30 June 2011

Visiting Schloss St. Andreas - The book

We've produced a little book combining photos from our visit to the castle, and our writing on our Structure wiki about what we learned. You can preview it below and on Blurb.com, and order a copy on the Blurb site, if you wish.

Museum für Urgeschichte(n) Zug

Here are the photos from today's visit to the Museum für Urgeschichte(n) Zug:

28 June 2011

Lake Peoples

As part of our inquiry into Structures (Central Idea: Traditionally, the design of buildings and structures has been dependent upon the environment and available materials.) we've been looking at the Late Stone Age and Bronze Age Lake Dwellers period in Zug/Cham. We've walked along Alpenblick, and looked into the water from the Boathouse at the castle, at where Lake Dwelers lived. Wednesday we'll go to the Archaeology Museum in Zug, to see a full size Lake Dwellers' house.

I'm very pleased to spread the news that "this afternoon, meeting in Paris, the Unesco Committee approved the listing of the Alpine lake dwellers sites as one of the World Heritage of Humanity sites. Presented by Switzerland, the bid had been submitted in January 2010, together with Italy, France, Germany, Austria and Slovenia. To date, a thousand sites have been identified Pile Dwellings. They belong to about thirty peoples who were sedentary in the Alps, between 5000 and 500 BC Of these, 111 sites are included in the  World Heritage list, of which 56 are in Switzerland." (link - Swiss Info FR) We have two copies of the book  in our school library prepared for the candidature by the Palafitfes Foundation.

Télevision Suisse Romande  has a page of information and videos (in French, of course!) about the sites, and about the Laténium, Neuchâtel's archaeology museum, which features a full size lake dweller's house on the shore of Lake Neuchâtel.

photo by keepps
Here is one of the videos from TSR


The Middies have been watching episodes of a German TV series about living in the Stone Age in just such houses (almost).  You'll find the episodes on this page of our wiki.

If you want to explore Lake Dwellers further, consider visiting one of the places marked on our map with yellow pins.


View ISOCS: "Places to go, things to see" in a larger map

Here and There: The Movie!

I did not appreciate how much we had learned in 'Here and There' until I saw the completed movie below! It really does document the carefully crafted  inquiry path we set out on together as a class. The students have provided the voice over that explains the process we followed from the beginning to the end of the inquiry. The students' 'Here and There' sketches were particuarly hilarious to watch in class! Putting all the pieces together I saw how strongly we had emphasised the Learner Profile attribute of being communicators through mapping. Such a movie allows me as a teacher to step back and reflect on the whole teaching process.

My heart felt thanks to Kathy for so patiently putting together all the pieces and producing this movie to enable us all to have a permanent record of our learning.

Here and There from ISOCS on Vimeo.

The story of the Middle Primary Class's investigation into "Where we are in place and time".


The Middle Primary Class is a mixed Year 2/3 class at the International School of Central Switzerland.

19 June 2011

Personal Connections (Homework) 20.6.11

This week:

  • Handwriting and Typing
  • Reading
  • I will test the spelling group for the last time this week. 

Saying Goodbye Books:
On A4 paper create two pictures, one each for T and H.
Please use the 'portrait' orientation for the paper and take your time to produce something special.
Include a sentence or two describing something you will remember about each student, a good luck message,  your name and email contact.

14 June 2011

Personal Connections (Homework) 16.6.11

This week's tasks:

  • Handwriting
  • Typing
  • Reading
  • There will be a follow up wiki post after our trip on Thursday to the castle.
I will check group spellings next Monday, as we were away yesterday.

11 June 2011

Maps from "Here and There"

Here are our maps of Lorzenpark, published in our Atlas. Click on the lower right-hand corner of the cover to turn the pages.


Enlarge this document in a new window
Publisher Software from YUDU

08 June 2011

Our New Unit of Inquiry

Transdisciplinary Theme: How the World Works
Concepts: form, causation, connection
Central Idea: Traditionally, the design of buildings and structures has been dependent upon the environment and available materials.
Lines of Inquiry:

  • Considerations to take into account when building a structure
  • How building impacts on the environment
  • Indigenous architecture
Here are the structure explorers in the photograph below! Yesterday we started our walk looking back into the past by seeing where lake dwellers once lived. We looked around and discussed the materials people might have used to build their homes in the distant past and wondered why we couldn't see these buildings today. It's amazing to think people looked out on the same view that we had on this beautiful day.


We then walked into the town stopping to take loads of photographs of different aged buildings, noting the different geometric shapes and materials too. I'm looking forward to each student's ten photograph collection.


We ended our tour with appreciation of a different type of structure, namely the playground by the Villette! Some students commented that structures were everywhere, they didn't just have to be buildings.


Check out our Set of photos on Flickr.






Mathematics Pre- Assessment


Today we launched into our Shape and Space unit in mathematics, the perfect companion to our structures unit. As usual I first wanted to find out what students were already familiar with. I asked each student to record what they knew about shape and space, trying to use words they knew to describe the shapes they drew and built. I can see from this assessment that our first focus will be to build a more detailed vocabulary to describe geometric shapes, explore the links between 2D and 3D shape and then use sorting trees to sort shapes according to their properties. We also need to define what those words 2D and 3D actually mean and explore the word geometry.





06 June 2011

Personal Connections (Homework) 6.6.11

Tasks for this week:
  • Handwriting and typing
  • Reading and spelling
  • Unit: Select 10 photographs from your pictures you will take on our Alpenblick/ Cham structure walk. Your collection should have a photo showing each of the following:
  1. straight lines
  2. intersecting lines
  3. right angles
  4. triangles
  5. squares/ rectangles
  6. parallelograms or parallel lines
  7. concrete
  8. glass
  9. wood
  10. stone/ brick
Please put your photos onto a CD or bring in a USB card or SD card with your selection. Please label and put in an envelope so they are not lost.