Sunday, 14 December 2014

Dear Old December Skies

November comes
And November goes,
With the last red berries
And the first white snows...

It has been too long since I wrote, shared photos, dear readers. November has come. It has gone. And here we are half way through the month of December. Since the last post, we have witnessed the first white snow. Each day we notice how the snow rests on the prairie like a blanket and how the sky is changing. We've seen sun dogs, had a couple indoor recesses due to the windchill, and gotten back into the routine of dressing into our winter clothes. I have to admit that I find comfort in the smell of wet hats and mittens drying on the radiators. 

Comfort and joy are also found in the beautiful winter light that the snow reflects. We have really noticed how much lower the sun is in the sky during our afternoon outdoor time. 

off we go
square vs rectangle

an upper body work out, or a rest

As you may have already heard, we are currently reading The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe from C.S. Lewis' The Chronicles of Narnia. December skies in Argyle, and the winter skies we imagine to be in Narnia, inspired these paintings.

We thought we better add a forest, and a lamppost. This story has inspired us and sparked our imaginations. We tried Turkish Delight, we made a life sized wardrobe (that actually holds my coat and skipants at the moment), and we continue to write and draw about the events and characters in the book. Reading the book has been a calm, yet exciting, part of each day.

adding snow with the eraser end of a pencil

In our classroom, explore time is a time for inquiry. Both indoors and out. 

“Inquiry requires more than simply answering questions or getting a right answer. It espouses investigation, exploration, search, quest, research, pursuit, and study. It is enhanced by involvement with a community of learners, each learning from the other in social interaction.”  (Kuklthau, Maniotes & Caspari, 2007, p. 2)

The day, the week, could take us anywhere. Something I am so grateful for as it keeps both student and teacher engaged and stimulated. 

Here we are after someone asked, what could we do with the box from Mr. G's new chairs? 

make a playhouse!
adding details
measuring and cutting curtains
using casting material to attach two boxes to make a wardrobe

Then there were these mysterious cracks on the playground. They were the topic of many discussions and led to many questions.  

Autumn shows how deep the cracks go.
Autumn researched the cause of the cracks and displayed her findings on a poster for the school community to look at and learn from. 

How cracks in the soil are formed
Durning this time, others are publishing a book:

Logan and Ivan discuss their book

Looking up information on turtles:

And conducting experiments with giant bamboo seeds. Below you will see Samantha is soaking bamboo seeds in two different environments: under a grow light and on a heating pad.

Samuel and Benjamin sent us a special delivery while they were out exploring: oranges straight from an orchard they were touring all the way in Florida. They sure had lots of information and stories to share with us once they returned!

straight from the orchard

the Florida project
And to close, I leave you with some photos of our gym class...