This week, the Grade 2s visited Oi Bird Park. We are learning to observe and understand the connections between living things in their environment as well as how humans, both challenge and help species to survive.
Click on the photo below to see a slide show in Flickr.
In preparation for the field trip we asked the children the following questions to get them thinking about the purpose of our trip as well as how we can achieve that purpose.
What is our purpose?
(Why are we going to the Oi Bird Park?)
What skills will we need in order to be successful?
How will we act to help us in our learning?
While at the park, we used the Draw, Name, Connect, Explain thinking routine as a tool to investigate the park’s living things in their natural environment.
First, they drew the living things and nonliving things that they saw at that location. Then, they named the things they drew. Next, they drew a line to show connections between all of the living and non-livings things in that environment. Last, they explained how these things are connected.
Next, we will ask the students to Think ( I think I know that…), Puzzle (I wonder if…), Explore (To find out more, I would like to try to…) about their learning at the bird park. We look forward to hearing more about their thinking!
This week, Miss Srishti visited the Grade 2s to help us inquire into Comics. Miss Srishti told us that she has always loved comic strips. We talked about comics that we were familiar with or had read before and later looked at many different samples of comic strips.
Next, we made a list of all the things that we noticed about comic strips.
The most important thing we noticed and realized was that comics send messages. Their main purpose is to entertain, and many of them teach us lessons about life.
To help us learn about how to get ideas for comic strips, we watched a video.
From the video, we learned that comic strip writers get a lot of their ideas from things and events around them…problems we have at school, our love for tomatoes, friendship, pranks, and more.
Finally, we got a chance to create our own comics!
At the end of the period, Kei shared a comic that she made with the class. It was about a student, who was a bully.
On Thursday afternoon, our Grade 9 Buddies (Kenryo, Elena, Grace, Chloe, Kelly, James, Hana, Max, Pheobe, An, Jan, Toma) visited us. We shared the comics that we made the other day with them. Then we had the chance to make another comic strip. Some of the groups worked together to make one comic and some students worked individually. The Grade 9s helped us to think of ideas and gave us advice about how to draw. It was a lot of fun to share this time with them!
Here are some reflections from the Grade 9s about their experience.
It was a really good experience. Everyone is cute and kind. I really enjoyed the time with 2nd Grade. They were cute!
It was fun playing around with the kids. I was glad that they were enjoying the time. They think differently comparing to us and it was a good opportunity.
They were a very enthusiastic group of people…easy to work with and drawing better than me.
Working with the 2nd Graders is really interesting to me because I don’t get to interact with kids younger than me that often and it’s nice to bond with them. It teaches me to be a bit more carefree like them.
The children were engaging and were focused on the task. They were humorous and co-operative when deciding on what we should make. I enjoyed doing this. It was fun and stimulating for all.
It was great working with them. They were really all excited to make a comic and had great ideas and knew a lot about some techniques about comics like perspective.
Click on the photo below to see a Grade 9/Grade 2 Buddies slideshow in Flickr.
Here are some reflections from students in 2C…
I thought that the Grade 9s…they gave us good advice. For example, they showed us how to make people shout.
It was really fun because our buddy was telling us to put more illustrations in our picture.
I felt happy because it was the first time that I was with a Grade 9 student that I don’t know. We made a funny comic.
It was really nice to have an experience working with Grade 9 because we don’t often do this, and it was really fun how we share our ideas and we mix them and create a great comic.
For the past couple of weeks, the children have been building their observation, thinking and wondering skills. During one of our workshops the children were asked to SEE, THINK, or WONDER about art. Many pictures of paintings were placed around the room and the children were invited to choose to choose some and write their comments. Instead of writing SEE, THINK, WONDER for each picture, the children were asked to do just one of these parts. This way they were able to view more pictures and have a go at focusing on just one part of the routine.
For this particular visible thinking routine, we write down all the details that we see in the piece of art. Then we think about what we see. Next, we wonder or pose questions about what we saw or thought about. All the parts of the visible thinking routine should connect.
When we write down our observations, thoughts and wonderings, others can see them as well, and when we share them aloud as a class, we can build a deeper understanding. This is a simple routine that the children are very familiar with and can do with you at home or on family trips.
I see the orange sun and the vines covering the sun in the great jungle.
I wonder why they put an animal upside down on the top of the image.
I see the sun but there is a star shadow.
I think they are in the forest.
I wonder why is the bird upside down.
I wonder what are those strange shapes.
Both this week and last week, the children did a thinking routine about a piece of artwork as their Home Learning. In class, we shared our routines with several partners. We also had an enlightening class discussion to share our observations. During our conversation, the children began to think about more ideas. They were asked to explain their thinking. For instance, some of the children thought that the black thing in the foreground on the left was a mountain or a castle. After some discussion, some children thought that the black thing was perhaps a burned tree. Below are some examples of their Home Learning SEE, THINK, WONDER.
For the past few weeks of school, the Grade 2s have been preparing for their Student-Led Conferences. As a class, the children brainstormed a variety of learning experiences that they wanted to share with their parents during their conference time. They came up with a big list of ideas for Unit of Inquiry, Mathematics, and Language and then narrowed it down.
