“Juggling” It All

Our journey learning the science principles of force and motion through our history of showmanship theme continues as we prepare for our upcoming school’s exhibition!  Every year our school puts on an exhibition to showcase each classroom’s learning.  Having an audience to share our learning with is exciting and provides our class with a goal.  The kids are so excited to have our families join us in a few weeks.  There is a lot to do, but we’re up for the challenge!


The Super Kids created our own “Juggling Jesters”.  Since we are practicing juggling scarves it just made sense.  The project included a direct drawing lesson, a focus on warm and cool colours, primary and secondary colour mixing, and how to show movement in art.  It took a few days, but we’re thrilled with the result.

The class came into school one morning with a STEM challenge.  Could they design an incline plane or ramp that would make their toy car go farther then the other group’s car.  The challenge was on!  Both group worked hard creating their incline planes.

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The class has learned about so many simple machines, we had to make sure we could sort and identify them as we go.  One of the stations in our classroom carnival will be sorting these pictures with our families.

Did you know that a Ferris Wheel was named after it’s inventor? George Ferris Jr. invented it for the 1896 Chicago World Fair.  After introducing the book to the class, the first thing one Super Kid said was “It’s a big wheel and axle!”.  The kids were fascinated by how it worked and if Ferris wheels today work the same way.  We then examined the one of the most famous Ferris Wheels in the world, The London Eye.  More people visit it then visit the Egyptian pyramids.  Who knew? England happened to be our next stop on our showmanship timeline adventure.  A man in England discovered that if you rode horses in a circle acrobats could do tricks easier.  That’s why circus’ are performed in a ring!  We dove into why it’ easier and learned all about centrifugal force.  Check out the videos below to see our experiments.

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Using our knowledge of 2D and 3D shapes, as well as our understand of the Ferris wheel, students created their own London skylines.  Once they were drawn, the Super Kids traced their lines with black Crayola marker, and then carefully painted with water over the lines.  Crayola markers are not waterproof so it gave us a rainy day London look.  Lastly students cut out red double decker buses and phone booths.  The picture below do not show the final step, but later in the blog you can see the final result in the background of a 100 day picture.



One Super Kid brought his drone from home to show the wheel spinning in it to help it work. I tried to fly it, but I’m not as talented as my student. I crashed it into the window.  Don’t worry…it didn’t break.  Thank goodness. 🙂

drone video

The 100th day of school happened to fall on Valentine’s Day.  We celebrated the 100th day of school in the morning and Valentine’s/Friendship Day in the afternoon.  The students walked in dressed in their 100th day shirts to me dressed as a secret agent!  We had a problem…someone stole all the 0s from our classroom and we were stuck on day 99.  What were we going to do?  Each student had to enter the classroom by having their fingerprints scanned.


They had a mission.  The Super Kids put on their junior secret agent badges and listened to the message left by Agent 99.  They had to complete tasks in each of the 5 1/2 English classrooms and the 3 grade 1 French Immersion classrooms to earn a clue to finding our 0s.  Each task completed earned them a word.  Tasks included fingerprint activities in our classroom, a laser number hunt, uncovering secret coded messages and much more. Once completed the class unscrambled the words to form a clue.  “You will find your zeros where you borrow books.”  The kids all shouted, “The library!”  We ran upstairs to confront Mme. Nicole.   She admitted she was Agent 99 and wanted to be included in our 100th day of school celebration.  She gave us back our 0s and told us that she hoped we enjoyed the mission.


In the afternoon we celebrated the friendships formed in our classroom by exchanging Valentines/friendship cards.  I enjoy this day every year.  The kids walk around the room putting their cards in each of their classmate’s bags with huge smiles on their faces.  I always give the kids time to open their cards so they can say thank you to each other.  🙂


We read the book Stick and Stone by Beth Ferry.  It’s about a friendship between a stick and a stone and how they help each other.  We then played the guessing game stick and stone.  Who knew that this would be such a hit!  We played for 45 minutes.


Our math centers have included games with a heart theme that help us develop our number sense by practicing our doubles, counting up and back, and place value.


Our journey continued to Paris.  We learned that circus’ performers began adding small animals and more acts.  What is a symbol of Paris? The Eiffel Tower of course. It was built for the World Fair in 1887.  Using shapes and lines the students painted their own Eiffel Towers.


