Mason Bees and Daffodils

Although we didn’t get our daffodils from the Ministry this year (they somehow left us off the list!), Mrs. Boekhout had saved lots of the bulbs from last year AND she bought some special “Happy Canada 150” red and white tulips that came right from Holland!   In the Fall, we learned about bulbs and how they grow.  Then we planted our bulbs.  We also learned about the life cycle of Mason Bees.  They are Solitary Bees, so they don’t make a hive.  The females almost never sting, and the males can’t sting at all!  That’s nice!  Mason Bees are one of the first insects to come out in Spring, and they are important pollinators.  Mrs. Boekhout keeps the cocoons over the summer, washes them in Fall, and then tucks them away over the Winter in a cool, but not freezing, place.

Early Spring is also the time when we get our Mason Bees ready to “wake up”.   Our wonderful “Mason Bee Man”, Pasquale, came into the class to tell us more about the bees.  He showed us how to “roll” paper straws for the bees to use for their eggs.   Mason Bees pack a pile of pollen in the tubes first, then they lay just one egg and they build a little mud wall… all inside the straw!  Every egg has its own little bedroom!  Our job was to get the straws ready.  Pasquale hand-made a special Mason Bee house for our class the year before!  He painted it beautiful colors, and made little “cubbies” in it. He opened up one of the cocoons for us to see, and hold, a live Mason Bee!  The rest of the cocoons went in a little box.  We put the little box inside the Bee House and then waited… not very long… to see the first bees emerge!  We cheered and clapped for them!

 

Later on, but still in Spring, we were SO excited when our bulbs started to pop up out of the soil!  When our beautiful flowers started to open, we learned more about the anatomy of a flower and the daffodil life cycle.   We couldn’t wait to go outside to sketch them! They made the Sanctuary look SO BEAUTIFUL!

 

Here is a SlideShow of us at both our fun times in the Sanctuary!

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Can you remember where YOUR Daffodils were?

100 Days of School!

The 100th Day of School is always a big event!  Our class celebrates with fun “Math Stations” where we do all kinds of activities to do with “100”!

Here we are in action!

 What was YOUR favourite part of 100 day? 

 

Dr. Seuss!

We celebrated a birthday for Dr. Seuss by reading some of his books and watching videos on the week of March 2… Dr. Seuss would have been 113!

We couldn’t pass up going to the Evergreen Theater production of Seussical the Musical... especially since one of our own class members, Kaitlyn,  was in the production! We were delighted to see some baby ducks on the way.  Earlier in the school year, the whole school saw a “LunchBox Theater” production from Dr. Seuss as well!

What a great year for Dr. Seuss in our class!

Who is YOUR favourite character from Dr. Seuss?

 

Mickey Mouse Birthday!

Oh my… somehow I missed posting Mickey Mouse’s Birthday on November 18th!  (He turned 88 this year, so he’s not as old as my Mum!)  We did a step-by-step Art Sketch project to celebrate!

 

 

Here are our sketches!

Who is YOUR favourite “Mickey Mouse” character?

 

Gung Hey Fat Choy!

Happy Chinese Lunar New Year!

We had a very special celebration for this “Year of the Rooster”!  The biggest excitement was “waking” the Dragon and Lions for a parade with our Grade 5 Buddies!  The Dragon and Lions go on display outside the Library every year, but it has been a few years since they got to parade down the halls!  You can read about our wonderful Dragon on the Nestor Website. He was constructed by Nestor teachers back in 1998 and his wonderful body was made by Parent Volunteers in 1999 from material donated by every student in the school!  The big Lion was an older Nestor tradition and the little Lion was a gift from one of Mrs. B’s parents who brought it back from Hong Kong.

Our other excitement was a marvelous homemade Chinese lunch made by Lucas’s Dad and Fiona’s Dad (visiting from China!).  There were THREE kinds of dumplings and a delicious rice with all kinds of extra veggies and goodies in it!   They worked from early in the morning until lunch time to prepare it for us.  Lucas prepared a special Slide Show for us, to explain some of the traditions behind this special occasion.

A special THANK YOU to Kaylee’s Mom for providing this video!

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What was YOUR favourite part of celebrating Chinese New Year?

 

Christmas Yule Logs

Yet again my class has been lucky enough to participate in the Yule Log craft.   In old times, it was an English tradition to bring in a gigantic log to burn for all of the 12 days of Christmas.  Kindling from this Yule Log was kept to light the fire of the next year’s log.  Our creations recreate the magic of a wondrous sparkly log hidden out in the forest.

My best friend, who was born in England, shared this tradition with me when my son was little. Many students have come back to tell me that they still have their original log, or have “recreated” their log, from their Grade 2 Christmas craft! Seventeen years ago (amazing!) I was lucky enough to have the Nussle family join my Grade 2 class.  It is hard to believe, but my dear “Christmas Lumberjack”, Mr. Nussle, has been supplying the logs every year since then!  Both his daughters are quite grown up!  The Yule Logs the students take home have a lot of history behind them!

Another Nestor  tradition is our special “Nestor Christmas Song – One Little Candle”  which was created by Nestor students and their Music teacher, Ms. Coffin, and which appeared on television by winning a contest by McDonald’s!  Enjoy this video, where the students sing our special song while working on their Yule Logs! It’s a double bonus!

Here we are in action!

 

Where did you put YOUR Yule Log?

 

Happy Hallowe’en!

It’s a spooky time trying to take attendance when none of my real students seem to be in the room!

The costumes were fantastic and our “Canada Food Guide Party” was Nutritious, Delicious, and Educational!  The Witches’ Brew was SPOOK-TACULAR, with the favorite ingredients being “Jack o’Lantern Sneeze Juice” and “Slippery Worms“.

What was YOUR favorite part of the Hallowe’en Party?

Pumpkin Math ‘n Stuff!

We have been learning about Pumpkins… both at school and at home!  Our wonderful Nestor PAC arranged a “Pumpkin Patch” right in our own Nestor Park, and we used those pumpkins for a great Math Measuring activity.  We took those pumpkins home but then we got 6 more pumpkins to sit on our 6 Table desks.  We learned how to look with a “Scientist’s Eyes” and draw different perspectives of our pumpkins.  (Guess that was really a “Science in Art” project!)  At the end of the week, we had some Passionate Parents and Very-helpful Volunteers help us scoop out those oopy-goopy pumpkins to get out the seeds for a Math Ten Frame Counting activity.  Carving our “Jack o’Lanterns” was a cooperative-decision-making exercise for each table. (Oh… only the adults got to use the knives!)  All in all, it was a PUMPKIN-upped way to do some Science, Math, and Art!   We also got to decorate our classroom with some AWESOME JACK O’LANTERNS afterwards!

Here we are in action!

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How many pumpkin seeds did we count?

 

Fun Fair Cupcake Winners!

Our wonderful PAC put on an AMAZING Fun Fair last Friday, with lots of games, tasty food, cake walks and more!

There was a contest to see which class could bring in the most cakes  for the “Cake Walk” activity.

Can you believe it… WE WON!

Our prize was a fancy cupcake for each and every one of us in the class!  (Even the teachers!)

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Thank you to our wonderful PAC!

Thank you to our fabulous Parent Bakers!

What kind of cupcake is YOUR favourite?