Take Me Outside Day/Virtual Field Trip

This past Wednesday our class participated in “Take Me Outside Day”.  Winnipeg got it’s first snowfall the night before so it was a perfect setting for some fun!  The kids came to school dressed for the weather and very excited about the snow.  We started our day outside at our school’s outdoor classroom.  The kindergarten class was kind enough to open their door so we could hear Oh Canada and the morning announcements.  We phoned in our attendance and the kids loved being on speaker phone with the secretaries.  They asked about our plans and told us that they wish they could join us.   Our backpacks went on a tarp and we got started with our morning meeting.

Our morning message, sharing time, turn and talk, and activity all happened outside.  The class wrote their names in the snow, made snow angels, and even had a few minutes before music to play together in the fresh snow.

Then off we went to see Mrs. Styles for our outdoor music class.

We headed inside after music for our snack time and bathroom breaks before heading back outside for recess.  The class meet me at the outdoor classroom where we read a story and played animal adaption charades.  Each student pulled a card from the bucket with a Manitoba animal on it.  The challenge was to act out the animal for the class to guess.  If a friend guessed the animal then they had to tell how they adapt to seasonal changes.  This was a fun way to show our science learning with each each.

We wrapped up our outdoor morning with some buddy reading.

In the afternoon we played guess my number for math at the outdoor classroom stumps, created bird feeders with wow butter and bird seed, went on a place value hunt , had some play structure time, and ended the day with Phys. Ed.  There were some pretty tired Super Kids when they went home!  It was a great day of learning and community building!

On Thursday we had a virtual field trip to the Manitoba Museum.  Since we can’t go on field trips this year due to restrictions, we’re trying to find the best learning options for our students using virtual trips.  We were excited to explore the museum with our guide and talk about Manitoba animal adaptions.

I hope everyone has a fun weekend with their families.  Stay tuned for more Super Kid adventures!

 

 

 

October Highlights

Is it just me or is October flying by?  The Super Kids have been busy learning outside with our Phys. Ed and music teachers, building relationships with new friends, learning about how animals adapt to their surroundings, and diving into reader’s and math workshop.

Thanksgiving was last weekend and many of the Super Kids celebrate with their families.  We talked about what we’re grateful for.  Students shared that they are thankful for being back at school, their families, friends, pets, and of course their toys. 🙂 We dove a bit deeper into sharing that everyone has certain traditions and how traditions can be as simple as game night Fridays, sleeping over at our grandparents, or as elaborate as Chinese New Year.  We read the book “Balloons Over Broadway” by Melissa Sweet.  It tells the story of the puppeteer who invented the famous balloons in the Macy’s Annual Parade.  Did you know that Macy’s began the annual tradition because they had so many immigrant workers at the time that were new to USA and they wanted to show that they cared about them.  They wanted to have a tradition that reminded them of street fairs and parades from back home.

 

Each student created their own parade route and balloon float.  After learning about magnets and experimenting with what is magnetic and what isn’t, each student took their balloon down their parade route.  They were so excited to show each other.

Students were then invited to create their very on turkey marionette.  It was quickly determined that two popsicle sticks were needed and a lot of patience.

turkey marionette video

The next day the Super Kids became scientist.  What do we really know about turkeys?  With the help of some QR code videos and our favourite kids science research website we became turkey experts!

 

Next the Super Kids made our very own turkey art using watercolours.  We decided to make them a bit more abstract and colourful!  🙂

Daily routines such as binder work, word sorts, reader’s and math workshop help the class develop their skills.  Below are a few pictures of the Super Kids working on their binder work, completing word sorts, and participating in reader’s and math workshop. Movement breaks in between activities is important to keep us going!

     

How animals adapt to their changing environment has been a focus in science this month.  The Super Kids have learned about hibernation, migration, camouflage, and adaptions.  Can you see the animal?

We started our focus on owl adaptions on Friday. With the story “Little Owls Night”.  The book focuses on an owl and his nocturnal friends that are awake at night.  We spent our Friday created our own little owls! We first did a direct drawing lesson on our white boards before tackling our lesson on watercolour paper.

   

Have a great weekend!

 

 

 

September Reflections

I’m just sitting in my sunroom at the lake reflecting on the past month. I’m thinking about all that has happened in our school and with education in general as we start our school year together.

