Our HOPES For NEXT Year’s Grade Threes! Oh, the PLACES You’ll GO!

One of the virtues of being very young is that you don’t let the facts get in the way of your

imagination. 

~Sam Levenson

A child’s world is fresh and new and beautiful, full of wonder and excitement.  It is our misfortune that for most of us that clear-eyed vision, that true instinct for what is beautiful and awe-inspiring, is dimmed and even lost before we reach adulthood. 

~Rachel Carson

Categories: Global Grade 3 | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

More Thoughts on Owls and Our PELLET Discoveries!

Man’s heart away from nature becomes hard.

~Standing Bear

Oh LOOK … our BABIES are ALL grown up! Phew! They look SO much better now! It’s AMAZING what a few MORE adult feathers can do to enhance a baby Barn owl’s appearance!

“WOW! Peanut the barn owl baby swallowed a WHOLE mouse. It was amazing! Did you know that a group of baby barn owls is called a BROOD? Owls can turn their heads up to 270 degrees. If an owl hunts in the snow he can’t see his prey but he can HEAR it. Owls always use their talons for hunting. If an owl finds a female the male will try to get her attention by bringing her food. When the female agrees, they will mate. They will try to find a good nest. Some will nest on abandoned nests. Owls fly very silent so their prey can’t hear it. They spread their wings.” ~Roxanne

“Let’s start with my highlights first. My first highlight is that we got to dissect owl pellets. My favourite part of dissecting the owl pellets was getting a bird scull because Oliver and I were the only ones to get bird sculls. Now, let’s get onto my highlights with Janice. My first highlight with Janice was when she brought out Ophelia the Great Horned owl. I’ve never seen a Great Horned owl before.” ~Adam

“When we started learning about owls we started with watching owl cams. So, we went more into learning owls. But, I would say my favourite discovery is how quiet owls can fly. They make no sound when they fly. A person came in with a Great Horned owl.” ~Haya

This is a GREAT screen shot of the five surviving babies. They have a LONG way to go before we can call them ADORABLE!

This is a GREAT screen shot of the five surviving babies. They have a LONG way to go before we can call them ADORABLE!

“My favourite owls are Snowy owls, the Elf owl and Barn owls because their feathers are so beautiful and they’re so cute, but let’s go to the very beginning when they were just little eggs. When the baby is in the egg the mother must keep it warm or else it will die and we don’t want THAT to happen, do we? And, once the chick is ready to come out it uses this little bump on their beak that’s called an egg tooth, but it takes a very long, long time to make just a little hole. But, once it’s out, it is very hungry and they can not see at all because it’s too helpless to even open it’s eyes. You may think that they’re so cute but really they are a little, well, UGLY!!! Some people think they’re so cute but cute isn’t the word I would use. I would say ugly … ya … THAT’S the word! Anyways, where was I? Oh, yes. The baby owlet must be fed. The mom must keep her baby warm because it doesn’t not have any warm feathers.” ~Marah

“My most favourite owl is the Snowy owl and the Great Horned owl but my most favourite owl is the Barn owl. They’re so majestic. When we watched an owl video we saw a Barn owl fly very well. It can almost hear a mouse or a rat, rodent, anything small 90 feet away. a few days ago a lady called Janice came with an owl called Ophelia. She is a Great Horned owl. She’s very cute. Janice told us that a skunk got caught with a plastic can holder. So sad. I learned that when an owl’s feet get into your hand it would hurt. At first when she came out she snapped her beak like clucking. When an owl finds something to eat in the snow it comes and stomps to find it. Ophelia has maybe a broken wing because Janice told us.” ~Luisa

“Hmmm. what is my favourite type of owl? Barn owl or Great Horned owl? Wow. I wish Ophelia was still here because I miss her. Ten years ago there was over 200 types of owls. I think it is cool that owls can fly silently. Owls have an enemy which is called rain. I think it will be cool to eat a whole mouse. I think it is cool that snowy owls can swim. I wish I could find an owl pellet in the wild. In my classroom we watched a Barn owl cam. I think it is cool. I think the Elf owl is really cute. I think Barn owl babies are ugly! I love owls. They can be ugly or cute but they have been in the world for a long time.” ~Thomas

We THOUGHT this would be GROSS ... but ... we were WRONG!!! WHAT an ADVENTURE!

We THOUGHT this would be GROSS … but … we were WRONG!!! WHAT an ADVENTURE!

“Dissecting owl pellets was really COOL and FUN! I found quite a lot of bones. In the owl pellets there either would be rodents, moles, shrews or birds. I think I got a rodent because that is the only type of skull I got. Only two people got a bird skull. Those people are Oliver and Adam. My favourite owls are Great Grey owls, Short Eared owls and Snowy owls. I think Short Eared owls are cute. Most people got rodents from these pellets.” ~Colby

“I LOVE Snowy owls and Barred owls and the Elf owl too. Did you know when a Barn owl flies it is VERY silent? And, the Great Grey owl is the BIGGEST.” ~Saadia

“Hoooo … hoooo! What’s that, mister owl? You want to know what owl is my favourite? Hmm. Well, I love the Great Grey owl and the Elf owl is cute too. I would say the Great Grey owl and the Elf owl. I LOVE them! Oh. Sorry, did I not introduce myself? Well, my name is Shaye. My friends call me Shaye Shaye. Okay. I will tell you what was daw dropping for me on the video. It was that the barn owl can plop onto it’s pray 12 times heavier than it’s normal weight. Now, THAT is jaw dropping! Oh ya. I forgot to tell you we are dissecting owl pellets. I found a skull in mine and a lot of bones. I named my rodent Sky for some reason. I noticed that the Snowy owl female has more brown splotches on her feathers than the male owls. The Snowy owl protects their nest even from polar bears!” ~Shaye

Thank GOODNESS for our BONE sorting charts! SOME of these bones are SO tiny it's hard to tell WHAT they are!

Thank GOODNESS for our BONE sorting charts! SOME of these bones are SO tiny it’s hard to tell WHAT they are!

“My favourite owls are Snowy owls, Elf owls and Barn owls. I love owls because they’re cute and AWESOME! There are so many owls in the world that I can not count them. Baby owls are so cute. And, baby owls grow real fast. A Grey owls has a big face.” ~Prayers

“It was so great when Janice came in. Do you know what I wish? That the owl was a Great Grey owl! There are around 200 species of owls! An adult female Snowy owl may weigh more than five pounds! A hungry Snowy owl could swallow down a dozen Elf owls but it could still be hungry! In the morning, we had owl pellets. One thing I was happy about … getting a skull. It was a rodent, not a bird! Ophelia was so awesome. I discovered that a Barn owl can fly really slow and quiet. The Great Grey owl is the biggest, largest owl in the world. I wonder what is the smallest owl in the world. I wonder what is the biggest wing span in the world. Ophelia was so cool. She squawked when the introducer got the Horned owl out of her cage.” ~Alvin

“My top favourite owls are the Barn owl, Snowy owl, Elf owl, Great Horned owl, Great Grey owl and the Long Eared owl. I wonder what your favourite owl is? My discovery of the Barn owl is that they can fly so silently! My lowlight of the Texas Barn owl cam is that the fifth owlet died of starvation. Did you know that there are around 200 species of owls? We’re not sure, though. a lady named Janice came into our classroom with Ophelia the Great Horned owl. Janice told us all about owls. We got to feel the wings of an owl. Also, the talons. If you see a hurt animal or a sick animal, go on your computer, if you have one, and search up CalgaryWildlife.org and if you spot their phone number, call them. Or, if you spot their address, drive your car with the sick or injured animal to the Calgary Wildlife Rehabilitation Society!” ~Faith

It takes a LOT of work to pluck out all the fur in these pellets ... it's WORTH it, though, because we are discovering TONS of bones!

It takes a LOT of work to pluck out all the fur in these pellets … it’s WORTH it, though, because we are discovering TONS of bones!

“Our owl visit was wonderful! A representer came in with a Great Horned owl!!! The representer’s name is Janice. The owl’s name is Ophelia. Janice is a worker with the Wildlife Rehabilitation Society. Yesterday we started to dissect sterilized owl pellets. It was easy at the start but it got challenging. Boy, is IT hard! Oh, I forgot the owl cams. We started off checking two cams, but after we only checked one. The sad thing is that one chick died of starvation, and an egg was non-viable. But, the good news is that four chicks are still alive. I had a lot of discoveries. My favourite is how owls can fly silently!” ~Bryan

“Eww, I said sharply to Luisa, as I carefully unwrapped the shining silver tinfoil covering the owl pellet. Oh ya. I should tell you that our class got to dissect owl pellets! And, I’m here to tell you some cool facts and other things about owls! My favourite kind of owl is the Barn owl because it’s heart-shaped face is very unique. Now, here are some facts. Owls can turn their heads up to 279 degrees! Barn owls can hear a mouse’s footsteps from 90 feet away! Snowy owls can lay up to 14 eggs! So neat! Owls are so fascinating, right? This is now the time for my wonders! I wonder how long it takes for an owl to start and finish a nest!” ~Marcus

“Hi. My name is Olivia and I’ve learned that there is a box and inside the box is an owl family. When we first saw the owls we thought they were ugly. Even Mrs. Renton thought they were ugly. I really, really, REALLY wonder if an owl can have 10 or more owlets. If you’re wondering what the mom and dad’s names are, they are Dottie and Casper. And, the fourth owlet is called Peanut. On June 16 an owl visited our classroom. It was so sad that a skunk got stuck in some garbage. I discovered that owls, eagles and hawks spit out pellets. If you are wondering what a pellet is, it is an owl spitting a mouse’s fur and bones out.” ~Olivia

This is SO cool! Can YOU figure out what I'm holding?

This is SO cool! Can YOU figure out what I’m holding? DON’T worry … I wouldn’t have known it was a mouse pelvis without my BONE chart!

“My highlight. Hey … that looks like POOOO! But, it’s actually NOT … it’s actually PELLETS … OWL pellets! And, you probably would not like to hear about it. Do you? Okay. I’m going to tell you about my favourite owls because in my class we are studying owls. Okay. My favourite owls are the Elf owl, Tawny owl and last, but NOT least, the Great Horned owl. Did you know that owls, (oh, I also love the Barn owl), sorry … okay … can fly silently? I think there are 150 kinds but no one really agrees and no one really knows. I really wanna study birds when I grow up, really badly, and I also wanna find a dinosaur!” ~Sofie

“A few days ago a lady named Janice brought an owl named Ophelia, the Great Horned owl, in the classroom. Ophelia had big yellow eyes that I couldn’t help but stare into. She also had an adorable body and beak.” ~Aleah

“Ophelia the owl, or should I say Ophelia the GREAT Horned owl, I think is AMAZING! When Ophelia came out of her cage the sound she made sounded like a frozen cold mouse chittering. I really wish Ophelia hooted. I can not believe it that a real live owl was in a school, ten or so feet away from me! The reason that I wished that Ophelia would of hooted is because I’ve only heard recorded owls hooting. I discovered that owl pellets are WAY more packed with bones than I thought they would be. I also discovered that owl pellets are expensive to buy. I saw, on a website, that one is around $4.00 to $5.00! So far I just love dissecting the owl pellets. I really liked getting out all the big bones because they’re SOOO much easier to pick up. as for the 1 – 2 mm long bones, they are pretty hard to pick up. When we first received the owl pellets and tried to split it in half I thought I would break it because it’s so hard!” ~William

SOME of us wore MASKS because we didn't want tiny pieces of FUR up our noses! YUCK!

SOME of us wore MASKS because we didn’t want tiny pieces of FUR up our noses! YUCK!

“My favourite owl is the Snowy owl and the Barn owl because they are both really cute and majestic. Did you know that owls have ears in the same spot that WE do? Did you know that owl’s hearing is 10 times more sensitive than OUR hearing? When owls fly they don’t make a single noise so they can sneak up on their prey.” ~Liam

“Cool! I didn’t know that owls are silent flyers. My favourite owl is the Barn owl because they are cute and we watch them on a Texas Barn owl cam. did you know that owls have ears that are lower on the left and higher on the right? Did you know that owls can turn their heads three quarters of a circle, which is 270 degrees! I have a good fact for you. Snowy owls can lay up to 14 eggs! The oldest eats first. Snowy owls have reddish yellow eyes. Snowy owls attack around their nests. Did you know that Snowy owls have thick grey down feathers that can be great insulators? I wonder how high up owls can fly?” ~Robert

“Dissecting owl pellets is REALLY cool! I was the first one to find a bird skull in the whole class! I have three top favourite owls and my favourite out of those three is the Great Grey owl. It is very cool. You should search it up some time. My favourite part of dissecting the owl pellets was finding a bunch of really cool bones like rodents’ shoulder blades, birds’ hind legs, bird skulls and all kinds of cool stuff. My lowlight was seeing the pellets for the first time because they looked like some human castings and it was horrible to think that I had to touch them … but … then I got over it and decided that it was WORTH it!” ~Oliver

It takes a TON of concentration to be able to do this!

