28 Feb

Thanks, and Go Canada!

The 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games are in it’s final day, and Canada should be proud! We have hosted the world, and our athletes have done us all proud with their dedication, sportsmanship, and success at the Games. We say THANK YOU to all of the athletes from 83 countries who competed and inspired us all! We encourage everyone to support the Paralympians as the Games continue in Vancouver.

We were very inspired by the Olympics, and that’s why we wanted to share our experience with you. We would like to thank the Toronto District School Board for embracing the project, including Director Chris Spence, Stuart Oakley, and especially T.J. Goertz in Communications for his assistance and enthusiasm. Also thank you to all of the students and faculty who followed, not just here in Toronto but beyond as well. Special thanks to Mr. O’Donnell in rm 303, Ms. Gooch in rm 203, and Principal Janice Taskey at Kew Beach PS.

We have received many “thank you’s” from students, teachers, parents, grandparents and beyond for doing the blog. It would not have been possible without the contributions of others. Madoka Hayashi at Uptype Graphic Design completely brought this project to life with her amazing design, understanding and professionalism. Thank you Madoka!

Heidi Brander stepped in as a writer/contributer, and was on “quite a roll” with her “Athlete to Watch For” predictions! Heidi has gained experience writing for a number of Canadian publications, including Flare Magazine, The Magazine (Not for Adults), Kids Tribute, and Whoa! Magazine. She is currently employed at YTV where you can find her working dill-igently behind the scenes as Sid the Pickle, YTV’s pickle advice columnist (a role she relishes). Heidi’s work was amazing, and she really stepped up when we needed her. Thanks Heidi!

Other contributers include Dale Cotnam for his Destination Cotdale: cartoons. They were creative, original and funny. Additionally Barney Wornoff for his “Go Canada Gold!” animation. Barney has too many credits to mention here, but he is an accomplished animator and we appreciate his creative contribution. Thank you to Rachel Irving for her photgraphy that was incorporated into the design. Jonathan at Chatroll for allowing us to use the application for the Teacher’s Lounge. It was a great resource for the teachers, and added amazing interactive capabilities in an easy-to-use platform. BrainPOP also for contributing the Olympic movie with Tim & Moby!

Would like to extend special thanks to band members and management of  Tokyo Police Club for offering thier time to speak with us in BC. They are great guys, and a great band! Also to all the attaches at the Canadian Olympic Committee who had offered to arrange interviews with athletes upon our arrival at the Games.

Lastly, a VERY special thank you to Jill (Quinn and Evan’s mom), and… Quinn and Evan! You were committed to the spirit of the project, and made it fun to do!

Brian Coughlin

Men’s Hockey- Canada!!

28 Feb

Well, after a record haul on gold medals for Canada as host of the 2010 Games, we still have our sights set on what many consider the biggest prize of all… gold in Olympic hockey! We again congratulate our women on winning gold, and hope the men can do the same!

Today, it’s safe to say that all of Canada will be watching as we take on the United States. We know Canadian stars Sidney Crosby, Jarome Iginla, Roberto Luongo and the rest of the team will be ready when the puck is dropped at Canada Hockey Place.

This is easily the BIGGEST game for Canadian’s in decades. Some will recall the amazing effort by Canada in 1987 when Mario Lemieux scored on a drop-pass from, who else, Wayne Gretzky! But before that, your grandparents likely best remember the 1972 Summit Series. The whole country was watching as Paul Henderson scored to complete a remarkable comeback for Canada over the Soviet Union!

Quinn and Evan’s grandparents were at that game in Moscow, September 1972. It was a “thrill of a lifetime” they said, and pictured here are the autographs they got in Russia from the Canadian Team! Take a close look for names such as Ken Dryden, Yvan Cournoyer, Brad Park, Bobby Orr, Bobby Clarke and more. Also, a photo they took inside the stadium in Moscow as the teams took the ice before the game. We just hope that more Canadian hockey history is made today in Vancouver. And don’t forget to remember… where were you on February 28, 2010? GO CANADA GO!!