How is it already October? The month of September flew by as we navigated the beginning of school with our new procedures.  School looks a lot different this year, but the kids are so resilient!  They are eager to learn, explore, and share.  This new way of teaching is strange, but I am so glad that I have the amazing group of kids I have this year.  I’m so thankful that I get to come to work everyday and spend the day with your kids. 🙂 After a storm there is usually a rainbow and your kids are differently my rainbow.  I was reminded of that this week when we had this beautiful view out our classroom window to start our day.  The Super Kids were so excited and of course the morning plan went out the window and we had to explore what causes a rainbow!

Our guiding question for our inquiry this year is… How does our Earth adapt to change? Through these strange times our lives have had to adapt.  The way we see family, go to school, and so much more.  We have adapted.  How does the Earth and it’s living things adapt to seasons and environmental changes.  We started this inquiry by looking at trees and how they adapt to changes in weather and the seasons.  Why do leaves change colour?  What happens to the tree in the winter?  How does it stay alive? What is a tree’s life cycle?

We explored leaves that we brought from home close up and noticed that they seemed to have veins in them like we have in our body. The Super Kids noticed that the leaves were many different colours.  We conducted an experiment to show that leaves actually have many colours in them using coffee filters and rubbing alcohol.  Unfortunately, I didn’t’ take a picture of our experiment, but it did show that green leaves have other pigments in them too.  Check out the link below that shares a video that helped us understand the process.

We then explored how fall is harvest time for many farms and orchards in Canada. We shared if we had family members that live on farms and what kind of farms they have.  I shared that many of my family members have farms and that I grew up serval small town throughout Manitoba were farming was very important.  The harvest is important to our food cycle to make food for us to buy.  We then shifted to apple trees and how they get to the grocery store for use to buy.  Apples are a healthy snack that many Super Kids bring to school so we learned all about apple trees.

We spend a whole day doing apple science, math, and art! We made core patterns with apple cores. 🙂

The Super Kids have been busy establishing routines such as morning meeting, reader’s workshop, and math workshop. I took apart my classroom library organization system and created book bins for each student filled with fiction and non-fiction books.  Each week they get a new bin of books!  They were so excited and even cheered. 🙂

Book Bins video

 

September 30th was orange shirt day.  A day that we recognize the Indigenous peoples of Canada and the effects of residential schools.  We read the book “When We Were Alone” by David Robinson and talked about how being unique and having traditions make each of us special.

The Super Kids painted rocks orange.  We then brainstormed words that came to mind when we think of treating everyone kindly and celebrating their uniqueness.  We placed them in our school’s reconciliation garden in the front of the school.

Movement breaks are very important in our classroom.  We love to get moving to GoNoddle video.  We get our wiggles out by dancing together and calm our bodies with many of the calming videos too.  Rainbow breathe and melting are our favourite calming videos.

Center time is a bit different this year.  Each student has a bin each week that they can explore.  Check out some of their projects below.

Have a great weekend!

 

 

International Dot Day

Have you heard of International Dot Day?  Every September 15th students from around the world celebrate being an artist with the help of Peter H. Reynold’s best selling book “The Dot”.

The author Peter H. Reynold’s explained to us why he wrote this book and how everyone can make their mark.

The Super Kids came into the classroom with “Dot Day” activities set up!  Students did domino math and ten frame activities as their morning work activities.

We continued to explore dots all day.  We read dot books, learned about colour chromatography by making colourful dots, and created 3D dot sculptures!

The day ended with an epic rock, paper, scissors battle outside with dot hopping.

battle 1

battle 2

This week we continued to talk about how scientist observe and use their eyes to explore the world around them.  The Super Kids took a closer look at their eyes with mirrors and noticed that we have different eye colours.  They recorded their observations and graphed the results.  Then we conducted a few experiments with our eyes.  Looking in the mirror when the light gets turned off and on was so much fun!  The kids giggled when they saw their pupils get bigger and smaller.  Next we looked at how light is made up of different colours.  We’re beginning an art project with the colour wheel and our eyes.  Stay tuned…it has many steps and we’ll need a few more days to finish, but we can’t wait to share our projects with our families.

We also created our “Class Family Contract”.  After reading “Our Class Is A Family” by Shannon Olson and “Be Kind” by Pat Miller, we decided to create our own promise to each other.  We promise to treat our classroom family with kindness in mind. I just love when kids come up with their own ideas for this.  We’ll be hanging it in our room to refer to throughout the school year.  I always say to my students that we all make mistakes, but it’s how we solve them that matters.  Our “Class Family Contract” helps us with those times. 🙂

Take care and stay tuned for more Super Kid adventures. 🙂

 

Back To School

Welcome to the Super Kid’s classroom!  I am thrilled to be able to welcome students back to school after what seems like a very long time.  I’m happy to see a lot of my students back with me for a second year together and some new happy faces as we begin another year together.  To say that this is a strange time would be an understatement!  New protocols regarding distancing, masks,  class sizes, and school spaces have changed to way our school functions.  It definitely is a work in progress.   Unfortunately, we didn’t get to have our traditional opening day conferences where I get to meet my students and their families before the first day.  Thank you to all of my student’s families that have reached out to introduce themselves as they drop off their child in our line or sent me a quick e-mail saying hello.

