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.
We are a class of 4 and 5 year olds who go to an international school in Singapore. we learn by playing, inquiring and having fun. Our teacher is Ms Cass.