Sunday, March 21, 2010

Friday Fun - 19/3/10

I feel as though I turned a corner with my class this week. It seems that we've got to that comfortable zone where we know enough about each other to be able to relax a little, even let down our guard and enjoy a bit of fun together.

Fun this Week

Tower Building

This week all the Year 2 students completed a technology project to design, make and appraise a tower using 10 sheets of newspaper and 50cm of tape. The tower needed to be free-standing and to hold a ping-pong ball at the top. Students considered different ways of manipulating the newspaper to increase strength, stability and appearance. When they were
finished, we conducted a "gallery tour" where students walked around and jotted down constructive feedback for one another on a sheet of paper next to each tower. In a couple of weeks we will be having a "Build-A-Bridge Day" where students will have a chance to use recycled materials to design, make and appraise a bridge.

Year 1 Assembly
This week my Year 1s spent quite a bit of time in with the other Year 1s preparing for the assembly they hosted on Friday. They sang two Peter Coombe songs and showed some of their mini-beast artworks. The Year 1s did a great job and it was nice to see them up there with all their other Year 1 friends.

Beatrix Potter Books
During our visit to the library on Tuesday, I read my class one of the little Beatrix Potter Books. It's been a while since I've picked up one of these classics and found I needed to spend quite a bit of time clarifying the meaning of words which are no longer commonly used. Quite a few of the girls enjoyed the story and decided to borrow some of the other Beatrix Potter books. The librarian said that they had been coming up on the 'at risk' list in a cull she is required to do to remove the books that haven't been borrowed for a number of years. Guess their safe now for a little longer!

Money, Money, Money
In Maths we focused on recognising coins and adding and subtracting with money. One of the groups worked on team problem solving using the canteen price list, another worked on finding how much change students would get from a dollar if they spent different amounts. My group worked on calculating totals using 10c and 5c coins and also finding different ways to make up 80c. This is one of those maths concepts that is an important life skill to develop and easy for parents to practise with their children at home.

Students in 2P and 1/2R surveyed one another about their favourite bridges and created a bar graph to show student preferences. Students found it lots of fun and a little challenging, particularly when it came to keeping track of who they had already asked.

In Cricket this week students learnt how to bowl with straight arms and practised bowling at wickets. It has been great to watch them developing these skills a little more each week, and we look forward to the mini-game they will get to play next week.

Story Writing
Last week my class read the big book The Greedy Goat by Faye Bolton. One of the things we discussed together was the role that mice often play in stories: while small, they often make the biggest difference. Examples include The Lion and The Mouse, Who Sank the Boat, and The Mitten. As I had a copy of Jan Brett's The Mitten on hand, we read it for a bit of fun. So this week, when selecting my big book, I found The Old Man's Mitten retold by Yevonne Pollock. After reading this with the class we used a Venn diagram to compare Pollock's version with Brett's. (You can find other follow-up activities here.) Students then created their own stories with a similar plot.

Paper Planes for Friday Fun
I've been trying to stick to some kind of sciency theme in my room during Friday Fun and, not being particularly sciency myself, it's not always easy. This week I decided to do some exploration of flight using paper aeroplanes! We watched some eHow videos to learn how to make a couple of different designs and then took them outside for some test flights. Students then made modifications to their planes and we tested them out again. I think we all had a lot of fun playing around with planes and experimenting with the best way to get them to go the distance.

1 comment:

  1. There was an article in the most recent UC Monitor mag about some researchers who won paper plane contests...


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