Design Thinking Challenge: India

In Grade 3 at River Valley School, students have been diving into DESIGN THINKING! Through this process, children work on empathy, ideating, and creating. Our recent design thinking challenge took us on an adventure in Social Studies while we explored the regions of India.


Children were put into four groups. Each group learned about a different city in India and the way people live and work in that location.

We looked at the following locations:

Srinagar (North)


Jaipur (East)


Trivandrum (South)


Calcutta (West)

7 Billion Population Story

Children interviewed their teachers who took on the role of being a member of that city.

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After interviewing their teacher and building empathy, children had to ideate and create as many possible ideas for an article of clothing they could create to better there interviewees experience living in that city.

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Once they created their ideas, the interviewee selected their favourite for the prototype creation.

Children were given newspaper, magazines, tin foil, tape, and bags to create their prototype to showcase their ideas to their classmates.


The ideas were incredible! Here are a few:


Shoes for gripping on the mountains and hills to avoid falling off when giving tours in Jaipur.


Peanut pants with infinite peanuts to help train your elephant in Trivandrum.


Gloves and flippers to help you gather lotus leaves easily in the Dal Lake in Srinagar.


Shoes with springs on the bottom to help you jump up and reach nutmeg seeds in high trees in Trivandrum.


An underwater mask that protects you from sharks if you fall off the boat when fishing in Calcutta. The sharks lose their teeth if they bite the mask.

These were just a few of the incredible creations our students came up with during this process. A special thanks for the STEM Learning Lab for sharing DESIGN THINKING with us! Our imaginations are truly taking us on adventures in Grade 3 and we LOVE IT!

Until next time…

~ Miss Kim

Summer Madness for Miss Kim



This past school year (2016/2017) was busy and the summer seemed to FLY by but was it ever fun! I was busy working away at my Masters of Arts in Learning and Technology through Royal Roads University, travelling through beautiful British Columbia in July, and if you follow me on Twitter you may have seen some of my posts regarding #whereintheworldismisskim. Well to answer that question, I was travelling throughout Europe for three weeks in August and went to…

11 countries!


Not only did I see some of the most stunning places in Europe, but I met some incredible people along the way. Here are a few of the highlights from my travels:

The Eiffel Tower and Arc de Triomphe in Paris, France!

Reaching the top of Mount Pilatus in Lucerne Switzerland took my breathe away.

The pebble beaches in Nice France were NICE and eating snails was surprisingly DELICIOUS!

Got a little taste of lifestyles of the rich and famous in Monaco. Wow, it costs one million euros just to apply to be a citizen of Monaco… to APPLY!

Getting a taste of the Leaning Tower of Pisa in Italy was great fun!

The architecture in Florence Italy was unbelievable … so was the gelato!


Seeing Pope Francis speak in Vatican City on a Sunday was beyond AMAZING! Something very cool to check off the bucket list!


The Colosseum in Rome was a definite favourite of mine. This structure is so incredible and the history behind it is so interesting.

Venice, Italy was an incredible experience. Not only was the architecture of the bridges stunning (my grade three kids will LOVE hearing all about them), the water gondola ride was something I will never forget!




Austria was definitely a favourite of mine. White water rafting, biking 24km through the Austrian Alps, and paragliding over Hopfgarten. After all the busy city life it was nice to head to a stunning mountainous area that reminded me of home! You could say it was…



Munich Germany was so beautiful. The buildings were stunning and the landscapes were gorgeous.

Seeing an authentic concert of Mozart and Strauss in Vienna was music to my ears!


Prague in the Czech Republic was unbelievable. This castle is enough to prove that, I couldn’t pick my jaw up off the ground!


Same with the Lennon Wall! How cool is this?!

Not only did Prauge have the most amazing castles, it definitely had the best sweet treats called Chimneys, a swirled hollow donut rolled in hazelnuts and almonds, filled with strawberries, ice cream, whipped cream, and other deliciousness. It was better than you could even possibly imagine!!! Yes, better than the Italian gelato too!

