Week Thirty Four: Math Mavens and Science Sisters

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As you might guess from the title of this week's blog, there was a lot of math and science learning that went on this week. The girls began to create a collaborative "imaginary garden" in the classroom. They also worked on magnet mazes / pathways to display at the Math Mavens and Science Sisters community event and open house. The girls were lucky to have Beth (who teaches grade 8) come and do a science lesson in the middle of the week and show us an experiment that she had conducted to teach us more about plants. Beth even took the class to the science lab! Like many, this week was capped off with a walk through the lush ravine on a beautiful day. Enjoy our learning journey!

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S experiments with how she is able to move the magnet along the pathway using the magnetic wand. She has no problem keeping the magnet on the line.

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M designs her own maze that even comes with a story. The goal is to get the magnet through the maze without falling into the "shark-filled water".

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One of our Writer's Workshops this week was devoted to reflecting on Junior Drama Night. M has so much to say about the experience that she needed to staple on an extra sheet to make more space for her words.

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The girls are excited to have their "Early Learners only recess" back after many weeks of using it to practice for Drama Night. G and S have organized a wedding and have invited all of their classmates to be there for the big day. There will be an officiant, different activities, and music too!

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Z spends time at the Communication Centre preparing the class's Sight Word BINGO game. She matches up the sight word cards to the tracking paper to make sure we have all of them. This is great practice for recognizing and reading each word.

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As K continues to add materials to the Light Table, she is required to adjust the materials that are already on the table. The backlit materials are quite mesmerizing.

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S and G have started working on our collaborative Imaginary Garden. They have each created a list of things that they believe should be included in the garden. Both girls are now making pieces for the garden (flowers, bricks, etc.).

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Z is playing "Connect Four" with S and G. She rolls two dice, adds up the amounts on each side, and finds that sum on the game board. The goal of the game is to have four sums covered in a row.

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M and K are playing together. You can see that both girls have a few sums covered, and are working toward getting four in a row!

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The girls are creating lots of magnet mazes for Math Mavens and Science Sisters. They have found that spreading out on the floor makes things easier for working.

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K is concentrating hard on reading using both the pictures and familiar words/phrases. Robert Munsch books are some of her favourites to read over and over again at school.

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G is almost done her maze. The pathways are clearly visible so the player knows where to travel with the magnet, she has included some dead ends, and the start and finish points are visibly marked with stickers. A job well done!

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M attaches some of her plans for the Imaginary Garden to the wall that it is going up on. She explains that she wants there to be flowers in front of some bricks, as well as outside of Linden. Next step - creating flowers to "plant".

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The Early Learners are spending time in the Science Lab today with Beth to learn more about how plants get their energy and why leaves are green. They are careful to only touch things that they have been invited to touch/use, and they are eager to ask questions about the experiment. 

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G peers in the beaker of green liquid. Beth explained to the girls that she added a leaf into clear (rubbing) alcohol and put it on a hot plate to heat up. After about an hour, the liquid had turned from clear to green (because of the chlorophyll in the leaf). G exclaims that "it smells bad" after a quick sniff. 

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Z and G incorporate our background setting prop from Junior Drama Night into their play at the Drama Centre. Z is a princess and G is a camel.

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G reads out the schedule of the day to her classmates. They are being very good listeners, with their bodies facing the speaker, their mouthes quiet, and their hands still. Way to go!

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In preparation for today's Pride all-school activity, Ellen reads the girls a book about Pride called "M is for Moustache" and teachers them about the acronym LGBTQ. After a few tries, they are able to remember most of the letters (and some of the longer words that the acronym stands for). 

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S reads some new books to take home this week. After a few months of hard work, she is making great progress identifying high frequency words, and using her sounds or the pictures to help her figure out unfamiliar words.

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M tells me she is at work, just texting someone to remind them about something. (Thank goodness these are only play phones).

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Z is right into the stations at the Math Mavens and Science Sisters event. She remembers doing this science experiment during our water inquiry and is excited about trying it again.

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G and G spend time working on designing and creating butterflies for our Imaginary Garden in the Nature Centre. Without any prompting they add designs onto the butterflies' wings and make them symmetrical. G adds on antennas to make them look even more realistic.

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S also creates a symmetrical butterfly at the Art Centre, telling me that she is going to put dots and hearts on both sides.

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We decided to visit the beautiful, ginormous bridge on our ravine walk this week. The girls are enjoying a granola bar as we take a break before climbing back up. When asked "what shapes do you see in this bridge?" M responds with "zigzags" and S responds with "triangles". 

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The Early Learners walk slowly down the side of the staircase, focusing on steady feet and staying balanced. They all use the railing for support. M notices that there are small bugs crawling on the underside of the railing, and wonders why they're there. A few other girls make guesses about what type of bug they might be. Lots of theories and ideas come into conversation.

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S teaches the girls about her new way of drinking from the water fountain that doesn't involve standing on tippy-toes to reach the spout. M waits patiently to test it out.

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The girls exam the stump of a freshly cut down tree. We discuss that the rings on a stump can help us learn how old the tree was when it was cut down. The girls work together to try to count all of the rings and come to the conclusion that the tree was 29 years old.