Saturday, June 25, 2016

Pirate Day

This is hands down one of the favorite days in the Orca class. We always hold Pirate Day during the last week of school. Everyone dresses up, even the Teaching Parents! We choose our pirate names, and then take a pirate portrait. This fierce pirate is Stinky Beard.

Don't be afraid! It's Captain Butterfly!

This fellow was involved in a sword fight and has a big scar on his forehead. Awesome mustache, too!

Captain Gold knows what he's after.

Ocean Smell found it kind of hard to look fierce,

but not this scary fellow, Gray Beard,

and his cohort, Captain Hook. Watch out!

After following the clues to the hidden treasure box and treasure map, we headed out to our ship. Hoist those sails!

We flew the Jolly Roger as a warning to other ships on the sea.

Land ho! Everyone to the row boat. Stroke! Sroke! It's hard work heading to shore on Skull Island.

Let's check the map to see where we need to go.

Through the jungle, and the Skeleton Tree, past Dead Man's Hut, and up Snake Mountain, and then down the waterfall.

Finally we found X marks the spot. Time to start digging!

One of the crew stands guard.

It's hard work, but we gather almost 200 pieces of pirate gold to be shared amongst us.

This pirate was brave enough to eat a lemon to ward off scurvy.

And, we had fresh coconut. What a day, right mateys?

In the Garden

Hooray! We're going to the garden!

Watering the mother strawberries.

We work together as a team when we are in the garden. One person holds the sign, and the other person hammers it in.

It took a lot of digging to get the sunflower bed ready.

Look! Our kale has sprouted!

The Slug Pubs need taking care of now and then. We pour out the old beer, and any caterpillars, slugs or other creatures who have visited them, and then we pour in more beer.

Look how tall our peas are growing!

The Orcas brought their nature journals into the garden. These children sat in the bean tipi to draw and write.

We planted this tomato in the hoop house.

One day we did art in the garden.

First we drew something we had observed, then we painted it with watercolors.

More work in the sunflower bed.

We have green thumbs,

and are members of the Dirty Hands Club. Did you know digging in the dirt makes you msarter?

Finally the bed was ready for the sunflowers. We carefully planted each baby plant. We started these plants from seed in pots that we made out of newspaper.

This will be a big wall of mammoth sunflowers!

The Dolphins planted the beans around the bean titp.

Even the Penguins help in the garden!

Planting the Penguin class potatoes,

and then watering them.

One Dolphin family made our beautiful garden gate!

All of the classes made a mosaic pot. We planted four different kinds of mint in the pots. Mints will take over the garden, which is why we put them in pots instead of right into the garden soil.

These Orcas planted the tunnel with cucumber plants, and scarlet runner bean and climbing nasturtium seeds.

The seeds made a pattern: big scarlet runner bean (which are purple and pink, by the way...), and then two nasturtium seeds. We can hardly wait to see the plants grow over the tunnel!

The mosaic pots are heavy, so it took some teamwork to bring it to the garden.

In the Orca Class

By May in the Orca class, the children have formed quite a community. They listen and work well together, and we are able to do many wonderful things. Writing in our journals gave many children a real sense of pride. "I'm on journal number three!" They even told us if what their writing was fiction or non-fiction, something we learned from our library experience.

Of, course, there was always time for silliness and laughter.

This class really enjoyed working together to make streams, rivers and lakes in the sand area.

The children wrote lots of books, some at school, and often at home as well. This girl wrote an amazing book about the human body with great illustrations. She read it to us after snack one day.

Our spring quarter Eco School goal ( was Healthy Living. One part of this is encouraging more active time spent outdoors. We made a workout course on the playground.

It had different stations where we had to do different things, like jump over three buckets.

We had charts to mark how many times we did the course.

We invited our parents to do the course with us.

We loved getting the sharing bag and taking turns bringing in something to share. This boy wrote the words to a favorite song from Hello Dolly, and sang along with the CD as he shared the words. Then we all danced to the music.

As a part of learning about the sea and the creatures that live there we decided to create an Ocean Museum. We chose four zones in the ocean: the beach, shallow water, a coral reef, and deep water.

We worked together to make each zone. This is the coral reef being built out of recycled boxes.

We chose animals that live in the zones to make. We used books as resources when we made our sea creatures.

When the museum was ready, we shared it with our parents. Each child in the zone was able to tell about the animal they had learned about and made for the zone. This is the coral reef.

This is the beach.

There were many different animals in the coral reef.

We made signs and wrote down what we wanted others to know about the animals.

Sometimes we worked toegether, sharing our skills to make them.

We put the signs next to our animals.

This is the deep ocean. The animals seemed to be larger here. This is a seal.

This is the biggest one of all, the blue whale.

Closer to shore the water is shallower. Different animals live here.

We invited the Dolphin class to tour our museum. The Dolphins listened, amazed at what the Orca children had done. Then the Dolphins wrote the Orcas thank you notes and told them what they liked best.

Each quarter we drew a new self-portrait. The first three were of our faces, and were done with black Sharpie on white paper. They hung in the classroom next to our photos.

The last self-portrait was of our whole body, and after drawing them, we got to paint them with watercolors.

It is very interesting to see how we grow and develop, and how our drawing grows and develops as we master better control of the pen. Also, our attention to details changes throughout the year.

Finally we made our critter movie. It was hard work, making a stop animation movie. We had to be very patient as we slowly moved our critters a tiny bit each time. We loved how the movie turned out!

One day we set up a tent outside and played we were camping. We cooked our meal over the fire. Then a tornado came, and we had to escape to the ranger station.

We visited our friend's bakery.

We got a tour of the kitchen, and went on a treasure hunt in the shop. Then we bought a loaf of yummy bread to have for our snack.