Group Learning Stories Part 3

The Giant Sunflower

Monica brought in a humongous sunflower from her garden! We were all amazed at the size and weight of the sunflower. The kids loved pulling out the shells to look for seeds. For many kids, they thought mostly of the yellow petals when thinking of a sunflower. This gave them the opportunity to explore and deepen their understanding of this awesome flower. We love these hands on learning opportunities. … even more so if there may be food involved!

Group Learning Stories 3-1

Picnic and Story Time

In order to give the munchkins a bit more time to eat, some days we have picnic/story time after recess. While the kids can eat their lunches at a normal pace (and not at a rushing to go play pace), we read them a book. We are working on reading strategies such as predictions, connections and questions (wonders). We talk about themes and messages of a story and how it relates to us. It is also an opening into discussions about feelings, opinions and ideas. Sometimes we will follow up with an activity related to the story. For example, after reading “Hey There Little Ant” the kids drew themselves the size on an ant and drew other objects of people around them for perspective.

Group Learning Stories 3-2

Puddle Math

With the rain comes puddles, and who can resist puddles?! We measured the puddles using non-standard units of measurement (our feet). Students worked on measurement concepts of length, width and perimeter, and basic numeracy concepts of iteration (placing one thing right after the other with no gaps, repeatedly, to measure), rote counting, double digit numbers and writing numerals. We repeated this activity the next day as well and compared our results (it had not rained so the puddles had shrunken/disappeared).

Group Learning Stories 3-3

Bug Hunts

Bugs are always a source of fascination! There are so many different ones! We often miss seeing them because of their size though. So we like to go on bug hunts to really get a chance to see them. We have to move more slowly and carefully and observe intently. When we find bugs we try to describe them and classify them by their characteristics. Even if it’s as simple as bug/not bug it’s a great skill to learn and practice. We also like to try to name them based on their characteristics. It’s a good practice in both observation and classification.

Group Learning Stories 3-4

Terry Fox Run

We ran or walked around the park in honour of Terry Fox. Everyone put a lot of effort into it, running as many laps as they could. It was great to have parents and siblings join in as well.

Group Learning Stories 3-5

Twosie Lign Up

When we walk, we usually line up in twos, or in a twosie lineup. Not only does this make it easier for us to make sure we’re all together and keep an eye on everyone, but we get to work on some number sense as well. We count by twos and count past 20 and sometimes 30. We work on “one more than/one less than” which helps develop number sense as well. For example, if we count 27 and then one more joins up, we ask “we had 27, now we have one more, how many do we have?” Our twosie line up is also a great way to build an understanding of odd and even numbers.

It’s a small thing that we do several times a day, but it has a lot of number sense built in.

Group Learning Stories 3-6

Natural Medicines

Last year, Tina organized a day around plant-based medicines. We leant about plants in the area and their medicinal uses. We also made stinging nettle tea bags. The kids still go around prescribing this tea to anyone who has anything wrong (headache, stomachache, cold… they are pretty adamant that the tea can help most anything). So much to their excitement, this year Tina brought Todd back and we made three different plant-based medicines. We made a salve, pills to fight colds and flus and tooth powder. Todd told us about the different ingredients and their different ingredients. We worked a lot on ratios to make the recipes as well.

Group Learning Stories 3-7

Puddles II

We talk a lot about puddles; how they form, and where they go when they leave. This works on our wonders and predictions and our understanding of the water cycle and our waterways. We also continue to use puddles as a subject of measurement. We measured the depth of the puddles using a stick as a guide and our fingers as units of measurement. These activities helped them practice their counting, writing of numerals, and writing words. They also learnt measurement terms and concepts.


International Talk like A Pirate Day

We always have a lot of fun with this day. We do our best to talk like pirates. We learn some pirate vocabulary, which always brings some thought and discussion on different languages/contextual language. We tie in pirate stories and treasure maps, working language, numeracy and ways of knowing our environment. In the afternoon, we set our craft skills to work as we made pirate hats, eye patches and boats. This involved cutting, folding, stapling, and drawing, all of which work fine motor skills and patience.

Group Learning Stories 3-9

The Weather

This year we are keeping track of the daily weather. We look at temperature, precipitation, cloud coverage and wind. This is another way to know and describe our world. We can also track changes in weather patterns to notice movement and change in our place. Also, it gives us data to work with for data analysis and for basic number and operations. The older kids have been working on creating wind vanes and looking at ways to measure precipitation.

Group Learning Stories 3-10