Marine biologists, botanists, horticulturalists, environmental scientists, microbiologists, physicists, engineers...... Maybe a future career? Our learning has been taking us in many directions!
Since our fascination with the parrotfish, who poops out sand creating more than 1/3 of the Earth's beach sand and frogfish, who can open up its mouth and suck in its prey, up to twice its size in 6 milliseconds, we have continued our journey to the ocean depths to learn more about unique and amazing sea creatures.
Did you know that jelly fish (also known as sea jellies) have no brain, heart, or bones, and are composed of 95% water. One of the most deadly sea creatures is the box jellyfish. Another sea jelly, the Turritopsis Dohrnii, is the only animal in the world that can revert back to its juvenile form (transdifferentiation) giving it the name, the "immortal" jellyfish. The blue-ringed octopus is the most venomous animal in the world and is only the size of a bottle cap. We will continue to learn about these and other amazing sea creatures, such as sea urchins, sea turtles, starfish, rabbit fish, and seahorses.
We have been reading a combination of both fiction and nonfiction books as we delve deeper into our ocean exploration. The children continue to learn how to differentiate between fiction and nonfiction books. Nonfiction books have a table of contents, the pictures used are generally real photographs, and the writing is fact-based. Fiction books have illustrations that are generally drawn or painted, have a middle, beginning, and end, and the stories are made up. They are becoming quite proficient!
With the Duplo and Lego, many children enjoy creating towers that are both tall and stable. The morning of April 15th, one of the boys built his tower with dragon heads on the top. We talked about how many older building were built with gargoyles on their rooftops to drain rainwater. We looked at many buildings, including Notre Dame in Paris.
While engaged in outdoor exploration, we noticed our long shadows and theorized how they are created and whether they change in length and direction throughout the day. We traced some of the children's shadows with chalk and marked the time. Periodically, we would go back to our original chalk outline and have the same students stand and trace their new shadows. As the day progressed, we continued to watch as their shadows grew smaller, changed direction, and grew longer again.
With our science buddies in Mme McLeish's class, we are learning about magnetic force and the attraction between north and south poled magnets. We examined and tested the magnetism of various objects around the classroom and then tried to see if we could move various objects, such as a desk or chair, using only magnetic force.
This year, the grade sixes performed the school-wide waste audit. They collected all of the garbage in the school and assessed how responsible we are with our waste management. We were given the opportunity to listen and ask question. The children saw how important it is to ensure that we are using the blue bins to recycle and how we need to use materials with intention, not just throw items away in the garbage that could be used for another purpose.
We continue to work on our daily classroom responsibilities to ensure that we keep our classroom neat and organized, as well as work on our literacy and math skills by tracking the weather and working on patterning with the calendar vocabulary. As part of our school responsibilities, we helped with spreading mulch in our outdoor learning garden. We must have filled and move 30+ buckets! Bravo, les amis !
As for our community contribution, we will be involved in "Soil Your Undies!" We will be burying brand new underwear in various environments around the school and in the forest. "What?", you might be asking. Really! Our classroom will be involved with a study on microorganisms in the earth. Along with a scientist at the University of Guelph, we will bury 100% cotton underwear and after two months, we will observe the level of decomposition. "If there’s not much left of the underwear you have good biological activity, which indicates healthy soil. These same soil organisms can break down plant materials in much the same way." This should be a fun activity!
Our bean plants continue to grow. Not only are we watching how plants grow, we are using our math skills as we estimate the amount of growth and track it on our chart.
It is important to expose children to many different experiences. These activities allow them to begin to understand that the world is chalked full of wonderful and amazing things and is so much larger than their own personal communities.
Hoping that you are having a wonderful weekend and taking advantage of the wonderful weather!
Pottery to Go - May 24th - Cost between $8-10.00
Scientists in the School - May 27th - We will be in need of parent volunteers! Paid for by School Council...Merci !