Last Friday all schools in the school district honoured the Aboriginal culture by celebrating the Day of Sucwentwecw.
Leading up to the day all of the students made their own talking sticks. They are used in many Indigenous cultures and are communication tools that are used during gatherings. The person holding the stick, and only that person, is designated as having the right to speak and all others must listen quietly and respectfully. Talking sticks are most frequently used in council circles, ceremonies and at the beginning of cultural events such as potlatches and in storytelling circles. We used a variety of materials to decorate our sticks.
The focus of this day was on “Reconciliation”. We read a First Nations a story about an elder couple who, with the help of animals and nature, look to find a way to remember their culture in the past. We talked a lot about nature and things found in nature. We created a list of “Symbols of Nature” – in the sky, on the land, and animals. With our Big Buddies we made teepees out of paper bags and used some of these symbols to decorate them.
As a part of our Applied Design, Skills and Technology curriculum, we began a unit of study on Coding with Mrs. Sauer, our Teacher-Librarian. The children had fun understanding directions and how to "program" or tell something or someone how to move. We even followed 'code' ourselves - on the carpet and then on a grid mat.
Our chicks have grown bigger and stronger everyday.
We said "good-bye" to our chicks on Friday. After school I delivered our feathery friends to "Farmer Rachael" who took them back to her farm in Chase. The children helped me write a letter to her.
We had a "good-bye" celebration on Friday. Mrs. Mount, our school C.E.A - and Parker's Grandma, made us some yummy chick cupcakes to celebrate all our learning. What a treat!
We went on a Flashlight Search for alphabet letters around the room. It was lots of fun! Some of those letters were hard to find.
We have been waiting patiently - for 21 days - for our chicks to hatch. We had our eggs divided between two different incubators.
Finally on Tuesday when we arrived at school our first three new 'class members' were waiting for us in the incubator.
It didn't take them long to dry off and fluff up and then we could put them in the brooding tank.
On Wednesday, two other chicks joined our class! Our original three chicks were getting quite large!
The children all got to hold a chick. Super exciting!!
We agreed that Chirpie needed a house, so I set them to work. I put the students into groups to come up with an idea and design for his house. We needed to set some criteria of what would be necessary for his home. I gave them a few things that they had to have in Chirpie's house. They also came up with a long list of fun things to put in his home!
I put the students in groups and, as a part of our Applied Design, Skills & Technology curriculum, they spent time designing and creating “Chirpie’s House”.
At first they just met in their groups to discuss possible ideas for the house.
Then they used the white boards to draw up any plan ideas that they had.
During this ideate and design process, the children were very focused on the Core Competency of Communication - and not just communicating their ideas! We've talked a lot about the Communication Competency as also being about 'listening'. For some, listening and validating others' ideas can be a hard one!
So we moved from the idea and design stage to the building stage on Thursday. We invited Mr. Wielgoz, our District Coordinator and the teacher who loaned us the 'Makedo' supplies, to come and watch us during this stage of the process.
As you can imagine our room was very messy at the end of all this creating. So, we quickly got to work and had a huge clean-up. The children were awesome helpers!! Cleaning up is an important part of being a class member. The children showed great responsibility!
We talked about how during the design and building processes the children were very focused on the 'Thinking' Core Competencies - both Critical and Creative. Although they had many good ideas, sometimes when they tried building their idea it didn't always work out the way that they wanted. So, they had to try different ways to make it work. Definitely showing a "growth mind-set".
The students requested more time to complete their project. Although they had already met the "must have" criteria, they all wanted to add some "fun extras" to make Chirpie's house special!
Ta da - Presentation Time!!
It was time to invite Chirpie to walk through each of the houses. The groups had to explain all about their homes and Chirpie got to try them all out! Every member of the group had to do some of the explaining.
Now it was time to present their creations to a bigger audience! We invited Ms. Mabee, Mrs. Connolly's Kindergarten class, Mrs. Zirnhelt's Kindergarten/Grade One class, Mrs. Ruddick's Grade Four class, and Mrs. Connelly to come and walk through and check things out. We did it "museum style" where the children stayed with their projects and people walked around the room and visited each table. It was a little more intimidating explaining their homes to people who they didn't know but they were very brave and did a great job! Congratulations Kindergarten!!
I'm Mrs. MacDonald. Welcome to a window into our kindergarten classroom. My goal of this blog is to give you an opportunity to see some of the things that we are doing at school. Enjoy!