Since November students have been meeting every Monday at the Cottage to develop their reading strategies. Students have been practicing their phonemic and phonological awareness and letter formation by reading texts together, playing computer/board games, and writing responses.
We had a fantastic day at Trout Lake this month. Frequent Windsor House collaborator “Tin Can Studio”, a mobile art studio, rolled up and did some fun activities with the students such as binocular building, nature sketching, pastel work and painting. We were able to explore the lake, play in the ice, have a few games of Fox Tail and Rainbow Tag, as well as make some beautiful art pieces.
Following our regular high school science and art programming, from 2:30 to 5:00 pm on Thursdays we do OPEN ART CLASS – everyone is invited!!
This day we were working with big bold black and white abstracts…working with additive (black) and subtractive (white) elements, exploring line, shape, contrast and space. Last week in the Open Art Class we started drawing the figure. We have plans to do dark room photography, sculpture, printing and screen printing and textiles – all are welcome to join us at the “maker space” and carve out a space to do what you love in art!
Fridays is a day to do some intermediate academics (math, science, writing) mixed with lots of games in the big open space at a Hall. Our students are developing characters and plots for our stories (writing and drawing), doing mental math through bingo questions and puzzles, and investigating forensic science techniques to include in our stories.
In between work times we play all kinds of games in the big hall space, including rainbow tag, octopus tag, sprout, and dr. dodgeball.
It was so great to have Holly and the TES bus to give students a ride to the top of Mountain Highway where we met to begin our exploration of a short portion of the Baden Powell Trail.
We watched for the BP markings on the trees to make sure we stayed on the right trail. The day was beautiful and warm with no rain. We enjoyed some rounds of “Raven Spy” as we stopped for our snack break and further along the trail, fun was had exploring the creek and walking across the creek on a log.
We found some mussel shells in the creek so we made up a story of how they might have gotten there. We rented the BC Mills House for part of the day where we explored the photos and artifacts from the logging that took place along Lynn Creek, drew pictures, painted with water colours and enjoyed the warm cozy feeling of an indoor space in the park.
We were joined by the Coywolves group near the end of the day for some games on the wet muddy field while we waited for the bus to take everyone home.
Visiting the chickens at the farm in South Vancouver is always a great fall activity. Students explore the outdoors and can also retreat to the farm buildings, such as these two having fun riding a saddle in the hay loft building, which is a cozy place where students can retreat to play, read, study, or hang upside down from the climbing wall. There are was also a beautiful horse in the riding ring.
One of the people who trained me as a cabinet maker once told me that everything is a variation of the box. We have built a lot of boxes, the newest being the one piece bandsaw box. But – not everything is a box. Several students have been pursuing an outdoor theme and building fish lures and more. There has also been marquetry and scroll saw work, crane building, jewelry and chainmail making, computer drafting, and 3-D printing. We are in the early stages of an electronics and robotics unit.
October has been very wet, which has made for some amazing discoveries and out of the box thinking on the part of the Forest students. The students learned about crayfish when we found one on the forest floor, and tried to identify some mystery eggs found on a log and a mystery nest found in a tree. They made fishing rods and practiced their casting as well as played a “Guess Which Animal I Am” game. In doing this, students are learning the “names of local plants and animals,” the “behavioural adaptations of animals in the local environment,” as well as the “classification of living and non-living things.”
We’ve been busy creating an autumn atmosphere at the Cottage. Incorporating fabric, construction paper, pipe cleaners and art supplies, we crafted decorative pumpkins and squash. This activity included numeracy skills such as counting and patterning.
We’ve also been doing a bit of sewing lately, making little bags using beginning hand sewing techniques.
Easing into the new school year, we experienced a great day on Friday. We started out with our morning meeting and created our version of a “Kanban” to help plan things out. There was lots of BMR (Big Muscle Room – our indoor physical activity space) time, reading, Playmobil circus, Lego, games, puppet shows and a special science activity.
Incorporating science into age-appropriate play, we made some Oobleck, which is a suspension of cornstarch and water that can behave like a solid or a liquid depending on how much pressure is applied to it. When you grab some in your hand, it will form a solid ball in your palm just until you release the pressure, then it will flow out between your fingers. Materials that behave this way are classified as non-Newtonian liquids because their flow properties are not described by a constant viscosity. The name Oobleck comes from the 1949 children’s book Bartholomew and the Oobleck by Dr. Seuss. In the story a sticky liquid falls from the sky as a result of the king becoming bored with normal weather.