art and teaching


April 2014

Outdoor Education – Evidence & Investigation

Students were given bio-facts to start creating their own field guide.
Students were given bio-facts to start creating their own field guide.
The historic Colonel Walker House!
The historic Colonel Walker House!
ibsapr (7)
Evidence of a Red-Tailed Hawk!
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Many discoveries of bones from small creatures!
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Listening for evidence
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Clear evidence of a flood


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Using our senses to look for clues!

This week, our class took a bus out of the suburbs and into the heart of our vibrant city!   We were so fortunate that the snow hadn’t come as was predicted, and we had a gorgeous day of Outdoor exploration and discovery at the Inglewood Bird Sanctuary.   We discussed the different senses we would use to “look” for clues that animals were around us.   We sat by the Bow River for awhile in complete silence.  Just listening .  It was beautiful.  The students were serene and peaceful, and took notes on all of the amazing sounds of nature.   Afterwards, we played a game with smells – without speaking students had to smell various canisters and try to find their “family” (those that had the same scents) – it was a really exciting game, and so many of the kids managed to find each other.

The best part about being outdoors is the time for exploration and discovery!   Students walked around looking for evidence of animals.   Due to the flooding in Calgary last Spring, the sanctuary is still mostly closed off.   We had a very limited area to explore, but that didn’t stop my class from finding a wide array of evidence!   Bones, scat, feathers, burrows, coyote dens, and even a small squirrel’s skull!   Needless to say the kids were stoked.

After our day of exploring, and while waiting for our bus to arrive the kids got some unstructured play time.   During recess my class had created a game they affectionately call “infection” or “disease”.   My understanding is, is that its somewhat like tag, but once you’re tagged you’re amongst the mob of it people.   The goal of the game is to eliminate all the non-infected people by tagging them.   Its rather entertaining to see the whole class just get really interested in it, and play co-operativel, and positively.

Being outside was such a wonderful experience, so many of the kids who don’t get out much really enjoyed, and for the smaller group of students who are already outdoor enthusiasts, it was a great time for them to share their love and understanding of our world with their peers.

Photography and Math

Last week in Math, we were learning about shapes and angles!   Students were exploring angles around us in our classroom, and in our lives.   Then applied this knowledge to understanding the interior angle of shapes.   We concluded that because a triangle is like half of a square that if a square is 360 degrees, a triangle’s angle measurements should be half of that, 180 degrees!

After some use of the protractor, we did a photography project relating to angles!   We talked about how different movements of our camera can make a different angle in relation to the ground – some students even were able to make some fairly good estimates of what the actual angle was.   For example, having your body on the ground with your camera on the ground and taking a picture of the object on the ground = 180 degree angle!

Students had to choose ONE object and take as many different angles of the object that they could.  The result, some interesting perspectives on ordinary objects!


The display outside our classroom with our photo collages!





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