Friday, April 18, 2014

Peeling Eggs

I hard boiled eggs for snack this week. 
I placed them in a bowl on the table for the children to peel.
They loved the job.  Some have cooked at StrongStart before and had the opportunity to crack a fresh egg.  That was their approach with the hard boiled egg too – smack it on the table.  But when nothing happened we showed them how to pick off the shell to see that the egg was different inside.
After peeling the egg they placed it in a bowl of water, to rinse, to be sure
all the little pieces of shell were off.
Then we used an egg slicer which was a new tool for many of the children.
Slicing it made it easier to share the egg with the group.

As we were peeling the egg one child asked if we could colour the shells. 
We used our clear coffee mugs so we could observe how the water
changed when we dropped in a dye tablet.
One egg I took and broke the shell, making cracks around the egg. 
Then placed it in the the yellow dye.
It was interesting to discover, when we peeled the yellow egg that a little of the dye coloured the egg white but mostly the colour was on the inside of the shell.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

A Bunny Called Nat

I’ve posted this story twice in the past.  Both times with a video of myself telling the story. 
This year I added more pictures while I told the story.  I don’t have a video this year but here is the story.
Once upon a time there was a little gray rabbit and his name was Nat.  One day he looked around and saw that all his brothers and sisters, cousins and friends were gray, too. He thought he would like to be different from them.   So he said:
I’m a bunny called Nat,
I’m short and fat,
And I can change my colour
Just like that! (snap your fingers)
Suddenly Nat was a blue bunny.  He was blue like the sky and blue like a blueberry and blue like the water in the pond.  It felt nice and cool being blue.  He decided to take a look at himself in the water.  He leaned so far over that SPLASH he fell into the pond.  He fell into the deep blue water and he couldn’t swim.  He called for help.  His friends heard him, but when they came to the pond they couldn’t see him because he was blue just like the water.  Fortunately a turtle swam by and helped Nat get safely to shore.  He decided he didn’t like being blue.  So he said:
I’m a bunny called Nat
I’m short and fat
and I can change my colour
Just like that!
He changed his colour to yellow.  Yellow like a daffodil, yellow like a bird and yellow like the sun.  Yellow seemed like a happy colour to be.  He was very proud of his new colour, and he decided to take a walk through the jungle.  Who do you think he met in the jungle?  He met a lion.  The lion looked at Nat’s colour and said “what are doing in that yellow coat?  I’m the only animal in this jungle that is suppose to be yellow!”  He growled so fiercely that Nat the bunny was very frightened and ran all the way home.   He said:
I’m a bunny called Nat
I’m short and fat
and I can change my colour
Just like that!
This time he changed to green.  He was green like the leaves on the trees, green like a grasshopper and green like the grass in the meadow.  As a green bunny, Nat thought, he’d be the envy of all the other bunnies.  He wanted to play with his other bunny friends in the meadow.  But because he was the same colour of the grass he could not be seen.  His friends just ran and jumped about him not seeing him at all.  So Nat had no one to play with while he was green.  Being green wasn’t much fun.  So he said:
I’m a bunny called Nat
I’m short and fat
and I can change my colour
Just like that!
Now he was orange.  Orange like a carrot, orange like a pumpkin, and orange like the fruit.  He felt like he was the brightest colour of all.  He decided he would go out and play with all his brothers, sisters and friends.  But what do you supposed happened?  When his friends saw him, they all stopped playing and started to laugh.  “Ha-ha who ever heard of an orange bunny?”  No one wanted to play with him.  He didn’t want to be orange anymore.  He didn’t want to be a blue bunny, a yellow bunny, or a green bunny anymore.  So he said:
I’m a bunny called Nat
I’m short and fat
and I can change my colour
Just like that!
IMG_2530 (2)
He changed himself to gray.  And now that he was gray all of his friends played with him.  No one growled or laughed at him.  He was gray like a rain cloud, gray like a pussy willow and gray like an elephant.  It felt warm and comfortable being gray.  From that time on, Nat the bunny was always happy being a gray bunny and he decided that it’s really best being just what you are.

