Thursday, September 25, 2014

Alberta Culture Day

Our school is one of many in the province that had special activities this week to celebrate Alberta Culture Day. 

Our first special event was a performance by the Foothills Brass quintet. They were wonderful to listen to.  They taught us a bit about the building blocks of music -- tone, rhythm, melody and harmony.  This video will show you little clips of the highlights from the performance.

Our other special event had us participating in a drumming workshop.  We all got to play djembe (gembay) drums.  We learned that they are a drum from West Africa, that is played with the bare hands.  (Many of us had sore hands by the end of the workshop!)  Mr. K., our drum teacher, told us to tell our parents that we had "slapped the goatskin", when they ask us what we did at school today.  In this video, you can see and hear us playing a few different pieces.

We all enjoyed the day, experiencing different types of music!

We were wondering...

Have you ever heard a brass quintet or djembe drums?
How do you celebrate arts and culture?

Friday, September 19, 2014

Celebrating International Dot Day (Week)

We were so surprised when we got to our classroom this past Monday morning.  Our teacher had done a little redecorating over the weekend.  This is what our door looked like...

 There were also balloons and a tablecloth...

We started the day by watching a video of the book "The Dot" by Peter H. Reynolds.

We talked about the message behind this story and how Vashti showed many different habitudes...imagniation, courage, passion, perseverance, self-awareness and adaptability.  That was almost all of them!

Throughout the week, we did many different "dot" activities in all of our subjects.  In math, we were given the challenge to write as many fact families as we could.  Some students challenged themselves by writing fact families with bigger numbers and some even did multiplying and dividing fact families.  Here are some pictures to show you some students' work... (Sorry for the sideways pictures)

In math, we also did dot to dots to practice skip counting, drew pictures of equal groups (circles with dots on them) to practice multiplication and the best math activity was doing some graphing using packages of Skittles.  The best part was eating our dot candy after our work was done!  (Oops...our teacher forgot to take pictures of this!)

Since our school and classroom try to be "bucket fillers", we also spent some time brainstorming ideas for what "bucket fillers" and "bucket dippers" do.  Here are some of our ideas...

 On Thursday afternoon, we really had a chance to "make our mark".  Our town is updating some playgrounds and we were invited to come and help!  It was so much fun to help out in our community and we can't wait to play there when it's done!

We started with a safety meeting with one of the town employees.

Then it was time to get to work!  We had to place these big black Lego-type pieces around the park.  They weren't heavy, but were kind of awkward to carry.
After our work was done, we sat and watched the cement truck and adult volunteers do the cement work.
The town was kind enough to even buy Tim Horton's Smile Cookies and water for us as a treat and a way to say thank you!

The hard working "Braybrook's Bunch".
In art, we did a couple of different "dot" projects.  For the first one, everyone designed and colored a dot.  Then, everyone's dots were cut into 4 pieces and each piece was put with 3 other students' work to create a collaborative dot masterpiece!  Check them out...


For the second art project, we learned about Kandinsky and his piece called "Color Study of Squares with Concentric Circles".  This video helped us understand how to do the project.

It was finally time for us to try it on our own.  We just nicely got started today, so we will have to work on them more next week.  They are looking pretty impressive so far!

To end the week, told us about a song that has been written to go with this book.  We read the lyrics and then enjoyed singing it together.

It was such a wonderful week celebrating!

We were wondering...

How did you (or how could you) celebrate International Dot Day?
How will you "make your mark"?

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Group Challenges

It's been such a busy time!  We have been in school for a week now and it's been full of new experiences as we get settled into our new classroom.  For the first 3 days of school, we did a group challenge each day.  Each activity had us working with a few of our classmates to complete our teacher's task.

Group Challenge #1
Each group of 4 students was given some pipecleaners and two small pieces of tin foil.  Together, we had to use ONLY those materials to create something.  We shared ideas and when something didn't work, we had to figure out a solution together.  There were some very creative ideas!

Group Challenge #2
Our teacher told us the story about her friend Frankie the worm, who went out in a boat, without his life jacket on.  But when his boat capsized, Frankie had to get into his life jacket.  Each group of 3 students was given a gummy worm and a gummy lifesaver.  Our job was to work as a group to put Frankie's life jacket on him.  Sounds easy, right??  Well, the hard part was that we could only touch Frankie and the life jacket with a paper clip!  That's hands!  We really had to cooperate in order to complete this challenge and we're happy to report that every group was able to save Frankie!

 Group Challenge #3
Our teacher definitely saved the hardest for last!  For this challenge, we were given some dry spaghetti and mini-marshmallows.  With only those two materials, we had to work together to create the tallest tower possible.  IT WAS HARD!  Many of the towers kept falling over.  One group had quite a tall tower but someone had to keep holding it, in order for it to stay up.  Check out our work...


We learned a lot about ourselves and our classmates during these challenges.  We've been learning about "classroom habitudes" and we really had to use many of them for these challenges -- perseverance, adaptability, courage, imagination and curiosity.

We were wondering...

What kinds of activities did you do with your new classmates?
What group challenges have you participated in before?