Thursday 11 April 2024

Clucking and Candling!

Tuesday was day 7 of our hatching journey!

We learned that on the 7th day of growth, the comb begins to grow and the egg tooth starts to appear. The egg tooth is a small, hard cap on the tip of the beak that allows the chick to peck out of the egg. Isn't God amazing?

Earlier this week Mrs. Junck brought in a hen and a rooster! We compared and contrasted hens and roosters, and then we learned more about the life cycle of a chicken. We were even able to gently pet the hen and rooster! It was like Old MacDonald's farm in here!

We candled a few of the eggs in our incubator. Candling shows us if the egg is developing into a chick. First we made our classroom very dark. Using a bright light, we were able to see if there was a developing chick inside the egg or not. Dark, shadowy egg? Chick! Bright, lit up egg? No chick. 

Can you see the dark spot on the lower half of the egg?
That is a developing chick!

We are learning about the miracle of life and have been exploring the life cycles. Ask your child to explain the life cycle of a chicken!

We are so excited for day 21 to arrive! That is when we will eagerly watch for our eggs to begin hatching! Until then, we will continue to pray for our little ones and marvel at the miracle of new life. God is so good!

Wednesday 3 April 2024

Our Egg-Citing Adventure!

Let the adventure begin!

This week we carefully placed 22 beautiful eggs into a warm, humid incubator. We can't keep a hen in our room, so the incubator acts as a mama hen, turning the eggs while keeping them warm and moist. Each day we monitor and record the temperature and humidity.

These eggs didn't come from the grocery store, they came from Mrs. Junck's family farm! Mrs. Junck is guiding our learning and hatching. Each Tuesday in April, we look forward to her visit!

We noticed that the eggs in our incubator are many beautiful colours. They don't all look the same. We cracked open a brown egg and a white egg from Mrs. Beliveau's fridge, and noticed they looked the same inside. Then we had a really powerful discussion about how WE all look different on the outside, but on the inside, we all have a heart, want to be loved, and are God's creations.

We are only a few days in and have already learned so much! Who knew a 22 eggs could be so exciting? This is sure to be a wonderful journey as we experience new life first hand!

Thursday 14 March 2024

Cookie's Mischievous Week!

This past week, we read the story Cookie's Week, all about a cat who causes mischief all over his house!

To practice our ability to retell important parts of a story, we made our own "Cookie" puppets! These puppets helped us practice retelling the main parts of this story. 

Then we jumped at the opportunity to write our own versions of this story! In our own stories about Cookie, we imagined this tricky kitty spent a week at St. Nicholas. What kinds of mischief did this little trickster get into?

We brainstormed places he could make a little trouble. 

Then, using sentences frames, we began writing and illustrating our own stories!

These stories will take several days of diligent writing and creative, careful illustrating. We hope to have them completed so you and your child can enjoy reading this story at our Student Led Interviews next week. 

We're having so much fun imagining the mischief Cookie would cause at our school! 

Monday 26 February 2024

One Hundred Days Smarter in Grade 1!

100 days of school is a big deal in Grade 1. A big part of our Math curriculum focuses on working with numbers to 100, so celebrating 100 is an opportunity to tie in several Math activities, as well as some Language Arts tasks and even the perfect Religion lesson.

After a week at
Zoo School, we kept our celebration a little more low key. We took part in four centers:

(a) We hunted for numbers up and down the hallway, colouring them in on a 100s chart to reveal a mystery message!

(b) We played a partner dice game, roll to 100

(c) Using our building skills, we made creations out of 100 cups... 

...and built 100 piece puzzles!

(d) We also relaxed with a 100 day count and colour challenge

We brought in collections of one hundred items. Isn't it interesting how different 100 can look?

To bring our special day to a close, we heard the story from the bible about the lost sheep. We looked at 100 cotton balls, thinking of them as 100 little sheep, and wondered Would God worry if one little sheep went missing? Wouldn't having 99 sheep be enough? No! If we stray from God, He worries and looks for us. He always welcomes the lost little sheep back. 

Happy 100th Day, kiddos! Be proud of all your learning and hard work!

Friday 23 February 2024

Our Zoo School Adventures!

What an INCREDIBLE week of learning! We had demonstrations, up-close animal encounters, behind the scenes tours, and so much more! Come see our adventures!


We arrived at our zoo classroom and kicked off our week with daily animal observations. Students broke into in small groups to sketch, label and observe the lynx, gibbon, meerkats, lemurs and seals!

We learned about why the zoo trains animals to learn behaviours. We observed Hula the harbor seal and saw some of her trained skills. Her keepers even trained Hula to have her teeth brushed and receive eye drops!

After lunch, mystery animal artifacts got our brains thinking! There was lots of wondering, discussing, observing and sketching. We saw a wallaby fur, an owl wing, a replica of an elephant tooth, a beaver tail, a python snake pelt, and shoes made of sea turtle. 
Before heading home, we squeezed in a visit with Zuri, the sand boa! Her senses and adaptations are fascinating, and we adored meeting this non-venomous little constrictor!

