Wednesday, 25 April 2018

Making a Joyful Noise!

Today our room was filled with joyful noise!

We arrived to 9 sweet little babies who had hatched in our incubator!

Our kind-hearted parent helper, Mrs. Junck, who is guiding us on our hatching journey, popped in to share in our joy and excitement! We had a "chick party" and we played several games together!

Then Mrs. Junck helped us prepare a box of shavings, food, water, and a heat bulb for when the chicks are dry. Two fluffy little ones moved in this morning!

While some students spent time taking in the new life, others tackled the illustrations for a rhyming booklet called "5 Little Chicks". The chicks in our illustrations are made from torn construction paper. The creative juices were flowing and our budding readers are so engaged!

Tomorrow will certainly be filled with many soft fluffy cuddles!

Friday, 20 April 2018

It's Alive!

We are tackling our Needs of Plants and Animals Unit! This week we are focussing on what it means for something to be living. 

We brainstormed ideas about what makes something living. Then we thought about something we knew for sure was living, such as a dog, and crossed off ideas on our list that didn't fit with what we knew about dogs. We also did this for other things we knew for sure were living, including a plant!

To reinforce what makes something living, we enjoyed a clip from our pal on Sesame Street:

Then we studied a few examples using our criteria for what makes something alive:

Partnered with our grade 5 buddies, the boys and girls began working on a digital presentation to share their learning! Using Google Slides, the students shared examples of living and non-living. 

To conclude our week examining living and non-living, students tackled an an up-close, hands-on observation! Thrilled beyond measure, our scientists compared gummy worms and earthworms. We were able to see many examples that demonstrated that the earthworms are indeed living and gummy worms are non-living:

Now let's hunt for examples of living and non-living things with a photo hunt at home!

First, give your child a camera (your phone would be perfect!). Have him or her take some pictures of things that are living and non-living.

Then, to share your photo(s) and/or comment on our "wall":

(a) Double click on our Living and Non-Living wall below

(b) A box will appear. Type in a comment. Upload a picture. Ta da! 

(c) Marvel at our learning!

(or just email me your photos/captions and I'll make it happen)
Made with Padlet

Thank you for not mentioning names as well as any other identifying information. 

We will check this wall daily next week to see the pictures that we all post!

Friday, 13 April 2018

The Cross is Love

"In the name of the Father, and of the Son, 
and of the Holy Spirit, Amen."

We are learning about the Easter Story, and have focused on a very important symbol in our faith; the cross. Jesus suffered and died on the cross for each one of us. The cross is a powerful symbol that reminds us how much God loves us.

Father Joe visited us this week, action bible in hand, to share the story of Jesus' death on the cross and His resurrection. 

Using pastels, we created beautiful crosses, reminding us of our risen Lord. 

We loved getting our fingers dirty as we smudged the pastels!

Then we tackled a special, yet challenging activity with some very helpful junior high students. We created beautiful burned matchstick crosses. Don't worry, the matches we worked with were already lit, cooled and very safe to touch, of course! We patiently counted out matches, glued, and checked and re-checked the intricate pattern. This took lots of patience and collaboration!

The symbol of the cross reminds us of Jesus' everlasting, infinite love for us!

Wednesday, 4 April 2018

Bananas for Books!

Our Primary Book Tournament has us going bananas for books! 

We have a 16-book tournament draw ahead of us. Each day we read two books and vote on a winner to advance. 

We invited the grade 2 and 3 students to share in the fun, and today we read our first two books of the tournament! 

Mrs. Beliveau read You're Finally Here by Melanie Watt ...

... and Mrs. Haston read Chester, also by Melanie Watt!

Overwhelmingly, the winner was CHESTER!

Can't wait to see which book is our final winner! Reading is such a blast!

Friday, 26 January 2018

SNOW Much Fun at the Zoo!

Boy, were we thrilled to spend one more day learning at Zoo School! Despite the deep snow and chilly weather, it  was "SNOW" much fun!

When we arrived, Teacher Courtney tasked us with a very important job ... making animal enrichments! At times, animals can become a bit bored, just like us. An enrichment is something that is novel for the animal! 

We made snowballs for several of the animals to enjoy! 

The tortoise was by far the biggest fan, munching away on the snow! The meerkats and rats were also interested in the chilly fun!

Today we also met two beautiful animals. 

We met Twilah, the Three-Banded Armadillo! She is a little nocturnal beauty who can curl completely into a ball! Mrs. Beliveau LOVED her!!!

