It was a fun week jumping into our new unit, Where we are in place and time. After exploring the central idea and working hard to discover the missing word (civilization), we began the unit exploring unknown objects (artefacts). The first object was a cassette tape. It was interesting listening to the students discuss their observations and ideas about what it was and how it worked. We also spent time looking at other artefacts in relation to key concept questions:
We explored book reports and students discovered the important aspects to include. Together, half of the class worked with Ms. Arnold and the other half worked with Ms. Luttrell to write a book report for the book Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes. Next week, students will apply their new understanding when writing their own book reports.
In math, we reviewed addition strategies, with single digit, two digit and three digit numbers. Students used various strategies to solve different problems, compared with their peers and discussed their ideas and strategies. Next week, we will look at subtraction strategies. Students also began exploring maps, using a See-Think-Wonder routine. We also began to think about the connection between maps and our new unit of inquiry.
We are finishing up our work with probability, and students rotated through many stations - working in a group, with a partner and independently. One of the stations included debating statements and determining if they were certain, likely, unlikely, or impossible. The other stations included flipping coins, rolling dice, and rock paper scissors. While participating in these stations, students had to decide how best to record their data in an organised way. They gave feedback to each other after Day 1 and many took away some ideas to keep in mind for next time.
In literacy, students have been finishing up their What if stories and then working on free writing, keeping in mind their individual writing goals. Students have also been mindful of their reading goals, and in particular, paying attention to which strategies are helping them achieve their goals. We will do some book report writing next week.
As we finished up our Unit of Inquiry this week, students finalised information on their culminating slide shows, and wrote the script for the assembly. I was impressed with how well students worked together. When looking at the script on the screen, many students applied what we had been focusing on in writing these last few weeks. They noticed some sentences starting the same way and wanted to use more exciting words. We edited it together, but overall, the students have organised themselves in the planning and process of props and backgrounds. They've worked hard and were excited to perform at the assembly. The video will be uploaded next week of the performance.
We have two weeks of school left before the spring holidays. Students will receive new words on Monday and have them for these two weeks before the break. We will be starting a new math unit as well as a new unit of inquiry next week. Stay tuned!
This week started off with a trip to the Maritime Museum, where students continued to research the Silk Road. We 'travelled' through different ports, which gave many students a better understanding of the various items traded, depending on the city or country. We saw examples of the ships, how things were packed, and videos to demonstrate the effectiveness of ship travel vs. caravan. Students recorded information while at the museum. They have then spent this week transferring their understanding of the research process and what was learned into their Google slide presentation. We will finish up this unit next week, finalising slide shows, reflecting and concluding with our Silk Road assembly. Again, you are all welcome to attend at 1pm in the MPR on Friday, 3 March.
We began math this week looking at our ideas about luck. Does luck exist? We had a discussion about lucky symbols and the concept of perspective was brought up, as students realised that some people believe in luck, and some do not. On a continuum, students placed their name in order to show how much or little they believe in luck. Students noted that some people who are more religious might believe in luck, if they pray to certain things or gods. We then began investigating probability, because instead of luck, mathematicians think of probability. We began thinking about the vocabulary 'likely, unlikely, certain and impossible'. We will continue to wrap up our math unit next week with some probability stations involving coin toss, rock/paper/scissors and tossing a die.
In literacy, we have been reviewing past tense verbs, especially related to the Silk Road. We had a mini lesson and identified many past tense verbs have the -ed ending, but some 'irregular verbs' are just very different. Students then applied their knowledge when writing about the field trip and Silk Road. We are also trying to finish up our 'What if?' stories this week. Although creativity is encouraged and we love to have students write about a variety of topics, I am encouraging the class to write about other things than Pokemon. Once in a while is okay, but this has been a constant theme with some students, and they are encouraged to write about other topics.
Students have been brainstorming, organising, writing a script and preparing materials for the assembly next Friday. I am very impressed at how well they have collaborated so far and organised themselves with very little help from me. It's going to be a fantastic presentation and a great end to this unit. We hope to see you there!
Just a reminder that the Fun Fair is this Sunday!
