Create, Be Curious, Learn, have Fun and GLOW

A Morning at the Assiniboine ZOO!


This morning we went to the zoo on the bus (Zoe and Aude). The first thing we did was we went into the ZOO classroom (Maevyn). We checked out some bear claws and we got to feel the fur of different bears (Anton). The zoo classroom had a lot of different animals  around us (Quintin). We got to feel a Polar Bear and Brown Bear skull – it felt hard and the teeth were very sharp and the nose was very big (Luca and Levi). We asked the zoo expert Bran our 5 questions that we could not find the answers to (Julia). We learned that:

  • Bears Tarpor instead of hibernate. Which means they don’t sleep as soundly as animals who hibernate – they may wake up to eat or move.
  • We learned which bears are carnivores and which bears are herbivores.
  • Bears don’t hibernate together – but different bears may have different bear dens that would be in the same place but they wouldn’t be in the same dens together. They can be found side by side but not in the same den.
  • There are 8 different kinds of bears; Spectacled Bear, Panda Bear, Polar Bear, Grizzly Bear, American Black Bear, Asiatic Black Bear. Brown Bear, Sun Bear and Sloth Bear.
  • The Polar Bear is the biggest bear and his hair is see though (translucent or clear)

We checked out the Reindeer and we learned that when they are walking it makes a rice krispy noise (Levi). The reindeer boys grow antlers to attract girls (Keito).

We saw two Polar Bears playing in their den. We also got to watch a 10 min video about protecting the Earth so that the animals can continue to roam free.

We learned that the zoo uses Beet Juice on the zoo sidewalks to keep the sidewalks from becoming slippery. We thought it smelled like soya sauce or pizza.

We saw a red fox named Simon. He was walking into a hole(Anton).

We saw a pack of Wolves there were 5 of them. 1 girl and 4 boys they were brother and sister and cousins. (Levi)

We saw Buffalo and I thought they were disgusting, because they smelled gross. The Buffalo dad was walking weird. (Mira and Levi)

We finished the morning with a snack. Aude and her  mommy made some awesome Banana Bread with chocolate chips for all the Grade 1/2 Montrosians. It was so good, it was BANANAS!!

We love the zoo and can’t wait to go back again!




Knowledge Building Circle

Today we had a Knowledge Building Circle. I learned about Knowledge Building Circles last spring at a Natural Curiosity two day workshop Montrose Staff attended.

The term Knowledge Building Circle refers to the seating configuration of students as they engage in Knowledge Building Discourse. The circle is an intentional physical configuration that is conducive to successful Knowledge Building for several reasons:

• Circles promote attentive listening and communication. The physical shape facilitates face-to-face dialogue amongst students. Eye contact and ‘attentive’ body language – physical signs of respect and active listening – are more visibly apparent.

• Circles eliminate hierarchy. All students enjoy an equal place in a circle. No one student takes precedence over another. The teacher takes his or her place within the circle as a co-learner. As members of this egalitarian knowledge building community, students both learn from, and contribute to, each other’s understanding. They take turns speaking and wait patiently for their turn. In Early Years classrooms, or in classes at any grade level that are new to Knowledge Building Discourse, the teacher may direct the conversation by selecting which student with their hand up will speak next. The goal is for the students to eventually raise their hands and wait for the student who has just spoken (not the teacher) to choose who will speak next. (Natural Curiosity 2016)

It was extremely inspiring to see the students sharing what they have learned, listening to their peers and then making connections to what was said. It is always important to share what we have learned or what we are learning. As students were sharing – I was madly listening and typing out their words. Their words were instantly projected onto the smart board with their names attached to their comments. You could see how proud they were of themselves and you could see their confidence increasing as learners, zoologists and scientists.

