Brrrr….it’s February!

I don’t know about everyone else, but this week has been a bit over the top!  I know that we’ve had a mild winter up until now, but -40 with the windshield is just ridiculous.  This morning when my dog woke me up my phone said -50!  It’s a good thing the Super Kids are learning about the Arctic because it sure feels like we live there. 🙂

February started off wondering what the groundhogs from around Canada and the USA would predict.  Would we have 6 more weeks of winter or an early spring?  Manitoba Merv predicted 6 more weeks and we watched the original groundhog Punxsutawney Phil, make his prediction.

This lead us into why this annual tradition even happens and how we can predict what will happen based on the weather of the day.  We explored shadows and what causes them.  The Super Kids used flashlights to make their own groundhog shadows.

Each morning the class comes into the classroom with a new writing task projected on our wall.  Even before the announcements start, many kids eagerly write their responses down in their journals.  This soft entry into the classroom gives students time to adjust and get ready for our day of learning together. I give them 15-20 minutes after the announcements to complete their writing warm up and draw a picture to go with it.  Sometimes I have to remind them to stop for O’Canada!  They really do look forward to writing their responses and then turning to a friend and sharing their thoughts during our morning meeting.

 

The 1/2 cohort borrowed the divisional snowshoes for some outdoor fun.  Our class heading outside to try them out.  We talked about how this invention helps people walk in deep snow and brainstormed why that would be important for people living in the tundra.  A big thank you to our educational assistant, Mr. K, for coming outside with us and helping me put on 16 pairs of snowshoes on a very chilly day!  We headed inside to warm up with a fire projected on our wall to help us “warm up”. 🙂

 

We continued our Arctic inquiry by asking “What adaptations do Arctic animals have so they can live in such cold weather?”

Using lard, some Ziplocs, and a bucket of cold water we found out.  Blubber!  Many Arctic animals such as polar bears, seals, whales, narwhals,  and walruses all have blubber to help keep them warm.  We have been taking a closer look at many different Arctic animals to understand their adaptations as a class.  Each student has picked an animal that they are researching to “dive deeper” into understanding that animal.  The Super Kids are so excited to be researchers!

 

After reading “My Map Book” by Sarah Fanelli, we took a closer look at map of my heart page.  If you could map out your heart what would be in it?  Each student drew a heart and divided it into sections.  We brainstormed ideas together and created a big list.  Then each child added what was in their hearts. We added some watercolour at the end and took them home for our families.  I just love how they turned out.

With Lunar New Year approaching, we took a closer look at the Ming Dynasty vases.  The class loved looking at the detailed designs on these amazing vases.

We then created our own artwork inspired by these historic pieces.

On Friday we celebrated our friendships in the morning and the Lunar New Year in the afternoon.  With our school’s decision to not hand out valentines this year, due to our current situation, we had to get creative with our friendship cards.  On Monday, each student had a picture taken and we created our own friendship hearts with Post It Hearts to put on each large card.  These were handed out on Friday to take home.

Students came into the class with a bag of supplies and a challenge for them.  Create a love monster or a love bug out of the play dough and supplies.  Then they had to write about their creations.  What is their name? Where does it live?

Next, half the class coded a friend while the other played double trouble with a partner. Then they switched. Using our coding skills from Kodable, we did some unplugged coding with Valentine themed actions.

Practicing our doubles skills has been a focus in math.  This differentiated game allows students at different places in math to play against each other.

After recess we conducted a candy heart experiment using vinegar, soda, and water.

We read the friendship book Stick and Stone before learning the tradition Indigenous game of stick and stone. Each student brought home a bag with sticks and stones to show you how to play!

In the afternoon we learned about Lunar New Year, the legend of its origin, and created our own lions to perform our own lion dance.  One Super Kid even read us a book about Lunar New Year using our document camera for story time.

Super Kids Lion Dance Video

Enjoy the long weekend and stay warm! 🙂

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