Group Learning Stories Part 6

Dissection Round Two:
Why one dissection day just isn’t enough

There is so much to study and learn about salmon anatomy. Just like when you first see a new place, there is so much to take in and the more time you spend there, the more details you begin to notice. As the kids get over the excitement (or grossness, depending who you ask) of the salmon dissection, they start to look more closely. They see things they missed in previous dissections. They slow down and observe more closely. Each time, they become better at identifying parts of the salmon and gain a better understanding about salmon and how they “work”.

Group Learning Stories Part 6-1

Race Car Drivers

I keep repeating it, but we are so lucky to have such a wonderful and supporting community. Shuger’s grandpa, Michael, offered to bring in Shuger’s Midget racer. The kids were so interested and excited that you could hear a pin drop while they learnt all about racing from Shuger and her grandpa. They learnt that you can’t just jump in a racer and go; you need to train and learn first. They also learnt about all of the safety procedures and equipment used to make sure that everyone is safe. They learnt about flag and light colours and the actions that accompany them. They were able to make the connection to these and the traffic lights they see on the roads daily, helping build their understanding of road safety too. They then got to practice by having a trial run (on a dolly so they couldn’t actually go anywhere… after all, they haven’t done the training yet), where they got to practice green, yellow and red flag actions. They had a great time, and had a clear understanding that safety and knowledge are the most important things.

Group Learning Stories Part 6-2

Moccasin Trek

We had Wes, from the group Full Circle, come share songs and stories through the Moccasin Trek program. With his great sense of humour and story telling, he shared songs with us and even taught us some dancing. He explained the significance of the pieces of his outfit and spent time answering all of the questions that we had. It was a wonderful fun and informative presentation.

Group Learning Stories Part 6-3

Cinderella… Environmental School Style

I don’t have a learning story to go with this. It just makes me laugh that someone was missing ONE boot. It made me think of Cinderella, if Cinderella went to our school.

Group Learning Stories Part 6-4

Hallowe’en

Things other school parents don’t understand:
Number 16: Outside Hallowe’en costumes. “Put your outside Hallowe’en costume on for school, not your “real” one”.

There were princesses, creatures, superheroes and monsters… and some kids came in costume too. 😉 We all had a great time taking part in Hallowe’en activities that the Bear clan had organized. There were crafts, face painting, crazy hair stations, blind-folded touch stations (eg. Cold, wet spaghetti for witches’ hair), and an after lunch dance.

As per tradition, we charged a candy tax the next day. It is an optional fun way to work on building an understanding of percentages… and taxes.

Group Learning Stories Part 6-5

Remembrance Day

We all walked together to a nice quiet spot where we Clayton read a book to us about peace and remembering. We had discussions about peace and what life might be like without it and what Remembrance Day means to us. We had a silent moment to reflect and think.

The discussions were quite thoughtful and respectful.

Group Learning Stories Part 6-6

Changing Places

Changing places is a game we started last year up at the Woodlot. One student is “it” and studies the group closely. He then moves away from the group and turns his back to the group. Then, one person moves and sits in a new spot. The person who is it gets three tries to guess who moved. Simple in theory, but hard in practice, this is one of their favourite games.

It involves keen observation and memory.

Group Learning Stories Part 6-7

Operation Trans-PLANT

If you’ve ever visited the fort area in Allco Park, you know that it is a pretty dead zone in terms of plants. To help change this, and to do something for the home that welcomes us to a new school year, we started Operation trans-PLANT. We walked to a property close-by and, with permission from the property owner, we dug up ferns and plants to bring back to Allco Park. When we got back, we replanted and flagged all of the plants we brought. We are off to a good start. We have also started using branches and sticks to mark a clear path for park users to follow, further protecting the newly transplanted plants.

Group Learning Stories Part 6-8

Malcolm Knapp Research Forest

In many ways, coming back to Malcolm Knapp Research Forest feels like coming home. But then again, so does going to Allco at the start and end of the year. The more we get to know a place, the more it feels like home to us. As we spent time getting to know more and more places in our community, our definition of home broadens, our awareness of home deepens and our desire to come to understand our place within home strengthens.

Group Learning Stories Part 6-9

Helping the Arboretum

We care about our home, and want to take care of it. Having so many people around the arboretum at Malcolm Knapp can be wearing on it so we do our best to minimize our impact and to contribute to the area. One project we are working on this year is to protect the roots of the trees closest to the yurt. The kids have helped shovel and smooth down dirt all around the base of the trees. The next steps will be to plant bushes around the trees to keep their roots protected.

Group Learning Stories Part 6-10