It takes a TON of concentration to be able to do this!

“Wow! How does Ophelia drop at 12 times her weight? When Ophelia came with the Wildlife Rehabilitation Society I was so pumped I was ready to explode! Janice the volunteer taught us a lot of things. These are my favourites. Have you ever wondered how owls fly silently? They have little eyelash like tips on the ends of their feathers that cut out the wind. There’s science behind silent flying! Another one is that the whole owl’s head is meant for hearing. The circle head is like a satellite dish. It then transfers the sound to it’s ear. The weird thing is some owls have one ear higher than the other! So, if it hits the lowest ear first it means what ever made the sound is below the owl. It was also fun when we dissected owl pellets. Owl pellets are formed when the owl can’t digest something so it compacts it into a pellet. A few hours later the pellets come out. Luckily for us our pellets were sterilized! PHEW! We got to dissect them and so far we’ve got a lot of bones and some caterpillar poop. The next step is to glue the skeleton together, which I am excited for. My favourite owl is the Short Eared owl because it’s so cute. If I could do this again, I would!” ~Riley

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Forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair.

~Khalil Gibran

Categories: Global Grade 3 | 2 Comments

That Ross … He is SO Amazing!

A single act of kindness throws out roots in all directions, and the roots spring up and make new trees.

~Amelia Earhart

It’s HERE … it’s HERE, shouted everyone, in unison, as our caretaker delivered our much anticipated package … from … AUSTRALIA! WHAT? ANOTHER package from Australia? Yup! That Ross … he is SO amazing! We think his special acts of kindness must be starting all KINDS of trees … all OVER the WORLD, like Amelia Earhart talked about!

What follows are just SOME of our thoughts about Ross:

ANOTHER Australian surprise arrives for us!

ANOTHER Australian surprise arrives for us!

“I have LOVED the knowledge that you have pushed into our brains over the extended comments packed with amazing information about koalas, the Kids’ Cancer Project and all sorts of stuff that pushes our learning forward. Thank you for sending Suzie and the card reader home to us where she belongs. We are very thankful for that. We also love how whenever you have a birthday for your blog you don’t ask us to do anything like send you fun stuff. You do DRAWS and put people’s names in and you give OTHER people cool stuff!” ~Oliver

“Dear Ross: Thank you SO much for taking time out of your very busy days to write us extended comments. It’s really thoughtful of you to buy stuffies for every blog milestone and randomly pick a class that left a comment. And, not only that, but the money you use to purchase the stuffies goes to the Kids’ Cancer Project and OTHER good places. You helped us push our learning even FURTHER because you sent us the card reader. I learned what a peregrine falcon is! Thank you for EVERYTHING, Ross! We really couldn’t have done it WITHOUT you!” ~Mani

“YOU should be getting a gift for YOUR blog’s birthday but instead YOU give away items! The Kid’s Cancer Project and other charity programs are lucky that you buy their products. Orlando Pirate won’t be lonely because he has Suzie and all the other adorable plushies you gave to Mrs. Renton’s classes!” ~Aleah

“I was so happy when Suzie Sunshine and Orlando came in. I almost burst! I love how whenever you get a milestone you put a stuffy up for a draw or something else up for a draw. I love that you buy stuff that helps cancer, animals or other stuff! I’m thankful that you put stuff up for a draw because I love listening to the animal reader and holding Suzie Sunshine and Orlando. I hope you have a FANTASTIC day!” ~Adam

The anticipation is CRAZY in this room!

The anticipation is CRAZY in this room!

“Dear Ross: I am thankful for you because you are caring for children, wildlife, etc. I think that the children, animals and other foundations are also very thankful and proud of you! Instead of you getting gifts for your blog birthdays, you give gifts for us! Once the Orlando Pirate settles into his new home he will be playing with Suzie and he will hopefully be very happy in our classroom! Thank you for sending exciting new packages and also for helping fundraisers!” ~Faith

“I was BURSTING with excitement when Suzie Sunshine arrived. I can’t believe we won! I screamed in my head! Now, we just got Orlando the Pirate. It was SO amazing that we won BOTH draws. I want to say thank you for ALL the extended comments, the draws, the way you care about the planet and the things that live on it.” ~Shaye

“Hi Ross! I just wanted you to know that I really enjoyed reading your comments and entering your contests. It was SO cool how we won Suzie Sunshine and Orlando Pirate in your contests. It was just SO awesome blogging with you this year!” ~Liam

“Thank you Ross! We learned a LOT! I didn’t know that there were Backyard Buddies! The first milestone you had was fun. I can’t believe we won the Suzie Sunshine!! I’m really WOWED that you got 100 000 visitors and the Blogging Hawks only have 26 000! I thank you!” ~Olivia

Oh my GOODNESS ... just LOOK!

Oh my GOODNESS … just LOOK!

“Dear Ross: Thank you, Ross. I loved how you sent us Orlando and the Backyard Buddies. It was fun doing the comments and replying again. It was fun to have you help our learning. We were so glad to have you because you’re the best. I was thankful for you.” ~Roxanne

“Thank you for all the things you have done to push our learning further. My favourite thing you sent us was Suzie Sunshine and the animal card reader. Today, the class opened the package for the pirate bear. It’s always so exhilarating when you send us stuff. I hope next year’s class thinks that too!” ~Haya

“I loved the extended comments. I also loved replying to them as well. The information that Ross gives us boosts our learning so much further. I also really loved the contests that Ross does for his milestones. Instead of Ross getting presents, he gives them to classrooms all around the world! For cancer, fundraising for animals, blog birthdays and 100 000 views! I really like all of the blog posts Ross makes, the collections are my favourite. I love that blog!” ~William

What does the PACKAGE say?

What does the PACKAGE say?

“Dear Ross: I would like to say THANKS for all the things you gave to me and my class! From Suzie Sunshine and the card readers, to Orlando the Pirate! I loved your comments because they were really good and extended. I’m so happy that we got Suzie and the card reader and Orlando. At first, I didn’t know what the Backyard Buddies were but now I know. I love that you care about this world so much. I do not have a favourite thing we got because I love it all!” ~Robert

“Thank you SO much for the Orlando stuffy. We were SO happy when we got Orlando. Suzie is so happy because Suzie has a friend! It is real nice to give prizes when your blog has a birthday!” ~Prayers

“Dear Ross: I am VERY grateful for all the extended learning you taught us. It’s very kind of you to support animals. Putting up a contest is a very great and kind idea. The comments you sent us were very awesome. I wish you a good next year!” ~Bryan

“Dear Ross: Thank you SO much for the Backyard Buddies, the card reader and the cards! Thank you for Orlando and … for extending our learning. The words thank you don’t express how thankful I am. It’s very sad that some people including children around the world have cancer. It’s very thoughtful of you to give money to help find a cure for cancer! Thank you again for helping us push our learning further!” ~Marah

It's HERE ... ORLANDO is HERE!

It’s HERE … ORLANDO is HERE!

“Thank you SO much for pushing our learning past the limits! If I had to think of one word that would describe you it would be generous because you’ve supported the Backyard Buddies, the bilbies and SO much more! Your extended comments are AWESOME because you tell us stuff that we didn’t know! We would think that you would get gifts on your blog’s birthday but we’re the ones who get gifts! You’ve also hit HUGE milestones that we could never hit like: three years blogging, 100 000 visitors and MORE! I hope the next Grade Threes feel as gifted as me!” ~Riley

“Wow! Orlando is amazing. And, Suzie is also! Thank you SO much for everything. I think it is wonderful that you care so much about helping kid’s cancer. I once gave $20.00 and got a tiger stuffy and gave it to my little sister and she was SUPER happy.” ~Love Sofie

“Yes! We won two challenges. One was Backyard Buddies and, two, Orlando the Pirate. Ross Mannell is the BEST! Thank you so much for the extended comments and congratulations of the 100 000 visitors. And, thank you for letting us join the awesome challenges.” ~Alvin

Getting CLOSER!!! QUICK ... pull the PACKAGING off!

Getting CLOSER!!! QUICK … pull the PACKAGING off!

“I appreciate all your work, Ross, to make classrooms happy. I’m so happy that you did a draw for your blog’s birthday. I’m really happy that you care for all the kids in Australia that have cancer. Ross, I wish more classrooms sent more comments for the koala draw.” ~Thomas

“Wow! How many stuffies are you going to send us? I LOVE when you send us great and lovely stuffies on your blog’s birthday while you should be getting all of these cool things. Thank you so much for these, Ross. You are the best.” ~Saadia

“Ross, we’re super happy we got Orlando and Suzie. We all love Suzie when she’s with us. When we did the super animal card reader we always tried our best to take care of her. Now we got Orlando and we are going to take care of him too. When we do the card reader we will do it with Suzie AND Orlando now. I hope they will be safe forever!” ~Luisa

“Hey, Ross! I LOVE that you care so much about us and so many other people that, for every milestone that happens to your AWESOME blog, you decide to help others! I am also extremely grateful that we won Orland the Pirate and Suzie Sunshine because it’s very cool to know that you help the Kid’s Cancer Project because you’re helping to make a cure for cancer by donating! And, Suzie helps us to learn more about animals and the sounds they make. Thank you so much for helping to push our learning further by leaving extended blog posts for us. Like you, I think animals are very fascinating indeed.” ~Marcus

Oh boy ... I THINK we're in LOVE!

Oh boy … I THINK we’re in LOVE!

“Thank you, Ross, for all the things you did for our blog and for Orlando and Suzie Sunshine. When you left comments on our blog we learned a lot of interesting facts. When you showed us those pictures of all those interesting rocks and geodes, I got even more interested in rocks and minerals. We’ve had a lot of fun with Suzie Sunshine and now we get Orlando! I know that Mrs. Renton will take care of Suzie Sunshine and Orlando over the summer!” ~Colby

“Thank you for everything you have done for us this year, Ross. What I like about you, Ross, is that you care about cancer foundations and stuff like that. Also, when you have a blog birthday, you would think you would get gifts but you’re nice and you care to give other people gifts! I love that you take time out of your busy day to leave us comments on our blog. Thanks for EVERYTHING, Ross!” ~Carter

“Hello, Ross! I am only here to tell you how happy I am! First of all, instead of getting gifts on your blogdays, (blog birthdays), you give them! You personally go and buy stuff and hold a competition and you ALSO pay for the expensive shipping. And, through all of that, you’re helping important foundations! For example, your purchase of Suzie Sunshine is donating to help the Australian Wildlife Foundation. And, Orland Pirate helps kid’s cancer! Your extended comments on the blog always leave us wondering! Through all of these videos and disks you make, HOW do you find the time to write such long comments? You are a MIRACLE worker. PERHAPS you could change a PUMPKIN into a CARRIAGE!!!” ~Anita

ORLANDO ... the PIRATE bear ... we KNOW he will enjoy living in CANADA!

ORLANDO … the PIRATE bear … we KNOW he will enjoy living in CANADA!

Ross, words will NEVER be enough to adequately express our profound gratitude. You have stretched our learning, helped to flatten our classroom, and wondered along WITH us on this magical learning journey. Thank you for INSPIRING us and for SHARING our adventure this year! Here’s to many MORE milestones and adventures!

Those who bring sunshine to the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves.

~James Matthew Barrie

Categories: Global Grade 3 | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Mealworm Adventures

“Teaching children about the natural world should be seen as one of the most important events in their lives.”

~Thomas Berry, The Dream of the Earth

I’m not touching it! This is what could be heard around the classroom the very FIRST day we began our inquiry into mealworms and animal life cycles. My how things have changed in just a few short weeks!

These ADORABLE little larvae have become TREASURED additions to our classroom!

These ADORABLE little larvae have become TREASURED additions to our classroom!

