Sunday, 22 April 2012

Student of the Week - Mario

Mario is our student of the week because he is a good friend. He goes out of his way to make sure that other people feel included. Thank you for your kindness, Mario!

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Thursday, 19 April 2012

The Maritime Museum

Yesterday we visited the Maritime Museum in Vancouver.  After an epic bus ride we finally arrived, excited about the day's activities.

Our first session was called "Arctic Explorers."  We got to see artifacts from the Inuit as well as European Arctic explorers.  The highlight of this session though was climbing aboard the St. Roch, an actual ship that is housed in the museum.  The St. Roch was an RCMP vessel, and in the 1940s it was only the second ship ever to successfully sail the Northwest Passage through the Arctic.  We got to visit several parts of the ship including the wheelhouse and the living quarters.  It was hard to imagine living in such a small space for three years.  Going to the bathroom in the "ice palace" on deck also didn't sound like too much fun!  (The "ice palace"a sort of outhouse made of snow made so that the crew wouldn't have to trek all the way to the back of the boat to use the bathroom).

After lunch, it was time for the "Man the Oars and Map the Coast" presentation.  For this workshop we split into two groups.  One group stayed inside the museum and learned about Captain Vancouver's voyage in the 1790s.  Captain Vancouver spent a lot of time charting the coast of British Columbia, and the city was named after him!  The museum had a replica of part of his ship, the HMS Discovery, too, and we got to spend time there seeing examples of typical food that would have been eaten on board, and tools that were used.

The other group went outside to the dock.  There we talked a little bit about what this area would have looked like in Captain Vancouver's time.  Then it was time to measure the depth of the water using a lead line.  The depth of water is measured in fathoms (1 fathom = 6 feet).  A lead line is a rope with a piece of lead on the end, and a bead to mark each fathom.  To measure the water's depth, you drop the lead line in the water until it touches the bottom.  Then you reel in the rope and count how many beads were in the water to figure out how many fathoms deep it is.  Everyone worked well with the measuring partners, and no one fell in!  (We were wearing life jackets just in case!)

We finished off the day tasting hardtack and spruce beer, typcial food eaten on board sailing ships.  We decided that it wasn't too tasty and that we definitely preferred pizza!

All in all, it was a really fun day.  If you came on the field trip, what was your favourite part of the day?  What did you learn that surprised you?  Check out the video below to see pictures of our adventure.

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Camouflaged Potatoes

In Science right now we are learning about plant and animal adaptations.  There are two types of adaptations: structural and behavioural.  One structural adaptation we discussed was camouflage.  Animals that use camouflage are able to blend in with their environments to keep them safe from predators or to catch food.

To demonstrate their understanding of this concept, I challenged students to camouflage a potato.  I know, I know, potatoes don't actually use camouflage, but they are the perfect size for hiding on the schoolyard (and I don't think students' pets would have liked being painted green very much!).  The designated hiding area was along the schoolyard fence, which is covered in bushes, in the grass or in the sandpit.

The students outdid themselves and the potatoes looked fantastic!  They were covered with all sorts of leaves, grass, sand, twigs and even a piece of "litter" (very creative, Ryan A.!)   With great excitement we went out to "hide"  the potatoes.  Our Grade One buddies then got to go on a hunt for the camouflaged treasures.  They thoroughly enjoyed running around searching with gusto for the potatoes.  All were eventually found except one (even the owner of the potato couldn't find it again!); I think that one will end up like the one Easter egg you find in July, an unexpected surprise.  :-)

Here are some photos of our potatoes. Unfortunately, I was short on time, so I didn't get as many photos as I would have liked. There are not any photos of the Grade Ones hunting because I don't have permission from the parents to post them on the blog.


Saturday, 14 April 2012

Student of the Week - Jasmine

Jasmine is our student of the week for her helpfulness around the classroom. Jasmine can often be found after school doing any little job that needs to be done. Her actions help keep our classroom tidy and running smoothly. She doesn't help out because she "has to" or because she earns a prize; she does it because she has initiative. Thank you, Jasmine, for all your hard work!

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Thursday, 12 April 2012

Dance, Dance, Dance

We have just wrapped up our dance unit in P.E.  At the beginning of the unit, we learned several basic hip hop moves and practiced them to different songs.  Once we had mastered a number of steps, we learned a short routine as a class, and performed it in smaller groups.  This gave us an idea of how a routine should be put together.  We talked about the importance of having a variety of steps, levels and formations.  Finally, it was time to put together our own dances to show what we had learned!  All the groups showed great teamwork and creativity while choreographing and practicing their routines.  Check out the final performances below.

