Bird Counting

The intermediate class had a wonderful idea this week.  For Earth Day they went out and did a bird count.  They used the data to make graphs.  We did the same thing Friday morning. At the start of math class we did a poll to make a prediction.

Then we each went outside and tallied the birds we saw for 10 minutes.  Everyone brought their data back and we made one combined chart.  One category was so large that we couldn’t fit in all the tallies.  After lunch Mrs. Watson shared a graph of our data.




Shapes in our Forest

As a part of our math inquiry work we are looking at ways to incorporate more place-based learning and culture into our math lessons. Recently we have been talking about shapes that we see in nature. We talked about traditional 2D shapes, like squares and triangles, as well as shapes used in First Nations artwork, like ovoids, S shapes, and U shapes.

The first day in the forest we looked for examples of some of the First Nations shapes:


The first day of this exploration the weather didn’t really cooperate with us. It was very windy and rainy so we couldn’t take our recording sheets with us. The second day was much better though! We each recorded an example of 4 of the shapes.

After recording our thinking we used things we found in the forest to create some of these shapes.




What a creative group of kids!


Family Math Night

Family Math Night was a great success!  The gym was full of excitement, laughter, and lots of great thinking as students and their families participated in all the different activities.

The evening started with a family STEM challenge.  Teams had 20 minutes to build balloon powered cars.  There was a table full of materials to use and the winner would be the car that travelled the greatest distance.  Everyone worked very hard (and quickly) designing and redesigning their vehicles.

After the STEM challenge families visited all the different math stations collecting stickers in their passports.

Every student won a door prize and there were also prizes for the estimation station and a grand prize draw for visiting stations and collecting stickers.

Thank you to all the amazing volunteers who ran math stations and to all the families who came out for a great night of math fun!


Measuring Wilkw (Cedar) Circumference

When we were talking about what we noticed and wondered about cedar trees, one of the students wondered about the circumference of the trees. Today we brainstormed ways we could compare the circumference of the cedars in our forest if we didn’t have any measuring tools. The students had many ideas:

  • measure with our steps around the tree
  • make a rope with grass
  • hold hands around the tree
  • twist bark together to make rope
  • use our hands

We discussed that whatever we chose to use, we would have to use the same unit to measure all the trees or we wouldn’t be able to compare their size.

We set off for the forest and chose 6 cedars that we would measure.  We labelled them with the numbers 1-6 in Kwak’wala as well as the animal name for each tree from the story, The Six Cedar Trees.

Next we decided on a unit we would use to measure the circumference of each tree with our partner. Some of the trees were tricky to measure.

We recorded our measurements and then compared our results with other groups to see if we agreed which tree had the greatest circumference and which had the least.

We didn’t all have the same result so we went and got yarn so that we could check.  In the photo you can see a comparison of the greatest circumference to the least circumference.

Tomorrow we will head back to the forest (if the weather cooperates) to talk more about circumference!

Cedar Inquiry

This term our inquiry theme is cedar.  We went down into our school forest yesterday armed with clipboards, pencils, keen eyes, and questioning minds to record the things we notice and wonder about the cedar trees (we had started this last week, but didn’t have enough time).

Here are a few of the students ideas:

Teddy-The leaves are close apart and far apart. Some of the leaves are dangling. Some leaves are longer than the others. I wonder why the leaves are so bendy. I wonder how the leaves attach and grow.

Kip-The leaves are flat on the cedar trees. The bark is flat and in little strips. The wood between the leaves iv very bumpy. The yellow cedar and the red cedar look different. The cedar cone is very bumpy and looks like waves.

Acacia-Red cedar has some red on it. One side of the leaves are lighter and the other side is darker. I notice dark and light in the cones. There are tiny white stripes on the cedar leaves.

Sinead- The inside is smooth and red and black, and a little bit of brown. I wonder how old they can get.

Clara-One side is darker colour and the other is lighter. You can count by the rings around to see how old the tree is.  One tree was 34 and another tree was 41.

Ruby-The green leaves are sort of scaly.

Cayden-The cedar leaves are green. Some are short and some are tall. Red cedar trees are tall. They are two colours: red and pink.

Ryder-Red bark smells neat. I notice:hard bark, tiny cones, and strong branches. How tall can they get? Are they good for houses?

Rylann-Cedar cones are small. They have stringy bark. On the top of the cedar bough it is dark and the bottom is lighter. On the top of the tree the trunk is small are it goes bigger and bigger to the bottom of the tree.

Lina-I wonder how many branches are on the red cedar tree. I wonder why moss grows on the trees. Why is the bark so rough? When you peel the cedar bark, underneath it is red. You can count the rings and it tells you how old it is.

Ayla-Cedar trees have little cones. Why does Old Man’s Beard grow on trees? I noticed that the cedar trees have long strong branches. How many cedars are there in the world? Why does green stuff grow on the trees? Why do the branches droop down? I noticed stringy bark. I noticed there was a pattern on the bark of green stuff growing then red cedar.

Joselyn-I noticed that cedar cones are tiny. I wonder where cedar trees grow. I wonder what the circumference is. Some trees are red like cedar trees. There are two kinds of cedar trees. I wonder how long cedar trees live.

Harmony-I see a square.  There are tow types of cedar: yellow cedar and red cedar. How many are there? I wonder why cedar trees have different lives? They have stringy bark. Another tree had scaly bark. I wonder why the cedar tree cone is small.  I noticed that on a cedar tree the branches go from bigger to smaller to smaller.

James-The branches are really long. I noticed there are lots of branches. They are very tall. They have stringy bark. I wonder how many types of cedar trees there are.

2D Shapes

One of the activities we did in math today was learning about 2D shapes.  We watched this video and then tried drawing some shapes of our own.

Next we practiced making shapes with our bodies and talked about what polygons are (multi-sided closed shapes with straight sides). It took teamwork to make the octagon. The body challenges were tricky, but a lot of fun!

Dusda̱k̕wa Leather

Yesterday in science we did more work on our berry inquiry. We talked about how the First Nations people used berries. We learned that they ate the berries fresh or preserved berries so that they could enjoy them throughout the year. The berries could be dried in the sun or wind. We decided to dry our berries using a food dehydrator.

Before we started, we weighed the berries and then made estimates about what we thought the berries would weigh after they were dehydrated. Before dehydrating the berries weighed 1517g. We worked in teams to add berries, sugar, and lemon juice to the bowl. Then we took turns mashing the berries and spreading them on parchment paper.

We left the berries in the dehydrator for 24 hours. We weighed the Dusda̱k̕wa leather and were amazed to find out that the berries now weighed 444 g and had lost more than a kilogram of their weight.

Finally, it was time to sample our work. Everyone thought the Dusda̱k̕wa leather was delicious!



A Closer Look at a Math Class

Math is one of our favourite times of the day and we thought it would be fun to show you what our math class looked like today.  We usually start with a math warm-up activity and todays’ activity was estimating and measuring mass.  First we measured using non-standard units (cubes) and then we estimated and measured again using grams.

Next, we practiced our double facts by dancing and singing the doubles song.

Finally, we played a dice game to practice place value.  We each had a set of place value dice to roll.  We had to say the number we rolled (putting together the ones, tens, hundreds, and for some partners, thousands) and then the partner with the larger amount took a bingo chip from the pile.

Math sure is fun!