Saturday, April 25, 2015

Curious about Caterpillars

Here is a snapshot of some of our documentation about our most recent and exciting inquiry! This is a very exciting time because next week we will begin a Ministry Pilot Project called "A Week in the Forest" which will allow us to embrace the outdoors in our learning and we are excited to bring this inquiry into this wonderful opportunity! Stay tuned for more posts to come!

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Lights, Camera, Action: Extending our Movie Theatre Inquiry beyond the walls of our classroom!

This blog post is long overdue but one that I'm excited to be sharing nonetheless! Our Movie Theatre Inquiry continues to be an engaging and exciting learning space in our classroom! Prior to our March Break, we had the incredible opportunity of visiting The Roxy Theatre; a historically restored movie theatre located in Uxbridge, Ontario.

Image from Google Images
The planning and purpose of this field trip was to support our students' understanding of what movie theatre's look like and what roles are needed, but also extend their learning beyond the surface to develop a deeper understanding around how they operate! Little did we know as an educator team, that the morning itself would be full of surprises!

Upon our arrival, students instantly recognized the "ticket booth" from our classroom discussions and were greeted by the lovely Miss Cathy! Their reaction was priceless as it confirmed their predictions that the circle in the middle was in fact a microphone!

Once we entered The Roxy, the first thing we saw was the popcorn machine and students couldn't wait to find out how the popcorn gets made! The theatre was full of collected movie artifacts, posters new and old, and decor that helped celebrate that "old-time" flare of what going to the movies used to be like a long time ago.

Students recognized many similarities between The Roxy Theatre and our very own movie theatre in our classroom! It was truly wonderful to see the excitement in their eyes as they made those connections (e.g. menus, popcorn and drink sizes, movie seats, big screen). Noticing that The Roxy had different flavours of drinks and a variety popcorn toppings led our students to want to add that into our movie theatre when back at school - a perfect next step for our inquiry!

The Roxy is a place that definitely celebrates the love for movies, and to our surprise, Miss Cathy directed us to look at two big black machines which happened to be old projectors from 1920 and 1932! She showed us what "film" used to look like and how the projectors worked and even taught us that one of the projectors didn't even play sound! We learned that the sound for the movie came from a radio or from a live band!

The next part of our excursion was by far our students' favourite - learning how a real movie theatre makes popcorn! Due to the fact that the popcorn machine itself was very hot, Miss Cathy walked us through each step and answered all the questions our students had! To our surprise, students got to each go behind the counter and scoop their own little bag of popcorn and enjoy it for the rest of the trip!

Miss Cathy then took us upstairs to the special Projection Room where we got to see firsthand how the movies play off of big computers in a real movie theatre! Due to privacy reasons, I cannot post these photos, but I can share how excited our students were to see the big screen from the little projector window!

Lastly, our students got to feel like special VIP customers as Miss Cathy shared exclusive previews while we all sat in the theatre enjoying our popcorn! 

All in all, this type of excursion truly allowed our students to extend their learning beyond the walls of our classroom. It provided a firsthand look at the workings of a movie theatre and how it related to our dramatic play back in our classroom. Presently, our students have added new feature films and have been working on forming different menus with specific flavours, prices and more! We look forward to continuing our inquiry and seeing where it takes us next! 

A big and special thank you to Cathy Christoff for being so accommodating and patient with our young learners and providing them with an incredible learning experience to support our inquiry!