Full Circle

BearSea

Floor of the Great Bear Sea – Collaborative Painting by Division 1

 

Hello Bloggerclass,

We have almost completed the circle. Life is cyclical, and nothing more so than school! Each year we complete all the landmarks (First Day, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Winter Holidays, New Year, Valentines Day, Spring Break, Sports Day, Lollapolooza, and more). These events are little notches in the circle, and they eventually return us to where we began, to start all over again. The talking circles we’ve shared this year also reveal the significance of the circle. The talking stick or feather moves around, eventually to return to us.

Of course, this coming year will be a little different from the usual cycle for the grade 7’s, as you head off for high school — something very new for you!

And grade 6’s, soon will be your turn to be at the forefront of the school, and take part in all the activities that come with being in grade 7!

I’ve very much enjoyed learning with all of you this past school year. You’ve worked together, supported each other, and shared your thoughts and ideas. We’ve shared many laughs, too. Thanks for a great school year, and all the best for the one coming. HAPPY SUMMER!                              — Ms. Angel

Fruits of our Labours

FullSizeRenderHello, Bloggerclass,

This blog has been a hub for many activities this term, and most of it has taken place on the subject pages, to inform the many projects we’ve been working on. So at last, a new post on the front page!

It’s been a delight to see the results of your work, particularly your collaborative re-creation of the periodic table. Your enthusiasm about this project made it fun; and by contributing  4 to 5 element squares each, I think you received a good introduction of how the Periodic Table of the Elements works.

I had heard the saying (in a song, actually), “We are stardust,” and I’d always thought that this was quite fanciful, and simply poetic. I have learned, however, that we are in fact stardust, because the elements were created from stars in the universe, and we are made up of elements!

Bravo to you all on your work this term!
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Here are some of the observations that you made in class after working on the Periodic Table:

“Atomic weight & atomic number go up left to right.”

“Elements 93 and above are man-made”

“The number of electrons in the atoms’ outer shell of many groups are the same. The number of electrons increases within each group from left to right across the table.”

“The higher the atomic number, the more likely that the element is  radioactive.”

“All elements above #103 are of unknown & unsteady state.”

“To the right of metalloid staircase are non-metals and gases, and one liquid.  To the left of the staircase are metals.”

“Noble gases have full outer shells, with no room for other electrons.”

“Groups that are not named after the first element in its group tend to be either highly or not at all reactive.”

Good thinking!

 

 

 

 

April is Poetry Month

Hello Bloggerclass! Welcome back to school. What better way to start than with a poem?

What do you think is Robert Frost’s message in this poem?

What connections can you make to this poem?

What does he want you to know?

What does he make you wonder about?

Why do you think he wrote this poem?

Please comment below.

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Reflections On Learning

thoughtcloudBoth grade 6’s and 7’s have finished learning activities in Social Studies. While we usually do our learning reflections in our learning logs, this time I’ve asked you To record your reflections in a PowerPoint slide. I’ve done this for 3 reasons: 1)  To reflect on your learning, 2) To have an opportunity to try out OneDrive and 3) To try out your new access to PowerPoint Online.  Here are some things to ponder in your reflections:

Grade 7

a) How did the comparison format work for you? How was it different from simply doing an investigation on only one ancient culture? Did you find it engaged your thinking process more actively?

b) How are you progressing in drawing conclusions in your work? Have you noticed any improvement since the beginning of this school year?

c) If you worked with a partner, how did you share the work? How was it helpful or challenging?

Grade 6

1) What was different about working from primary sources on your Clothing investigation?

b) How are you progressing in drawing conclusions in your work? Have you noticed any improvement since the beginning of this school year?

c) How did you work together as a group to share your data and help each other? How was the group experience helpful or challenging?

 

 

Happy January!

internet

This is a graphic of the internet which resembles the universe. It is an actual visualization of every network on the Internet. The image was created by the Opte Project, and has a Creative Commons License for non-profit use. You can also find this image in the Museum of Modern Art in NYC.

Hello, bloggerclass!

Here we are, already half way through January. I’m looking forward to the process and outcome of new learning in our class this term. We’ve been working steadily on our collaborative and hypertext Choose Your Own Adventure stories. Listening to your conversations as you plan the various plots of your group stories shows me that you can think critically about what makes a good piece of writing.   Your process seems to be going very nicely, and it’ll be great to soon be able to click through the various stories, and hopefully share beyond the classroom too!

We’ve started learning about Matter and Chemistry this term, and I’ve been happy to introduce what I’ve learned through the Big History Project, which I discovered over the winter break. Big History is a way of studying our world, from the dawn of the universe through to the complex and technologically evolved world we live in today. Natural history and human history are studied together. I love having such a broad view of the world! It also fits right in as we begin to study the earliest human civilizations!

I’m also looking forward to some fun in the snow in February. More on that later. Term 2 is well on its way…  Let’s get to work and play!

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I’ve just added “History of the World in Two Hours,” as Julia requested. I’d still like to watch it together in class, but here it is, for you to watch at your own leisure.

Making History – the United Nations Climate Change Conference!

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Trees – A key to maintaining healthy carbon levels. (Image obtained from CreativeCommons)

Hello, Bloggerclass!

