We finished up our Shape and Space unit by building 3D shapes with toothpicks and clay, and exploring vertices and edges. Students also made connections between the numbers of vertices and number of lines of symmetry. We also began exploring tessellations, in relation to shape and pattern.
We made our own tessellations with shapes, and then began using paper to cut and trace shapes to make tessellations on paper. Rai commented, "This is hard! Now I know how the artists feel when they make these!", showing empathy towards the artist. Students also began to make the connection to our unit of inquiry, How we express ourselves, as our central idea is: Images express meaning.
After exploring and creating our own symbols on paper, using universal colors, Mr. Gallagher joined our class for a lesson in creating symbols in Google Drawing. Students have uploaded their symbols onto their online portfolio, and many are eager to continue creating.
In literacy, students sorted their new words and also worked together with others to discuss their lists, identifying if they didn't know what a word meant. It was great to see everyone working together and practicing our Expand Vocabulary strategy of 'ask someone to define the word'. Students were using words in sentences and giving examples to help their peers understand. We also had a mini lesson to help us improve our accuracy. We read the big book, "It’s Mine!" and practiced skipping an unknown word and coming back to it, then rereading the whole sentence to help us understand. Students were using their prior knowledge, picture clues and clues from the text to help determine unknown words. We also have been focusing on using joining words, such as 'because', 'but', 'although', 'until', etc. to help us expand our writing, combine sentences and add more detail. There have been several activities this week for students to practice using these words in their writing.
Another focus this week has been the parts of a story: opening, build up, problem, resolution and ending. We used a story mountain to help us review these parts. We had used the book, Bluebird, by Bob Staarke a few weeks ago when we were practicing inferring. We revisited the book, as it is a story told in only pictures. Using our knowledge of joining words, each student received a page of the book. Students wrote one or two sentences, using a joining word, to tell their page of the story. We sat in order once finished and retold the story using our newly crafted sentences. We found most of the book to be the build up and problem, and the resolution and ending happened quickly.
Using our understanding of story mountains, students chose from different picture prompts to begin brainstorming and drafting their own stories. We will continue this writing next week, with an emphasis on a direct link between the problem and solution. Many students have been writing interesting stories, but are having difficulties connecting a problem and solution or bringing the story to a close.
Next week, we continue moving into our new math unit about patterns, and will continue our focus with identifying the problem and solution when writing our own stories.
Please check the home-learning for this week (it's the same as last week). No new words will be given out the last week of school, nor will there be any new home-learning. However, students are encouraged to read daily over the holidays and if they would like to keep a journal of their holidays, we'd love to hear from the authors in January.
Thursday and Friday next week will be rehearsal mornings for the winter concert, and the evening performance for our community will be in the evening on Friday, 9 December.
We are 7 and 8 year old students who live in Singapore. Our teacher, Ms. Luttrell, will be helping us write blog posts throughout the year!
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