This first week of school has been about getting to know each other, learning how long 2 meters actually is, and learning how to navigate our school with these new rules in place.  My kiddos have been great!  They are excited to be at school and eager to make new friends.

Did you know that we are all scientists?  On our first day all together after staggered entry, we headed outside to use our sense of sight to observe the world around us.  We used magnifying glasses to see our discoveries close up.  We spent time at the outdoor classroom sharing our discoveries before walking around to the front of our school to take a closer look at the fossils found on the front wall of our building.  If you and your family happen to be walking by the school make sure to take a closer look at those fossils. The Super Kids would love to share our observations with our families!

Number sense activities included making sorting rules for our friends to guess with buttons and playing race to 50.  Hands on math activities are so much fun and need to be tweaked to work in our social distanced environment.

 

Have you heard of an artist named James Rizzi?  He was an American pop artist that used bright colours to create his unique art.  This week we took a look at his bird artwork and created our own inspired by his style.  We made sure to give them big eyes like he did!  We used black pastels and water colours to create our vibrant art.

Enjoy your weekend and I look forward to seeing my Super Kids on Monday for our first full week together! 🙂

 

 

 

 

Thank You

Well…that’s a wrap on another school year.  I can’t believe that the past three months happened!  It feels like a complete blur to be honest.  We went from school as usual to remote learning in one press conference.  Two weeks turned into three months.  Thank you to all of the Super Kid’s families for going on this journey with me.  Thank you to Mme. Chantal and Ms. Mackay our two amazing educational assistants who worked with several of our students through the first 2 months of this process!  They are remarkable woman that I have had the pleasure of working with these past two years. 🙂

As families juggled work, remote learning, and family responsibilities.  I tried to do the same. How do you teach 6-8 year olds remotely?  How do I help my own daughter with her remote learning?  How do I help my husband and our family pharmacy business with more demand?  Yep…a complete blur.

I am so lucky to have an amazing 1/2 team!  We put our heads together and developed our weekly plans together.  I can’t imagine being a “lone wolf” during this time.  Five heads really are better than one!  Our focus this term was to integrated our lessons just like we do in our classrooms so that there wasn’t stand alone subject areas.  Our overall themes were community, 3D shapes, and life cycles.  We focused on getting our bodies moving, using measurement when helping our families cook, made play dough, completed stem challenges, and art projects! There was so much families could do with those themes at home, and they did. I did daily morning meetings with screencastify, guided math and reading lessons with Microsoft TEAMS, posted daily story time  and math challenges, created a YouTube channel, class meetings, and had the opportunity to finally meet with some students 1-1 at the end of June in person.  The tech learning curve was huge!  We all struggled to learn the new technology at the beginning, but it had to be done so I could reach out to my kids and help them process this strange new situation.

    

Math game videos, science experiments, and so much more were posted on our padlets.

Students either posted their learning on our classroom padlets or e-mailed me their work.  Lessons were filled with laughter and I’m so glad that so many educational websites offered their platforms for free to teachers and their classrooms.

Our class has a subscription to RAZ kids already, but other companies offered their services for free and I jumped at the opportunity to have other platforms for my students to explore.  Thank you to EPIC books, Scholastic Bookflix,  and PM Benchmark Books for letting us use your services to help guide my lessons.  When kids can’t get to the library, EPIC Books was the next best things.

https://www.getepic.com

Bookflix guided our weekly lessons with books that fit our themes, and PM Benchmarks provided guided reading books at my student’s level for our group guided reading lessons.

http://teacher.scholastic.com/products/bookflix/#/

June was full of activities meant to put our learning from the term all together. Students were asked to create their own community.  To use their knowledge of community helpers, 3D shapes, measurement, and so much more when creating their community. We had a virtual classroom full of links for the students to follow and help guide their plans.

Virtual Classroom

Boy did the Super Kids rise to the challenge.  So many created surveys for their family members, used their recycling bins, and got creative.  They were so excited to share their projects with me either 1-1 during our time at the end of June or on a TEAMS meeting.  This activity was a final project that incorporated all of our learning from all subjects.  Student read, wrote, created, explained, and really dove into the project.  We had everything!  Sports themed communities, a pizza community, a dinosaur community, a space community, and so much more.