Big events are happening on the world horizon in the coming days! In our classroom, we have been studying the carbon cycle and climate change, only just familiarizing ourselves with the science behind what is probably our biggest planetary challenge. I have asked you to consider possible solutions for climate change. Indeed, there are many changes that can be made to prevent further damage. But the entire planet shares earth’s precious atmosphere. In order to make these changes happen, we have to work together globally to make our planet safe for all life. History can be made the coming days!

From November 30 through December 11, 2015, the governments of more than 190 nations will gather in Paris The 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference. Prime Minister Trudeau is on his way there as we speak.

Scientists have warned that if greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise, global warming become will become catastrophic and irreversible. If our climate rises more than 2 degrees C above pre-industrial levels, and we continue to burn fossil fuels at the same rate we are doing now, we are heading for a rise of about 5 degrees C! That may not sound like much, but the temperature difference between today’s world and the last ice age was about 5C, so seemingly small changes in temperature can mean big differences for the Earth!  Source

It is absolutely necessary for participating nations to unanimously adopt a legally binding agreement that will reduce global carbon emissions and aim to keep warming below the 2-degree threshold.

Some Challenging Issues to Consider

  • Wealthy, industrialized First World countries such as ours, have created most of the climate change through history. Is it fair to ask countries like India and China, which until now have consumed less, to pay the same price as high consuming countries such as ours?
  • How do we balance the economic needs with environmental ones?  What role will business play?
  • How do we help countries which are already feeling and paying the price for climate change?

These are big issues to consider, and I invite your comments here. I look forward to following what happens at the United Nations Climate Change Conference with you in class, as we witness what I hope will make history… the countries of our planet uniting as one!

10 photos of a changing world 

 

Brilliant Colour and Continuing Activity

ColourwheelHello, Bloggerclass! So much has been going on on our class blogs! You have posted your memoirs, your thoughts on human rights in the novel, The Breadwinner, as well as your reflections on your personal history timelines. Many of you have also chosen to post about your personal interests, be it photography or cats! We’ve also been using the blog a lot for keeping up on assignment criteria on the ‘subject’ pages. And comments have been trickling in regularly.

The front page of our class blog has not changed in a while, so I’m  adding this little update, along with some photos of the rich colour studies you have created. Enjoy!

 

 

 

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Colourstrips

 

Exploring the Ecosystems of Boundary Bay

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Learning from nature interpreter, Paul.

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Sea sponge from the intertidal zone. Yes, it’s very squeezable!

There is nothing like hands on learning from the natural world! It was a rainy, though mild day when our school bus ventured off to Boundary Bay… but the spirits of divisions 1 & 2 were not in the least bit dampened!

I so enjoyed seeing your curiosity and excitement, as our GVRD nature interpreters introduced us to some of the many life forms that make their home at Boundary Bay.  I loved seeing all those little mice living under their cozy log, after Paul rolled it over for us to have a look! They sure made themselves scarce quickly! What were some of the key discoveries or observations you made? Please share your thoughts by leaving a comment.

BTW, click on the photos for a clearer view.

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This looks like a hermit crab that made its home in a snail shell.

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Our observant students discovered a rare find on the beach — June beetle larva!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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We discovered the black widow spider living on the logs further up the beach. The only harmful spider in BC!

 

A New Start

Frog

A Pacific Tree Frog that appeared in my flowerpot one summer

Dear Division 1,

Welcome to you all! As summer ends, we once again begin a new school cycle. In my opinion, the beginning of  September is the real new year. It is new in many ways:

  • a new classroom
  • new classmates
  • new teacher
  • new learning activities
  • new friendships
  • new ideas
  • new ways of doing things
  • new extra-curricular activities
  • new school supplies
  • new physical and emotional growth
    …and lots more.

I look forward to getting to know you, and to begin our learning journey together. Where we go entirely depends on us. In this classroom, I highly encourage you to ask questions, to think, and to discuss your learning with your peers. Of course, we will be guided by the curriculum, and it is my hope and intention that what we study will, as much as possible, be enjoyable, meaningful and important to you. In my opinion, learning involves:

  • imagination
  • fun
  • creativity
  • open-mindedness
  • cooperation
  • collaboration
  • discussion
  • happy accidents
  • reflection
  • evaluation
  • checking in with ourselves
  • practice, practice, practice
  • struggle
  • friendship
  • concentration
  • organization
  • trust
  • acceptance

…and lots more. What can you add to the list? I would be very interested to know your thoughts on this. I would also be very interested to know about your reading interests. Here are some books that I have read this summer:

  • Break the Glass, by Sarah Levi
  • The Children Act, by Ian McEwan
  • The Rosie Project, by Graeme Simsion
  • The Other Boleyn Girl, by Philippa Gregory
  • My Brilliant Friend, by Elena Ferente

I also enjoy reading the New York Times and the CBC website on my iPad, as well as many blogs on a variety of topics including art, teaching, vegan cooking, the environment,  politics, and of course, blogs about books. I discovered a wonderful new blog this summer called “Book Riot.” They make wonderful reading suggestions and often include YA books.

And now I turn it over to you. What can you tell me about your learning journey, your interests, your hopes for the school year? Looking forward to reading what you have to say!

Ms. Angel