What follows are just a FEW of our reflections:

“When Mrs. Renton told our class that we would get a mealworm I was really excited. At the same time I was wondering what mealworms were. Once I saw my mealworm I knew exactly what I would name him. That name was Spiky. One of my friends named his mealworm Viper. The first few times I was observing Spiky I discovered he liked to race around my paper towel. We did lots of experiments with our mealworms but this was my favourite experiment. That experiment was when we brought food like cheese, carrots and stuff like that, and we would tally how many times our mealworm went to that food and hung out there a bit. There are four stages: egg, larva, pupa and beetle. I wonder how many times mealworms shed. I hope my mealworm turns into a beetle soon.” ~Colby

“My favourite experiment was the food experiment because when you set it up your mealworm would at least crawl under things and you could see the food moving as the mealworm moved. My favourite mealworm stage is every one but, I don’t have a Darkling Beetle yet. My lowlight was when I dropped my mealworm once and then WEEKS later I dropped Mani’s AND mine but my mealworm fell on my thigh. Unfortunately, Mani’s fell on the floor. My highlights are that I have two mealworms but not for long, sadly! I wonder if you put a mealworm on a pupa, will it rot?” ~Faith

Our food experiment was a HUGE hit! There was LOTS of excitement in the room and tallies were growing like CRAZY!

Our food experiment was a HUGE hit! There was LOTS of excitement in the room and tallies were growing like CRAZY!

“What will we be learning about THIS time? Suddenly my teacher said we will be learning about mealworms! A few days later someone had a pupa. More days later, someone had a darkling beetle. Today, I have three pupas so I will have three darkling beetles. I wonder how long a mealworm can stay a mealworm. I wonder how long until I will have a darkling beetle. Someone in my class dropped their pupa and white goo came out. In my classroom we have a red tin. There are five black mealworms which means they have passed away. Now I have a darkling beetle. Did you know that darkling beetles have four stages?” ~Thomas

“My favourite stage of the mealworm was the larva because I like to hold my mealworm and play with it. But, I don’t like the pupa a little and if I touch it I feel a little shaky. My highlight was that my mealworm is still the same every single day. Phew! My lowlight is I don’t want my mealworm to change! I wonder how mealworms breath? I learned that my mealworm likes the light because she likes to escape. My favourite experiment was working with the blocks and building a house and miking one side light and the other dark. My other highlight was when my mealworm shed with his legs there. My wonder is do mealworms drink? My next lowlight is I really don’t want to set my mealworm free!” ~ Luisa

It took SOME of us a WHILE to warm up to our mealworms. Others jumped in with BOTH feet!

It took SOME of us a WHILE to warm up to our mealworms. Others jumped in with BOTH feet! Let’s play Where’s Waldo … can you SPOT the little mealworm?

“As I sat down on the carpet, ready for the next activity, I noticed Mrs. Renton grinning from ear to ear. When everyone was seated, Mrs. Renton began to speak. In a minute you will get your very own mealworm, she announced. The class cheered. Then I suddenly realized that I fed mealworms as a treat to my pet hedgehog! I also remembered that my older brother did the same thing in school when he was around my age. My thoughts were suddenly interrupted when one of the classroom helpers came to me with a plastic see-through cup. Once everyone had a cup, Mrs. Renton came around with mealworms. When I got mine I said to myself I am going to have so much fun with my new pet mealworm! My favourite part with my mealworm was watching him change from larva to pupa to beetle.” Aleah

“Hop, hop! You hear that hopping noise? That is the wonderful mealworm that our teacher Mrs. Renton gave us. You might be wondering how can my larva staged mealworm jump. Actually, it is NOT a larva. My long caterpillar-like creature has changed to a pupa. That is how far my mealworm has gone in his adventure. I’ve learned lots while my mealworm was growing. I discovered that mealworms are pests. I even know what they turn into. They will turn into beetles. We had many experiments. Many of them. One of them is the food test. My favourite experiment is seeing if our mealworms prefer dark or light spots. Right now I’m ready to tell you my wonders. Here is one of them. I wonder when does a mealworm die?” Bryan

Holy CROW … just LOOK at that mealworm climb a VERTICAL wall … good thing they CAN’T do that on PLASTIC!

“Oh! Hi there! Do you want to hear about mealworms? Well, let me tell you. Just one handful, my teacher told us. Oh, now I can go, so I went to the little box with lots of shapes in it, (pattern blocks). And, I grabbed a handful and went to my desk. I took a piece of paper and put it on my desk. Then I went to get my mealworm. Wait. Is this too boring? Well, if it is, now I’m gonna try not to be so boring. Okay. Hey, did you know that mealworms have eggs? I discovered that mealworms shed more than one time! I think my favourite stage of the mealworms was the larva because you could play with it and it was not so fast. Remember I was talking about the handful of shapes? We were going to make a maze with them and I think that was one of my favourite experiments!” ~Sofie

“Oh, hello! Are you reading my reflection? Well, let’s get to it. One of my wonders are how many eggs to they lay? How old can darkling beetles get? My favourite experiment was bringing little bits of food to test what they like to eat. My highlight is one out of the four that are beetles! My lowlight is that I couldn’t see mine shed because he did it at night. (My mealworm did it at night.” Hmm. My favourite stage of a mealworm is probably the larva because they’re more active and I’m not worrying that they’re going to fly out!” ~Shaye

Hmm. The mealworm climbed over the MOUNTAIN ... it MIGHT make a GREAT song! LOOK at him go!

Hmm. The mealworm climbed over the MOUNTAIN … it MIGHT make a GREAT song! LOOK at him go!

“A month ago, Mrs. Renton said we’re gonna have a mealworm. I thought it was gross but when I saw them they weren’t slimy … they were clean. I was loving it. A few weeks later my mealworm turned into a pupa. I was sad, but Mrs. Renton gave me another mealworm. I was happy. When I came to the bucket it was full of mealworms but I saw a black mealworm. That means it’s dying. My heart was broken but that’s what happens. At home I rushed to the computer and began to draw a mealworm. I wonder what will happen to my mealworm. When I came back three mealworms were dying … then four. The days passed but now my mealworm turned into a darkling beetle. Now it can run faster than before. I hope my mealworm will be okay and can survive.” ~

“A mealworm. What is that? Oh. Okay. I will try to hold it. Wow! It is very tickly. But, you know what is very sad? My mealworm died. The whole tiny body was black and it was a larva. The mealworm I have right now is a larva and she is very sleepy. She has 13 lines.” ~Saadia

“My top highlight with the mealworms was when we used blocks to make mazes, shelters, open areas, etc., and I liked examining what they like and if they chose the right path. I also enjoyed watching it turn into different stages. My favourite stage is the darkling beetle stage because I haven’t seen a darkling beetle before. My lowlight was when it was in the pupa stage because it didn’t do anything but it was the easiest to sketch. My favourite experiment was when we brought in food to see which food our mealworms liked the best. Mine liked the watermelon a LOT! I discovered that if you put a mealworm egg in a cold environment, (cooler), it will take longer to hatch. I wonder how big the biggest darkling beetle is? I also discovered that a darkling beetle’s life span is about one year!” ~Riley

Riley is RIGHT ... the EASIEST stage to sketch WAS when our mealworms were pupas!

Riley is RIGHT … the EASIEST stage to sketch WAS when our mealworms were pupas!

“Aww! That’s so cute, I said softly, and sure enough, I had a little mealworm in a plastic see-through cut. He was SO cute! I’ll name it Bob, I said, as I put it in a clear small petri dish. Look at him. He’s so happy, I said happily, but quietly. The little mealworm roamed the petri dish. As the teacher told us to put things away, I slipped Bob in the cup, feeling super happy. I could not wait until day #2 with Bob! My sad part was that Bob tried to escape EVERY time! Oh, and if you’re wondering, mealworms aren’t worms. They are the larva stage of a darkling beetle!” ~Anita

“Yes! We’re having mealworms today! I love when we do different things with them like making tunnels and mazes by building blocks and letting them go through. Our mealworms have four stages. They are: pupa, larva, darkling beetle, and eggs. My favourite stage is … well, I don’t have one because I liked all the stages. My highlight was all of it. My lowlight was nothing because I loved it all. I learned that darkling beetle’s eggs are 2 mm! I wonder how mealworms can get out of eggs that small? I loved getting grass and things like that and letting our mealworms play. I wonder how long it takes for an egg to hatch?” ~Robert

IMG_5990

Hey, they’re pretty FAST … and they TICKLE … JUST a little, then they crawl over our hands!

“My lowlight is that my mealworm is still the same. By now it should be a pupa or a darkling beetle! I was sad that Saadia’s mealworm was dead. But, she got a new one. My highlight is we got to look at them. My favourite part of the mealworm was seeing how much they eat, and putting tallies! I learned that mealworms can climb steep stuff sometimes. I learned that mealworms love grass and dirt. I wonder what age they are, (how they tell). I wonder how they name them. Is it like how you name a pet?” ~Alvin

“I discovered that mealworms don’t turn into worms. They turn into beetles. But, then they turn all wide after. Also, I wonder why mealworms start white then they turn black. My favourite stage is the beetle because they can walk on the ground. My favourite experiment we did with the mealworms was making mazes for them because it was fun building the cool mazes for them. Also, because it was fun seeing the mealworms trying to get through the maze. My least favourite stage was the pupa because you can’t play with it. I did not like that I had to get a new mealworm because my mealworm was not active. My highlight was that I got to do lots of cool experiments with our mealworms. I hope we get mealworms in Grade Four!” ~Carter

If you look VERY closely ... you can see some of this mealworm's SHED skin ... they do that SEVERAL times as they grow ... just like ... SNAKES!

If you look VERY closely … you can see some of this mealworm’s SHED skin … they do that SEVERAL times as they grow … just like … SNAKES!

“I’ve learned a LOT about mealworms, like how they turn into darkling beetles. My favourite experiment with them was making mazes for them to escape or prisons that they have to escape. My mealworm is really good at climbing upside down. Bobby Joe is very adventurous and not that smart once in a while. Bobby Joe even jumped off of my desk twice. That was my lowlight. Right now he can’t do anything naughty because he is in the pupa stage. I discovered quickly that pupas look ooogly! I wonder how people even find the eggs of mealworms because the eggs are 2 mm big and 0.9 mm wide. It is incredibly amazing!” ~William

“Dear readers. Ready? Alright! It’s time for … mealworm reflections! My highlight for working with mealworms is how fun it is to play with them. I have a wonder. What does the mealworm look like inside the pupa. My lowlight for working with mealworms is … NOTHING! I loved, and I mean LOVED, working with mealworms! Did you know that mealworms turn into pupas in six to seven months? My favourite stage is the larva, (mealworm), stage. My favourite experiment with mealworms was when we built mazes out of blocks. Well, I hope you enjoyed this!” ~Mani

Our magnifying glasses help us to see EACH of our mealworm’s segments … and their VERY tiny little legs! AMAZING!

“Did you know that mealworms aren’t worms? Wow, cool right? I know this because our class got our own mealworms to learn about. So far, mine is a pupa. Yep, a pupa. My favourite stage is the darkling beetle because it looks tough and its name is unique. My favourite experiment was when we got to bring in healthy foods to see how our mealworms reacted because it was very interesting to see the mealworms eat. I like seeing my mealworm when it shed and when it turned into a pupa. I didn’t like when my mealworm was very inactive because I couldn’t make him roam in the habitat I made with plants. Also, I wonder when mealworm eggs hatch. Thanks for reading! Bye!” ~Marcus

“Hi! I’m Olivia and in the past few weeks I’ve learned about mealworms. If you’re wondering what mealworms are … it’s like a worm but mealworms turn into a, a … b.e.e.t.l.e. Okay, let’s get onto my highs and lows. My highlight is that when my mealworm was in it’s pupa stage a week later it was a BEETLE! My lowlight … wait … I don’t have one! In June my class did an experiment. We made a maze for our mealworms. My mealworm only made it out of four times. I really, really wonder if a mealworm can swim.” ~Olivia

Just LOOK at how adorable this little dude is … ya … they’re BOTH adorable … but … I’m talking about the MEALWORM at the moment!

