We continued building our skills of responding to and evaluating different images by going on a gallery walk around school and leaving comments for the students on why we liked their art.
This week, Grade 2 went on a field trip to the National Gallery and the Keppel Centre for Art Education. We were given a tour by "Auntie Nur" who talked to us about "Life by the river" by Lee Kang and another painting showing a Malay lesson in Singapore in 1957. Both paintings are from the Nanyang style- a blend of Chinese and European techniques.
The children used a view-finder to focus in on one aspect of the painting to sketch and learnt about how even though Malay (Bahasa) is the national language of Singapore, many people cannot speak it.
Later, we visited the Keppel Centre, where the children had great fun exploring the various interactive areas and creating a layered print with Ms. Hima.
We began investigating tessellations using lego and tiles. The children will begin inquiring into tessellations around the world next week.
The children have really enjoyed exploring tangrams in maths this week.
They have created free-style designs and also each contributed one tangram that followed the rules of: using all seven shapes, no overlapping and all shapes must touch at least one other shape.
We put these tangrams together to share-write a story and will extend this to collaborate with Visual Arts and Mandarin in the coming weeks.
The students have continued exploring images using the visible thinking technique of looking at the image and describing what they SEE in the image, what they THINK and what they WONDER.
Most of the class wondered why an Andy Warhol painting was worth millions of dollars and some extended this into questioning who decides if a painting becomes famous or valuable.
The children began researching by finding an interesting fact to share with a class-mate on a walk-around activity.
They have also been evaluating images and sharing their own responses to images they see. We began this by looking at various illustrations from books.
This week was the Grade 2 performance, inspired by and named after Starry Night by Vincent Van Gogh. The children have worked hard writing their lines, learning a poem and a song, not to mention all the transitions they had to remember. They were fantastic and should be very proud of themselves.
The children have been looking at various images ranging from video footage of Iceland's landscape, art by Escher, World Wildlife Fund campaign photography and national flags. They identified images that they knew and have begun sketching in their image log-books.
They also began sorting images by their purpose, using to Persuade, to Inform and to Provoke to guide their thinking.
The discussions have been rich and the children realised that many images can have different layers of purpose. They identified logos as an example, explaining that they can provoke a feeling (hunger/thirst), inform you where you can get the food/drink and ultimately persuade you to go and buy from that place.
We will continue to explore different images, evaluating their purpose, how effective they are at achieving this and our own responses to them.
This week we started our new unit as part of How we Express Ourselves. We are inquiring into how "Images express meaning". We tuned in by looking at Starry Night which is the inspiration for our Grade 2 concert next week. This has involved collaboration with both Visual Arts and Performing Arts. More of this process will be shared at the concert. We also shared some of the images, signs and symbols that we are already familiar with.
The children also shared their images and shapes from home, explaining what the images were and what they meant to them. The sharing sessions will continue next week and we will begin drawing out how the purpose and intended meaning can vary for different images.
In maths, we began exploring what we know about shapes and then began building on our vocabulary. The children are already becoming more specific and clear with how they describe shapes.
The class have also been enjoying their quiet Daily 5 time, in between concert practices and the Annual Fun Run, which was organised by the SALT group and raised money for the Singapore Food Bank.
This was the final week of our How the World Works unit, inquiring into the Central Idea that "Changes in Matter affect our Environment".
The children continued to use the Scientific Method, with a focus on observing carefully. They enjoyed seeing what happened when we mixed oil, water and food colouring. At the end of the experiment, we realised that oil floats and that water finds other water, which linked to the water cycle and cloud formation.
The children have been busy creating slideshows to share their knowledge from this unit. They are combining their literacy skills and using features of information texts with their rapidly expanding computer skills. We have begun sharing these with the class and this will continue over the coming days.
Finally, we started to transfer our learning and apply it to games we know. Scissors, Paper, Rock became Solid, Liquid, Gas. Similarly, I Spy combined with Twenty Questions to guess the object by asking questions about its properties. We also had a group explore Simon Says with different actions to represent the states of matter.
This week we used Venn Diagrams and tables to sort matter and physical and chemical changes.
We noticed that when we were sorting physical examples, it was hard for us to have any gases or liquids that were solely gas or liquid as they would usually have to be in a container which would be solid.
We have also talked about physical and chemical changes in matter that the children see in their own lives. We explained Physical Change as when matter changes in shape, size, colour or form but is still the same thing (e.g water freezing- it is a different form and will feel and look different but it is still water). We understood Chemical Change as when something new is created that can't be turned back (e.g. a raw egg to a cooked egg or wood burning).
Some examples the children said they had experienced were: baking at home, watching fireworks, leaves changing colour as the seasons change, making slime at home, broken lego. It would be great to get some photos or drawings of more changes at home or outside of school.
We are also wondering what happened in these photos and the students are being encouraged to observe and notice examples of science all around them.
Our unit is providing wonderful opportunities for collaboration and connections. We have been exploring measurement this week and are collecting data on all sorts of things. For example, the mass of food waste each day, distances around the school, the volume of water the children drink at school, the mass of their school bags.
We are also consolidating this with lots of hands-on practise using both non-standard and standard units of measurement. The class are getting more familiar with using the vocabulary and tools of measurement and are enjoying themselves a lot.
We also measured during our field trip to our Preston campus this week.
Mr. Shen, our caterer (The Gastro Guys) welcomed us into the kitchen and led a cooking demonstration which all the children got involved in. They looked at the ingredients and discussed which were solids or liquids. Then, in groups, they added and mixed the ingredients together and observed the change. Finally, they had to measure out 60g portions using digital scales and then decorate the cookies.
We were given a tour of the High School by some students and spotted other examples of solids, liquids and gases.
Finally, we have been tuning into interesting words to describe the properties of matter. Try and describe some of the things you see over the weekend. Are they a solid, liquid or gas? What shape are they? What size are they? What is their texture? How they behave or move?
For example: The tree outside our classroom window is a solid. It is very wide and has many straight, cylindrical trunks. It is very tall. The trunk is brown and rough. The leaves are green and curved- they can also sway. It can be cut or burnt or bent or snapped.