Friday, April 30, 2010

Moss Terrariums

This years' mother's day project was early.  I couldn't resist.  It was fun to get these little (spice-rack) bottles together.  I'm glad I was early too.  We have been working on getting the soil to dry.  The initial watering was too much, now a cloud forms in the bottle.  There is less condensation in the bottles every day now.

The instruction for the moss garden can be found here.

We used different layers of soil and sand, but the watering changed the colours.  So hopefully, once they are dried enough, the different layers will be visible again.  They were quite pretty.

The bottles will be decorated to coordinate with the students' cards and maybe we will  make a gift baggie for them.

Now if the moms like them as much as the kids, they will be a hit!

Thursday, April 29, 2010


A page I did for an on-line challenge at Fiskateers. 

Plain and simple -- that's all the photo needed.  
 I don't do a lot of scrapping.  Not sure why -- probably too time-consuming.  

The last few weeks have been really busy for me.  I guess that's the spring story.  I like to spend time outdoors, so besides schoolwork, there is just not enough time in the day.

My flower gardens are becoming an eye-sore for me.  I need to get out and do some digging.  With the rain we've had and is still coming down, it seems like I'm free for another week-end.

Manitoba Maple in bloom -- this is the children's tree; perfect for climbing.  Many of my school photos are taken on or around this tree.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

More Birds of the Wetlands

I like walking around the wetlands with my binoculars.  I never miss to go out and do the April/May Bird count for SEEDS with my students. 
In the last few days I got my hands on a camera with a zoom so you'll be presented with some of the images I capture.  

I'll admit, I know how to turn the camera on, zoom in and out, and focus!! -- That's it!  But for now that is all I need, as I am not that much into photography as I am in Nature.

Blue-winged Teal, male and female

Blue-winged Teal-- male
You can actually see the blue wing which is only visible when the bird is in flight!

Canvasback male

Following will be a few pictures of a mallard pair.


...and a killdeer, 
I found it's nest -- empty still, and wouldn't have known it was there, had it not made such a fuss!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Wetland Wonders

Walk through the wetlands with me.  

We are surrounded by sloughs and pot-holes of many sizes.  With a borrowed camera around my neck and thunder clouds looming, I was out walking this afternoon.  I visited 5 different sloughs and caught a few of the water birds with the camera.  I had hoped for less common varieties, but it seems they have not all returned from the south.  I was surprised to find a few grebes mixed in with the common ducks.

Red-winged Blackbird, a sure sign of spring, always one of the first birds to return.

Seagulls!  'nuff said!

Seagulls again with canvas-back male and female.

Male mallard in flight.
Male Northern Shoveler.

Mallard again.

Canvasback pair and a red-necked grebe.

And another common spring sight -- boys in their Sunday best trying to launch a raft!

Thursday, April 22, 2010


April is Poetry month.  I always try to do at least a few poetry forms with my students.  

This year, 'Fancy Nancy -- Poet Extraordinaire!' was available through Scholastic Book orders.

I ordered it and was pleasantly surprised to see some lessons forming in my head as I read it the first time.  If you haven't read these books, you should.  I shied away from them for a while, as I thought they were just another set of princessy books for little girls.  The books are eye-catching, fancy, and actually are the greatest books for vocabulary development.  This little girl likes everything fancy including fancy words.  She uses the greatest words and then the author goes on to say what the words mean.

Like this... It's a song, and the lyrics -- which are the words--also count as poetry.   And this... (Anonymous means nobody knows who wrote this.  There are lots of fancy words in poetry!)

The book introduces different poem forms, some which we have done in my class this month.  My students love Fancy Nancy and this book was no exception.  There is a poetry club such as Fancy Nancy has, which meets after school.  Yes...I have had the pleasure to read some of the poems:)

Following are student samples of what we have done with name poems and diamonte poems, all around a Spring theme.

For this poem, the background was a separate art lesson.  It is a fun technique, very easy and adaptable.  I put the finished product through the photocopier to copy the flower acrostics on it.  The lesson can be found here.

Diamonte Poems -- the shape of the finished poem worked nicely for the kite!

More name poems, this time with  the word 'spring'.  I used a foldable to display this one.

Today we try limericks.  That should be fun.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Spring's New Life

Enjoy a collection of photos taken on a Sunday afternoon walk. I never thought to find pussy willows out yet! ...And I was pleasantly surprised to also find leaflets emerging on some trees. There are always some kind of mosses to be found, always the most emerald green.

A garter snake; I saw one skidding across a puddle in a ditch this week as if it was slithering over sand.

I was diverted, this is from the greenhouse, which is always on the agenda when I go walking these days. I like going through, small and cramped as it is, and see what is happening there.

Cushion spurge, finally got a piece from one of my sisters last year. It has shown itself alive and well, for which I am very thankful. It has the most beautiful colouring through the year, starting with a brilliant yellow in the spring.

Seagulls are worth noting, they are one of the first birds back in the spring and once here, you can hardly miss them. Noisy, and a bit of a nuisance, they do however clean up any food scrap left at the dump so credit must be given them.

I am in search of the prairie crocus. I have never seen any around here, but there is always the possibility.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010