Weeks Eight and Nine: Pumpkins, Gourds, and Halloween

Posted by Savannah Barker on November 05, 2018 at 1:19 PM


The past couple of weeks in the Early Learning class have been some of the busiest we’ve had all year. The changing leaves inspired the past two Outdoor Education classes in the ravine. The girls’ artwork in the classroom was inspired by the colourful gourds and pumpkins. The Early Learners also worked as mathematicians as they measured circumference (“how many around?”) and height (“how tall?”) of both small and large pumpkins, as well as estimating and then counting the amount of seeds in both pumpkins. They all got their hands dirty the day before Halloween when we opened up and carved both pumpkins – one with a scary face, and the other as a unicorn. The Halloween excitement permeated the school this past week and it was very fun to see many of the Linden students in costumes on Wednesday. We also welcomed November toward the end of the week and are excited to see what it holds for the girls. Enjoy two weeks’ worth of photos this blog.


N and A use watercolour paints to represent ravine scenes in their sketchbooks.


N constructs a school for the animals using the magnatilesH. She builds the main room first, then uses the smaller squares to build each room after that, developing her spatial abilities.


A works on building a stage that is just large enough for her to stand on. She checks the stage for size and determines that it’s perfectly sized.


N practices printing the letter that makes the sound /o/ during this morning’s phonics lesson. She decides that this letter is a pretty easy one to form.


A proudly shows off her understanding of “more”, “same”, and “less” during a group math lesson. Each girl had a turn putting a mystery amount in the centre of the table, and the other girls had to create representations for “more”, “same”, and “less” of the mystery amount.


A works on cutting out the shape that she has carefully traced to make her turtle shell in CERES. A has learned to add curved tabs to each side of the shape to help with attaching the shapes together.


AB shows AK how she has been drawing Big Turtle at the Discovery Centre. Last week AK worked on a representation of Big Turtle, and AK is impressed by all of the detail that AB has included in her work today.


A “sword fights” with Z (grade 2) and A (grade 1) during morning recess. The three rules that everyone has agreed on for this game are: (1) eyes on the other players, (2) only sword fighting when you can see that the other person is looking at you, and (3) not being too forceful in your swings. The girls are all enjoying the new motor control and challenges that this game has for them.


O is working on answering the question “how many around?” at the Math Centre. She has chosen to use the colourful bears as her non-standard measurement unit, and carefully joins them around the circumference of the pumpkin.


N is busy at the mayor’s office this morning. She spends a lot of time making calls to her classmates, while also running a part-time library out of her office.


A presents her finished Big Turtle to her classmates. They are impressed that she was able to get the whole drawing done during one Learning Centres time, but also commented on the spots that she decided to include on the turtle’s back.


O paints pictures of the gourds at the Art and Light Centre this morning. After deciding which gourd she wants to represent, O traces the gourd then picks the appropriate paints to use for her work.


A sets up a ballot for the mayor at the Drama Centre. She has added each individual who is running for mayor to the ballot and proceeds to invite her peers to vote. Despite some of the girls voting a few different times, A announces that the new mayor will be Twello, her dog. Congratulations Twello!


French Friday is made even more exciting because the grade 4 to 6 beginner strings class is visiting to play Mary Had a Little Lamb. The older girls have been working hard on mastering this song on their instruments, and the youngers girls are excited to see them play.


N has the girls lining up at the Drama Centre for the vote/survey that she has set up.


A paints one of the gourds during morning centres time. I love the way she has painted the gourd to take up the whole page.


A discovers linden tree leaves on our walk to the ravine this afternoon, and then we notice that there’s a linden tree right by the park. The Early Learners collect a number of fallen leaves and A chooses to line them up from smallest to largest.


We are back to school after the weekend and it is Halloween week. A works on using the math blocks to help her answer the question “how tall?”.


Inspired by some of the leaves she brought back to the classroom after our ravine walk on Friday, O sketches her own rainbow leaf for display in the classroom.


This morning we are painting pumpkins with our grade 6 reading buddies as a fun fall activity.


AK and AB are working together on the big pumpkin to remove all of the seeds and gunk so that we are able to carve it. They are surprised by how slimy and slippery the pumpkin insides are.


O works slowly to draw an x-shaped nose onto the unicorn pumpkin face.


AB uses a carving tool to carefully carve out the mouth of the pumpkin, which AK has drawn for her.


A, also known as Dino Dana today, reads out the matching words and pictures. This week’s words are all from the –at word family.


Gecko (or N in disguise) works on her word sort as well, getting close to matching all of the words with pictures.


Happy Halloween from the Early Learners and the Grade 1-2s!


November 1st means that it is time for a new classroom calendar. A was very excited to volunteer to be in charge of making the calendar today, and she got started right away without needing much guidance. Stay tuned for the finished product.


Last week each girl estimated how many seeds she thought were in the small pumpkin, and how many seeds were in the large pumpkin. Guesses ranged from three to one-thousand. N and O use hundreds charts to count the dried pumpkin seeds from the small pumpkin. They are surprised that it has more than 200 seeds.


A does a happy dance when she hits 100 on the hundreds chart. The big pumpkin sure does have a lot of seeds!


N builds a connecting school and condo tower. This future architect / city planner has big dreams for Toronto communities with this mid-rise condo building.


O adds on the finishing touches to her CN Tower school at the Math Centre.


A shares her beautiful morning “project” with me before she erases it as we begin our day together.