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?

Image result for class page in rosie revere engineer

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 teacher 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.

IMG_seal

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!

Back In The Swing Of Things

The Super Kids are back in the swing of things.  We all had a great vacation with our families and are back eager to learn.  I want to thank one of the Super Kids and his family for taking “Jeff” the fish as a holiday guest over the break.

Our first two weeks back were spent getting back into our routines, establishing math and reading groups, and diving into our ecosystems unit.

    

We welcomed a new Super Kid into our classroom from Hong Kong!  The class was thrilled to have him join us and he’s made himself at home in just a few days.

This past week we looked at maps of the world and a globe and discussed the different continents and their climates.  Why is it hotter around the equator?  What are some adaptations animals make to live in their habitats?  Why are most of the rainforests in the world found around the equator?  What kind of animals live there?  The kids are full of questions so we’re tackling them head on and answering them together.

Why do snakes wrap themselves around trees? This question from one of the Super Kids inspired our first art lesson of the new year.  It took all week, but after looking at books about snakes, sketching, using pastels and paint, we have our amazing snakes.

         

Explorations have started in our school.  Teachers and staff have created sessions for kids focusing on a variety of subjects that kids signed up for.  Over the next 4 weeks kids will explore these topics with students from both the English and French programs in our school.   Some activities the Super Kids are involved in are gardening, cooking, art activities, wrestling, drama, and board game making.

I partnered up with a colleague and offered “Harry Potter STEAM”.  With the books and movies as inspiration, we set the stage in my colleague’s classroom with lights and music, made wands, and practiced spells.  This week we’re making potions!

   

IMG_classroom Harry Potter video

When you get to borrow a light machine, you have to use it for your movement break too!

We wish everyone a happy new year!

 

 

Winter Break Is Here!

Well, we made it.  Winter break has come.  The Super Kids are so excited to get to spend a few weeks with their families and friends over the holidays.  This past week has been spirit week at our school.  Twin day, sports day, holiday sweater day and even PJ day kept us busy. 🙂

    

Our winter concert was last week and our class along with Mrs. G’s class performed “A Million Dreams” from “The Greatest Showman”.  It was a great way to finish up our inventions unit by sharing that we all have dreams for the future and a “world that we can design”.  They sang beautifully.  I have to admit every time we practiced in our classroom I would tear up.  It’s a great song, but sung by our amazing kids just makes it so special!

  

We also welcomed a Super Kid’s mom, Cheryl Lashek, to our classroom to talk about being an engineer.  She shared that she became interested to being an engineer after one came to talk to her when she was in school.  Sharing the story of why engineers wear a metal ring on their pinky finger stuck with the Super Kids.  Some made rings for themselves at center time since they are “engineers and designers”.  Others eagerly came in to class so excited to share that they saw a person with a metal ring and told them they knew what it was.  You made an impact Cheryl.  Thank you.

This week our class continued to develop our number sense with holiday themed math centers.

    

Our 5/6 buddies from Ms. Englot’s class came to our room for a visit and to make graham cracker houses.  Most went on the houses, but some just got eaten.  Both classes had a blast!

  

 

Together we made a special gift for our families…snow globes.

Today was the last day of school before winter break.  It was PJ day, hot lunch, early dismissal, and our toy share day.  Oh, and we had phys. ed and music.  You couldn’t have put anything else into our schedule!  The Super Kids wrapped up their toy inventions by sharing their creations with the other classes that were also participating in this project.  All four grade 1/2 multi-age classes along with the 2/3 class spent the morning going to each others classes to explore and explain each others inventions.  Having an audience for our projects helps the students celebrate their accomplishments.

     

Happy Holidays to our blog followers.  We’ll see you in the new year!

 

 

Field Trip and Coding Week

The Super Kids took an exciting trip to the Manitoba Museum last week with the other 1/2 multiage classes.  We explored the science gallery, participate in a program about states of matter, and explore the hockey exhibit that is temporarily at the museum.  It was nice to leave the school and exploring together.  The kids had a blast!

       

The temporary history of hockey exhibit at the museum fit perfectly into our classroom study on the invention of hockey, the hockey stick and of course the goal mask.  The kids got to try on equipment, complete a bingo card that had them searching for things like Olympic goal medals, and even got to see one of the first goal masks used.

      

Thank you to the two parent volunteers that came with us.  Playing games with us a lunch, helping us find items for the bingo, and just spending time with us was much appreciated.  🙂

A couple of days before we went to the museum we were lucky to be able to examine some professional goal masks.  Thank you to the University of Manitoba woman’s hockey team and the Winnipeg Jets for loaning us to masks.  If you’re wondering…yes I did try them on. 🙂

This week many of the classrooms in our school are participating in “Hour Of Code” which promotes coding education in elementary schools.  Our class spent time learning how to code with the help of the app “Kodable”.  Not all coding has to be electronic.  The Super Kids coded their friend’s movements and created a code for an escaping gingerbread man.

    

The Super Kids have been busy learning new math games during guided math time.  Small groups work with me on specific math skills while the rest of the students work on developing number sense skills.  Math centers have included a dreidal game, math apps, Sum Swamp, and subtraction games.

    

Thank you to those families that sent in toy flyers and catalogues for us to use for our toy research.  Students discovered that the toys they were cutting out could be put into different categories such as building, things that move, and instuments.  This activity helped the kids decide what they wanted to design for their toy.  Stay tuned to see what the kids come up with.

We are looking forward to our winter concert next week.  We have been busy practicing in music class and in our classroom with our friends from Mrs. G’s class.  We hope to see you there.