What A Year

With one more day to go in the school year, I wanted to take the time to thank the families of my students.  It has been an honour to spend the day with your children.  I have the best job in the world!  I get to go to work each day and watch kids discover that they can take a risk, try new things, make mistakes, create friendships, and develop their love of learning.  What could possibly be a better way to spend my day?  To those families with students who are moving on into other classrooms, I wish them all the best.  Once a Super Kid always a Super Kid.  To those families with children that will be returning to my classroom in the fall, I look forward to spending another year with you.

Take a peek at a few pictures from our last week together.

      

Red Carpet Premiere of our extreme weather reports.

  

Bubble Day – Summer Stem Activities (Can You make your own bubble wand?)

Watermelon Math and Science Activities

Have a wonderful summer! 🙂

June And Going Strong

How is it June already?

June has been a busy month full of school activities, a field trip, special assemblies, and even a Lip Dub.  It seems like a blur to be honest, but we have one more week before summer break.

The Super Kids along with the other 3 multiage 1/2 classrooms took a field trip to Mini University.  Mini U is a program held at The University Of Manitoba for kids to participate in camps and school programs with a team building focus.  I personally worked for Mini U in the summer when I attended the University many years ago and I was excited to bring my class to the program.  We played parachute games, dodge ball, scooter hungry hippos, and much more.  With all that activity, many of the kids fell asleep on the bus on the way home!

Our school has an annual family BBQ put on my our parent council.  Families come armed with lawn chairs to help celebrate our year together.  Bouncers, a dunk tank, and even food trucks were there.  Thank you to the PAC for organizing another successful family BBQ!

The Super Kids were excited to make their dads a special gift for Father’s Day.

Inspired by our “Tree Of Life” art instillation, the class created their own trees in the Klimt style for their dads.  Dads are important to our family tree so we made the connection to our artist study.  The first step was to practice on whiteboards before painting our gold trees.

Next, the class slowly painted their trees and added Klimt inspired shapes.

Then it was time to make a BBQ rub called “Dad’s Grub Rub” and cards.

 

Our classroom tree was the first one to be installed in the hallway as part of the whole school tree installation. Each classroom created their own unique tree to go in our “forest”.  Plaques have been added by each tree to explain each classroom’s process and inspiration.

   

Our big question, “How does the world change quickly and slowly?” has wrapped up with the filming of our extreme weather green screen projects.  Students became meteorologists, used props, and explained their research in a fun and unique way.  Our interactive whiteboard became our teleprompter, the iPad became our video camera, and there you have it.  A TV studio!

 

Next Tuesday we’ll be having our red carpet event where our classroom and Ms. Rempel’s class will be getting together to view each others videos.  We can’t wait! Check out a couple or videos below by clicking on the links.

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We were invited to an Earth Rangers assembly which talked about conservation, endangered Manitoba animals, and how we can help.  We even got to meet some amazing animals!

   

New math games in June…you bet!  We’ve been talking about Canadian symbols so naturally we started math games with Canadian coins.  Other games have a camping theme that review even and odd numbers, and 10 more/10 less.

 

If you live in Winnipeg you know that dandelions are a bit of an issue!  Have you heard of making a dandelion wish?  Well, we decided to make some summer dandelion wishes on Friday since it was the first day of summer.  We read “I Wish You More” first and got to work making our summer wish list.

 

In the afternoon each student created their own dandelion wish art.  We reviewed what radial symmetry is from our citrus art lesson a few weeks ago first and incorporated it into drawing our dandelions.  Then watercolour was added with a bit of salt for a special effect.  The summer wish lists are going to be glued on the back for families and taken home on the last day of school with a few other special things.

 

Check out our school’s 2019 Lip Dub by clicking on the link below.  Yes, that’s our Educational Assistant and myself with our class. I guess we didn’t quite get out of the shot!

