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?

Sunday, 27 September 2015

Beginning story telling

Big Idea in Language Arts
Language and stories can be a source of creativity and joy.

We have been using our creativity, loose parts and oral language skills to retell stories. We started with the story Smelly Louie. Smelly Louie is a great story about a dog that has been bathed in rose water and wants to find his original smell.  He goes on a journey to find his unique smell.  After we finished retelling Smelly Louie we began the read aloud My Father's Dragon.  First we created our own dragons using paint, crayons, sharpies and markers and then we created our own versions of Tangerine Island , using loose parts. Some of us recorded our stories on the iPads.  Next we are going to create the wild animals that also play a role in the story.  Do you have favourite stories that you like to retell? 

Elmer is on a journey to find a dragon.

Using loose parts to create Tangerine Island.

Retelling the story Smelly Louie.

Working together to retell Smelly Louie.

Wednesday, 3 June 2015


What do you think, see and wonder about caterpillars?
Naming the Sluglie family (Gold Miner, Sleepy, Lazy....)
In early May the butterfly larva arrived in our classroom. At first students thought the larva were little baby slugs because they were tiny little black creatures. The larva quickly grew as they ate all of the food in the containers.  We observed the larva, named the larva and used loose parts to make our own caterpillars.
Re telling The Hungry Caterpillar with loose parts.
We watched a movie about metamorphosis from Discover Education.  We learned that butterflies have complete metamorphosis.  They start from an egg, then larva, then chrysalis, and then adult butterfly. We watched for the signs that the larva was going to form their chrysalis.  One morning when we arrived to school we found that the larva (caterpillars) had climbed up to the top of the containers and made J shapes. We observed and wondered about what was happening  to the larva. The larva stayed really still in the J shape and then a chrysalis formed. After 6 days the butterflies emerged from the chrysalis. We have been watching, thinking and wondering about the butterflies. We have even named them. Next week we will have a butterfly release party.
Butterfly Exploration Centres

The task was using the materials on the table to make a 3D butterfly.

Thursday, 2 April 2015

Float and Sink

It started with a provocation on how to make sound with different sized vases and water. My plan was to have the students try to make sounds using the water and the vases but a pencil dropped into one of the vases and a new inquiry started. A learner kept trying to push down the pencil and it kept springing back up to the surface. The learners on the table all wondered why the pencil kept floating and didn't sink. Some thought it was because the pencil was too heavy and that heavy things float. Others thought that light things float. The theories started coming. One theory was that objects that are hollow float. Another theory was that solid objects sink and objects with air float. Then the investigating began. Right now we are at the investigation stage trying to prove or disprove our theories. 

Balance Exploration Centres

We are really interested in balance and have been exploring balance. We have been wondering about balance and have created our own balance theories.