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? 


Goopy Pumpkin Scooping!

Slippery, slimy, goopy!  Pumpkins sure have slishy-sloshy guts!  That didn’t stop Classroom2Kids though!  With the help of 6 brave volunteers, we got all the slop out on our desks… ready to COUNT the SEEDS!  What a great introduction to TEN FRAME MATH!

We used egg carton counters, cut down from 12 little “cups” to 10 cups.  One seed in each cup soon became two and then three!   Did you know that if you have 5 seeds in each cup, then that makes FIFTY altogether.  Mrs. BOO-khout wrote down the counts as the students brought the seeds in to dump in a GIA-NORMOUS bowl!  Trick question…. if you have 60 seeds, then how many seeds are in each cup?  When all the seeds were in, we used our “ten frame strategies” to count up each table’s seeds.  Instead of “looking for tens” in our numbers, we went “looking for hundreds”!   First you… look for hundreds, then you… make hundreds (60 + 40), then you build up hundreds (50 + 60 = 50 + 50 + 10) and finally you… add up all the hundreds plus the leftover numbers!  That’s a LOT of COUNTING!  But that wasn’t all… we still had to count up ALL THE SEEDS in the class!   Guess how many we counted…. 1000?      NO!    2000?     NO!    We counted 2101 seeds! Wow!

The students at each table worked cooperatively (well… most of the time!) to decide on the Jack o’Lantern face for their pumpkin.  The parents turned out to be fantastic carvers (and of course we made sure that we complimented them on their great efforts!)
Mrs. BOO-khout lit tea-lights inside the Jack o’Lanterns and we turned off ALL THE LIGHTS!

Goopy Scooping 2012 on PhotoPeach


OOOOOHHHHH!   What a fun way to do MATH!

Pumpkin Scooping from Nora Boekhout on Vimeo.

What part did YOU
enjoy the most?

Classroom Energy Diet Challenges… what Amazing Learning!

The Classroom Energy Diet Activities Challenge and Video Challenge have now drawn to a close.  We may or may not win any “prizes”, but we certainly have done TONS of learning in ENVIRONMENTAL CONCERNS, SOCIAL STUDIES, SCIENCE, MATH… and also in CO-OPERATION, HELPING EACH OTHER, and… FILM  PRODUCTION!  We also had a lot of FUN in the LEARNING!

Mrs. Boekhout is thrilled to see how the class has been more aware of  how THEY can MAKE A DIFFERENCE by simple acts like recycling, thinking about how they can use less energy, and SHUTTING THE DOOR on cold days!  (Hmmm… didn’t Mrs. Boekhout originally join this challenge because Classroom2Kids could never remember to shut the door???)

Mrs. Boekhout and Classroom2Kids would like to thank Canadian Geographic and Shell Canada, and especially Ellen Curtis for her wonderful support in times of  technical disasters, for this amazing learning experience and the chance to show that even “LITTLE KIDS CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE” to help our planet!

Here are some of our photos “along the way” !!!

 A huge THANK YOU to everyone who supported us!



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!



Voting for a Hamster Name

We have been very busy learning about SURVEYS, VOTING, and DATA COLLECTION this week. Coincidentally, there is a municipal election going on right now and some of the voters will be heading to our school on Saturday!

Our first work involved looking at the two surveys we have done on our Edublog: Favourite Walking Stick Insect and Favourite Pet. We found out that the number of votes in our survey doesn’t actually tell us how many PEOPLE voted. (It’s a good thing that government voting keeps track of the names of people!) We could tell, however, that not everyone in the class voted for the first survey, because there were only 14 votes. The second survey had 31 votes, but we found out that some people voted twice and some people didn’t vote at all. Pink Winged Walking Sticks were the favourite stick bug and dogs were the favourite pet.  We looked at which came second, which came last, and made some comparisons between the choices.   There was a lot of GOOD MATH going on!!!

FINALLY, Mrs. B. let us get down to the exciting activity of giving our hamster a name!

We collected a LOT of different ideas for a good hamster name

(3 groups of 19 = well… an easier question is… 
3 groups of 20 = 60,
then take away 3 = 57…
then add a couple of names suggested online….
but take away the names that were suggested twice….
Oh GEE, let’s just say we had a LOT of names!!!)