One week to go!  Each day will be filled with some special activities including summer STEM creations, celebrating our green screen, a few surprises along the way.  🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Outdoor Classroom

Spending time outside together is a great way to get out of the confines of our classroom, enjoy the sunny weather, explore our surroundings, and gain an appreciation for our environment.  We are very lucky to have paths and natural grasses near our school that we can explore.  Last week we took the Super Kids show on the road!  Well, not really a road, but the natural trails outside.  We headed out with a scavenger hunt page, clipboard, magnifying glass, and a ziploc to collect our treasures.

        

Taking a close look at nature had us wondering and lead to so many questions.  Why do the geese land in the field by our school?  What animals live in the tall grass?  Why do rocks have patterns?  We took a rest on the grass and used our 5 senses.  I ask the kids to sit or lay down grass.  We looked up at the clouds and looked for shapes, animals, and thought up stories.  The class made the natural connect to our talks about cloud types and started discussing what kind of clouds were in the sky.  I then invited the kids to close their eyes and listen to what they heard such as bird chirping, tall grass moving, and the wind. Why do the clouds move so fast?  What kind of bird is chirping?  Can you make an animal shadow with your hands?  Questions, questions, and more questions.  🙂 When we returned to our classroom we had to take a closer look at our nature hunt finds.

  

Our school division puts on “Folk Dance In The Park” every year. This is a great way to get outside and enjoy a day together.  All students from grades 1-3/4  gather on one of two days to dance together.  Our music teacher teaches the class the dances and we head off to St. Vital park for a fun day of dancing.  Imagine 2000 kids in a park dancing.

    

Today our school participated in “Jump Rope For Heart”.  This is an event that raises money for the Heart and Stroke Foundation and it was a beautiful morning to go through the stations set up by our school’s Phys. Ed staff.

          

What else have we been up to?

After reading “Where The Wild Things Are” by Maurice Sendak the class was given a STEM challenge.  Could they make a sailboat that could withstand a wind storm? Well, it was a fan on high.  It shouldn’t take on water or capsize.  If it did then they had to modify their design.  What did we learn?  Somethings float and other sink even if you think they don’t.  Styrofoam reminds us of a dock at the lake.  Styrofoam is a mess to clean up off the floor.  Thank you to our custodian for his understanding.  Play dough is a yucky when it gets wet.  Plasticine works better.  A sail catches the wind and makes a boat go faster.

          

Our art instillation tree inspired by Klimt’s “Tree Of Life” is complete and ready to go up in the hall with the rest of the trees that every classroom created.  We’ll have an art forest!

            

Math centers are always a hit!

    

The middle years students in our school are very talented!  They put on a musical called Lion King Jr. and we were invited to go watch.  It was amazing!  The Super Kids LOVED it!

    

We added another favourite book to our class collection.  It’s called “The Sad Little Fact” and it talks about facts being facts even if others aren’t ready to accept that something is real or a fact.

  

 

 

 

Always Making Connections

I’m sitting in my sunroom at my cottage on the May long weekend wondering where the year has gone!  It’s already the middle of May and time seems to be flying by.  I couldn’t be prouder of our class. The kids have embraced learning, trying new things, and taking risks.  It’s been a few weeks since our last post.  So this is bit of a longer one to catch you all up.

The class was working on their Mother’s Day projects and we didn’t want to spoil the surprise.  Georgia O’Keeffe is a famous artist that created pieces that seemed to zoom in on her subject.  The Super Kids focused on her flower pieces. We like to think of it as a bug’s eye view of a flower.

The kids created their own flower artwork inspired by Georgia O’Keeffe with pastels and watercolour.  When they were down we put them in a frame.

        

Student created a card for their moms and made scented bath salts with their choice of orange, grapefruit, or lemon scent.

  

Over the past few weeks we have continued our understanding of how the Earth can change quickly and slowly thought different science experiments, art lessons, and literature.  I randomly stumbled upon a new chapter book at the Indigo book store a few weeks ago and had to pick it up to share with the class. The book is about Ada Twist, one of our favourite characters from Andrea Beaty’s books, and how she uses her science inquiry skills to help her friends uncle who is flying like a hot air balloon!  I know it sound a bit strange, but the class was so excited to read it together.  The problem had to be solved by understanding air, how particles respond to heat, changes of state etc.  All the science principles we have been learning about!  We create diagrams, stopped throughout the book and did many turn and talks to discuss our thinking, and solved the problem with our prior knowledge.  I love when things like this happen.  A trip to the bookstore lead to a such great connections being made.

