Friday, May 24, 2013

TWU Salmon in the Valley

She didn't quite get a diploma but Serena enjoyed her day of learning at Trinity Western University. Salmon in the Valley is a workshop created by TWU in partnership with the Salmon River Enhancement Society. Students spend a day in a guided program wandering through the forest and exploring the habitat around the Salmon River.

The environment-based curriculum included learning about the food chains, renewable vs non-renewable resources, salmon life cycle and habitat, human impact to water quality, and plant identification through various games and hands-on activities. Serena was given the job to test the quality of the groundwater and was introduced to a new concept: pH level . If you, like me, cannot remember what that's all about and have a tough time explaining it intelligibly, go to BrainPOP to learn about the pH scale!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Provincial Election

Since provincial election was upon us, what great opportunity to do a little unit study on our government - I could use some educating being a political ignoramus myself.

Discovery Education has a great video on "Government in Canada" to get us started. To help us understand the 3 levels of government and the current who's-who at each level, Serena created this board as a visual aid.
Serena and her South Delta friends also participated in Student Vote, a parallel election program for all students across B.C. It was a fantastic hands-on way to learn about the democratic electoral process. The Vote Compass on the CBC website came in handy for our research, and our family of three seemed to have a very similar political bend according to the survey. All I can say is, we're not responsible for the Liberals majority win...

Sunday, May 12, 2013

International Dinner: Korea

You know the school year is coming to a close when it's time for International Dinner, a fun annual event with our South Delta friends. Serena is on her Taekwondo streak these days, so Korea was her apparent country of choice.

It was interesting to learn about the history behind the division of North and South Korea. BrainPOP has some great resources on the Korean War and communism; Serena always enjoys the Tim & Moby videos which manage to explain difficult concepts in a concise and fun manner.
The best part of International Dinner is always the galore of food we get to sample from different countries. This year there were a great many dishes from South America and Europe. We made Japchae, a Korean dish of sweet potato noodles and vegetables, flavoured with sesame oil, sugar and soy sauce.

For her presentation, Serena shared her passion for Taekwondo with the audience and demonstrated four Taekwondo Poomsae, the patterns she has learnt so far from white belt to her current camouflage belt.

"A True Book: South Korea" by Tara Walters
"A True Book: North Korea" by Tara Walters
"Global Hot Spots: North Korea" by Clive Gifford
"Country Explorers: South Korea" by Jennifer A. Miller
"Welcome to South Korea" by Karen Kwek & Johanna Masse

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Poetry Fun

April was Poetry Month. We took advantage of all those dreary rainy days and snuggled up with a pile full of poetry books.

We're particularly excited to discover 2 books by Marty Nystrom: "Don't Mess With Moses! - peculiar poems and rib-tickling rhymes" and "Zack, You're Acting Zany! - playful poems and riveting rhymes". The author hopes "to pique kid's curiosity in the Bible and to see it as interesting, exciting and well worth reading!"

Other fun poetry books we read recently:
"Food Hates You, Too and Other Poems" by Robert Weinstock
"A Kick In The Head: An Everyday Guide to Poetic Forms" by Paul B. Janeczko
"World Rat Day: Poems About Real Holidays You've Never Heard Of" by J. Patrick Lewis
"Tie Your Socks And Clap Your Feet: Mixed-Up Poems" by Lenny Hort
"City I Love" by Lee Bennett Hopkins
"Around The World On Eighty Legs" by Amy Gibson
"What's For Dinner? Quirky, Squirmy Poems from the Animal World" by Katherine B. Hauth

A Normal Day
A Mixed-Up Poem by Serena
(Inspiration from "Tie Your Socks And Clap Your Feet" by Lenny Hort)

I wake up and close my eyes,
stretch my ears up to the sky.
I mess up my bed
and I comb my head,
then I feed my cats some bread
sprinkled with raspberry spread.
I make myself a cup of dinner
to make myself a little thinner.
After that I brush my nose and floss my toes,
and eat a few books while I read buttered toast.
I go in my house as I walk out the door,
rolling to my dentist on the second floor.
He rots my teeth and brushes my eyes,
then tells me to eat a bowl of flies.
I walk out the door to go inside
because it's raining fruit horses and flies.
I might as well go to bed,
turn on the lights and hear the moon set.
The beginning.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Grandmaster Hae-Man Park

Taekwondo Grandmaster Hae-Man Park is one of the original masters who developed the Taegeuk Poomsae, the patterns for each belt level. He served in the Korean War and was a presidential bodyguard for the first president when Korea became a republic. Master Park is the advisor to the World Taekwondo Federation and the Vice President of the Chung Do Kwan Association, the oldest school in Taekwondo formed in 1944.

Serena had the rare privilege of taking a special class with this pioneer of Taekwondo last night. The retired Master Park travels around the world and is currently visiting Canada. Even though the evening class went way past her bedtime, Serena was super focused and enjoyed her time with the Grandmaster!