Amsterdam was the last stop on my tour before we headed back to London and it was incredible, interesting, but incredible. The tulips, clogs, cheese, bikes, crooked houses, and canals were very neat to see. Definitely a gorgeous place to visit.

Overall my summer was amazing! I pushed myself out of my comfort zone and not only learned so much about the world we live in, but I got to experience it and meet some really cool people along the way. I learned so much about myself and can’t wait to share my experiences with my students and bring some of my learning into the classroom!

Now, let the incredible adventures of Grade 3 2017/2018 BEGIN!!

~ Miss Kim


Testing Materials


In Grade 3 we have been exploring the madness of TESTING MATERIALS in Science! As scientists, we are making sure we conduct “fair tests”, by keeping all materials and variables consistent. One variable can change for the purpose of each test.

Here are some of the experiments we have done so far…

Testing Arches

When building using an arch shape, the mass is distributed more evenly and the bases need to have a solid foundation. Often, you will see arch bases side by side so they support each other!



Testing One Support Pillar

One pillar is not overly stable and does not allow the mass to be evenly distributed, making it harder to carry more mass.


Testing Four Support Pillars

Using more pillars than one, allow the mass to be distributed across a larger area more successfully than a stand alone pillar would allow.


Testing Paper Beams

We tested three different shapes: an accordion fold beam, a rectangular beam, and a box girder. A hollow box shape (like the rectangular beam) is stronger than we thought it would be, same with the accordion fold!


Until Next Time…

~ Miss Kim


Guess Where We Went?

Brave Grade 3 teachers at River Valley School…


ventured downtown with 31 eight-year-olds!


We surpassed 802 exhausting stairs and reached an impressive height of 627 feet in the air!


Once at the top


we searched high and low for many gorgeous city landmarks.

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We even braved the ten-layer thick glass floors… yes it was definitely scary!

* Did you know, the glass floors can hold up to two hippos? … SO COOL!


We learned many cool facts and took time to soak in the beautiful views!

After lunch, we enjoyed building our own towers and testing them for height (minimum 1 meter tall), as well as wind resistance (must survive 5 blasts of wind).

It was harder than it looked… TRUST US!

But don’t worry… we tested, and tested, and tested, until we were ALL successful… and boy was the success SWEET!

Being a scientist is a lot of work, but, SO MUCH FUN!

Now, can you guess where we were?


The Calgary Tower


What an incredible trip! Thank you, Calgary Tower, for having us!!!

Until next time!

~ Miss Kim


Wow, I can’t believe I haven’t posted anything since SEPTEMBER!!! If you follow my teaching excitement on Twitter @ClimbandGrow, you will see that we haven’t been MIA. SO much excitement has being going on in Grade 3 and the time has come to BLOG ABOUT IT!!!

I would like to start by saying…


What an incredible school year it has been so far at River Valley School and WOW the growth that has been occurring takes my breathe away. The wonderful little humans in my class have all grown SO much and it is an absolute pleasure to support them and join them in this process!

I would like to continue by saying…


(although I wouldn’t call it a job… more of a calling, or an instinct I suppose… I was reading with a child about animal instincts vs. human instincts, this feels appropriate haha)

So… to catch you up to our current adventures in Grade 3, let’s check out the highlights so far over the past four months! If I share ALL the amazing things we have done, we will be here for AWHILE… so let’s look at …


~as selected by my grade 3 kiddos~

(in no particular order)

  • 1. Our Science Unit: Sounds and Hearing – the kids loved exploring sound, specifically listening to sound effects and classifying them as pleasant or unpleasant noises! The kids also enjoyed creating megaphones to amplify sounds, and making sounds from other experiments with balloons, wax paper, combs, etc.

