Sunday, 23 October 2016

Outdoor Learning

This year and last year we have been making more effort to spend time learning outdoors. We have set a regular weekly time out in our mini forest and in addition take opportunities to explore and learn on our school grounds. Connecting with nature is so important. We are learning to slow down, look closely, think, wonder and work as a team. We are learning to care about and care for our environment. We are also learning to work together in a community. 

Thursday, 6 October 2016

Me Time

This year we are trying something new for the first 30 minutes of the morning. We used to do morning reading and then last year we went straight into Exploration centres (inquiry time). I like the idea of a soft start and was trying to figure out a way to do a soft start that didn't involve using our inquiry centres. I like to have a meeting and reflection time before heading to the Exploration centres. This year, our soft start is called Me Time. This is a time where students can eat a snack if they are hungry and they can choose an activity such as Magnatiles, board games, sewing, drawing, and reading. It gives them an opportunity to settle into the classroom and chat quietly with their friends while doing a choice activity. They seem to really enjoy their morning " me time". 

Saturday, 24 September 2016


Our math focus this month has been on patterning. Our first step was to use the classroom materials to build patterns. I circulated the room asking questions, listening to explanations, observing my students interact with the materials and their peers and taking pictures of their patterns. The pictures I used as part of the reflection on the learning. Showing the pictures on the Smartboard gives the students opportunities to share their learning and reflect on it.  This discussion is a valuable part of the math class because it leads to questions to further develop our learning. The first discussion after exploring with patterning led to questions which helped guide the next day of patterning. 
Some of the questions were:
What makes a pattern?
How are patterns the same?
How are patterns different? 
Can a pattern grow and repeat at the same time? 
Can a pattern decrease? 
Is a pattern always in a straight line? 
Do numbers have patterns? 

Students were excited to use a variety of classroom materials to investigate these questions. While they investigate and explore I encourage the development of thinking and communication skills by asking questions, listening to explanations, recording, reflecting, and encouraging them to share their ideas with their peers. Learning takes patience and time and is very social. By providing opportunities for collaborative work we deepen their understanding and communication skills. 

Monday, 11 January 2016

Story Telling

Last week we listened to the Coast Salish Story Little Bear and Crow a few times. We talked about story telling and the importance of it in the First People's culture. We talked about how the stories were told by the elders, especially during the Winter months and that the stories all have important messages in them. After listening to Little Bear and Crow we decided that the messages were never give up and that it is important to help people and that sometimes you will even get helped back when you need it. After listening to the story several times we decided to use loose parts to help us retell the story. We worked with a partner or a small group to create our scenes for our stories, using a variety of loose parts and puppets. We then used an iPad to record our stories.

Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Where do ideas come from?

For the past couple of weeks we have been thinking about where our ideas come from. It started with the reading of the book WHAT DO YOU DO WITH AN IDEA. We read the book and then talked about ideas.  We then had Exploration Centres where we created things and talked about where our ideas came from. We also talked about whether all ideas are good.  We shared lots of great ideas about where our ideas come from.  They come from pictures, books, friends, videos, games, toys, our brain, our prefrontal cortex, t.v. shows, nature and our dreams.
My idea came from My Father's Dragon

My idea came from the book.

My idea came from my friend.
My idea came from last year when we used to build towers.

Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Living things

Science Big Idea
Living things are diverse, can be grouped, and interact in their ecosystems.

We started our inquiry into living things by representing living and non living things using loose parts. We then studied garden clippings, observing the changes that occur as the garden clippings decompose. We are focussing on looking closely at the objects using our thinking, communication and observational skills. We are learning that all living things have important roles in their ecosystem as producers, consumers and decomposers. Each role is important to keep a balance.  We are very interested in creating food chains and webs.  We are learning that everything in nature is interconnected. 

A fish is living because it can breathe and move.

A moose is living.

A rainbow isn't living because it can't move or breathe.

Using the senses to investigate  the September garden clippings.

Using the Zoomy to investigate the lemon decomposing.

Noticing the changes in the sunflower after a week of being in the classroom.

The flowers are drooping and the leaves are very dry.

Researching and creating food chains.

Investigating nature and sorting living things into producers, consumers and decomposers.  What role do trees play?