Group Learning Stories Part 2

Painting

One of our favourite things to do when it’s nice out is to paint! We paint to express ourselves and ideas. Sometimes we just paint whatever is in our minds or hearts. Sometimes we paint to express an understanding of ideas and concepts that we are talking about. Whatever the subject is, we are working on, students are developing their fine motor skills, their ability to synthesize and summarize ideas, their imaging skills, and their ability to express themselves with both language and artistic expression.

Group Learning Stories Part 2-1

Walking Around

When we go for walks, we usually have a focus (other than developing gross-motor skills and endurance). For example, today we were looking for anything that caught our eye. On these walks we explore and inquire about the world around us. We look for connections between our lives and the natural world. We look for real- world examples of concepts we are thinking about. Students work on observation, wondering, predictions, summarizing, inferring and making connections. They are also working on group speaking and listening.

Group Learning Stories Part 2-2

Exploring the River Bank

While we are at Allco, much of what we do revolves around the river. There is so much to observe and inquire and learn about! We learn about rivers, where the Allouette comes from and goes, erosion, water fall, plants, aquatic insects, habitats, and of course all about salmon. The river is a source of fascination, fun and also quiet and peace.

Group Learning Stories Part 2-3

Buddy Time

Most days we have a little chunk of time for buddies. An older kid and a younger kid are paired up in buddy groups. They read, work on secret letters and sounds, play word and number games, write stories or comics together, draw and label scientific drawings… the list goes on and on. It’s a great chance to build community ties and help reinforce and practice early learning skills as well. In order to help the little buddies develop their skills, the big buddies have to really focus on these skills that are mostly automatic to them now. They have to break the skills and ideas down, explain them and summarize or synthesize the ideas. Through this, they are actually deepening their own learning and understanding of language, numeracy and other skills and ideas. Shhh… don’t tell the big buddies that they are learning just as much as the younger ones 😉

Group Learning Stories Part 2-4

Aquatic Insects and Creatures

We like to take advantage of the warm September weather and shallow waters to look for and classify aquatic insects. Students learn where insects may be hiding and how to find them. This requires a good eye and patience. We gather a few up so that everyone has a chance to observe what we find. This opens up to some great discussions on different creatures and insects, classification and scientific drawings.

Group Learning Stories Part 2-5

The Annual River Crossing and Hike

If the weather permits, we like to cross the river one afternoon and go for a hike on the other side of the river. This brings us up and into Golden Ears Provincial Park (onto the Valley Trail). So we line up the adults in the water, go over ways to cross safely, and have the older students help ferry everyone across. It is always a sight to see! On the other side, we get to explore the forest and give our legs their first longer hike of the year.

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Bees!

It has certainly been an active end of summer for wasps. They seemed to be everywhere!!! It helped us learn about their behavior and reminded us to keep food containers closed. We found a part of a wasps’ nest and the students go to observe it up close. There were even (dead) unhatched wasps which helped us learn more about their life cycle.

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Morning Songs

Becki has been teaching us more and more complicated rhythms and some new songs. We find ourselves singing “Land of the Silver Birch” throughout the day without really noticing. She has also begun to teach us a second verse for O’ Canada and the French version as well. We are also working on having different clans singing/clapping different parts at the same time. So not only are we working melodies, patterns and rhythms, but we’re really working on our concentration as well!
We also love to see parents and younger (or older) siblings join in!

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Bear Safety

Being outside, in a park, near a river, we do have to be Bear Aware and practice bear safety. This is something we discuss from day one and keep reinforcing so that we, and the bears, can be safe and share the areas we visit. If we see a bear we:
1 – Group together
2 – Make ourselves look big
3 – Sing country and western (or anything… to help stay calm)
4 – Slowly back away
In buddies, the students worked on bear safety posters. This helped them to reinforce their bear safety knowledge, and to practice their drawing and writing skills.

Group Learning Stories Part 2-9

Mini Red Rover

I have no idea why a bunch of the munchkins (K-1s) decided to start playing Red Rover, but they did. It can be a rough game, so I was a bit nervous. But as I watched I was super impressed. They were all very careful with each other. Instead of trying to forcefully break through, they would laugh and admit they got caught and go join the line. They called on everyone equally. And, when it got down to the last person on the team, she just laughed and announced that the other team won. They all showed such great sportsmanship and care for each other. They really were playing just for the fun of playing together.

Group Learning Stories Part 2-10