26 November 2009

Art and Music: Perfect Partners

Dear Parents and Students,

What an amazing day! The students were artists creating art work in response to music. We had three dimensional art, printing, oil painting, bold stokes, fine marks.......... the variety was astounding.

We were developing our VISUAL VOCABULARY. We discovered art has a rhythm, a picture can have weight: heaviness, density or lightness, marks can have texture, in our art there's change and movement. We surprised ourselves with our thoughts and ideas.

Come and see how creatively we express ourselves!

Our art gallery is open to the public in the classroom!

24 November 2009

Getting Creative!

Dear Parents and Students,

This week is all about creativity! We started the week looking at a selection of different  forms of poetry. We read list poems, acrostic poems, tanka, haiku, diamente.....there are so many forms. We identified different frameworks and the type of language used. Today we wrote our own poems about emotions and in some cases colours. Students have also begun performing poems brought in from home. We will be painting to music tomorrow and dancing on Friday. The aim is for students to have as many creative experiences as possible in this unit and find different ways to express their feelings and ideas.

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Ms. Judy

18 November 2009

Poetry Website


Here's a great resource. This website has a large collection of poems to help you find a style or poet you like.


Ms. Judy

17 November 2009

Off to ZIS!

Dear Parents and Students,

We headed off in our magic school bus over the hill towards Wadenswil today. The library at Zurich International School hosted the Seniors for a visit. Our inquiry was to find out how a library is organised and why it is organised this way. Miss Lancaster gave us time to look around and discover how the library was organised. Then she got us all together and we discussed the Dewey System and other sections in the library. All this information will help us work out how we are going to organise our books here at ISOCS. The time has come to look at introducing a library system! The big surprise happened at the end when Miss Lancaster presented us with a big bag of brand new books. Thank you ZIS for welcoming us so warmly and for a fabulous gift!

In class:
  • Poetry is in the planning stage
  • Spelling routines continue
  • Handwriting is a focus
  • Students have been exploring Number Operations and discovering:
Partitioning numbers into part-part-whole helps us relate addition and subtraction and understand their properties.

Coming up:
Kathy will be visiting tomorrow


11 November 2009

Live Music!

Dear Parents and Students,

We just had a fantastic visitor in our class. David Sargeant from Zurich International School came to share his love of music with us. He has played the cello for many years and he helped us understand why he enjoys expressing himself through music. We listened to how different notes can make you feel lighter and darker. I liked his idea that a piece of music is like a letter. The composer writes it and the musician delivers it. As he played we thought about the images that came into our minds. We all got to play a few notes too and make a short composition.

I'm wondering if any of the students would like to come and play for us in class?


10 November 2009

Using technology to help us express our ideas and thoughts

Dear Parents and Students,

It's been another very creative day in the Seniors with Kathy showing us how to create short films using photographs, words and music. We'll definitely be sharing this with you at the end of the unit.

Last week was an exciting moment when we discover that the word express comes from the base word 'press'. We realised that when you express yourself you are pressing out or pushing out your feelings or ideas for everyone to see. It's powerful to understand that words have developed for a reason! You can see all the words we found connected to press adding prefixes and suffixes on our classroom window.

We have also been using words to express our memories of a special place or event through the use of a retell. Students are really beginning to use a thesaurus and being a little more adventurous with their vocabulary. I have a couple of books on order connected to colour and feelings, so as soon as these arrive I'll be sharing these and maybe using this as a way to start writing poetry. We are certainly discovering their are many ways to express ourselves!

Note: Please return your child's report to me when you have spent time looking through it together, added comments and both have signed it.


03 November 2009


Dear Parents and Students,

Welcome to our new unit of inquiry! Our second unit falls under the theme of 'How we express ourselves'. This week the students have been thinking about the question: How do we express ourselves? The central idea we are aiming to understand is:

We express ourselves because we have strong feelings or thoughts about some things.

Kathy Epps (our school IT consultant) visited today to help us explore facial expressions through IT. Students have started making a collection of self-portraits using the webcam on each laptop. Then they experimented with the images using photo software. The students discovered an amazing selection of ways photos can be changed as they became familiar with the tools. We'll be returning to this program next week to create emotion portraits.

Students have also begun to find out how a thesaurus can be used to collect a wider vocabulary to describe how they and others are feeling. We have started using the word synonym. Some students are also noticing that you can say happiness but can you say 'confidentness'? This unit is going to have many connections to the Arts, Language and Personal & Social Education.

If you have a creative hobby we would really like you to visit us and share how you express yourself. Please let me know!


Photo: school.discoveryeducation.com