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!