Light Sensitive Paper

Back in April, my two student teachers were planning and teaching our unit on Lights and Shadows. They introduced me to the fascinating world of light sensitive paper.

Waiting for what seemed like endlessly for a sunny day, the students selected three items and ventured outside with their light sensitive paper in hand. They placed their chosen objects on the paper, waited for two minutes, and then immediately placed the paper into a bin of water for one minute. The paper was left to dry, and over time became imprinted with their objects.

Not only were they excited to see their finished artwork, but as was I. In all of these years of teaching this unit, I had never even heard of this paper prior. It was such a fun and engaging activity, and something that I know my students will remember for years to come.

In the past few weeks, they each created a reflection on the experiment, describing how it worked, the steps they followed, and what they created on their paper.

In their reflections, their learning was evident and the concepts were clear. Plus, it was a great way for me to model that even as teachers, we can always learn something new!

First Nations Learning at Glenbow

Yesterday, my class ventured downtown to the Glenbow Museum for the day. During the afternoon, we participated in the program called Nitsitapiisinni: Our Way of Life, which was lead by a Blackfoot man, who we called Skip. He began the program by providing us with some background information about the Blackfoot People and some events that happened in the past. We then gathered around the giant teepee, as he share his own stories. The students were asking questions to learn more, making connections between their own culture and his, and were fascinated by the Blackfoot culture.

As the students learned about the importance of the bison to the Blackfoot people, they were given a variety of artefacts to examine. They needed to decide what part of the bison the artefact was created from, as well as what it was used for. They developed a rich understanding and appreciation for the fact that the Blackfoot people used every part of the bison, and did not let anything go to waste. It was quite the contrast from our society today.

As the new Alberta curriculum begins to unfolds, it is our responsibility to ensure that both teachers and students develop foundational knowledge about First Nations in Alberta. Glenbow supports one way in which we can educate our students, learn from the past, and develop better understandings to make for a better future!

Here are some of the students reflections, and the learning that stood out for them:

A Micro:bit Classroom

Prior to spring break, I registered my class for a free micro:bit workshop offered by Kids Code Jeunesse . Without really knowing what to expect, our facilitator Zoe, led my students through an interactive demonstration of coding and connecting the codes to microbits. Instantly excited, engaged, and eager to try out these new pieces of technology, my students partnered up and began their exploration.

microbit

The more the students experimented, the more complex their microbits became.

 They created names, figures, step counters, and complex movements.

It was inspiring for me to watch my students go from knowing nothing about microbits to being able to program a variety of different codes. Yes, at times they did get frustrated, but they kept on persevering. We could all learn something from them!

As the program came to an end, Zoe left our class with 10 of our own microbits. We continue to play, explore, and learn about them and challenge our thinking in different and innovative ways.