KP beyond the classroom, beyond the world and into space.

How clever is my child?

Can they apply what they have learned?

I know the highest level of thinking is now considered to be creativity, so is my child thinking at this level?

KP have had a passion for space.  This was started by Matthew and Hashu but everyone has joined in at some time during the year. The loft area in the classroom has many functions, construction area, book area, home,  paper areoplane launching area (their knowledge of design and aerodynamics is very impressive), but mostly it is a space ship. One afternoon during free inquiry time the whole class engaged in a scenario where the children were getting ready to launch into space. It was decided that a  flight manifest of everyone who was going on board would be needed. They cooperated and helped each other write down names.  Some children found the names on the wall and read and copied them, some tried to sound them out and some asked for potential passengers to write their own names. This process was sustained for over 45 minutes before the launch commenced. It was a highly creative process which showed problem solving, collaboration and application of taught skills.

Great, but are they learning anything?

  • Meta-cognition (Having the ability to express ideas verbally, explaining thought processes. Remember many of the children are doing this in two languages).
  • Problem-solving (Coming across an issue, being able to work through many stages and use different strategies to find a solution).
  • Cooperation (Work with others to find solutions for using resources. Listening to others and respecting different ways of achieving the same end).
  • Writing (Understanding that we use writing as a way to communicate and help us organise ideas. Knows about letters and that they have a corresponding sound.)
  • Phonemic awareness/sight words/reading words (We are not automatically readers and writers, the way we are walkers and talkers. Try and remember how hard it is to learn these skills. The children used many strategies to help them write the words they wanted).
  • Lists (Picking the write kind of writing for the job. Showing an understanding that we write in different ways for different reasons, for example lists, cards and emails).

p La Spaceship Lists use

Now do you see why we have a class of rocket scientists!

Who will go on the space ship? on PhotoPeach

How technology helped us.

We used the digital camera and Iphone to take pictures and recorded the children’s work with a photostory. This time I took the pictures but it is usually hard to get the camera out of the children’s hands. It is important to teach them about respecting the technology. Mostly it is just a case of practise makes perfect with taking the pictures.

photopeachPhotopeach (free) Is simple to use. If you make a file of pictures that children can access they can upload them  by themselves and add music from the site. Photopeach honours children’s work by presenting it in a professional manner.  In this case I typed down what each child said and this is a record of their thinking, so I could assess their level of understanding about writing shown through this free inquiry.

Yoyoutubeu Tube (free) We searched You Tube for videoes that showed launches and reentries to earth.  You can also use teacher tube, which may give you more educational chooses. The children were able to see inside the space shuttle. This is very easy to do but it is a good idea to preview video if possible. There has seldom been a topic I can’t find a video on. It is fantastic for maths and Language Arts. I am still a big fan of Sesame Street.

Yokohama to Outback Australia. Learning around the world.

With advances in technology the world is your child’s classroom. Our classroom stretches around the world.
The school was approached by a teacher in a remote rural school in Australia who wanted to involve us in their class project. Although KP students are much younger than than these higher elementary school students we were able to take part in the project because we can utilise technology to communicate our ideas.

To begin
We looked at our school using Goggle earth and found our school. The children were excited to see the school and Yokohama. They commented on all the buildings. Next we looked at Oombulgurri. We zoomed closer and closer and the children were very suprised that there were no buildings.

Yokohama Oombie Goggle Earth

How will we talk to them?
(Children of the 21st century know you can use technology to communicate in many ways)
We talked about how we were going to communicate with the children, we made a list:

  • Go there. We will need our grown ups. How will we pay for the tickets? School will pay, Ms Zoe will pay. We don’t want to go without our mummy. Umm… we need another way.
  • Phone them, we don’t have a phone… we don’t know their number
  • On the phone write (text)
  • Email them on the computer.
  • Talk to them on the computer like I do to my granddad, Skype.
  • Send the letter in the printer (fax?) (scan?)

IMG_0434

How will we share information about ourselves?

How will we tell them about us?
We wrote lists of all the things we thought people needed to see see in our school and outside.

We used a programme called voicethread that enables children to record their voices. We had a self-portrait to show who we were and the children talked about themselves. Ms. Maira spoke in Japanese.

How will we show our school and local area?
IMG_0438The children love taking photographs, digital cameras enables children to take as many pictures as they like. We went for a walk around school and down the road. The children thought about what they wanted to show and what would be of interest to others (classroom, playground, turf,vending machine, Japanese writing and the garage truck). We added pictures of the earthquake drill.

We used a simple programme called Photopeach which let’s children pick 20 pictures and add music.  It makes a photo story that can be shared. I typed what they wanted written under each slide.

About Japan with pictures and words by KP. on PhotoPeach

And the world has started to reply…

Hello Oombie
We made a short video for asking the children of Oombie some questions about their profiles.