Each time Nat changed colour I would show the children and ask them what else was that colour.  They really enjoyed taking part and thought of many suggestions.


Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Where Did Our School Get It’s Name?

Part two of learning about ‘where names come from’, we are focusing on our school.
Our school use to have another name when it was a middle school.  But about six years ago our district reconfigured and removed middle schools sending the grade 8 & 9 students to high school and the sevens back to elementary.  Our old school became too small so we moved into the vacant middle school.
    IMG_2430 IMG_2435
The middle school was given an Aboriginal name and during the opening it also received a totem pole made by a local carver.
Part of our re-dedication ceremony, that will be held at the beginning of May, is to learn about the Aboriginal name and the pole.  Every student in the school has drawn a picture of the pole either from memory or looking at it.
This morning was our turn to sit in the foyer, look, talk and draw the totem pole.   We talked about the shapes and lines we could see.  We guessed what the pole looked like.  Here are a few drawings.
We also did a survey.
The majority of the families didn't know that our school had an Aboriginal name. 
     It’s Dux'solas meaning a place to look from. 

The pole is Kulus, little brother of Thunderbird.  In the next couple of weeks the carver will be visiting a couple of the older classes telling the story of the pole.  Then a few of those students will share the story with us.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Pond Study Week 3

Third week visiting the pond and it was another beautiful day.
Each week I’ve been adding a job for us to do.  The first week we marked the water level.  Last week we noticed that it receded quite a bit.
      IMGP2843 IMGP2844
This week was another big change.  In the second photo you can see the sticks we used to mark the water line.  The first photo we are measuring how many foot steps from the sticks to the new water’s edge.
Each child has a nature booklet that they use to record their observations.
Here is a child’s booklet where they drew a picture of the water and their grown up wrote how many steps they measured last week and today.

Our second job was for each child to find the tree they picked last week and record what changes they saw.
IMG_2389 IMG_2379

As we were checking our trees we also found something new.
         IMGP2859 IMGP2858
We found a small group of pussy willows growing.  I was tempted to pick them to bring back to the centre but there were only a few branches and it’s important that we learn to leave live nature in it’s place for all to enjoy.

           A mom also spotted this little nest of caterpillars. 
            So small that most people would walk right past.
 IMG_2384 IMG_2386
I had brought a box of Loupes which were perfect for getting a closer look
                         at the tiny caterpillars.

         Our third job this morning was to discover moss. 
Where does it grow?  How does it feel?  We found it growing…
IMG_2387 on trees,
on rocks, IMG_2392
IMG_2396 on old stumps,
and on the ground. IMG_2399

As we were discovering the moss a lot of descriptive words were being spoken.  Soft, short, rough, scratchy, hard, smooth were a few.
     I came prepared with two swatches of fabric for each child.
They could choose to glue one or both pieces in to their books depending
                on what moss they felt on our exploring.
    Read these wonderful comparative sentences the children made.
     Another child decided to draw a picture of the moss they had found. 
The children are enjoying recording their finds in their books.   It is a journal that we can refer back to each week, next month or even during the summer when they are off with their families.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Moving the Spuds Outdoors

Last week we measured our spuds to see if they were ready to move outside. 
     IMG_2056 IMG_2057
Yes they were around 15cm over the rim of the tub so we put them on
                   little dollies and pushed them outside.
Once we got outside though we had to carry them to the garden and into
the green house.  The children worked together and helped carry the tubs.
We decided to keep them in the green house for a bit longer because
         there are still some mornings that have frost.
 IMG_2061 IMG_2063
We gave them a good water before going back inside to play some more.

A few days later we went out to check if they needed to be watered again.
     IMG_2122 IMG_2123
                 Look how much they have grown!