  • 2. Christmas Celebration – we had a BLAST in December at Christmas time and enjoyed all of our holiday preparations, including visits from Rudy the Reindeer, musical concerts, Christmas candy crackers, and Secret Santa.
  • 3. Dance Performance – this year we had the chance to explore with our bodies by learning Caribbean, Hip Hop, and African dances from Miss Nicole, an incredible instructor from SoundKreations! It was a WHOLE-BODY experience in Phys-Ed!

  • 4. Grade 3 Pictures – at the beginning of the year we had our photos taken on the playground. These were a great way to decorate our lovely Grade 3 hallway and a fun way to start off the year! The kids LOVED posing for the camera!
  • 5. Learning about India – we had a great time learning ALL about India! We had a chance to try on some of Miss Gill’s Indian clothing and we had a parent guest do a fabulous presentation for us, including painting diyas!


  • 6. Field Trips – We had a chance to explore our new Social Studies and Science units by visiting the St. Vladimir’s Ukrainian Orthodox Church and the Telus Spark Science Centre. We jumped into our new units on Ukraine and Sounds and Hearing with some amazing hands-on, whole-body learning experiences! Now that’s what I’m talking about!
  • 7. Daily 5 – The kids love our Daily 5 program because it gives them a chance to practice their reading and writing skills in fun, hands-on ways! The kids practice Read to Self, Read to Someone, Listen to Reading, Work on Writing, and Word Work!
  • 8. Halloween Candy Count – this year for Halloween, the kids were asked to find strategies to count their Halloween candy, discovering their overall total. We had a HUGE range of candy pieces and graphed it below. The winner took home a whopping  206 pieces of candy! Om nom nom!!!!


  • 9. Breaking Open Geodes – for our Rocks and Minerals unit in Science, we had the opportunity to put our safety goggles on and smash open some geodes. The glittery, sparkling insides were so much fun to discover, especially after working so hard to smash them open!


  • 10. Skipping Presentation – we had an incredible skipping presentation in our ELC gym which helped to kick off our incredible Jump Rope for Heart campaign! It was wonderful!


Well, there you have it! All the excitement in one place… well not all of it… just a taste!

Here is to the new year and lots of new updates in our fabulous Grade 3 classroom!

Until next time!


~ Miss Kim


What an exciting day today is!

I tossed and turned all night long in anticipation of my new students joining me in our classroom at the Elementary Campus of River Valley School! Grade 3 is an amazing year filled with excitement, new challenges, things to discover and learn, and incredible amounts of FUN!


Eagerly awaiting the arrival of all my new friends has been constantly on my mind and the time has come!!! My classroom has truly COME ALIVE and the joy this brings me is immeasurable!

There are so many exciting things to look forward to this year and I am thrilled to be your teacher and embark on this journey with you!!!


Let’s Do This!

~Miss Kim

June Excitement


Wow! This year flew by but boy was June ever INCREDIBLE!

I am so excited that my kindies are Flying Up to Grade One next year! It was sad to say goodbye to some friends not returning next year, but I am very much so looking forward to seeing most of my soon-to-be Grade One kiddos at the Elementary Campus next year!

Here are some of the highlights from our amazing year end time together!

Our Butterfly Release

We cared for our butterflies through every step of their journey. They started as little caterpillars who ate and ate and ATE until they were very BIG, and then the transformation process from chrysalis to butterfly occurred and it was AMAZING to witness! We released 9 gorgeous butterflies into our beautiful Bowness community.


*look closely at this picture… do you see it?! WOW*

Swimming Fun

Throughout May and June we completed six classes of swimming lessons with Shouldice Pool! We had so much fun and enjoyed our time in the water together!

Book Sale

We worked with our friends in Grade 5 at the Elementary Campus to put together a book sale at our school, selling previously loved books and buying new-to-you books! We raised money for Red Cross Canada and Right to Play! The kids loved watching the book boxes fill up. Sorting through them was the best part!



Baby Sophia

Our final visit with Baby Sophia was wonderful! It was so much fun to watch her grow throughout the year and seeing her at 11 months old was so cool! She weighed 22lbs, had 4 teeth on the top and 2 on the bottom, and she could walk with support, such as a stroller. It was amazing to see her and Mrs. Elsayed throughout the year! Thank you for joining us Sophia!

