Tuesday, 31 May 2011

100 Things To Do This Summer!

We've started a list, in no particular order, of things we want to do this summer.  It might not end up being 100 things but this is what we have so far ...

  1. Make a volcano
  2. Picnic dinner at the beach
  3. Make a cookie map of Canada
  4. Sew cushions for Bekah's chair
  5. Geocaching in our neighborhood
  6. Release our butterflies
  7. Paint to music
  8. Blow bubbles
  9. Go to the water park
  10. Q-tip Pointillism
  11. Hole "Challenge" Drawings
  12. Masking Tape Art
  13. Sleep outside under the stars
  14. "Pass the Drawing"

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Lego Robotics (Wedo 1) Class

Matt just finished a 8 week Lego Robotics class (Gateways Discovery Camps) with some of his friends from soccer.  Of course, this is right up Matt's alley and he made some awesome creations.

Hard at work

A car that moves!
His own design he created on the last day of class.

Isaiah 61 by Matthew!

Amazing for someone in grade one!

Isaiah 61 by Bekah!

Way to go, Bekah!

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Flower Fun!

As part of our unit on plants we attempted to dye some white carnations.
First, we added dye to the water in three of the vases, split the stems (to speed up the intake of dye), and then put one flower in the plain water (control), one flower in each of the vases of dyed water and another flower in both of the vases (half of the split stem in each vase).

We then waited, and waited, and then waited some more.  We were supposed to see some results within the hour but we observed only slight red colouring in the flowers after several days (you have to look really closely at the photo).

Next time we would try adding more dye to the water to make a stronger solution and also use warm water to fill the vases.  We might also experiment with other colours of dye to see if that made a difference.

Plants, Plants, Plants!

We started with small seeds in tiny pots inside.

Then moved them outside to brave the elements (and the mole in the backyard!).

Using whatever help we could find :)

Until she ran away!

But here's the real expert to tell you how things went ...

The camera work is a bit rough but it is tough when budget restraints require you to do your own camera work while reporting (after production the numbers were crunched and there was absolutely nothing left for editing).


Bekah has started writing a daily edition of "Bekah's Breaking News".  Each edition (composed, typed and edited - well, sometimes edited - by Bekah) is a delightful collection of short articles about various topics (hockey is a current one these days).  Here are a few of my favourite editorials so far (typed exactly as originally published):

~Baby VS crocodile~

At church yesterday a baby named Isaih was shootin hard at a croc that said honk when you squeezed him.  It was quite a battle until finally ........ the crocodile surrendered, and the baby decided to do something else.

~Dirty .....~

Daddy left the grittle (griddle) all dirty!!!! :( And now Mama has to clean it all up.  :(  (Please don't hold this against Dada as it really probably wasn't his fault.)


I predict that the Canucks will win the game!! What do you think??  Sadly I won't be watching it because I have a dance recital (which you will be reading about soon).

~You're Beautiful~
An original song

When I saw your face
It was like an ocean wave, blue and clear.
Yes, when I see your face
It was like a flower that just came out.

You're beautiful (1X)
Yes, you're beautiful (2X)
   to me!!

Poetry Month

We were all looking forward to our poetry unit last month after getting a big stack of poetry books from the library and being inspired to make a poetry tree (hanging poems from tree branches artistically arranged in a container).

Then we started listening to a couple of CDs by Sharon Creech (thanks, Katina!):

and listened to them again,

and again,

and yet again. 

We laughed along with Jack, a young boy, who thinks he can't write poetry but, with the gentle encouragement of his teacher, ends up writing all sorts of poetry.

Before I knew it both of my kids were racing home from activities (we listened to the cds in the car) to write down poems on bits and scraps of paper.  Matthew was begging me to read the poetry books with him and then help him get the right kind of paper for him to write his own poems on.

We didn't do any of the "formal" lessons I had planned on the different types of poetry and we never got around to our poetry tree (the poems didn't "fit" very well on the cards we were going to hang on the tree).  Thanks to Jack's inspiration, however, we experimented with alliteration, metaphors, similies and repetition.  What a delightfully natural way to enjoy poetry.

Some of my favorites from the "bits and scraps" of paper ....

by Matthew

Funny, floating frog
On a
Green lily pad.

The Storm
by Matt

Oh the
Pitter Patter
Of the rain

Sounds like music
   in the day
As the rain drops
   come out to play.

by Bekah

Oh the heavy cross on Jesus’ shoulders.
What a heavy cross on Jesus’ shoulders.
Too heavy to carry if you tried.
Oh, if you tried it would be too heavy.
But he all tired and weak,            
                carried the cross as a sign of defeat.
Waiting for his fate that would be very great for the world.
His fate would be great for the world
because he saved us from sin, our greatest enemy
He saved us from sin, our greatest enemy.
 Oh the heavy cross.

Art Classes

Flower in the style of Georgia O'Keeffe 
By Bekah

By Matthew

Painted Forest Scene with textured snow
By Bekah

By Matthew

Crayon Resist Nature Scene
By Bekah

By Matthew

Monday, 23 May 2011

Canadian History Comes Alive!

As part of our unit on early Canadian history
("Courage & Conquest" by Donna Ward) we made a timeline of important events & people.

Some of the major players....

The British,

The First Nations
(and the French were there as well)

The major players fighting over natural resources

and Acadia.

Saturday, 21 May 2011

Moments of Joy

Drawing outside on a sunny day.

Reading to your little sister.

Visiting with a special friend.

Rolling Thru History!

We're making a big timeline to review all of the people and events we've been reading about in history this year (Ancient Civilizations - Elizabethan age). 
A particularly interesting aspect of doing this has been to see where all of the people in the bible fit in with the rest of history.  For example, did you know that Esther saved the Jews from massacre at the hands of Haman during the beginning of the Golden Age of Greece, about 50 years before the Peloponnesian War (war between Sparta and Athens)?

Friday, 20 May 2011

A "Trip" to Hawaii

Nana and Grandpa brought a bit of Hawaii back to share with all of us...

Gymnastics Show!

The Rodeo came to Splitz Gymnastics.

The animals stayed home but there was plenty of balancing,  tumbling and somersaulting.

Burnaby Village

Taking a trip back in time ...

When times were simpler ....

But kids still had fun ....

And kids still liked to eat...

Saturday, 14 May 2011

Making Paper!

During our unit on plants we made paper with our science co-op.

First we got messy .....

Then we dried things off .....

Then we waited for the paper to dry (we're still waiting!).  To pass the time we brainstormed all of the things we use plants for and here are some of our ideas:

Samuel de Champlain

Samuel de Champlain ....

Father of New France
Dedicated Colonist


Champlain's Habitation in Quebec

Money Management = Fun Times!

How do you keep an eight year old awake while teaching her
about money management? 

Send her to the mall with $20 and a good friend!

Decisions, decisions, decisions!
("And how much tax will be added to this, Mommy?")

What $20 buys you:
$7 Sunglasses (good thing they were on sale!), $7 stuffy and a $4 bookmark
(and ice cream from Mommy)

Priceless = the fun had by all!

Friday, 13 May 2011


The latest additions to the Stokes' family arrived last week.

We're happy they're here but we all are quick to admit they aren't nearly as cute as the ducks we hatched earlier this year.

We'll give our new friends some time, however, and give them a chance to win our hearts like the ducks did.