Tuesday, 21 March 2023

The CROSS: A Symbol of Love

We are exploring the Easter Story and have focused on a very important symbol in our faith; the cross. Jesus suffered and died on the cross for each one of us. The cross is a powerful symbol that reminds us how much God loves us.

We created beautiful burned matchstick crosses. Don't worry, the matches we worked with were already lit, cooled and very safe to touch.We patiently helped one another count out matches, glue, and check and re-check the intricate pattern. This took lots of patience and perseverance!

After they dried, we were able to cut them out. 

The symbol of the cross reminds us of Jesus' everlasting, infinite love for us! 

Wednesday, 15 March 2023

Celebrating our Differences

God made us all different! He made us with love and intention, and He doesn't make mistakes! 

We shared the book It's Ok To Be Different by Todd Parr. His creative illustrations and inclusive messages made us all feel accepted and loved. We are all special!

We seized this opportunity to celebrate our uniqueness by making our own posters! What makes us different?

Our art and writing will be on display for the next week, so please come by during your interview night and enjoy our hard work. 

(a) I have freckles. (b) I am good at art. 

Not only is it ok to be different, but it is AWESOME!

Wednesday, 8 March 2023

Retelling a Story

Today we were introduced to the parts of a story! 

We made our own beaded story retell bracelets to help cue us to each part of the story. Each colour reminds us of a different part of the story. 

Then we listened to The Gingerbread Boy, and used our anchor chart and bracelets to figure out the parts of the story together. 

We'll be using our bracelets as we read many books together. We'll be working hard to identify the beginning (characters, setting, and problem), middle, and end of each story. We're going to have so much fun!

Wednesday, 22 February 2023

Beginning Our Lenten Journey

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!

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 Jim 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. 

Friday, 17 February 2023

100 Days Smarter!

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 many Language Arts tasks and even the perfect Religion lesson.

We worked over several days to write 100 words:

We made fabulous runway-worthy party hats! There were 10 strips of paper, and we counted 10 polka dots on each. Boom, 100 dots!

The boys and girls practiced and read a 100 word poem to several classes:

We brought in collections of one hundred items:
Isn't it interesting how different 100 items can look? Some bags are so full, and others have much less. 

Hidden down the hall were many numbers. The students were challenged to find and colour them in on a 100's chart to find a secret message:
We challenged ourselves with many numeracy games!

We were SO EXCITED to meet our Grade 3/4 buddies in the library for a celebration with board and card games!

To bring our special day to a close, we settled ourselves and 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 100 Day, boys and girls! Be proud of your hard work!

Wednesday, 1 February 2023

Warm in the Winter

Our current Science focus is on seasonal changes in Winter, and today we were exploring how some animals survive the cold. 

Do you think it is warmer under the snow or on top?

This generated an enormous amount of really thoughtful discussion and the students were asked to predict where it is warmer. 

The experiment was simple: bury one thermometer in a snowbank, and leave the other sitting on top of the snow. To protect the thermometers, each was encased in a cookie box.  (Honorable mention to the Beliveau family for eating so many cookies).

Off we went to set up the experiment! Students watched from indoors as Mrs. Beliveau buried one box/thermometer and set the other on the snow. 

We headed back to class and were very busy all morning!

After lunch, we hustled back to check on our experiment. 

Mrs. Beliveau checked the box sitting on top of the snow. 
The thermometer read -22 degrees C. Then Mrs. Beliveau dug out the buried box. The thermometer read -18 degrees C. It was warmer under the snow!

Many animals have a better chance of surviving the cold winter when there is a lot of snow. This snow acts like a blanket. It traps heat from the earth, as well as an animal's body heat when an animal burrows deep. Turns out that winters with little snow are harder for plants and animals to survive!

Friday, 27 January 2023

Wilderness Adventures: First Families & Snowshoeing

On Friday, we spent the day at the beautiful Strathcona Wilderness Centre

Our morning kicked off with the Indigenous First Families program, led by Nadine. We explored how families used to live a long time ago. We learned so much about the Inuit people of the Arctic, the Plains First Nations, and the Woodlands First Nations of Eastern Canada. 

Nadine began by explaining why the first families in Canada thrived. There were no stores like Costco, so these people were excellent hunters. They lived in community, supporting each other in many ways, such as sharing food and child care. The children had chores and responsibilities that helped their families survive, too. While they didn't attend school, children learned from elders how to hunt, make clothing, cook, and so much more. 

The Inuit

The Inuit lived in the north, often in igloos. Nadine shared many fascinating items with us from the Inuit people. We touched a ring seal fur. Fur from ring seals was used to make clothing and "kamiks", or shoes. One student tried on a cozy seal fur parka, which is very warm, as well as caribou kamiks! He gave snow goggles a try, too, which are wooden glasses with thin slits that protect the eyes from the sun's glare off the snow. 

The Plains First Nations

The people of the plains would follow the buffalo and hunt them. They often lived in tipis, which could be quickly and easily set up, taken down, and transported. 

Nadine shared that the Plains First Nations were known for their love of celebrations, or "powwows". She showed us an elaborate fan that the women would use, and when it waved it sounded as though birds were flapping overhead! She dressed up one of our students in some traditional celebratory clothing. She wore a bone and bead choker, beaded moose moccasins, a breast plate (often used as chest protection during battle), and a moose skin wrap. We saw a replica headdress. Traditionally it is made of eagle feathers (although this one was not), and each eagle feather on a headdress represents a brave or kind deed. 

The Woodland First Nations

The Woodland First Nations lived in the forests of eastern Canada around the Great Lakes. They were amazing hunters. Nadine shared a variety of beautiful furs with us. 

The Woodland First Nations lived near many lakes, and made canoes from the bark of birch trees so they could travel through the water. 

After hearing so many interesting facts and seeing the amazing collection of artifacts, it was time to touch them ourselves! The students most enjoyed feeling the silky furs and pelts!

Then the students were challenged to get creative! Using paper, feathers, and markers, the children got to work designing their own fans. They were encouraged to draw scenes from nature, and many drew rainbows, flowers, animals and more!

Perhaps the highlight of the morning was learning several of the games the children would have played. While they were simple, with few rules or game pieces, they were challenging and fun for everyone!  

After a quick lunch, we jumped into snowshoeing! We learned that Snowshoe Hares have wide feet that snowshoes are designed after. 

Then we snapped up our own snow shoes and headed out! We played relays, tag games, and Simon Says, and then headed out on a walk in search of signs of animals. 

It was a beautiful day of learning!