Off the bus and straight to feeding the river otters, Bow and Steve! We learned why we don't interact with or feed animals in the wild, as humans are river otters #1 predator. 

We visited the commissary. This kitchen feeds all the animals at the zoo! We learned about carnivores, herbivores, omnivores, insectivores, and frugivores. We were excited to see the foods the zoo uses to feed the animals, peek at the animals' menus, and examine the meat cart and insect room!

We met a beautiful royal ball python named Sid, a beautiful reptile who is 4 feet long! 

And finished our day with our small group animal observations!

We made MANY miles today all over the zoo and made lasting memories!


We learned a new word today, "conservation", which means learning about animals and their needs and then finding ways to care for them. We talked about how our choices can help animals flourish or how they can be hurtful. We looked at several animal artifacts and had to decide if having the artifact HELPS or HINDERS animals. 

We saw a conch shell, coral, tagua nuts (ivory alternative), a seal painting, and paper made of elephant poop. 

Elephant poop was an animal artifact we can have that does not hinder the animal, and we were elated to get our hands on it!

We were thrilled to observe lemur training:

We crossed paths with Lucy, the Asian elephant. Being 48 years old, Lucy is fully retired and is not out on exhibit for public viewing. She does go for walks to exercise and we were lucky enough to catch her special stroll!

We took a peek at a sleepy little bearded dragon, Pumpkin, and made comparisons to yesterday's python, Sid!
Groups swapped animals to observe, sketch, and describe today! 
It was a beautiful, sunny day of learning!


Our last day was fabulous!

We got busy journaling, writing little comics about our observation animals:

We met two animals with incredible senses and adaptations, Kevin the Western hognose snake and Chutter the burrowing owl. 
We learned about enrichments. Enrichments stimulate the animals' senses,  challenge them to problem solve, and add to their quality of life. Then we enjoyed watching rabbits in the Urban Farm received their enrichment:
Zoo School was truly amazing, and we came home absolutely exhausted every day! Yes, all of the walking was tiring and we also got a tonne of fresh air, but a huge part of WHY we were so tuckered was because of HOW we learned. We explored, wondered, compared, observed, problem solved, predicted, and learned so very much. 

As we prepare to return to our classroom, we are so thankful for the opportunity we had to learn at Zoo School. Thank you to all of the adult helpers to supported our week, the incredible zoo staff, and our students, who rose to the challenge each and every day!

Wednesday 14 February 2024

Our Lenten Journey has Begun

This past Tuesday was Shrove Tuesday, a day of feasting and fun! On this day, we traditionally use up the rich foods in their fridge that are often not encouraged to be eaten during Lent, such as milk, eggs and butter. Add a little flour, and you have pancakes!

Deacon Lynn from OLPH Parish even popped in for a little visit to help us understand Shrove Tuesday, Ash Wednesday and Lent:

This was our prayer table earlier this week, before Lent began:

This is our prayer table, now that it is Lent:

Why the change? Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the Lenten season. Lent is a time when we look at ourselves and try and see what can change and improve so that we can be more like Jesus. We take more time to pray, to ask forgiveness of our sins, and to share with others. For forty days we prepare for the new life of Easter.

Our Lenten wreath is brown and bare, symbolizing the desert where Jesus prayed for 40 days and also the crown of thorns. Can your child explain the symbols pictured on our wreath (purple ribbon, burlap cloth with a cross)? As we journey through Lent, we will add more symbols to help us better understand this liturgical season.

We participated in Ash Wednesday mass with Father Mario at OLPH Church. We all received ashes on our foreheads to remind us of Jesus' sacrifice for us. 

Lent is a time of change; a change of mind and heart. May the 40 days of Lent help us prepare for the joy of Easter. 

Thursday 1 February 2024

Learning Through Play!

Learning is often disguised as play in our classroom. What better way to engage and involve our kids, all while having fun?

As we are introduced to 5 new words each week, the words are placed on our Word Wall, which is front and center in our classroom!

We play engaging games to practice our words! Have a look at this week's fun!

Head Hunters
Each student stuck a sword to their noggin'. Everyone received a chart with all of the classmates' names. Then off they went, reading and recording the words stuck to their friends' heads!

Roll and Read
Find a buddy and roll the dice! Read any word from the row you rolled!

Shaving Cream

Always a hit! Spread it on our desk and get spelling! Bonus? Our desks smell fresh!


Wordo is like bingo! Students fill a blank 3x3 grid with our words. Then, using a spinner with our words, words are drawn! If one of their words is selected, they trace over it with a crayon. If a word is selected that they don't have, they print it outside the grid. Lots of opportunity for practice (and fun)!

The idea behind our weekly words is to encourage the students to interact with foundational words in an engaging way...and doesn't this look engaging?