To begin our new unit 'Who We Are' with the central idea 'People's actions are a reflection of their beliefs' we each brought in an item special to us. The item was significant to our cultures, identity, beliefs and traditions. At first we didn't know who each item belonged to. We did a 'see, think, wonder' thinking routine to explore the the items and begin to form ideas about who they might belong to. After that we looked at each item, shared our ideas, thoughts and questions and thought about who the items could belong to. After each item was matched to their owner we discussed what the items help us know about the person and their beliefs, cultures and traditions. For example Mikhail said that Keshav brought two books from different countries as he has family members from different countries and he likes to read books. We still have some items left to share and will continue this next week. We are looking forward to inquiring more into all the items as we still have lots of questions.
Tuesday 13th November was World Kindness Day. The Elementary and Middle School students and staff all gathered on the Elementary playground and formed two large circles. When the music played everyone moved round in the the circle. When the music stopped each person said something kind to each other. Some chose to high-five and shake hands. The teacher's all brought in a small treat to give out to the students. We shared the treats out together in the playground after the game. Ms. Berna also made every student a bookmark.
On Thursday, Kotona, a Grade 10 student came to visit our class. She is doing her personal project about Fairtrade and came to teach Grade One about Fairtrade. First we coloured in cocoa beans, most of us thought they should be brown - the same colour as chocolate. Kotona then showed us some pictures, they are actually yellow and red! Next she showed us a puzzle about Fairtrade. The picture had monkeys who went to work every day to collect cocoa beans and they could not go to school. Some of us thought this was not fair. We had a race to see which group could complete the puzzle the fastest.
We have been busy doing more work on our projects this week. Our jobs involved digging holes, planting plants, arranging cacti, making signs, painting the wall, writing game instructions and doing another layer of paper mache for a bowl. Some of us have now finished and reflected on what worked well and noted ideas we had for improving our projects.
During the garden work one group found a dead bird. At first we thought it was a sunbird, but Ms Hima confirmed it was actually a yellow vented bulbul. We decided to take it to the garden and bury it.
On Monday we had some early Deepavali celebrations at school before the Tuesday public holiday. Ms. Shradha told us about the Hindu celebration and explained what she would be doing to celebrate. She had prepared some activities for us including making cards and decorating rangoli patterns. Then we went to Changi Hall to add collage items to a large rangoli pattern. Each class in the school had a peacock feather to decorate. It looked great when each class had added their collage items. We chose to use buttons and bottle tops for ours.
This week we have been inquiring further into numbers, how are they made and how can we show numbers. We've played games to find missing numbers on a hundred square as well as complete a broken up hundred square. The game race to 50 helped us learn about exchanging 10 ones cubes for 1 ten rod. Some of us went further to explore 3 digit numbers as well.
This week we have begun some exciting projects to work on beautifying areas around the school. As the projects progress we will be using our knowledge to create art which will involve the use of many of our senses. Everyone voted on which projects they would like to work on. After the groups were assigned we had our initial planning meeting with our group mentor. We were told about the problems which need addressing and were given a research task to help us develop ideas to address the problem. The areas we are working on are:
1. Plants for the garden that can survive with little water.
2. Plants for the garden to attract sunbirds.
3. A sound garden.
4. Ways to make the upper playground more fun and attractive.
5. A decorative piece for the ESL room.
6. The front guard's office.
7. Decorations for the ground floor corridor.
We have come up with many creative ideas and are ready for feedback from our mentoring teachers about ways in which we can proceed further.
Having spent the last few weeks inquiring into the senses and art forms, today we had the opportunity to participate in an area of our own interest further. We then shared with the rest of the class what we had chosen to focus on. We had a painting, drawing, digital art on the Ipad and puppet shows. We worked on our presentation skills - using a loud voice and looking at our audience.
For our Show and Tell this week we had performances from lots of children in the class. Jiwoo, Sophia, Ella and Keshav played the piano. Zahin played the drum. Ella also played the melodian. Swini and Keshav were risk takers as they sang a song each unaccompanied. We were a respectful audience and appreciated the efforts of others by clapping at the end of each performance. It was great to see so many confident performers. Mrs Hayward also played the clarinet for us. We were interested in all the buttons and parts of the instrument.