Image result for Andrea Beaty books

If you haven’t read Andrea Beaty books then make sure to check them out.  She writes the inquiry based children’s book series about a grade 2 classroom where children use their passions to explore.  We love reading them! A new book is coming out later this year called “Sofia Valdez Future Prez”.  We like to look at the class pictures in the books and predict what student Andrea Beaty will make a new book about and guess what they are passionate about by what they are doing in the picture.  Are they a chef? An artist? A fashion designer? An athlete? A toy inventor?

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Weather became a focus through these discussions on wind and air.  Weather can change so fast and meteorologists try to tell us what the weather is going to be through patterns and interpreting air pressure.  The Super Kids made their own weather vanes to test the direction of the wind.  We waited for a windy day to test them.

   

Books on extreme weather were set out on our books shelf as an invitation to explore which lead to many questions about how do tornados, hurricane, and other extreme weather events happen.  Where do they happen? Why?  How do people stay safe?  With the help of the pebble go website, the Super Kids are now researching extreme weather events to create their own weather report that will be made into a green screen video.

With discussions on weather patterns it seems natural to talk about patterns in nature.  Mrs. Dulder was very kind to give us some oranges one day as a yummy snack.  Before we cut them up I thought this could be an opportunity!  I ran down to the grocery store at lunch, picked up some other citrus fruit examples, and tossed the afternoon plan out the window. 🙂 We were doing a whole half a day on symmetry.  The kids came in to pattern blocks around the classroom with a challenge to create symmetrical flowers and spring bugs with pattern cards.  Next they tested with mirrors to see if they created symmetrical block pictures.  Without any prompting the kids started walking around the room looking for what was symmetrical and what wasn’t.  Letters on the world wall, their faces, plants, books, patterns on the floor etc.

    

We cut open the citrus fruit to see the natural radial symmetry found in oranges, grapefruit, and limes.  After a lesson on how to create tints of colours by double loading a paintbrush with a colour and white paint,  the class created their own citrus symmetrical artwork.  Many used the technique used in their flower mother’s day art by going off the paper for an illusion of a bigger fruit that you are looking at close up.

        

Bean plants were put into plastic ziploc bags and hung in the window to see the process of a bean turning into a bean plants.  Once they got a bit to big for the bag we planted them into containers with dirt and we are watching them grow.  Food takes a while to grow and farmers who plant crops to grow food take all summer to watch them grow so they can harvest in the fall.  These discussions related to nutrition, life processes, and how this change is an example of a slow change.

 

This past Friday afternoon was a big one for the Super Kids.  We had 5 mom volunteers join us for a special afternoon.  First we created tornado’s in a bottle with water, soap, glitter and a whole lot of shaking.

 

Then the kids were challenged to create a Lego floodway inspired by the Winnipeg floodway that is found around our city to protect the city in the spring.  They had to build a house or houses to protect and then create a path for the water to take that wouldn’t get the houses wet.

  

After lunch we headed to the Mrs. Dulder’s kitchen to make smoothies!  We couldn’t wait.  Earlier in the week, Mrs, Dulder asked us to visit her so she could explain the plan and how we each needed to make a recipe with the ingredients she had provided us,  The kids were so adventurous trying new things.  With the help of our volunteers each kid put the ingredients the picked into a bowl headed to the blenders and created their own creation.  Each of the Super Kids were to come up with a name their smoothie.  Many used extreme weather words such as hurricane blast and tornado mango.  Love it!

    

Being able to take my class to the home economics room and spend time learning about nutrition, reading recipes, cooking together, cleaning up, making our own recipes, and even sewing together has been a highlight this year.  I’ve never been fortunate to teach in a school that had a home economics room and a teacher like Mrs. Dulder that was willing to invite us to join her for some lessons.  I can honestly say that in my 19 years of teaching these experiences have been a highlight and I’m sure my students will remember as they get older.  A colleague of mine recommended a book called “The Power Of Moments”  that I’m currently reading and I can’t help but make a connection to our lessons with Mrs. Dulder.

