Well co-op is getting so full it requires it’s own post, so if’ I can keep up I will be posting twice a week whenever we have co-op! Henceforth this section will be categorized as the week in review!
Our week was pleasantly motivated this week by our portfolio meeting with our support teacher scheduled for Friday morning. This meant we had a very productive time of seatwork with E completing the last pages of her Australian animals unit, a small unit on measurement and one final set of mapping skills sheets.
We focussed on putting the organic learning that we experience all the time down on paper and I was so happy that despite a small amount of grumbling E actually showed great focus and commitment to the process!
Monday was a beautiful day so after we finished co-op we picked up our boys and headed for a wetlands area to try out new binoculars and birdwatching! E really enjoyed using the binoculars and spotted several ducks and small birds. We also practised using our eyes to look for signs and spring.
Along our walk, we found some great plaques that provided information on the different animals in this habitat. This one in particular included a First Nations story about the Beaver and it’s role in the world.
Tuesday we had a productive kitchen table morning then headed out for some more animal science with friends. We visited a man called The Reptile Guy and had an amazing tour of his reptile rescue/ rehab facility. We had a chance to get VERY up close and personal with the animals and E surprised me by being not only brave but actually enjoying some of the creepiest critters on the planet!!!
YIKES! It was great fun though and we learned so much about problems with pet stores not properly informing consumers about growth and habitat requirements as well as the widespread problems of illegally releasing red-sided turtles into local ponds and their devastating impact on our local painted turtle population! Mike, AKA the reptile guy was so passionate about these animals and desperately seeks to inform people of the necessity of giving these animals proper homes and what to do with them if they can no longer care for them.
This outing provided a great opportunity to discuss with E the problems around pet stores and people making impulsive choices and then being unprepared to live with the consequences. (ie: 2 of the 3 little snakes that are wrapped around her hands can eventually become the size of the one wrapped around her shoulders. It’s important when people see them in the pet store and decide to buy them that they have a long term plan in mind.)
Wednesday we worked on our measurement and E and I talked about the need for different units of measurement. I played a Q&A game with her to ask which unit of measurement would she use to measure a doll, the room, the distance to Grandma’s house? Then changed my questions to “name something you would measure in centimetres”, “name something you would measure in metres”, “name something you would measure in kilometres”. After a little while of playing she seemed to have a good grasp of the subject but we will be spending a bit more time reviewing it this month.
Thursday we had a funny incident where I prepared everything for our teacher to visit and then when he was a half an hour overdue with no phone call, reviewed my email and realized I had the date wrong! This turned out to be a blessing as we now felt fairly organized and had a little bit of grace time to finish up a few things.
Finally Friday arrived, the meeting went beautifully and E was relatively confident reciting her poetry and showing her work to Mr. V.
The pressure was suddenly off and it was another sunny day so as soon as everyone could be rounded up we packed up our car and binoculars and explored a Great Blue Heron reserve. It was a lovely facility with a fantastic interpretive centre with helpful volunteers, well marked walking trails and most amazingly a colony of nesting Herons! We saw a cluster of about 20 nests and Herons flying to and fro between the water and the nests. What a neat experience to see them in their natural habitat and have such a good view of their nesting behaviour!
We found some tracks along the path to the river and examined them to see what information we could take from them. E was able to identify both sets of tracks, dog and horse, and show which direction the horses had been going at that spot.