After some inquiry into how school has changed we had a more realistic experience of school from the past on Thursday last week. The classroom was set up with single tables, our whiteboard replaced with a chalk board and an overhead projector installed. We had no computers or iPads. Sitting silently in rows we had to do pages of addition and subtractions questions, answer aloud when called on and read aloud when asked to. We all did the same work and had no choice. We had a go at using chalk on black paper and using ink and feathers to do a drawing.
Later in the day we learned to play some old playground games such as hopscotch, marbles and skipping.
We have been inquiring into the past by writing letters to our grandparents. We have had many replies by email and Skype. This week we had a special visitor, Hugh's grandad, to tell us about changes in his lifetime. We had lots of questions about, school, learning, clothes, houses including toilets, cooking and playing. It was interesting to listen to stories about how things have changed.
We have been inquiring into how technology has changed since our grandparents lifetimes. There have been many benefits for people and their lives from advancements in technology. After watching a video clip about how technology almost ruined a family Christmas celebration as everyone was busy on their devices we started to form questions about the negative effects technology can have. We researched further independently using Chrome books and iPads to find out more about the positives and negatives of technology. When we had sorted out our information we prepared for a class debate with the topic 'Is Technology Good or Bad'.
Our inquiry's about changes in people's lifetimes led us to think about changes that would happen in our life times in the future. We were interested in reading invention books from the library. We discussed sustainable development goal number 9 'Industry, innovation and infrastructure' and how inventions are important to help people in the future. We had the opportunity to design an invention which would help someone. After drawing and labelling ideas we brought in lots of recycled materials and headed to the design room to build models of our inventions. When they were complete we had a sharing session to explain all about our inventions and the help they would provide.
Presenting our final models. Hover your cursor on the photos below for an explanation about each of our inventions.
When: Friday, 25th May. 3.30pm - 4.45pm
Where/ What: Changi Hall for ES displays
Serangoon Hall for MS displays
Musical performances by Grade 5 in different parts of the campus
Choir ECA performances at Changi and Serangoon
PTA sponsored refreshments next to the Design Lab
We will hold a silent auction of some collaborative pieces of art to support the Singapore Food Bank.
The PTA is looking for a few parent/ teacher/ TA volunteers to help with the refreshments. Please can you ask your class parents to get in touch with Savannah Fellows, email@example.com if they would like to help out.
Sara showed us a map of the New York Metro. We were amazed at all the stations and lines and thought the map looked like a tree. Sara told us about Grand Central Station with 44 platforms and 67 tracks and showed us a picture in a book. We wondered how many trains go through the station each day.
Athan showed us two different trains he had been on in Indonesia. He compared the two throughout his presentation. He travelled by commuter train which is electric, has places to sit and lots of space for standing. There is a carriage reserved for ladies and children. The commuter trains run from towns outside of Jakarta into the centre of Jakarta. The trains are for people to commute to work in the city. The long distance trains run between cities, have larger carriages with lots of seats and are pulled by diesel engines. There are toilets on the train and you can buy food and drinks too. We wondered about the layout, did they have first class, were there beds and how many people could travel on a long distance train?
Hugh showed us a steam train that his dad drove. Hugh watched, but didn't drive the train with his dad. We compared it to other steam trains we'd watched videos about. Hugh then explained about his trip to a model railway in Hamburg, Germany. We also watched a video which showed the model trains moving through model towns and countryside. We were amazed by the size of everything when we saw how big the adults were compared to the little trains.
Julien shared pictures he had found in a book about very early trains. Then he shared about the high speed trains in Belgium with some other pictures. Julien had some toy trains and demonstrated how one was more powerful because it could climb up a sloping book where as the other slid down backwards.
Fedor shared pages from his library book 'inventions' which showed trains as they have developed and changed from 200 years ago until now. Fedor also found some fiction books in the class library about trains which we read together.
Gracie brought in a model Shinkansen bullet train which she went on in Japan when she was 3. She told us she travelled from Tokyo to Kyoto. This sparked a lot interest. We wondered how fast it goes, how it stops, does it have seat belts and are there drivers? We wondered about the shape of the train, did the wind help it move, did it use magnets or an engine? Could it still run i the snow? We watched a video on Youtube which helped to answer many of our questions and explained the safety features in place for preventing accidents and injuries if there is an earthquake.
Sosuke showed us his travel card for trains and buses in Japan. He explained travel is free for up to grade 1 and half price for grade 1 to middle school. He showed us a poster explaining about the travel card and it's uses in shops to pay for items as well as travel. There were other cards on the poster too and we wondered what they were all for? Sosuke also showed us the map of the train system in Japan, there are so many lines and stations. We thought it looked like a spider web.
Shoichi gave a presentation comparing Singapore and Tokyo. They are almost the same size, but Tokyo has many more people. He showed us the two train network maps, both have coloured lines but there are many more train lines in Japan. Then he shared a video of commuters getting on a train to go to work in Tokyo. There were so many people trying to get into the train that they needed the attendants on the platform to push people in through the door! One persons brief case got stuck and the door had to open again. We had questions about why there were so many people trying to get in one train, how the doors close, do people get squashed in the door and is there enough air to breathe?
Daniel showed us his toy train and explained that he likes to play with it when his friend comes to play. Daniel explained that it doesn't go too fast.
Holly gave a presentation about the Eurostar - a train that goes between London, Paris, Lille and Amsterdam. She explained the changes in this train as it only used to go between London and Paris. This train brought change for people who used to travel by plane or boat between England and France. We wondered about the tunnel under the water, how was it made, how does it not break, how long is the tunnel and how long does it take to travel in the train through the tunnel?
After comparing a typewriter and Ipad we discussed other forms to communication used in grandparents', parents' and our lifetimes. Letters were mentioned and we read 'The Jolly Postman'. Then we made a postbox and have been writing postcards and letters to each other. Holly brought in a book 'The Day the Crayon's Came Home' as it connected with postcard writing. We agreed Friday would be delivery day and it was exciting to read our postcards and watch as others read what we had written to them.