We have been exploring our third line of inquiry (above) and looking at how the past can influence the present / future and why. The concept we have been looking at is causation and we have especially been focusing on how ideas can evolve naturally or be innovated by others.
We then looked at what influences us in our own lives. What people, books, music and arts etc inspire us and make us want to strive to be better. We also considered who we each influence at the moment and what kind of role models we want to be.
Mirzo Ulugbek Visits G3
G3 were very lucky to have an actor come in who played the part of Mirzo Ulugbek for us. He answered our questions and queries about the life and legacy of this great astronomer. It really helped the children to see this great explorer as a real person, and not just as someone we read about in books etc. This connected really well to our work on empathy.
Explorer Day was an amazing success. It was so fun to dress up in costumes and to become the famous explorers that we have been so busy researching and analysing. It also took our work on empathy to the next level.
The children made some wonderful emotional connections to the explorers and were very thoughtful in how they presented to the audience. The children were also able to demonstrate why their chosen person was important, what their legacy was and what were the major influences in their lives.
What was most exciting about this mini project, was that the children have completed all the work independently and have taken ownership in terms of how they manage their time and how they got fully prepared for the presentations.
I hope you enjoy the photos and video below.
World / 3C Battleships Championship
A huge tournament has been occuring in 3C the last few days as the children use all their strategic skills and knowledge of coordinates to try and become World / 3C Battleship Champion. Congratulations to Stan who, after stepping in as a late replacement for Zafar, was able to edge his way to victory against Valeria in the final. The real winner though, of course, was our collective knowledge of coordinates. The tournament has really helped us to understand the value of finding and documenting coordinates correctly to achieve a goal.
Goodbye to STAN
3C were very sad to say goodbye to a wonderful member of our class family today. Stan is moving on to a new exciting adventure in Malaysia. We will miss his calm, friendly and principled ways. He has been an excellent influence on all of us in 3C and we have all learnt lots from him. I hope one day he achieves his ambition of creating the largest shark made out of lego in the world!
Growth Mindset of the Week
Next week G3 start our exciting new unit. It is 'How we Express Ourselves' and will be a real opportunity to explore and express ourselves in many creative and artistic ways. More information about this unit will be in the next blog.
As part of this unit, we would love for some brave parents to come into our classroom and share an art form that you are passionate about. This could be a song, a poem, a craft, a hobby or anything else that involves creativity. Last year we had parents demonstrate a wide variety of art forms - from origami, to sewing to reading original stories. The purpose is to introduce the children to a wide variety of art forms, so please send me an email and get involved in our learning.
Have a great weekend,
Grade 3 have been focusing on our second line of inquiry over the last two weeks - 'Meaningful discoveries and contributions.' We have been looking at the 'legacy' of many explorers and what 'change' they brought to the world through their travels and discoveries.
State Museum of History Trip
G3 had a very successful and interesting trip to the State Museum of the History of Uzbekistan. We were able to examine many different artifacts from the local area and other parts of Central Asia too. There was lots of opportunities to ask questions and record our findings in our own special journals (just like Jack in the Magic Treehouse).
During our trip we only got to really explore a small part of the museum. If you have time one weekend or over the holidays I really urge you to go as a family and to spend time making a connection with the very rich history from this region. The museum is at 3 Buyuk Turon Street and is open from 9-5 most days.
Biographies of famous Explorers
One of our language inquiries has been into biographies. We have been identifying the features and then analysing different biographies of explorers. This has helped us really think about the legacy and impact that each explorer had.
Then, we 'had a go' at doing some very imaginative writing by creating our own biographies (as if we were someone writing about ourselves after our lives were over). This was actually a very uplifting exercise that allowed us all the opportunity to reflect on the impact that we want to make in our lives and the type of positive legacy we want to leave.
Empathy with Explorers - Diaries
We have also been exploring the attitude of 'empathy'. We have done this by each choosing an explorer to research. Then, after researching their lives, we have been trying to find the most interesting day or time that really defined their legacy.
Once we had established this, we tried to really empathise about how it would have felt to be there and what emotions would be going through the explorer's mind. We recorded our work in diary form. Then, with a little help from some coffee, tried to age our documentation a little bit. Ask your child about who they chose and what day defined their legacy!
Throughout December 3C have been trying to follow a kindness calendar - an alternative version to the traditional advent calendar. We didn't follow the calendar day by day, as some of the activities were difficult to do at school. So, instead we chose the ones that we thought we could do at TIS. So far we have attempted Day 3, Day 5, Day 18, Day 25, Day 29 and Day 30.
I would recommend as a family trying to complete a few more of these tasks.
If you would like to know more about the organisation, please go to http://www.actionforhappiness.org/
They are a wonderfully positive and inspirational group who are trying to change the way indivduals, groups and communities see the world, and their role within the world.
Below are some photos from our day 30 challenge - 'Take a walk and focus on nature's beauty.'
Book Club - Who is 'M'?
Grade 3 have started our own book club recently to search for clues as to who the mysterious M was in the Magic Treehouse books. We read books 1-3 as a class, but still only had a small amount of evidence as to M's identity. So, we sourced the next 8 books and split into teams (each in charge of reading one of the 8 books together). Each group then documented:
- Where Jack and Annie travelled to in their book and why.
- What they learnt about M.
- What insights the book gave to that period of history.
The book club is an excellent opportunity for children to work there way through a book independently, but with the aim to find specific information.
Thank you to everyone who donated money to this amazing charity. Also, thank you to the brave students who used the beard trimmers to remove my moustache with care and precision!
Many of the children will miss being apart over the next 3 weeks or so. So, I have created an optional padlet page where the children can share their adventures with each other over the holiday period. The focus of the padlet, as with the unit, will be exploration and discovery. Where have you explored over the holidays? What will you discover? Thank you in advance for helping your children to upload photos, videos and comments to this padlet page. The link to the page is below.
