Our last Mystery Reader of the school year was with the one and onlyMs. Chrissy Hellyerfrom New Zealand! (Click on the link and you can learn a little bit more about her). I first met Chrissy in Thailand when we were both Grade 5 teachers at International School Bangkok. I was able to visit Chrissy in New Zealand at Christmas time one year and explored the gorgeous North and South islands with a rental car–driving on the LEFT side of the road. If you ever get the chance, please DO visit New Zealand.
The students were thrilled to meet her via Skype and listened to a funny story called the Wonky Donkey. The Wonky Donkey is a children’s book and song written by New Zealander Craig Smith and illustrated by Katz Cowley.
The students loved asking her questions about topics like how many sheep are there in NZ, the time difference, what is a Kiwi bird, what is the Haka, her favourite sports team (the All Blacks, of course), and the Maori language. Chrissy said she wasn’t fluent in the language of the Maori people but did count to 10 for us. Chrissy talked about how the Kiwi bird is a nocturnal animal and is sadly endangered. There used to be 12 million of them on the island and now there is around 100 000 left.
When a student asked about how many sheep are in New Zealand, Chrissy said there is a saying that there are about 4 sheep for every one person in the country. The population of New Zealand is 4.6 million. Woah, that’s a lot of sheep!
Chrissy explained that the Haka is a traditional war dance used to frighten the enemy. Now, it is ceremonial and is performed before every All Black’s international game of rugby. Watch below to check it out.
What a cool experience for us all! A big thank-you to Chrissy for taking time to read to us and answer all of our questions.
Poised on Platform 9 3/4 with their black gowns, lightning scars, and ticket in hand, students were ready to step through the brick wall into a whole different world–Hogwarts!
With a SWISH and a FLICK, we began with the Sorting Hat who whispered into Mrs. Sullivan’s ear which house each student would be assigned to.
We began with some activities in our new houses, all related to Harry Potter, of course. Photo opportunities came next and then the much anticipated FEAST!
At 11:00 we began digging into the incredible assortment of treats and eats. We are all so thankful to all of the parents who helped make our feast super special. We had everything from beautifully decorated homemade cakepops, Hagrid’s rockcakes, to Wizard hat cupcakes, Ollivander’s licorice wands, and Professor Sprout’s veggie sticks. You can see it all in the pictures below.
After filling our bellies, we began watching the movie of Harry Potter & the Philosopher’s Stone, followed by more picture-taking.
I’m happy to announce that all students graduatedwith a degree of Master of Wizardry courtesy of Professor Albus Dumbledore and Professor Minerva McGonagall. Congratulations!
I think it’s safe to say the students enjoyed their time at Hogwarts. I’m so happy they all embraced all that is Harry Potter and soaked it all in.
Pivot turn, shuffle step…students at our school danced their hearts out in the gym for both parents and peers. Plenty of practice and hard work paid off today and performances brought smiles and lots of applause. It’s not easy to perform in front of an audience and you all did a wonderful job doing your very best.
Our class decided to join forces with the Grade 3/4 class and we danced to a remix of Circle of Life. Students decided to dress as an animal of their choice and we had a wonderful assortment of animals such as giraffe, leopard, tiger, parrot, monkey, elephant, and so on.
Grrrreat job, Grade 3s and 3/4s! I’m proud of you!
Note: A video of our dance will be posted in the near future.
As a fun way to wrap up our hard work in writing fiction, we held a special Author’s Party in our class today. The students seemed to enjoy reading each other’s stories and were very proud of their efforts.
There were stories of camping disasters, auditioning for a play, overcoming losing hair due to childhood cancer, playing baseball, soccer-playing dogs, dance competitions, and so much more! I enjoyed reading them all and hope you continue to look for new and interesting things to write about. You have so much to say!
What a week. Students in Gr.3 and Gr.6 across the province have been busy writing the provincial test in reading, writing, and math. As of today, students at our school have wrapped up their test. We celebrated with a delicious ice cream party! Yum.
Special thanks goes out to Mrs. P who provided many of our toppings for our ice cream.
Bravo, Grade 3s for a job well done. I’m proud of you!
Last Friday, students were treated to a special visit from a scientist named Dr. Kim Holzer from Northern Idaho. She is an Agriculture Program Specialist.
She was skyping us from her field site where she is involved in inspecting boats as they come in off the water. She and her team look for zebra mussels, in particular, which are an invasive species. Dr. Kim talked to us about why it’s important to control invasive species and ensure they do not make their way into Northern Idaho waters.
You can check out this website to learn more. Dr. Kim specializes in aquatic invasive species. She also taught us what ballast water is. It is important to inspect and test ballast water for things that can be harmful when transporting items on a big boat like a tanker.
The students loved asking questions and were excited to see a live demonstration of an inspection of a boat. They were good listeners and thought it was neat to talk to a scientist via Skype!
PROBABILITY is the chance of something happening. Recently, we played the game “4 Corners” where students have to respond to a question such as “What are the chances you will go out for dinner tonight?”. The students had to move to one of the 4 corners in our classroom labeled “Likely” “Unlikely” “Certain” and “Impossible” and be able to justify why they were there.
Playing probability games is a fun way of exploring this notion of “chance”. One recent game involved a little bit of ‘horse play’. Students worked in teams to race across the gameboard by rolling 2 dice. First, they had to choose which horse they were going to be (from horse number 2 up to horse number 12).
Students were only allowed to move their horse (1 space) if they or another team member rolled their horse’s number! Students noticed that horse numbers 6,7,8 always seemed to be winning. How come? Was it luck? Magic?
After a discussion about the chances of rolling each number of a die, students quickly realized that there are more chances of rolling a 6, 7 or 8 which explained why those horses were winning more often! It wasn’t magic, afterall. 🙂
Here is a video explaining how we play Skunk in class. Note: when we roll snake eyes, we play the version where students would lose all points for the current round and PAST rounds too.