Tuesday, 24 February 2015

A Musical Mystery

As mentioned in a previous blog, we are currently in the middle of a very cold winter.  While Mother Nature is teasing the children with snow, the frigid temperatures are keeping us indoors.  The occasional indoor recess is fun, but after one day, two days, three days, four, indoor recess is beginning to lose its appeal.

With the prospect of yet another indoor recess, I decided that we would do something different.  Yesterday, I told the children I was going to bring something in that had to do with rock n' roll. Their little ears perked up and I heard them talking about what it could be.

Today at our indoor recess time, I placed my rock n'roll item on the carpet.

The Mystery Item


The room fell silent as the children gazed at the case with puzzled expressions.  Finally, one little girl said "You brought a suitcase?" It did look that way but there was something very interesting inside.

The Open Case

I opened the case.  Once again, the children just stared silently. No one knew what it could be.  One little boy quite proudly stated "I know what it is. It is an old fashion cd player!"  Most everyone agreed.  I asked the children "Does it look like a cd player?"  They thought and thought and decided no, it didn't. What did this funny looking thing have to do with rock n' roll?

I took out some other objects I had brought along to see if that would help - The Beatles' Long Tall Sally Vinyl Album (lp), a Beatles 45 single and a Beatles cd.  All three contain the song "I Want To Hold Your Hand" which was released in North America on Boxing Day 1963.  (If you are doing the math, I was not around at that time.  My aunt gave these to me when I was young.) 

A 1964 Beatles Album (LP)

I Want To Hold Your Hand 45 single - Released December 1963
The Beatles #1 Hits Featuring I Want To Hold Your Hand

The children only recognized the cd.  I placed the album on the turntable and we heard a little bit of "I Want To Hold Your Hand".  I placed the 45 single on the turntable and we listened to a little bit of the same song.  I then placed the cd in the cd player and we listened to a little bit of the same song again. If you haven't guessed already, my mystery rock n' roll item is a record player!  The look of amazement on the children's faces when they heard the sounds coming from the vinyl was truly something to witness. They were so surprised and had many questions about the records.  Why was it (the lp) so big?  How many songs are on it?  Why is there only one song on the small record?  How many songs are on the cd?"  (There are twelve songs on the lp and twenty seven on the cd.)  

The music made us want to get up and dance and that is exactly what we did.  We shook, we shimmied, we twisted and shouted. We had a good old fashioned dance party! 

The Record Player



At the end of the day, one little girl said to me "This was the greatest day ever!"  I asked "Why was it so great?"  She replied "Because we danced."  Yes, it was pretty great.

Sunday, 22 February 2015

Delightful Days of Celebration

It is currently winter in our little corner of the world.

Fun In The Snow

While the weather outside has been very frightful (temperatures in the -30s celcius with the windchill), our days indoors have been positively delightful.  February has given us some wonderful reasons to celebrate.

On February 13, we had our Valentine's Day party. Our whole school came together for a joyous Valentine's Day brunch.  

We all wore red, pink or white on this day and we looked fabulous!

Happy Valentine's Day!

On Feburary 19, we celebrated Chinese New Year.  Ms. W. celebrates Chinese New Year and did a lovely presentation for the children.  Only a handful of our students knew that Ms. W. is Chinese.

Ms. W. showed us a tray of candied fruit that is eaten at Chinese New Year.

Candied Fruit

Candied Fruit Up Close

She had a beautiful garland of the Chinese zodiac animals and told the children which animal they were.

The Zodiac Garland Up Close

She read us a story about Chinese New Year.  She then invited the children to come up and see all of the Chinese New Year items she shared with us. 

Looking at The Chinese New Year Items

The Chinese New Year Items

K. was dressed in a beautiful dress to celebrate the day.  She brought in some lucky money envelopes for her classmates and some decorations for the classroom.

K. With Her Envelopes

A Beautiful Lantern

The teachers also had some lucky money envelopes for the children.

A Basket of Lucky Money Envelopes

Gung Hay Fat Choy!  Happy New Year!

A Dragon Craft

Friday, 6 February 2015

Mixing It Up With Mad Science

This week Mad Science visited our school to present some chemistry workshops.  Dr. Shrink was our mad scientist.  She had visited us last year for a dinosaur workshop.  Many of our returning students remembered her and were happy to see her again.

Dr. Shrink began with an empty beaker and two large ziplock bags of packing peanuts.  She asked for a volunteer to fill the beaker with as many peanuts as possible. 

Our trusty volunteer began filling the beaker. 

P. volunteered.

When it was full, Dr. Shrink asked if the beaker could hold more peanuts.  Everyone said no.  Dr. Shrink poured a magic liquid (nail polish remover) over the packing peanuts.  The packing peanuts began to shrink!

Adding The Magic Liquid

She then put a full ziplock bag of packing peanuts into the beaker.

The packing peanuts are shrinking.
In the end, all that was left was a pile of goo.  Amazing!

The Leftover Goo

Dr. Shrink gave the children an opportunity to do a little chemistry.  She gave groups of children a plate with cabbage juice and some clear (safe)  liquids .  The children used a dropper to squeeze some cabbage juice into the clear liquids.

The children were amazed when the cabbage juice reacted with the clear liquids and the liquids changed colour.

The children got a chance to mix up their own crazy dough to take home.  They mixed flour, water, oil and salt together along with some food colouring.

At the end of the presentation, Dr. Shrink asked "How cool is chemistry?"  The children responded with a resounding "Awesome!".  Thank you Dr. Shrink.  We had a fantastic morning!