Nov 21

Adventures, creativity and confidence!


We’ve been building dams, cable cars, walls and pulleys to explore Engineering in PBL. I loved how well the students worked together, problem-solved and connected to the real world. We lifted a 5lb weight, single cinder block, double cinder block, post pounder… and Levi!

In Reading and Math we looked at Parts of Speech, playing “slap jack” with a focus on nous, verbs, adjectives and verbs. We looked for nouns and verbs in our Math Gnomes stories. The kids LOVE our tongue twisters and have been turning them into pretty entertaining raps. We played “I Spy” to focus on short vowels and spelling, and Letter Construction for those difficult reversed letters.

on Tuesday Alix finished up the beautiful story drama “The Whisper”. Everyone made their very own books, with beautiful covers. What writers we have!

In the afternoon Project’s Club continued to build their clubhouse.


On Friday, in Adventure Club, we went made cinnamon buns before adventuring to Merridale Cidery, sampling the delicious apple juice, hunting down fairy houses, looking at the geology of glacier middens and so much more. This is a beautiful walk to talk in the rain or sun, with so many informational signs to teach you about to local biology. Thank you Merridale!



November 4

Happy November!


This week the students presented their amazing work and innovations during our PBL Dragon Den themed Presentation of Learning. I was very impressed with their clear speaking voices and excellent descriptions of their “products,” especially their enthusiasm about why “they love their product and so will you.” I was especially amazed at their understanding of the scientific method, and their recall of the steps needed for a successful experiment. We spent a lot of time in our Maker Unit working on forming “good” scientific questions, really getting beyond “because it’s cool” and understanding the “why” behind it. Well done!

We also designed labels, measured the product bags and jumped onto the computer to make professional labels in Word. Students learned how to created a text box with dimensions to match the bags, create unique fonts, change the colour of fonts, add images and cut printed pages to fit their bags. Very impressive work!

Our next PBL unit is: Engineering!

In Reading Groups we worked on close reading skills and spelling.

Math Groups worked on micro-skills, such as checking your work, carrying over, regrouping and 2/3-digit work. We played several games to help us with these skills, including “For Sale” and “Pumpkin Patch”.

In Math gnomes we looked at Measurement. There are three workbooks available, with everything from distance and mass to volume and mass. We will explore these concepts throughout the year 🙂


Theatre students worked on their beautiful, hand-stitched books after reading The Whisper, as story all about the power of imagination. The Whisper page

In Project’s Club, students designed their playhouse and began laying the foundation. Plans include a climbing wall, monkey bars, a few swings and possibly even a jail?!

The kids worked on measuring the boards, cutting them and attaching them with handing nails and joists. Great skills!

On Friday in Nature Adventures, students enjoyed their free play activities, exploring the magnet games created in the Maker Unit, as well as dressing up and exploring our Fish Cycle Activities.



October 21


This week we learned all about electrical circuits in PBL. Students designed the cover of their Operation Game, with sloths, kittens, giraffes and robots. Next we covered the inside with tinfoil, attached a battery, LED light, wire and tweezers and had a game!

We also looked at different types of robots and electricity activities and games. Feel free to take any resources home to play with.

In Reading, we worked on spelling, skimming for information and scanning for unknown words.

In Math we counted up the money from Market, practicing regrouping, coin identification and decimal values (ths). Group B started work on measurement, looking at mm, cm, inch, feet, meter and km. Group A looked at how operations are related to each other, as well as skip counting.


In a new story drama, students had to solve the Solstice-Shenanigan Mystery through teamwork and planning. Their were lots of great questions being asked, and awesome teamwork! Well done!

In Project’s Club, students advanced from 2-D toys to 3-D wooden toys, with moving arms and legs, tails and heads, and even wings! Next they will plan a structure to build.


Nature Adventures took us down to Goldstream. The fish weren’t there spawning yet, probably due to the extremely low waterline, which was a really good conversation in an a of itself. We talked about the work people are doing to physically bring fish to their spawning grounds due to low rainfall and flow. We made really beautiful art with tinfoil and watercolour paper/ink, adding salt for a scientific art effect (try it at home with watercolour paper and ink, sprinkle on sea salt for effect). Oh, and we made the most delicious scones ever!