   

Each Super Kid received a “Flat Mrs. Didyk” in the mail along with some suggested activities we could do together.  The students LOVED this idea! I made a “Flat Teacher” for each of the grade 1/2 teachers and it became a fun activity for all the students in our 5 classes!

To encourage our families to get outside the 1/2 classrooms created a “ESCS Rocks” challenge.  We each painted 20 rocks for a total of 100 rocks that we hid all around the trail in Sage Creek.  We challenged our students to go and find them.  So much fun!

Outdoor Learning Activity Board

Healthly living through yoga links, outdoor classroom suggestions, healthy snacks and making dinners using the food groups and meausring tools were a big hit!

 

Life cycles was our focus on science this term. We observed plants and even raised some painted lady butterflies.

IMG_butterfly relsease

IMG_butterfly release2

Yesterday was our teacher community parade.  We wanted to thank our community for their support and celebrate our Ecole Sage Creek School community for working together through these challenging times.

 

Thank you again to my amazing students and their families!  I’m looking forward to seeing you in the fall!  Enjoy your summer and stay healthy. 🙂

Bitmoji Image

Mrs. Didyk

Strange Times

Hi everyone!  I hope all of my Super Kids and their families are staying healthy and safe during this strange time in our world.  We had business as usual on March 12th and then we faced a different reality on the 13th.  The Manitoba government announced that school would be suspended for the week before spring break and the week after due to the coronavirus pandemic.  We were still open the following week, but most families decided to keep their children home.  We went from working so hard on our exhibition show to leaving school.  I feel for my students.  They were so excited to share their learning.  Well, for now we put a pin in our exhibition and continue learning together in a different way.

If you are looking for a way to talk to your kids about what’s happening in a kid friendly way, click on the link below.  This video started our conversation last Monday with the kids that were at school.  I hope it helps.

https://www.brainpop.com/health/diseasesinjuriesandconditions/coronavirus/

All five grade 1/2 teachers planned together so our families could have activities to do at home to continue their child’s learning.  By using “Padlet”, our students can share their learning, answer questions, comment on each other’s posts, and listen to me reading stories from my home office.

 

I’m posting a class favourite each day.  School has never been closed in my 20 years of teaching!  Not even for a snow storm.  My daughter has been doing online learning, baking up a storm, learning to do laundry, and teaching me about online platforms.   This is uncharted territory, but every family is doing their best.  Use this time to read with your kids, bake, go for walk, teach them life skills, and most importantly teach them what really matters… family.   I’m here to help.

This past month the Super Kids have been focusing on creating their simple machine carnival games, completing their shadow theatre, practicing their song with drums, scarves, and light, and so much more.  In honour of all that work, I wanted to share some pictures of the Super Kids working towards their goal.  The process is where the learning happens. 🙂

Our shadow theatre that we were going to perform with Mrs. G’s classroom this week was a BIG undertaking.  The two classes worked well together and prepared to share the history of showmanship.

     

We used circus acts for our math stations.  How many times can you spin the plate?  Count by 2s, 5s, and 10s while walking the tightrope. Walk on “stilts” while counting and make numbers for your partner to guess with the ribbons.  Click on the link below to get a peek at all the excitement.

circus math video

Our journey through the history of showmanship took us to New York.  Mme. Chantall read us “A New York, Chez Mamie”.  She read it to use in French and then asked us to help her translate it into English.  What would make sense?  What does it sound like?  Do the picture help us understand?  Then we create our own New York skyline with the buildings refecting in the water.

The circus then got bigger, added bigger animals, and travelled across North America by train.

   

animated animal art

We explored simple machines throughout our carnival/circus theme with the goal of created our own games.  We watched the YouTube video below called Caine’s Arcade. This inspired us to see what we could come up with.

We explored catapults, magnets, marble mazes, and static electricity to help inspire our designs as well as reviewing what we knew from earlier explorations into pulley, levers, incline planes and balance.

   

 

static electricity video

catapult video

Our simple machine carnival games were in full swing when we had to leave our school.  Most groups were on the final steps and testing their designs.  I have a few pictures of the process, but to be honest I was usually in charge of the hot glue gun so I don’t have a ton.  Groups worked hard to incorporate at least one simple machine into their project.  Projects included a giant magnetic claw machine, sceetball, a foosball table, an air hockey table, pinko, a race car ramp, wheel and axle fishing rods with magnets, and a catapult felt target.

   

We even created our own green screen circus posters!

