Here are some thoughts from the class about the week, what skills and tools they used in their learning, and some questions and comments about next week.
|Things I learned
||Skills I used
||Tools I used
- How volcanoes work
- Box Division
- Short division an easy way
- How the rock cycle works
- How plate tectonics work
- Improving at stop motion
- How to make rock candy
- How to play the ukulele
- Subtracting skills
- Make connections
- Building skills (clay)
- Estimating skills
- Asking Questions
- Taking notes
- Collecting and recording information
- Multiplication skills
- Strumming and plucking
- Acting skills
- Markers, tables, erasers
|-What are we going to do with Grade 10 buddies?
-What is the next home learning going to be?
– What is the ballet, how long?
|-Excited to continue working in the garden
-It is a big week, finishing up projects, garden, ballet, buddies.
-Excited to do more research.
As the weather starts to turn, there are some spots of green coming up in the garden. Students are excited to see the growth of long dormant seeds and are starting to plan what is to come next. They have been further motivated by conversations with the canteen about selling them their produce at market value and brought some radishes to be included in the salad bar this week.
On the surface, this sounds kind of simple, but thinking about all the skills that could be integrated into gardening could make the student’s learning really bloom. (oh dear). Research skills to find out values and increase yields, measuring skills, communication with each other and the canteen, service learning to think about what to do with the profits all immediately jump to mind, not to mention the realization of our food supply and the amount of work to get it to our table.
Who knows what will happen between now and the end of the school year, but I think that it is safe to say that more Grade 4s will be going to the garden.
So many photos of the week are here for your viewing pleasure. Furthermore, please remember to check out and comment your child’s Seesaw to see individual, small group, and whole class examples of learning.
Here is a photo album of the week. Students really enjoyed the visit to the local school down the road, explored erosion through research and playing in the dirt, built models of the Earth, sat through hours of ISA online testing, continued to compare mass through estimation, and worked on some cool stop motion videos. Please check out Seesaw for individual and class reflections. We are looking forward to next week where we will be doing a mystery skype to help to learn map skills and figure out where another class in the world is from, and hosting a class of 5-year-olds from the local orphanage. It’s a windy day, the students are making, flying, and improving kites.
There was a lot of making this week in the classroom and around the school. It ranged from making an explanation about a chocolate model of the Earth to duct tape wallets to television commercials about cooking with clay, with lots in between. Tech days gave students the chance to make things from stories to bridges, and from computer programming to origami, and classroom experiences gave us the opportunity to make connections to artwork, make sense out of how division works and the properties of mass, build models, electronics, houses, and kites in P.I.C. time, and build relationships with each other.
There are so many reasons I enjoy making stuff in the class; it gives students an avenue to express themselves in a variety of ways, interact with the physical world around them and solve design problems that arise during construction with familiar or unfamiliar materials. Not to mention, they get to have a lot of fun doing it. I think the expressions on their faces in the pictures below show the level of enjoyment, concentrations, and sense of achievement with their results. Next week is a short week filled with online tests (ISA) and practicing the scientific method.
We began a new Unit of Inquiry this week under the theme of How the World Works. This unit will be an inquiry into how scientists investigate and help us to understand our changing planet with a focus on the form of the Earth and how it changes. The students spent the week in a variety of provocations and pre-assessments to discover and think about what scientists do, how they do it, and how they share their findings as our writing focus will be on expository writing.
Additionally, we had a metacognitive focus this week about how we participate in class discussions and developed some strategies to continue developing in this area. We used viewing and talking about art every morning to practice this important skill. finally, we
Finally, we had a lovely visit from a local school as part of our service learning to develop community, and a visit from an artist to discover chaos, order, and tone in music. Check out Seesaw for reflections, and the photo album below for lots of pictures.
