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.
This week, the children spent some extra time with Ms. Hima. They explored changes in states of matter in the context of Art.
As you can see the melting crayons resulted in a wonderful artwork but also demonstrated how the solid wax changed into a liquid state when heat was applied and how the wax behaved differently in each state.
They also worked with some clay to make small bowls. These are now outside our classroom where they are noticing and wondering about the changes occurring to the clay over time.
These will be held next week and are a chance for parent, student and teacher to reflect on and discuss the year so far and set some goals.
There is no school on Wednesday and the children will only come to school for their chosen time.
There will be a book fair on Wednesday too which is advertised below.
On our last day of Term 1, we celebrated the fantastic diversity of ISS today during our annual International Day event. As a school, ISS aims to foster global citizenship, curiosity, tolerance and empathy towards other cultures.
This open-mindedness and mutual respect is present every day but during International Day we are really able to enjoy the vast array of different flags, food, national dress, music, dance, games and languages. The children learn new things about their friends and countries around the world. At the same time, they begin to recognise similarities and things they have in common with others.
During the parade we sat in our nationality groups. We had two students from Grade 2.1 represent their countries on stage. We also sang together as a whole school and enjoyed dances from Scotland, China, Bangladesh, India, Japan and Korea.
It is also a lovely time for the Elementary, Middle and High school students to come together as a whole school. We had two groups of Grade 11 students come and visit us in our classroom. They were representing Myanmar and Spain and did a great job of telling the Grade 2 children about the countries and their traditions.
During the Myanmar workshop we learnt more about the various styles of traditional dress of the seven main ethnic groups and the children played a matching game. They also designed their own masks after learning about the tradition of facial tattoos.
During our Spanish workshop, we learnt about the diverse landscape of Spain and some of the traditions and landmarks.
The children then chose pictures of famous Spanish images to colour in and played a game that combined the famous Spanish bull and the Tomatina Festival. They threw paper tomatoes through holes in a bull to score points and win prizes.
The children interviewed the visiting teachers from KKS, in Cambodia. They were really interested to learn more about their school and the surrounding villages. We made some notes and then watched some videos about their school.
From the children's questions we learnt that the school is an NGO which is in the countryside near Phnom Penh. There are currently 82 students. At the moment, the school caters for Kindergarten to Grade 4 but from next year they won't be enrolling Kindergarten students as there is not enough space and instead it will be Grade 1 -5. We also learnt that the students learn English, play soccer, have some I-pads that they can use, and have a library and a playground- just like we do.
We found out that there is no school bus, that the students either walk or cycle to school and school runs from 8am to 4pm. We also heard that the school visits applicants and only accepts children from the most needy families.
Our children also wondered if they had pets, what their houses were made of and who was looking after Grades 1 and 2 while their teachers were in Singapore.
It has been a fantastic opportunity for us and we will keep in touch with Ms. Dany and Ms. Sreymom and hopefully make more connections with the students in Cambodia.
If you are interested you can find out more about the school by searching for Green Umbrella Cambodia on youtube. Here is a link to start with. www.youtube.com/watch?v=W-8jvn9qNZ4
This week we have been Tuning In to our new Unit of Inquiry. We began by visiting a Grade 6 Science lesson where Ms. Jeremiah demonstrated the scientific concepts of Density and Diffusion.
The Grade 2 children helped by acting as particles in a solid, liquid and gas and by observing the effect of diffusion in a gas and liquid.
We drew our observations when we returned to our class and will build on vocabulary and ideas from the visit throughout the unit.
Some children have been inspired to conduct some investigations of their own, involving water and coloured paper. They want to see the effect of the coloured dye from the paper in water and also to see if it will eventually turn into paint if they leave it and let the water evaporate.
We also read some books related to the concept of change and water, which the children then summarised into a sentence or two.. This developed their skill of listening and then selecting the main idea from what they have heard.
We ended the week by creating some change in states of matter ourselves. The children worked in small groups to change cream into butter through movement. They then devoured this during snack when it was spread on bread.
We have also poured orange juice into moulds and will enjoy these once the change through temperature has fully worked (not quite ready by today).
The children really enjoyed making the butter and we had lots of ideas for making pizza, bread, more butter to sell at the school Fun Fair! If the children do manage to rope you into some "changes" in the kitchen, please let me know and if possible take a photo.
Despite the weather not co-operating for a while and the intense heat towards the end, most of the sporting events went ahead as planned.
Grade 2 competed in Javelin, Shot-Put and Track and looked very athletic while doing so. This is their first year competing in the Track and Field events rather than the K1-G1 rotational games and they did a great job.
We had two students share slideshows they had created during their lunchtimes in order to raise awareness of plastic pollution. This has been in collaboration with the S.A.L.T. ECA group.
This was in advance of Sports Day to remind the children to bring their own water bottles rather than use disposable ones.