.The Power of Moments: Why Certain Experiences Have Extraordinary Impact by [Heath, Chip, Heath, Dan]

We talk about creating moments that hopefully will inspire our students .  This is a perfect example of it!  I can’t tell you how many parents have let me know that their kids are excited to help them in the kitchen, make supper together, read recipes, try new foods, and share what they have learned.  🙂 We’ll miss her next year, but I’m inspired to keep cooking with my kids!

 

 

 

 

 

Our Community Learning Together

Each year our school division has a seniors/grandparent day.  Each school does it their own way, but the over all purpose of the day is to welcome these special people in our student’s lives into our school to share with them how we learn.  School has changed a lot since they were in school and I always find it fascinating to hear comments and stories from our guests. We welcomed guests in the morning and another set of guests in the afternoon.  The morning group walked into our morning meeting underway. The kids were divided up and were having a rock, paper, scissors challenge!  Nothing like walking into a rowdy bunch of kids! 🙂  With smiles on their faces our guests sat down and watched the rest of our challenge.  We stopped every once in a while to compare the number of kids on each side, determine what was bigger, how many more, and other relatable math questions.  Next it was on to reader’s workshop.  Students divided into their groups for spelling practice, read to self, read to others, word work activities, QR code activities, and RAZ kids.  One grandparent asked me how they know what to do.  I replied that it was our routine and that new activities are introduced to the whole group way before they are used in our literacy groups.  She couldn’t believe how on task the kids were.

 

The afternoon was a bigger group of guests.  We dove into math centres to share our mathematical thinking and how we learn new concepts.  Grandparents rotated with their grandchild’s group to different stations that included filling in a 100 chart, 3D shape making, a card game, a subtraction dice game, and a place value game.  Grandparents were eager to jump in and learn with their grandchild!

   

Thank you to all of our guest for joining us in the Super Kids classroom!  We hope you enjoyed spending time with us.

I read the book “Up In The Garden, Down In The Dirt” to the class which inspired our latest art lesson.  Using the prior knowledge that the kids gained through our cooking lesson, we discussed what food grows above and below the ground.  Check out a few examples of our latest creations below!

    

Easter was last weekend which inspired a STEM challenge Thursday afternoon before the long weekend.  Kids were put into random groups, giving two containers of play dough, and a package of plastic Easter eggs. Could they work together and build a tower to hold a chick?  Some groups dove in and started trying and modified their designs over and over again, some groups found it difficult and had to have adult help to help them talk about their thoughts, others grabbed whiteboard and started drawing their thoughts to share with each other before settling in on a design.  It was fascinating and a lot of fun!  Yes, that is a egg crash helmet on the chick in one of the pictures!

           

Earth day was on the 22nd of April and these two Super Kids dressed for the occasion.

Throughout the school year our class has been focusing on our planet how where you live affects how you live and how the Earth changes quickly and slowly.  The Super Kids are concerned about the air, water, rainforests, and animals of our world.  “A person’s a person no matter how small.” Dr. Seuss said and we live by it in our classroom.  Everyone can make a difference. We discussed how we can help and read several books about the 3 Rs.  We also turned our lights out and read with flashlights.  This was a big hit!

  

Our school has an amazing parent council!  They work hard to help our school have special events, hot lunches, and support our staff.  We had an amazing staff appreciation week where we were spoiled!  Special snacks, lunch from the Old Spaghetti Factory, gifts, a candy bar and this amazing cake! Thank you very much to everyone who helped put the week together!

Big Questions Guide Our Learning

How does the Earth change quickly and slowly?  This is the big question guiding our next few months together in the Super Kid classroom.  The environment is a natural place to start.  Did you know that Earth Day is April 22nd?  With our focus on the rainforests of the world before spring break, the Super Kids have become concerned about our planet and have lots of questions about our environment.  The past two weeks we have been focussing on water and air.  How much of the planet is covered in fresh water?  How do we get clean water in our homes?  Why do some places in the world and even Manitoba not have access to clean water?  How much water do I use in a day?