Knowledge Building Circle – February 10th 2017

  • Polar Bears like to tackle each other and slide on the snow. The cubs get to ride on the back of the mama Polar Bear.(Janna).
  • Grizzly Bear and Polar Bears are dangerous. (Shayle)
  • Polar Bears can blend in or camouflage into the snow. (Shayle and Luca)
  • Grizzly Bears like to eat fish especially Salmon and grubs and berries. (Georgia and Keito)
  • Grizzly Bears like to play in the water. (Georgia)
  • Right before summer Polar Bears build dens and they are like freezer in the summer to keep them cool. (Julia)
  • Grizzly Bears like to eat insects, bison, fluff on dandelions. (Julia)
  • Polar Bears can eat Moose, Elk, Caribou, Seal, – they are the only animals that can eat and kill large animals. (Levi)
  • Polar Bears like to eat plants and berries. They live in Dens. (Sari)
  • Sometimes tackle each other. I think they might be playing. (Zoe)
  • Black Bears hibernate in caves. Black Bears also hibernate for a very long time. They also like to dig holes in the ground to sleep in. Polar Bears sleep for 6 months. (Shayle and Quintin and Julia and Anton)
  • Polar Bears become camouflaged in the snow from their fur. (Maevyn)
  • Polar Bears are very big animals. (Anton) Polar Bears are as heavy as a washing machine and as big as a car. (Julia) A Polar Bear is 10 feet tall and a Grizzly Bear is 8 Feet tall. (Levi) A Polar Bear is the largest bear on Earth. A Brown Bear is second biggest. (Room 129)
  • I learned that Polar Bears have black skin to keep them very warm in the winter. Sometimes you can see if when they come out of the (Finnley)
  • A Queen Black Bear gets a set of large fangs and long sharp claws. The male has stronger bones than the Woman. The male is the bear who fights off the enemies. (Mira)

So much learning. I’m a pretty proud teacher.

 Have a great weekend and keep exploring Bears!


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We Wonder About Canadian Bears

This January we began our inquiry into Canadian Animals. We asked questions about Canadian Animals: What makes an Animal a Canadian Animal? What are mammals? Why are there no Tigers in Canada? Are there Panda Bears in Canada? And so many other great questions. ~ One of the most exciting things about teaching grade 1/2’s is the natural curiosity they all have. They really all see themselves as scientists seeking out answers to their every day, every second questions. ~  Over the course of  this first week back at school, we began to identify characteristics that were common of Canadian Animals – we knew where they lived and we learned the different animal baby names thanks to a fantastic U of M – Women In Science Presentation. We began the process of learning how to research and find facts about animals  from different sources. Over the course of our Canadian Animal discovery we thought it would be a good idea to go deeper with our learning and really explore and inquire about one animal, together as a class. So we voted as a class to go in depth into Canadian Bears. How exciting it is to be learning, discovering, researching together about Canadian Bears. We thought of a lot of questions about Canadian Bears and then we brainstormed ways to find the answers to these questions. Room 129 zoologists are well on their way to becoming Canadian Bear experts! This week we started our Knowledge Gaining Centres where we have set out to find answers to our questions though, books, information found online, Online Videos, Poetry and Look/Draw Sketching. We also have a field trip planned to the zoo for this Monday, where we will be asking Bear experts all of our deeper questions that we haven’t been able to find the answers to.

Students are understanding how to review questions they’ve had, look at sources and begin to find the information to answer their questions. I can pretty much guarantee we will all be Canadian Bear experts by the end of our Inquiry. Then we just need to decide how we want to share everything that we have learned! hmmmmmmmm.

Today we continued our Mindfulness activities, but also incorporated our bear theme. We pretended to breath like bears that were hibernating. This means to breath slowly through our noses. 5 seconds to breath in, 5 seconds to breath out. Try it with yourself or your little cubs at home! It is a great way to relax and re-focus.

Have your been following our OhThisClassroomGlows Instagram account! I have been sharing a photo each day of our learning. It’s a pretty neat way to stay involved with what your child is doing at school. Let me know if you need some help getting set up. It’s a pretty fun way to stay connected with what is happening.I always appreciate comments and feedback too! 🙂

I’m still blogging…and I have a guest blogger working on a blog too! So lots continues to happen if Room 129! Thanks for following along!



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