“My favourite stage my mealworm has been through was the larva stage because he was always so active. My lowlight was that one time I dropped my mealworm from my desk all the way to the floor. My highlight was my mealworm really enjoyed playing with me. My favourite project I worked on with my mealworm was when we were testing if they liked the light or the dark better. I also really liked when I first got my mealworm because it really tickled. When he turns into a beetle I hope he can live for a long time.” ~Liam

“When Mrs. Renton was first going to give us mealworms I was disgusted and I didn’t want a mealworm AT ALL! I was even scared to hold mine. Well, to be honest, they still make me shiver, but now I’m really comfortable around my mealworm. I almost forgot. Did you know that mealworms turn into darkling beetles? I also know that mealworms have 13 lines on their backs! I wonder what darkling beetles eat? Do they still eat the food that they were eating when they were mealworms? Or, do they eat something else? I also wonder if there is a way to tell the difference between a female beetle and a male beetle? Anyways, I am going to miss my mealworm when I release it into the wild! Oh, I almost forgot to tell you. I named my mealworm Ella Squirmy Darkling Beetle. Well, I guess I should go check my beetle now, so BYE!” ~Marah

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“There is a way that nature speaks, that land speaks. Most of the time we are simply not patient enough, quiet enough, to pay attention to the story.”

~Linda Hogan

Categories: Global Grade 3 | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment

MORE Live Webcam Adventures … THIS Time With OWLS!

“It doesn’t matter if you’re born in a duck yard, so long as you are hatched from a swan’s egg!”
― Hans Christian Andersen, The Ugly Duckling

Our live webcam adventures have continued! Because of these amazing webcams, our class has been fortunate enough to watch eagle eggs hatch, learned valuable lessons about life in the wild. Some of those lessons have been exciting, like the ones we continue to discover through the Hancock Wildlife Foundation White Rock eagle cameras. Others have been harder to witness and to understand, like the ones we learned watching the Hancock Wildlife Foundation Delta eagle cameras. Sometimes animals get injured. Sometimes eggs are not viable. They are ALL important lessons, though.

It's HARD to believe that just a few short weeks ago these BIG babies were teeny tiny fluffy newborns!

It’s HARD to believe that just a few short weeks ago these BIG babies were teeny tiny fluffy newborns!

While we have continued to keenly watch the tremendous transformation of those gangly, fuzzy White Rock eagles into much larger and more mature juvenile eagles, we have ALSO had some AMAZING adventures watching the Texas Barn Owl webcam!

Wow ... barn owls are SO beautiful ... but ... WAIT a minute! What's up with those scary looking PINK things in the background? YIKES!

Wow … barn owls are SO beautiful … but … WAIT a minute! What’s up with those scary looking PINK things in the background? YIKES!

What follows are some of our owl reflections since first starting this learning journey:

“Wow! I am so impressed with how much these owls can grow! They come from pink little ugly BLOBS to these beautiful barn owls! I have some highlights and some lowlights. One of my lowlights is that one of the owlets died of starvation because it was not getting fed as much as it is supposed to. My highlight was that owl #4 was looking VERY skinny and it looked like it was going to DIE too, but then he started eating lots of rodents like mice and rats and he always swallows them WHOLE!!! And, it makes me happy that he is going to live.” ~Oliver

“Hi. My name is Olivia and I’ve learned that there is a box and inside the box is an owl nest. There are five owls. When we first saw the owls we thought they were ugly. Even Mrs. Renton thought they were ugly! Oh, and I really, really, REALLY wonder if an owl can have ten or more owlets. If you’re wondering what the mom and dad’s names are, their names are Dottie and Casper. The fourth owlet is Peanut. On June first the owls looked more owl like.” ~Olivia

“I’m going to tell you my lowlights first. My first lowlight is that one of the eggs was rotten so the owlet died. My other lowlight is that an owlet died from starvation. Now, let’s get onto my highlights. My first highlight is that Peanut used to be so small but now he’s getting bigger each day. Oh ya. I just forgot. Peanut is the smallest and the youngest owlet. My other highlight is that the two oldest owlets have some of their adult feathers. I wonder how old are owlets when they fly? I discovered that it takes about a month and a week for an owlet to get some of his adult feathers.” ~Adam

Oh, LOOK! They’re ALREADY starting to get some fluffy feathers! Phew! THAT’S a relief!

“Cute owls!!! I LOVE owls. One of the littlest owls died. I’m so sad.” ~Saadia

“One of my highlights is Peanut survived but the youngest starved to death and so the other owlets ate him. So now Peanut is the youngest. One of my lowlights is that the owlets are SO UGLY. In the past few days I’ve noticed the two older owlets are getting their discs on the face and I’ve noticed that Peanut s getting a little disc. The other thing I’ve noticed is that the three older ones are shedding their downy feathers and more feathers are appearing. I wonder when the first owlet will try to fly and when Peanut will fly? I wonder if the third one is a boy? Oh. I’ve got one more wonder. What do boy barn owls look like? Oh, ya. I forgot to tell you the mom Dottie battled a snake that was trying to get into the nest!” ~Shaye

See that big black LINE coming down the outside of the box? Well ... THAT is a TEXAS rattlesnake ... and it's attempting to feast on an owlet or two. YUCK!

See that big black LINE coming down the outside of the box? Well … THAT is a TEXAS rattlesnake … and it’s attempting to feast on an owlet or two. YUCK! Watch the FOOTAGE here … if you’re BRAVE enough! Mrs. Renton probably has her FEET up on a CHAIR right now! GULP!

“It’s extremely sad that Peanut is not doing well because Peanut has not been getting fed that well. Also, Peanut is 9 days younger. So, his brothers and sisters have not been giving him food. Before that, one of the baby owlets died so the other owlets ate him. One time, actually, a rattlesnake went onto the owl box and the owl grabbed the rattlesnake and grabbed it and threw it off the owl box. The owlets are starting to grow their real feathers. They’re also getting their heart shaped faces. Peanut is still pretty small but Peanut has still been growing lots. The biggest owl in the world is the Great Grey Owl. My two favourite owls are barn owls and great horned owls. I think burrowing owls are the cutest!” ~Carter

“Watching the owl cams has been so awesome because the Texas owlets are starting to have their heart faces. For the past few weeks the Texas owlets were real ugly.” ~Prayers

“Hoo-hoo-hoo? Marcus, THAT’S who! I’m here to tell you about our exciting, cute, kinda ugly in some cases, fantastic online live webcam about owls … barn owls! What I lover about the cam is probably watching the owls’ beaks vibrate up and down at the speed of light. But, the cam isn’t always happy; when we started watching this marvellous cam the smallest owlet sadly died of starvation, then the others ate it. I’ve noticed that barn owls lay usually five or six eggs. We have done some research and I’ve found out that owls listening holes aren’t usually symmetrical. Cool, right? So, to end this off I think I’ll talk about my wonders. I wonder what time barn owls mate. I also wonder how long it takes for an owlet to be born!” ~Marcus

This is a GREAT screen shot of the five surviving babies. They have a LONG way to go before we can call them ADORABLE!

 “I can’t LOOK … they are SO ugly! Oh … hi there … umm … you must not know what I am talking about. Well, let me tell you, baby barn owls, they are SO ugly. Dottie, the mom, is beautiful just like Casper. Casper is the dad and they had six eggs.” ~Sofie

“Cool, I said to myself. They have heart shaped faces. My highlight was when the bigger owl was taking care of the smaller one, (Peanut). So cute. My lowlight was that some of the owlets died. When peanut was eating, he or she at a whole entire rodent and maybe some of the other owlets did the same thing too. Now I’ll tell you the names of the owls and owlet. Dottie, Casper and Peanut.” ~Luisa

“Is it going to hatch? We just started watching an owl cam. A few days later one of the babies died of starvation and the other babies ate it so I was sad. I was amazed at how Peanut, the youngest owl, ate a whole rate and 8 mice. I was so amazed. He’s small to do that. I think it is cool how the owls have their own names. I wonder how big an owl can get? I thought Peanut was jealous that the oldest owl has adult feathers. The owlets are changing like crazy. I wonder what the other owlet’s names will be. I wonder how much more time until the owlets turn into adults. I hope the owlets turn out great.” ~Thomas

Look at that AMAZING stretch! Wow! But … these owlets STILL have a LONG way to go before we stop SHIVERING, just a little, when we see them!

“Have you ever been interested in barn owls? Well then, today is your lucky day because you are going to learn about the barn owl webcams that me and my classmates explored.” ~Aleah

“My highlight with the barn owls was when the fearless mother, Dottie, fought a fierce Texas rattlesnake and won. Mrs. Renton had QUITE a hoot after that experience. My lowlight was when one egg didn’t hatch and one died of starvation because Dottie was so busy trying to feed the oldest ones she didn’t have enough time to feed the youngest one. At least Peanut, the fourth owlet, is getting some food. I wonder when the owlets first learn to fly. Currently owlet number 1, 2 and 3 are growing their adult feathers.” ~Riley

“Wow! I can’t believe how beautiful the adult owls are, and, and … the baby owlets are well … OOOOOGLY! That’s what I think. Some people think they are the most adorable baby animals ever! But … adorable isn’t the word I would use. I would use something like ooooogly! Yeah. That’s the word! I wonder how many species of owls there are in the world? My estimate would be … hmmm … maybe more than 1000. I don’t know! Can you believe how fast the owlets are growing? I mean it takes us a year to grow and the owlets … it’s only taking them weeks!” ~Marah

This is a screenshot taken on June 1st. MAN they are growing quickly. Thank GOODNESS they are STARTING to get some of their ADULT plumage! Phew! There is HOPE yet!

“Wow! Peanut the baby Texas barn owl swallowed a whole mouse! It was amazing. My highlight was that the older barn owl is starting to grow adult feathers. My lowlight was the younger died. It was sad. But that sometimes happens. I am so proud of Peanut. But what was really cool was Dottie the barn owl mom defending while protecting her babies from a rattlesnake. I wonder how old Peanut is. My other wonder is how did the snake get inside or maybe it escaped his cate? I also remember what they look like. They look ugly. It was really funny when the older one came in close to the camera. It makes my heart smile.” Roxanne

“Wow. I love the barn owls but the babies are ugly, though every day they get better. I mean, just look at them grow! My lowlight is that one died from starvation and the others ate it. But, I know how I can make you happy. It’s my highlight and it is that another barn owl called Peanut ate two whole rats and one rabbit. Sorry if I didn’t tell you the names. They are Dottie, Casper and Peanut. Did you know that barn owls find dark quiet places during the day? Did you know that barn owls are silent predators during the night? I don’t have a favourite because all of them do different things that I like.” ~Robert

“My lowlights are that the #6 owlet died of starvation. Even worse … BIG BRUTES … in other words the biggest owlets ATE #5 owlet WHOLE! And Peanut, #4, almost died but luckily survived! That is one of my highlights. Oh, alright. One more. I’m very, VERY glad that the owlets, at the most, aren’t UGLY anymore!!! The mom’s name is Dottie. Dad’s is Casper and #4 is Peanut. Unfortunately, #1, #2, #3, #4 and #5, (the dead one), didn’t and probably won’t have a name and that naming thing is another of my lowlights.” ~Faith

Ugh. STILL not enough adult plumage!

Ugh. STILL not enough adult plumage!

“Dear reader, here are some barn owl reflections! So, ready? I can’t HEAR you! So, I’m sad because the sixth egg won’t hatch and the fifth owlet died of starvation. The owlets are SO ooogly, (ugly), but the mother is beautiful. The owlets are growing so FAST! The first and second owlets grew their disks! It was funny when peanut, the youngest one, looked up at owlet number one and thoughts: I will look like that some day! Did you know that barn owls roost in trees? ONce, Peanut swallowed a rat, or rabbit, whole! Another time, Peanut rustled owlet number one for a rat but lost!” ~Mani

“Ewww, I thought. Sure enough, there was a beautiful barn owl cam up, and a beautiful barn owl was in it. But … the babies were SO ugly … which mother would take care of those  kind of things? They REALLY need a MAKEOVER! A few weeks later I walked over to the carpet … and saw the ugly baby owls. I kept trying to hide from the smartboard but it probably wasn’t a good idea, so I kept my cool and sat on the carpet and stared at the beautiful grown up barn owl. Oh, WHEN will they turn to pretty barn owls? It seemed impossible. But, I kept that a secret and the next day, I looked at the screen and the baby barn owls … they looked a WHOLE lot better than a week ago! They were cuter, (well … they looked BETER, but they were still white), than my stuffed bear at home!” ~Anita

“I adore the barn owls, especially since they aren’t ooogly anymore. Ewww. It was miserable the day the fifth owlet died. I sank into deep thought of how painful it would be to starve. That was a huge lowlight for me. My highlight was the fourth owlet, Peanut, did get enough food. He even ate a whole rabbit. It’s mind boggling that an owlet can swallow it whole. Things that big? You would think you would choke on it, big time. I wonder how they do it? It’s weird and odd at the same time. I wonder if their throats stretch so they don’t choke on it. I discovered that barn owls lay five to six eggs a year. They take around four weeks to hatch! I wonder what the most eggs laid by one barn owl ever known is? I also wonder what type of owl flies the fastest and the fastest record?” ~William

A June 8th screenshot … looking better EVERY day! TRIPLE phew! This dude is DEFINITELY striking a pose for the camera!!!