We continued exploring the different words in our new central idea: Exchange systems help our community. Mr. Gallagher came into to help students set up their Google slides for this unit. We will be documenting our learning and reflecting via Google slides, which will soon be uploaded into the online portfolios. We also began a 'Book Walk', where we explored different books to identify the types of exchange and the causation in various books. Students received new words this week, and will be working with these words for one more week. Author, Dave Lowe, spoke to our class about writing, and gave us some great ideas. He told us that he edits his books up to 30 times! We came back to class after listening to him and began making edits to our own writing. We also made a list of "What if?" ideas to help us in our next story writing task. On Tuesday, some students met with Grade 8 students to listen to stories in different languages. Friday concluded our Literacy Week with a book character dress up and parade! What a fun week listening to stories, reading, and writing.
Our math unit continues to be integrated into much of our Unit of Inquiry, and after exploring currency from around the world, we began looking closely at Singapore currency. After examining different coins and recording our observations on paper, we started looking at how many cents make a dollar, and different combinations of coins to make the same amount. We will continue our work with adding coins next week, up to and beyond $1/100 cents.
Next week, we will also start preparing for three way conferences. Please make sure you sign up for a time slot from the link that has been emailed out on Thursday.
We started Thursday with reflecting on our last unit, How we express ourselves. Students began typing a reflection in their online portfolio and will finish this up, along with adding photos, next week.
Our new Unit of Inquiry, How we organize ourselves, began this week, along with our integrated math unit involving money and exchange. Students began thinking about the questions 'What do you think you know about money?' and 'What questions do you have about money?' Several students brought in currency from different countries and we used our observation skills to see what we noticed and thinking skills to compare and contrast. This also helped generate more questions and wonderings. Next week, we will begin to explore our central idea and the concept of exchange.
We ended Friday with the Lion Dance on the playground and look forward to Literacy Week next week.
It's been an eventful and busy week as we've been finishing up our unit, How we express ourselves. Our field trip to Playeum on Thursday was so much fun, as the children enjoyed imagining, creating, building and storytelling. Below is a collection of photos taken during the field trip.
We look forward to seeing you on Friday if you are able to make it to the Art Gallery from 8:10-9 in Room 23. Grade 2 students will also be performing at the assembly at 1pm on Friday.
Happy New Year and welcome back! It's been an exciting week coming back to school, sharing holiday stories and getting back into the routine. We've jumped back into our pattern math unit as well as our UoI 'How we express ourselves'.
Before the holiday, students had been working on their own comic, making sure to include a problem and solution, and consider a story mountain when planning. The tricky part was planning a story that would fit in only 7 or 8 boxes! This week, students finished their comics and traded with a partner. The partner then wrote the story - their version of what was happening in the comic. Then they shared this story with the comic creator. On Friday, students reflected on the process, using the key concepts:
* Function: How do pictures tell a story?
* Connection: How was creating a comic connected to other things we've been working on in reading and writing?
* Reflection: What made it difficult to write the story using the comic? What was helpful?
In Daily 5, we've been reviewing the use of capitals and full stops, even during free writing. We also had a mini lesson to help us use punctuation when reading, making sure we pause at the right places and use ! and ? to help with expression.
In math, we investigated different pictures of objects and used our observation and thinking skills to justify why one was considered a pattern and the other was not. Students began to make the connection between pictures and symbols in patterns. We looked at some patterns that were increasing by 2, but others were doubling the previous amount, or increasing by multiples of 5. On Friday, students participated in a 'Chalk Talk' where they had a silent conversation on paper. Next week we will discuss their 'Chalk Talk' in more detail as we begin to fully transfer meaning, changing pictures into symbols and applying our understanding of patterns. Their 'Chalk Talk' statement was: "Pictures can change into words and numbers to help us understand." Next week will be our last week with this math unit, and then we will be moving onto money.
We explored the book Journey, using our observation, predicting, and inferring skills. This story is told using only pictures. Next week, students will explore this story in more depth using a 'story mountain' and then begin to write the text to accompany the pictures.
Students looked at various pieces of art and chose an artist they liked, based on their style of art. We are beginning to research these artists in class, learning how to take notes and eventually synthesising their information into sentences. Students have chosen a picture by their artist to recreate (but with a twist!) in art class. In the next few weeks, they will be working very hard on this integrated project.
We are looking forward to wrapping up this third unit of inquiry in the next few weeks, but will also be sharing both the processes and products from this unit with parents on Friday, 27 January. More information will be coming home shortly, but we will be having a small 'How we express ourselves' exhibition where your child will be sharing about their experiences and pieces they created throughout this unit. We hope you can make it!
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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