Hands-On Learning Through Artifacts

People are pretty much alike. It’s only that our differences are more susceptible to definition than our similarities.

~Linda Ellerbee

Woo HOO! The Fort CALGARY kit is here! Time to explore artifacts from Ukraine, Tunisia, India and Peru!

We have been lucky enough to have the Fort Calgary kit this week. It is FILLED with treasures and artifacts from the four countries we explore in Social Studies: Peru, Ukraine, Tunisia and India! Imagine our classroom, FILLED with the traditional sounds of EACH of these countries … and a RIP ROARING fireplace … snapping and cracking on the SmartBoard … because it’s been so FRIGHTFULLY cold lately!

There is NOTHING like actually SEEING and HANDLING and looking DEEPLY to help us understand … and wonder even MORE!

What follows are some of our reflections! We hope you enjoy them!

“Oh, was THAT so spectacular, doing the tri-folds, clothes and artifacts! My favourite part for the tri-folds and the clothes was trying on the clothing. My favourite clothing was the Ukrainian because the skirt was the part that was beautiful because it was long and white. The thing I would not like is to get it dirty or muddy!  I would not want to clean it! I wonder: why do they wear red and white? Now, going to Tunisia! In the desert rose, gypsum, found in the desert, the hand cymbals, gold and shiny and there are camels. I think they are goldish brownish but still friendly, I think. Now to India. In India there is a lot of stuff! Like, the rosewood flute, clay drum, gold necklace, (not real gold)! My wonders are: where do they get the gold?! Where do they get the clay? What other celebrations do the Ukrainians do? How do they get most of the stuff to shape? Now, Peru: parrot flute, seed jewelry, dolls, weaving, hojotos, (car tire sandals), huiro gourd, coin purses, pan pipes, ocerina, and ekeko for good fortune!”  ~Maya

“My especially FANTASTIC highlight was probably looking at Peru and looking at the artifacts and playing the pan pipes. My lowlight was probably choosing which country to sketch and look at the cool artifacts. My favourite artifact was the pan pipes because whenever you went side to side it was like up and down. My favourite tri-fold was the Indian one because the clothing looked so AWESOME and I loved drawing them. My wonder about the artifacts are from Ukraine and the artifact is the matrosha … and how the big one had like funny hair and a funny moustache! 😉 I was surprised how Tunisia had only TWO artifacts! India had quite a bit of things. There were plates of the Taj Mahal! Now for my WISH! I wish there could have been more things for Tunisia and less things for Peru. My hope is that we do something like this again! My memory is when I am an old lady I will look at my sketchbook and I will see all the sketches I did of the artifacts. 🙂 Well, I guess that’s a wrap! Thanks for coming to the artifact show!” ~Vivian

“The Fort Calgary kit was AWESOME! There was TONS of stuff from India, Peru, Ukraine and Tunisia! My favourite instrument from Peru was the wooden pan pipe because when you blow it it makes a beautiful sound. We had tri-folds that had holes on their faces so we could peek through them and the teacher could take pictures. My favourite tri-fold was Tunisia because it had a CAMEL!!! Did you know people in Peru that live in the wild wear car tire sandals? Part of the tri-fold we got to stand in front of it and wear their traditional clothing. What I didn’t like about the kit was the boys’ Tunisia clothing because it looks like you’re wearing a DRESS! So, I guess this is it! So, bye!” ~Reid

The musical instruments from our four countries share similarities … but … they are DIFFERENT as WELL!

“The Fort Calgary kit has four countries: Tunisia, India, Peru and Ukraine. Ukraine is the country I’ll make my marionette out of because the matroshka nesting doll is my favourite artifact from Ukraine. The sad thing when I was there was the Tunisia table only had three things. I LOVE Peru, (not as much as Ukraine, though)! “~Zari

“I thought the Fort Calgary kit was awesome because of all the cool things. I enjoyed all of them. There was not one thing I didn’t like.” ~Alinah

“I loved the Taj Mahal plate and the glass box and the desert rose. I wish the Fort Calgary kit was still here! Some people from Peru wear car tire sandals.” ~Beyazit

“My class is learning about our four countries. They are India, Peru, Ukraine and Tunisia. We got a kit from fort Calgary. We used five table sets. One of the countries used two table sets. That’s why there were five table sets. I learned lots.” ~Will

 “I was walking into class and then … Indian, Ukrainian, Peruvian and Tunisian clothing were there and pieces of painted cardboard with holes in them, (tri-folds). COOL! There were many colours and sizes of the clothing. Mrs. Renton went around and took pictures with her iPad. Day two was spectacular. I played a pan pipe. YAY!” ~Rowen

Can you IMAGINE walking, even in COLD weather, in the Andes Mountains … in these recycled car tires SANDALS? They’re called Hojotas!

“I really liked trying on the clothes from all the countries we’ve been studying and also poking my head through the tri-folds because when I wear the clothing it feels like I’m actually there and when I put my head through the tri-folds I feel like a different person. My favourite artifact is the dolls because they are SO cute! My favourite doll is the one that’s holding three little dolls and a little pan pipe. My favourite tri-fold is the Indian one and the Peruvian one because the Indian girl had the most BEAUTIFUL earrings! But, the Peru girl looked so good in the clothing she was wearing!” ~Connie

“Wow! I learned that in Ukraine they speak East Slavic! That’s neat because I wondered that. My favourite clothing was Ukrainian because it had lots of accessories, like a skirt. We had to wear gloves because then we won’t get oil on the artifacts. I wonder where they get the artifacts from? I also learned that sopilka means flute. I hope we have enough bottles for our marionettes. Mrs. Renton has a lot of artifacts for Peru!” ~Evelyn L.

“My favourite tri-fold is the Ukrainian one because the clothes feel very soft and I like soft things. I wish there was more added to the clothes. I hope the Ukrainian tri-folds and the other tri-folds do not get ripped or damaged. The Ukrainian clothes were very pouffy. I liked it. I liked that day very much. We even sketched the tri-folds.” ~Tareq

“We did the Fort Calgary kit. Our first station was Ukraine. Katherine and I were first. I wore the boy’s clothing. The boy’s pants were pouffy. And, the shirt was nice. And, next was Peru. It had lots of cool stuff, like a parrot flute and seed jewelry. Next was India. They had a gold necklace. Last was Tunisia. It had lots of camels and desert roses.” ~Nic

The Fort Calgary kit has some LOVELY artifacts … and we discovered that Mrs. Renton doesn’t just collect ROCKS!!! She has a HUGE collection of treasures … especially from India and Peru!

“When we had the Fort Calgary kit we got to try on traditional clothing from India, Peru, Ukraine and Tunisia and there were boy and girl clothing. And, some of them were pretty funny! Like, the Tunisia clothing for girls and the Ukraine clothing for boys. The boys had big saggy pants and the girls for Tunisia clothing had a skirt-ish like jumper. The other day we went to the centres and we sketched the items and there were five instruments. Hand cymbals and pan pipes is all I remember about the instruments. I loved the sound of the pan pipes but we could not touch it with our mouths.” ~Katherine

“I love, love, love, love, love when we got to put on the Indian clothing, the Peruvian clothing and the Tunisian clothing. I love the Ukrainian boy’s pants because it’s like you are in a hip hop class! It was very, very funny!!! I wonder why the men in India and Ukraine and Tunisia only wear hats. I wish that I could go to India and see the Taj Mahal. I hope that people in India are having a very good life. I remember that in Tunisia there are a lot of camels. I wish I had not missed the artifacts. I was so sad. I wish that some of the girl’s clothing was some of the boy’s.” ~Arash

“My favourite was sketching all the beautiful stuff. I would like to live in Ukraine because there are lots of pretty clothes. A lowlight is that there are barely any things from Tunisia. I would make my marionette Indian because I love the jewelry. And the bindi on their foreheads. I liked Ukraine because I love the things on their heads. I never knew that desert rose is from Tunisia. I love that clothing!” ~Emily

Imagine BEAUTIFUL Peruvian pan pipe music and a FIREPLACE in the background as we explore these amazing artifacts!

