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 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!