Ms. Young’s Grade 8 Narrative Project

Each year, Ms. Young asks her grade 8 students to write children’s books to give as Christmas gifts to children in the hospital or at the Rosewood shelter.

During our weekly computer classes,  students are going to adapt those stories into an interactive “Choose Your Own Adventure” type story using powerpoint.  They will also use Smart Ideas to help them plan and outline their stories.

Here is a draft version of the assignment prepared by Mr. McGaughey and Ms. Young

ASSIGNMENT:  Use SMARTideas and Powerpoint to create a choose your own adventure style story.

Learning Goal: 

Smart Ideas:  Use an outliner and brainstorming to create a plan, define a problem and organize your thoughts.

Powerpoint:  Gain confidence in using powerpoint to create slides using multimedia, transitions, hyperlinks.

Language Arts:   Write a Narrative children’s story in a non-linear style.

Due Date:  December 2013

Preparation time:  Once weekly with Mr. McGaughey and maybe more if Ms Young books the laptops.


Success Criteria:

  • Creates an outline of the story and choices using SMARTideas.  Should include at least 3-10 parts/choices.
  • Writes the full story using power point.  Try to include–  Prose (Words) , clip art, audio clips and transitions.



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Digital Storytelling

The grade 7/8 class is creating digital stories to educate and inform others about social issues.   In my weekly lessons with the class we have been discussing ‘What is digital storytelling?’ and the tools they can use to make them.


Learning Goal:  Students will apply the creative process to publish a multimedia work in order to educate and inform their chosen audience about a social issue linked to their grade curriculum.

Oct 29:  We watched videos about what is digital storytelling.


The primary tools the students will be Smart Ideas and Microsoft Photo Story.




Halloween Safety

As part of our grade 1 and 2 Health (
Safety) and Social Studies (Traditions and Celebrations) classes, today my class and I discussed Halloween Safety Rules. Here are some of the sites and games I used.

Halloween Safety Video:

Billy Brings His Buddies: Halloween Matching Game

Halloween Safety Game  This one has some great tips but there is alot of reading.  It is probably more suitable for grade 3 up.

Pumpkin Carving Game 

PBS Games

Welcome Home to

A couple of months ago I realized that I have had a classroom blog for over 10 years.  This blog has existed in various forms using a variety of blogging platforms and software since 2003, and I had experimented with classroom websites for a few years prior to that.  With my new role as planning time teacher and librarian, I have not been very active posting to it the past school year, but that is still an accomplishment.  Over the years, through several changes of address and servers, many of the pictures and the links may not work properly, and the dates of the first couple of years seem to be out of sync with their contents, but the site as a whole still provides a window into my classroom, and a record of many of the activities I have done with my students over the past decade.

Today I moved the blog from the free hosting provider, Edublogs, to my own site at  This move to a new permanent home gives me more space, and more flexibility how to present my website.   I’m still sweeping up the cobwebs and making sure that everything moved over smoothly, but it will always be a bit of a work in progress.

Welcome to my classroom on the web.

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We Got an Email… From the International Space Station


Last month Mr. McGaughey wrote a song entitled: Countdown, The Ballad of Chris Hadfield. He teaches music and science to Ms. Graham’s grade 3 class and they asked to record it with him to send to Chris Hadfield.

Listen to the song on Soundcloud

or watch it on Youtube 


Countdown: The Ballad of Chris Hadfield
Sean McGaughey © Feb 8, 2013
Key of G- 6/8 time moderate to brisk tempo

Growing up on the farm, Chris Hadfield would dream,
of soaring around in a flying machine.
As a boy Chris resolved that he would try
to go out and make his mark in the sky
As a scientist, pilot and astronaut
Chris still made music and never forgot
As he and his brothers would play their guitars,
His dream of bringing his songs to the stars,

He’s the first folksinger in space
Singing tunes far above the whole human race
He takes pictures and tweets as he orbits around
picking at 23 times speed of sound.

