The Factory is the new Braincramp

If you have visited this site this school year, I'm sure that you have been disappointed.  We are sorry for that. We have not been good about maintaining this site...

With that said...

That does not mean we have been just sitting back. Quite the opposite.  This year has been incredibly busy and very exciting. The GISS Genius Factory has been what keeps up flying and creative. 

To see it in action, check out our Genius Factory blog at

To hear us in action, check out our podcast at

Keep checking those sites regularly to see what we are up to.

Welcome to the new school year...

We are pumped for the new 2014-15 school year!  We have so much that we have planned and are excited to dive into.

In particular, GISS have already started into maybe our biggest initiative yet...Genius Factory.

With that said, if you want to follow along with our learning this year check out our new Genius Factory website

The Braincramp will have updates from time to time but the real learning can be found at the new site. All 130+ intermediate students will be blogging about their Genius Factory journey this year. At our site you will be able to find the student link once you click on their homeroom teacher.

Again, if you have any questions just email us at

McKenna's Dream Is Going to TIFF!

The Toronto International Film Festival (aka TIFF) has become the launching pad for the best of international, Hollywood and Canadian cinema, and is recognized as the most important film festival after Cannes.

TIFF Kids, one of the premier children’s film festivals in the world, offers a diverse slate of programming from Canada and around the globe. This is the email that our class has received from TIFF Kids…

“Congratulations! Your film, McKenna's Dream, has been selected as a finalist in this year’s TIFF Kids International Film Festival’s Jump Cuts Young Filmmakers Showcase.”

~ TIFF Kids

This is news is incredibly exciting and is also well deserved. The class worked tirelessly to make the animated film McKenna's Dream come to fruition and now the world is recognizing its charm. Having the film shown on such a grand stage will grow our film's audience and spread the word of McKenna's Dream charity. This has been our mission all along. As a finalist the film also has the chance to win $1000, which the class wants to donate to McKenna's Dream if they win.

The film will be shown twice at TIFF Film Festival ( The first showing will be for schools on Thursday, April 17 at 12:15pm and for the general public on Saturday, April 19 at 12:45. Both viewings will be held at the TIFF Bell Lightbox, 350 King St. West, Toronto, ON.

Gananoque Intermediate and Secondary Schools are excited to announce that we will be sending my entire class to the Thursday, April 17th viewing in Toronto.

McKenna's Dream: An Animated Film

McKenna's Dream: An Animated Film was created by Mr. Bowlby's grade 7/8 classroom at Gananoque Intermediate and Secondary School.  Everything thing from script to score is completely original and created for this film. This is an incredible collaborative effort and achievement by 29 amazing kids.
Old school, flipbook type cartooning is labour intensive but the film's subject made it a labour of love.  The film tells the inspirational and true story of McKenna Modler, her battle with brain cancer and her desire to help raise money to support families who have children dealing with cancer.
Special Thanks to...
Lucas(6) and Emma(7), friends of McKenna whom she met in clinic, for voicing the grandchildren.
Michael Bishop, a teacher at GISS, for composing and performing such a beautiful soundtrack for the film.
Dan Lovell, a teacher at GISS, for helping our students create a copy stand from scratch.
And of course, McKenna's Dad, aka Scott Modler, for being such a good sport and the perfect voice for the dog. The students wrote those, line, especially for you!

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time

Like our The Fault in Our Stars novel study we are using a book to vehicle the idea that a person is not defined by their diagnosis...
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time is a 2003 mystery novel by British writer Mark Haddon.

The novel is narrated in the first-person perspective by Christopher John Francis Boone, a 15-year-old boy who describes himself as "a mathematician with some behavioral difficulties" living in Swindon, Wiltshire. Although Christopher's condition is not stated, the book's blurb refers to Asperger syndrome, high-functioning autism, or savant syndrome. In July 2009, Haddon wrote on his blog that "Curious Incident is not a book about asperger's....if anything it's a novel about difference, about being an outsider, about seeing the world in a surprising and revealing way. The book is not specifically about any specific disorder," and that he, Haddon, is not an expert on autism spectrum disorder or Asperger syndrome.
Each of the classrooms have been examing Owl Pellets(Owl puke!).  Check out the Owl Pellet tab to see what we are up to in Science these days.

Learn the song and sing along...

Last March GISS engaged in "The Trial of Johnny Cade". Our film is finally complete! Check it out.

Trial of Johnny Cade from The Brain Cramp on Vimeo.

This was the blurb we sent out to sell the event on March 7, 2013.

"150 intermediate students at Gananoque Intermediate and Secondary School have been studying the novel The Outsiders for the past four weeks. The students have enjoyed the novel immensely. Their energy and passion for the book has inspired our expansive and epic culminating assignment “The Trial of Johnny Cade”. Even though Johnny Cade is a fictional character from S.E. Hinton's novel, we are going to make this as real as possible. It requires everyone to "get into role". Students will become the witnesses, the barristers, the solicitors, judge, jury, social media, the press, forensic teams and sketch artists. Students will have just over a week to prepare themselves. With the guidance, knowledge and experience of community members, intermediate teachers and high school teachers, students will immerse themselves into the roles. They will work with community artists, police officers, lawyers. They will find themselves in the high school science labs, law classes and art studios. The rigorous training and collaboration will make the event seem a reality."

The Brain Trust

Intermediate Teachers at Gananoque Intermediate & Secondary School (GISS)