Up, Up and Away: A Celebration

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Last Friday, our class had the wonderful opportunity of visiting Pilot Ryan at his airport! Not only was this a great way for us to see a real airport and airplanes in action, but it was a wonderful way to celebrate all of our learning as this incredible inquiry comes to an end.

Leading up to our visit, our students began to make predictions about what they think they might see at Pilot Ryan's airport based on what they've learned throughout our inquiry. One of our SK students (J.S.) decided to look up Buttonville Airport on Google Earth and inspired his peers to do the same. What came out of this learning opportunity was a chance for our class to create checklists for our special visit and what we hope to see when we're there:

When the day finally came, our students were beyond excited and we were happy to also have the company of our Community Class join us on our excursion! Smiles, songs and excitement filled our school bus and to top it off, the weather was absolutely perfect! 

Once we arrived, Pilot Ryan greeted us at the front doors and our adventure began. It wasn't long before "ooh's" and "ahh's" filled the building as we made our way to our "Classroom" for a Morning Meeting. This classroom was pretty neat - filled with pictures of airplanes, helicopters, maps and a real propeller! Pilot Ryan taught us about safety when we go out on the tarmac and had a few other Pilots come and assist us as we started our tour. 

Some highlights of our trip:
1. Students were able to make connections to various parts of the airport, airplane and job roles at the airport.
2. Students got to go up into the Weather Tower, talk and learn from a real Meteorologist and listen to the radio commands being given to pilots up in the air! 
3. Students learned how the Weather Tower measures how high the clouds are in the sky! A special machine shoots a laser into the sky and once a cloud passes over it, it bounces back down and tells the computer how high the clouds are!
3. Students got to see the flight simulation room where Pilot Candidate's practice how to fly.
4. Students got to sit in the cockpit of a real airplane, turn the yolk (steering wheel) and see what happens to the wings.
5. Students got to watch airplanes and helicopters taking off and landing every few minutes! They also learned that helicopters take off and land by going up and down and airplanes need to "zoom" down the runway to lift off!

For the "grown-ups" on the trip, we learned that Tom Cruise trained to be a pilot at Buttonville Airport and that John Travolta visits often (too bad we missed them during our visit)!

The pictures below are only a snapshot of all the wonderful things and conversations had while visiting Pilot Ryan at the airport! 

Flight Simulation Room

We would like to take this opportunity again to thank our wonderful Parent Volunteers who assisted us on our trip and to Pilot Ryan for hosting! Our students will always remember this visit and it truly was an authentic learning opportunity for them!

Pilot Ryan, we hope you enjoyed your "Thank You Book" from our class and we hope to see you again soon or maybe even up in the sky! 

Friends Forever

Check out what two of our SK students made today in celebration of their friendship! With the end of the year quickly approaching, it was truly amazing to watch them highlight the many things they enjoy doing with each other's company. A true testament to a wonderful friendship!

Ms. Schmidt: Can you tell me what you made together?

I.D.: We made a book about being friends forever.

Ms. Schmidt: What inspired you to make this book?

S.M.: Well, I'm going away to Ottawa next year and won't be here but we can still be friends by talking and emailing and facetiming and skyping and calling each other.

I.D.: We can send pictures to each other too and always be best friends still.

Ms. Schmidt: What do you like about your book?

S.M.: We worked together as a team to think of the words and draw the pictures. I.D. drew some and I drew some and I wrote words too.

I.D.: I like how we added detail to our pictures and a speech bubbles on the slide picture. I like how we are both authors.

Here is a video of them reading their book entitled "Me and You":

What does being a good friend mean to you?

Thank you to their parents for letting us post this captured video and we welcome comments below.

Our Artists in Action

Sunday, May 12, 2013

While visiting Paintlounge last week for our collaborative team-building session, Ms. Theis and I also got inspired by a piece of Mother's Day artwork displayed on one of their easels.

Inspired Artwork: Photo taken from

After discussing with each other how we could recreate a similar work of art with our students, we didn't waste any time getting our creations underway this week! Not only did this open the doors for us as educators to teach our students a new art technique, but with each day new day, our students got to add something new to their artwork and watch their masterpiece come together!

- 8 1/2 x 11 canvases
- tempera paint (various colours)
- paint brushes
- tissue paper (pink/purple)
- clear sequins
- glue
- brown string
The Process

Our Mother's Day Masterpieces

Each one is unique and created with love.

I would like to dedicate this blog post to all the incredible Mother's of our students! We thank you for being such active and encouraging supporters of your children and we truly hope you enjoy opening your "Special Envelope" on Mother's Day!  

We would also like to wish all of our followers, colleagues, friends and family members a Happy Mother's Day! Enjoy!

Collaborative Painting

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

What happens when you get teachers together and their Principal for an evening of painting?

The following words sum it up: 

Take a look at our collaborative painting session that took place this past Friday at Paintlounge! It was truly a wonderful evening full of laughs, risk-taking and fun! I am so fortunate to work with such incredible people and I look forward to many more team-building sessions in the future!

If you have yet to check out Paintlounge, visit their website by clicking the link ( or follow them on Twitter: 

Lego Airport

Thanks to one of our SK students (L.D.) and their parents for sharing this creative representation of an airplane, an air traffic control tower and a runway out of lego! When L.D. shared his creations from home today during our Morning Meeting this is what he had to say:

J.S. (SK): "How did you know how to build all that?"

L.D.: "Well, I looked in a book and it inspired me and teached me how it should look like and how to make it." 

Ms. Theis and I truly love hearing about our students' learning extending beyond the walls of our classroom. It makes our hearts so happy to know that our students are making such meaningful connections between home and school and sharing all that they know with their families! Thank you to L.D. and his family for letting us share these pictures and your creations on our blog! 
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