January Swing (7-21, 2013)

Co-op this week was another look at French traditions and more creative fundraising for global poverty initiatives.

First off in our scripture circle time, the children started off with repeating the song from Isa. 54:10 and came up with some action ideas then divided into 4 groups where they practiced a mini play to show the others how to show compassion to others in our life.

Ms M taught the children how to make Jacob’s Ladder toys and then Ms M & Ms S turned the room into a factory giving the children specific roles at designated stations and thereby demonstrating the actual realities of mass production and the global economy. After snack we started our work in the production line for our Jacob’s ladders. The word that Ms S. pointed out was precision. At each table the children were reminded that precision in each task was important for the ladders to be working properly. There was a measuring, cutting, gluing, and sticking table and numerous helpers that made deliveries from one table to the other.

We ‘worked’ until the kids were tired at 12pm. Our ‘sweat shop’ was humane and actually enjoyable but it will set a foundation of understanding for child labour and poor working conditions in the developing world and hopefully helped to foster the compassion for those children that we want to encourage in our children. We talked about money in France and learned about Euros versus Canadian dollars. As an extension activity the kids drew some Euros  and visited a store to ‘buy’ a Jacob’s Ladder using the french they had learned earlier(greeting, colours and numbers). The coins they made had to add up to 5 Euros. Finally Ms. S read a story about a cat that walked through France, revisiting several facts that the kids had heard from that country before.

In Math E worked on creating bar graphs of the survey data that she had collected last week. She learned how to set up the graph, display the necessary information and make the graph easy to understand. She also saw how much more effective our 2 variable question was in a graph versus the open-ended questions that had a large variety of responses.IMG_8302

We had swimming lessons on Tuesday and Thursday, and piano lesson on Thursday then wrapped up our week with a trip to the Aquarium on Friday. It was a great science outing with a presentation on Bioluminescence. E really enjoyed the demonstrations and discussion of bioluminescence, electric light, incandescent light and fluorescing light.

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Next we were able to attend another presentation about the realities and myths about sharks versus humans. The presenter started off with common assumptions about sharks ie, they are faster, they attack/ kill many humans each year, and they are bigger than humans. Then working co-operatively with a diver in the shark exhibit, the presenter refuted each of those claims and showed us that people generally move faster than sharks (in boats), in general we are 2x as big (average shark is less than 1m long), and current numbers show 100 MILLION sharks are killed each year by humans!! Conclusion: sharks have far more to fear from humans than humans have to fear from sharks.

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Last we went to the 4D show on the Salmon run and learned what an important role these fish play in our ecosystem. The film showed the complete life cycle of the salmon and the importance their spawning run plays in the life cycle of other creatures like bears and eagles.

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And an exciting feature of this trip to the aquarium was a QR code scavenger hunt where the kids searched each exhibit for the QR code symbol then answered the questions or found different items in the display. It was a great interactive feature and engaged the children’s interest in a new way.

We also enjoyed the new penguin exhibit and the kids are excited to make a weekend trip to Cape Town when we go to SA to see the African penguins that we learned about!

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Independent reading this week E has logged: Silent Kay & the Dragon (Larry Dane Brimner), How to Drive Your Sister Crazy (Diane Z. Shore) and E is working her way through Tintin; Destination Moon independently as well. She usually reads about 5 or so pages in a sitting but is really chugging along with it and only has trouble with the cursive writing in some of the insets.

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