Space Exploration Co-op

Our last Co-op for this school year, as always, was bittersweet. It has been such a great year of expanding friendships, prayer for each other, ongoing support and learning together. We have bonded this year at an even deeper level and each new family has added a new dimension and a new opportunity for learning from each other!

This co-op was a collaboration with another mom and it was great to use her resource ideas as well as my own! To start with the students got in pairs and did a Solar System Scavenger Hunt! This was a great idea! It got them some interesting trivia about space as well as laying a foundation of the the basics about the planets. 

We followed this up with Planet Riddles that I read aloud and the students yelled out their answers.

Next I introduced the students to Mars One. I wanted them to estimate what they thought the timeline would be for Mars One. I showed them the NASA photo of what NASA intends Mars One to look like (above). They worked in groups of two and wrote down their ideas using this timeline form. We then compared the Mars One roadmap with their timelines.

I then read this article and guided the discussion to “Is the money spent on Space worth it?” The students chose their viewpoint and were divided by about 2/3rds on the no side and 1/3rd on the yes side. They came up with a variety of arguments for both yes and no. I was impressed with their passion for their sides! We had a short mini-debate about this issue and I think both teams won!!

To finish up the morning I had the students watch this video on Humanity and Space Exploration and how the International Space Station has affected changes in humanity. I asked after the video if any of the students that voted no wanted to change their mind - they all held to their position! 

After lunch the students did a run through of Les Miserables and then performed it for us. These plays are so valuable in learning the context of a story and the timeframe! Our drama mom works very hard writing these and I understand that she has three great ones lined up for next year!! 

To finish up the year the last sports time was Ultimate Frisbee - it had been raining pretty hard at the beginning and I was impressed how these students chose to just go with it! Thanks to our sports dad who didn’t give up even with the rain!! 

Looking forward to next year!! I am sure it will be another amazing one!!

Colonization and Residential Schools

Excellent Learning Camp at the Campbell River Museum yesterday!!  Our Facilitator was very passionate about the Residential Schools on Vancouver Island and therefore very knowledgeable. 

She went through a powerpoint on Colonization and Residential Schools. She was very engaging with the students. It was both enlightening and saddening to see the pictures and hear the stories.

Our facilitator then had the students go through the galleries and get answers on a wide range of questions about Colonization and Residential Schools. They worked as groups. It meant that they needed to slow down and read the plaques in the Museum to get their answers. This was a great way to expand their knowledge.

They then came back together and watched the video "Where are the Children" and it was very well done. It showed the atrocities of the Residential schools but also showed hope and healing.

This was such an excellent Learning Camp - I would certainly recommend it!!

Grade 9 Electricity Co-op - Such a great day!!

It was such a great day this month for Co-op! I love the way all of our moms and our PE dad teach our children with such passion for their topics! It is such a blessing to have devoted members of a co-op!

Our topic was Electricity and our two moms that were teaching set up 4 stations and divided the students in 4 groups. 

The first station used the card game AC DC to learn about circuits. You can learn more about this card game here. This took a little explanation but once the students got ahold of the rules away they went!

The second station was several experiments testing static electricity. They certainly had fun with those balloons! They  learned about bending water and static charges and our moms had provided a sheet to record their findings. Great fun!!

The third station they tested a wide variety of items for electrical charges. Our students then recorded their results. 

The fourth station was using Squishy Circuits to create electrical circuits. This was awesome! Our moms had made up conductive and insulating play dough ahead of time and then the students used is as part of the experiments! It looked like alot of fun!!

So much learning took place that morning just from listening to the students interact with each other and experiment in different ways! Such a great morning!!

In the afternoon the students finished up their Sunflower (Van Gogh) or Scream (Munch) paintings from last month. It is always a joy to see our students embrace this art time! 

Over the years our students have learned about so many artists and then tested their skills! We have such a gifted art/drama mom who really encourages our students to be creative and do their best!

Spring means baseball and so our students got the opportunity to play baseball together! I love the team sports aspect of our co-op! Many of our students don’t participate in a team sport so co-op has been such a great way to learn a wide variety of sports! Each year I think the experience get’s richer for them!!

One of the greatest blessings of co-op are our families - meeting with the moms each month gives me such encouragement - they are a committed, loving group of moms!! Seeing the students learning and interacting with each other gives me such hope for our future leaders!! We are truly blessed!!