Week Ahead: Feb. 20 – 23

PLEASE NOTE: a change to our Popcorn routine.  Popcorn continues to be on sale for $2 on Wednesdays, with proceeds (as usual) benefitting Rousseau.  The change is that our ELP2 students who purchase popcorn will bring it home with them to eat there.

Tuesday, Feb 20 (day 5)

  • Library (JK group)
  • Please return Important Bags with signed Report Card envelope containing completed page 3 inside
  • VIP’s Jack and Gemma

Wednesday, Feb 21 (day 1)

  • popcorn $2
  • VIP’s Nico and Jaxon

Thursday, Feb 22 (day 2)

  • pizza
  • Music (SK group)
  • VIP’s Emma N. and Paige

Friday, Feb 23 (day 3)

  • VIP’s Sam and Avery (or any other day you wish:)


VIPs Ambrose and Emma Y.

Emma Y brought in her Bunch’ems and told us she’d organized them by “Colours of the Rainbow.” We took a look at the bags and could tell that the groups were not equal, so we knew each bag had a different number.  To count them we would have to add them up. Emma chose a few friends, gave a few rules and then let the kids get their hands on them.

Ambrose told us that his collection was called an “Abacus”.  I asked how many beads he had on each rod and he counted to 10, careful to touch each one.  I asked how many he thought were on the other rods and he said “10, because they’re all the same size.”

Next I asked, “if there’s 10 in each row, how many rows do you think there are.” Sam knew there would be 10!

As we played with it, kids noticed other ways to count on an abacus…. Evan counted by 5’s, we all counted by 10’s, and Jack noticed there were two rows of each colou, so we could count by 20’s! Cool!

Hockey Night in ELP2!

Yesterday, Mrs. Carte Combs observed a few students playing with a marble on the lid of the sandbox, scooting it back and forth and trying to “score” by getting it to drop through a small hole in the lid.

She mentioned it to me, and we brainstormed ways to bring the idea of “hockey” into the classroom in a reasonable way.  This morning she had big paper, stencils and rulers and little ‘pucks’ ready to inspire the kids to create their own hockey platform.  It was engaging for more than just the ones who had been playing on the sandbox and lead to some great discussions about rules, sportsmanship and taking turns.  We’ll see where this goes next.

Upon Closer Inspection

If you’d wandered by the pen this morning you may have noticed a bunch of kids playing on a sloppy, mild winter day.  You might have thought “what a mess”, or perhaps “what on earth will they do in all this slush and muck?”  You would have heard happy sounds and continued on your merry way, content that children were keeping busy with friends.

But if you’d stuck around you might have seen some pretty wonderful things unfolding!  It always impresses us what we hear when we really listen, and this morning was a lovely example of that.

There were essentially 3 lovely activities unfolding, all initiated and directed by children, and all punctuated by some really beautiful conversations.

The Games

This started with Ambrose organizing his friends Clara and Gracie in a fun game of Ring Around the Rosie, in which they all spun about and landed in a heap of giggles and hugs at the end.  It attracted more friends, and with every addition Ambrose was quite the ambassador; making room and welcoming all newcomers.  He found ways to include lots of kids and eventually segued into a game of Duck, Duck, Goose.  Again, as new classmates expressed interest in joining in Ambrose always responded cheerfully and requested everyone make the circle bigger so the new friends could fit.  When June said she wanted to play, Ambrose said happily “scooch back everyone!”

This group played quite happily and cooperatively, responding positively to Ambrose’s cheerful and kind leadership, for about 45 minutes!

The Building

A few kids wanted to replicate the Petronas Towers they’d built inside yesterday, but outside this time.  Evan reported that they’d created a stable base by pushing the pillars down into the snow.  They wanted to check the height by comparison to the tower they’d built inside.  They remembered that yesterday’s tower was up to Mrs. Carte Comb’s shoulder and used her as a reference point to see how this tower would stack up.

As the tower climbed higher it was wobbly and Evan commented it was more like the Leaning Tower of Pisa!  He and Jack brainstormed how to make it more stable.  When I wandered by again they were experimenting with slush, trying to see if they could “use it for cement”.  Ultimately they decided that it was not a viable substitute because it was slippery.

The discussions that took place, contemplating design, measurement, stability, materials etc. was wonderful as it evolved over the course of the morning.

The Flood

This group carried on a rather delightful conversation while they toiled away “cleaning up the flood in the museum.”  As you can imagine, scooping endless shovel-fulls of water into a stack of bottomless tires is a thankless job, but this crew was committed.  At various times the stack was a volcano and they were cleaning up the lava.  At other times it was a flood in the dinosaur museum, at which point a discussion ensued about what happened to the dinosaurs.  I listened as they kids discussed asteroids and meteors vs. old age as possible causes of extinction.  They shared ideas, prior knowledge and rationale and never stopped scooping!

So much more than a mucky morning!


VIP Emma G.

Emma brought in 2 little tupperwares and let us know that she put half her collection of 100 in each.  We invited students to guess how many might be in each container if there were 100 altogether.  There were a few guesses before Evan said it had to be “50 and 50 because that makes 100!”  Emma said he was right.  I asked her how she knew there were 50 in each and she said because she counted all her noodles into groups of 10 and then put a group in one container, a group in the other, and continued back and forth; 10 here, 10 there, 10 here, 10 there etc.  We took a look at the 100’s chart on the smart board and highlighted 50 numbers, and saw that that was 5 rows of 10.  We saw there still remained another 5 rows of 10… we could see clearly on the board that if you count by 50’s you end up with 2 groups!

During playtime Emma invited a few friends to help her make groups of 10 to show how she divided her noodles up and counted them easily.

Friendship Fruit Salad!


What a hit!  Thank you to all of you for sending in such a wonderful selection of fruit:)  Hats off to Mrs. Carte Combs who pitched this idea, it was a great success.  The children were excited to show what they brought, everyone sat down to help with the cutting up (after washing hands) and they LOVED eating this colourful mixture of deliciousness created by everyone!  We had a massive bowlful of fruit salad that almost ALL vanished!  What a fantastic way to make a special celebration healthy too!

VIP’s Evan and Meena

Evan sorted his Kinnex pieces (that Sam gave him for his birthday:) into little baggies.  He had 5 matching pieces in each bag and handed them out to his classmates!  Once they were all lined up, Evan counted up the pieces by 5’s all the way to 100!

We don’t know how Meena did not eat her collection as she was counting it!  She told us she had 100 marshmallows!  When we asked her how she knew there were 100 she said she counted them, and then she put 10 in each bag and she had 10 bags.  We counted together by 10’s all the way to 100.

Twin Towers

Today, a large group of students began working, very cooperatively, on a structure in the block area.  Once it was up, Evan commented that it looked like the Twin Towers.  He wondered what city the Twin Towers were in, and when I said New York he didn’t think it sounded right.  He approached Mrs. Carte Combs and between the 2 of them they recalled some learning from earlier in the year: they’d had a conversation about the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, also known as the Twin Towers! Evan, Jack, Thomas, Chase, Katie, Avery and Emma Y. all pitched in on construction and worked very well together, integrating a lot of different materials.