We also met 4 year-old Chutter, a Burrowing owl! She is native to Alberta and she is full sized. Burrowing owls live in tunnels underground. Her hooked beak and talons tell us she is a carnivore. She is a tiny sweetheart and we had so many questions to ask!

Zoo School was truly amazing, and we came home absolutely exhausted every day! Yes, all of the walking was tiring and we also got a tonne of fresh air, but a huge part of WHY we were so tuckered was because of HOW we learned. 

Each day we asked questions, and then puzzled over the answers! We wondered, we were curious, we thought critically, we predicted, and we hypothesized. Inquiry drove our week! 

As we prepare to return to our classroom, we are so thankful for the opportunity we had to learn at Zoo School! 

Thursday, 25 January 2018


Big day! We touched poop!

But let's rewind a little! Yes, today was poop-filled, but more importantly, we were able to meet an amazing animal ... Lucy the Asian Elephant!

This morning Teacher Courtney shared something serious. Elephants are endangered. Habitat loss and poaching were two ideas we explored together. We learned that some people choose to kill elephants for their tusks. 

An ivory statue and a tusk

Rather than buy ivory, people could make better and more caring choices. Elephant fans could instead buy a painting done by an elephant, write notes on "poo poo" paper made from elephant dung, or even buy carvings made from the taiga nut, which looks similar to ivory and also provides meaningful work to individuals in South America. 

Then we HELD ELEPHANT POOP! We held it!! Big day!!!!

Before meeting Lucy up close, we spent a few quiet minutes sketching and labeling her in her enclosure. 

Then it happened. We finally met Lucy!!!! 

We asked loads of questions, sang for her, and were absolutely enamored! Did you know she plays ball?

Before lunch, we went to see our chosen animal that we journal each day, but today our journaling was digital! Rather than write 3 words describing what our animal is doing, we took pictures on our iPads to show what our animal was doing. Then we assembled them using PicCollage! So exciting!

These meerkats were sleeping, standing, and scratching!

We gobbled up our lunches and were excited to meet Frodo, a 24 year-old Central Asian Tortoise! He was trying to find a gap in our circle and make a break for it! We continued our digital journaling with Frodo!

At the end of each day, Teacher Courtney has asked to journal our top moments using paper and pencil. Today, however, we did this digitally! The students were very engaged and motivated!

This student's Top 4 moments were meeting
Lucy & Frodo and seeing the tigers & seals. 

Today was a blast! How it is Thursday already?!?

Wednesday, 24 January 2018

"Otterly" Adorable!

Back for day 3 and ready for action! We hopped on the bus, traveled past our favourite "shiny balls" on the Whitemud, and counted zoo signs until we arrived!

The second we got to the zoo, we headed to the commissary! This kitchen feeds over 400 animals! 

We learned about herbivores and carnivores, and also about piscivores (primarily eat fish), insectavores (primarily eat insects), and frugivores (primarily eat fruit)! So many neat animals to feed at the zoo!

We took a peek at the enormous zoo recipe book that lists all of the dietary needs of all the animals. We examined the red panda's diet and even saw the bamboo being taken out for the day!

Teacher Courtney showed us the meat cart for the carnivores. Theses animals get whole food which is already dead. We had an excellent discussion about the food chain and how the zoo keeps animals healthy. 

Today, rather than sketch the animals we had chosen for the week, students got to decide fairly as a group which new animal they would observe today! This opportunity allowed us to compare and contrast the new animal with our previous one!

Comparing lemurs to meerkats

Comparing the snow leopard to the wolves

Comparing the wolves to the seals

Comparing the ref fox to the lemurs

It was nearing lunchtime, but before we got to eat, we saw the river otters being fed! We asked so many questions and were fascinated! 

They were "otterly" adorable and playful! This was a huge highlight of our day and we could have stayed forever!

After lunch we welcomed in Dean, who has been working with the Edmonton Valley Zoo for 39 years and has tremendous knowledge and infinite experience!

Dean taught us how animals can be safely captured (e.g. for medical checkups). He used hoop nets, control poles, and even some blow dart pipes (which aren't typically used but are oh, so super cool!). The zoo prefers to train animals to voluntarily do various behaviours so the animals can be medically examined or moved and keepers can safely interact with them, keeping captures to a minimum. 

After a few quiet minutes journaling our Top 4 moments of the day, we took one last stroll through the zoo and waved goodbye!

We were completely and "otterly" exhausted!