Canuck Day

Yesterday was the start of the NHL playoffs, and our beloved Vancouver Canucks are playing the L.A. Kings in the first round.  (Unfortunately they lost 4-2 last night but we know they'll do better on Friday!).  To celebrate the playoffs, it was Canuck Day at the school.  Everyone was encouraged to wear their Canuck gear or the team colours of blue, white and green.  There was a special assembly, and even delicious donuts covered in Canuck-coloured sprinkles!  (Thanks, Mrs. McFarlane!)  Here we are, ready to cheer on the team.  Go, Canucks, Go!

Monday, 9 April 2012

Shoe Inferences

Recently we have been talking a lot about inferring in our class.  We know that powerful readers make inferences as they read.  When inferring, we think about it like this:

evidence + background knowledge = inference

To practice our inferring skills, we have been making inferences in many different circumstances.  One day last week Ms. Birdsall arrived with a bag full of shoes and asked us to become shoe detectives to practice our inferring!  

Each group received a shoe to examine.  First, we had to make observations about the shoe.  This was our evidence.  For example, we noted things like the shoe was made of leather, had a high heel or smelled bad!  Next, we had to access our background knowledge about this type of shoe.  For example, some students had moms who wear high heels for special occasions.  Another student had seen people wearing open-toed sandals at a water park.  Finally, based on the evidence and our background knowledge, we had to make inferences about what type of person might wear each shoe and for what purpose.  

Each group got to discuss all five shoes.  After lots of time to share our ideas, we were asked to individually choose one shoe.  For that shoe we presented our evidence, background knowledge and wrote a detailed inference.

Check back later this week to read some of our ideas!

Vikings Videos

In Social Studies we have just begun studying European exploration of North America. Last week we learned about the Vikings. In particular, we learned that Leif Ericsson was likely the first European to set foot on North American soil when he arrived at L'Anse aux Meadows (in what is now Newfoundland) around the year 1000. Below are a couple of videos about the Vikings historic arrival. The second shows the L'Anse aux Meadows site today. It is now run as a historic site open to the public, much like Fort Langley, when people can go to learn more about the Vikings.

Student of the Week - Jayda

Jayda is our student of the week for the amazing determination she showed in our most recent math unit. When we first started studying time, Jayda found it quite challenging. She did not give up, however. Instead she kept trying - asking for help when she needed it, and doing extra work at home. When it came time to write the unit test this past week, she got one of the highest scores in the class! Way to go, Jayda; I am so impressed by your perseverance!

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Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Life Without a Thumb!

In Science, we have just started our new unit on habitats and adaptations.  Earlier this week we learned that a habitat is the place where an organism (living thing) lives. A habitat needs to meet the basic needs of the plants and animals that live there.  

Plants need:
  • sunlight
  • water
  • nutrients
  • appropriate temperature range
Animals need:
  • food
  • water
  • shelter
  • appropriate temperature range

Today we learned that an adaptation is the way in which a plant or animal is suited to its habitat so it can survive there.  For example, one adaptation a giraffe has is its long neck.  This type of neck helps it reach the leaves on trees.  Another example of an adaptation is how a pond lily's big leaves help it gather sunlight.  The thing that most surprised us though was the fact that human beings have adaptations too!  One human adaptation is our opposable thumb.
An opposable thumb can be placed opposite the rest of the fingers on the hand.  It's what allows us to grasp objects.  To really appreciate this "handy" adaptation, we decided to see what life would be like without it!    

First each person taped down one thumb so it couldn't move.

Then we tried different tasks like writing . . .

Tying our shoelaces . . .

 Zipping our coats . . .

And even giving each other high fives (fours?).

What we realized is that our adaptation makes life a lot easier.  While we could still do some of these tasks, they took a lot longer and were a lot more difficult without our opposable thumb.  Thank goodness for adaptations!

Sunday, 1 April 2012

Student of the Week - Ryan W.

Ryan W. is our student of the week for being so welcoming to our new classmate, Lewis.  Ryan gave Lewis a tour of the school, explained classroom routines, and invited him to play soccer at recess.  Thank you for being such a good friend, Ryan!

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