We read the book “The Water Princess” by Susan Verdt.  It’s about a young girl that walks with her mom for miles each day to collect water for her family.  Was the water she was drinking clean?  Why doesn’t the village have a well?  We found out that the book was inspired by a girl who did this everyday and now works for an organization that puts wells in communities in Africa.

Could our class clean dirty water?  We took advantage of the melting snow and mud puddles outside to collect water to try to clean. We watched “The Magic School Bus: Water Works” to learn how water is cleaned that we drink. Check out the link below to see a clip of the video.

Water Works Clip

Next we started to cleaning process.  We put alum into the jar of dirty water.  The kids were amazed at how it worked!  Then we filtered it through sand and rocks, filtered it through a coffee filter, and finally boil the water. The water was cleaner but not enough to drink.

The Super Kids learned about the Japanese artist Katsushika Hokusai.  We focussed on his painting “The Great Wave Off Kanagawa”.

Hokusai is known for his wood blocking technique, which the Super Kids found fascinating. He started “The Great Wave Off Kanagawa” when he was 70 years old and he made over 30,000 pieces of work in his lifetime.  Looking closely at this piece of art raised even more questions.  Why were the boats out on such a wavy day?  Was it a Tsunami?  The Super Kids created their own pieces of art inspired by Hokusai. Our art pieces used both warm and cool colours and many made Mt. Fugi in the background erupting since it is a volcano.

  

 

It has been really windy this past week in Winnipeg!  Thanks to the weather, we naturally turned our attention to air, how it moves, and why it’s so important to have clean air.  Wind can be used as a clean energy source. The Super Kids made the connection to the large wind turbines that are by the highway when you drive to the border to enter the United States.  We read the book “The Boy Who Harnessed The Wind” by Brian Mealer and William Kakwamba.

This book tell the true story of how William Kakwamba designed and created his own windmill to produce electricity and provide water tp his small Africian village.  We watched his Ted Talks on YouTube and made the connection to the design process we use in our classroom all the time.  There is even a movie coming out on Netflix about his life very soon.  I didn’t show the trailer to the kids because I don’t know what the film will be rated, but I did put the link to it below for our blog followers.  The Ted Talk link is below as well.

Of course we decided to make our own pinwheels to catch the wind too!

 

pinwheel video

Around our school in the fall and in the spring you can see several hot air balloons flying in the morning.  When the weather warms up a bit more we will see them floating about our community.  I projected pictures of hot air balloons and videos of them floating on our whiteboard. How do they work?  Kids broke up into pairs, got whiteboards, and paper and started brainstorming.  It was amazing!  The excitement of trying to figure out how filled the classroom.  Groups feed off each others ideas and before I knew it kids had used their prior knowledge from our lessons on states of matter, our field trip to the Manitoba museum, our water cycle lessons, and even what the kids knew about propane from their BBQs at home, to figure it out.  Hot air rises.  The air molecules around the balloon are cooler then the molecules that are moving faster inside the balloon.  Next we watched a video explaining how they work and started our paper mâché hot air balloon!

 

I saw a Skype opportunity on Twitter which I had to sign my class up for last Tuesday.  Jane Goodall was doing a live Skype with classrooms from around the world talking about her work to save the chimpanzees and how kids can make a difference in the world in honour of Earth Day.  Our class loved learning about chimpanzees during our rainforest unit and here was an opportunity to hear from the scientist that studied them for years.  Before we heard from the scientist herself, we had to learn a bit more about her and luckily for us we had “The Watcher” by Jeanette Winter in our school library!  Our favourite YouTube science channel even had a video about her that we could learn from.  The class couldn’t believe that she lived with them for years by herself.

