North West – Is the Best!


Our class was so lucky this week to get to visit the National Historic Site at Rocky Mountain House.  Our interpreters led us on an adventure like no other!

We started off as members of the North West Company. We learned a ton about the lives that these voyageurs must have led.

How did they keep clean?  How did they feel about their rivals, the Hudson’s Bay Company?  How did they travel?  What kinds of relationships did they build during Canada’s fur trade?

All these questions (and more) were answered when we were able to be part of a large re-enactment of an actual trade.  There were 2 groups of First Nations people, The HBC men, the Metis, and our NWC men — all represented by a grade four class from IREC.  It was amazing. If you get a chance to visit this spot — it’s definitely worth your time!



Simple Machines Make Your Butter Better

It turns out… we love butter.  We also think this simple machine is fascinating.

Inside the gear box, we have 36 cogs on one gear and 12 cogs on the other.  This means that for every one turn of the handle, the paddles in the jug turn 3 times   (36 divided by 12 = 3).  That’s great bang for your buck!  We get a ton of work done with very little effort.


Gears of the Churn



Paper Whites

So, our paper whites were ‘scheduled’ to bloom on January 19th. It’s December 29th.  Here’s what’s happening…



They’ve bloomed already! I guess I’ll make my way to the store to buy another batch for observing in the New Year.


Friends of the Fossils

Today, we had a couple of very special guests.  Chris and Melissa Robak came in to teach us a bit about fossils — it was fantastic. We’re learning about fossils in our Social Studies unit about Alberta’s Fossil Heritage – so this presentation was just perfect!

Alberta is the only place in the world where you can find an organic PRECIOUS gemstone.  Ammolite.  We saw a huge ammolite fossil. (worth about $9000)


Megaladon tooth.


This trilobite is so old it doesn’t have any eyes.




Fossilized choral from what is now the middle of the Sahara Desert.


Semi-fossilized whale vertebrae.


Fossils embedded in a rock from the Ponoka area.



Pass the Halelite. (Rock Salt)



What a terrific opportunity to learn more about this super-interesting topic from a couple of real experts.  Thanks again, Chris and Melissa!










Snow Man Show Down

Oh, what a beautiful day.  7 degrees C. Sun shining. Kids laughing. Tons of exercise.

There was a whole lot of huffing and puffing involved in getting these snow people built. The snow was perfect – wet and sticky.  But these qualities also make it super heavy. We persevered and an army of snow men and women (and even one snow-alien) are now standing at the far end of the school playground.  Way to go, 4Wo! IMG_4558IMG_4580IMG_4579IMG_4567IMG_4560IMG_4570IMG_4563IMG_4572IMG_4559IMG_4569IMG_4576IMG_4573IMG_4566IMG_4578IMG_4581