Last week Division 17 was all about FLOWERS! We studied flowers in our Whiteside Outdoor Community, drew flowers, added flowers to our sensory bins, and made gorgeous fairy potions.
To make our potions we cut up flowers (kindly donated to us by Broadmoor Safeway) and then added a bit of water from our classroom sink. However, the mixing became very enthusiastic once the students began using their pipettes to add coloured water as well.
Students were thrilled to take their potions home at the end of the day. I encourage families that want to make potions at home to use clear cups or jars so that students can also see the mixture from the outside of the jar. In our case we used red cups because they were what we had on hand and we are all about reusing materials we already have in Division 17. Enjoy the photos below!
We were super excited last week to learn about and explore Ollies and Spheros. Ollies and Spheros are robust robots that can be controlled using a bluetooth enabled device- in our case, iPads.
By exploring these robots students are learning beginner programming and coding skills.
This coming week we will revisit using the iPads when we begin learning about Stop Motion Animation. More on that to come!
This past Wednesday we celebrated the 100th day of school. As this is a fun milestone that we have been looking forward to all year we spent the morning reviewing photos of special events and learning that have taken place in our classroom up until this point. Before recess we even took advantage of this day to practice counting to 100 by walking around the classroom and touching 100 things with our pinky finger. But as a teacher my personal favourite thing about 100 day is combining all aspects of curriculum into a focussed activity. We incorporate reading, writing, art and science throughout the week leading up to and the actual day itself. It's a whole curriculum approach to learning, including the partner piece of sharing our 100 things homework.
Over the past couple of months, you may have heard your child talking about the STEM challenges that they have been participating in, in the library. As well, last week's blog post was about the Wonderful Bridges that our students had created during one of those challenges. But what is STEM? In a nutshell, STEM (which stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) combines rigorous academic areas with the technical challenges of mastering skills in these areas. This intentional grouping develops critical thinking, creativity, engineering design process, and problem solving skills. Please enjoy the pictures below of a challenge that students worked on last week. The challenge was to build a house with walls, a door, windows, and a roof.
Our Kinders have participated in many science-related inquiries/experiences since September including spiders, trees, our garden, apples, gourds/squash and magnets. When teaching science we always like to take a step back from front-loading students with all the ‘answers’ and instead have students develop their critical thinking skills by requiring them to explain their own reasoning. In the beginning students are often unsure of how to go about this but just like anything it only needs a bit of practice- and we will work on this for the duration of the year. Last week Mrs. Kawas encouraged students to think like scientists and use their senses while experimenting with coloured water, baking soda and pipettes. When I saw the photos she had taken I was blown away by how incredibly engaged ALL the students looked- and how very much they have truly become scientists in their own right.
Happy Saturday, Families! Today I wanted to share my favourite child-inspired poem to go with the pictures in the previous post. Enjoy.
When I am building in the block room, please don't say I'm "just playing". For you see, I'm learning as I play, about balance and shapes. Who knows, I may be an architect someday.
When I'm getting all dressed up, setting the table, caring for the babies, don't get the idea I'm "just playing". For, you see, I'm learning as I play; I may be a mother or a father someday.
When you see me up to my elbows in paint or standing at an easel, or molding and shaping clay, please don't let me hear you say, "He is just playing". For, you see, I'm learning as I play. I'm expressing myself and being creative. I may be an artist or an inventor someday.
When you see me sitting in a chair "reading" to an imaginary audience, please don't laugh and think I'm "just playing". For, you see, I'm learning as I play. I may be a teacher someday.
When you see me combing the bushes for bugs, or packing my pockets with choice things I find, don't pass it off as "just play". For you see, I'm learning as I play. I may be a scientist someday.
When you see me engrossed in a puzzle or some "plaything" at my school, please don't feel the time is wasted in "play". For, you see, I'm learning as I play. I'm learning to solve problems and concentrate. I may be in business someday.
When you see me cooking or tasting foods, please don't think that because I enjoy it, it is "just play". I'm learning to follow direction and see differences. I may be a cook someday.
When you see me learning to skip, hop, run and move my body, please don't say I'm "just playing". For, you see, I'm learning as I play. I'm learning how my body works. I may be a doctor, nurse or athlete someday.
When you ask me what I've done at school today, and I say, "I just played", please don't misunderstand me. For you see, I'm learning as I play. I'm learning to enjoy and be successful in my work. I'm preparing for tomorrow. Today, I am a child and my work is play.
A successful math program will have an emphasis on number sense at its core. This month we are exploring 5-ness. Here is a review of some of our work this week.
We used many engaging texts that focus on number sense and groups of 5 during our math meetings this week. These books are now a part of our math centre so that students can review them and play with manipulatives to further enhance their understanding of the numbers 1 through 5.
During centre explorations children had the opportunity to count the items (to 5) in the jars. Many students also sorted and patterned the manipulatives.
Students enjoyed playing Race to 100 this week. Race to 100 teaches students how to read a die and has them practice one-to-one correspondence as they fill in their game sheet boxes to match the number they rolled. (Last week we played a partner game called Finger Flashes, ask your child to teach it to you!)
Over the past two weeks students have learned about the meaning of peace and what peace looks like in the classroom and on the playground. Students learned that green behaviour or bucket-filling behaviour is being a PEACEMAKER; and that red behaviour or bucket-dipping behaviour is being a PEACE-BREAKER. Students also learned about symbols of peace including the poppy and the dove. In art students decorated a large poppy collaboratively and also engaged in two individual poppy art projects.
This past Monday during our Outdoor Classroom period we went to the Whiteside student garden located at the back of our school (our class is planting and taking care of half of one plot this year). As this was our very first introduction to our garden students took time inside of the classroom first to observe and sketch the bulbs that we would be planting that day. We also made wonders about the bulbs to add to our Wonder Window- our classroom's wondering space. Then after recess we proceeded to the garden. Students learned that the bulbs were in fact Snowcrocus- we would be planting flowers! Students observed me (Ms T.) planting the bulbs this time around but were assured that the next time we plant they will be in charge of the process. Because it was such a gorgeous autumn day we stayed outdoors after the planting to create patterns with nature. Students also explored making patterns with nature 2 weeks ago but this time I had my camera to document their superb work.