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Month: January 2019

How We Organize Ourselves Provocation

How We Organize Ourselves Provocation

To start our third Unit of Inquiry, students were given the scenario of having contaminated drinking water and not having water readily available in the classroom on Monday morning. Food colouring and a contamination sign were added to the water tank for effect.

According to World Health Organization data, a lack of access to clean, safe, and treated drinking water is a problem for 159 million people worldwide. Furthermore, those who must walk to collect water must travel for an average of 6km to collect it. Diarrhea related deaths from untreated water are estimated to be 502 000 each year.

Following an entire morning without access to water in the classroom we shared the story of Tarik, a girl who is approximately the same age as our students, but she must travel an extended distance each day to collect water for her household. Many students noted how convenient it is to only have to walk several metres for clean, potable water. The also noted that Tarik does not head to school in the morning, but instead spends a significant amount of time collecting water for her family.

After the video, we went out to the track for a very small and quite easy experience of what it is like to travel for water. We walked around the track four times and were rewarded at the end with a big jug of fresh water. Students unsuccessfully attempted to pick up the 15L jug of water and noted that it how difficult it must be for Tarik to carry her jug home after filling it.

Is contaminated water a crisis? Should Tarik’s situation be classified as a crisis? Or is it simply a problem or inconvenience? This may be one of the issues that the students inquire in to during the Unit of Inquiry.

Student Agency- Five and One-hundredth Darts

Student Agency- Five and One-hundredth Darts

Hans, Barry, Seppe, and Maxwell have created a variation of the darts game “501” which focuses on the use of decimals. They have changed the scoring zones of the dartboard into decimal form.

This student-created game has allowed students to practice their use of decimal place value vocabulary and the subtraction of decimals to hundredths.

Hans, Barry, Seppe, and Maxwell have clearly demonstrated their agency in our current maths unit. Please have a look below for their game rules.

What’s Been Happening in the ESL Classroom?

What’s Been Happening in the ESL Classroom?

Today in ESL class, students were briefly introduced to some key vocabulary which they will encounter during their next unit on ‘How We Organize Ourselves’. The new unit is due to begin next Monday.

During the activity, students walked around the classroom and looked at key vocabulary cards stationed at different tables. Some of these words include: crisis, prepare, respond, organisation, cause, effect and natural disaster.

Students then wrote the following information that they either knew or could find about the word:

  1. Translation (to their native language)
  2. Meaning
  3. Example

The purpose of this activity is to help equip the ESL students with some of the key vocabulary prior to hearing and reading about these words in their homeroom class. This knowledge will help give them the confidence and understanding to fully engage in their learning during our unit of inquiry lessons.

Cultural Heritage Appreciation Day

Cultural Heritage Appreciation Day

Congratulations to the students of 4AS for a successful Cultural Heritage Appreciation Day! The culminating event of our ‘Where We Are In Place and Time’ Unit of Inquiry served to showcase our students’ learning and understanding of the importance of preserving cultural heritage.

The central idea for the unit was ‘Preserving our cultural heritage provides ways of appreciating and taking shared responsibilities as part of society’. The students were tasked with acting as cultural ambassadors to show their understanding of the central idea. Part of their role involved inquiring into the preservation and appreciation of cultural heritage in different forms. The inquiry process involved exploring ways in which appreciation is shown for cultural heritage, reasons why people maintain cultural heritage and how cultural heritage is preserved. After their individual inquiries, students created presentations to share how and why cultural heritage is preserved.

Many students choose to inquire into and present about  intangible parts of cultural heritage that are recognized by UNESCO. Topics included Chinese Zhusuan (abacus use), Kimjang, Chinese shadow puppetry, Indonesian shadow puppetry, equitation in the French tradition, traditional tugging rituals, pays de grasse, and kunqu opera. Presentations varied between tasting experiences, exhibitions of models, interactive experiences, thoroughly researched Keynote displays and dramatic performances.

Students love opportunities such as these parent events to share and celebrate their learning. It offers an opportunity for parents to share, experience and engage with their child’s learning.

We would like to thank parents for taking time to help the students locate resources for their presentations. Also, thank you for attending this event to help celebrate student learning.

Please have a look below for some photos of the final steps students took before Cultural Heritage Appreciation Day.


Peer Feedback

Presentation Day

Investigating Materials & Techniques

Investigating Materials & Techniques

Grade 4 students have started inquiring into their third art unit of the year. They are exploring the central idea of investigation leads to possibilities under the theme of Sharing the Planet.

The students have been experimenting like artists by investigating a wide range of materials and techniques, recording their findings in their sketchbooks.

They now know which techniques they personally enjoy working with and will use those techniques to develop a series of small art pieces called Artist Trading Cards under a specific theme or message of their choice.

Morning Math Puzzle

Morning Math Puzzle

The students of 4AS engaged in some deep discussion about place value when thinking about this problem. Several different answers were proposed and all had valid arguments for being correct. What do you think? Please feel free to post your answers in the comments section.

PE Update and Welcome Back!

PE Update and Welcome Back!

Hi Everyone,

Karen and I hope that you have enjoyed your holiday. This week we have once again looked at the 6 fitness tests as part of our year-long unit and assessment on health related fitness. We have enclosed a pdf of the actual test sheet that your child has worked through this week – talk to them about whether or not they are warm, warmer, hot or on FIRE!

Our next unit is Movement Composition and students will use the terminology of ROTATIONS, TRAVEL, BALANCE, and JUMP to describe and label their movements. This unit covers a mixture of gymnastic type movements such as rolls, balances, leaps, and gallops etc; and then adapting/modifying them into a small routine. Within Grade 4 we will be focusing on the aesthetics and function of each movement as well as connecting between different movement – which in child-speak is about making our moves and transitions clean, tidy, and smooth. We will also be focusing on extending our capabilities within movement; For Example taking forward rolls into dive rolls for those capable, experimenting with beginner vault work, and gaining more control in complex balances such handstands etc.

Just a reminder that students from G3-G5 are required to the PE uniform during these sessions. Time will be given before and after each session in order to get changed. After Chinese New Year students who do not have PE uniform will be lent an old sports uniform for the PE session and an email will be sent home informing you of this. PE uniforms are available at DragonWear in the school foyer. We have attached the letter sent last year in English, Korean, and Chinese addressing this matter.

As always both Karen and I encourage families to talk about PE at home and we welcome any feedback, questions, clarifications that you may have as a result of your child’s PE sessions.

Regards Kit Murray and Karen Zheng

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