Above is our new student, Karen, who is teaching her parents about estimating and measuring water using milliliters. She has only been here for two weeks!
Here are some of their ideas:
The children who attend Japanese class presented their Japanese book reviews or how they are building their directional language. In addition, all the children chose one of their single subjects learning experiences to present. Students in Grade 2 chose one of the following activities: Art Sculpting with Clay, the Drama Hot Seat Interview, the Physical Education Activity Log, and Playing the Xylophone for Music.
All the learning experiences were activities that the children had done in class. The children spent a lot of time preparing for their conference and organizing their materials for the big day. During the conferences the children taught their parents what they learned and let the parents have a go. They explained their current understandings, answered questions and led them through the conference, even completing a reflection and Seesaw post for their Learning Journals. They spoke in English as well as their mother tongue to explain to the best of their ability. The children did a wonderful job leading their parents through their conference with confidence and independence.
This week, the students began their new Unit of Inquiry, How We Organize Ourselves.
Our central idea is: Communication connects communities and individuals.
It is an inquiry into: -Forms of communication -Tools used for communication -How individuals access information and connect to each other -How current technology changes the way people communicate
The Grade 2s began with a provocation to help them understand how important it is to communicate respectfully as well as how difficult it can be to communicate when you can’t speak or don’t know the language. The children played a card game in four small groups – without speaking or using written words. The leaders of the group were responsible for reading the rules of the game ahead of time and then teaching the game to their group.
Prior to playing we made a list of what makes a good leader, but also talked about how we should act when working in collaborative groups. The children had some practice time to ensure they understood how to play the game, and then we played the game without talking and without the printed directions. You can imagine what a great learning experience this was for the children.
After playing a round, the student with the most cards moved to the next group clockwise and the student with the least cards moved to the next group counter-clockwise. Then they began playing again. What the children didn’t know was that each group had a slightly different set of rules. You can imagine what happened next.
Click on the photo below to see a slideshow in Flickr.
After playing 3-4 more rounds, we stopped and talked about our experiences, problems and how we felt while playing the game.
-I liked that it is easy to remember the rules.
-I didn’t know that I was so lucky because I kept on winning. I won two times.
-A lot of people said that eight was the wild card but the five was the wild card.
-I felt confused because whenever I got the five I thought the five was the winner, but the ace was the winner.
-We were doing rock paper scissors, and I got mad and my head went back and I hit the calculator box.
-They just fight and they just pulled the cards from each others’ hands.
-I was at that table. I really got angry because a student didn’t agree with me. -Inside I was really frustrated and angry, and outside I really didn’t want to have a fight, so I just made a face.
-I didn’t know why everyone was saying different things. Eight are biggest (wild). Twos are biggest (wild).
-I felt mostly confused and a little bit devastated, and then once I realized that there was one (ace) and two and then I got even more devastated and confused.
-When I was on that table we didn’t have the same amount of cards, and then they were all mad and were making mad faces. All our turn we didn’t do anything.
-If you have a problem and you want to yell or scream, it makes it worse.
-If 2 countries have a disagreement, and they get really mad, they might have a war.
Later in the week, the children attended special communication workshops to learn about and try out different forms of communication that people use everyday for different purposes. Miss Czubak shared her knowledge about secret codes and ciphers as well as symbols. Ms. McCreath prepared workshops on sign language and reading maps, and Mr. Laing taught the children about Braille. During these workshops, the Grade 2s learned about a variety of tools that are used to communicate, how different kinds of communication are organized, how current technology changes the way we communicate, and how to use different types of communication.
Here is some of things that the children want to do next:
-I want to try to read a real map.
-I want to learn more about compass rose.
-I want to learn about all Japan and learn other countries too.
-I want to find out if there are any type of ancient maps.
-I want to learn about the map scale.
-I want to find out if there are codes on maps.
-I want to create a code and learn tricky codes and crack Miss Czubak’s code.
-I’d like to learn about very ancient codes.
-I want to learn about the Every Second code.
-I want to write all five codes that we learned and create a code too!
-I want to learn a lot about the cipher wheel and write secret messages to my friends.
-I want to learn more about the Pigpen code.
-I want to learn more about symbols around the world.
-I want to learn about more hand symbols or sign language…like my name is …
-I wanna learn about hand signals not just names…words.
-I really want to learn about ancient, ancient ancient symbols because I really want to -know how they used to communicate with symbols that are not very similar to the symbols we use right now.
-I wanna learn about symbols all over the world because I want to know what they mean and what they represent.
-I want to learn more about Egyptian symbols.
-I want to learn more about sign language because I want to learn it and then after that speak with my friends with it people will not know what I am saying Its going to be a secret thing.
-I want to learn more into ancient stuff
-I want to learn about more symbols that are cool like technology symbols.
Click on the photo below to see a slideshow in Flickr.
Here are some of our very interesting wonderings…
I wonder that the things I learned today are they gonna help our life.
Why in war time they use cipher wheel?
I wonder if in the future we are going to invent more symbols and alphabets and more words.
I wonder if when we grow up there will be thousands of symbols.
If in the whole wide world are their some people who don’t know how to use symbol in their whole life.