Thursday, 23 October 2014

Kortright Centre for Conservation! Aboriginal Day in the Woods

This week, we traveled to the Kortright Centre for Conservation in Vaughan where the Huron people actually lived! It was so much fun exploring the lands and artifacts that taught us more about the original peoples in Ontario.

What a wonderful experience it was on a nice crisp fall day. 

Take a look at our learning adventure:

Students drank some of this evergreen tea found outside in the forest! Did you know it was used to help the Aboriginal people stay healthy since it is rich in Vitamin C. Yummy...

Cheers to drinking fresh tea.


Students also engaged in a scavenger hunt in the beautiful forest. We found the breathtaking water that was an important part of Aboriginal life. We learned that the water was used in many different ways: drinking, cooking, traveling, finding food, etc.


Underneath all of those colourful leaves is the moss that was used for baby diapers! That absorbent plant along with hide is a great way to make diapers for the Aboriginal babies.


Our journey in the woods continued as we searched for: mushrooms (that were eaten by Aboriginal people), maple trees (for sap), wood used for longhouses, evergreen trees for tea, squirrels/deer/rabbit (for meat), water, etc.




We also had a chance to try some of the activities that the Aboriginal people did 500 years ago. Some of these activities were for fun and other activities were an important part of everyday life.



Take a look at the artifact room! We had a chance to explore all of these artifacts and learn what they were made from as well.

Aboriginal people sure were creative and innovative!!








Can you guess what this artifact is?







Overall, the grade 3s had a spectacular learning experience and have discovered so much more about the Aboriginal people that first settled in Ontario.




Lines Exploration Continued: Body Lines!

As we continue to explore lines in visual arts, we decided to use our bodies to create all of the different types of lines we are discovering.

Take a look at some of our lines...

Curved Lines...





Horizontal straight lines...



Diagonal straight lines...



As we deepen our understanding of lines, we can now move toward creating visual art pieces that utilize various types of lines.

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

A 500 year ago Thanksgiving Celebration with our School Family!


On Thursday, we had our Aboriginal Thanksgiving Day Celebration!!
This year we spent the whole day celebrating life as an Aboriginal family. 


Since STORYTELLING was such a significant part of Aboriginal and First Nations life, we began our day with a Cree Story about the Granddaughter that was Eaten by a Big Fish!
Not only are these stories entertaining to listen to, they are also a great learning tool for First Nations people. The elders, traditionally, shared these stories to teach children important lessons.

Following the storytelling, we had the opportunity to experience some authentic Aboriginal music. We got up and began to move our bodies in the ways that felt natural to the beats of the sounds.

Take a look below:






All of the students were so engaged in the sound of the drums and the beat of all the fascinating instruments! Following recess, a few of the Grade 3 students had a discovery to share with the classes. They found objects from outside (during recess), and came together in a group of 5 people to create their own version of Aboriginal music.

They bravely came forward in the class and shared their creative rendition of Aboriginal music using the objects that they found outside in our school yard!





After all of the dancing and storytelling, we had our feast. We ate the traditional Three Sisters foods: beans, corn, and squash alongside our rabbit meat! It was a delicious feast and we were all so thankful for the chance to eat together with our class community.

Students experienced eating this scrumptious food using only a stick -- this was to experience how Aboriginal people ate their food with limited utensils and homemade forks!




What a perfect way to celebrate a community of faith and being thankful! It was a great day remembering our ancestors who respected our land and were the start of this amazing country.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING EVERYONE!

Curriculum Night and Classroom Tour!









For those of you who missed our curriculum night, here is a peak at what was set up for the night...

Some of the Resources Used:

TEXTBOOK RESOURCES: Below are some of the resources (texts) that we use to support the Grade 3 curriculum. Alongside these resources, Ms. Meehan and Ms. Marra are always searching and discovering the most current information and interactive ways to engage with the curriculum. 

WEB RESOURCES: We also use Ontario Education Resource Bank Online, Learn 360, Smarttech Exchange, Nelson Mathematics Online, and other online resources that are constantly being updates with new information.

APPLICATION RESOURCES: Some of the apps that we use on the iPads are as follows: Pearson e-text, Gizmos, Explain Everything, Google Maps, Blogger, Prezi, Raz Kids, etc.





Our classrooms are set up with various comfortable spaces for students to explore their learning and work collaboratively. Students in our class often get to choose where they would like to learn. Some of these areas include:
- Carpet area (with pillows)
- Couch area (with pillows)
- Small group work tables
- Independent work tables
- Beside the class library nook
- On the yoga ball seats
- Outside on the benches in the hall







Thank you for all of the families that came out on curriculum night! It was a pleasure and we are happy to share this post for all of the families that weren't able to make it... !

Saturday, 11 October 2014

Collaborative Instruction Writing Activity!




After a few activities with instructions, students felt ready to begin writing their own instructions with a partner. Collaboratively, the students wrote instructions on how to draw a picture of their choice. After they completed their instructions, they went to another pair of students and had them follow their instructions.



If the students following the instructions were able to follow each step carefully and have a final picture similar to the original design, the instructions would prove to be well written. If there were areas that were unclear, students were able to give each other feedback as to different ways that they could improve their instructions.





After practicing with a partner, students have gained even more confidence about writing their own instructions. Next step....writing instructions independently!

Our grade 3s have gotten so good at writing detailed instructions!

Well done! :)

Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Unclear, Undetailed and Confusing, Oh My!

Today, Ms. Marra and Ms. Meehan were deliberately confusing. Why you ask? To teach students about the importance of being clear and detailed while giving instructions. Each pair of students were given a piece of paper and were told that they had to follow instructions to create some origami. 



Students were given instructions such as:
"Hold your piece of paper the correct way"
"Fold the corner to the side"
"Fold the other side to the other side"



After we finished our folded paper art, students were asked:
- how they felt during the activity
- why the instructions were difficult to follow
- what could have been done to make the instructions more easy to follow
- why all of the paper creations were different from each other


Students realized that when it came time for them to write their own instructions, that they needed to be detailed and clear so that the person following their instructions did not feel as confused as they did while creating their origami!




Later in the day students practiced giving clear, detailed instructions to a partner about how to tie their shoes. 






Our First BYOT Day!

This morning the air room was buzzing with excitement, students brought in their own devices to research. Earlier in the week students practiced their reading skills by finding the most important information in the text related to the contributions of First Nations people in Ontario. 

Students were able to pick which item they were most interested in to do more research on. 

Students found a spot in the classroom that they felt comfortable and the research began!






There have been many moments where students giggled with glee as they learned something new while they explored their topics. 

Next, students will share their findings with other group members