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Monday, 20 March 2017

At little late....Leprechauns and Sock Monkeys!

This is a STEM project, with the original idea coming out of Florida.  STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.  The project asks students to problem solving in a holistic  manner using what they already know to 'hinge' onto and perhaps find a solution that meets the criteria.  First the students heard a story of Clever Tom and the Leprechaun. Although Tom appears to solve the problem, it turns out that the leprechaun was just too clever and got away with the gold!
In this project, each pair of students does find the leprechaun's pot of gold BUT must cross over the river to get away.  The problem is all the students have is that pot of gold to build the bridge.

Planning happens before the testing.
What works on paper may not work out with the real materials.
I love the conversations that happen...
..and the moment when it all goes wrong!
The teams must co-operate...
listen and try more than once.
Was the criteria met?  The bridge had to be at least 3 cm in height!
Here's some happy faces!
This might mean there was success!
On the theme of leprechauns, there was a directed drawing lesson as well as filling out an application to become a leprechaun.

The students had to answer the following questions:
What tricks would you play of St. Patrick's Day? and
Where would you hide your pot of gold?

Everyone can be a leprechaun on St. Paddy's Day.

We did learn who the real St. Patrick was and learned that he was not Irish!
Who knew??!!
This was the busyness of a class room full of students and many mother and grandmother helpers.
Today was the day that had been marked on the calendar at the beginning of the month, but the students didn't know what exactly was going to happen.
With lots of help, they sewed sock monkeys!
There was tails, and arms and ears and snouts to sew on after each of those parts was filled with stuffing.
There were many adult hands to help start the sewing, tie up some knots and perhaps untangle some thread.  It was a busy, busy time,
but with a 'can do' attitude, 24 sock monkeys were born!
Look at that concentration!

Happiness is doing something hard!

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Visiting the North and a Hospital....A Day in the Life of a Student in Mrs. Matheson's Classroom

Mrs. Matheson met Goota Desmarais about five years ago and was so glad to see her here at our school today through a generous gift made by Shell Canada and Fort Sask. Multicultural Association.  Gotta is from Cape Dorset, Nunavut and shared her stories and her culture with the Grade Two students today.  She brought alive the life of Canadians in the north.
Through her words she explained the true use of many of the items of the Inuit such as the inukshuk, the ulu and the qulliq.  In the above picture she is explaining the traditional way that women made the seal skins soft enough to sew.
This is a traditional ulu made of the shoulder bone from a caribou. Today's ulu would be made of metal and wood, as the Inuit now have access to these materials in their communities.
She shared her food, quite an honour as it came all the way from Cape Dorset.  Here the students are trying a small piece of beluga whale.
These kamik were made by Goota's sister and would cost $2500.00 to purchase, but would last a lifetime!  The students were fascinated with this truly eye-opening presentation!

Later on, the students used their skills to infer what would be happening in the classroom with these materials offering a clue, as well as seeing how their teacher was dressed!
The "teacher's pet" took this photo for us!
Using ideas shared by Catherine Reed and Nancy VandenBerge, our classroom was transformed into a hospital!  The head of surgery shared that there had been a horrible accident and he asked that the student doctors don their gloves and masks and use their scalpels to save the lives of the contractions.  

After surgery, the 'doctors' wrote out their orders for their patients' recovery.

                                                                  Here's my example.
The bulletin board will be completed tomorrow.  The title is not yet up but it will read 
"Contraction Surgery"

I am sure that the student's will be pointing out contractions in their reading now!!

Monday, 6 March 2017

Have you heard about our latest visitors to our classroom?

All this month, we are going to be curious little monkeys in our classroom, just the way that Curious George is curious about his new life in the big city.  The first story was written by H. A. Rey in 1941, which we figured out was 76 years ago!  That means this story was probably read by our grandparents! The students were amazed!
We have quite a collection of George items and books to work with.
The students are really focusing on reading the story and finding the answers to the questions within the story.  They have had the opportunity with a peer and they have been so co-operative in their learning.  These are important skills to have, being able to discuss thoughts, share ideas and perhaps even debate which answer would be better used.
The students get to choose where they will work and that means every little open space is occupied.

Perhaps you have been hearing about Kit?  
I am reading about this young fictional girl who lived during the Great Depression.  I am trying to help the students make connections between their life now and that of a child in the 1930's.  This is to assist them with Historical thinking.  Here is what it says in our Social Studies program of study:

Historical thinking is a process whereby students are challenged to rethink assumptions about the past and to reimagine both the present and the future. It helps students become well-informed citizens who approach issues with an inquiring mind and exercise sound judgment when presented with new information or a perspective different from their own. Historical thinking skills involve the sequencing of events, the analysis of patterns and the placement of events in context to assist in the construction of meaning and understanding. 
Kit comes to life through the artifacts that are also kept in the room.
Kit and her friend Ruthie take apart old sweaters and learn to knit using this wool.  They will give their fathers the scarves they make as Christmas presents.  This led to a 'curiosity' about knitting.....see we are like George!.....and one of the girls wrote a note to Mrs. Scott asking if she could visit our classroom and demonstrate how to knit.
Today was the day.  They listened,
and watched,
and learned the new vocabulary of cast on, knit and purl.
Thank you Mrs. Scott for teaching us something new!