“At the beginning of April, we started watching a Texas barn owl cam!!! The father is called Casper, and the mom is called Dottie. They have five chicks and one egg. Who knew owls have so many chicks? Sadly, we found out that the egg was non-viable and one of the chicks died of starvation. The smallest chick, #4, is called Peanut. My highlight is that Dottie protected them from a rattlesnake. I wonder if Peanut will survive. I hope he will!” ~Bryan

“My lowlight was that one of the barn owls died from starvation. And, then, the other owlets ate him. What I have learned from the owl cam was the thing around a barn owl’s face is called a disk. The biggest kind of owl is the great gray owl.” ~Liam

“Wow! Now we are looking at the Texas barn owls. Here is one sad lowlight. One of the barn owlets died because of starvation and the other owlets ate it! And, the mom Dottie had another egg. The sad part was that Dottie couldn’t incubate the egg because there were too many owlets. The great gray owl is the biggest owl in the world. My highlight: Dottie was attacking a rattlesnake. I discovered the owlets have the disk on their faces. I wonder how long it takes for the owlets to grow fully. I wonder when they start hunting for food. I wonder when they flu. I wonder when they fledge. I wonder when they can lay eggs.” ~Alvin

Screenshot June 13th. Each and EVERY day these owlets change. It is adorable to see how they huddle around Peanut to keep him warm. Phew … and … we DON’T see any TEXAS rattlesnakes slithering down from the roof. Mrs. Renton can NOW put her FEET back down on the ground!

“Children are born with a sense of wonder and an affinity for Nature.  Properly cultivated, these values can mature into ecological literacy, and eventually into sustainable patterns of living.”

~Zenobia Barlow, “Confluence of Streams”

Categories: Global Grade 3 | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Live Webcam Eagle Adventures

Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience.

~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Early foggy morning at the Delta eagle nest.

Early foggy morning at the Delta eagle nest.

Lately, we’ve been doing some pretty amazing learning through some live webcams! Actually, we’ve been watching the Delta and the White Rock eagle cameras since early March … even BEFORE they began laying their eggs. We LOVE that these live webcams exist because they teach us SO much about the world around us.

We’ve done a lot of observing, some research to delve deeper into our wonders, some predicting and some comparisons of the historical data that has been gathered. It’s been BUSY … and we’ve learned SO many amazing things. It hasn’t ALL been happy learning, though.

Learning through observation, research, prediction and excitement.

Learning through observation, research, prediction and excitement.

What follows are some of our insights, highlights, low lights and reflections:

“I love the White Rock cam because I love the baby eaglets. My low light is that the Delta eggs did not hatch. My heart was real broken when the Delta eggs did not hatch. I learned that baby eaglets have an egg tooth. My highlight is when the White Rock eaglets hatched. Phew! A few weeks ago one of the White Rock eaglets was peaking the other eaglet. When I heard the Delta mom broke her leg I was so, so, so sad. But … at the end … she did do hard work.” ~Prayers

“One egg is named Kilo. Kilo is so cute. One day later comes Lima. I said so adorable and Kilo is the biggest. Lima is the littlest. At the White Rock nest … no eggs. So sad. It’s weird.” ~Saadia

“In the beginning it was just us waiting for eggs. Then finally Mrs.Renton announced that the Delta eagle was doing some serious nesting behaviour. Our eyes were fixed on the Delta eagle cam. The day came at last when there were eggs! A few days later White Rock had eggs. It was like egg-topia. Surprisingly White Rock’s eggs hatched before the Delta eggs. We were starting to worry about the Delta eggs. A little while later Mrs. Renton told us the bad news. The eggs were rotting on the inside!” ~Aleah

March 8th, at the Delta nest. CHECK out those TALONS!

March 8th, at the Delta nest. CHECK out those TALONS!

“Hey you! Yeah! I’m talking to you, reader! If you want to read this, you have to read it with PASSION! I adore the eaglets because they are really CUTE! Any ways, what I … I learned that the weight of a MALE eagle is about three math text books and the weight of a FEMALE eagle is about FOUR math text books. I also learned that the wing span of an adult eagle is about 76 – 79 cm and the height of an adult eagle is 180 – 230 cm. The last thing I learned is the size of an eagle brain. It is about 1 inch, (2.5 centimetres), square. (But … it’s not square!) My highlight is watching the eaglets jump around because it looks so CUTE!!! My low light is all the sibling rivalry. Okay … did you like it?” ~Mani

“It has been amazing learning about the eagle cam and sometimes it can be kind of sad because like maybe the eggs aren’t hatching. One of my low lights is that the Delta eggs aren’t going to hatch, because, for two whole days in early April the eagle did not incubate the eggs. Last year the eagle at the Delta nest broke her leg. Her leg is injured this year so she has not been doing well. On the White Rock cam it was sad that Kilo bopped Lima hard with her sharp beak. A female eagle is heavier than a male eagle. A female weighs 10 – 12 pounds. The length of an adult eagle is 76 to 79 cm. The wing span of an adult eagle is 180 to 230 cm, (1.8 to 2.3 metres). It takes 15 hours to peck the first hole in the egg plus another 30 to fully get out of the egg. They use a tooth on their beaks to peck through.” ~Carter

THREE math text books weigh about

THREE math text books weigh about 7 – 8 pounds, (3 – 4 kilograms). FOUR math text books weigh about 10 – 12 pounds, (4 – 5 kilograms).

“I love the eagles because it’s very cool how cute they are when they are newborn. I learned what sibling rivalry is. It is eaglets bopping each other. And, I learned that eaglets are born with an egg tooth. The egg tooth helps them break their shell. My highlight was that the White Rock eagles eggs hatched. My low light is that we discovered that the Delta 2 eagle’s eggs won’t hatch. I was disappointed. I wish that doesn’t happen to White Rock next year.” ~Bryan

“My highlight about the eagle is that I really think the eaglets are just SO cute, (but I feel bad for Lima getting that BIG brother head bonk)! Oh, let me tell you about the eagle cams. There is the Delta eagle cam and there is the White Rock eagle cam. Ugh. The eggs in the Delta nest are not gonna hatch. Well … maybe there’s still a 20% chance they will hatch. Let me tell you what happened. The mom broke her leg last year then it healed and this year she sort of re-broke it, so she could not incubate the eggs very good. And now, in the White Rock nest, there is Kilo and Lima. First Kilo hatched and it takes about 15 hours to get the first little hole. It takes about 2 days to hatch. After 2 days Lima was out of her egg and that day when mommy or daddy was feeding Kilo and Lima, Kilo wanted to be first to get the food so he gave Lima a BIG head bonk. I wonder if Kilo’s family or Lima’s family is gonna build their nest close to their mom and dad?” ~Sofie

Is THAT what we THINK it is? It's our FIRST egg ... at the DELTA nest!

Is THAT what we THINK it is? It’s our FIRST egg … at the DELTA nest!

“I don’t know which cam I should start with so I’ll start with the White Rock cam. My highlight was seeing Kilo and Lima trying to get out of their shells! I LOVE seeing Kilo and Lima growing up! Really, I don’t have a low light about White Rock. I learned that eaglets have an egg tooth on their beaks to get out of their shells. It must be real tiring! Now, for the Delta eagles. My highlight was knowing the mom has laid her eggs. Now, I have a lot light. It was learning that the mother broke it’s leg last year. So, now the eggs won’t hatch because it hurts when the eagle sits. It’s so tragic. I REALLY wonder how you know if an eagle is old?” ~Haya

“When I realized that we were observing eagle cams I was please because eaglets are quite cute. I learned that an adult female eagle, her wing span is 79 t0 90 inches! My low light was that the Delta eggs didn’t hatch because the mom had a broken leg so she could not incubate very well. I also learned that it takes 15 hours for an eaglet to peck it’s first hole with his or her little egg tooth. My highlight was observing Kilo and Lima struggling out of their eggs. Once Kilo was aggressive and hit Lima with his beak and Lima fell backwards and was hurt because beaks are strong. Lima was only like a day old.” ~Colby

“When I found out that we were going to watch an eagle cam in White Rock BC and Delta BC I was excited. I do not get that such a beautiful bird would start as just a gray chick but it is still cute. I am so happy that I am the first one to find the first egg in Delta BC. I am also happy that White Rock BC had the two eggs hatch on March 13th and March 16th. The eagle in Delta BC broke it’s leg last year and re-hurt it this year. I hope that the eagle will live for a long time. I will remember the eagle cam even when I will be an adult.” ~Thomas

It's grizzly, but, we are ALSO learning a LOT about what West Coast EAGLES like to eat!

It’s grizzly, but, we are ALSO learning a LOT about what West Coast EAGLES like to eat!

“I loved both of the eagle nests. The White Rock cam was AMAZING! The eaglets hatched and they were so CUTE!!! But, Lima is cuter. My low light was  the Delta cam because I am getting a little bit worried that the eggs are not hatching. I learned that it takes 15 hours to break a big hole to make its way out of the egg shell. I wonder when the Delta nest eggs are going to hatch?” ~Luisa

“I wonder when the Delta eggs are going to hatch. I am growing so impatient. I am so disappointed that they still have not hatched yet, I said to myself. And, that’s when I heard that they are not going to hatch. That was when I was more disappointed than ever!!! Why are they not going to break out of that little space? Because the mother eagle hurt her leg last year and she re-hurt her leg so it is hard for the mother to incubate the eggs, because she injured her leg. Anyways, let’s get on with the baby eaglets at White Rock BC. They are ADORABLE!!! The older one is Kilo. The smaller one is Lima. They are both growing strong. Did you know that we’ve been watching the eaglets very closely and in one of the videos Kilo bonked Lima in the head! I wonder why the parents didn’t do anything about it?” ~Marah

“I find looking at the eagles pretty interesting because I like to see what they are up to and how the eaglets are doing. But, I don’t like how Kilo always KOs Lima. It’s mean. Other than that, I love the cam. It was so cute when I first saw Kilo pop out of the egg. The same with Lima. It’s fascinating how huge an eagle’s wing span can get. I also never knew how giant an eagle’s nest is! When an eaglet is born it takes 15 hours to poke the hole and like 2 more days to get out!” ~Liam

Our predictions were actually PRETTY close ... just a few days too early!

Our predictions were actually PRETTY close … just a few days too early!

“Aww! That is SO cute! Look at the baby eaglet! Ya wanna know what’s cute? Well, that baby eaglet is adorable! Kilo was born a couple of weeks ago, and now there’s Lima! But, here’s the blue part … there has been sibling rivalry against each other. Kilo’s mainly trying to hurt Lima, the littlest one. Well, luckily there is less sibling rivalry now. Kilo is now learning to become a responsible older sibling, even though his is still getting most of the food! Mama and papa eagle are very nice to their kids. Once Kilo is full, the parent gives Lima some good meals. You rock, ma and pa! Hey, know what? I’ve been thinking … why wasn’t pa or ma doing anything when there was sibling rivalry?” ~Anita

“I loved when the eggs hatched because the eaglets were really cute! I learned the adult eagle wind span is 180 to 230 centimeters! I loved watching the mom feeding Kilo and Lima! I didn’t like when Kilo pecked Lima’s back because he was down for a while. White Rock and Delta are in BC. I don’t like when the mom didn’t do anything when they were fighting! A first born eaglet weighs give dominoes, which is about 85 grams. I loved when the mom laid the eggs! The Delta mom broke her leg last year and now she can’t incubate the eggs!” ~Alvin

An EAGLET only weighs about 85 GRAMS when it is first born ... that is about as heavy as 5 of our plastic dominoes!

