January Highlights

January has been full of learning adventures!

We read the book “Lewis Cardinal’s First Winter” on Tumble books one day while having our morning snack.

The story follows a cardinal who is experiencing his first winter.  This story lead to some natural conversations about where cardinals live, how they can survive winter, and why they don’t live in Manitoba.  Our conversation lead to a fun afternoon art project the next day.  We even had a student bring in her stuffed animal cardinal.  We used acrylic paint and created our own cardinals!

 

The Super Kids have been busy learning addition and subtraction strategies in math along with fact families.  Math games are part of our math workshop time.  Practicing doubles, doubles plus one, making 10 are a few examples.  Some math groups are working on adding large numbers with and without regrouping.  Phonetic patterns, vowel patterns, and reading strategies have been an important part to our daily morning work routine.

Each afternoon when the class comes in from lunch recess we have quiet time.  This is a time when the lights are dimmed, soft music is playing, and the kids have ten minutes to take some deep breathes, read a book from their book bins, or draw on their white boards. This time is vital to getting our bodies ready for more learning and help with the transition back into the classroom.  Before lunch one day our class read a book called “The Noisy Paint Box” by  Barb Rosenstock .

The book is the story of the famous artist Kandinsky.  It explains that the famous artist painted the music he heard.  After lunch the class came back into the classroom with classical music playing, a piece of watercolour paper on their desk, and their own watercolour paint box.  I told them to paint what they heard.

Kandinsky inspired painting time video

Bell Let’s Talk day is a day that I like to spend with my class talking about our emotions, the zones of regulation, and what a growth mindset is.  We read several books about emotions and having a growth mindset.  I’ve attached some links to videos of the books that I read to the class below.  Each student took a mindset game home to share with their families.  I hope that this helps start a conversation in your families about mental health. 🙂

 

 

The Super Kids have been busy becoming Arctic explorers this January!  The class has jumped into our inquiry unit by learning about the water cycle, where snow comes from, and the states of matter with a focus on ice.   We began by learning about snow.  Where does it come from?  Why do we get snow and other parts of the world don’t?  How does ice form?  The first thing we did was go outside and get some snow to investigate. After careful examination we determined that it is a solid that melt when in warmer temperatures, it melt very fast on our warm skin and it’s made of water and dirt.

These discussions lead naturally to what the water cycle is, the vocabulary associated with it, and how it is an endless cycle.  The class thought that was very cool! We plan to make a large water/snow cycle on our window this coming week. 🙂

Our states of matter lessons got one Super Kid thinking about the icicles hanging off his house. He brought one in to show us.  Our plans for our morning activity went out the window because we just hand to look closely at this icicle and how it formed before it melted!

To show how temperature can change the states of matter, I surprised the class with a tasty experiment. We made vanilla ice cream and recorded our results.  To say that they were excited would be an understatement.  We mixed our ingredients into a small Ziploc bag and then placed it into a large Ziploc bag filled half way with ice and some rock salt.  Next we put on our mitts and began shaking with the help of Taylor Swift’s song “Shake It Off”. 🙂

 

Ice cream shaking video 1

Ice cream shaking video 2

Ice cream shaking video 3

After all this shaking and excitement, it seemed like the Go Noddle melting video was just right to help calm us down.

How do we have seasons?  Why do we get a snowy cold winter and places like Mexico don’t?  The tilt of the Earth as it rotates around the Sun is what we determined from watching videos, looking at books, and exploring how the Earth travels through space.

This also explains why the Arctic circle experiences a polar night and a polar day (midnight sun).  Our class finds it fascinating that the Arctic in winter has very little light hours in their day and even some days with no light at all!  In the summer it is the opposite.  We are reading the poems from a book “Recess In The Dark” that I found while searching for books about Arctic life for kids on Amazon. Imagine playing outside for recess in the dark! We will be using the book of poetry throughout our Arctic inquiry and writing our own poems.

Showing our understanding with all these big concepts is important so the kids were challenged to created their own stop motion animation video showing that they understood how the Earth rotates around the sun and where the Arctic is during this rotation.  Check out some examples below.  So much learning was shown not to mention learning how to do stop motion animation! The kids loved it so much we plan to use it again later in our unit when researching Arctic animals.

video example 1

video example 2

Snowy owls are an Arctic animal that migrates a bit south to search for food during the harsh winter months.  This picture was taken by my daughter’s friend’s mom.  She’s a photographer who loves to look for owls to photograph.  Ironically ,she posted this picture the day we spent some time learning about these amazing creatures.

One Super Kid brought in the book “Ookpik” by Bruce Hiscock to share with the class.  She even brought a Snowy Owl stuffy and dressed in own themed clothes right down to her socks. 🙂 This story tells the story of Ookpik which is owl in Inuktitut, and his journey.

We researched and recorded our findings together.

One Super Kid even volunteered to use the document camera to share his writing.

 

In the afternoon we painted our own Oopik which are hanging on our bulletin board in our classroom.

Polar bears are a favourite in our classroom and spending time on Friday learning about them was a big hit!  We created questions that we wanted to find out together and began looking for answers.  One guided reading group even had a polar bear information to share that they had been reading.  We went on a “virtual” field trip to the North to learn about polar bears and one specific bear named Ursula.  Did you know that polar bears have webbed feet? Did you know that they have transparent fur if you look closely or that their cubs are the size of a rat when they are born?  Ask a Super Kid what they know!

 

Check out the link to the video below.

Ted Harrison is a famous Canadian artist who painted life in the north in his own unique way.  After looking at his paintings for inspiration we created our own polar bear art pieces with a Ted Harrison inspired background.

Next week we are excited to welcome back two of our friends from the temporary learning from home school.  We can’t wait to share our learning with them and continue on our Arctic journey.

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