Visiting Scientist!

Thanks to Science World’s Scientists & Innovators in Schools program, we were lucky enough to have a real Biologist, Ms. Baker, visit our classroom!  Having our own Classroom pets helped us give some good answers to her first questions about animal life, but then the surprises began!  We colored in some pictures of living organisms like birds and trees, as well as air, water, and sun and taped them to our shirts.  Then Ms. Baker handed each of the three groups a big ball of wool!  Too funny!  We had to make connections like… birds need water,  water helps trees grow,  trees make air… but every time we made a connection, we passed the ball of wool along!  Pretty soon it looked like a big spider web, but Ms. Baker explained that it was a web of lifeEverything is connected!  Now that we had the “big idea” we made posters showing all those connections!  No wonder we have to be careful with the environment… everything is connected!


Here we are in action!

          How many connections did YOU make with the wool?


Mason Bee House!

We were SO lucky this year, and so were our Mason Bees! Pasquale, our local “Mason Bee Man“, dedicated a lot of time and effort over the winter to hand-make an AWESOME new wood Mason Bee House for our school! It even has RAINBOW COLOURED “Mason Bee Cubbies”! It is such a BEAUTIFUL new Mason Bee home, and Pasquale even donated a cubby-full of cocoons to hatch! We truly THANK YOU, Pasquale!!!

We learned a lot more information about Mason Bees from Pasquale’s introductory lesson and from the DVD that his son made. It was interesting (and a little scary) to actually see real pollen mites and parasitic wasps under the microscope! It’s not easy to be a BEE!

The best part is… seeing our own Mason Bees fly in and out of their new home!


Here’s a short video of some of our “Bee Action” in the Sanctuary Courtyard!

What do YOU remember best about setting up our Mason Bee House?




Sports Visitors

We had some REALLY special visitors at Nestor school!

The BC Lions Football Team joined with Fortis BC to teach us about being ENERGY CHAMPIONS!  We learned about how we can take Green Actions for the Earth!

Then the Coquitlam Express Hockey Team came to show us how important READING is for everyone!  Tyger read a great story called “The Goalie” because he is a goalie on the team!

It’s inspiring to see how SPORTS, LEARNING, and being GOOD TO THE PLANET all go together!

What is YOUR favourite Sport?


Sketching with a Scientist’s Eyes

What incredible weather we have had…
and what a great reason to GET OUTSIDE!
It was the perfect opportunity to visit our beautiful “Sanctuary Courtyard” and compare “the Big Picture” with a “Close-up View“.  Sketching is a great way to practice seeing with a Scientist’s eyes, because it makes you focus on DETAILS.

Here are some photos of us as we got started with our “Big Pictures”.


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What did YOU choose for your “Close-up View”?



Earthworm Discoveries

Wiggly, Squiggly, Jiggly, Doo,
Be careful with your shovel
or you’ll cut him in two!

Earthworms are such a wonderful part of Nature’s plan! We are learning about them first-hand with our Worm Composter. We use Red Wriggler worms… ordinary earthworms would not be happy in an enclosed or an indoor environment. Our worms are AMAZING!

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What surprised YOU about our worms?

Mason Bees in the Fall

We went on a Field Trip to the Inspiration Garden last week,
to learn about Mason Bees!



We were sooooo lucky… it was a PERFECT Fall day, sunny skies and crisp, cool air!  There were three stations for us.  At one station we learned about the difference between Mason Bees and Honey Bees.  Mason Bees are solitary and Honey Bees are social.  Mason Bees almost never sting… in fact, the male bees CANNOT sting!  Some of us remembered that they drink nectar (for energy) and eat pollen (for protein).  Lots of us remembered that bees are insects and have 3 body parts (head, thorax, and abdomen) and 6 legs.  We learned that Mason Bees can pollinate more flowers than Honey Bees because they DON’T have a “pollen basket” on their legs.  This means that they “dust” more pollen when they travel from flower to flower.

We got to meet Pasquale, who is our local BEE EXPERT.  Last year he had 8,000 Mason Bee cocoons!  He showed us what Mason Bee houses look like and he had some live Mason Bees to show us.  That’s pretty special because almost all Mason Bees are still in their cocoons in the Fall.  Pasquale opened a cocoon for us and we saw a REAL LIVE BEE come out!  Some of us even got to hold it!  Then he showed us the tiny pollen mites that are bad for Mason Bees.  We saw how he washed the cocoons to clean off the mites.  Amazing!

Our third station was a lot of fun!  They had an “Arts ‘n Crafts” table where we made “mini pumpkin bees” to take home!  The volunteers at the Inspiration Garden grew all the pumpkins themselves!  Wow!   We used Sharpies, black duct tape, construction paper, wax paper, sparkly pipe cleaners, and “googly eyes” to make the cutest bees ever!

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Thank you,
Inspiration Garden Volunteers!

We learned a LOT and had a LOT of FUN too!


What was YOUR favorite part
of learning about Mason Bees?

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It will take you to a new page.
At the bottom, you can add your comment!




Sketching the Sanctuary

The day was SOOOOO beautiful, we simply HAD to do something outside!  It was the perfect day to start our “Sketch Books” and discover the “Sanctuary”.  This lovely courtyard is right across from our own room.  It has a pond and waterfall, built by our PAC, with beautiful orange and white fish.  There are two trees and many plants, as well as a Mason Bee house.  Our class has 6 planters and we were lucky to see one acidanthera and one gladiola still in bloom from the summer!  Our first job was to sit back and sketch the Sanctuary as a whole.  Then we chose something to focus in on, and sketch a detailed close-up.  It was such a great way to appreciate nature!


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What was YOUR favorite part
to look at and sketch?



Compost Worm Observations

We have been SOIL SCIENTISTS, observing and investigating what soil is made of. We have looked at rocks, gravel, sand, clay, and humus! Then we learned about how earthworms help enrich the soil. We started our own compost container using Red Wiggler worms. It was “verrrrry interesting”, looking at the worms close-up!

Earthworm / Red Wiggler Worm study from Nora Boekhout on Vimeo.

Easter Egg Trees

Here’s a NEW WAY to celebrate the beauty of NATURE and SPRING…

transform old, dead branches into AMAZING EGG TREES!

1. read a lovely old story by Katherine Milhouse, “The Egg Tree”
2. collect your branches and stands
2. blow out your eggs (!)
3. transform your branches into Springtime Blossom Trees
4. paint your blown eggs and hang them from your trees
5. finish off with some egg-citing decorations

Voila! Beautiful Egg Trees to celebrate the season!


 We hope you had an EGG-xcellent and HOPPY Easter!

Egg Trees from Nora Boekhout on Vimeo.






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!