  

Friday afternoon we were invited back to Mrs. Dulder’s home economics classroom to cook! Mrs. Dulder (aka a Super Kid’s mom)   had set up a lesson on food from plants, created a recipe on potato wedges, set up the kitchens for us, and even wore the coolest dress with vegetables on it!  I know…she’s awesome!  Thank you to the parent volunteers that came and helped us.  When I told the class that we were going to get to cook with Mrs. Dulder again, they cheered.  We are so lucky to have these opportunities.  Not only does it get kids in the kitchen learning about and making healthy food, but it provides them with the opportunity to follow directions, read a recipe, and work cooperatively.  Not to mention it was delicious! I overheard a student telling his dad when he was picked up that he had the best day ever and asked him what part of plant would they be eating for dinner tonight.  🙂

 

      

Have a great weekend everyone!

Our School Exhibition

When our staff came together last year to open our new school it was decided that our second parent conference/celebration of learning would be in a form of an exhibition.  The idea originated from a documentary that we watched on our staff retreat after we all found out that we got our new positions at the school being built.  As you can imagine we were a bunch of teachers from different schools, divisions, and backgrounds coming together to start a new adventure.  Some of us knew each other from working together before, but most were new faces.  We all wanted to start something special and the documentary called “Most Likely To Succeed” about a school in California was a jumping off point.  The documentary shows how the high school values an audience for their students learning with an exhibition night.  What would this look like in an elementary school?  That was the question…

At the end of last year my neighbourhood colleagues and I got together to talk about our overall plans for the exhibition with an overall theme that connected us all. We had gone through our first exhibition night and it was well received.  What were we going to do next?  As we talked that day in June about our overall thoughts, we discussed how having a direction was important, but ultimately it was up to the students to lead us and we weren’t sure exactly how it was all going to turn out.  That is the exciting part of this process.  We shouldn’t know. As the year progressed we would come together several times to talk about our progress and encourage each other along the way.  Our overall theme for the year has been “Where you live affects how you live”.

The first term of the year our class focussed on Canadian Inventions.  How they helped Canada be smarter, kinder, bigger, and smarter.  Why they were invented with a focus on the environments where they were invented.  This involved our social studies and science curriculums along with so much more.  This focus was a great opportunity to lay the foundation for our next inquiry.  “How does where you live affect how you live in different parts of the world?”  Each classroom transformed into a different world biome!  Our classroom studied tropical rainforests of the world while other classrooms learned about the savanna, arctic, coral reef, deep ocean, boreal forest, cordillera, and fresh water biomes.

 

The three month study into tropical rainforests focussed on animal adaptations, had students as researchers, dove into the water cycle, art projects, math word problems, science experiements, drums, rainsticks, and lead to the class sharing a reader’s theatre of “The Great Kapok Tree” for other students and their families.  It was quite the adventure that all lead to our school exhibition evening last Thursday night. The past few blog posts document our steps that led to our exhibition.  To say the kids were excited would be an understatement!  They were thrilled to share all that they learned with their friends and families!

  

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Each family got a biome bingo card to lead them through the different biomes in our neighbourhood.

      

The school embraced the night and families were encouraged to explore the whole school.  Classes created human rights exhibits, focussed on Manitoba habitats, alien inventions, and so much more.

What do you do when you’ve had a huge night at school with all of your students and their families celebrating their work? Friday was a day of games!

epic rock, paper, scissors

    

Spring Break has finally come!  I hope everyone is enjoying their well deserved break.  I’ll see you back at school on Monday.

Always Learning!

Today was an exciting day for the Super Kids!  We went to the Assiniboine Zoo here in Winnipeg.  It was a bit chilly this morning with the temperature around -26C with the wind chill, but we put on our ski pants and hopped on the bus.  We went to learn more about rainforest animals by participating in a zoo classroom program.  We saw an ocelot, squirrel monkeys, poison dart frogs, toucans, and even a family of gibbons.  I think we surprised our zoo leader with how much we already knew!

          

After our rainforest adventure at Toucan Ridge, we heading for lunch in the indoor play park.  Of course, once the kids had their lunches, it was time to have some fun in the play park.  I even climbed up the structure with the kids and slid down the slides.  I’m still surprised I fit!

  

We explored the zoo a bit on our own before heading back to school.  We saw snow leopards, a tiger, polar bears, wolves, and seals!  Thanks you to the two volunteers that joined us on our adventure!

