Tuesday, 28 February 2017

BIG SCIENCE DAY for Grades 5&6

Parents, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, grandparents, family friends- Come and be wowed by the grade 5 & 6 scientists!

Monday, 20 February 2017

Semester Two Learning Outcomes

Below you will find the Semester Two intended learning outcomes for all subject areas.  Click on the links to view and download the documents.  If you have any questions about these learning outcomes, please contact your child's homeroom teacher, our PYP Coordinator (Michael Hughes), or our Elementary Principal (Sandra Mulligan).

Saturday, 18 February 2017

Understanding the PYP transdisciplinary themes

“Write what you know. That should leave you with a lot of free time.” 

If knowledge was an orange, then each of its juicy segments would ideally represent the transdisciplinary themes,

Who We Are
Where We are in Place and Time
How the World Works
Sharing the Planet
How We Express Ourselves
How We Organise Ourselves.

Just before the start of the exhibition, we decided to revise the descriptors of these 'segments', the TD themes,  in order to help our scholars recognise where their passions lie.

The challenge was to find a way to make the Grade 6's interested in these rather not so juicy descriptors.

And so this is how we went about it:


Scour through newspapers and identify as many articles that fit in with the six TD themes. Highlight the areas in the articles in order to justify your reasoning.

In groups of 6, collect articles related to a TD theme and create a collage with the articles. The collage needs to reflect some elements of the descriptor.


As the students flipped through the pages of newspapers, they realized that everything fit into the 6 themes!
By asking them to highlight areas, they had to repeatedly read the descriptors. This allowed them to easily recall and recognize the themes.
It was interesting to note how, at times, they were torn between two themes and finally decided to look at the purpose of the article in order to identify one dominant theme.

That busy hum.

Here is what some of the groups came up with. What I found interesting about the collages is that if you look closely enough, every article they are made up of, belong to that respective transdisciplinary theme.

How We Organize Ourselves

Where We Are in Place and Time

How the World Works

The last one was very metaphorical. You'll notice a kingfisher drawn in the front of the Shinkansen. The students attempted to show how technological advancements are made when humans closely observe how the natural world works.

The bullet train was a result of biomimicry.

I leave you with a short clip of a pretty little blue bird...



Was it designed? https://youtu.be/ZhAcUEeGyuA



Thursday, 9 February 2017

Coughing, sneezing, breathing, talking, touching...how else do we spread our germs?

These principled students were cleaning up the door handle when they noticed a glue like substance on it after break. Little did they know that they were being set up! Their favourite teachers had spread glow goo all over the door handle to set up a science investigations.  

To get started with our third line of inquiry- How communicable diseases spread, we checked how many students ended up with some gel on their hands just from opening the door. Some people who didn't touch the door still had some gel on their hands when they checked it under the blacklight. That's what you get for "high fiving" your friends!
Here is what the students think about how communicable diseases are spread at this stage of the inquiry:

We conduced a quick whole class scientific investigation before students broke into groups to design their own. Student number one rubbed glow gel on their hands and a handshake was passed all the way to student number 23. How far do you think the gel spread? Many people guessed that the germs would spread all the way to person 23. Type your guess in the comments below. You can find out how close you were by watching this video.

Thursday, 2 February 2017

Our Thoughts Go Viral

Ring-a-ring o' roses,

A pocketful of posies,
A-tishoo! A-tishoo!
We all fall down

We just started our unit of inquiry on diseases.

The Video we watched was as reassuring as it was scary.

Microorganisms like bacteria and viruses have no desire whatsoever to kill us! 

They just want to live inside us and replicate.

We used the Cornell note taking strategy to gather our thoughts as we watched the video. It was a great way to assimilate all the information.

We decided to try out another visible thinking routine: chalk and talk session and see how much we knew about diseases during the "Getting Started" stage.
Notice how quietly the students have learnt to work during this activity.

Here are some close up shots of our thinking. We worked quietly and added our thoughts to that of our peers, trying to maintain a trail of information as they crisscrossed each other.

A recent conversation on twitter had got me thinking about the purpose behind working walls...

And so I asked the students how they thought the chalk talk activity helped them.
These were some of their responses:

And so this is how our thoughts went viral today.

We hope to hold on to them till Monday and maybe add to it. Do come and join us if you feel you could add to this working wall.

Our investigative stage... 

We are looking at the key concept "form" and trying to distinguish between different viruses.

We used play dough to create models of different viruses such as Ebola and influenza.

And we will end this post with a 


Some viruses cause diseases, but

"All diseases run into one, old age."

Ralph Waldo Emerson


Cornell Note taking - http://lsc.cornell.edu/study-skills/cornell-note-taking-system/

Visible thinking Routine-

Why do viruses kill? http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/why-do-viruses-kill/

Ring a ring o' roses image- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ring_a_Ring_o'_Roses#/media/File:Ring-a-ring-a-roses.jpg

Instrumentalists practicing their notation reading

In the Notation Unit, the instrumental music students are learning to play with accuracy and control as they focus their awareness on the musical elements. Here, the students mingled with other instrumentalists to play a duet from the Essential Elements music textbook.