Budding Scientists: Air Pressure

Budding Scientists at John Caboto Academy and Hampstead discovered air pressure by creating hoop gliders, and tinfoil boats. 

Hoop gliders were fabricated via strips of paper taped into the shape of hoops (one large and one small), which were fastened to either end of a straw. The children customized their hoop gliders with drawings of things that fly, such as hot air balloons, birds, airplanes, helicopters, and Superman, just to name a few.

Students learned the basics of aerodynamics: when thrown, the air passes through the hoops and pushes the hoop glider up into the air just like it does with a real airplane. Once this was established, students practiced throwing their hoop gliders to improve on their accuracy. They attempted to make them land on a close target, and then tried again aiming for a target further away. 

Next, each child created a tinfoil boat. Once completed, Ms. Jodi handed out straws. Students lined up all the boats and used the straws to see who could blow their boat the farthest.

“I wish I could do this every day! I love it!” exclaimed Hampstead student Josh. 

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Parkdale: Chinese New Year Celebrations

Students from Parkdale B.A.S.E. Daycare were excited to celebrate the Chinese New Year as they proudly paraded through the school corridors displaying the colourful dragon they had made in daycare. They spent two weeks creating their masterpiece!
The children sang songs and made music as they spread cheer and well wishes throughout the school. Happy Chinese New Year to all!
Lorena De Lucia, Educator
Parkdale B.A.S.E. Daycare
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Making Paper You Can Plant! — Green Club Montreal

Here’s a post from the Green Club Montreal blog by Gerald McShane Green Club!

One week in November 2017 during Green Club, we made our very own paper using newspaper and recycled paper! Then we went a step beyond and decorated our paper using petals from flowers in our schoolyard garden, as well as seeds from wild flowers and other plants. We then turned our handmade paper into cards […]

via Making Paper You Can Plant! — Green Club Montreal

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John Caboto: Pine Tarts & Black History

When two daycare students walked into their Cooking Club activity one February day, they didn’t know a simple treat their grandmothers used to make for them could mean so much more than just a delicious combination of dough and pineapples!

While many students in schools and daycares put together presentations, art work and more to celebrate Black History Month, Ms. Melina’s Cooking Clubs used food as an avenue to learning about the hardships, the heroes and the everyday people of history. 

10-pinetarts-28053811Daycare students Kimberly and Noah from John Caboto Academy both have family from Guyana, a country in South America, often classified as part of the Caribbean region, that was colonized by the Dutch and later the British and whose populace is made up of people from colonial origins, descendants of slaves from Africa and indentured workers from India, among others (learn more at Encyclopædia Britannica).  

Kimberly and Noah both remembered a treat their grandmothers used to make called Pine Tarts. Pine Tarts are made with pie dough and fresh pineapple. This treat is a great example of how we can learn about history through food. The pie dough was brought over by the English when they colonized the country and the pineapples were native to Guyana. Pine Tarts are an example of left over British colonialism and the ingenuity of the African slaves that were brought over.  

To Kimberly and Noah though, Pine Tarts call to mind memories of their grandmothers making them these treats when they visited.   


Basic Dough Recipe (from Bon Appetite Mag with adaptations)   

  • 2¼ cups all-purpose flour 
  • 1 tablespoon sugar 
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt 
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) plus 2 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter, cut into pieces 
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar 


  1. Mix flour, sugar, and salt in a large bowl. Toss butter in flour mixture to evenly coat. Working quickly and aggressively, use your fingers to rub butter into flour to create large, shaggy pieces of dough (the idea is to smash the butter into the flour, creating some pieces that are flat and thin and some that are large and chunky). 
  2. Combine vinegar and 3 Tbsp. ice water in a small bowl and drizzle over flour mixture, running your fingers through the flour as you drizzle to evenly distribute (think of running your fingers through your hair). Knead dough in the bowl until it starts to come together (it will still look a little dry). 
  3. Turn dough out onto a work surface and knead 1 or 2 more times, pressing to incorporate shaggy edges. Divide dough into 2 pieces and press into evenly distributed logs.  
  4. Do Ahead: Dough can be made 5 days ahead; keep chilled, or freeze up to 1 month. 


For the Filling:  

  • 2 cups of finely chopped fresh pineapple  
  • 1 teaspoon of ginger  
  • 1 ½ teaspoon of ginger  


  1. Mix the chopped pineapple and spices together. Set aside.  
  2. Get the Pie dough from the fridge and while still cold cut the logs into inch thick disks.  
  3. Roll out the disks into circles.  
  4. Use about a tablespoon of filling for each tart.  
  5. Follow picture instructions to create the triangle shape.  
  6. Use one egg and beat until will blended. Brush the egg wash on the triangles.  
  7. Cook in a preheated oven at 400 degrees until golden brown (approx 10 mins).  
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St. Raphael: Hydroponic System Phase I

An exciting new project at St. Raphael is underway! B.A.S.E. Daycare students are spending their lunch times once a week building a Living Green Wall with Concordia’s Food Group Research Project HydroFlora who work within Concordia’s Greenhouse.

Here is the hydroponic system the students have built so far, the first step before actually constructing their green wall! Stay tuned for more updates!

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Digital Storybooks with Sound!

Elizabeth Ballantyne student uses microphone to record character's voice.B.A.S.E. daycare students at Elizabeth Ballantyne, Parkdale, and Dalkeith are bringing out their creative noises in the early morning hours during their Digital Storybook Creation programs with Ms. Jodi. Using the BookCreator App on an iPad, every week the children add to their projects. 

Now six weeks into the program all three daycares have imagined, written, and drawn their entire stories. Now they are recording the narration for the stories, using their imaginations to create unique voices for each character. 

Parkdale student uses stylus to write word on iPad.This week, students at Parkdale used a stylus pen to write one word to accompany each image. Students at Elizabeth Ballantyne and Dalkeith will do the same in the next couple of weeks.  

Once all the words and sounds are complete, Ms. Jodi will create a “Find the hidden message” game within their stories for everyone to play during their final class. All three schools will have a viewing party for their daycare staff and peers to enjoy.  

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Gerald McShane: Heart-to-Heart Fundraiser

Gerald McShane Elementary school and daycare would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to all parents and staff members for their wonderful support during our “Heart-to-Heart” Fundraiser.

We are very proud to say we raised a total of $801, during a dress down day, which took place on February 2, 2018. This project has been going on for more than 13 years, with great success.

On February 12, 2018, students, Alessio and Piera, accompanied by Ms. Clementina, went on a shopping spree at Toys”R”Us. All these wonderful toys bought, along with beautiful hand-crafted Valentine’s Day cards created by B.A.S.E. Daycare students, were then distributed at the Montreal Children’s Hospital on Valentine’s Day by students Isabella and Angelina.

The balance of the money was given as a cheque to the Montreal Children’s Hospital (you can read more about the project in the EMSB Focus Newsletter). It gave us great joy to bring a little sunshine to the children’s lives.

Clementina Fraga & Ms. Mac
Gerald McShane B.A.S.E. Daycare

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