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 looked at a book called Bluebird." - Bea
"We did I see, I think, I wonder with the Bluebird book." - Emanie
"We had to write things down we saw and wondered." - Saurish
"We looked at the book and we went back a few times to write what we think, wonder and see." - Aubrey
"We were inferring!" - Eniko
"We counted the edges, vertices and faces." - Hagen
"In unit of inquiry, we were doing the states of matter." - Saurish
"We are doing How We Express Ourselves. We did Chalk Talk." - Kotaro
"We drew symbols that we have seen in our lives." - Rai
"We shared our symbols to the class. We put sticky notes if we didn't know that symbol and put tally marks on the sticky." - Olivia
"We watched a video about different symbols, what they mean, the colors." - Kotaro
"We looked at Brain Pop for shapes." - Nora
"In the morning we looked at the tummy breathing so we can calm down." - Bea
"We looked at the book Steps and Stones and drew our anger." - Hagen
"We read the book Lost and Found." - Saurish
"Last time we looked at the book called Red Book. It only had pictures, no words, so we had to think and infer." - Bea
"We edited our writing." - Olivia
"We were doing feedback. We read what they wrote and gave them one star and a wish." - Kotaro
"We did mindful coloring." - Kotaro
"Last time we got a white board and we did Math on it and we did some questions that Miss Luttrell did, and it was 25+13." - Bea
"We did our morning meditation to start our day, to calm ourselves." - Saurish
"We used the nets to make solid shapes and glued them in our mathbooks." - Rai
Friday was pyjama day! We wore our pyjamas to school or free dress and gave money or food to the foodbank!
How the world works unit came to an end this week, as students worked on individual projects to show their understanding of the central idea. Students created books, posters, pictures, comics, and songs! We will continue to work on presentation skills, as far as layout, colour choices, size of text and pictures, etc as the year progresses.
We continued exploring 2D shape and will make connections to 3D shapes next week. In literacy, students finished their how-to writing and we worked on inferring when reading. Students also completed a unit reflection on their online portfolio. It was great meeting with both parents and students on Wednesday to review strengths and goals.
AThis week, students finished up exploring capacity and volume. They compared how much different containers could hold in the sand pit, and recorded their findings. We also moved into our unit about Shape and Space. Students participated in a Hexagonal Thinking activity. In small groups, students were given hexagons with 2D and 3D shape vocabulary on each one. Working together, discussing ideas and explaining their thoughts, they needed to make connections amongst the hexagons. If hexagons were touching from any side, that meant there was a connection. Students recognised some of the vocabulary, but some of it was new to them. We will do this activity again at the end of the unit to see how our thinking has changed. With partners, students also began to explore 2D shapes. They drew a particular shape from a container, and then used key concept questions to help guide their inquiry. They looked at form (the properties of the shape), connection (where had they seen this shape before), and change (how we can change the shape in different ways). Exploration of 2D shapes brought up great discussions, questions and many ideas. We will continue to investigate these ideas, as we move into 3D shapes where we will make comparisons. Students will also explore tessellations and symmetry. Before the end of the year, we will also revisit pattern.
In literacy, we have been exploring cause & effect (key concept: causation) during our unit of inquiry. We have just started looking at how to "read between the lines", by practicing our inferring skills. Students decided it's like being an investigator. You need to use the clues in the text and pictures and what we already to know to make a guess. Many students also connected inferring to a hypothesis (Unit of Inquiry) and an estimate (math)! We will continue to work on these reading strategies next week. Students have used the pictures they emailed in, or have drawn pictures, to write a final 'how to' piece. Many students are applying what we've been working on - sequencing, using time order and transition words, starting sentences in different ways and adding enough detail that someone could follow your steps. They are taking this piece through the whole writing process - brainstorming, drafting, revising/editing, and publishing. We practiced editing our own writing, paying close attention to word choice and conventions.
Along with instructional writing, students wrote up their first lab report, with guidance, after observing the Grade 6 students' experiment with water. We conducted another experiment in class and with a little less guidance, students wrote up another lab report, following the steps of the scientific method. Ask your child about the water cycle experiment.
Some students had asked "Does air have weight?" when we first started looking at solids, liquids and gases. We used a meter stick and hung it from the ceiling as a balance scale, for our third experiment. Students made their own hypothesis and wrote up the experiment with very little help. Ask your child what they learned and what they now know about air! We will conduct one more experiment next week and students will have the chance to write up the experiment on their own. Next week is our last week of this unit of inquiry, How the world works. Students will work in class to on something to show how a change in matter connects (affects) their life.
This week, we explored and consolidated our understanding of measurement, including length, weight/mass. Students used tools around the classroom to measure different objects and then used balance and kitchen scales to explore mass and weight. Ask your child about weighing pumpkins! Next week, we will finish off with a look at volume and capacity, before moving onto Shape & Space.
On Monday, students explored changing states of matter. We then visited the Grade 6 science lab to observed an experiment with water. Students were split into three groups, and buddied up with the Grade 6 students who explained the experiment and talked them through each step. Grade 2 students asked questions and recorded their observations. After watching a Brain Pop Jr video about the scientific process, we then transferred our observations to a science lab report. More experiments will be happening next week, as we continue to explore the changing states of matter and how this affects our lives.
In literacy, students finished off their recount from the October holiday. We also spent time exploring cause and effect in different stories. We first started with the book, If You Give a Mouse a Cookie and then students identified cause and effect in their own books during Read to Self and Listen to Reading. Next week we will explore inferencing.
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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