We were pleased to welcome First Nations presenters, Dawn and Lori, to our classroom last week. We were priviledged to hear some of theirpersonal stories, as well as share our own. We learned that humans are given 2 eyes for looking,2 ears for listening, but only 1 mouth for talking… because we should WATCH and LISTEN twice as often as we SPEAK! Dawn wore her beautiful button blanketcoat. Her cedar bark hathad a real eagle featheron it!
Trust, Honor, and Respect are very important words… and we made the connection with our own “Nestor Pride” motto, to be eNcouraging, rEsponsible, Safe, Trustworthy, hOnest, and Respectful! We took 4 turns around the Talking Circle, each one with a different focus. In the center of the circle was a magic firethat we made burn with our imagination and by rubbing our hands really fast!
East is the color yellow signifying new beginnings. It is the time of the Child; a time of learning and fun.South is the color black. It is the time of the Young Warrior. Our teens have the hardest time in life. It is the time when you need to listen and walk with the Earth Mother. West is the color red. The time of the Warrior is a time of responsibility and a time of protection and patience. North is the color white, which honours the Elders. It is a time of humour and understanding… a time of wisdom and a time of understanding that wisdom is a gift of birth not always earned with age. (Thank you, Dawn, for emailing me this lovely explanation!)
We waited with patiencefor each student to speak, or to choose not to speak. Everyone got to take a special stone from the rabbit fur bagand we each got a “magic pencil” that reflected our warmth by changing colorwhen we held it. We learned about being thankful for what you have got, and not asking for something more or something different.
At the end of our time together, Dawn even let Mrs. Boekhout wearthe special button blanket and hat! Then she gave our class a REAL Talking Stickmade out of rabbit fur and deer skin. Mrs. Boekhout is going to use it with her ladybug “gratitude stone” for the weekly class meeting!
THANK YOU, Dawn and Lori, You shared your First Nations heritage with us
and we learned about the cycles of the great Earth Mother
and we learned lessons of patience and respect for others.
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 ofFUN 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 thankCanadian 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!
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 amap 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!
We had such a special treat today…
the “Maple Man” came to perform at our school!
It was a real coincidence in timing, because Mrs. Boekhout and Monty Moose had just come back from their very first (but very short) trip to Quebec. (They didn’t get to see a Maple farm, but they did get to go dogsledding! That, however, will be in ANOTHER post!)
The Maple Man, René Turmel, is a third generation “Maple Sugar” producer. His Maple tree grove is in Sainte-Marie de Beauce, near Quebec City, Quebec but most of the year he lives in the Okanagan Valley, BC. He travels across Canada sharing some of the traditions and history of French Canadians.
Watch our video to see some of the wonderful learning from this session:
We have been busy reading and learning about Remembrance Day. The book “A Poppy is to Remember” helped us understand why the poppy is such an important symbol for Remembrance Day. We were honoured to hear that the famous poem, “In Flanders Fields” was written by a Canadian army doctor. His poem is very sad and the illustrations in this book really touched our hearts.
Lots of the children in our class have relatives who have been in a war. Some of them died in the war, but many of them came home, with terrible memories of what it is like to be in a war. Some of them were in the army, some were in the navy and some may have been in the airforce. One student in our class has a brother who is a soldier in Afganistan right now. That makes us all feel worried for him, but proud that he is helping to make the world free and safe.
War and Peace on PhotoPeach
We also learned about how animals have made a contribution to war efforts. Veterns Affairs Canada sent us their “Animals in War” newspapers. This year’s paper was called “Archway of Remembrance”. Our Grade 5 Buddy class read the newspapers with us and then we all got to take our own copies home. http://www.veterans.gc.ca/eng/activities/kidszone/tales_animals/2011
We have been thinking about how “Children Can Help“. The poem “Poppy, Poppy” reminds us that even children can do their part to make the world a happier, kinder place. We made big PEACE posters with ways that children can care, share, and cooperate. We read Todd Parr’s book, “Peace” and talked about how lucky we are here in Canada. Then we did our own pictures of things that are special to us and what would happen to them if we were at war. At Primary Sing-Along, we all sang “Where Have All the Flowers Gone” (Peter, Paul, and Mary) and “Make the World a Little Bit Better” with sign language (Charlotte Diamond). Our class also watched the video “A Pittance in Time”, a moving reminder from Nova Scotia, Canada, to take the time to observe the 2 minutes of silence on Nov. 11.
The Remembrance Day ceremony at school was very moving. There were presentations by students, songs by the choir, and placing of wreaths by the K/1 students. Mr. Della Vedova shared a memory of his own Grandfather.
Today, in 2011, on the 11th hour on the 11th day on the 11th month, an emotional service was performed at Victory Square in Vancouver. One of the poems read was from a plaque in Stanley Park. It reminds us that WE are the LIVING SPIRIT of those who gave their lives for us.
The Vancouver Junior Bach Choir performed the Canadian poem, “In Flanders Field”, in song. Here is a video of this beautiful song from the 2009 ceremony.
We created our own video of the poem “Poppy, Poppy”. Mrs. Boekhout copied this poem off a Vancouver school display board over 20 years ago, but has never been able to find the name of the poet. She hopes that this year’s class will always remember to be children who SHARE, CARE, and COOPERATE.
Monty Moose has been on the road yet again! This time he traveled to India with our neighbour, Rosemary (another “new Auntie” for Monty)! As well as having an adventure, Auntie Rosemary and her daughter were off to do some “good deeds” for a group of girls in the Mombai area, at the Sambhli Trust School. (That’s the same city as the famous movie, “Slumdog Millionaire”.) Auntie Rosemary is an amazing quilter, so she helped the girls learn how to make beautiful quilted handbags to sell. (She has also organized a fund raiser to help buy some sewing machines for them!) Of course Monty was a very popular fellow with the children, and the ladies too!
Monty’s first part of the holiday with my neighbours was in Egypt! The Pyramids and the Sphynx were spectacular! Then Monty traveled down the Nile River to the Aswan Dam. This wonderful holiday ended in Tanzania… in the famous Serengeti Park!
Monty Moose was lucky to go traveling in November with Mrs. Boekhout’s neighbours! Here are some of his photos in the Serengeti National Park in Africa. Later on you will be able to see all the photos on Monty’s website!