May 26, 2008

Student Led Conferences and Kobe Kachoen

Last week Canadian Academy organized "student-led conferences" for all the elementary grades. This is a very cool concept; the teachers don't update you or give reports. Rather, it is just the kids chance to show us everything they have been working on in school.

Both Jacob and Lauren worked hard preparing what they wanted to present at their special conference. Ilena headed to school with the kids and started in Lauren's class. Lauren's teacher had set up five stations around the room, including circle time, poetry and song corner, spring art book, and a special class slide show. Lauren led Ilena through each of the stations with a huge smile and bundles of pride. It was clear that Lauren has been hard at work over the last few months and that she soaks up everything. After the classroom portion, Lauren took Ilena to her music, art and gym class to give her a short demo.

Here she is showing off some beautiful origami which she had done in art class recently:

After finishing up with Lauren, it was Jacob's turn to show his stuff. Kindergarten had also set up stations around the class for the students to guide their parents. Jacob guided Ilena through his current ocean science unit as he displayed his portfolio with his ongoing research project on the clownfish, created a graph based on different fish types, read a couple of his favorite "home school books" and even got to handle some real (dead) fish, squid, and clams while identifying all the important parts. Jacob was just glowing the entire time. He's come such a long way in just five short months. As with Lauren, after finishing in the classroom, Jacob escorted Ilena to his gym, music and art class where the teachers had left out some materials for him to explain their current work/activity. He even got to spend a couple minutes finishing up a floral masterpiece which he hadn't quite completed yet. The sunflower picture below is definitely in the running to be framed!

After leaving school by lunchtime that day, Ilena and the kids headed to nearby Port Island to check out Kobe Kachoen, an exotic flower and bird park.

The flowers were really beautiful, but the true show-stoppers were the hundreds of birds all roaming free. One of the rooms was devoted to toucans. You could buy food in a little cup (an assortment of diced melon) and the birds would land right on your arm as you feed them from your hand. Lauren jumped right in and enjoyed spending time with her new little avian friends. Jacob was a little more cautious, and stuck to just petting the owls. There were some brilliant tropical birds, penguins and a duck pond (with some very hungry ducks.). In all it was a great way to spend a beautiful afternoon.


jmgesq said...

Way to go Jacob and Lauren. Glad you're enjoying your school so much. It sounds like quite a special place! When you can, write and tell us your favorite part.

Melanie Gray Augustin said...

That's a great idea having the kids show their parents around, rather than the teacher explaining it.