 

 

 

 

 

 

We tried to make homemade rock candy to show how sugar dissolves into water and how you can oversaturate a solution. Thanks to our wonderful volunteer for trying.  A few turned out, but it was a lesson in not everything you see on YouTube works. 🙂  I went out a got each Super Kid a rock candy for us to have when we get back from our break.

This past week I tried to have some fun activities that felt special to the students who did come to school.  We had a small number of kids, but they left happy and with a special art piece and a secret coded message for their parents.

 

On St. Patrick’s Day we made a group leprechaun trap!  One Super Kids painted some rocks gold, two others painted a rainbow, and others used the design process to create a trap.  It had a ladder, a slide, a soft landing, and even some lucky charms so he could eat if he got hungry.  He took the gold and the lucky charms, but he left us a note, some smarties, and some green footprints!

     

Mrs. Rempel and Ms. Jonkers had organized Skype call with the Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee.  We joined them along with Mrs. Krahn’s and Mrs. G’s classes.  We all had just a few students so we meet in one room spreed out for social distancing and enjoyed learning about Elephants together.  All of the elephants that live there are from former circus performers.  Some were mistreated and now live a happy life.  Check out the link below to go to their website and view their live camera feed. If you’re wondering what she is holding up…it’s an elephant tooth!

   

https://www.elephants.com

I miss you Super Kids!  Enjoy your time with your families, share your learning with me, and stay healthy.  I’ll see you soon. 🙂

 

 

 

“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.

video 1

video 2

video 3

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.

video 1

video 2

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.

 c

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.

 

 

Getting In Motion

The Super Kids have been busy after the holiday break!  Getting back into the routine of school was a bit challenging for all of us, but we’ve hit a groove.  Everyone was excited to share what they did over their break and see their friends again.

This month has been all about established our background knowledge for working towards our school’s exhibition.  Every year in March our school has an exhibition to share our learning with our families and the community.  The final product is wonderful, but the process is the real adventure.  I’m always amazed at the questions my students ask that drive our learning. We’re off to a great start.  Our big idea is exploring circus’,carnivals, and showmanship. This big idea will encompasses all of the curriculum. I know that sounds a bit daunting, but my kids are so excited!

Our first step is to explore the science curriculum of forces and motion.  We need know how things and people move?  Where do you go when you need to explore push and pull?  The playground of course!  It was a Monday morning when I surprised the class and told them to put their outside gear back on after morning meeting.  We headed outside with a motion mission.  When you play on the different equipment outside, do you use a push or a pull force? Ok…it’s January in Winnipeg.  How are we going to be scientists with clipboard in the snow?  We took our papers in ziploc bags on our clipboards and used whiteboard makers.  If we dropped them in the snow it was no big deal. 🙂

       

Balance is important when you’re a performer, but it also is a math and science concept.  We started exploring balance with balance centers.  Jenga, Twister, balance games from the gym, and math balances were rotated through to get a better concept of what balance is and what it feels like.

       

Indoor recess helped us balance our bodies with cosmic kids yoga.

 

America’s Got Talent has some excellent examples of balance in their acts.  The Super Kids were fascinated with these two brother’s audition!

Have you read the book ” The Man Who Walked Between The Towers” by Mordicai Gerstein? The book tells the story of a tight rope walker who walked between the twin towers in New York City many years ago.  As adults we know what the twin towers are and what happened there.  This wasn’t the focus and I didn’t talk about that.  We focused on the unbelievable balancing act the man did.  The kids thought his punishment of entertaining kids in the park was an interesting twist at the end.

Could we walk on a tight rope?  We borrowed some gym equipment to find out.

 

Alexander Calder was an artist best known for creating mobiles and stabiles. He used materials such as wire and different kinds of metal to create his balanced structures. 

 

After learning more about him by reading Sandy’s Circus, we discovered that he loved circus’, created his own out of wire, and shared it with audiences.

Could we make our own stabiles?  It took some time and patience, but we did.

     

Did you know the concept of performing has been documented all the way back to cave art!  Our class took a closer look at cave art from Egypt.  People shared their stories by drawing, carving, and painting on caves.

We examined how people were drawn and how they showed movement.  Then it was our turn to make our own cave mural. First the “cave wall” had to be made using sponges and mixing colours.

Next, the students posed for each other showing different positions that the kids felt showed movement, dance, or acrobatics.  One student posed and the other drew using circles and ovals. Then it was time to put our figures on our mural.

   

   

I challenged my student to create a 3D Egyptian pyramids using straw and connects.  Some might have gotten a bit carried away. 🙂

 

Stay tuned as we continue our adventure!