27 January 2010

Dear Students and Parents,

There's so much inquiry into energy going on in our class at the moment. It all started with those fabulous Learning Logs that really got us thinking. We've begun to understand that there are different forms of energy, that energy changes form and it is all around us. The students sat and watched me munching cereal to provoke them into thinking about how energy was connected. We've made a chart on our wall to show how. Next week we will find out how rubbish can be used to create electrical energy when we visit the Abfallverwetung in Horgen (here in English) adding in an interesting inquiry about the sources we use.

We are using the words form, function, connection and change in our studies a lot at the moment. We talk about our school curriculum being concept driven. These concepts lead us to the big questions we can ask:
Form: What is is like?
Function: How does it work?
Connection: How is it connected to other things?
Change: How is it changing?

We have been using these questions to inquire into measurement in our maths lessons too. We looked at a variety of tools to discover that measure is not all about just measuring the length of something. We are finding that you can measure something using a variety of attributes i.e. mass, area and circumference. Our next step is to explore these attributes in different ways while learning how to measure using the correct unit and tool. We have also made a link with our unit and discovered you can measure electrical current using watts and even mega watts!

My mission at the moment is encouraging the students to use cursive writing! This is also a way to practice relevant spelling patterns too. For this week's Personal Connections I have suggested that the students do a 'little and often' handwriting practice rather than all the sheets in one go.

Ms. Judy

10 January 2010

Best Wishes for 2010!

Dear Parents and Students,

I hope 2010 has started off well for you all. I am looking forward to welcoming everyone back to school tomorrow and hearing about everyone's winter adventures.

2010 brings many new things to learn about. We have a new unit of inquiry all about energy. We are going to be finding out how to write effective instructions and discovering how measurement can help us in our everyday lives.

Please have a look out for instructions and bring them in to share with the class. Plus keep an ear open for any news about energy as there are constantly new inventions and discoveries appearing in the news.

I will be out on Thursday and Friday this week. I am very excited to be going to Amsterdam to attend the Cultures of Thinking three day conference. I have heard such great things about this conference from other educators. I hope to return with new insights into how to help children uncover and explore their ideas and how to build on and encourage a classroom of thinkers. Ms. Adele will be in to teach the class.

Reports are being finalised and will be coming home to you soon.

Here's to a wonderful new year ahead.

Ms. Judy

photo "Explosion of positive energy" by Łukasz Strachanowski