made for our after school snack. They thought that the bananas and peanut butter wrapped in a tortilla sounded good.

We showed 2KJ a hockey stick, Vancouver Canucks flag, a lacrosse stick, and some Olympic wear. They showed us an Australian Rules Football ball and a Jumper, or jersey, from one of their teams called the Cats.

One student brought in her pet salamander to show the student’s in 2KJ and they had koala and kangaroo stuffed animals to show us. Miss Jordan told us that some people think Australians ride kangaroos to school. We told Miss Jordan that some people think Canadians live in igloos.

We also showed our friends two of our flags and some of our money. We both have beautiful colourful money. The students in 2KJ thought our Toonies and Loonies had neat names.

We could have talked to 2KJ until bedtime!

Skype with the Super S.T.A.R.S

On Friday we Skyped with Mrs. Yammine and the Super S.T.A.R.S. from Connecticut, USA. When they flashed onto the SmartBoard we saw that they were all wearing tie dyed t-shirts and headbands. We found out that it was “Groovy Day” in their class. They sure looked fantastic!

Here are some of the things we learned about the Super STARS:
1. Their school is bigger than ours, but they have fewer children in their class.
2. There are 12 classes in their school and we only have 3.
3. They like to play the same games that we do. We both like tag, Wall Ball, and Monkey in the Middle.
4. We have some of the same wildlife, but we had never heard of the Woodcock

5. They are done school 12 days before we are.
6. They love Silly Bandz! Mrs. Yammine showed us a duck and even offered to send us Silly Bandz. We are so excited!

A big thank you to Mrs. Yammine and her class for a wonderful call!