Wow - so there are lots and lots of festive things going on this Friday. Please see information about the cookie swap and pajama party (or pyjama in my case) below.
As it is the cookie swap we probably won't need too much extra food and drink for our class party (which starts at 2.15PM). If you wanted to send in some healthy drinks or food though, that would be wonderful.
Before the party we will be sharing our passion projects (at about 1.30PM). If you are around and want to pop in that would be great, but it will be very informal. There will be times in 2018 when we will really urge you to attend big activities and presentations, but this is just an optional extra if you are free.
Growth Mindset Video of the Week
This seasonal video perhaps shows us that maybe we can all be a little too enthusiastic sometimes. I am sure the last words her teacher said before she went on stage were, "Be loud and confident!" So, I am sure she was just following instructions!
Have a wonderful and relaxing holiday, wherever in the world you may be for the break. I look forward to seeing you all in 2018 for more exciting inquiries and learning.
New - 'Where We Are in Place and Time' unit
The class have been very busy unpacking and exploring our new excting unit of inquiry. The children have been learning about the 'Where We Are in Place and Time' descriptor, the unit's central idea and the transdisciplinary skills that we will be exploring over the next few weeks.
It is really important that each component of the unit (such as the skills) are introduced in a fun and interesting ways so that the children make a real connection with them. This is why our unit of inquiry board starts off empty and only gets added to as we learn or discover new information together as a class. So, our unit board starts to tell the journey of our unit and, more importantly, our understanding.
A provocation is designed to engage children at (usually) the start of a unit. It should be, as the name suggests, provoking and really make children think about how they feel about a subject area. The provocations are often fictious, but we always ask parents not to reveal that as it would change how the children respond to the unit.
For our 'Where We Are in Place and Time' provocation we found a video interview involving Ms Jan (below) and a local TV channel. The TV interview was about an artifact found under the new gym site. The TV channel suggested that the artifact may be linked to Uzbek astronomer and mathematician, Ulugbek.
The children's response then dictates how the unit proceeds. What questions will the video create? What direction will the unit go in? The aim is that the students take the lead and decide how to move the inquiry forwards.
Our class padlet (below) was a way we could put all our data and research about Ulugbek in one place. We could then use our analysis skills to try and look for ways to connect Ulugbek to the Tashkent area and to see if there was any logical reason why a time device would turn up in our school and why it would be taken away by the government. The inquiry continues... Perhaps next week's trip to the State Museum of History might reveal more information...
Inquiring into Artifacts
Our first unit of inquiry looks at 'how atifacts document human progress'. The conceptual understanding that goes with this is connection and our related concept that will drive the inquiry is evidence.
So, with that in mind, the children have been looking through a variety of different artifacts from across history. They have been trying to sort, organise, age and value the various artifacts. They have also been looking for evidence that would support their ideas and looking to see how early artifacts connect to more modern human inventions. Also, the children have been learning what a hypothesis is. They have been practicing making hypotheses based upon their research and analysis.
Grade 3 have been learning about 3D shapes this week, and specifically looking at identifying how many edges, faces and vertices we can find on different shapes. Once we had a good basic knowledge about identifying these features, we then attempted to apply these skills in a futuristic robotic game. www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/ks2/maths/shape_space/3d_shapes/play/
Warning - the last level can get a little scary if you can't find a good hiding place!
3C have finally finished our fabulous non chronological reports about our favourite animals. The end results were so impressive, that we decided to create a huge book with all the reports to be put into our class library.
The reports showed that all the class understood the features of this type of report writing and also showed how their research skills were developing and becoming more focused. It was also excellent to see all the class sourcing their work and providing links to the website and books where they found their information.
Indian Dancing at TIS
Earlier this week we had a wonderful cultural treat when a dance group from India performed at the school. The children really enjoyed seeing the colour, the energy and the passion from the dancers as they told many exciting narratives through dance.
Growth Mindset Video
3C watched this video a few days ago. It is primarily a beautifully made video. What makes this extra interesting though is that it is based on the children's game 'Rock, Paper, Scissors'.
The first time we watched this nobody immediately made this connection (I didn't let them see the title). After reflecting and thinking of the characters, the theme of the story was slowly discovered. Then, when we watched it again we had a completely different experience and saw it from a very different perspective.
If you have time, I recommend watching this as a family.
A belated Happy Thanksgiving to all who celebrate this holiday!
Have a great weekend,
Grade 3 have spent lots of time inquiring into how humans have measured time. Looking at what resources they have used to do so and what mechanisms are in place to ensure that time is measured precisely.
So, with this information in mind, we set out to build our own time devices. Our aim was to create a time device that could consistently and accurately measure a 20 second period of time. This was a very complicated task and, although we created very detailed plans, it was only when we actively started to test our ideas that we started to understand the nature of the task and the difficulties involved with it.
Please see below some photos and a video from the planning and creating stages of our machines. Then there is a video of our finished efforts.
Museum of Astronomy
Last week we were very lucky to visit the Astronomy Institute in Tashkent. This was an excellent chance for us to witness some amazing old time devices that date back many hundreds of years. We looked at how they functioned and how they evolved as new technologies and ideas came about.
We were also able to each have a look out of one of the largest working telescopes in Central Asia. As it was daytime there was not a lot to see, but it was fun to touch the telescope and imagine how amazing it would be at night-time with a sky full of stars and planets.
For our 'How We Organise Ourselves' summative assessment the children were given a very tough time challenge. They had to, in their small teams, complete a series of tasks within a set period of time. This was designed to test their organisational and time management skills, as well as to give them the chance to show how they prioritise and create a plan.