October 5

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!



PBL: This week we wrapped up our Early Man unit with an amazing Presentation of Learning, complete with cave art, story-telling around the “fire” and looming. I was so impressed with the kids recollection of Malsow’s Hierarchy and how we worked through each stage to creativity!

On Thursday we started our Maker Unit. Each week, the kids will have a chance to sell their items at the Cobble Hill Farmer’s Market! Some of the exciting topics they’ve chosen are: beading, robots, wood crafts,  and mask making…

We set up a mock Dragon’s Den where I tried to sell my Math Gnomes, with constructive feedback. These kids know about investment, interest and percentage of investment!!!

Math: We worked on Fractions in Sr Group and Place Value and adding in Jr. Group today before jumping into our workbooks. Lots of hands-on application of our concepts!



Theatre: Alix started our new story drama: “My Beautiful Birds,” exploring the concepts of hope and belonging, while talking about Syria, Refugees and displacement. Heavy topics with a really empathic approach! This was an especially important idea to explore so close to Thanksgiving!

Project’s Club: Matteus and Alix worked with the kids on their first carpentry project: mini robots. Some students even ventured out on their own, making animals.


French: Dans la Rue is where we traveled today, looking out for “les camions” “les autos” est “aux feux.”



Cooking: Well, we “made” Millionaire Shortbread, but it was definitely with mixed reviews.  We might have to try this one again… one day.


Math Gnomes: While we returned to the math gnomes adventures through the Friendly Forest, we explored skip counting and adding and subtracting (Group A). In Group B, students finished reading (Group B) about Mr. Lucky and his work with Probability, connecting his ideas with the fractions work from last day.


We started our Nature Adventures with art work for “Up Above and Down Below” which is a really cute book showing the world above ground and below in various contexts. We painted medallions (Thank you, Tannis Humeny for creating them!) and created our own projects, from board games and drawings to card games and wood creations. 

In the afternoon, we bundled up and went trekking up by Chemainus, hunting all sorts of mushrooms!



Sept 30

This week we look our PBL unit to the next level, with science experiments! We watched clips of “Ice Age Deathtrap” (Nova) and stopped to perform a few experiments:

  1. What exactly is one cubic meter of soil?
  2. How do geological timelines work when looking at soil levels
  3. What is a mastodon?
  4. How did the mastodon die in such great numbers?!


The answers:

In the afternoon Reading and Math we worked on poetry and place value/multiplication

Tuesday: In Theatre we finished up our story dram: “What to do with e problem” by looking at perspective. I loved the kids alternative telling of Jack and the Beanstalk and Hansel and Gretel. Poor parents, they just had kids who went to live with the rich neighbour!

In Project’s Club  we finished our poncho sewing projects and almost finished our sweatshirts!


Sept 25

Autumn is here!

Monday: While exploring the taming of Man’s Best Friend in PBL, students realized that making masks of their most revered animal really was a form of prestige. We made incredible masks and looked at cultures around the world and the times of prestige masks they created!

In Reading, we worked on our intro to poetry. It was rather… dark.. but very sophisticated imagery!

In Math we started our workbook and station activities, using place value to explore regrouping and multiples. We played some new games: Addition War, Guess Who (numbers), and Foam Fractions challenge

Tuesday: In Theatre, we started a new story drama: What to do with a Problem (Kobi Yamada) by looking at story cards (faces) of people who were worried. We tried to imagine what they might be worried about, and even thought of rating them most worried to least worried. It was a really interesting exercise in perspective, as well. After that we thought about our own worries and how that looks from the outside, and how it feels on the inside. We read the story What to Do with a Problem and realized that sometimes problems really do turn into huge worries. Then we looked at Mindfulness images (faces) and thought about how they might work for the people in the pictures. More to come next week!!