 “Wow! We have been doing so much with our four countries in the last few days, that it is CRAZY! My absolute favourite artifacts that we have used to learn about our countries are the Taj Mahal in the glass box from India because of the beautiful architecture , the wooden pan pipes from Peru because of how they sound when you blow into it, the pysanky from Ukraine because of the designs, (I wonder why Ukrainians put so much work into the eggs), and the hand cymbals from Tunisia because I want to know how they work. From the first day we did the Fort Calgary kit we wore the traditional clothing from our countries and stuck our heads through the tri-folds with painting of the people that live in the four countries we study. My favourite tri-fold was the Ukrainian tri-fold because of the colours and the clothing they wore and I loved how the girl’s traditional clothing felt and looked! A highlight was definitely getting to try on all of the girl’s traditional clothing from all of the four beautiful and outstanding countries that we study! Something that I’m sad about is that we don’t get to do this every year and that we only get to use one kit for one day, but I enjoyed it SO much! An interesting thing that I found out is that Ollantaytambo, in Peru, used to be an important cit because of the Inca tribe, but now it is not as important as it used to be! Something that I wonder about the Tunisian clothing is why do the girls wear the long sleeves and the jumpers over them and why do the boys wear a long blue lacy designed tunic, (but they’re not always exactly like that one). And, a wonder I have about the artifacts is why did the Peruvians use plants to make into instruments and not wood?” ~Payton

“I want to go to the Taj Mahal to see how big the Taj Mahal is!!! Big, big, big I think! In the Fort Calgary kit there is a lot of instruments. My favourite is the wooden pan pipe because it is a cool instrument and you blow into it.” ~Alex

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“My favourite artifact is the gold necklace and the little dolls that you open over and over and over and it gets smaller when you open it. The little doll is my favourite because you can have a race with somebody and see who will win by making it smaller until it’s really smaller and smaller and smaller. The gold necklace was my favourite because I think that my mom might want to wear it and she might look really pretty when she wears it!! My favourite tri-fold was the Indian tri-fold because I was wondering what the Taj Mahal would look like. I wish that there was a desert rose for everyone to keep! I wonder why we don’t need to use the museum gloves on Mrs. Renton’s stuff and Roger’s stuff but we need to use the museum gloves on the other stuff? I wonder what people use the key chains for? The peacock key chain looks pretty and I didn’t know that there can be bells on a key chain! I wonder if there are any diamonds in any of the countries? I would make my marionette from India because I can have lots of jewelry on my marionette!” ~Sky

“Hi! It is wonderful to share my adventures with you! A highlight was actually being able to see what they got to use in our countries. A lowlight was not being able to see much stuff from the Fort Calgary kit with the artifacts, but, at least Mrs. Renton had stuff too! I really like India because they have very nice jewelry and clothing. I think I will make my marionette an Indian.” ~Leah

“The Fort Calgary kit was cool! There were five centres to go to and I went to India first. I wonder how they make clay drums and the rice bags. Then, I went to the Ukrainian station next. I saw the painted eggs and I went to sketch it but it looked too hard to do so I did Tunisia. I saw some pretty cool stuff like the desert rose. And Peru! I wonder if they do weaving? I would love to live in Ukraine because I love painting eggs!” ~Daniel

“In India many people wear gold necklaces because they LOVE it! Sometimes Indian people play clay drums and they wear them around their necks. I really love dressing up and helping the other people in my group. I would make my marionette Indian because I love the clothing!” ~Brooklyn

“My highlight was dressing up in the clothing because they had interesting designs. My lowlight was there were only four clothes. My favourite artifact was the pan pipe. My favourite tri-fold was the Peru one because it was interesting! My favourite clothing was the Indian clothing because I loved the hat. I wish there were more artifacts for Tunisia! I hope there is another Fort Calgary kit. My favourite memory is the nesting doll because there’s something smaller in each one!” ~Eric

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The longer we live, the more we find we are like other persons.

~Oliver Wendell Holmes


Categories: Global Grade 3 | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Exploring Crystals … Looking Deeply.

The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity.

~Ellen Parr

The Lost Crystal Caves ... WORTH the time to watch!

The Lost Crystal Caves … WORTH the time to watch!

It’s hard to believe that it is mid November … and … we are STILL rock crazy! We’ve learned SO much about the layers of the earth … and zoomed in even closer to learn more about the rocks that make up the crust beneath our feet. We’ve even learned about what dirt is made of … and SAND! Each and EVERY day at least ONE person walks into class with a special rock just BEGGING to share its brilliance with everyone else!


An AMAZING crystal made at home!

Our latest focus has been on crystals. We’ve learned about the tiny crystals we are spotting in our rocks, the crystals we’ve purchased at Gem and Mineral events and the AMAZING crystals you can find in the Lost Crystal Caves in Naica, Chihuahua, Mexico! They are BREATH taking and SO big that they DWARF an ADULT standing beside them!

ANOTHER crystal from home. We just can't get ENOUGH of rocks and crystals!

ANOTHER crystal from home. We just can’t get ENOUGH of rocks and crystals!

While we watched an amazing National Geographic video all about the Lost Crystal Caves, we learned how to sketchnote! Sketchnoting is a creative way of capturing the interesting information we don’t want to forget while we research or listen. Mrs. Renton even shared how she uses sketchnoting in HER learning!

I do, we do, you do.

I do, we do, you do.

We also discovered that there are TONS of interesting ways to create your OWN crystals … some of them YUMMY … some of them just SO beautiful! We experimented with borax crystals. Some of us chose to make geodes and some decided to make snowflakes. We hope you enjoy this post with all its highlights and photos!

Wow! We have some TALENTED sketchnote artists!

Wow! We have some TALENTED sketchnote artists!

First … the process of making our borax solution:

We needed borax, boiling water, clean jars, egg shells that were seeded with borax, spoons and food colouring if we were making geodes. We needed pipe cleaners for snowflakes.

We needed borax, boiling water, clean jars, egg shells that were seeded with borax, spoons and food colouring if we were making geodes. We needed pipe cleaners for snowflakes.

“The geodes are so, so cool! The geodes are shockingly cool! I wish my geode wasn’t broken. I was so excited about the big reveal!” ~Alex

“Two things I really loved about learning about crystals are that I loved making our magnificent geodes! They turned out spectacularly and were chalked full of borax crystals! Another star was sketchnoting about the absolutely gorgeous Lost Crystal Caves. I did just about four whole pages of interesting things in my sketch book. I wish we could do it every year and all year! An awesome memory is watching the Lost Crystal Caves video. I wonder how long people have been making borax geodes?” ~Payton

“My two stars were making the geodes. It was fun. And my second one was seeing how spectacular all the crystals looked! They were awesome. I wish we could make geodes every year!” ~Alinah

“I made a geode that’s fake. I love it. This is how you make them. One jar. One cup of borax. Stir until clear. Add food colouring. Stir a few seconds. Add an egg. I forgot about adding hot water.” ~Will

“My star is that we got to make borax crystals because they are beautiful and shiny! I wish that we got to do TWO! My memory is that I made a snowflake crystal. I wish that we could make more. I loved making the crystals. The crystals were so fun! I was really excited for the big reveal!” ~Brooklyn

“I loved that we even got to make the geodes and snowflakes. I wish that we could make both of the things. I will never forget my geode. I wonder how the geode broke in the jar? I loved the beautiful geodes and snowflakes.” ~Emily

“I loved making the geodes because they have so much glamour!!! I loved stirring the boiling hot water because it was cool how the water started foggy and changed to see through! I wonder how did the borax and hot water and food dye make a geode? I wish I could have everyone’s geodes. I will never forget making geodes!” ~Eric

“My first star is making my snowflake. My second is how awesome it turned out. I wish there was more crystals on my snowflake. A memory I’ll never forget is when it turned out so realistic. I wonder how borax can make crystals?” ~Evelyn S

“I wish the geodes were real. I loved making the geodes and snowflakes. I really liked seeing the fake geodes and snowflakes because they were beautiful and shiny. I will remember how to make geodes again. I wonder if we can make geodes again?” ~Beyazit

“One of my favourite things was making the borax geode because it was fun. Another of my favourite things was sketching our geodes because we got to look deeply at our geodes. I wish the crystal cave video was more exciting. I will remember we made borax crystals.” ~Reid

“My geode is lovely. I’m amazed my geode turned out well even though I broke mine. I wish I would be more soft with my fake geode so it didn’t break. I remember that we put borax and food colouring in. I wonder if I can fix my geode.” ~Zari

“I loved how people’s crystals turned out gorgeous. It was great how people LOVED their geode crystals. I wish no geodes or snowflakes broke. I will never forget my geode. I wonder if I can make my geode have more crystals.” ~Colby

“My favourite part about the crystal stuff is making geodes because I liked all the pretty colours and the geodes turned out great! I also loved studying the Crystal Caves. I wish that we could have done more things with crystals. A memory that I will never forget is watching how cool the Crystal Caves were because I thought it was awesome that they wear HEAVY protective gear because it looked so cool!” ~Vivian

“My memory is my geode and making it is a really great memory! A wish is that my blue geode, (crystal), did not turn so black!!! My wonder is that how does it form crystals and how our teacher got egg shells. My two favourite parts are that they had lots of crystals and they were gorgeous, but they were fake. Here are the steps. They are as simple and easy as get a cup full of borax and boiling water and a spoon to stir it so it is clear. The next day it is a geode! Awesome!” ~Maya

“I love when I saw my snowflake has so many crystals. I loved when I stirred my snowflake because I liked the sound of the spoons hitting the jar. It was like music. I also remember that three geodes broke. It was very sad. I wonder why did the geodes not have a lot of crystals?” ~Arash

“I loved when we got to make a borax crystal. How I made it was with very hot water, some egg shells, a spoonful of borax and some food colouring. We only had to wait for five days. I wish that we could bring them home and have them rolled with sand. I will never forget how to make borax crystals so I can have a lot of crystals in my room. It will be so pretty!” ~Katherine

