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Learning to be a Mentor

Updated: Jan 19

Settling in for the winter session with new friends along for the journey. We love our family-style groups where chances to lead and support others present themselves all the time.

What is winter? How do we know it's winter? How is winter different than fall or summer? Can your child name all the months of the year. Which are in the season of winter? What about the summer months? Did you know it takes one year for the Earth to rotate around the sun? Can you child make a connection to the sun and the season of winter? Looking at the Earth with respect to the sun can help us better understand the seasonal changes we experience in Canada.

When going outside to play (or learn) in winter we have to remember to dress for success (or survival). How can the proper outdoor clothing keep us comfortable (or alive)? Remember how Sunflower, Crow and Wolf were dressed today. Can you recall three things they wore that you think are important? Why?

With all our gear and layers on we wandered to Mystery Forest. Everyone was surprised at how the animals left behind so many signs. What was one sign you saw and what animal made it or left it behind? The question we remembered from a book we read earlier was "Who's been here?".

In Mystery Forest, our new students were encouraged to find a tree friend. Making a connection to a natural space in the winter time can be fun. After trying out a few trees by climbing and sitting in them, Crow narrowed down his tree friend to two trees.

Some friends built small shelters out of natural materials. A group of foxes were running from one shelter to another while trying to avoid the wolves. What is a group of foxes called again? A pop up ice cream shop opened serving so many varieties of home made ice cream. There was Coniferous, Garlic Mustard, Cedar to name a few. Tamarack enjoyed a special order of Spruce Delight. Yum.

Back at the Hall it was time to cozy up at the library. We stepped back into our reading buddies. Some have new friends to read with. Check in about your child's experience today and what book they chose to read. Grey Squirrel shared a book about what people can do in emergency situations to keep warm. Ask your child what ways they can keep warm when out in the winter chill.

New vocabulary can be a powerful tool to ignite curiousity. What word did we learn which describes how animals 'slow down' to survive in winter (Dormancy). How might they do this? (be still, lower heart rate, conserve energy, eat less). We chose the lovely ladybug, who is dormant over the winter months, for our experiment. Each team created a sheltered place to ensure their ladybug didn't freeze and die in the cold. Find out more by asking...

*What temperature did your ladybug start out at in it's container?

*Where did you hide your ladybug?

*Did it survive the cold in this place?

*What temperature was it after staying outside in the cold?

*Can you remember what temperature is freezing and boiling?

Practice reading and recording temperature will be part of our winter numeracy learning.

Of course, we love sledding in the snow. Our record today on Willow's sled was 5! Pretty impressive.

Adding to our journal is exercising our writing and researching skills. It's an extension of the learning and a great way to connect and consolidate information. We hopped back to recall facts about Red Fox from last week. The retention of this group was amazing!

We welcomed Willow today, a spectacular retired primary/junior teacher who currently leads a pod for some of our children. Tamarack and Raccoon know the ropes and are generous sharing their knowledge and ways we best support our kids. Dragonfly had a blast today being the hearty winter leader that she is. You have a solid team keeping the optimum pace with your clever, curious children. See you next week when mother nature might just bring weather that feels like spring!


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