    

Check our the future zoologists in the video below.

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At the end of February our school celebrated “Festival Du Voyageur”.  In Winnipeg, French culture and history is celebrated for 2 weeks each February with a festival. Our school recognizes this event by celebrating the French culture in many ways.  We had an indoor and outdoor activities organized by our Phys Ed staff, a pancake lunch, classroom activities, and a concert to wrap up the week.  Mme. Chantal, an education assistant, that works in our classroom, volunteered to read some of our favourite Piggy and Elephant books to us in French.

           

Our school’s exhibition is coming up really fast!  The Super Kids are so excited to share what they have learned with their families.  Our rainforest inquiry study has completely taken over our classroom!  We have rainforest plant terrariums, drums and rainstick, a giant kapok tree in the middle of our room, a 3D bulletin board showing the layers of the rainforest, the water cycle on our window, research projects, art work and so much more.  We have been busy practicing our reader’s theatre play of “The Great Kapok Tree”.  If you haven’t read the book before I have attached a link it below.

Check out the pictures below showing our process through this journey.

 Making drums

  

Measuring felt for our tree

   Making our tree

  The Kapok Tree
  Rainforest products

  Researching

Throughout this process we created several art pieces with rainforest and jungle themes.  The book “Mr. Tiger Goes Wild” has become a class favourite. After reading it the kids made their very own Mr. Tigers! Check out the author, Peter Brown, introduce his book below.

With a direct drawing lesson, each student painted their own Mr. Tiger with a bit of personality. 🙂

    

The Super Kids learned about the famous artist, Henri Rousseau.  He was a French artist that loved to paint jungle scenes, but he actually never got to visit one.  We read a book about his life and then began the process of creating our own art pieces inspired by him.  The book link is below.  We are still working on them, but here are a few pictures of our steps so far.

 

 

  

    

Have you seen the book “The Good Egg”? It’s the second book by the authors Peter Oswald and Jory John.  Their first book, “The Bad Seed” is hit in our classroom.  When I saw that a new book was out I just had to get it for our class.  It’s a fabulous story that teaching kids to take care of themselves and it’s hard to be good all the time.  We loved it!  Check out the book trailer below. 🙂

 

Now you’re all caught up!  Until next time. 🙂

 

 

What An “Amazing” Week!

This past week the Super Kids celebrated Valentine’s Day and the 100th day of school on the same day.  These two celebrations just happened to fall on the same day!  All of the grade 1 and 1/2 multiage classrooms in our school participated in “The Amazing Race to 100”.  Over 160 kids from 7 classrooms raced through different challenges set up in each of the classrooms.  Teachers and parent volunteers helped direct the teams with the help of arrows and of course a few road blocks.  After each challenge was completed the teams got a completion card to put on their ring before racing to the next task. Some of these activities were 100 exercises, making binary code bracelets, building the tallest tower with 100 cups, and solving a code using a number code.

 

I want to say a HUGE thank you to the 5 parent volunteers that joined us from my classroom and jumped right in.  We couldn’t have done this without you!

After a morning of 100 day activities we turned to Valentine’s Day activities.  The class was so excited to “mail” their valentines to each other, open their cards, play Valentine themed games, have a special snack, and watch Franklin’s Valentine.  It was a great afternoon celebrating friendship in our classroom.

   

Last Wednesday we had the opportunity to go to our school’s home economics classroom and have a cooking class with Mrs. Dulder.  To say the class was excited would be an understatement.  After putting on our aprons we headed down ready to spend our afternoon learning together.  Mrs. Dulder demonstrated how to make pizza buns by introducing us to rainforest ingredients such as pepper and oregano.  The class listen intently and couldn’t wait to cook together.

The class was divided into 5 kitchens and with the help of Mrs. Dulder, Mrs. McKay our Educational Assistant, and a parent volunteer we were ready for the challenge.  The kids were amazing!  They worked together getting everything ready using the kitchen tools, following the recipe, turning on the oven, taking turns, and waiting for their creations to cook.

