This week at co-op we learned about China again and reviewed our memory verses in preparation for our recording session next week! Ms. K brought some beautiful items to display from her time in China.
Ms. K then demonstrated a proper Chinese tea ceremony in which the children were very happy to participate!They were great sports and even though the tea was stronger and more bitter than they were accustomed to they were enthusiastic to learn.They followed the tea ceremony with a lesson on Chinese New Year and created a lantern book full of facts about China.
Ms. K also had a great pictograph lesson using the Chinese Zodiac. She had each grade 2 student say the year they were born then come and place the appropriate symbol on the graph. The kids immediately saw the utility of a graphic organizer for it’s ability to show information. After co-op we had our final day of sports camp. We were so thankful to finally have a sunny day!They played a version of capture the flag trying to capture soccer balls from the opposing team’s net and get them back to their own net. They loved it! And at the end of the day there was a certificate and freezies for everybody!!We love our co-op group and look forward to each week’s adventures. What is the highlight of your week?
Finally the Farmer’s Market is here and we are finishing up our products and labelling for the sale! From making and packaging our home-made granola,
Finally the day arrived with some light rain and occasional downpours. Our spirits were not dampened by the weather though as we were so excited to see it all come together after months of planning and creating! Throughout the year we have focussed on global poverty issues with our children and in partnership with Food for the Hungry, we are planning to donate 100% of our profits to support various FH projects around the world.
Almost as exciting as the market was the actual presentation of our funds at the FH office! We met the office staff and found out which countries FH is currently working in.
Ms. M had thoughtfuully created a shopping list with the kids using the FH gift catalogue and an interactive, sticker voting system. The children were able to present the funds we raised along with their choices of projects to support. Their top choices were building a school, and a surprising choice of latrines.(Perhaps not so surprising though if you look back at our lesson on the Ganges river in India, they were all appalled at the devastating health effects of poor sanitation!)
I am so proud of these kids and the way they have embraced their global community through learning and acts of service!
With a long weekend and warmer summer weather starting school is really winding down, however, we’re not really done yet so without further adieu here are the missing weeks since my last update in mid-may!
First, we went on a great impromptu field trip to the Honeybee Centre as we had run out of honey and wanted to source out some raw local honey to try. This turned out to be a very educational trip with hives to observe, books to look at and samples to try!
E has been embracing Language Arts this term with reading more complex novels, and a new-found love of writing, Hallelujah!!!! She and her cousin are now engaging in a regular pen pal exchange, she has a diary that is extremely PRIVATE and our house is filling up with little signs and cards that she makes every day.
In co-op this week we had a medieval market to teach the children a tiny bit about medieval Europe but also to prepare them for the Farmer’s Market sale they will be participating in shortly. We all dressed in prince, princess and pauper clothes and the kids started by reviewing Canadian money denominations by doing coin rubbings and working out some basic change calculations. (ie. “what are three different ways you can make $1?”)
After practising the money we set up our wares and designated shoppers and sellers.
Ms. M .made a great observation with the children that a sad or bored seller does not attract customers…
But a happy, enthusiastic seller does! She demonstrated how you can call out to customers and promote the items you are selling to increase business!
A few days later we had the pleasure of attending a birthday party for one of our co-op littles that was based on the book The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle.
The moms in our group are always amazing but this party really stood out as a fantastic holistic, community learning adventure! From the decor, to the food and the great activities my children were engaged and enthusiastic throughout!
We made multi-media caterpillars with printed outlines and tissue paper strips and glue,
butterflies with coffee filters, clothes pegs and food colouring,
and tiny hungry caterpillar food sculptures with clay. Then Ms. J read the story to the kids.
They loved every second of it!
What is the best birthday party you’ve ever been to?
I’m going to lump together 2 weeks of co-op so that we can get caught up again 🙂
Three weeks ago the children were introduced to the country of India. Sadly we were ill and had to stay home so if you want to see their first lesson here are the pics on our friend’s blog: Gathered In
Last week the children learned where India is on a map and some major features of the land and culture and various Indian traditions, such as the festival where they throw coloured powders on passer-bys and about the extent to which religion isin every aspect of Indian life. Ms. K wore a beautiful Sari and told the children about the spiritual and practical significance of the Ganges River complete with a great science lesson on water quality. She began by discussing the religious customs and the importance of the Ganges as a sacred river to the Hindu people. The children learned that Hindu people bury their loved ones by laying the bodies on a floating pallet and setting them on fire and letting them float down the Ganges river. Ms. K took clear water and then slowly added in other liquids and solids to represent what kinds of things are in the water of the river. She explained that India does not have sewage treatment and people use the river as a toilet. She also showed the industry and pollution that affects the river and finally she told the children that people bathe in and drink this water… ewwwww!
This week we finished our time in India. Sadly after 4 weeks of South Africa I would have loved to spend more time on India as well but the year is running out on us so this week we wrapped up as much as we could.
In co-op this week we talked briefly about South Africa again and the social inequality that exists there. To continue with our social justice/ global action project we set up our craft factory again to make felt accessories to sell.
After working hard to create headbands, broaches, bow-ties and super hero wristbands it was time for a break and the kids played some favourite games outside for recess.
After recess we came in to do a literature lesson on making predictions. I had left a note in our circle area and when we gathered I read it aloud to the kids. “Dear Co-op kids, I came by to deliver a special parcel from South Africa that looks very yummy, but since you weren’t here I hid it somewhere for you. Ms. C knows the hiding place and will answer your questions to give you clues and help you find it. Happy Hunting. Love the mailman.” Before they could look for the parcel I told them we needed to practise our detective skills and see if we could make predictions using our prior knowledge. I had stapled several paper lunch bags closed with common objects hidden inside and a simple clue about the object on the outside. Each bag was passed around and the children were able to examine it by shape, weight and the clue to try and figure out what was inside.
They wrote their predictions down in their journals then after passing the bag to each person we opened it up and revealed the item.
They loved the game and were so excited when I said that their detective skills seemed ready for the big parcel hunt. Apparently the “mailman” underestimated their sleuthing skill because one clue and approximately 3 seconds later they found a package of candy sent to us by our SA friends in a previous parcel!
So with a big candy finish that was our Monday at co-op!
This week we had another look at our littles in their play zone. They have so much fun together!
Then a wonderful surprise today with a special puppet theatre and loads of puppets! We continued our African literature study learning about various fables and the lessons that were being presented in them. The children then split into groups to do a puppet show that taught a lesson, using African animal puppets.
Some of us got very excited during the performance. 🙂
For recess today Ms. S and Ms. M took advantage of the dry weather and took the group to the park for playground time and snack.
Here’s an independent inquiry to do with your children: look up pictures of African villages. These little houses look very similar to the grass and stick roofed homes found in the more rural/ traditional African villages.
One thing we are really proud of is how our children are becoming encouragers. We have modelled walking around to gain inspiration from one another’s art work and pointing out the great thing that each child is doing. Today we heard so many encouraging comments and compliments that were unsolicited by us, and were so uplifting to the students.
For closing circle Ms. M had the kids review all their memory verses from the past months. It was great to see their joy and pride in singing all the verses and seeing that they had learned so many!
If I as an earthly parent am filled with joy at these moments, how much more is our father in heaven delighted by the love our children are developing for him!!