An EAGLET only weighs about 85 GRAMS when it is first born … that is about as heavy as 5 of our plastic dominoes!

“I can’t believe it, the eggs are hatching, I said to myself in delight. I know they were a bit late but I’m still happy to see it. I was sad when the mom’s let got hurt and I was happy when it healed. Did you know that a baby eaglet weights 85 grams when it’s first born? Did you know that an adult eagle’s brain is as big as a 1 inch cube? Okay. Last. Did you know that it takes 15 hours to peck out a little hole with the egg tooth and another 30 to get out so 45 hours altogether. That’s a lot of pecking. I wonder what the minimum time of pecking it takes to get out?” ~Robert

“I adore seeing Kilo and Lima, the eaglets, because they are so ugly they are cute! I don’t know how that works, it just does. I learned that eagles can be very intelligent. And just a little picky! I also learned how long it takes for an eagle to get out of their egg! One of my highlights is seeing the eagles on a foggy day because they look even MORE fierce! I’m feeling glum because in the Delta cam, the eggs aren’t going to hatch. Why? Because the parent re-broke her leg. First she broke it, somehow. Now she broke it again. Man, that’s very depressing. I wish her leg would heal.” ~Marcus

It hasn't ALL been easy learning ... SOME times eggs are just NOT viable.

It hasn’t ALL been easy learning … SOME times eggs are just NOT viable.

“Ya hoo! The eagles are back. Eagles are my favourite animal. I really didn’t know that eagle females are bigger than the males. The sad part is the Delta eggs didn’t hatch. Mrs. Renton said if the eggs didn’t hatch they will still continue sitting on them. But, if they start to smell they will abandon them or roll them out off the nest. When I grow up I want to be a zoo keeper. I wonder how eagles mate each other? There is so much to learn about bald eagles. Kilo and Lima are so cute and the mom was taking good care of Kilo and Lima.” ~Roxanne

“I’m astounded by the eagles but I am more astounded by the eaglets! Probably my biggest highlight is watching the eaglets. I think our eaglets are HILARIOUSLY cute!!! My low light is that the Delta eggs did not hatch! That was so sad. I wish one would have hatched, at least. One of the things that I have learned is that eagle’s eggs, if they’re not getting incubated enough, the eggs will change colour like brownish greenish. Eventually the eagles push the odd looking eggs right our of the nest. I’ve also learned that it takes 35 – 38 days, or very rarely, a little bit more for an eaglet to hatch.” ~William

They are SUCH patient parents ... sitting through ALL kinds of weather. BOTH the male AND the female take turns incubating their eggs.

They are SUCH patient parents … sitting through ALL kinds of weather. BOTH the male AND the female take turns incubating their eggs.

“I love the eagle cams because they’re so cool! Plus, it is also amazing that … man made cameras can show and tell us about Mother Nature. I learned that not just any eagle can be a fierce predator … almost any eagle can be a VERY FIERCE PREDATOR! And, that the female is actually LARGER than the male eagle! My low lights are that the mother eagle broke her leg TWICE! Delta’s eggs did NOT hatch!!! That is really sad. Don’t the parents notice that is has been over 50 days?!? Don’t you think that is REALLY BIZARRE?” ~Faith

“I loved when the Delta and White Rock eggs were laid! But, my low light was that the Delta eggs are never going to hatch because the eggs were left alone for two days. My other low light was when the Delta mom broke her leg last year, but recovered, but then she broke it again. My highlight was when both of the White Rock eggs hatched. I learned that it takes 35 to 38 days to hatch. My other thing I learned is that it takes 15 hours to poke a hole through. After it pokes the hole it takes one and a half days to hatch. Oh. I just remembered … I have one more low light … when Kilo hit Lima with his or her beak. Wondering who Kilo and Lima are? They’re the eaglets!” ~Adam

Those West Coast eagles are LUCKY ... they get an amazing diet of fish, duck, birds ... we learned SO much!

Those West Coast eagles are LUCKY … they get an amazing diet of fish, duck, birds … we learned SO much!

“Hello there! Are you wondering what I am writing about? Well, I am writing about my ups and downs on our Delta and White Rock eagle nests we’ve been watching. So, let me get on with this! I learned that females are bigger than males. I loved when the White Rock eggs hatched and seeing tiny Kilo and his or her little fluffy feathers. One of my highlights is when the White Rock and Delta eggs were laid. My low light is that the Delta mom injured her leg and can’t incubate her eggs and the chicks are dying inside the egg.” ~Shaye

“Hi! My name is Olivia and the last few months I’ve learned a ton about eagles. The day our blog went down, Mrs. Renton showed us an eagle cam. A few days later we saw an egg in the Delta nest. So, White Rock had two and Delta has two. On April 16th the White Rock eaglet hatched but the Delta had no eaglets. It was a happy day and a sad day. So, Mrs. Renton went to the website. It said that last year the Delta mom broke her leg but it recovered from the injury. So, it looks like she injured it again and she didn’t sit on it for a couple days. I hope she recovers. Did you know that the eaglets have names? Their names are Kilo and Lima. The website is called The Hancock Wildlife Foundation. I love eagles and eaglets.” ~Olivia

It is SAD to watch the Delta eagles still taking such gentle care of their eggs. We wonder when they will figure out that there will be NO eaglets this year.

It is SAD to watch the Delta eagles still taking such gentle care of their eggs. We wonder when they will figure out that there will be NO eaglets this year.

“I LOVED learning about the beautiful Bald Eagles and how long it takes for an egg to be laid after mating. I also loved learning about how long it takes for an egg to hatch after being laid. I learned that it takes 5 to 10 days for an egg to be laid after mating. We also learned that it takes 36 to 38 days for the eggs to be hatched. My low light was hearing that the Delta’s mom broke her leg last year and re-injured it this year and was absent from incubation for two straight days! Now the eggs have no chance hatching. My highlight was seeing the little eaglets, Kilo and Lima, for the first time!” ~Oliver

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Wow. It was a LONG wait … but it was EXCITING! WELCOME to Kilo and Lima! Take GOOD care of each other, little ones … NO more SIBLING rivalry!

Such HUGE learning … but … we’re NOT done YET! We will spend some time watching Kilo and Lima grow. It’s been fun watching them take their FIRST steps. We are SO thankful that The Hancock Wildlife Foundation runs these web cams. If YOU are interested in seeing what’s happening in the White Rock AND the Delta 2 nests … JUST click on the HYPERLINKS! We’ll MEET you THERE! Oh … it’s time to go … it’s:

DINNER time!

DINNER time!

The human spirit needs places where nature has not

been rearranged by the hand of man.

~Author Unknown

Categories: Global Grade 3 | Tags: , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Expressing Gratitude to our … BLOG Fathers!

Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does.

~William James

This is a post about being LOST. But … it’s ALSO a post about being FOUND! We hope you’re SITTING down, because it DOESN’T start OUT pretty!

Are you familiar with the fairytale Cinderella? Well, THIS is just a LITTLE bit like that … but … it’s ALSO quite a LOT different! Snuggle up with your FAVOURITE teddy bear because it’s GOING to be PRETTY bumpy for a bit! Don’t worry, though, MOST fairytales end on a BETTER note than they began! 😉

Once upon a time, there was a blog. It was just a LITTLE blog, run by a small but MIGHTY group of Grade Three students at Battalion Park School. As a matter of fact, THIS little blog was a history of their journey helping to build a library in a very rural and extremely poor weaving village in Q’enqo Peru over the past four years. Now, this tiny blog ALSO captured OTHER pieces of their learning journey, as they worked hard to flatten the walls of their classroom … to connect and learn with the world BEYOND their school walls.

One day, these lovely little bloggers awoke to discover that … their BLOG was … MISSING! Poof! JUST like THAT! After several weeks of trying VERY hard to find out what happened, they began to realize that maybe they WOULDN’T be able to do HUGE math challenges with the revolver map, or learn about the various countries that would visit the blog on the flag counter, ever again. There MIGHT not EVER be anymore posts about their journey, their discoveries, their wonders, their Skypes, their connections. They DIDN’T give UP, though … they KEPT on trying … and … they REACHED out and asked for help because they BELIEVED in the POWER of a FLAT class!

And … JUST like Cinderella was RESCUED by her SPECIAL Fairy Godmother … the Global Grade 3 Blogging Hawks were RESCUED by … NOT one, but TWO very special BLOG fathers! We’re even LUCKIER than Cinderella! WE have TWO!

This blog post is dedicated to these two VERY special people. Brant Parker and David CloutierTHANK you, SO much, for doing everything you could to bring our blog BACK to life! What follows is a special video to let you know just HOW much this blog means to us, and some of the reasons why we MISSED it SO much. We hope you enjoy it!

We think our BLOG Fathers ROCK! We WONDER if they can work MIRACLES on PUMPKINS, like Cinderella’s Fairy Godmother could!

PS THIS post is BASED on a TRUE story! 😉

Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.

~Dr. Seuss

Categories: Global Grade 3 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Creating Ancient Peruvian Masks with Connie Claymaker

Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.

~Pablo Picasso

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We’ve had the privilege of working with Connie Claymaker this year! She came in to teach us how to make ancient Peruvian masks! What follows are our thoughts:

“Woo HOO! Connie’s here I said in my head. We were making Peruvian masks out of clay. The clay smelled like a pine tree! I liked the part when we dragged the skewers on the clay. My lowlight was that we couldn’t paint the mask today. The hardest part was cutting the eyes out. I wonder how hot the kiln is?” ~Mani

“Wow! This clay feels really soft, I said, rolling out the clay that Connie gave us for our masks. We were making Peruvian masks as a project with Connie Claymaker. I like her. She was really fun! I have some highlights! I was having trouble with the mouth, but then Mrs. Renton came along and saved my bacon! She brought along an empty tape roll and she squished it down so it looks just like a perfect mouth! Then, my other highlight was noticing that Connie remembered me! My lowlight was having to retrace the whole thing!” ~Oliver

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“When I got in the classroom, I remembered that we were making masks. Next, I noticed clay and paper plates on desks. I took off my coat and sat on the carpet. After we looked at some photos we started to make the form of the mask. I just got a bunch of pre-made parts and snipped at them. When we were done it was time to work with the clay.” ~Aleah

“Hi! Today we made Peruvian masks! One of my highlights was drawing the mask because it made it stand out. One of my lowlights was making the nose, mouth and eyes. If you want to make a Peruvian mask you will need: a paper plate, news paper, clay, paint. 1. Put the paper plate on the table. 2. Fold newspaper into a mouth or eyes or eyebrows. 3. Flatten the clay until it’s flat. 4. Put the clay gently on the mask. 5. Pat the clay gently until you see the mouth and nose. 6. To be continued!” ~Olivia

“My Peruvian mask, I think, is pretty good. Instead of doing fangs on my mask, I did a tongue and I did pretty much everything different on my mask than on my drawing. It was not an oval either. In my picture it is an oval.. My mask is going to be see-through through the mouth and eyes. My highlight is the tongue. It was fun and cool. I also really liked drawing in the clay. My biggest lowlight was doing all the clay on the face all over again. That was a huge royal pain!!!” ~William

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“Connie Claymaker is HERE I thought to myself. This is how we made the masks. Step 1. From a table, there are nose and eye forms and you tape them on. Step 2. Then you make the eyes and mouth and tape it. Step 3. You get clay and roll it with a roller. They once you’re done you place it on your mask. Step 4. You press with your hands softly. Setp 5. After you get a toothpick and design it. My highlight was rolling the clay. My lowlight was taping my eyebrows and nose.” Luisa

“After Connie Claymaker told the directions, we started with the newspaper and the tape. We stuck the rolled news paper on the paper plates. After she explained all the rules about rolling the mask with the rolling pin we formed our own mask with details on it. When it was time for Connie to go well all said thank you! It was really fun making my mask. Next time we will paint our masks.” ~Roxanne

“Wow! Connie Claymaker is here! Connie was here to help us make ancient Peruvian masks! First, we sat on the carpet and listened to Connie talk about shapes, folds and taping. First, I folded a piece of paper 7 times, then bent it into a mouth shape and taped it onto a plate. Connie had made eyes, noses, eyebrows and mouths so I chose to do the mouth and use Connie’s eyes, noses and eyebrows. After I taped those on I got a blog of clay and started to roll with a rolling pin. When the clay was the size I needed, (the size of the plate), I put it on top of the plate and pushed it down with my hand. Then I cut the eyes and mouth out with a knife. Instantly I started designing my mask. My favourite highlight was when we rolled the clay. I hope I get to do this next year!” ~Riley