This past week our school celebrated The Festival Du Voyageur.  It is a festival that takes place in our city, Winnipeg, that celebrates the French culture and history of our community.  Every morning the students in our school entered to fun and festive Voyageur music.  This much fiddle music made us all want to jig!  Unfortunately, the weather this past week didn’t cooperate and we were unable to do the outdoor activities planned by our Phys. Ed staff.  They adapted and created some great Festival themed indoor activities complete with some yummy hot chocolate.  The whole school had a delicious pancake lunch on Thursday and were entertained with a concert by Logan Picton.


We explored magnets and how they work with our buddies from Mrs. G’s classroom.  We’ve been getting together with them as we prepare for the performace part of our exhibition.  We can’t wait to show you what we’ve been working on!


Our shadow theatre is coming together. Here is a sneak preview of a couple of scene the kids came up with.


Stay tuned…:)



Winter Carnival

This past Wednesday all 5 grade 1/2 classes from our school went to The Fort Whyte Centre here in Winnipeg.  It’s an environmental, education, and recreation centre.  The large nature park is open year round and welcomes visitors to explore and see animals.  They welcome school groups for a variety of education programs.  I have never taken a class to Fort Whyte in winter.  I have to say, this was my favourite field trip in my 20 year teaching career!  We had such a great time!!!!!

The weather couldn’t have been better.  The end of January in Winnipeg can be REALLY cold, but we had a perfect day with temperatures of -10C and some light snow.  There were 5 stations that we cycled through.  We started our program, “Winter Carnival”, with our volunteer leader Ed.  He’s a retired man who enjoys volunteering his time at the Centre and was looking forward to spending his day with us. Our first activity was snowshoeing.  Only a couple of students had tired this before so we were excited to try.  Getting them on was hard, but thankfully we had our two parent volunteers there to help. We ventured out onto the trails and even down some hills in deeper snow.  We learned how to walk up slopes, how to get up when we fall, and even how to run in snowshoes.  We were snowshoeing for 45 minutes!


Snowshoeing video

We headed inside the centre for a scavenger hunt and lunch.  After lunch we got to roast marshmallows at the outdoor fire pit.  Many Super Kids had never had a roasted marshmallow before.  We got to have two!  It was a tasty treat!


We headed up the stairs to see the view from the look out before learning Inuit games at our next station.


Ed explained several traditional Inuit games that we enjoyed trying. We started with the blanket toss and learned that hunters would do this to spot caribou.  Each student got to be tossed up in the air twice!


We then had an epic battle of tug of war, had a seal race, pretended we were sled dogs, and much more.


Seal Race Video

Tug Of War Video

Lastly we headed to the toboggan run.  This was a great way to end our field trip. Throughout the whole day we were making connections to our science lessons.  We noticed that the marshmallows when heated up went through a physical change, we were using push and pull motions during the Inuit games, and even noticed that we were walking on ponds when we were snowshoeing.  What animals were alive under the ice?  What happened to the water when it got cold?  There were connections everywhere!  The toboggan run was no exception.  “It’s a giant incline plane Mrs. Didyk!”  yelled one Super Kids.  The higher the toboggan run the faster we would go.  I have a few kids that are pretty light so I went down with them screaming all the way!

Toboggan Run Video 1

Toboggan Run Video 2

We headed back to the school and almost every student fell asleep!  The fresh air, exercise, and fun wore all of us out.


If you have an opportunity to visit The Fort Whyte Centre this winter make sure you do.   We highly recommend it.

We have been busy continuing to learn about simple machines.  The class cycled through different centre exploring what a wheel is, how it works, and how we can use it in our own designs.



Wheel Centres Video

Juggling is a big part of the carnival and circus history that we’re learning about during our motion science unit.  As we learn more about these skills, we just had to try some scarf juggling.  We started with two and even tried three.


Scarf Juggling Video

Last weekend was Chinese New Year.  Many of the student’s families celebrate this holiday as part of their family traditions.  We took the day and explored what the differences between the two calendars are.   Why it’s called the Lunar calendar?  What traditions are associated with the holiday?  We even wrote in Chinese, learned a few words from friends, and create our own lion dance.


It’s hard to believe we’re starting a new month.  Stay tuned for our exciting adventures in February.