Thursday, June 19, 2014

What Happens When....

...the eggs don't hatch!

Our classroom of grade two students, were very excited when their teachers introduced the idea of learning about the life cycle of a chicken. Their class would watch and care for eggs that would be in the incubator, those eggs would hatch and they would have baby chicks in their classroom. And so, the inquiry began!

The teachers rented an incubator, bought fertilized eggs and waited for the eggs to hatch. All of the students could hardly contain their excitement. It turned out to be a school wide event. Everyone was counting down the days for the big hatch! We even had a team of staff members that came into the school on weekends to turn the eggs over twice a day.

Students started researching, asking questions and wondering about the life cycle. Their teachers gathered books, read stories, explored other life cycles and compared them. This group of grade two students were writing, reading, learning, asking questions and wondering. It was perfect!

Except, day 21 came and went, still no chicks! WHAT HAPPENS WHEN...the eggs don't hatch! What would you do?

Well, our teachers jumped into action, and called a local farmer to order 6, day old chicks. But first, they would have to set the stage. They drew cracks on the eggs, made little holes, and spent the day talking about how the eggs would probably hatch during the night. The students were so excited when they left school that day, and we heard from parents, that many of the students could not sleep that night.

Once the students were home for the evening,  our teachers "planted" the chicks! Yeah, the chicks had arrived, and the next day, the class spent most of their time sitting and watching the chicks.

The chicks stayed at school for two days, every classroom came to visit the chicks. The grade two students shared their learning and observations. They started a survey, "What is your favourite name for a chick?" Just so you know, the name Fluffy, had the most votes.

On the night the chicks were going to be delivered to the farm, our students left the school, crying and talking about how they would miss the chicks. This inquiry will be an experience these children will never forget!  Check out our 'Animoto' movie here!

What would you do? Please share!

P.S. Don't let your students google "chicks" in images!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Importance of Sharing!

One of the important pieces of the inquiry-approach to teaching and learning is the sharing part. No longer, does students' work sit on a teacher's desk waiting to be marked. Students are constantly sharing their work and we have noticed that the quality and the pride that our students show in their work have increased 100%. In the previous post, we looked at the work that was being done in a grade one class. Below you will find photos of students sharing their finished product.


Sunday, June 8, 2014

Busy and Active in Grade One!

Our Grade One teacher always organizes the day for active learning. Students are engaged, motivated and ready to learn in this classroom! Students have been learning about money and working in centres that were developed by the teacher for hands-on learning. The following are pictures of a Grade One classroom in action.

Computer Centre

Interactive White Board Centre

Stamp Centre

Puzzle Centre

Making a Book Centre
Writing a Menu Centre

This group of students were also busy learning about simple machines. They worked in centres throughout the inquiry and their culminating task was to design and build a simple machine. Most had never touched a hammer or nail before this project. They loved it! 

What kind of active learning is happening in your classroom? Please share!