Sunday, 18 January 2015

Science and Songs, Stories and Snacks

Some students just seem to have a way of motivating their teachers!
I've always enjoyed teaching social studies more than science; however, after a recent comment made by one of my students, I might just find science sliding closer to social studies in my favourite subjects category.
Last Tuesday afternoon, one of our first graders excitedly burst into the school.  The first person she ran into was Karen, our high school teacher.  "Today is my best day ever!" the student exclaimed.  "In science class we grew marbles.  We're going to have music class with Mrs. Steppan.  Later Dora Basl (Fairholme) is coming to tell us stories, and ... my mom is making Jello for snack!"  Listing each special event off on her fingers.  "This is just too much!" she concluded happily.

Matter: Solids, Liquids & Gases

How can science remain a hum-drum subject after hearing the above exultation?  The "marbles" we grew, were actually gel crystals typically used in floral arrangements for weddings or other special events.  They start off about the size of BB pellets and grow to the size of marbles when soaked in water over night.

The morning after soaking them, the organizer in me hoped my students wouldn't remember our crystals experiments until science class that day, but no such luck!  As soon as they entered my classroom to leave their agenda books on my desk, one eager youngster spotted the rose bowl I'd tucked on the counter (hopefully out of their sight) at the back of my classroom.

"Look at these marbles!" he exclaimed.  All my first and second grade students as well as a few from the older class crowded around too ooh and ah over this phenomenal event. So it was that we started science class at 8:00 AM, rather than our usual 10:00 period.

 I have to concur that the best science classes aren't scheduled or planned, they're all about making discoveries no matter what time of day or class period.

Thursday, 8 January 2015

Wool Felting at SAGE

For the SAGE conference in 2014, my friend Kathy suggested we attend a session on wool felting.  I had never heard of this concept before, so I wasn't quite sure about it at first.  Kathy suggested checking it out on Pinterest. Did I ever find a lot on this topic!!
We attended, we learned, we experimented, we enjoyed!
I won't go into a lot of detail on describing the techniques as they can be found on Pinterest.

Wet Felting

For the first half of the day we concentrated on wet felting.  Each of us created a piece of felt measuring about 9" x 12".  Our instructor showed us various projects that she had created.  I liked her stem of fall leaves and thus decided to create my piece in fall colours.  Finally, several months after the fact, I've finally created my own stem of fall leaves.
Some attendees had specific pictures in mind: hearts,... flowers,... you name it.


My Goose



 Needle Felting

In the afternoon, we learned how to needle felt.  Most of us worked on animal, while one lady made a flower.


Kathy's Bird.



Felting Supplies

Felting Needle Tool After shopping around for felting tools and materials I discovered that they can be purchased at Homewood Colony's Sewing Store. If interested in ordering from them, you can contact Mary at: