29 December 2011


Force-O-Rama from ISOCS on Vimeo.
At the end of the unit of inquiry into Force and Motion, the Middle Primary Class at ISOCS decided to present a Force-O-Rama (based loosely on their visit to Technorama Science Museum in Winterthur). This 20 minute video tells the story of a whole day of preparation.

Music by Kevin MacLeod at http://incompetech.com/ used by permission under an Attribution Creative Commons license.

13 December 2011

Getting inside the mind of the poet

I am encouraging the students to just pick up a poem book and see where it might fall open. This way you might come across something new and surprising. Today I picked up a collection by Shel Silverstein and came across two very different poems. One called 'The Crocodile's Toothache' was just downright funny. The second really got us talking. After we had read 'Lester' I asked students what would they like to ask the poet. Out of this emerged a discussion about wishes. Why did he choose three, why not, two or four? Why did the wishes keep multiplying? Some students begun to be the poet and find answers to these questions. As an adult I thought, 'Oh yes, everyone would have made the connection to how often wishes come in threes in fairy tales', but the students clearly didn't. Sometimes we assume too much. It was great to unravel our ideas. Some said, well families come in threes so it's a good number, the number can be lucky, it's not too little or too small...............

Then our discussion came to the message behind the poem. It was interesting to hear very opposite views being expressed, but we discussed the concept of perspective and how we should try to be open to differing views. I listened, occasionally putting in a comment  but really trying to let the students have the space to pursue their ideas. Some students came to the conclusion the poem was all about not being greedy, some that you should enjoy what you have, others that if you had that many wishes you could use them to help others.

Discussing "Lester" from ISOCS on Vimeo.
As part of their unit of inquiry into the "The Voice of the Poet" the Middle Primary Class at ISOCS listened to "Lester" by Shel Silverstein, and then talked about what they thought the poet was trying to say...

You can also visit Shel Silverstein's website for children. The presentation is very original and you can also listen to the poet perform his work. 

If you come across any great poems please send them in for us to share.


12 December 2011

Personal Connections (Homework) 12.12.11

Top Secret task:
Please practice your lines for Wednesday's presentation.

For after the break:
Please learn your rhyme and finger movements to teach the EY when we come back in January 2012.

For during the break:
Have a fabulous time with your family and friends!

06 December 2011

How We Express Ourselves

Our third unit of inquiry falls under the transdisciplinary theme: How we express ourselves. So I asked the questions: What does express mean? How can we express ourselves? The students' responses are below:

How to show your feelings.
Express means show your feelings.
Also to be yourself and show what you like and who you really are.
You can do different things to express yourself poems, acting, talking, singing and really many ways. Teaching probably too.
You can express yourself by doing hobbies you like. You can show what you don’t like by not doing them.
You can also express yourself by sign language, by writing and by talking. So many different ways. Animals even communicate e.g. dogs bark when they are happy, they talk to each other.
You can also express yourself by facial expressions and by what you like and you don’t like. You can say it if you like it or don’t like it.
Do animals talk to other animals in y language we don’t know?
You can express yourself through art. You can make sad paintings. You can show you are happy by an exciting painting. You can make abstract painting.
Last year we expressed ourselves with Ms. Slavka. She put some music on and we said how it made us feel. We wrote about it.
We also listened to and relaxed to music.We made imaginary stories. We talked about our imagination.
Animals can express their feelings if we spend time looking at them. Perhaps we can find out what they are trying to say.
You can also express your feelings by puppet shows, by showing shops with paintings, paintings, museums. You can show your feelings in a book and in a diary.
You can build giant structures to express your feelings. It could be a landmark.
I looked at my dog when she wasn’t looking. I waited and you can see what they do when nobody is there.  When my dog is bored she runs around. She treats a toy like her food, she throws it around.

It was fascinating to gather the students ideas together this really is a pre-assessment. I was delighted to see some of the past connections they made with previous express units, as well as connections to the world they have observed around. I was interested to see the word communication beginning to emerge as this is our Learner Profile and skills focus in this unit.

It's amazing how fast you can write a poem. We brainstormed lots of verbs, adjectives and nouns about ourselves and then chose the best to each create an individual line. We wrote these straight into a class poem. I really wanted students to see how spontaneous writing can be. We even stood up and performed it together, noticing that there were certain patterns in our poem. Someone made a link, noticing that we could read it with a rhythm, just like in a dance or music.

In Our Class......
An active, sporty tennis player.
An awesome, quick rowing guy.
A sporty, skilled football player.
A cool, energetic thinking girl.
An amazing, fast running boy.
A smart, fast thinking teacher.
An awesome, cool, strong kid.
An awesome, speedy, computerish student.
An intriguing, little, energetic runner.
A creative, helpful student.
A lover of my country.
A clever, good horseback riding girl.

(Understanding where to use commas came in useful too! Brainpop had a useful video and we consulted a grammar book too.)

Our poem is on the Starboard behind us

05 December 2011

Personal Connections (Homework) 5.12.11

To help start our new inquiry into the arts we are going to go back to our first experiences connected to poetry.  'Incy Wincy Spider' will always have a special place in my heart! Think about a nursery rhyme that you loved as a young child. It should be in the language you first heard it. Bring a copy of the rhyme into school. On the new wiki respond to the questions I have set.

Plus: Tracks and reading