Take a look at our TAGXEDO of Hamster Names!

In our first round of voting, we picked our favourite 3 or 4 names.

That helped us narrow down the choices to 12 names (Burnout, Flash, Fluffy, Nibbles, Ollie, Runsalot, Speedy, Sputnik, Teddy, Wiggles, Zap, Zappy).  


Then we voted again and ended up with just 4 names:
Fluffy, TeddyWiggles, and Zap.
(Mrs. Boekhout’s favourite had been “Sputnik”, but this name didn’t make it into the final round.)

In the last round of voting, the winning name was


We hope our new little hamster
s his new name!



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?


It’s PUMPKIN time!

What a pretty pound of pumpkins WE have had going this week! The “Pumpkin Man” snuck into our classroom overnight and left one pumpkin on each table… six altogether.  During the week, we READ about pumpkins, watched a PUMPKIN PATCH VIDEO about pumpkins, learned about the pumpkin LIFE CYCLE, and WROTE FACTS about pumpkins.  We MEASURED our pumpkins and COMPARED them to the circumference of our head, our weights, our heights and MORE.  We counted OUR RIBS (24) and THEIR RIBS.  We looked at their 3-D shapes, and the length of their stems. Then we compared all of our pumpkins with each other.  After doing all this math and science work with our “Table Pumpkins”, we got to go out into our own “Nestor Pumpkin Patch” and choose a pumpkin of our own to take home!  They were pretty big, but none as big as the 2010 largest pumpkin of 1,800 pounds!  (Did you know that the record size of a pumpkin pie is 20 feet wide… almost as big as our classroom!) 

Here we are at our own “Nestor Pumpkin Patch”.  We got to hunt for pumpkins in our very own school park!  A big THANK YOU to our PAC for organizing this activity for all the primary students!


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What we know about pumpkins!

By Div. 7

Most pumpkins weigh between 9 to 18 lbs.
There is a sport called underwater pumpkin carving.
A pumpkin is really a squash. It is a member of the Cucurbita family.
Giant pumpkins can be as heavy as a little car.
You can cook pumpkins.
Pumpkins are used for feeding animals.
Flowers grow before the pumpkin grows.
Pumpkins can  be planted directly into your garden by seeds or by transplanting.
Inside the pumpkin you will find pulp and seeds. Pulp is orange stuff that is gooey.
The first pair of leaves look like a butterfly.
Six of seven continents can grow pumpkins, including Alaska! Antarctica is the only continent where pumpkins do not grow.
The world record weight for a pumpkin is held by Chris Stevens at 1,810 lbs. in 2010.
The seeds that you find inside a pumpkin are creamy white. The seeds a farmer grows are coated in a pink powder.
Fungus often grows on the leaves.  Amanda found that in her own garden.
Pumpkins can vary in color from white to yellow, to green, to orange.
People use pumpkins to make jack o’lanterns.
If you plant your pumpkin, do it 1 or 2 inches deep, in a group of 5.

Pumpkins are great plants for kids to grow. Dylan, Amanda, Hannah, Meghan L., Mattias, Keegan, Dennis, Eric, Alyssa have all tried it!
Pumpkins contain Vitamin A and potassium.
In winter, farmers can feed pumpkins to chickens to help egg production.
Seeds from related plants have been found in Mexico dating back to 7000  to 5500BC.

 We also found out that little pumpkins may have more seeds than big pumpkins.  It may depend upon the number of RIBS that a pumpkin has. We have a SCIENTIFIC HYPOTHESIS (that means a prediction based on a real fact)!  We think that OUR pumpkins with more ribs will have more seeds! We will find out the answer when we scoop out our 6 classroom pumpkins!

What do YOU think
we will find???




B.I.T. – Bird Identification Tally

Meep, meep!  Fee-bee, fee-bee!  Hoo- hoo, hoo-hoo!

Do you know which of these is an OWL?  a NUTHATCH?  a CHICKADEE?