In the afternoon Project’s Club we worked on our Naturescape, with a new river and beach layout, as well as some jumping logs. We also worked on sewing ponchos and sweatshirts.


In french we jumped in to a costume box and had lots of laughs thinking about Robert in his ostrich pantalons. The students looked up clothing terms and drew some pretty funny cartoons for the script.

In art we worked on Mandalas, using found objects.


Math Gnomes took us on a new adventure. Group A started by meeting the gnomes, Plus, Minus, Multiply and Divide. We also stuck some foam numbers into our books to Stamp Out* number reversals. Group B met Mr. Lucky and explored probability at his Inn. We also made fraction circles using geometry!


In Nature Adventures, we hiked the side of Cobble Hill Mountain in search of trees and mysterious leaf shapes. It was a beautiful day for a hike, even when it was a bit sprinkling. After out adventure, the students chose from station activities: My Tree story, Busy Beaver story telling, wood crafts, leaf matching and memory games.

Sept 16

Welcome to a new “unschool” year at Zoma Creative!

We have started the year with so many adventures and creative projects, new friends, and even a new “cozy room” next to the classroom. Students are busy designing our Naturescape, which is going to be just one more incredible addition to our creative space!

Here’s what we’ve already been up to this year:

Monday/Thursday (am): Students continued our Early Humans PBL unit with bows and arrows this week, and animal balloons. We have some true hunters on our hands! We also looked at fire safety, and the tools that set mankind on a path of creativity.

Our favourite activity was looking at stone tools and thinking about how complicated they really were to make. Pretty impressive for the first stone tools!

Last week we looked at the diaspora of humans throughout the world, and how cultures began to form around the places they settled. We looked at incredible artifacts and started to recreate our own, including various habitat structures and clothing.


Monday (pm): We chose our first books for silent reading and played Naughty Monkey to get our literacy brains activated. In math, we will have various stations set up to explore, at our own pace, some of the basic numeracy skills.

Tuesday: In Spotlight Theatre, we jumped right into our first story drama, which explored “generosity” and “negotiation.” We first looked at Japanese Fable “the Old Man and the Statues.” Students put on a variety of hats and got into the character of that hat. Next we tried to put the scrambled story back in order, and finally, we acted our parts of the story and tried to imagine how the characters would have reacted to terrible news. We were all surprised to discover that the Old Woman was very kind, knowing that good acts were rewarded, which they were!

We also explored win-win, win-lose and lose-lose through a variety of skits, including Marble Madness, Tug-o-war, Human-Tug-o-war/ Donkey Dilemma and Police Dilemma. Our conclusion: win-win is possible with a little give from both sides.

Wednesday: We have explored two French themes already: In the Classroom (Dans la Salle De Classe) and In the Jungle (Dans la Jungle), with some amazing illustriousness for our french cartoons.

In Art Class we worked on the colour wheel, our first canvas work, as well as designing our own aprons.

In Cooking last week, we made a surprisingly delicious Watermelon Salad with bocconcini, mint, basil and almonds. This week we used potatoes and squash from the garden to make a layered “Bay Potatoes” dish (but used rosemary instead of bay leaves), which smelled and tasted amazing!

On Thursday (pm) we built our new Math Gnomes and read Chapter One of the new adventure. The four gnomes met two new character: the Fraction Twins. We learned the languages for the gnomes, as well as the surprising places they show up in our own lives!

We learned a new reading skill: Follow My Cue, where students highlight 5-10 difficult words in the reading before we begin. Students then write the word on cue cards and pass them to me. As we read the text, I read the cue card words aloud. It was great to see how much we already knew, and how many new words we learned in just one reading!

On Friday, this week, we headed out on our first Nature Adventure, to Mill Bay Nature Park. We loved running through all the trails, checking out the rock art and fairy houses. We explored the tide and even brought home some rocks to paint ourselves.

In the afternoon, during Exploration Centers, students chose from:

  • Store
  • Wood work and
  • Microscope slides

We ended up combining wood work with the store as students created their own toys to sell!