Pardon the cheesy title but it was irresistible. Before the break, I had ordered an electrical building block system called Little Bits. They arrived and the students have had a great time this week exploring the components and beginning building challenges. The system allows students to recognize cause and effect, use their imagination by attaching whatever they want, and begin a rudimentary coding process. It was lots of fun watching them hook up circuits that worked and begin to build devices such as light activated alarm systems and remote control vehicles. This addition to our P.I.C time will give students another vehicle to explore creativity, build with their hands, and learn how parts affect other parts. Keep an eye on Seesaw to see some of their creations and check out the photo album below.
In other low-tech news this week, the class noticed some results from our garden and we all got to try some radish. It was great to see the sense of pride and excitement as students harvested and shared the results, and how it inspired some of the class to spend time after school caring for the garden and begin to think about planting more for the spring.
What a First Semester. Such a diverse group of learners and personalities made the class a very dynamic atmosphere. There always seemed to be lots going on, whether it was learning, moving around, socializing, playing, creating things, class discussions and so much more the students took it upon themselves to be very open about trying new things, working with others, and giving it their best in all areas of learning. The class spent lots of time reflecting on how they learn best, and hopefully, this will give them the strategies they need to continue succeeding in whatever avenues they choose. Reports have been sent out and there are lots of year-end reflections on SeeSaw. Please spend some time over the break looking through this online learning journal and add comments if you wish.
Have a great winter break and see you all in 2017.
In follow up to our inquiry on leadership last week, 4F focused on how we make decisions in smaller groups. We started with a provocation that saw the class with a ball, a space and 15 minutes to invent and play a game (while being video taped). Upon review of the video the class was able to come up with some very interesting things about what decisions are made in that amount of time, and also things that we have to think about when we make decisions in a group. Some but not all of the considerations are: including fairness, listening more than we talk, considering emotions, how to compromise, giving time to people to answer, whose turn it is, ensuring people are participating, and more. During the reflection portion of the activity the students had a lot of time to discuss the difficulties that were experienced, and how we could improve upon our decision making as a group next time.
Throughout the week more opportunities arose to make decisions as a group such as building a visual poem as a class, considering spirit week, deciding the order of learning areas for the day, and giving the class a real opportunity to apply their new found understandings. To take more time to make decisions carefully, so more of the class has ownership, and agrees with the outcome. It will be interesting in the coming weeks to see how the class continues to make decisions more efficiently, effectively, and with more empathy.
This week saw an inquiry into leadership. The class reflected and worked together to come up with a list of traits that good leaders possess. Needless to say the list was exhaustive. The students continued with this list to think about what they valued most, and created checklists to reflect on their own leadership qualities, and how they can improve. This inquiry was followed by a visit from Mr. Coutts where the students had a chance to practice their questioning skills. There were a few surprises for the students about what it is like to lead a school, as well as a few surprises for Mr. Coutts in the form of unpredictable questions.
During the reflection that followed the interview some real surprises came out, mainly the connections to leadership qualities that they identified as having in common with their own checklists, and from Mr. Coutts. Caring, helpful, responsible, and honest all came up over and over again. It was inspiring to see that the students value and recognize these characteristics in a leader over the traditional model that we think about when we hear the word. Does this represent a shift in how people lead and how systems are organized? At the very least it signifies a good start for YIS.
As you may be aware the Grade 4 students were involved in simulations this week in an attempt to mimic government systems as a provocation in our new UOI about choices, systems, and societies. Needless to say, it was a big change from the norm and I urge you to check out the students individual and group reflections on Seesaw for personal insights into feelings, opinions, and how it affected their learning.
It was difficult as a teacher taking on different roles as different types of leaders, and through the daily debriefing and reflecting it became clear that it was also difficult for the students. Students were able to look at systems from multiple perspectives and see the pros and cons of each, and how their learning would be affected. The week ended on a really positive note with a lesson in democracy, (or how difficult it can actually be), and we will continue to revisit the experiences this week when we look at leadership and children’s rights over the next five weeks of the unit. There are lots of photos and videos in the slideshow below, see if you can find the student in the box.