Then and Now- Homes, caves and cave drawings

Near the beginning of our Now and Then unit we discussed homes and what the earliest of humans lived in.
Cedar group made a cave that was small enough to be inside CM, but big enough for one or two children.
One child said the cave was missing something inside. They had seen special markings that belong in a cave in a book one time. We looked up what cave drawings look like.
Then they drew their own to add to our CM cave.

Then and Now - How old are trees?

Today we went into our beautiful forest beside CM for our group time. We brought special 'forest books', to draw and record what we found.

We wanted to know how old some trees are. One way to find out the age of a tree is to count it's rings, but the tree has to be cut down to measure this way.

To measure a tree a different way, you wrap a tape measure around the tree. This will measure the circumference. You use the circumference to find the diameter (circumference divided by pi (3.14).
Then you multiply the diameter by the growth factor.
Different trees have different growth factors. Cottonwood is 2.0, Maple and Oak are 3.0, Red Maple are 4.5, Cherry are 5.0, Dogwood are 7.0
I decided to take an average growth of 4.0, and use that for all the trees we measured. So our measurements are

We started with a VERY big tree. We looked at the features of the tree so we could draw it in our books. It's branches were so high up, so high that we couldn't use them to climb. W…

Now and Then- From Small to Big

We read a fantastic book called, 'Wait for me, say's Maggie McGee'.

It's about a girl who is the youngest and smallest in her family. She had a hard time being so small. There were so many things she couldn't reach or do because of it. But then she starts growing and stretching. Because of her resourcefulness and kindness, she gets three wishes. She saves her last wish for something extra special, something that will take a long time, but it finally does. She becomes the tallest in all her family.
We began a conversation about Cedar groups wishes when they get bigger. Some children thought of their parents and what they see them do because they are big. Some children wish to drive a car when they are big. Some want to have children of their own. 

Maggie was the smallest in her family but grew up to be the biggest. We drew a tree (to connect our growth to our tree measurements we did in the forest). We all measured ourselves and anyone else at CM that wanted to be m…

Unit of Decoration -wrap up

We baked gluten free cookies, then decorated them with special icing and sprinkles.

It was February, so we talked about friendships, caring and love. We decorated hearts with special messages and love notes for friends and family.

We tried out different methods of making masks. These ones, we used loose parts. We experimented with different pieces to be used for facial features. After trying out different ways our mask/face could look, we glued the loose parts down.

Our school is beautifully painted to look like our surrounding forest. We headed outside to spot some key paintings that are on our building. Trees, stumps, animals and moss were found.

We created our own Creative Minds out of shoe boxes. We chose colours that we saw on the building, like brown, green and blue. 

IB Inquiry, Now and Then. Making butter

We watched a video about how people used to make butter with a butter churn. Here's the video: There's no sound, so I kinda narrated it as we watched.

The children drew pictures of farmers, milk in pails, and wooden butter churns.

We then watched a video about how butter is made now with machines. Here's the video I skipped a bit of it and focused on the machine that mixed the milk, and the packaging machine.

The children then drew pictures of the machines we saw and the farmer.

You can see their drawings up on the wall at CM.

The next day we made our own butter. We poured some whipped cream into two containers.

Then we started our shaking the jars. We stood in a circle and danced and moved our bodies while we listened to upbeat music. We did about 20 minutes of shaking. Our arms were really tired! I had prepared 6 songs to dance to that all had a 'shake shake' theme. I think tha…