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?

Pucks n’ Books

We were lucky to have a Coquitlam Express Hockey Team member come to our class!  The team is committed to the value of books so we were treated to a reading of a “Brady Brady” hockey story.  Everyone got a signed poster of the team.

Have YOU ever played hockey before?





Classroom Energy Diet Challenge – Can YOU help?

PLEDGE FORM – (You will need an email address.)

You might think of cutting down on sticky cupcakes and sweet soda pop when we say the word “diet”, but Classroom2Kids has been working on an ENERGY DIET with  Canadian Geographic!  The Challenges are fun and involve lots of SCIENCE, MATH, and ENVIRONMENTAL studies… but that’s not why Mrs. Boekhout started the class on this project… she started it because Classroom2kids could never remember to SHUT THE DOOR when they went outside to play!  It’s been really cold, too! Brrr! A lot of HEAT ENERGY would go flying out the door with the students!

We aren’t close to the top in total number of points… and we can only imagine how much learning those students have done, but we ARE proud to say that we are NUMBER 17 in points out of over 250 CLASSES in Canada, grades K to 12! (Here is a map of the participants.)  Add that to the fact that dozens more classes signed up for the challenges and never even started!

So far, we have done 7 challenges: Buckle Up (making wise transportation choices), Post It (putting up posters that promote good energy use), What’s for Lunch (tracking how where the food comes from), Drew’s One Hour No Power (we did two hours!), Making the Energy Grade (doing an energy audit in our classroom, improving what we could, and then re-auditing to see the difference), Get Growing (learning about the importance of photosynthesis and growing our own plants), Water Works (calculating how much water we use each day and thinking of ways to not waste water).  We have started “Energy Needs and Wants” (what uses energy but is “entertainment” or “easy” rather than “necessity”) and over Spring Break we will be trying to give up one “energy want” for a whole week!

What can YOU DO?

Can you walk or take the bus instead of always taking the car?
Can you remember to turn off lights,
wear a sweater instead of turning the heat up,
unplug things you aren’t using?
Can you turn off the tap while you brush your teeth?

You can help our earth by making just one pledge to save energy too!
You can help us earn points by using our pledge form to do it!

Students… get the whole family involved!
Parents… help out by providing an email address!
Everyone… you can HELP our EARTH save energy!


PLEDGE FORM(You will need an email address.)

We hope you will sign up… not sign out!



Pumpkin MATH continued!

When we finished (most of) our pumpkin math at school, we asked for some parent volunteers to come into the classroom to help us scoop out all the seeds of our 6 pumpkins and count them up! We were lucky to get 2 fantastic Moms to help us!

We brought in egg cartons to use as counters (thank you, Amanda, for bringing in so many extra cartons because a lot of students forgot!)  We remembered our “Doubles Pictures” showed an egg caron for 6 + 6 = 12, so we cut off two egg cups to make them into “10 frame counting trays“.  Each time we put a set of seeds in the tray, it added up to 10.  We practiced our skip counting, “groups of” counting, 100 chart counting and MORE!  With all the seeds we scooped out, there was a LOT of PUMPKIN SEED MATH to do!  After writing all our totals on the board, we used our “tens strategies” to add everything up.  First you LOOK for 10’s… well, actually, we looked for HUNDREDS!!!  Then you see if you can MAKE 10’s (100’s) out of two numbers (that’s the easiest). Then you try to make 10’s (100’s) out of more than two numbers.  Finally, you get to see what’s left and add it all up!  Knowing your tens really makes the MATH EASY!

Scooping out all that goopy pumpkin pulp was messy and fun, but the best part was when we got to CARVE our pumpkins into Hallowe’en Jack o’Lanterns! (Did you know that the Irish first made Jack o’Lanterns out of TURNIPS???)  Each table worked in a cooperative group to decide on and draw the features.  Mrs. Boekhout, Mrs. R., and our two wonderful Moms went from table to table carving and sculpting.  The result was SIX AMAZING Jack o’Lanterns!

We ran out of time to finish off our math, so after Hallowe’en we will go back to find out if our  Scientific Hypothesis was true or not.  Did the  pumpkins with more ribs  have more seeds than the pumpkins with fewer ribs?   We also need to make a final COUNT of the number of seeds we counted all together!  Some of the seeds will be roasted and EATEN, but maybe we will save some and PLANT THEM in the Spring just like in the Pumpkin Patch video that we watched. 

Pumpkin Scooping MATH on PhotoPeach


Of course, doing the Math wasn’t ALL of the FUN!!!
Here is a little Pumpkin Scooping Video of the action!


Have a look at our photos and see if YOU can figure out HOW MANY SEEDS WE COUNTED

Do you think our Hypothesis will be TRUE or FALSE?