This week when the students walked in they found a note from Lightning. He told the students that he left them a box some books and a song. He wanted the students to infer what he wanted them to make with the box based on what they learned from the song and the stories. After listening to the song and stories, the students figured out that we would be making a Dragon for Lunar New Year. We learned that in Chinese culture dragons are a symbol for a river and rain spirit. On New Years Day fireworks are set off to wake up the dragon so that this spirit may bring on the rain and the Spring.
Before we started creating our dragon, we reviewed our 3D shapes and looked to see if we had any of these shapes that we could incorporate into our dragon's head around the class. The students uncovered that we had cylinders (toilet paper rolls), styrofoam spheres and a square-based prism (cracker box) that we could add to the creating. We explored measurement as we followed a recipe to make papier mache paste.
As we continued our research into the customs of Lunar New Year, we learned that on this occasion, families give each other red envelopes that contain money. We learned that by giving the money to children, elders are hoping to pass on a year of good fortune and blessings. Another version is given by the younger generation to their elders as a blessing of longevity and a show of gratitude. Students used red envelopes to match coins to the corresponding number on the front. They also put two envelopes together to add the money together.
Students explored Lunar New Year using their senses as well. We made playdough as a class on Tuesday and experimented with putting it in different Chinese moulds. To help build their fine motor skills while exploring symbols from Lunar New year, students were given the opportunity to use chopsticks.
Jane also taught the students the symbols for the animals in the lunar calendar. Students were shown how to make these Chinese symbols using brush painting. This magic paper let the students paint on it with water over and over again as when it dried it was a clear canvas again!
Last week, the students started thinking about what their goals would be for the year. We spoke about how we are all different and how we all have unique goals and things we want to get better at. The students took their time to draw their self-portrait and write their goal for the year.
After they had done the first step of their portraits, the students learned about 3 star colouring. They worked hard to do their personal best on their pictures.
This week when the students walked in, they found a message from our classroom character Lightning. He said that when he walked outside that morning he was welcomed with so many different snowflakes. He told the students that the snowflakes reminded him of all of the students in the class. This was because each child in our class was different and unique. With the New Year, he wondered what unique goals the students had for the upcoming year. With this, each student in the class started working on a self-portrait and a goal for 2020. Stay tuned for these wonderful creations!
In our daily math lessons, the students learned that snowflakes are not only symmetrical but they are formed with radial symmetry. Radial symmetry is when if you cut the object into fractions from a central axis, each fraction would be identical. Students explored this concept in many ways through art and different materials. In one example I presented the students with a circle and proceeded to cut this circle into half (1/2)and then into eighths (1/8). They learned that to be a fraction each piece must be the same size and a fair share. They learned that an eighth meant that it was one out of eight identical pieces.
Students learned to draw a snowflake that used radial symmetry in a circle that was divided into fractions. They made sure that each fraction held the same picture. Students also created snowflakes that used radial symmetry using loose parts.
Students also explored this concept by using colouring pages, 2D pattern blocks and 3D connecting cubes. Many students were very excited when they discovered that the bleyblades they loved creating used radial symmetry.
Students also explored the theme of snow through with our weekly themed sensory bin and playdough.
The highlight of the week though was when Scientist Cathy from Scientists in the School came into our classroom. Here we were able to explore what snowflakes were made of. Which is water! Students then looked at the different properties of water. They learned that water can be formed in three states: solid, liquid and gas. They learned that when water is a liquid it takes the shape of the container that it is in. They learned that solid water is called ice and water as a gas is called vapour.
The students explored how moving water can give energy to objects to make them move and how different currents can steer the direction of these objects. They learned what materials repel and which ones absorb water. The students noticed that if a material has holes in it, it is more likely to absorb water.
Students also explored which objects float and which sink in water. They made sailboats and found that they needed moving air or water to move. When the students uncovered that there was no wind in our class, they blew on the sails of their sailboats or rocked the water to make waves to make their boat move.
While the students explored water as a liquid, they were given a lesson on capacity. Here student observed how when the same amount of water was poured into two different shaped containers, even though the water level appeared higher in one container, the amount stayed the same.