“We made borax crystals that were not crystals at first. They were pipe cleaners with borax in it and it became crystals. I love crystals. It was very fun.” ~Nic

“I liked how my crystal turned out. It was so awesome and another time I liked was when we got to have a deeper look at the crystals because the crystals looked so red. I really wish my crystal was filled with crystals and I want it to be way bigger. I will remember everything. I wonder if they are growing right now.” ~Tareq

“I like making borax crystals. I enjoyed watching the Crystal Caves movie. I wish I could have made a snowflake. I remember the Lost Crystal Caves movie. I wonder when we can watch the Lost Crystals.” ~Rowen

“I loved that we could pick to do a geode or a snowflake. I also loved how they turned out. I wish mine was bigger though. I will never forget how excited I was when they were growing. I wonder if it dries out if you can put it back in the boiling water for it to get crystals again?” ~Connie

“When we made geodes I was really excited. I wish I could make a yellow geode. I wonder what a green geode looks like? I really liked watching the Crystal Caves.” ~Evelyn L

‘I love how sparkly and shiny my geode was!!! I like tat it looked like a little Crystal Cave! I wish they would stay sparkly forever. And, I wish they were not so broken. I loved pulling the geode out of the jar because it was shocking how shiny they were!!! I wonder hoe the borax crystals get so shiny!” ~Colter

“My favourite part was that I got to make a geode from an egg shell and searching how it really looks. I wish that I could make another one! Something I would never forget is that I got to make a fake geode! I wonder how many crystals can grow on it!” ~Sky

“My class made geodes and snowflakes. I made a geode. They turned out spectacular, beautiful and glittery. I love that mine is unique because it goes light, dark, light, and a little bit of glue. I also like that it is so shiny. I wish that they had more crystals. I will never forget how to make it: glass jar, pour hot water in the glass jar, add borax and stir, then add special food colouring and carefully push an egg shell into the water and wait. I wonder how borax makes crystals.” ~Leah

“Borax crystals are so cool and fun also. We used food colouring, a jar, boiling water and also a spoon. We made snowflakes and geodes because we learned about it.” ~Daniel

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Here’s a slide show of “looking deeply”:

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Stay tuned … we will add some photos of our FINISHED geodes and snowflakes … once we’ve added the sand to our geodes. They’re all in very SPECIAL home made boxes now!

There are no foolish questions, and no man becomes a fool until he has stopped asking questions.

~Charles Proteus Steinmetz

We wonder:

  • What’s the coolest crystal you’ve ever seen?
  • how do we keep borax from turning chalky white when they lose the moisture out of their crystals?
Categories: Global Grade 3 | Tags: , , , , | 20 Comments

Rock Museum

Nature composes some of her loveliest poems for the microscope and the telescope.

~Theodore Roszak

Our Rock Museum was an AMAZING success!

Our Rock Museum was an AMAZING success!

What? It’s OVER? It seems like we were just TALKING about this … in … SEPTEMBER! We’ve had such an AMAZING learning journey … wondering, researching, discovering, wondering MORE … and discovering SO much about rocks and minerals over the last month and a half. To be honest, we are CERTAIN we could continue this inquiry over the entire course of the YEAR and still not be done wondering and learning!

There were SO many wonderful questions from EVERYONE who visited with us this afternoon!

There were SO many wonderful questions from EVERYONE who visited with us this afternoon!

Interspersed throughout this post are our HIGHLIGHTS of the afternoon! Thank you to EVERYONE for helping to make our Rock Museum such a HIGHLIGHT!

“My two things that I really loved was getting to share all of my favourite rocks with so many wonderful rock loving people. And, getting to see everybody smiling and enjoying the Rock Museum! I wish we could do it every year and have people vote for the best rock collection Something I will never forget is when a little girl came up to my station and having her point to my geode and say that one is the prettiest and that is my favourite one of all!” ~Payton

“I liked everything and all the rocks. I wish that I brought my rocks. My memory is that I did not bring my rocks.” ~Emily

“I liked everything. I liked –‘s rocks. I wish my mom could come. A memory is that — had a billion rocks!” ~Arash

“I loved that mine was busy. I also liked –‘s grown crystals. I wish I had a big amethyst! I’ll never forget that Alex said he really, really liked mine! Yay!” Evelyn L

“I love that we got to walk around and see other people’s rocks and fossils! I wish that my brother came. I will never forget that I shared my crystals with people!” ~Brooklyn

“I loved that so many people came to our rock museum. I love that my dad came. I wish I could stay for the whole time. I will never forget how many rocks there were!” ~Will

“I loved how all the rocks were so fascinating. I wish this would happen every year except maybe a different unit. I loved –‘s crystals because she made them. I will never forget how many amazing rocks there were!” ~Alinah

We have a HUGE bunch of collectors in this room!

We have a HUGE bunch of collectors in this room!

“I loved how people asked so many questions. It was lovely how people respected people’s rocks. I wish I had a rock collection. I’ll never forget the Rock Museum.” ~Colby

“I loved that people asked me lots of questions. It was awesome that people were giving good compliments about my rocks. I will never forget how fun it was! I wish that we got more time to look at other rocks.” ~Colter

“I love that I saw all my friends when we had our Rock Museum. I also loved that my mom and dad came. I wish that my sister could come but she is too busy. I’ll never forget how many people were in the classroom! There were SO many!” ~Connie

“I wish I knew more about my amethyst and where I got it in Banff. I’ll never forget that I did a Rock Museum! The two things that I loved was that people liked my collection of rocks and that I will never forget it!” ~Maya

“I wish that I had coal because it is so cool. I loved –‘s pyramid and –‘s geode. I wonder how she made it. I will never forget –‘s geode.” ~Eric

“I love that my Dad came. I wish that I had a lot of rocks and minerals. I know that I will not forget that I loved having everybody in our class!” ~Katherine

“I loved setting up the rock museum. I loved seeing my parents. I wish I had a cool rock!!! I will always remember the rock museum!” ~Alex

At one point it even SEEMED like it was a special event at a museum because it was PACKED!

At one point it even SEEMED like it was a special event at a museum because it was PACKED!

“My favourite part was that my mom came because she took pictures of me and the other thing is I almost rocked out Mrs. Renton! I wish that we could always do a Rock Museum!” ~Sky

“I love when people liked my geode. I also love when they compliment me! I wish I had more rocks. A memory that I’ll never forget is when I saw my friends at the Rock Museum!” ~

“I liked that my video was displayed! I loved –‘s Spy Rock thing because it was so HARD! I wish the museum was longer. I’ll never forget my video!” ~Rowen

“I really loved that my sister and Grandma and Grandpa went out of their way and came to my rock museum. I also loved when people had so many wonders. I wish that we could do this again. A memory is that my sister lent me her very, very, very special ammonite!” ~Leah

“My favourite parts of the Rock Museum were seeing my little brother and showing people my rocks. I will always remember that one of my rocks had sand in it. I wish I had crystals to share!” ~Reid

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We wonder:

  • What was YOUR highlight of our Rock Museum?

The scientist is not a person who gives the right answers, he’s one who asks the right questions.

~Claude Lévi-Strauss

Categories: Global Grade 3 | Tags: , , , , | 29 Comments

Happy National FOSSIL Day!

Equipped with his five senses, man explores the universe around him and calls the adventure Science.

~Edwin Powell Hubble

This is how we began our day … happy National FOSSIL Day! Let’s get into small groups! I’m going to pass you a fossil and a magnifying glass! Talk about what kind of a fossil you THINK it is, and why, in your groups!


Gosh … what IS it? It’s tiny … and light … and full of crevices. Hmm. What do YOU think?

What IS it? Here are some of our FIRST thoughts! Give up? Yup! Well, it’s called COPROLITE! What? It’s COPROLITE! Does that help us? Nope! Okay … what should we DO? Let’s GOOGLE it! Okay! Are you SURE? Yes! Are you REALLY sure? YESSSS!


We sat for  QUITE a few minutes, while everyone looked at the Google search on the SmartBoard … then … SUDDENLY … one brave soul said OOOOHHHH!


There were quiet whispers … WHAT?!? It’s … DUNG!!! EWWWWWWW The groans spread across the classroom. They COULDN’T believe that their TEACHER would hand them a piece of … fossilized DINOSAUR poop! The SCIENTIFIC word? Coprolite!

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Okay … DON’T worry … it’s not THAT bad! It’s FOSSILIZED … it’s NOT like holding REAL dung! Check it out … does it SMELL? WHAT? You want us to SMELL it? Go on … what do you have to lose?


Hmm … she’s RIGHT … it DOESN’T smell! It’s not so bad!

Oh my goodness … what a WONDERFUL day! We shared our OWN small collections. Mrs. Renton shared her HUGE collection!

