The afternoon class had a pirate dress-up this week.  We completed pirate activities like creating an authentic looking treasure map, making 'Wanted' posters, and playing 'Pin the Eye Patch on the Pirate".  Having everyone dressed up like pirates led to a fun afternoon of imaginative play!  

A special thank you to Finn and Kaliko for sharing their extra pirate gear with their classmates.

We also played the pirate games/activities on this website:
The afternoon children have taken an interest in drawing treasure maps.  We wanted to create an example to demonstrate how pirates have to draw landmarks on their maps so they know where to walk.  We drew a map and then hid treasure, leading the children around the room to follow the map.  Jenn was our captain, so after she spoke we had to say, "Aye, aye captain!"  Here is a video of the children finding the hidden treasure.
This activity lead to the children creating even more maps during free play time on Wednesday.  During our group time on Thursday the map creator described their map to us (videos below).  Drawing maps is a numeracy activity as it helps the children develop their sense of spatial awareness. 

Dorine's Treasure Map

Elisha's Treasure Map

Kinan's Treasure Map

Samantha's Treasure Map

Our work on Yangchuanosaurus:
Our work on Stegosaurus.  The first picture documents what we have learned about this dinosaur.  The second picture is Leia's colouring of a stegosaurus for our floor measurements. 
We are well into our dinosaur project and I thought I had made a post over the winter break but I now see that I didn't.  So, here is an update on our inquiry into world of dinosaurs:

In November we began by brainstorming what we already know about dinosaurs.  We then read different dinosaur stories and began exploring the world of dinosaurs through play at our learning centres. During our group times we discussed what questions we had about dinosaurs and how we could find the answers to our questions.   
This week I worked one-on-one with the children on extending basic patterns.  This means that I began a pattern and then asked each child to continue (extend) it.  We used dinosaur manipulatives, building patterns based on the colours of the dinosaurs.  We started with an AB pattern (two colours were used) and then tried an ABC pattern (three colours were used).  

The children did a great job and really enjoyed extending the patterns - many kiddos came back to see me a second time to complete the task again!  

Lately the children have been building, building, building!  Today I took photos of their creations and asked them to tell me about them.  
This is a Firey-Diredy.  
It shoots venomous water at any kind of nasty creature. 

I built this all morning, it took so long! 

It's a water gun.
The water goes to a little flower. 

After reading a variety of books about winter and snow the children created a list of their favourite things to do in the snow.  We then voted on our personal favourite by placing a penguin beside the activity.

This graphing lesson was followed up by counting how many votes each activity received.  We then discussed which activities had the most and least votes. 

Morning Class

Before Halloween madness took over our classroom, we brainstormed a list of things we wanted to learn about this year.  On Monday we revisited this list to decided which topics would become our projects this year.  

Each child was given two red dots to stick under the topics they were most enthusiastic about.  Once we had all placed our votes (and then tallied these votes), we realized that we needed to eliminate some of the topics that had zero, one, or two votes.

So, the children were then given two blue dots and voted for the topics that had stars beside them: Pirates, Dinosaurs, Sports, Fairies, and Princesses.  The children then counted the blue-dot votes: Pirates (3), Dinosaurs (9), Sports (3), Fairies (7), and Princesses (3). 

We decided to start with dinosaurs as this topic got the highest number of votes.  Over the past week we have been reading dinosaur stories and discussing what we know about dinosaurs.  

We will soon begin talking about what we want to find out about dinosaurs and plan our project around the students' wonders.  Stay tuned for updates on our project! 

Afternoon Class

Unlike the morning class, no re-vote was needed here.  The children cast their two votes for the topics they wanted to learn about and Camping (7), Pirates (4), and Sharks (3) received the large majority of the votes.  

Although Camping got the highest number of votes, we know that people go camping in the spring and summer, not the winter, so we decided to save this project until a later date.  We thought we could combine Sharks and Pirates and focus on this topic for our first project.  

This week we have been reading pirate books and talking about what we know about pirates.  These discussions led to the decision that we should have a day where we come to school dressed up as pirates!  We will do this in January, as December always feels so busy and hectic.  

The children have begun thinking about what they would like to learn about pirates over the upcoming months. 

What a fabulous day it was!  Thank you to all of the parents and grandparents for coming to our celebration.  We hope you enjoyed spending the day with us.
One of the learning stations was to draw a picture on the SMART Board.  We have been familiarizing ourselves with the SMART board over the past week, trying out the different tools while creating works of art.  Here are the children's drawings from our Fall Celebration and class time: