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!



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!










Finding our Way

Last week was a great one -the weather, the activities,  and the enthusiasm!  We’re gearing up for our annual Terry Fox run, and are especially anxious to reach our school goal of $5000.  If we manage this amount, the teachers, additional staff and administration will be participating in a fashion show!  This won’t be just ANY kind of fashion show, but one where the students will decide what it is we strut down the runway in.  I am excited and only a tiny bit afraid!  Mr. W should be very afraid – the staff will be figuring out his attire!  Can’t wait!

We’ve also been testing out our orienteering skills; using maps and working with partners to find hidden markers around the school yard.  This has proven to be a very popular PE/Social Studies activity, as I’m asked daily, “Are we orienteering today??”  We’ll try to set a few courses each week until the snow flies (again) so that we can take advantage of the fabulous autumn temperatures.

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In Language Learning, we’ve been working hard to increase our stamina during ‘Read to Self’ and ‘Working on Writing’ time. The students seem very goal oriented and are ready to show me that they can read or write the whole time, work quietly at their task, and pick “good fit” books.   It is very reassuring to see how many of them are familiar with these routines from their teachers in previous years.  Our new students are catching on super-quickly as well.

In Math, we’re identifying and describing patterns and using them to solve problems.  Be sure to ask your child to describe the patterns they see in their everyday world.  How does the pattern start?  Are the numbers increasing or decreasing?   By how much is it increasing or decreasing?  Next up in math will be place value to the 10 000 position.

We’ve also began our review of digital citizenship.  This means we’ve been talking about being respectful and making good choices while online.  These lessons are key to our success with technology throughout the school year and beyond.  Here are the main points that we’ve covered so far:

1.  Be nice to one another. Apply the “golden rule” online. 

2. Guard your privacy.  What people know about you is up to you. 

3. Protect your reputation. Everything online takes place in front of  a large number of strangers.  What kind of impression do you want to make?  

4.  Be smart, be safe. Not everyone online is who they say they are. 

5.  Take a break from the internet.  Watch the clock; balance your life!

Click here to learn more about this week’s lesson on digital citizenship!

Thanks for checking in on our blog!  Feel free to leave a comment about anything that interests you.


Here’s What I’ve Learned

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This little guy has a ton of grade four fans.  It was a pretty exciting part of our day – to say the least.  

This week, we tackled a lot of topics.  In Social Studies, we learned the cardinal and intermediate directions. 

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In Language Learning (Daily Five), we discussed and recorded the expectations during Read to Self time. We practiced too!

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We also spent some time on our Chromebooks.  We set ourselves up with new usernames/passwords and bookmarked some important pages that we’ll be using for the rest of the year. 

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All in all, I think we’ve had a terrific first week.  I hope everyone has a relaxing and sun-filled weekend – Enjoy!


Adventures in Orienteering!

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We DO love orienteering.  Practicing fun, fitness and fairplay while using our mapping skills to find markers is a great activity in these last few days of warm, summer weather.  We’re problem solving, using teamwork and deepening our understanding of new skills. Outstanding!


For Today’s Lesson, let’s head to Ft. Normandeau!

We had a terrific opportunity to put our learning into ACTION today!  We visited Fort Normandeau just outside of Red Deer for their Bison Hunt program.  Our interpreter was Megan – she was really knowledgeable and helped us to see that the bison provided a “supermarket” of food, materials and tools for Alberta’s First Nations.

With Megan’s guidance, we then participated in a re-enactment of a bison hunt – complete with a bison pound and students acting as bison, hunters, decoys, scouts… the list goes on.

Here are a few photos from our day…



Dinosaur Delight

There were a lot of excited kids boarding the bus this morning. The Royal Tyrrell Museum did not disappoint! I would like to thank our parent volunteer Leah Brown, Miss Shelly, and Mrs. Walton for making this day a successful one. Here are a few quick shots from our day.

By the way, what’s your favourite dinosaur?

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