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We read BOOKS … and Mrs. Renton told us all about the Courtenay Museum, on Vancouver Island! That’s were she FIRST learned how to REALLY dig for fossils! She looks for these things called MUD balls … tucked in the shale beds … only SHE likes to call them KINDER SURPRISES for fossil HUNTERS! This video from the Courtenay Museum will show you what it looks like when you’re digging for them:

We spent a GLORIOUS day using our magnifying glasses to look DEEPLY at all the amazing fossils that had appeared in our classroom:

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We EVEN got to spend a little time with Bill NYE … and he told us even MORE about fossils:

Wow! WHAT a day! Here are some of our reflections:

“Hi! I learned that poop could turn into a fossil! I can’t believe today! I was holding a 65 million year old piece of poop! I really enjoyed it! It was fascinating! I wonder if a fossil can re-fossilize. So, like … you put a fossil in the ground then would it get another layer of stone? Fossilized poo is called Coprolite!: ~Rowen

“I like that I saw obsidian. I learned that fossils can break. I wonder if there are fossils in the dirt?” ~Beyazit

“I liked everything because it was fun looking at the fossils and the movie was great! I learned that you can make your own FAKE fossil! IU wonder how many fossils there are in the world?” ~Connie

“I liked when we did sketching because I am good at it. It was fun. I learned that plants can be fossils too. I wonder how long a fossil can be?” ~Evelyn L

“I liked looking at the fossils in the morning and watching Bill Nye. I learned that fossils are dinosaur bones. I wonder if there’s a lot of emeralds inside of fossils?” ~Tareq

“Hi! I like the part where Bill Nye showed how wood turned into stone! The coprolite was 65 million years old! Cool! I learned that fossils can be found.” ~Daniel

“I really liked when I got to look at samples of the fossils because it let’s me have a closer look. I learned that fossils are everywhere. I wonder how many there are in the world?” ~Leah

“I like that a lot of fossils can be found in many different places and they are all different! I learned that fossils that are all a part of the same animal can be far away from each other. I really wonder if there is a rock and a mineral in a dinosaur fossil?” ~Katherine

“I learned that all fossils are sedimentary. I wonder why rocks are formed with pressure?” ~Maya

“What I learned was that you can find HUMUNGUS prehistoric fossils at a river bank! I also learned that you can make fossils! But, then they are fake! I wonder if you can find a fossil on a snowy mountain?” ~Vivian

“I like the part when we shared fossils as a group. And, I also liked when we found a fossil … it’s actually dinosaur poop! We even held it too! I learned that fossils could turn animals to stone. I wonder why can’t fossils work on every animal?” ~Evelyn S

“I learned that fossils can be found anywhere. I love fossils!” ~Nic

“Did you know that a fossil that is so easy to guess is so hard? It’s dino dung! I wonder if fossils can spread. I learned that you can make a fake fossil with paint.” ~Zari

“I like Bill Nye because he is funny. I wonder if bugs can be fossils. I learned that mud balls can be hard.” ~Emily

“I like fossils. They’re good things so that I can remember stuff from a long time ago. I learned that fossils can be in mountains and deep under ground. I wonder how many fossils can there be in one rock?” ~Sky

Something that I learned today is that coprolite is fossilized dinosaur dung! Ewww! I liked looking at so many cool fossils and some of the fossil hunting tools. I liked it because if I go fossil hunting now I know what to look for and what to bring. I wonder if there are fossils in my backyard or if there are some really good fossil hunting sites in Calgary or near my community?” ~Payton

“I learned that it takes like a million years for a fossil to form. I liked exploring the fossils in the room, and learning about them. I learned that poop 85 million years ago can turn into a rock in 85 million years!” ~Colter

“I loved Bill Nye because he is funny!” ~Eric

“I liked the Bill Nye movie because it showed me the size of a dinosaur footprint. I learned that petrified wood needs water to turn into petrified wood. I wonder how scientist know how long ago dinosaurs were alive?” ~Will

Men love to wonder, and that is the seed of science.

~Ralph Waldo Emerson


Categories: Global Grade 3 | Tags: , , , , | 29 Comments

What’s the BIG Deal About PATTERNS?

The essence of mathematics is not to make simple things complicated, but to make complicated things simple. 

~S. Gudder

Hi! Welcome to our very FIRST post of the year! It’s an EXCITING one! Why? Because we have been looking at PATTERNS! What’s the big deal? Well, patterns are EVERYWHERE! Patterns aren’t just about math … we can find them in nature and they also help us to make sense of and organize the WORLD! They keep animals SAFE through CAMOUFLAGE and they WARN us from DANGER! They help us keep track of time through days and nights, weeks and months; through the passage of seasons. Patterns are AMAZING!

We began our learning adventure by looking at patterns on our September calendar. It was amazing how even THIS simple task generated MORE wonders:

Patterns ... looking at the September calendar.

Patterns … looking at the September calendar.

Moving beyond the simple repeating patterns we could see, ONE of our classmates came up with a complex NUMBER pattern and then we worked hard to try to figure out how to EXTEND that pattern:

Okay ... who's up for a NUMERICAL pattern challenge? Apparently we ALL are!

Okay … who’s up for a NUMERICAL pattern challenge? Apparently we ALL are!

Oh, oh! When Mrs. Renton could see that we looked like “Pattern PROs” … THAT’S when she put a number pattern up that had NOTHING to do with our Calendar. We talked about it with partners. We grabbed the mini whiteboards and persevered through her challenge:

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Now … you MAY notice one or two calculation errors on our whiteboards … because we were beginning to add some pretty HUGE numbers! We learned a LOT about rechecking our calculations because … when each new number relies on the LAST … one small error can change the entire pattern! What matters is that we were on the RIGHT track … we had decoded the pattern, which is NO small feat!

You WON’T believe this, but … SOME of us BEGGED to take our whiteboards outside at RECESS to CONTINUE this mathematical journey:


Then, Mrs. Renton surprised us with some SPECIAL information about this pattern. It is called the Fibonacci Sequence! What’s even MORE amazing? This pattern can be found in NATURE!!! WHAT? Yup. You read that right. MANY plants … and even some ANIMALS … grow using the Fibonacci Sequence! We decided we needed to find out MORE!

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We NEEDED to try and PROVE that Fibonacci could be found in nature. See if you can SPOT Fibonacci in some of the things we found outside:

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That’s when we hit a roadblock! Yes, we DEFINITELY found some flowers with FIVE petals … and a WHOLE bunch of THREE leaf clovers … but … when we counted the swirls on our PINE CONES … we were NOT getting Fibonacci numbers like in the YouTube video below:

Hmm. We thought ALL pine cones would follow this amazing sequence of numbers. While we were perplexed … we were NOT dissuaded … THIS adventure had pulled us DEEPER into our learning journey! What did we discover, you may be asking yourselves? Well … there is a LESSER known sequence that some plants follow. It’s call the LUCAS sequence:

2, 1, 3, 4, 7, 11, 18, 29, 47, 76, 123, 199, 322, 521, 843 … and on and on and on

If you are wondering … we managed to figure out THIS sequence pretty quickly TOO! And, SOME of us BEGGED to work on it at RECESS again! Since then, we’ve been coming up with our OWN complicated number patterns and we’ve been challenging one another to SOLVE them. We’ve ALSO begun to notice the Fibonacci and Lucas sequences ALL around us … even during breakfast and dinner:

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We met FIB the PINEAPPLE and discovered that FIB followed the Fibonacci Sequence … we EVEN shared our pineapple adventure with the Grade Twos in Mrs. JENSEN’S class:


So … the NEXT time you’re at the grocery store, or out for a walk or eating dinner … think about what you are seeing! You may be SURPRISED:

Is it really JUST a pretty flower? Or ... is it something MORE!

Is it really JUST a pretty flower? Or … is it something MORE! Photo courtesy of MR. Renton.

Wonders lead to the quest for answers. Answers lead us to MORE wonders … oh, oh! Do you see what WE see? Wonders, answers, wonders, answers … MORE wonders, MORE answers … it’s … a … PATTERN! But, don’t get us started … it’s like the song that has NO end!

Go down deep enough into anything and you will find mathematics. 

~Dean Schlicter

We wonder:

  • Why is the Fibonacci Sequence named after an Italian when it was discovered in another country LONG before that?
  • How many things are there that have Fibonacci numbers in the world?
  • How did anyone even figure OUT that 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89, 144 … was IN plants and nature?
  • Why do SO many plants grow using the Fibonacci OR the Lucas number sequences?
Categories: Global Grade 3 | Tags: , , , , | 28 Comments

Welcome to GRADE Three!

I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it.

~Pablo Picasso

You’ll always miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.

~Wayne Gretzky

Categories: Global Grade 3 | Tags: , | 9 Comments

Year End Reflections and Advice For the NEW Grade Threes!

The best way to succeed in life is to act on the advice we give to others. 

~Author Unknown

It is HARD to believe that it is the END of the school year. NONE of us knows where the time has gone … it has simple VANISHED into THIN air! What an AMAZING year of learning we have had together.

This post is our FINAL post for the year. It is full of our PERSONAL reflections and maybe a LITTLE advice for the NEW Grade Threes who will arrive in September. Don’t kid yourself. September seems like SUCH a long time away. TRUST us … we know a thing or TWO about how time CAN fly. Actually, it MIGHT even have WINGS!

