Thursday, 24 January 2013

Transparent, Translucent, Opaque

Currently in Science we are learning about light.  In particular, we are focusing on the properties of light.  During free experimentation time with our flashlights, we figured out that light always travels in a straight line.  Next, we started talking about how light travels through different materials.  We learned that objects can be classified into one of three categories:

transparent - you can see through the material clearly because it transmits most light (e.g. a pair of glasses)
translucent - you can see through the material, but it's blurry because the light rays change angles as they go through the material (e.g. a bathroom window)
opaque - you can't see through the material because it absorbs the light  (e.g. a book)

To practice our classification skills, Ms. Birdsall divided us into partners and gave us of a bag of objects to identify as transparent, translucent or opaque.  The most surprising was the emergency blanket.  From a distance it looks opaque (kind of like aluminum foil), but when you look through it up close it's actually translucent!


Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Learning about Cedar

Right now in Social Studies, we are studying the First Nations people of the Pacific Northwest Coast. We are very fortunate to have Aboriginal cultural facilitators in our school district who give presentations to enhance our curriculum. Last week, Richard came into our class to teach us about the importance of the cedar tree to the First Nations people of this area. They called cedar the "Tree of Life" because they used it for so many different things. Objects made out of cedar included: longhouses, canoes, paddles, clothing, baskets, boxes, totem poles, rope, tools and many other items. Here are a few of the things made of cedar that Richard brought to show us.

Next, Richard taught us the process of cedar twining.  Traditionally, the First Nations would twine cedar to use as rope.  In partners, we twined the cedar to create bracelets.  To twine the cedar securely, you first twist a section of the bark, then overlap one part of the bark over the other.  The technique takes a bit of practice, but when it's done correctly the rope is very strong.  Here we are hard at work.

 Thank you Richard for teaching us about cedar!

Monday, 14 January 2013

Light Sources Animotos

In Science, we have been learning about light sources.  There are two categories of light sources: natural light and artificial light.  Natural light is light that comes from nature, for example, the sun.  Artificial light is made by humans, for example, a lamp.  To demonstrate their understanding of light sources, students created slideshows using a great program called Animoto.  Here are some photos of the students hard at work on the laptops putting together their slideshows.


 Here are a couple of examples of the finished Animotos.  To see all of the students' slideshows, please click here to visit students individual blogs where the slideshows are posted.

Saturday, 5 January 2013

T'was the Night Before Christmas

Oops, it's a bit late. :-( Nonetheless, I wanted to show off the students' wonderful recitation of the poem, "T'was the Night Before Christmas". Each week we have a "Poem of the Week". In pairs, students usually practice reciting the whole poem to build fluency. However, since this is such a long poem, we divided it into sections, as you'll hear. First, here are a few photos of the students practicing their parts.

Now, click on the link, to hear the poem.  listen to ‘T'was the Night Before Christmas’ on Audioboo