 

While waiting each group was responsible to follow the example card and set the table.  This was adorable!  We ate our pizza buns, cheered our water glasses, and then each group was responsible for cleaning up their kitchen.  What amazing learning!

    

Thank you Mrs. Dulder for having us and teaching us these valuable life skills.  Each student got to take home a “Pizza Party” booklet with word searches, activities, and recipes.  During choice time at the end of the day the kids dove into these booklets doing the activities, colouring the pictures, and reading the recipes.

I even heard from one family that their daughter did their own demonstration at home for their family and made them dinner!

This was an “amazing” week of learning together.  🙂

 

What’s Up In The Super Kids Classroom?

How can it already be February?  January was a bitter cold month in Winnipeg which resulted in a lot an indoor recesses!  We have had 3 straight weeks of them.  As we all know, kids need those breaks to move so they can come back to the classroom ready to learn.  This week my colleagues and I were done with choice time in the classroom for recess.  We raided the gym (with our P.E staff’s consent) and set up stations in the hall.  Curling, bowling, and hula hoops were a few activities the kids picked.  Here’s hoping for a bit warmer weather this coming week so the kids can play in the snow!

 

The Rainforest has taken cover our classroom.  Where are they found?  What makes a rainforest?  Why does it rain so much there? If over half of the animals in the world live there, why are we cutting them down?  These are all great questions that the class has come up with as we dig deeper into our inquiry unit.  The kids have created a 3D bulletin board of the different layers in the topical rainforest with the help of our buddies.

   

The Super Kids have started their research projects on an animal that lives in the Rainforest.  The kids are learning more about the adaptations that animals makes to live in their habitats with the help of the website Pebble Go, books, and QR codes.  We have been focusing on what jot notes are and how we can take information from a source. With modelling and practice the class has become quite good at this.  Some students even asked me to borrow my highlighters because thats what their older siblings use when working on their projects.  🙂

    

Why does it rain so much in the rainforest?  That question became our focus this past week as we talked about what humidity is and how the water cycle works.  Some of the Super Kids had prior knowledge of the water cycle and were excited to share what they knew with their classmates.  Changes of state and condensation experiments were explored to help explain this concept.  We even took advantage of the REALLY cold weather by taking hot water outside and tossing it into the air!  It turned directly into gas to the amazement of the kids.  Of course I went outside and they watched from the window. 🙂

Bell Lets Talk Day is a day in Canada where  there is a focus on mental health and well being.  Understanding this concept in a grade 1/2 class can be complicated.  I feel that our class talks about our feels everyday with the help of common language from the zones of regulation and the bucket filler books.  Students know how to express their feelings by saying, “I’m in the blue zone” or “My bucket is low”.  We don’t have to be happy all the time.  It is ok to feel sad, mad, worried, or frustrated.  It is normal.  How we handle it is important and I stressed that our classroom is a safe place to express those feelings.  We read the book “In My Heart”, watched a few clips from the movie “Inside Out” on YouTube, and practiced stress management techniques like deep breathing and yoga.

 

Our school had some special guests this week.  Mrs. G’s class won a special visit from two of the players on the Winnipeg Jets!  We were thrilled for them, The woodlily wing decided to line the halls to make them feel welcome.  Our chats of “Go Jets Go” were so loud you could hear them all over the school.

 

Reader’s workshop and math workshop centers have been going strong with a focus on word work and number sense development.

 

“Coyote Explorations” wrapped up this week.  The Super Kids were involved in many activities like gardening, game making, drama, art experiences, wrestling, magic and STEAM activities.  I loved when the kids all came back to the class after their experiences and we shared what we did.  They were all so excited!

 

This week is both Valentine’s Day and the 100th day of school on the same day!  All grade 1 and 1/2 classes in our dual track school are participating in “The Amazing Race to 100”.  Kids will race through different challenges in all of the classrooms with the help of parent volunteers.  There are even road blocks along the way.  It should be an exciting morning.

The afternoon will be spent celebrating our classroom friendships for Valentine’s Day.  A list of the students names were sent by e-mail to the Super Kids families for card making.  Stay tuned….and stay warm!