This brings back HAPPIER memories ... when Pippin and Ace were FIRST born at the Delta eagle nest.

This brings back HAPPIER memories … when Pippin and Ace were FIRST born at the Delta eagle nest.

“I think, for the final blog post, it should be about giving tips or advice for next year’s grade threes because we could give them advice or tips that they might need for grade three. I think that the next year’s grade threes would enjoy watching the eagle cams and the owl cams too if they get lucky enough. I hope that the next year’s grade threes enjoy grade three!” ~Fahad

“One tip for the next year’s grade threes is to scare Mrs. Renton by putting snakes on her chair! We are just about to have a Celebration of Learning. One app for the next year’s grade threes is: you should try Stikbot. It’s awesome. Go to #Stikbot. Ask Mrs. Renton if you will make marionettes. When you come in she will ask you to share your treasures. When I shared mine it was fun. I like iMovie because I think it helps me learn! I should probably start wrapping it up. I hope that you will have fun in Grade Three. Mrs. Renton is a funny, good teacher!’ ~Cooper

It's hard to believe that THIS is what our finished marionettes first looked like!

It’s hard to believe that THIS is what our finished marionettes first looked like!

“My tips for nest year’s grade threes are that you should take care of your mealworms because they could get sick. My favourite thing we have done is looking at eagle cams because you get to learn about eagles and because you get to see them grow up. We also get to look at mealworms and keep them at school. If yours dies you get a new one. My guy is named Harry. We also did masks. That was super fun because when you were all done it makes the room more colourful. The other fun thing about grade three is that you get to do iMovie. Grade Three is epic. Hopefully grade four is good!” ~Matt

“Mealworms? What are those? They are like caterpillars except become darkling beetles. We have pet mealworms. They are really cute and adventurous! Now … for our dance residency. We are doing a dance called pryvit. It is very fun. Our teachers’ names are Allara and Ingrid. A tip for next year’s grade threes is to make an iMovie or green screen at home. Stikbot is a good green screen app because it has special effects. It will help you a lot. Some sad news is Pippin the Delta baby died and five Texas barn owl babies died. The last was taken to Roger’s Rehab. I think you should watch cams at YOUR house!” ~Daniel B.

“Hi. I am SO sad … it’s only a week and a day until school is over. 🙁 Most kids are happy that school is over … but NOT me. I want to stay at school because I want to stay with Mrs. Renton and learn more! But, I also want the end of school to come because I want to go to grandma’s so we can camp. I LOVE camp. It’s SO fun! Back to the subject. I DON’T want to go to grade four. If I do then Mrs. Renton can teach me. Now … the barn owl cams … are OFF! What? Why, you ask? Well, the seven baby owlets died and only the second owlet that hatched survived. Then, the parents abandoned the owlet. We don’t know why. The owlet is in a wildlife rehabilitation place being looked after. The barn owl cam won’t be on for the rest of the season. But, it will be back on next season. My tip for the future grade threes: be prepared for surprises, bring something to share for the beginning of the year, learn how to do green screen and iMovies. You should get the apps. You’re going to do it if you’re lucky. That’s all my tips. Now it’s time to say good bye. Hope you future grade threes enjoy Mrs. Renton!” ~Carissa

This green screen business was SO much fun!

This green screen business was SO much fun!

“I wonder why Dash has not been at the barn owl’s barn for such a long time? I wonder how Pippin died from the disease he had. I hope Ace doesn’t die as well. (Ace and Pippin are eaglets.) I really enjoyed making our masks. It was really fun painting my mask from a variety of colours. I also really enjoyed making our marionettes. It was really fun because it required teamwork, collaboration and support. I liked doing iMovies and green screening best because making iMovies was the BEST!!! I wonder how the Celebration of Learning will be tomorrow? I hope it goes well. I think the journey through grade three was awesome. I think the same for grade four. I hope I have a great year in grade four.” ~Omar

“We are writing about the main stuff we did this year. Let’s start with our cams. We have been watching cams for birds and animals. We have been watching eagles, owls and many animals at Pete’s Pond. We also have the whole story of our marionettes. I can tell you about our story about our marionettes. Okay. This is it. At first, we just had paper, then we made the structures and then dressed them and we wrote scripts for iMovies we filmed! We also got mealworms! They are very fun to play with! Some tips I would give for next year’s grade threes is to never show Mrs. Renton even FAKE snakes because Mrs. Renton will FREAK out! Thanks for reading this blog post!” ~Ryan

Aww ... LOOK at the little guy! It's ADORABLE ... I wonder what we should NAME him?

Aww … LOOK at the little guy! It’s ADORABLE … I wonder what we should NAME him?

“Wa! Bam! Woosh! Hello, I am bat kid. Dun, dun, dun!!! I am here to tell you about the dance residency! These are the dance instructors’ names: Allara and Ingrid. They are very nice. We have Ingrid in the morning and Allara in the afternoon. Yesterday we learned all of it so now we know the entire dance! Yeah! My highlight is that to be in the front row and in the middle too, which is fun!!! Another highlight is that I never got to be in a Ukrainian dance before and now I do!!! My lowlight is that I messed up some of the last dance moves in the dance which are a little bit harder than the first dance moves. I have no more lowlights in the dance residency because I love dance so much! Here is a tip for the future grade three students: always try your best because then you can do something even better. I wish that in grade four I will have magical powers!” ~Mila

“Our Celebration of Learning is on June 17. We are done our marionette process. We are going to bring our masks and marionettes home on the day of the Celebration of Learning. This is the final blog post. For the eagle web cam in Delta, Pippin died. We finished our iMovies last month. I want to get the Stikbot app for green/blue screening. iMovies are fun so learn it because at HOME you can do it as many times as you want!” ~Alvin

We learned SO many great skills as we worked through our iMovie project!

We learned SO many great skills as we worked through our iMovie project!

“Have you ever been in grade three? Some advice for next year’s grade threes is marionettes will take a LONG, long time! Another tip is not to put toy snakes on Mrs. Renton’s chair because she will jump TWO METERS … that’s FAR! Something I will never forget is the marionettes because it was really fun!!! A tip for next year’s grade threes is to hug Mrs. Renton because she will like it. I hope next year’s grade threes do a good job like we did!” ~Simos

“NOOOOO … it’s the LAST blog post of the year! That means the end of the year. I have one message to say to next year’s grade threes. You have the best teacher ever. Anyways, for our name of our last blog post, sniff, I think we, sniff, should do, sniff, our journey through grade three. Because, other people wanted to do it about our masks or do it about our mealworms. But, if we just do our journey through grade three we can include both of those things. We could even throw the cams in there!” ~Jamie

We STILL can’t believe how much work went into our marionette project!

 “Here is a tip for next year’s grade threes. Choose people you work well with because I picked my friends and it wasn’t that great. Secret: Mrs. Renton is the best in the world. We made marionettes. They were pretty hard. They weren’t pretty easy, either, but you will love it. It is so fun. You make iMovies after you make marionettes. She is the best!” ~Carson

“I can hardly remember the beginning of the year. But, I can remember that we brought in treasures that gave other people information about you. I remember I brought in a seahorse picture to show that I love art. I also brought in a dice to show I play a lot of games with my family. Another thing I brought in is a friendship bracelet and a map with all of the places where my family ives to show I love my family and friends. But, my favourite part about this year is the cams because they are very interesting and fun to watch, especially the babies growing up. Advice for you future grade threes: give Mrs. Renton a hug every day because she LOVES hugs and make sure to ask about making marionettes because they were SUPER fun. I hope you enjoy grade three!” ~Elise

“Hello, journal! Today we made our final blog post. And, that is what I am writing about. This is just basically a wrap up of the year. Painting our Peruvian masks was really hard for me because I kept getting too much paint on and it took forever to dry!!! Let me introduce my mealworm first! Her name is Echo Shineston 2 because the first Echo Shinestone died. 🙁 One day when me and my class were inspecting our mealworms, Echo Shinestone started to try to crawl, (escape), out. I would like to give next year’s grade three’s some advice. 1. always hug Mrs. Renton at the end of every day. 2. Always listen to her. 3. Try not to fall asleep in class like I did. And, that’s the end of my ideas for the final blog post!” ~Riddhima

Hmm. I wonder what Baba's FAVOURITE snack is? Oh WAIT ... that's NOT Baba ... that's GARY!

Hmm. I wonder what Baba’s FAVOURITE snack is? Oh WAIT … that’s NOT Baba … that’s GARY!

