Surrey Nature Centre

The grade 2 and 3 students from Ms. Callegari’s and Ms. Russels class enjoyed their field study at the Surrey Nature Centre, despite the rain.  They learned the differences between owls and eagles, and how the owl’s feathers are completely silent helping them catch their prey easily.  “Bats eats 1,000 mosquitoes in one night,” said one child.  “We don’t have to be afraid of bats because they help keep the bug population down,” said another.

The students learned that racoons aren’t harmful, but we need to be more careful not to leave our garbage out to attract them.  They looked through binoculars to experience the eye sight of an owl.  “Owls can’t move their eyes, so they move their heads in order to see, and they can move their heads 3x more than humans!”  The students found an owl pellet in the forest, brought it back to the classroom, and plan to dissect it to see what the owl had eaten.  They learned that some animals, like the owl regurgitates: spit out what they don’t want to eat.

It is so important for our children to get out into nature and explore, no matter what the weather condition.  They were encouraged to pick up things and feel, to touch and enjoy.  Experience the forest during the different seasons.  Learning through play!  Ms. Callegari said, “Not one of them complained about the rain.”

Tynehead Salmon Hatchery

Division 7 went on a field trip to the salmon hatchery in Tynehead Regional Park on Oct. 11th. The class walked down the power line and then over to the park, where we had to go through the forest by making our very own path. We all had to be careful so that we didn’t get whacked in the face by tree branches, get stabbed by thorny bushes or tripped by vines. Eventually, we all managed to make it out safely and survived; along the way, we stopped at a small wooden bridge to try and find fish. Unfortunately, we didn’t find any because it was too early in the spawning season.

At the hatchery, one of the volunteers talked to us about the life cycle of salmon, like what happens to salmon when they go to spawn, and what types of salmon come up to spawn at the Tynehead hatchery. The usual types are chinook, coho and chum salmon. At the table, she showed us how females lay and hide the eggs and how the males fertilizes them. She also showed us real samples of the different stages of a salmon’s life cycle (the egg, eyed egg, alevin and fry stages). After that, we watched a quick video about salmon and then split off into 3 groups to go look at different places in the hatchery. We saw how the volunteers caught fish to see what was spawning, and what fish they were breeding in the hatchery as well as the salmon they were releasing back into the river. We visited the egg room where eggs were being kept to hatch (they had to be very careful with those eggs because if one were to go bad all of them were at risk of going bad as well), and where they kept the hatched eggs (alevin) until they were big enough to be released. We also got to hold a couple different types of real frozen salmon, and they smelled really bad and were very heavy.

I would say that this was the most adventurous field trip I have ever been on, and I recommend that everyone goes to the hatchery at least once, because you will learn lots of interesting things! (written by Tasha G.)

Gymnastics

What a fantastic opportunity for all our students from Kindergarten to Grade 7!  Teachers said, “The kids loved it!”  Many of the children became more confident using the equipment such as the climbing ropes and the jungle gym.  The staff noticed students were encouraging and collaborating with each other.  They developed their balancing skills and in some cases learned, “it’s ok to fall down and to take risks with play.”  As a staff, we were very impressed with the instructor from Delta Gymnastics and were glad to see that safety was always a priority.

Working with Pastels

The grade 4 students in Mrs. Mazinani’s class have been enjoying working with chalk pastels.  The explored the work of Sandra Silberzweig, a contemporary Canadian artist.  Silberzweig’s artistic style reflects her lifelong struggle with Synesthesia, a condition which can be debilitating at times due to its involuntary sensory overload.  However, this neurological disorder formed the basis of her creativity allowing us to see works of art composed of intense, vibrant colours.  The children worked with liquid glue and chalk pastels to create some lovely and interesting portraits.  They also worked with chalk pastels and ink to create “Owl in the Moon”.

 

Intermedia Coding

At the beginning of the school year, Canada Learning Code (a non-profit organization sponsored by the Canadian government) came into our school for two days and gave all our intermediate students (grades 4 to 7) a free hour lesson on coding.  Coding is basically a computer language used to develop apps, websites, and software.  Our students worked specifically on Scratch, programming their own interactive stories or games.

Berkshire Park has been exploring coding because its part of our new BC curriculum and that programming itself helps students develop understanding of deeper and complex ideas.  Students have been learning computational thinking and how programming involves a lot of logical sequence of events. Students also have been developing new vocabulary such as looping, debugging, execute, strings, and boolean blocks.

We asked the students what do you think you would like to share with the online community? They said, “coding is sometimes difficult. You may not get the program don’t correctly and you may have many issues. Don’t give up and keep trying. It’s the only way we learn.” Click on the following link to one of our students games!! >>>>> Scratch Game

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