A Canadian proud who has travelled the world,
He takes time to tell all the young boys and girls,
To dream their own journeys beyond what we know
And make a bright future wherever they go.

He’s the first folksinger in space
Singing tunes far above the whole human race
He takes pictures and tweets he orbits around
picking at 23 times speed of sound.

When we finished the recording, the children also had a bunch of questions for Chris Hadfield. We emailed these questions to Chris.

April 5, 2013
Hello Commander Hadfield:
My name is Sean McGaughey. I’m an elementary school teacher at Bayview Public School in Midland Ontario and a singer songwriter. Last month I wrote a song entitled: Countdown, The Ballad of Chris Hadfield. I teach music and science to Ms. Graham’s grade 3 class and they asked to record it with me to send to you.
The students also had some questions for you.

  1. How do you deal with homesickness on the space station?
  2. Do you ever get annoyed being around the same people all the time?
  3. What is it like to wear a space suit?
  4. Have you recorded any kid’s songs in space?


Thank you for inspiring all of us. We hope you enjoy our song.

Sean McGaughey and Ms. Graham’s Grade 3 class

On April 9, we received this response from Commander Hadfield on the International Space station.

Chris Hadfield

Dear Sean and Bayview students:

Thanks for the song! I love it! That was really nice of you to write and sing it, and send it to me. And it turns out I CAN play G in zero G.

Answers for the questions:

  1. I talk with my family almost every day, and email too, so I don’t feel so far away.
  2. The only time I get annoyed is with myself. The other people are working hard and doing as well as they can, always.
  3. Space suits are very uncomfortable, stiff and bulky, like a snow suit combined with hockey gear and metal pieces. But really they’re a 1-person spaceship, so they have to be that way.
  4. Yes, I wrote and recorded a space lullaby for my daughter. It came out very pretty, and so did she.

Take care, make a point of learning and understanding things

Best from ISS!


Mr. McGaughey’s Class May Newsletter

April was a very busy and productive month in the Gifted Classroom. We completed several projects including the Lego Robotic Revolution, the Grade 8 Cardboard Boat races, the Heritage Fair history projects, and the Forest of Reading Novel Competition where each student had to read 5 (or more) novels.


We have a number of upcoming events in May as well.

GO Conference: Friday May 4


On Friday May 4, Mr. Trumpour and I are driving the gifted class students to the Simcoe County Gifted Outreach Conference at Lakehead University in Orillia.


We will leave the school at 9:00am after announcements. The conference runs from 10am- 3:15pm. We will be returning to the school about 4:00pm. Please make arrangements to pick up your child at 4:00 pm on that date.


Students will need to bring their lunches, drinks and snacks.


Monday May 7: Spring Picture Day: Remember to dress up.


Stratford Field Trip Tuesday May 8

Our class is excited to go to Stratford to see Much Ado About Nothing, on Tuesday May 8 at 2:00 pm. Mr. Trumpour, and myself will be driving. We will be leaving the school at 9:00am.


For lunch, pack a bag lunch. We will stop on the way to Stratford for a picnic lunch if the weather permits.


You may bring a gadget to use in the car, but it must be unused, silent and invisible while we are in Stratford.


Our play begins at 2pm. Please dress in good clothes appropriate for the theatre. We have discussed appropriate behaviour for the theatre and watching the play.


After the show, we will have time for a break and snack in Stratford. Please provide your child with money for a fast-food meal for supper.


We will be returning to Bayview School between 9 and 10pm. We will arrange a phone tree to let you know when we are about an hour from Midland, so that you can be at the school to pick up your child.


Phone Tree: When we are approximately an hour from town, we will call so you can be at Bayview School to pick up your child.


Wednesday May 9: Jump Rope For Heart. Please remember to bring in your pledge forms.


Tuesday May 22-Thursday May 24: Grade 8’s are in Ottawa.


Monday May 28- Wednesday May 30: Grade EQAO: Grade 6 testing will take place on these 3 dates from 9am-10:35 am. Please ensure that your grade 6 child is at school on time do not schedule any appointments on these dates.

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