“Noooo! One more week and the year is over. This is all about how the year went. I’m pretty sure it all started when I was surprised, VERY surprised, to be in Mrs. Renton’s class. Then, we made marionettes for iMovies. First we made the paper spine and paper head and base. We also required juicy jugs to stand up our marionette structures because they had not … FEET! Then we wrapped almost the WHOLE spine and head in masking tape to keep it from falling apart! Umm … enough about the marionettes. Sorry! Grade three is amazing! And, here’s some advice for if you end up in Mrs. Renton’s class for grade three: 1. Never use a fake snake to scare Mrs. Renton. 2. Try very, very hard not to get Mrs. Renton on the ground crying. 3. Always have fun with Mrs. Renton! I truly wish I could always be in Mrs. Renton’s class.” ~Daniel S

“One more week until school is out. But, not for me! I am writing to wrap up our journey through grade three and what we think about grade four. I think it’s everything I’ve done in grade three. But, the think I liked the most is the celebration of learning and marionettes and masks. I liked the marionettes because we papier mached the marionettes. The masks were made out of clay. They were Peruvian. I have two more things about grade three. The cams. Only the Hancock cam is up and running because the barn owl cam … well … three of them died. One got stolen and only one of the owlets survived. That one is named Rocky Pearl. She is with Roger’s Wildlife Rehabilitation. Here are tips for next year’s grade threes: it is very hard to do things in iMovie! And, you will be VERY grossed out by the mealworms. And … Mrs. Renton is the BEST teacher EVER! (And … she is awesome at hugs!) ~Alexia

I don't know what they're TALKING about ... we think we're pretty ADORABLE ... for ... creepy crawlies!!!

I don’t know what they’re TALKING about … we think we’re pretty ADORABLE … for … creepy crawlies!!! Although it DID take SOME of those grade threes a WHILE to warm UP to us!

“Hi readers! This is our last blog post of the year. 🙁 So, to wrap up we are going to be telling you a bit of our journey and a bit about what we think about grade four. It was very fun having Mrs. Renton as a teacher. I know everyone in her class will miss her. At the start of the year we all brought in our treasures, (special things). We shared them with the rest of the class. Now we’re going on to marionettes. Of course if you’ve read our other blog posts you will know all about them, but this is just a little wrap up. We’ve finished filming and all of that stuff so tomorrow on our celebration of learning we will take the marionettes and the masks home. Going back a little, you might remember the Ancient Peruvian mask post. Well, I’m going to talk a little about the masks. The masks WERE fun to make. We all enjoyed it very much! Right now the masks are sitting around the classroom, but not for long now. I already told you we are taking them home tomorrow! 🙁 Now, the final thing I’m going to talk about is the only thing not on a blog post … mealworms! You’re probably wondering what are mealworms? Well, I’ll answer that … mealworms are caterpillar-like bus and when it is in the adult stage it’s a beetle! We had fun with our mealworms but Mrs. Renton says we have to set them free one day. Now, to give advice to the next grade threers! Hope for the best, prepare for the worst and take whatever comes!” ~Aimee

“I like grade three because it is just awesome in Mrs. Renton’s classroom because you get to do exciting things and we like to watch web cams because looking at the eggs is fun.” ~Kagan

“This is our last blog post. Our last blog post is about what our favourite things were about grade three and tips for next year’s grade threes. My favourite part was the mealworms experiment with wet and dry. Mine went to the wet side. A tip for grade three is don’t prank Mrs. Renton with a pretend snake because she’ll freak out … like BANANAS! See you later. Hope you love it!” ~Madison

I WONDER what NEXT year's grade threes will think about OWL pellets?!?

I WONDER what NEXT year’s grade threes will think about OWL pellets?!?

 “This is our final post. 🙁 My mealworm is a pupa. It is getting the shape of a beetle. My mealworm’s name is Johnny! It is almost our Celebration of Learning and we’re going to do a Ukrainian dance called Breveet. Breveet means hi in Ukrainian. We made Peruvian masks out of clay. It was cool. There used to be five owlets, now there’s one named Pearl. At the eagle’s nest Pippin died. R.I.P. little one. Here are some tips for next year’s grade threes: don’t fall ASLEEP in class because you will miss some important stuff. Don’t drop your mealworm from a high place because he might die. And, don’t open your petri dish when your mealworm is a beetle because it might go in a place in the classroom and lay eggs! Always try your best! Bye!!! PS Always give Mrs. Renton a hug at the end of each day!” ~Evan

“Awww! It is almost the end of the year and we have to do our final blog post. 🙁 I really loved my mealworm. His name is Kevin. I don’t get to play with him anymore because he is in his pupa stage. 🙁 This might make you cry because it did for me. The mama and papa of the barn owl baby abandoned it and … with Ace and Pippin … Pippin di …di…died. We spent like 30 minutes trying to figure out what happened to him. We think he was poisoned by food because he was feeding himself. (He actually had a respiratory disease. LR) I loved the Ukrainian dance. I used to do it on Thursdays but I quit this year. So, when we did our dance residency on Ukraine I was so excited in my mind. I was like “yes, yes, yes, yes”! If I gave grade threes tips I would say get plastic snakes for April Fools because Mrs. Renton is TERRIFIED of them … and ask her if you are doing marionettes! But, I have one rule for you: HAVE FUN! Looks like it’s time to go. Bye!” ~Mary

We sure hope you enjoy our advice for the NEW grade threes! Actually, we think it’s pretty awesome advice for ANYONE:

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Oh, the Places You’ll Go!

Today is your day.
You’re off to Great Places!
You’re off and away!

~Dr. Seuss

Categories: Global Grade 3 | Tags: , | 7 Comments

Our Marionettes Are FINALLY Finished!

You can teach a student a lesson for a day; but if you can teach him to learn by creating curiosity, he will continue the learning process as long as he lives.

~Clay P. Bedford

We have a GLOBAL village now that our marionettes are finished! It's been an AMAZING learning journey!

We have a GLOBAL village now that our marionettes are finished! It’s been an AMAZING learning journey!

Hi Readers! It’s been a WHILE since we’ve posted ANYTHING about our marionettes! So, THIS blog post is to capture what’s been happening since our LAST marionette post! Once we were FINISHED papier mache-ing our marionette structures, we took them home. Once we GOT them there, we had to think about their traditional clothing and their traditional names! We had to research and find LOTS of pictures to help us decide how we would make the traditional clothing for our marionettes. Our families helped us dress them and we had TONS of fun working with our parents and some of our brothers or sisters. Some people took old shirts or doll clothes and cut them up to make their clothing. Other people used scrap material, leather, felt and burlap! SOME people went shopping at Value Village and found some amazing fabric or articles of clothing to help them get the traditional look they were SEARCHING for! There were LOADS of small details that made a BIG difference, like: henna, face paint, false eye lashes, earrings, hats, moustaches, nail polish, bracelets, necklaces, rings, lipstick, bindis, headbands, headdresses … and MORE … see if you can SPOT any of these tiny details when you watch our SLIDESHOW!

It’s taken us a while to get this blog post published. Why? Because we’ve been busy researching, script writing, drawing our backdrops and filming our marionette iMovies! Most of us drew HUGE backdrops for our filming. Some of us  used GREEN screen. There were OTHERS who even used BOTH! It took a LOT of COOPERATION and TEAMWORK to make our iMovies the BEST they could be! Along the way, we had SOME challenges in our groups but we ALL pulled ourselves TOGETHER in the end .. and our final iMovies turned out FABULOUSLY!

Our classroom looked CROWDED and COLOURFUL and EXCITING and GLOBAL with all our marionettes but we needed some space to display our clay MASKS. Our librarian, Mrs. Hall, LOVES to have our marionettes displayed on the bookshelves in the library … so … we decided to share them with HER! Now the LIBRARY looks CROWDED and COLOURFUL and EXCITING and GLOBAL … until Friday! 🙁 On Friday, we have our Celebration of Learning. So, we’ll be taking home our masks AND marionettes. Mrs. Hall and Mrs. Renton will MISS them!

We sure hope you enjoy our slideshow of our finished marionettes. We took these pictures outside because we thought they would look more realistic!

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Categories: Global Grade 3 | Tags: , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Delta Eagle Webcam Highlights!

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

~Khalil Gibran

March 13th seems like SUCH a long time ago! That's when the SECOND Delta egg was laid!

March 13th seems like SUCH a long time ago! That’s when the SECOND Delta egg was laid!

Well, it’s official! We have EAGLETS! I think WE are as excited as the Delta ma and pa eagles are because it’s been three YEARS since their last successful hatch! This webcam, along with the Great Horned and Barn owl cams, have been providing us with such AMAZING learning opportunities for the past few months. What BETTER way to learn about life cycles than to be right there, in the NEST, along side these incredible creatures? What follows are just SOME of our latest reflections and wonders:

“Hi! Guess what! I am here to tell you about our eagle web cams, (basically just the Delta one because last year, at the White Rock nest, two eaglets were born there. One of them, called Kilo, was wingersizing and knocked the nest down so a man named David Hancock mad a platform/base for them. but, they did not seem to like it. So, they ended up making a nest outside the webcam’s reach.) But, from the bad luck last year, we were not so sure if we could rely on the Delta nest. And, if the Delta nest did not work, then we would not be able to watch the growing up of the eaglets at all. But, it’s looking good because both eggs have hatched. (They look really ugly.) The ones at White Rock will be called Mike and November. I do not know what the Delta eaglets will be called. Bye. See you next time!” ~Tanek

“Hey, guess what? The Delta nest (eagles) laid two eggs. The second egg hatched at 9:05 last night I think, but the other one hatched at 7:20 in the morning. We do not know why our cams are not working right now for some reason. I wonder why, when the eaglets hatch, they are VERY wet. I hope David Hancock finds a way to fix the cams soon!” ~Fahad

“What? Eaglets already? I can’t believe it! The second one is super wet and oogly! But, the first one that hatched is super fluffy. Why the one that just came out is all wet is because he came from the inside of the egg which is wet … so … he is wet. Why the one that came out first is all dry is because he had time to dry off so now he is all fluffy. You know how the grown up eagles are white on their heads and tails and black on their bodies? Well, the eaglets are gray. And, then, when they turn into juvenile eagles, then they turn brown. And, then they finally turn black and white. When we are able to see the eaglet’s face I can see its egg tooth. The egg tooth is for pecking at the egg when it is ready to get out. And, the pecking with the egg tooth makes the egg break and makes the eaglet really tired. I wonder what the names will be?” ~Elise

The wonderful Youtube clips in this post come from the amazing people who observe the nests and post their observations on the forum so that we can ALL learn!