Athlete to Watch – Saturday, February 27

27 Feb

Kevin Martin

Kevin Martin – Men’s Curling
Kevin Martin rocks! The curling phenom has skipped his way to a perfect 10-0 record at these Olympics, and is expected to bring home the gold tonight! Victory would be sweet after Martin lost the gold medal to Norway by an inch – literally, an INCH – in 2002. But Martin is back and better than ever, and his rink is poised to become the first curling team to ever finish an Olympics without a single loss – a clean sweep!

Day 16 – February 27

27 Feb

Athlete to Watch – Friday, February 26

26 Feb

Cheryl Bernard

Cheryl Bernard – Women’s Curing
Before all eyes are locked on the men’s semifinal hockey game, Canadians should hurry hard to watch the gold medal game in women’s curling! Canadian skip Cheryl Bernard and her team have swept the competition so far with 8 wins, and tonight they’ll battle the defending champs from Sweden for the gold. But the pressure’s on…if Team Canada wins, Canada will most into first place in most gold medals won at the Vancouver Games. We’re number one at being number one!

2010 Aboriginal Pavilion

26 Feb

Meeting First Nations Hosts

For the first time, Indigenous people have been recognized as official partners in hosting the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Games, and Tewanee Joseph is calling it the “Biggest Potlatch in Olympic History”.

Potlatch is a ceremonial feast at which the hosts demonstrate their generosity (you’re measured on what you give to people, not what you take).

In Canada, Aboriginal includes Inuit, Métis, and First nations peoples. The Four Host First Nations include the Lil’wat, Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh, on whose lands the Olympics are being held.

We were fascinated by our visit to the 2010 Aboriginal Pavilion, and look forward to learning much more about Canada’s Aboriginal people!

Soul Paua, from New Zealand, sing and perform a chant at the International Indigenous Day Celebration in Vancouver. We were there, enjoy!

First Nations- Song and Chant from Brian Coughlin on Vimeo.

Favourite Mascot?

26 Feb

La La La Song

26 Feb

We met these French fans (with CRAZY hair) on the bus in Whistler. They were on the way to the Whistler Nordic Centre, and decided to sing this song for us. Merci!

21st Century Learning

26 Feb

Martin J. Gottlieb School

Thanks to Silvia Tolisano and her second grade class at 21st Century Learning in Jacksonville, Florida, for following the 2010 Fun and Games Blog!

Her students are emphasizing and integrating skills such as collaboration and communication across all subject areas. Students are experiencing real connections with eye witnesses, experts and peers from around the world. Global awareness and collaboration is an integral part of 21st Century curriculum. Tools, such as video conferencing, blogs, wikis and podcasts allow teachers and students to immerse themselves in new literacies (in addition to basic literacy) such as information, networking, digital citizenship, intercultural and media literacy.

Our elementary school students are experiencing the 2010 Vancouver Olympics in all new ways. In addition to viewing events on a television, they are working collaboratively with another elementary school class from Port Hardy, Canada. Through a wiki, they are contributing information about athletes, their countries, and winter sports. They have interviewed one of the Torch Runners from Port Hardy via Skype. As a culminating project, a combined sportscast/podcast is planned. Students, from both schools, will also compete against each other in various sports events on a Wii and compare results with each other.

Thanks, and keep on connecting!

Athlete to Watch – Thursday, February 25

25 Feb

Joannie Rochette

Joannie Rochette – Ladies Figure Skating

After one of the most courageous skates in Olympic history on Tuesday, Joannie Rochette is ready to skate her heart out again tonight during the Ladies’ Free Skate. Currently ranked fifth in the world, Rochette rocketed to third place after a flawless short program and is looking to be the first Canadian woman to win an Olympic medal in women’s figure skating since Elizabeth Manley in 1988! Even if she doesn’t win a medal, her brave performance on Tuesday made her a champion in the hearts of all Canadians!