Father’s Day Fun

To celebrate Father’s Day we did Mission Impossible with all of our dads! The children had fun letting the dads be spies and helping them make it through our tricky 007 Mission Impossible course! Great job dads! YOU DID IT!

We also worked hard to make our dads awesome gifts for Father’s Day, including beaded bookmarks, paper weight rocks and cards with a unique and wild spin!

KA & KB Mix Up Fun

Since the Grade One classes will be mixed up next year, we had lots of fun getting to know our friends in KB! Here we had fun playing a math game outside in the sun with our new friends!

Flying Up Picnic

To celebrate our accomplishments in Kindergarten at the Early Learning Campus, we had a fabulous year end picnic in the park with our friends from KB! We played on the playground, ate pizza and cake, played soccer, parachute games and had a blast with water balloon fun! By the end we were all soaking wet, laughing and smiling the whole way home! What a FUN way to end our year together!


Summer Time is HERE

This year has been nothing short of AMAZING and I have loved every moment of it! I have learned so much from my Kindergarten A class this year and I will miss them all very much! I hope you all take time this summer to enjoy, have fun and get outside! Have an incredible time! I look forward to seeing you in the fall!


Hugs & Love

~Miss Kim

UDDerly Fun, FARMtastic Adventures!

We visited the fabulous Butterfield Acres and it was an ABSOLUTE BLAST!


We started our day out early, getting right onto the bus and traveling to our fun-filled farm destination!


Once there, we split into our groups and started our day!



We set up camp at the Tee Pee Forest and started on our adventure hike through the woods. We had to read all the signs to tell us where to go, and what to look for! It was a blast!


On our hiking adventures we found a fairy garden, bugs, bones, trees and LOTS more!

After our hike, some of us spent some time on the tractor playground and it was dusty, dirty fun!

Lunch was a satisfying break for our hungry tummies and afterwards we were ready for some UDDER-ly fun, FARM-tastic exploration!

To start us off, we took a trip on Old Blue, the tractor who moves from SONG POWER!!!


Afterwards, we were ready to explore the farm!

We saw so many incredible animals!!! Ducks, chicks, goats, cows, horses, bunnies and more! I am sure you can all guess which was Miss Kim’s favorite!

Petting the animals was so much fun! We all wanted to take those miniature goats home with us!

We even got to enjoy driving our own mini tractors!! It was fun but definitely hard work in the hot sun!!

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To finish off our day, we got to milk a goat! IT WAS SO COOL but look out, some of us got sprayed with milk!

Overall, our Spring baby trip to Butterfield Acres was a HUGE success. The kiddos were exhausted at the end! We all had rosy cheeks, smelt like a farm and had nothing but smiles from ear to ear!

We are so excited to have some more fun with Spring babies, watching our very own baby caterpillars morph into beautiful spring butterflies!

More excitement to come… stay tuned!

~ Miss Kim

Worm Poop HELPS Plants Grow!



Since the weather has been so warm and the leaves are starting to turn green outside, we decided it was time for us to engage in some exciting gardening within our classroom! Having won two BP A+ for Energy grants last year at River Valley School, we were excited to get involved in our school community garden projects!

To get us started, we invited Sara from Puzzle Permaculture to join our Kindergarten classrooms, giving us a birds eye view of gardening and helping us get started with successfully growing some edible goodness in our very own classrooms!

Sara taught us all about gardens and shared many interesting facts with us including:

  • Dandelions may be weeds but they help to start the pollination process for bees
  • Worm poops actually helps plants grow
  • Snails are not good for your garden
  • All gardens need space, sunlight, water and soil
  • A squished garden leaves less room for weeds to grow

A Birds Eye View

Sara got us all to fly around the classroom and pretend that we were birds. What did we see? Who could we see? Where were we going? Taking a birds eye view allowed us to look down on what a garden might look like from the sky. We recognized that trees and plants would take on the shape of a circle and so we created our very own gardens with this concept in mind.