“What? The second egg hatched last night at 9:05! The first one hatched on Monday, April 18, 2016 at 7:20 in the morning! We also watched a video of the second baby hatching. Did you know when eaglets are trying to hatch they are weak? When the baby eaglets are a bit older, at the White Rock nest, they will have Military Alphabet names. So, their names will be M and N, (Mike and November). The mom was feeding the first one and not the second. Can you believe that? Now we cannot see all of that because the cam is down. 🙁 Hopefully the cam will work! I wonder when the egg tooth will fall off? I wonder where Kilo and Lima are?” ~Alexia

“Wow!!! Don’t I just LOVE the Delta web cams!!! My class is looking at the Delta eagles. Guess what … the mom laid two EGGS!!! And, now they’re both out!!! The first one hatched on Monday morning and the second one hatched on Monday night. We noticed that when the babies come out they are really wet. We think that the inside of the egg is blue. That’s what I wonder. I predict that both eagles will grow up to be better than Kilo. I discovered that my favourite type of bird is an eagle. I hope eagles don’t become endangered again.” ~Jamie

“My class is looking at web cams at the Delta nest and both of the eaglets hatched!!! Did you know that when the eaglets hatch they are wet but then they dry? It takes them a lot of time to learn how to fly in the sky. Here are my highlights: that the eaglets hatched and they are so cute! And I have NO lowlights at all. Well, when the eagle’s head is white they are bald eagles. I wonder how many eggs an eagle can lay. Also, I like the webcams so much too because it is like being with the eagles in their nest!” ~Aboudi

Just after the SECOND eaglet hatched at 9:05 pm April 18. Still wet from the shell!

Just after the SECOND eaglet hatched at 9:05 pm April 18. Still wet from the shell!

“Guess what? You won’t believe what is happening at the Delta nest! Both of the eggs have hatched! The first egg hatched was at 7:21 am yesterday. The second egg hatched at 9:05 pm at night! The first egg that hatched looks cute and fluffy. The second egg … not so much! Today we was the baby eagle’s egg tooth. An egg tooth is a tiny pointy tooth which is white and on top of the baby eagle’s beak. Isn’t that interesting? Well, I have to go now. Bye. See you later.” ~Riddhima

“Plop! An egg was laid in the Delta nest. The next day another. The next month a crack was spotted in the first. On Saturday the egg started hatching. It hatched near 7:20 am yesterday morning. This morning I checked my email and saw the second hatch. It hatched at 9:05 pm yesterday night. The baby gets out of the egg with its egg tooth, a white thing on its beak. When the baby comes out of the egg it hangs its head low and is soaking wet. It’s head is low because it has no energy. It’s wet because the inside of the egg’s wet. The brood patch is what keeps the Delta babies warm. It’s the spot on the eagle with no feathers. The mom would roll the egg so the yolk did not stick to one side (of the egg). Some people think eaglets are oogly. I think they are cute. So long folks!” ~Daniel B

“Both of the eggs hatched! In Delta Two East the eaglets hatched. the first egg that hatched was 7:20 in the morning. The second egg hatched at 9:05 at night! At the barn owl cam they have six eggs. Did  you know that the barn owls can lay up to eighteen eggs? When the White Rock eggs hatch they will name them Mike and November because they use the Military Alphabet to name them. I wonder why the mama eagle doesn’t help the eaglet get out of the egg?” ~Evan

A WONDERFUL screenshot of the eaglets. They ALMOST look like they're HUGGING! THANKS, Jamie! GOOD eye!

A WONDERFUL screenshot of the eaglets. They ALMOST look like they’re HUGGING! THANKS, Jamie! GOOD eye!

“Peep! Peep! Hello! It’s me, Catherine. I have news that I HAVE to tell you about … it’s the Delta nest! Yesterday, Mrs. Renton sent us an email. It was the first egg hatching!!! It was 7:20 in the morning! And now, today, the second egg hatched! (It was 9:05 at night!) My friend Aimee found out the names of the White Rock eaglets, (they are Mike and November). But it’s not Delta. But, the eaglets will get a name too, of course. I was thinking it would be funny if one of the eaglet’s names was Catherine! It was SO fun watching the cams.” ~Catherine

“Yay! Two babies! There are now two baby eagles at the cam. Last night at 9:05 the second baby was born. The first one was born at 7:20 on Monday morning. Mrs. Renton said that when they were born they are exhausted. Their heads just go straight down into the nest. My friend Aimee found the Military Alphabet to find out the names for the White Rock babies. Their names will be Mike and November, but … let’s get back to Delta. We do not know what happened but the cams are no longer working. Mrs. Renton has lots of screen shots of the nest on the wall in the classroom. My wonders are what are the eagle’s names? Are any of them going to die? Are your cams going to be working any time soon?” ~Mary

“Wow! Today in Delta we spotted the second eaglet hatching! The first one that was hatched was all fluffy, but the second one that just got hatched was all wet and oogly. There is one more thing that happened today and is wonderful. Guess what? Aimee brought a piece of paper with the names that the White Rock eagles are gonna be! There is one sad thing. It’s that in the White Rock cam, the eagle nests are too far away for us to see the oogly or cute babies from hatching. About the names that Aimee brought in … for “O” the name is Oscar, and I got a stuffy named Oscar! Oh, I forgot to tell you about what the Alphabet was for. It’s for the White Rock cam. They name the eagles from the White Rock cam in a special language called the Military Alphabet. Last year, at White Rock, it was K and L for Kilo and Lima. This year it’s M and N which is Mike and November. It’s all thanks to Aimee that we know this!” ~Ella

Ma and Pa proudly watching over their two beautiful eaglets. It's been a ROUGH couple of years for this pair ... but ... this year? SUCCESS!

Ma and Pa proudly watching over their two beautiful eaglets. It’s been a ROUGH couple of years for this pair … but … this year? SUCCESS!

“In my class we have been watching the Delta Two eagle nest. Eggs were laid on March 10 – 13, I think. And, the first egg hatched on Monday, 18th at 7:21, (yes, 7:21 not 20), and the second egg hatched on Monday, April 18 at 9:05 pm. Today I brought in a list of the Military Alphabet because every eaglet (at the White Rock nest) is named after a letter in the mIlitary Alphabet and this year it’s M and N. So, last night I went home and asked my dad M and N in the Military Alphabet and he said the M = Mike and the N = November. But, just to get this clear, the Military eaglet name thing is only at the White Rock nest but those eagles have gone kinda far from the White Rock cam. We watched a video on the second eaglet coming and, wow, it was oogly!!! If you want to know the Military Alphabet then here it is: A = Alpha, B = Bravo, C = Charlie, D = Delta, E = Echo, F = Foxtrot, G = Golf, H = Hotel, I = India, J = Juliet, K = Kilo, L = Lima, M = Mike, N = November, O = Oscar, P = Papa, Q = Quebec, R = Romeo, S = Sierra, T = Tango, U = Uniform, V = Victor, W = Whiskey, X = X-ray, Y = Yankee, Z = Zulu. There. That’s the Military Alphabet and it’s also the end of this piece of writing! Bye!” ~Aimee

“I can’t believe that the Delta eagle has two babies!!! One of them hatched Monday, (in the morning), and the other hatched at 9:05 at night! We saw a video of the eagle hatching. It was oogly and wet. The first baby was oogly too and now it’s much more cuter. And, they have to be named with the military alphabet, (White Rock). Someone in our class found out that the names are going to be November and Mike. The sad part is that the Delta cam is not working so we can’t see the eagle and the babies. Last year the mom couldn’t incubate the eggs because she had a broken leg. The mom and dad have been switching for sitting on the babies. How I know if it is the mom or if it is the dad is because when the eagle bends down if you see white feathers that are more on the black that means that is the dad and if the camera zooms in close enough to see the eagle eye and there is a tiny black spot that means that it is the dad too. I can’t wait to see the eaglets when they are all grown up.” ~Matt