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“Today we worked with Connie Claymaker on our masks. I’m very excited to do our masks. My highlight about making masks is when we roll the clay with our rolling pin. My lowlight was when I decorated it because I kind of cut it. I would NEVER forget that day!” ~Bryan

“Riinnnngg! The bell rang as I walked into the class. I remembered we were making Peruvian masks today I said to myself. I couldn’t wait to make my Peruvian mask because they look so fun and they were fun. First we had to make all the eyes and noses and mouths and eyebrows and tape all of them onto a paper plate. But it was really easy for me and some of my other classmates to do because we had things already done. Then we started working with clay. We rolled it. We shaped it. We designed it. It was really fun. I think my favourite part was the clay. I can’t wait to paint the mask. Oh ya. Thanks for reading!” ~Robert

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“My highlight is when we carved our designs on the Peruvian masks. My lowlight is that I couldn’t find the eye holes that I wanted to carve out. The hardest part for me was getting the eye shape I wanted for my Peruvian mask. What my wonder is that I wonder when after the masks are in the kiln why they are smooth.” ~Faith

“When I walked in the classroom, Connie was standing in the back of the class. First we made the eyes and then the nose and then the mouth. And, then we rolled clay into an oval. Then you put it on the plate.” ~Thomas

“My favourite part of working with Connie Claymaker was when I smoothed the clay down. My second favourite part was when I carved out the mouth and eyes. The hardest part was when I had to tape all the stuff down. The easiest part was when I cut out the mouth and eyes.” Adam

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“My highlight was sculpting the tongue to stick out and my lowlight was scraping the clay off my DESK! Anyway, the easiest part was rolling the clay and the hardest part was drawing with the skewer.” ~Liam

“Yay! Connie Claymaker is here. She helped us make our clay butterflies in Grade Two. Now we get to make something even better: Peruvian masks! My highlight was drawing decorations and it was the hardest part. My lowlight was rolling the clay because the clay stuck to my desk. I did not use eyebrows though. Other people had eyebrows and it looks a bit better than without. I regret not having eyebrows.” ~Colby

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“Wow! Connie was SO fun! The best part was designing. I wonder how Connie cooks it. It was so fun working with Connie. I can not  wait to paint the masks. The hard part was to roll the clay.” ~Prayers

“Highlights: I loved doing the designing with the skewers on the mask. It was SO beautiful, not to brag, though! Lowlights: it was hard to make a circle out of the clay. I don’t know why but I could not make a circle for some reason.” ~Sofie

“As I walked in the classroom I saw Connie talking to my friends! I was so excited to do the clay. My first lowlight was rolling because it kept sticking on my desk so I did it on my second time. This time it broke in half so my third time Connie helped me AND IT WORKED! Then I did the details and finished!” ~Alvin

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“Connie Claymaker is here? I said as I walked in the classroom. Then I realized that today WAS the day! As we were starting to make our Peruvian masks we folded paper like a THOUSAND times. Then, we taped three or four times. We folded and made the paper like eyes. We did this to make all the parts. My favourite part was when we rolled and shaped the clay. It was hard folding the paper but it worked out GREAT! I wonder what Peruvian masks were used for?” ~Marcus

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Thanks to Connie, we’ve had a WONDERFUL time exploring building and making structures with clay! Our masks are now FULLY complete … we hope you enjoy the slide show of our FINISHED masks!

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As the sun colors flowers, so does art color life.

~John Lubbock

We wonder:

  • Where did the ancient Peruvians get the colours to paint their masks?
  • Where did the clay come from?
  • Did they use the masks for a special purpose?
Categories: Global Grade 3 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

An INCREDIBLE Surprise Arrives from AUSTRALIA!

If you have knowledge, let others light their candles at it. ~Margaret Fuller

This blog post is dedicated to Ross Mannell … our OTHER teacher on the OTHER side of the WORLD!

We are SO sorry that it took SO long for us to share our excitement with you, Ross! Our blog has been shut down for over a month. It’s made us really sad because we haven’t been able to share our learning with the world!

After a LONG wait, and MANY emails and SO much help from two VERY special people, we finally got the good news this morning! Our BLOG is BACK! You should have HEARD the shouts of delight! We SURE hope THAT doesn’t happen again!

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SPEAKING of shouts … you should have HEARD the CHEERS when we opened your package and spotted Suzy Sunshine sitting inside the paper envelope! Imagine our surprise when we discovered that Suzy Sunshine wasn’t alone! We are having SUCH a GREAT time learning about ALL the animals in the Super Animal books collection you thoughtfully gave to us. We LOVE how much we’ve learned ever since we received your package. The card reader is REALLY cool because we LOVE swiping the cards for each of the animals. Hearing the sounds of each animal is AMAZING!

Every day, Mrs. Renton draws a table group out of our Popsicle sticks and that table group goes into our break-out room to explore the Super Animal book collection and cuddle with Suzy, during our independent reading time! We are already on our THIRD round spending time with our special treasures! Many of us find it VERY hard to let go of Suzy when we are done for the day!

We’ve enjoyed hearing what many of the Australian animals sound like … because we know you live there! It helps us to get to know a little more about Australia! We also love that the books are FILLED with ALL kinds of interesting animals from around the world!

We have used the card reader, and the cards, SO many times that we have ALREADY had to replace the batteries! Now THAT is impressive!

What follows are our thoughts:

“I LOVED swiping the Barn Owl card! My FIRST reason: I love owls! The SECOND reason: the screeching is absolutely majestic! Thanks SO for being SO generous to push our learning further! We are so glad you spent the time to give these to us. You are a GREAT man! I wonder what YOUR favourite card is? Oh, and congrats on 100 000 views!” ~Marcus

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“My favourite animal sound was the polar bear because the roar was scary but AWESOME! I liked all the animals but … mostly Suzy! And, the super animal books were spectacular! I hope Suzy will always be safe forever and ever!” ~Luisa

“My favourite part was swiping the python card, right when we got the package because if asked Mrs. Renton if she could swipe the python card, but she’s terrified of snakes. She let ME do it! :) Personally, my favourite card was the python because I like it’s fierce-some sound. We are so grateful that we won and that each class got the card readers!” ~Colby

“My favourite card was the barn owls. They were SO cute! My least favourite one was the mosquito. They kill 600 000 people a YEAR! I was extremely terrified when I heard that! Did you know that a barn owl flies silently?” ~Marah

“Hi Ross! I hope you’re having a good day! My favourite animal was the deadliest mosquito because it kills over 600 000 people a year. I like it because it is really deadly. I like the sound it made.” ~Alvin

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“I LOVED the chimpanzee card because they are my favourite animal! I am VERY grateful for all the stuff that you have done for us and educated us on. I showed Mrs. Renton the rattle snake card and she SHIVERED! Thank you SO much, Ross!” ~Oliver

“I LOVE the Super Animals books! I love them SO much that I can’t just pick ONE! But, I love the tiger because when I hear the tiger I feel I’m brave. I am really happy you gave us the books.” ~Prayers

“Hi Ross! Thank you SO much for sending the kit. When Mr. L. came into our classroom with the package I was thinking, in my head, what is that? When we opened the package I was excited to see Suzy Sunshine. I LOVE the card reader TOO! I don’t have a favourite animal … I LOVE listening to them ALL! I LOVE Suzy!” ~Saadia

“My favourite and my LEAST favourite animal is the mosquito because mosquitoes are the deadliest animal in the world! I like mosquitoes because their proboscis is interesting! I’ve discovered that mosquitoes kill 600 000 PEOPLE A YEAR!!! What I don’t like about mosquitoes is that they suck your blood and it’s TEMPTING to SCRATCH it!” ~Riley

“My favourite sound has to be the strawberry poison frog because when I hear it I feel like I’m deep in a rain forest! When I first saw Suzy come out of the package I exploded with happiness because she is SO cute!” ~Liam

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“My favourite animals are … ALL of them because I can’t just pick ONE! I like Suzy Sunshine because she is so fluffy and she smells so good! I discovered what a koala sounds like!” ~Adam

“Hi Ross! I loved that you sent us Suzy Sunshine and the Super Animal boos with the cards in them. It was fun getting a card and slipping it into the card reader. I loved all of the cards! Suzy Sunshine was cute and soft! You were so thoughtful and kind!” ~Roxanne

“My favourite animal is the king cobra. I liked the sound it makes. I think it looks cool too! I discovered that koalas sound VERY different from what I thought! I also discovered that listening to a mosquito with the sound reader buzzes your ears and tickles your ear drums! Do NOT try it … I’m warning you!” ~Anita

“My personal favourite animal is … ALL of them! Why is that? Because there are so many of them! But, if I had to pick ONE, I would pick the python, the emperor penguin and the koala. I think the sounds are extraordinary. The other animals are pretty cool as well. My favourite part is Suzie!!!” ~William

“My favourite animal is a Peregrine Falcon. It is the FASTEST animal in the universe! Thank you, Ross, SO much, for the Super Animals kit because it taught us about a lot of animals. I discovered what a peregrine falcon is!” ~Mani

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“I THINK my FAVOURITE animal is SUZY! The second time I went in the breakout room I could NOT let GO of Suzy! She is so awesome and … wait for it … CUDDLY! I discovered how many animals tropical and colourful.” ~Faith

“Hey, Ross! I love the Super Animals books collection SO much I can’t choose my favourite card out of the whole bunch! My favourite thing of the whole package was Suzy! I CAN’T describe how HAPPY we are!” ~Robert

“The animal that I love the most is the turtle frog! Wondering what a turtle frog is? It’s a pink lumpy little thing! Anyways, I can’t thank you ENOUGH for the AMAZING kit!” ~Shaye

“Hi Ross! I love how you gave each class a Super Animal kit. It was AMAZING! One of my favourite animals is the cuckoo bee. It DOES look cuckoo! Ha ha! Boy, it was fun!” ~Bryan

“Hi Ross! It’s TOO hard to choose what my favourite animal is from the Super Animal books! It’s TOO hard to choose because they are ALL so inspiring! I think it’s lovely that you would spend your own money to buy that for the 100 000th visitor competition!” ~Sofie

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“Ross, thank you SO much for the amazing gifts. You were SO thoughtful. My favourite animal was the narwhal because it made an amazing noise. The noise sounded WAY different than I expected a narwhal to make!” ~Carter

“My favourite animal in the animal book is the Arctic Fox. I like the Arctic Fox because it is really cute! Ross, thank you SO much for the Super Animal kit! I hope you have an AWESOME day!” ~Thomas

“I loved the card reader and the adorable Suzy Sunshine! My favourite card from the card reader and Super Animals pack was the hedgehog because, at home, I have a pet hedgehog! They may be prickly but they are cute! Speaking of cute, Suzy the koala plushy is adorable too! Some people think she smells like Africa!” ~Aleah

“My favourite animal is the cheetah because cheetahs are really speedy and I am too! Also, I like the AMAZING sound a cheetah makes. Did you know? It’s tail helps the cheetah make sudden turns during a chase!” ~Haya

We are SO grateful that we won the 100 000th visitor competition that you held for your blog and SO thankful that you’ve helped to push our learning even FURTHER … again! Suzy and the Super Animal books have become a very treasured part of our learning community!

<3 The Blogging Hawks

The art of teaching is the art of assisting discovery.

~Mark Van Doren

Categories: Global Grade 3 | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 Comments

A Visit from Kristina!

We may sit in our library and yet be in all quarters of the earth. 

~John Lubbock

Yesterday, we were blessed to have a visit from Kristina. She has been working with Mosqoy for the past couple of years. She surprised us by asking if she could come to talk to us about the library that Grade Three students at Battalion Park have been helping to build and fill with books for the past four years! Kristina told us that the children in Q’enqo LOVE using the library! The part-time Librarian, Santiago, goes into the library TWICE a week to help children learn to use the library. He also spends time telling the children the local Quechua Folktales so that they keep their culture alive. Quechua is an oral language … so … there is VERY little of it written down. Santiago also goes into the market in Cusco, monthly, to purchase MORE books for the Q’enqo library!