We have been learning to identify many of the birds in our local area… especially the birds that come to our tree and window BirdFeeders!  Our Ornithologist of the week writes down the birds we see. We have seen chickadees (black-capped and chestnut backed), juncos, song sparrows, house finches, house sparrows, Stellar’s Jays (that’s our BC bird!), Towhees, white-crowned sparrows, bushtits, crows, starlings, varied thrush, as well as Downy woodpeckers, flickers, and even big Pileated Woodpeckers!  (Oops… no owls, though!) We usually see Rufous hummingbird, although they haven’t come to our window yet this year.  One year, Mrs. B. even had a mallard duck pair bring their BABIES to nibble on fallen seeds!


On the May long weekend we collect bird data over two days and then submit our results to SEEDS Canada http://seedsfoundation.ca/.  Students all over Canada count up the birds they see!  As well as learning about our local environment, we get to use our MATH skills for all the data we collect!  I wonder what bird will be the most commonly seen this year?  (Hint: It’s usually a CROW!!!)

This year we had a very special “bird activity”, thanks to one of our students and his Mom!  They brought in Owl Pellets!  Owls eat their prey whole, and after about 12 to 18 hours, they “cough up” a fur ball of all the parts they can’t digest!  You might say, “Yuck, disgusting!” but we decided to act like scientists and say, “Verrrry interesting!”  We couldn’t believe all the little bones we found!  We found skulls and leg bones from little rodents, and were able to identify some of the bones on charts just made for owl pellets!  Science is SO much fun!



 Our favourite bird website is the Cornell Lab of Ornithology because we can look up birds, see a map of where they live, hear their bird songs (or squawks!), and sometimes even watch short video clips!




Does that sound a bit likeOuter Space’? …Well, it is!

For nine years now, the Canadian Space Agency, the University of Guelph, Agriculture Canada, Heinz Foods, and Stokes Seeds have participated with over 12,000 schools in Canada and the USA to grow tomato seeds as part of a “Mission to Mars” study.

 Astronauts in space for a long time will need nutritious and tasty food, but they have limited room! Tomatoes can be transported as seeds and when grown, provide good nutrition, remove carbon dioxide exhaled by humans, return oxygen to the air, and even provide purified water through transpiration from the leaves! Wow!  …but the question is… will tomato seeds be able to germinate (grow from a seed) and grow healthy plants with lots of fruit?

 We did a “blind study” in our class (no, we didn’t have to wear blindfolds!) for this SCIENCE EXPERIMENT.  We were given two packages of seeds but weren’t told which were the “control group” (normal) and with were the “treatment group” (put in a simulated space environment for 3 months).   We grew our seeds in peat pellets (they look like mini hockey pucks that POP UP into little plant pots!) under our special “grow light” in the classroom. We counted how many germinated and we did some measuring to see which plants grew the best.  We learned how the first seed leaves are very simple so that they can grow fast and we saw how the true leaves were a lot fancier! 

We also tried germinating the seeds in little gel balls.  That didn’t work as well as just planting them in soil.

When the roots started to grow through the pellets, we could transplant them into bigger pots.  They made great Father’s Day presents too!


Pumpkins, Pumpkins!

After we brought our Nestor Pumpkin Patch pumpkins home, Mrs. B. brought in 6 more pumpkins for “Pumpkin Math”.  We measured and compared our pumpkins with our own bodies!  Did you know that some of us have heads with the same circumference as our pumpkins???  Some of our pumpkins had 24 ribs, just like we do!!!

Then we got down to the goopy business of scooping out our pumpkins and counting the seeds.  We used egg cartons which had been cut into 10 frames, to make the counting easier.  That pumpkin pulp sure is mucky stuff!  After we were done counting, we used our “making 10’s” strategies to figure out that we had collected 3,241 seeds all together!  Wow!

Naturally, the last part of the job was make the pumpkins into JACK O’LANTERNS!  They were SPOOK-TACULAR when we turned out the lights!

The next week we did ‘Taste ‘n Tell’ activities with pumpkins.  We baked the pumpkin seeds we had scooped with some oil and salt.  Oops… a little too much salt!  We also baked slices of pumpkin with butter and brown sugar.  Yum!

What a lot of ways to explore a local food, PUMPKINS!