We made half gardens using a variety of ingredients, some that we knew about and LOVED like strawberries and tomatoes, others we had never even heard of!!! What IS a walking onion!?


With only half a garden to work with, that didn’t stop us from filling our gardens to the brim! Hey, the less empty space we have the less chance we will get weeds right!? Also, take a peek at our gardens, are they in rows?… interesting!

Once we completed our gardens, shared them and talked about all the yummy goodness they each held, we started getting hungry so we moved on to creating our own garden with yummy PEAS!!!


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Sara soaked our peas over night and helped us to make a perfect little tray for them to grow in.

First we filled the tray up with soil…

Second, we sprinkled our peas on top of the soil…

Third, we put the other black tray on top of our peas and talked about how we needed to add books on top to weigh our peas down, into the soil, for a couple of days…


 On Friday, for our fourth step, we were instructed to take the books off and place our clear lid on top, creating a mini greenhouse


For our final steps, we watered them lightly as needed, to keep them damp, and it was so exciting to even THINK that we would have pea shoots growing within a couple of days and sure enough, even after day ONE, we had some signs of life…

After FIVE days, we had some serious growth that made us all shout in excitement… PEAS PEAS PEAS!!!


And after SEVEN days, just like Sara said, our pea shoots were ready to EAT!



We compared our pea shoots to the sunflower shoots our friends in Kindergarten B grew and we had a pretty even split of children who liked each kind.


The reaction was hesitant at first but once we realized that the pea shoots tasted like peas and the sunflower shoots tasted like sunflower seeds, we wanted to keep on eating.



Overall, our first experience growing food in our classroom was a HUGE SUCCESS! We really enjoyed watching how quickly our plants grew and we enjoyed tasting them even more!!!


We even brought our pea shoots to life by making them talk using ChatterPix Kids!

…. until next time ….

~ Miss Kim

Anemometers Do WHAT?

Wind Power, what an interesting topic of conversation!!

With our Living Green project still going strong, we started to explore and question the concept of WIND POWER!

what is it?

                            how does it work?

                                                                       why does it work?

                                                                                                                where does it happen?

These questions were all blowing around us and we started exploring with some brainstorming:


With lots of excitement and questioning, we started our journey into the world of WIND POWER by first discovering what it actually does. The children were excited to learn that energy from the wind is commonly used to produce electricity, learning all about wind turbines and understanding that wind turbines are often placed in large open areas instead of in the cities where lots of buildings can block the flow of wind.

With the excitement of our Energy Diet Challenge underway, the children were excited to complete our wind power challenge: creating an anemometer. An anem-what-a-ter?! EXACTLY!!!

An anemometer is a device used to measure wind speed. With this device, we were excited to determine where the best place on our school yard for a wind turbine would be and to figure this out, we needed our own anemometers. So what did we do!? We created them of course!!!!

Using 4 paper cups each, 2 straws, 1 pencil, 1 pin and some tape, we were able to create our very own wind speed measurement devices! With our own flare of creative details of course 🙂


The children loved building their anemometers and we were thrilled to have chosen a windy enough day to test them out!



To complete our experiment, we decided to take samples of wind from four areas in our school yard: the playground, the baseball diamond, the field and by the school. The document below is attached for your use!

Wind Anemometer Experiment

Here are some photos of the children enjoying nature, wind and experimenting as scientists!



Once we were finished our experiment, we went back to our classrooms to come to a conclusion!


After sharing our results, the majority of the classroom agreed that the BEST place to put a wind turbine at our school would be in the middle of the field. The majority of longest spins from our anemometers occurred in this location!

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Although some of our anemometers were VERY successful, some were only successful some of the time and others were not successful at all. Being scientists, we all know that things can happen along the way and errors can occur during our experiments and that’s OKAY!!! This will only make us better scientists for our next big project 🙂

…until then….

~ Miss Kim