Kristina told us about how even the high school students come into the library, in the evenings that Santiago has the library open, to use the space for homework and research! We learned that they don’t use the library in QUITE the same way that we use our libraries. Students can’t sign books out, but they are welcome to use them whenever the teachers or Santiago have the library open. Mosqoy still has BIG hopes for this special library … and so do we!

What follows are some of our reflections after Kristina’s visit:

Today, we got to meet someone from Mosqoy ... face to face! Kristina Zoller came to tell us ALL about how the Q'enqo Library Project is going!

Today, we got to meet someone from Mosqoy … face to face! Kristina Zoller came to tell us ALL about how the Q’enqo Library Project is going!

“Today we are going to meet Kristina, our teacher said. Do you know her? She works for Mosqoy. The most interesting fact that she shared with us is that the school in Q’enqo pays for the students. I wonder do the students need to bring their own lunch?” ~Bryan

“Mrs. Renton said this was the first LIVE speaker we’ve ever had from Mosqoy! Hey … when you think about it … it really does seem like we are a lucky class. Kristina was very kind to take time out of her busy schedule to come and see us. She told us about Peru, and the library we helped out with. She also let us pass around some of the blankets that Mosqoy purchased from one of the weaving villages in Peru. She told us about how she went to Peru and how scary it was to drive there because there were no lanes and everyone was going the exact same way and the roads were so thin. And, the scariest part was that there were NO guard rails! I’m pretty sure that it would be a long ways down if you turned and fell. She said that she had to wait an hour because somebody was going the opposite way she was and it took him an hour to decide how to decide how he was going to get around her without hurting anybody. I wonder what your favourite part would be if you were there?” ~Oliver

Kristina told us ALL about the WILD drive to Q'enqo from Cusco!

Kristina told us ALL about the WILD drive to Q’enqo from Cusco!

“When Kristina came in she shared her ideas about Peru. She even talked about how she got to go to the library. she even shoed a video about how long it takes to drive to the library. She ate guinea pig. I hope the library doesn’t close at all. I didn’t know they get (the colours for weaving) from bugs. Kristina told us how they make colours out of bugs. Then she handed me the clay fish. I asked her what the hole was for and she told me. My highlight was that the library was so beautiful and I liked how they painted the hummingbird (on it). When it was time for Kristina to go all of us said goodbye. Mrs. Renton gave her a gift to say thank you.” ~Roxanne

“Wow. Look at all the grade threes walking in I thought to myself. The interesting part was when Kristina said that the Librarian came to the school two days a week. Why? Because in our school the library is open every school day. I have three hopes for the library. One of my hopes is for them to have one more Librarian. My second hope is that the library would open more often. My last hope is for it to have more books. My wonder is that would they ever get another Librarian.” ~Adam

Kristina showed us photos of the Q'enqo library, from the beginning of the journey to now!

Kristina showed us photos of the Q’enqo library, from the beginning of the journey to now!

“Wow! How do Peruvians do pottery like that?!? My highlight was when I got to hold Kristina’s pottery. One was shaped like a fish and the other was like a sphere with geckos on them. That was my highlight because the pottery was handmade. Battalion Park also helped build a library in Q’enqo, Peru! It took roughly FIVE YEARS TO MAKE! The one Librarian’s name is Santiago. He’s the only Librarian there! It’s not just a library. There’s a cafeteria on the other side of a little wall. I wonder if we can help more? This is something I’ll never forget!” ~Riley

“As we walked into the classroom we saw this lady and then right away everybody started to whisper … hey, this the lady from Mosqoy. She was Mrs. Renton’s first live guest speaker she has EVER had … from Mosqoy! Her name was Kristina and she took a few pictures and videos to show us. It was nice to know that the Librarian, (Santiago), still worked at the library. I wonder if Kristina ever went in a guinea pig race? The usual sports that they play is soccer and volleyball. I wonder where else Kristina goes to share her trip and tell those people about the library? I wonder if it’s expensive in the market in Cusco for Santiago to buy the books for the library?” ~Colby

She brought in ARTIFACTS to share with us! This is a GORGEOUS piece of weaving that took over THREE weeks to make ... right from sheering the llama, to dying the wool ... to weaving!

She brought in ARTIFACTS to share with us! This is a GORGEOUS piece of weaving that took over THREE weeks to make … right from sheering the llama, to dying the wool … to weaving!

“Ever wonder about the mysteries of Peru? I did, and we had a presentation about it. I learned that the only bug that COULD make dye, (the cochineal bug), could only make red dye. I wonder what type of plant could turn red to purple or green or BLUE? I also didn’t know that there are alpacas in Q’enqo either. And, you can dye alpaca fur too. The library we had that presentation about can’t sign out books. I hope the children get to soon. They deserve to. The kids who go to the library LOVE going there. Santiago is the Librarian. He helps a lot.” ~Marcus

“I’m SO excited, I screamed in my head, walking into the room. Today, in the afternoon, a guest speaker, her name is Kristina, is going to tell us about the library project in Peru. I liked the part when she told us about the temple and how it was made. I hope the library gets bigger and LOTS of books get added. I wonder if they fill guinea pigs like Thanksgiving turkey?” ~Mani

She brought some of the MOST beautiful pottery done with designs like you'd find at the Nazca Lines!

She brought some of the MOST beautiful pottery done with designs from Incan times!

“I wonder if the library in Peru was built in the 1980s century. I wonder how many people in the school are in grade three. I learned, from Kristina, that Peru has huge mountain ranges. I thought that Peru was only hilly. One of my highlights was seeing the amazing designs on the clothes and blankets. Why? Because the cloth was handmade and must have taken hours and hours to make! I hope for the library to have more books in the future. I also hope that they can afford three computers for research and gaming. I really hope Peru develops in the next 100 years or so.” ~William

“Wow! Yesterday we had a guest speaker. Kristina was going to tell us about the library in Q’enqo. My highlight was seeing the pottery made by hands and the scarf or table cloth with the llama design and owl. I hope the library gets sports things like new soccer balls or volleyballs … a ball of any kind. I wonder if the library has changed or not. I wish Q’enqo could be like us and have clean clothes and good food like us. One more thing. I wonder what guinea pig babies look like!” ~Luisa

MORE amazing pottery!

MORE amazing pottery!

“We got to meet Kristina. She lived in Peru for two years. She talked to us about the library in Q’enqo. We are raising money for the library so they can have a lot of books to read and have a nicer school. I hope that the school is still improving and I hope they make a better park because the park is all rusty and crusty. I think that when she said you need to put a hole in the clay fish she shared was neat. You have to put newspaper inside so it doesn’t fall apart. But the newspaper burns to ashes and flows out when you put it in a kiln. We were SO lucky that Kristina came in”. ~Carter

“Ever wonder if there is a library in Q’enqo … because there is! The library has 200 books for 75 kids. But, I wonder if they have two of one book! I loved the weaving. It was so soft! And, I really liked the llamas. I bet it would be hard to weave all those designs. It was so cool to have someone from Peru come in to see us!” ~Liam

“She’s here! She’s here, I said to myself when I walked in the classroom. My highlight is when she shared the pottery and the woven quilt. She shared that one of the quilts was machine made and the rest are handmade. My hope for the library is kids have a lot of fun there. I really really wonder how long it takes to get from Canada to Q’enqo, Peru? I really loved having Kristina here.” ~Shaye

Each community has a DIFFERENT way of weaving designs that is passed down from generation to generation!

Each community has a DIFFERENT way of weaving designs that is passed down from generation to generation!

“Wow! That is SO cool, I thought, when I came into the class. All the beautiful weaving that was on the table near the not-so-smart smartboard! My favourite part was that Kristina actually tasted guinea pig. I think that is really bizarre. I really hope the library is ALWAYS gonna keep getting better and get more books. But, I wonder when the kids from Peru are going to learn how to sign out books. I have hope in them.” ~Sofie

“Wow! I love Kristina’s pottery. I love it because it is hard to make. I wonder how it was handmade. I think it was hard to get on a bus to Q’enqo.” ~Prayers

The children from Q'enqo sent us the MOST wonderful writing and art, done in Spanish, which Kristina translated for us!

The children from Q’enqo sent us the MOST wonderful writing and art, done in Spanish, which Kristina translated for us!

“I was excited to see Kristina. When she was talking to us it looks like she know everything. I hope the library gets bigger. I wonder if I should go to Machu Picchu. It looks like fun.” ~Saadia

“When I walked into the classroom Kristina was standing at the table. There was pottery which was made in Peru. There was one piece of clay with geckos on it. My favourite one was the pottery with the geckos on it. I have no part of it that I did not like. I hope the library can get more than 500 books. I wonder if the library can get bigger. I wonder if guinea pigs live in the mountains in Q’enqo. I wonder if llamas can go into the property. I wonder if they will repaint the library. I wish Kristina could come again!” ~Thomas

Thanks to Adam and Marcus for taking the photo while I kept our pile of 200 books from toppling over!

Thanks to Adam and Marcus for taking the photo while Mrs. Renton kept our pile of 200 books from toppling over!

“I wonder how many books are in the library? The answer: there are 200 books in the library! I hope the library gets more books. My highlight was the kids writing letters to us because it was sweet and they chose to make us letters. I wonder if Kristina was scared going on the one way highway in the mountains?” ~Haya

“When we were lining up from gym and getting ready to go back to the classroom I was so EXCITED to meet Kristina. I’m glad the kids in Q’enqo like the library. If I sat in the car for two hours I could get car sick for sure. I bet it’s a lot of work being the only Librarian. I wonder what kids of food they eat in the cafeteria other than potatoes. I also wonder how many kids are in each classroom. I really liked the artifacts Kristina shared with us. They’re so unique. My favourite one was three clay fish and the clay mug and the weaving. The animals on the weaving were so pretty and colourful.” ~Marah

As ALWAYS, we still have TONS of questions ... isn't that JUST the way LEARNING works?!?

As ALWAYS, we still have TONS of questions … isn’t that JUST the way LEARNING works?!?

“I wonder how bugs can make dye? My highlight is that I got to touch the clay fish pottery. It was neat. Especially with their beautiful colours and shades of black, brown and white. I hope that Q’enqo becomes more urban so the library can get more kids and the kids can learn more. I also wonder why Q’enqo is so rural. I wonder if there is any possible way to get to Q’enqo other than taking Mosqoy to Q’enqo? I wonder how many people in Q’enqo go to the library in 2014 – 2015. My lowlight is that I did not get to touch the waving or one of the pieces of pottery. I felt a little sad before the library was reconstructed. But now, the Q’enqo library is gorgeous!” ~Faith

“Wow! Kristina’s here, I said to myself as me and my classmates walked into the class and sat on the carpet. We were not the only class on our carpet. All four classes came in. One thing I thought was cool was called the Nazca Lines. They look like animals … like a spider or a hummingbird. that’s why the Nazca lines are cool. Google it and go on images and see for yourself. My highlight was getting to touch the pottery because I didn’t touch pottery in a long time. My lowlight was not being able to touch the weaving. I wonder how many books they will have next year? I hope the library gets a lot of books next year. Another thing I thought was cool was the tablecloth because it was so colourful. Another highlight was the library had over 200 books. All of us were really happy that Kristina came in and did all of this and answered all the questions.” ~Robert

We think we've got some BIG work to do for the next few months!

We think we’ve got some BIG work to do for the next few months!

This afternoon, we took some guesses to find out how tall 200 books in a stack would be. MOST of us thought the stack would be at LEAST as tall as Mrs. Renton! Quickly, after actually counting AND stacking 200 books, we discovered that 200 books is really NOT many. Not even HALF as tall as Mrs. Renton! As a matter of fact, after taking 200 books off the classroom shelves … there were STILL tons of books on our shelves. That’s when we decided that we NEEDED to continue to help Mosqoy with its work in Q’enqo. So … ANOTHER group of grade threes will CONTINUE their partnership THIS year in order to bring the love of books, with MORE books, to the tiny community of Q’enqo. We are EXCITED to SEE where this adventure TAKES us!

Below is the Prezi that Kristina made to share her Peruvian experiences with us. We hope you enjoy it as MUCH as WE did!

The richest person in the world – in fact all the riches in the world – couldn’t provide you with anything like the endless, incredible loot available at your local library. 

~Malcolm Forbes

We still wonder SO many things! We’ll just have to keep ASKING our PERUVIAN friends!

Categories: Global Grade 3 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment