As we near the end of this Unit of Inquiry, the children were interested to find out about how light changes through an investigation into rainbows. The children explored how rainbows are made and the colours they produce. We visited the science lab to talk to an expert and found out about how light reflects and refracts. The children had the opportunity to experiment with light, prisms, mirrors and coloured plastic, and were confident using the vocabulary they had learnt over the course of the unit, such as transparent, opaque, reflect and shadows, as they explored. They also explored to see what happened to a colour wheel if it was spun very quickly. Although the experiment didn't go to plan (as many scientists encounter) the children were intrigued to try again to see if by spinning the colour wheel, the wheel turns white. Let us know if you try this at home and it works!
This week the children increased their stamina with Read to Self and managed 10 minutes independent reading! Today we enjoyed sitting outside to read our books.
The children enjoyed some gross-motor development activities to work on their coordination, balance and spatial awareness. This form of play also helps to develop cooperation and teamwork; vital life skills.
Finally, we celebrated Zoe receiving a certificate for showing the Learner Profile attribute inquirer. Zoe often refers to herself as a detective and has shown a thirst for knowledge and a deeper understanding of how the world works. Well done, Zoe!
This week we continued our inquiry into light sources. We explored stars and found out that they are a source of light and made connections to our knowledge of the sun. The children found out that stars come in different colours and sizes and decorated a star in their favourite 'real' star colour. They sorted their stars and organised them into a graph, identifying which was the most and least popular colour in our class. Some children also took part in an impromptu performance of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. We then sang altogether as a class.
We also continued our new Daily 5 routine; Read to Self. The children were fantastic at choosing a good spot to sit it and were focused on reading their books. They worked on building stamina and managed 5 minutes of independent reading! We revisited the 3 Ways to Read a Book and the children were confident when reading the pictures and retelling the story. They have also begun to pay attention to the letters and sounds that they recognise in the books they read,
This week we also had our first student from K1 receive a Learner Profile certificate in assembly. The Learner Profile is central to everything we do and we not only observe our students to see if they are displaying these attributes and attitudes, but also encourage the children to recognise them in themselves and others. Reika received the certificate for being Caring this week. Well done Reika!
Our inquiries this week led us to combine our knowledge of light and shadows with reflection. The children spent time creating different shapes with their shadows and observing how their position caused them to change. They needed to be problem solvers to find out how to draw their shadow dinosaurs without blocking the light. The children became story tellers, using shadows to bring their stories to life and they looked at how shadows can be used to identify people or places.
During our Zoom In visible thinking routine at the beginning of this unit, the children asked questions about the moon as a source of light. This became one of our big inquiries and we have spent time this week watching videos and reading books about the moon to find out more about it. The children discovered that the moon does not make its own light but reflects the light from the sun. We used this information to inquire into other objects finding out if they were light sources or if they reflected light. The children explored and then sorted the items and came up with some good ways to be able to check whether or not something was a light source.
Sammy suggested 'if you can turn it on, it is a light source.'
Advaith explained 'you can use a torch to shine on it. If it shines light back then it is reflecting. If it does it on its own, it is a source of light.'
Some fantastic thinking happening in K1!
During Number Work, we have been working hard to develop accuracy with counting objects. The children have completed many different activities to support number recognition, counting with one to one correspondence and ordering numbers. Some of the activity stations are completed independently (not teacher led) and it has been exciting to hear the children help and support each other, offering guidance and reminders. They are using their knowledge, communication and cooperation skills, whilst also transferring and applying their own mathematical understanding.
Finally, this week we introduced one of the Daily Five routines; Read to Self. We talked about why it is important to read, how we can create the right environment for reading and different ways to read a book. There are 3 ways to read a book - read the pictures (which we have been practising often both at school and with home reading books), read the words (which we are beginning to do as children develop their letters and sounds knowledge), and retell the story (which the children do through rereading favourite and familiar books). Take a look at our first attempt at Read to Self!
The children showed some fantastic thinking this week through their exploration of shadows. The sun came out to help us find our shadows outside. We spent time making different shapes, drawing round the shadows and exploring how and why they changed. The children explained that they needed sun plus a person to make a shadow because 'the person blocks the light because they are not transparent.' Back in the classroom, the children explored how to make shadows on the walls by placing themselves in front of the projectors. They noticed that their shadows got bigger or smaller depending on how close or far away they were from the light. On Friday, Mr Gallagher came to the class to help the children make their own shadow puppets. They had lots of fun telling stories with their puppets.
We also spent time thinking about the function of words and went on a word hunt around the school. The children noticed words on signs, doors, walls and posters. They explained that words on signs are there to help us and words on posters are to help us to learn. The children also noticed that some words were written in English and others were written in Chinese so that people from different countries could read it.
We finished Friday with a Fun Run to help raise money for the Singapore Food Bank. This event was created by the students in the SALT (Student Action Leadership Team) ECA to continue supporting this great cause. The children had a great time, especially as they experienced mud, puddles and sun all at the same time!
We had a very exciting week this week as we went on our first field trip in K1. The children showed so much enthusiasm to explore light at the Art Science Museum. We were focusing on the Key Concept of Change and as the children predicted, there was lots of opportunities to see light change colour. It was a real hands on inquiry where the children worked on their fine and gross motor skills, observation skills and showed that they were risk takers. Back at school we reflected on the trip and one of the main observations was about shadows. We will continue to explore shadows further over the next few weeks.
One of our wonders at the beginning of the unit was about the sun being a source of light. We spent time exploring day and night and how the earth's movement causes this. The children showed some very impressive thinking and even demonstrated their understanding of day and night to each other.
The children thought about their daily routines and how they fitted into day and night. We looked at pictures of sunsets and the children found that a sunset is when the earth turns away from the sun (it's hard to believe they're only 4!!). We created some beautiful sunset art with darker images on the bottom, which represented the places that 'aren't getting much light.' A great intro into shadows!
Over the last few weeks, the children have taken a greater interest in reading. We have enjoyed books with lots of repetition, rhyme and picture cues, which has enabled the children to read them independently. In particular, we have been enjoying reading books by the author Eric Carle, which inspired many of the children to choose his books for their library books this week. It has been wonderful to see the children choose books and share them with each other during their free choice too. We have become buddies with Grade 3 who have been modelling how to 'Read to Someone,' one of the Daily 5 Cafe choices. The children even made their own 'Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?' book. Come and take a look at it the next time you are in school.
This week we also spent more time identifying different light sources. This has led to come interesting conversations about the sun and the moon and whether they are both sources of light. Next week we will be inquiring more deeply into the sun and then later the moon, to see if their initial ideas are correct. We also read 'The Dark' by Lemony Snicket and the children made connections to their own explorations during the dark days at school. Later, the children used the dolls house and torches to recreate the story.
In Math, we have been working hard on independence. The children have done a fantastic job of completing activities on different stations and then rotating to the next activities. We have been focusing on counting, number recognition, ordering numbers and writing numbers.
This week we began our new Unit of Inquiry - How the World Works. For this unit, we will be exploring the Central Idea that 'light behaves in different ways.' To introduce the unit, we used the thinking routines Zoom In and See, Think, Wonder. A picture was hidden by squares and each square was removed one by one to reveal more of the picture. Each time a square was revealed, we recorded what the children saw, thought and wondered about the picture. This helped children to work on their thinking skills and to try and work out what we would be learning about during this unit.
After this, the children were told their classroom might look a bit different the next day. When they came to school on Wednesday, they experienced a dark classroom with different materials all around. They were encouraged to find ways to play and explore with the things that were left for them. The children quickly discovered the torches and used these to explore their new look classroom. It was exciting to listen to the conversations that the children were having, explaining that 'I've made a rainbow,' 'it looks like it's snowing!' and 'I made the stars glow!' Through this inquiry, the children were beginning to experience different ways that light behaves and how it is used, and we will use these observations as we work through the unit further, thinking about the form and function of light and how it changes.
On Friday, we spent some time reflecting about our 'dark days' and how they used the light to help them this week. We recorded our observations on a class collage and the children shared their reflections, explaining what they had done.
Ceyone said 'we went in the tent.'
Una, Advaith and Vivaan said 'we had torches to see because they have light.'
Anjali and Una said 'we put the coloured squares on the projector and it got on the screen.'
Zoe said 'we shined our torches on the big ball with shiny squares and the squares went on the wall, curtains and the floor and we had a dance party.'
Anjali and Vivaan said ' when we put the coloured circles on the torch, the light changes colour.'
Leya said 'when we shine our torches on the stars in the tent, they glow.'
Reika and Leya said 'when you shine the light on the fan it makes a rainbow because it is silver and bumpy.'
We had a short week this week after the Deepavali holiday. I hope all who celebrate had a wonderful time.
The children came back on Thursday and spent the two days reminding themselves of the routines and getting used to saying goodbye to mum and dad again. We had lots of fun welcoming our new friend Daniyal to the school and playing with our friends again. Due to the short week, this is just a small post but please enjoy the pictures of what we have been up to.
One of the best things about going to an international school is developing an understanding of what it means to be a global citizen. We use words and phrases like international mindedness or global stewards when we talk about our experiences and hopes for our students but most importantly, we help the children to understand what this means. International Day is one of many ways that we support students to become global citizens by celebrating the diversity and cultures of our community. The children enjoy wearing their traditional clothes and eating delicious food from around the world but most importantly, they come away from International Day knowing at least one new thing about another culture or country. By having an understanding of others and demonstrating open-mindedness and tolerance, the children are already on their way to becoming active global citizens.
It has been a pleasure to read the Family Books with the children and I know they have been proud to share them with their friends. This activity also promotes international mindedness through learning about each other's history. Children talked about where they were born, where their family is from, places that they have lived and places that they are connected to. The children made connections to others who were born in the same country or spoke the same languages.
Thinking internationally, I would like to wish you a happy and safe holiday whether you are travelling or staying in Singapore. I look forward to seeing you all again on Thursday 19th October.
I have the best job in the world! Supporting children to learn about the world around them, to ask questions and to develop confidence in themselves is a real privilege. This week, the children once again amazed me with their thinking and their ability to apply the knowledge that they have acquired so far this year to new activities. One routine that we have been working on this term is Star Names. This helps children to become familiar with the names of their peers whilst exploring letter names and sounds. Star Names has inspired the children to be writers. At every opportunity the children are writing lists of names or letters to their friends. To support this interest, we have provided students with sensory, physical and motor skill development opportunities.
During Star Names, the children get the opportunity to interview their friends to learn more about them. This helps to develop their questioning, listening and speaking skills. They also explore the Form of the letters in the name by describing what they are like.
This week the children also began to share their Family Books. It has been wonderful to hear about the families and experiences of the children and they have really enjoyed reading each others' books. The children have been incredibly proud to stand up with their parents and present to the class. We are looking forward to hearing more Family Books next week!
One of the best ways to develop an understanding of number is to explore it in an every day context. For K1, that means looking for numbers all around us, comparing heights and through their play. This week, there have been a selection of number stations set up around the room to explore number. The children have been developing their independence to work their way around each of the activities. As they have done this, I have enjoyed listening to their conversations as they explain their answers or ideas to each other. Through observation and questioning, I am able to get a real sense of how well the children are applying their number knowledge to their work and play.
Finally, I wanted to share a moment that really illustrates what we hope to achieve in K1. Pure excitement, enjoyment and love of learning all captured in this photo!