Sunday, 26 November 2017


Following up on the successful Cardboard Challenge from last year at Reston School, the elementary teachers decided to gather up all the building materials in each of our individual classrooms and bring them to the gym for an hour of cross age “making”. 

 When you think about the word “make” you can also think of many synonyms: create, assemble, achieve, invent, generate, produce, craft, build or construct.  That is exactly what happens in a Makerspace. It is an environment where one is only limited by one’s imagination. It mixes all aspects of one of the new educational buzzwords “STEM”–Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math.  

Goals we had for the afternoon included: 
  • To encourage cross age cooperative skills  
  • To gather the materials available in the school and expose the students to them  
  • To encourage students to sustain at one material for a length of time 
  • To be creative, take risks, try something new 
  • To perhaps record your creation using the Ipads/cameras but nothing will be “saved” 

  • We feel our Makerspace was a successful event and are already beginning to plan for the next step.  February 7, 2018 has been named Global School Play Day  and we think that will be a great time to continue to Makerspace movement!

Thursday, 23 November 2017

Who's That Baby?

As part of our Science unit of how Animals Grow and Change, students were asked to bring in a baby picture of themselves to see if we could figure out who it was.  We decided some faces have changed much more than others and boys and girls look very much like each other when they are babies!

Saturday, 4 November 2017

Park Poppies Project

This week, the Grade 2 class worked with the Grade 12's on a special project.  We worked together to make poppies from red and black craft foam and write the names on them of some of the many Reston area people who served in the two world wars. 

The cenotaph at the park has many names carved in it of those who died (see link here) and our poppies will serve to honour those who fought but returned.  We talked about how that must have felt for them and their families and how some chose not to ever talk about it.

The poppies were then hot glued to sticks.  After a fresh morning walk to the park, the classes of 2018 and 2028 were able to "plant" our poppies around the cenotaph with the help of Mrs. Bonnie Guthrie and Mrs. Marilee Smeltz.

On our way back to school, we stopped in at the Reston Memorial Theatre to have a look at the displays on the wall.  So many names and we found many of our own surnames among them. Reston School's Remembrance Day Service, led by our Grade 12 friends, will take place this year on Friday, November 10th at 2:00 in the school gym.    

We will remember them.  

Thursday, 2 November 2017

Halloween Stem Challenges

This year on Halloween along with the costumes, treats and games, the Grade 2 class spent some time doing some STEM challenges.  This acronym stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.  The eight challenge cards each gave a task and the materials that they were allowed to use to build it.  Students could work on their own or in pairs or small groups but most chose to work alone this time.  Group work is an important part of most STEM challenges but require a whole set of other skills - compromise, cooperation and communication among them.  

It was a busy hour that made the time fly past and got them that much closer to trick or treat time!

Monday, 23 October 2017

Pumpkin Art Project

The first step in our project was to use yellow, red and orange paint to paint the pumpkin shape on orange construction paper.  It was interesting to watch the colours mixing and easy since the sides would be cut off anyway, there was no need to stay within the lines.

The next step (which I forgot to take pictures of) was using black and white paper to create a variety of facial features.  Doubling the paper to make 2 matching pieces was a valuable skill to have here.  Giving the students an opportunity to stop and walk around to view their classmates' projects is helpful to spur on new ideas.

The completed pumpkins were put on the hallway wall right above the Grade 2 lockers.  The dark blue wall with the orange pumpkins is a pleasant colour combination - a fact pointed out to me by an observant student!

Friday, 13 October 2017

Plasticine Boats

With our States of Matter unit coming to an end, the students were given a challenge to design a boat from Plasticine that could float and  hold the most pennies. It took trial and error and determination to be successful!

McKenna's boat held 22 pennies so it was declared the winner of the challenge.  Students used the design process (see posters below) and needed to rethink their design after testing it.  They were thinking like scientists!

Tuesday, 3 October 2017

Liquids Experiment

Today the Grade Twos learned how to use eye droppers and then tested how different liquids move.  There was lots of excitement and trying different variables to drive the drop around the racetrack!
What happens if you use 2 drops?  How about if you hold the racetrack straight down?  What happens if you try to blow the liquid?