We had a special guest visit the class this week...it was Ella's grandma. She came to talk to us about what school was like for her when she was young. She explained there was a blackboard and chalk instead of a whiteboard with pens. Her mum prepared her lunch every day as there was no canteen to buy food from. Winter was cold, so they had a stove in the middle of the classroom. In summer it was hot, but they had no aircon or fans. We were shocked to hear that if you did something wrong the teacher would hit your hand with a stick. Ella's grandma walked to school each day as she lived only 15 minutes away from the school. We found it interesting to compare it to school nowadays.
After our trip to compare old and new railways we have begun our show and tell about changes in trains, railway from our own countries. Nayonika shared about the history of trains and how they changed from steam to diesel to electric. The oldest working steam train today is in India. Here it is!
Keshav shared a book that had pictures of the Alaskan railroad and old coal trains. The book was a gift to Keshav after his Grandma had been to visit Alaska.
Gaku shared about the Shinkansen which is one of the bullet trains in Japan. They travel at high speeds across the country and the first one was developed in 1964. It is the 3rd fastest train in the world.
Mikhail told us about the Trans Siberian Railway which is the longest single railway in one country. Many people who enjoy train travel go to Russia to travel on this famous railway.
For the past 6 weeks Grade 5 students have been working hard on their own units of inquiry and today they shared their learning at the Grade 5 exhibition. Some students ran a workshop and others gave presentations. We went to see their work and learned about mindfulness, history and war, travel, animal abuse, puzzles, football, piano, Samuri, plastic pollution, singing and music.
To tune in to our new unit 'Where We Are in Place and Time; The world has changed during our lifetime' we went on the MRT and to the old Bukit Timah Railway. We will be able to make comparisons between old and new. Below the photos are our questions and comments from the trip.
Mikhail - I wonder why the new one is underground but the old one is above ground.
Sota and John - Why does the track stop at the old station?
Gaku and Rania - Why is the new train fast?
Siu - Why were there no drivers in the new train?
Amanda - Why were there rocks on the old train track?
Zahin - The bridge was very old.
Keshav - When did they build the old bridge?
Ella - Why are the old tracks broken?
Omer - Who lived in the old house?
Jiyin - They houses were very old.
Swini - When did the trains stop coming on the old track?
Nayonika - I saw a lot of plants and dandelions at the old railway station.
Saywer - Why is the new train underground?
Mao - I liked walking on the track.
We had quite the surprise on Wednesday morning - Mrs Hayward was absent and we had a substitute teacher called Ms. Wood. She was dressed in old fashioned clothes, had a strange hairstyle and was very strict. Then we noticed something strange about our classroom. There were no tables where we normally sit in groups. Instead we each had to sit at our individual desk in silence. If we tried to talk, Ms. Wood banged a ruler on the desk. The date on the board said 1949. We had to do lots of worksheets in silence at the desks as well as a dictation and reading comprehension. At the end of the day were glad to realise it was just Mrs. Hayward dressed up. We had a real experience of what school was like a long time ago!
Going further into our inquiry about plant adaptations we watched a video out carnivorous plants. Venus fly traps and pitcher plants have adapted to live in boggy areas where there are very few nutrients in the soil. So they trap and digest small insects instead. We created some of our own and made a display. You'll be able to see them at the student led conferences coming up.
This week we have begun our inquiry into 3D shapes. In groups we worked together to try and make different buildings and structures. We had to use team work, discuss what shapes would go where and help each other to steady the structure while we were building. As we built we became more familiar with the shapes and their names as well as their properties.
Mr. Grant took us to the garden to plant some sunflower and watermelon seeds. He showed us how to make a hole in the soil for the seed by using a stick. We put the little pots into a greenhouse and have to remember to water them each day. After they are bigger we will put them into larger pots in the garden.
We were faced with a problem to find out which container held the most coloured water. We made some predictions and then shared ideas about how we could solve the problem. An initial idea was to find 2 more containers the same in order to compare the amounts. We didn't have these available so had to extend our thinking further. We tried out the next idea of pouring the red liquid into a larger container, then we noticed there were markings and numbers. Mrs. Hayward explained these were the standard measurement 'millilitres'. So we used this jug to measure the amounts in millilitres. The next challenge was to work out how to repeat the problem by using only non-standard measure. Someone suggested a small cup and someone else a small spoon. We chose the spoon and counted out how many spoons of coloured water were in each container. Then we had a problem, the red and blue had the same amount! What could have gone wrong? We discussed the spoons sometimes weren't full and the possible miscounting. To be more accurate we agreed the spoons needed to be carefully filled to the top each time and one person to be the counter.