Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Eggshell Ornaments

Yesterday we got into the festive spirit making eggshell ornaments.  We were lucky to have retired teacher Mrs. Shaefer come to our class to teach us this very special activity.  Thanks, Mrs. Shaefer!

We rotated through stations to put glitter in the background, create a diorama inside the egg, get ribbon and beads glued around the outside and finally attach a string to hang it.  We were fortunate to have Shayoni's grandma and Menura's mom come to help us too. (Ms. Birdsall doesn't have too many photos of the stations because she was too busy with the glue gun!)

 It was a fun afternoon and the ornaments turned out beautifully!

Sunday, 7 December 2014

Making Our Kiva Loans!

Last Thursday was an exciting day.  We made our first Kiva loans!  You may recall that we recently held a beanbag toss fundraiser. We raised enough money to make seven $25 loans.  To help us choose our loan recipients, we established the following criteria as a class:

1)  Has one or more children under 18 years old.
2)  Between the ages of 20-50.
3)  Lives in a country with a low or medium human development index rating (The human development index is a United Nations measure of standard of living.  See the ratings here.)
4)  Field partner (agency distributing loan) has at least a four star rating.  (less risk of default)
5)  Monthly repayment schedule.

Choosing loan recipients is no easy task, since there are over 6000 people asking for loans on Kiva!  To start, students divided up into pairs and began reading profiles, using the above criteria as a guide.  When they found a person who sounded promising, they recorded more information, so they could tell the class about their candidate.


 Pairs then recommended one or more loan recipients to the class, and together we read their profiles.  Students then got six votes.  They could "spend" their votes however they saw fit.  They could vote for six different people, or they could give two votes each to three people, for example.  (We made six loans on Thursday, the last one will be determined later by students who were absent on Thurs.)

In the end, we chose the following loan recipients.

- Merly from the Philippines who sells bamboo.
- Rodelyn from the Philippines who sells jewellery.
-Rexhep from Kosovo who is an onion farmer.
-Janet from the Philippines who is a fisherwoman.
-Carlos from Paraguay who runs a food distribution business.
-Paulina from the Philippines who is a pig farmer.

It is great to think that our loans will help these people to build their businesses.  With the profits, they will be able to improve their lives and the lives of their families.  The best part is, when our loans are repaid, we can reloan our money to other deserving people on Kiva!

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Egg Prep for Christmas Ornament

Next Monday, we will be making eggshell Christmas ornaments.  Each student will need to bring two prepared eggshells to school on Monday, December 8. We will be painting them, so white shells work best, but brown would be okay too.  If you family does not eat eggs, please let me know in advance so that I can arrange to have extra shells for your child.

To prepare the egg:

1) Use a pair of sharp scissors to poke a hole in the side of the egg.
2) Starting at the hole, cut an oval out of the side of the shell.
3) Empty the egg yolk and egg white.
4) Trim the oval a bit more if needed.
5)  Rinse out the shell.
6)  Leave it to dry overnight.

The finished decoration will look something like this:

Any questions or concerns, please let me know.

Sunday, 30 November 2014

Kiva Bean Bag Fundraiser

This past Tuesday was finally the day we had been working so hard for, our Kiva fundraising bean bag toss.  It was busy, but fun as about 75 primary students filed into their gym for their chance to toss bean bags at a target and win movie passes.  The Gr. 4 students were very excited to be running the event and everyone did an amazing job of their tasks.  People showed a lot of initiative to help things run smoothly and ensure that the participants had a good time.

We had a unique problem to solve after Tuesdays event: two students landed on the target!  To fully imagine how impressive this is, the target was three quarters of the way (length-wise) across the gym, and the inner circle was about the size of a piece of baloney.  Nice aim, huh?!?  After a long discussion and close vote, we decided to split up the pair of movie passes and give each winner one.

In preparation for Thursday's intermediate event, we decided to make a few changes.  We decided to have three people throw at a time to make things go faster.  We also decided to prep the bean bags in advance by putting a piece of masking tape on each one and having students write their names on the bags before throwing.  Thanks to these changes, Thursday's event ran even more smoothly than Tuesday's.  The students again did a fantastic job!  Luckily, we also had only one winner on Thursday!

In total, we raised $123!  Thanks to the generosity of Guildford Landmark Cinemas who donated the movie passes we used as prizes, all of this is profit. We will fund five $25 loans on Kiva.  In addition, a generous parent and our wonderful vice principal have also offered up $25 each.  This means that we will be able to help seven people improve their lives.  We are thrilled!  We now have the difficult, but inspiring task of choosing the recipients of our loans. Stay tuned!

Here are a few event photos.  Thanks to our class photographers Matheus and Marcus for the shots.  (Unfortunately, because I don't have parental permission, I can't include any photos of the participants.)


Sunday, 23 November 2014

Planning Our Kiva Fundraiser

One of our major projects in Social Studies this term has been learning about the microfinance organization, Kiva.  We began by building our background knowledge about basic needs versus wants, poverty, resource inequality, financial literacy and the power of micro loans.  By the time we had done all of these lessons, we were very motivated to help, and so the idea of a fundraiser was born.

We brainstormed fundraising ideas, discussed the pros and cons of each one using the criteria we created, and voted on our favourites. Ultimately, we decided on a bean bag toss.  Participants in the school would pay $1.00 for three bean bags.  Their goal would be to hit a target on the ground across the gym.  The winners would win movie passes generously donated by Landmark Guildford Cinemas.

With an idea in mind, we then divided up into committees.  Every student had a job and their teamwork was impressive.  Check out the photos below to see their examples of them hard at work.

Writing an announcement to advertise the event over the P.A.
Our other announcements team.
Organizing which pairs of students will visit which classes to talk about the event.

Our logistics committee making decisions about who, what, when, where.

Posters around the school let everyone know about the event.

Such a big school needs a lot of posters!
Making sure all the important info is included in his poster.

Another one of our fantastic poster pairs.
Our principal proposal committee using our iPad to plan their presentation to Mr. Sol.

Visiting the Kiva website for inspiration!

There are so many wonderful people to loan to!

Stay tuned to find out how our bean bag toss goes on Tuesday, November 25 (for primaries) and Thursday, November 27 (for intermediates).

Friday, 14 November 2014

The Light Spectrum

Today in Science we were learning about the light spectrum.  A light spectrum is a band of colours.  The spectrum can be split into its different colours using a prism.  When light enters a prism (a piece of clear glass or plastic), each colour of light is refracted (bent) at a slightly different angle, so we can see the different colours.  When you see  a rainbow in the sky, the raindrops are refracting the sunlight and creating the rainbow.

We we got to explore these ideas at several different stations.  Check out the photos below to see us doing this hands-on learning.

Using Prisms

Using Spectroscopes and  Spectrum Glasses


Using CDs and Flashlights

 Using Bubbles

 Using a Water Prism

 If you are in Division 9, which was your favourite station?  Why?