“Crack! Crack! Squeak! Squeak! WOW! One of the eggs is hatching. It looks like a huge wet fur ball. Oogly! Guess what? Both of the eggs on the Delta cams hatched! One of the eggs hatched at 9:05 last night! And, one hatched at 7:20 on Monday in the morning. But, something we were all wondering and that was what are the new babies names going to be? We didn’t know! But, we planned ahead of time and now we did that, we found out what the White Rock babies names would be! Luckily a fellow student in our class named Aimee just happened to have a dad that was pretty interested in the military alphabet, which was just what we needed because the White Rock names came from the military alphabet! So, Aimee found out what the names would be … and all the words were in the military alphabet. The new names will be Mike and November and if you are wondering … yes … I spelled it right. It’s November like the month! And, there was something I was wondering. It was what happens when they are done the alphabet? Do they start it over? But, one thing that to us humans probably think that’s pretty disgusting is … is that when I checked out the Delta cam one time I saw that there was a dead swan-type thing in the nest. But, that’s not really the gross thing! The gross thing is that I saw the head was apart from the body and you could see all of the veins! It was gross! “Doo, doo, doo, doo, doo …”! Oh, there’s Mrs. Renton. I better get going! Bye!” ~Sarah

“Guess what! The eggs at the Delta nest hatched!!! And, the eaglets are SO cute!!! It is very, very fun to watch the Delta nest!!! I do think it is going to be very, VERY fun to watch the eagles grow up! I wonder what it is like to be an eagle? And, why do the eagles in the Delta nest live in a very loud farm? You would think they would live in the quiet forest!” ~Ryan

HEY!!! I'm HUNGRY! What's for DINNER?

HEY!!! I’m HUNGRY! What’s for DINNER?

“Wow! The Delta eagle ness just hatched. The first one hatched on Monday, April 18, 2016 in the morning. The second one hatched on Monday, April 18, 2016 at night! The Delta nest is in British Columbia. There were a lot of juvenile eagles by the nest. Sometimes the dad sits in the nest. Sometimes the mom sits in the nest. They lay their eggs in their brood patch so it stays warm. They did a small hole like a bowl shape so they can put the eggs in it. Kilo destroyed the nest in White Rock so we don’t know when they are going to lay their eggs. They roll their eggs so they will hatch because then the yolk will not be stuck to the egg shell. The baby eaglets are a bit wet when they come out of the egg. Last year the eggs did not hatch because the mama eagle injured her leg. The eaglets wingercize. When they sit in the nest for a long time wingercizing is just flapping it’s wings and stretching out. They have an egg tooth so they bang the egg shell with their egg tooth so they can get out. After a day old, they look like a fluff ball. It will look oogly when it just comes out of the egg. Yesterday we saw the mama feeding the baby eaglet at lunch time. The other egg was a table for the eaglet! Eagles are birds of prey so they kill stuff to eat. They made the crib rails high so the babies won’t fall out. I saw them put a little bit of moss in so the nest will be softer!” ~Alvin

Looks like DINNER might be ... HARE! YUM!

Looks like DINNER might be … HARE! YUM!

“Have you ever seen an eagle cam? Me and my class have been looking at eagle cams for a long time and the Delta nest has two eggs and they are all hatched!!! My lowlights are that the eagle babies are oogly and the White Rock cams can’t get a cam on the nest because of naughty Kilo! My highlights are that we got to see two eggs hatch. That’s so cool!!! I wonder what will happen when the military alphabet runs out? I discovered that they can’t get a web cam up until next year for White Rock. 🙁 I wonder if eagles go to Greenland and Los Angeles. I wonder if people eat eagles in other countries? I discovered that eagles are raptors!!! I wonder what that slime is when they get out of the egg??? I wonder if eagles eat owls or if it is the other way around??? I discovered that eagles like to eat duck a l’orange!!! I hope Delta’s eagle hatches next year!” ~Simos

“Guess what has happened at the Delta nest? Both eggs hatched! And, they are so oogly! the first egg hatched on Monday, April 18th at 7:20 am. The second egg hatched on Monday, April 18th at 9:05 pm. One of my highlights was that the mother eagle finally was able to incubate her eggs because she could not incubate the eggs in the last two years. I wonder why eaglets are so fluffy. I hope this happens again in grade four!” ~Omar

“The Delta Two eagle nest laid two eggs. The first at 7:20 in the morning. The second at 9:05 at night. The Delta Two had two oogly babies hatch. The White Rock has no cams. We don’t know about the nest. We don’t know if the ma laid two or three eggs in the nest.” ~Kagan

They are ALREADY getting bigger ... just check out those TALONS! Isn't it adorable how they are cuddling together for warmth while ma is out hunting for dinner?

They are ALREADY getting bigger … just check out those TALONS! Isn’t it adorable how they are cuddling together for warmth while ma is out hunting for dinner?

“White Rock, NA! No web cams can reach the new nest. 🙁 meanwhile … at the Delta nest … EGGS! TWO … BABY eaglets! The older one hatched one morning. The other’s very young and oogly!!! I think that the youngest one was born today! By the way, a week ago, the mama brought some duck a l’orange. I wonder if that juvenile eagle won’t come back to try to eat the eaglets?” ~Daniel S

“Welcome to the Delta show, which we should have done a WEEK ago because then you could have seen the eggs being laid, the eggs cracking, and being rolled so the yolk didn’t stick to the top of the egg, and the eggs hatching. The first egg that hatched was on Monday, April 18th, 2016 at 7:20 am. And, the second one hatched later tat day at 9:05 pm. Do you know the names of the mom or dad? I don’t even know their names. But, if you know their names, please leave a comment on our blog!” ~Mila

We have been blessed by people who see the value in sharing the natural world through these web cams. It is through the work of these special people that we are able to get a real glimpse into the world of these animals … and … because of this, become better stewards of the earth.

Oh … and … if you’re wondering … our BABIES have been NAMED … by some students in the Delta area! Their names are …. drum roll, PLEASE … Ace and Pippin!

How VERY exciting! Ace and Pippin are PERFECT!

How VERY exciting! Ace and Pippin are PERFECT!

“What’s miraculous about a spider’s web?” said Mrs. Arable.  “I don’t see why you say a web is a miracle–it’s just a web.”
“Ever try to spin one?” asked Mr. Dorian. 

~ E.B. White in Charlotte’s Web

Categories: Global Grade 3 | Tags: , , , , , | 9 Comments

Painting Our Peruvian Masks

Painting is silent poetry.


Connie showing us some examples of ancient Peruvian masks and pottery.

Connie showing us some examples of ancient Peruvian masks and pottery.

Today we’re writing a blog post TOGETHER! We would love to tell you ALL about our journey painting our Peruvian masks with CONNIE! We loved EVERY second of our time with Connie AND with Gordon!

After our masks were fired in the kiln, Connie came back to help us paint them. We spent some time looking at pictures in a beautiful book to get an idea of the designs and colours the ancient Peruvian’s used on their masks and pottery.

We discovered that Incans didn’t use hot pink and other bright colours because they didn’t have the MATERIALS to MAKE those bright colours. They used stuff that the EARTH would give them … like dirt and plants and minerals … the materials they had in their environment.

We were AMAZED at how beautiful the ancient masks and pottery were!

We were AMAZED at how beautiful the ancient masks and pottery were!

After we looked at the pictures, Connie showed us how to properly paint our masks. She told us to start at ONE end of our masks and to go straight across the opposite side because, once you got to the other side the side that you STARTED on would be dry!

Here Connie is, showing us the proper techniques for painting our masks.

Here Connie is, showing us the proper techniques for painting our masks.

Connie told us that, when we paint, we shouldn’t go back and forth with the brushes because you might see all the messy paint brush lines all over our masks. She also told us that when you started to see little “white” spots where you were painting that you should “reload” your brush. We learned to keep the paint off the metal part of the brush and just on the bristles because you can only PAINT with the bristles. Paint on the metal would be wasted paint!

We wore our PAINT shirts, or OLD shirts, because acrylic paints NEVER wash out!

We wore our PAINT shirts, or OLD shirts, because acrylic paints NEVER wash out!

Here are some of our highlights:

  • seeing our masks when they were COMPLETELY finished.
  • each and EVERY step of the journey!
  • having a WONDERFUL time with Connie and Gordon!
  • working with our hands!
  • painting!
  • seeing the pictures of the masks and seeing how ours are the same and different compared to the Incans’.
  • shaping the clay around the nose and making the designs.
  • holding the freezing clay!
  • using newspaper to form our masks!
  • the variety of colours we were able to use.
  • seeing our masks after they came out of the kiln.

We sure hope you enjoy our SLIDESHOW:

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We KNOW that CLAY comes from the ground. Some of us have found it when we have been planting trees with our parents in our backyards. The clay WE find in our yards NEVER looks as good as the clay Connie brings. We’ve EVEN seen clay at the LAKE when we’ve been digging. We wonder where Connie and Gordon GET their clay. Do they buy it from someone who CLEANS it? How DO they clean it?

Categories: Global Grade 3 | Tags: , , , , | 15 Comments