Over the past few weeks, our grade 5 learners had the unique opportunity to select and attend different literacy workshops. The workshops focused on various forms of oral presentations and skills through the use of movies, slideshows, posters, and TED-Style talks.
In the workshops, learners focused on several literary techniques employed in creating effective media. These techniques included targeting a specific audience, leads and attention grabbers, perspective, bias, and main ideas. They worked to identify these techniques in mainstream media, and then produced their own. These unique explorations were not only a part of their current unit of inquiry, How We Express Ourselves, but a great way to begin exploring the options they have for their upcoming exhibition on May 17th.
As the culmination of the Grade 2 science unit of inquiry on forces and motion under the theme, "How the World Works," students joined together with their parents to make a Rube Goldberg machine on Family Build Day! They used recycled materials and combined simple machines with forces such as gravity, friction, and magnetism, to create their finished products. It was a wonderful day of invention and ingenuity!
We had a great turn out last week for our Grade 1 Math Inquiry Showcase. Parents were able to experience how ASW is using a hands-on, play-based approach to address academic standards. Parents began by reflecting on their experiences with math and their feelings toward it. Children then took the lead by sharing some of the ways they use math to be problem solvers. The activities the first graders chose were hands-on, encouraged sharing and communicating their thinking, involved making connections, and included identifying different strategies to solve problems. Students did an excellent job showcasing how they learn math in grade 1 at ASW. As we continue this partnership, we encourage parents to share their thoughts and questions about this new way of learning. We are excited to continue this open dialogue as our learners delve deeper into critical thinking.
What do pumpkins have to do with the PYP theme, Where We Are in Time and Place? In Grade 2, they are making the connection!
Learners are celebrating the fact that they are living in Poland at this time in their lives, and that their host country is awash in the beautiful colors of fall, and yielding a bountiful harvest of crops, like pumpkins!
Through the three-day Pumpkin Investigation Unit, Grade 2 had the perfect springboard for learning and applying skills in descriptive writing, counting beyond 100, planning, collaborating, and problem-solving. On the first day, students in mixed groups looked at the features of many different kinds of pumpkins and shared their observations with group mates. They came up with adjectives describing the outside of their pumpkins---their shape, size, color, texture, smell and sound. They were amazed at how different each pumpkin was from another!
On the second day, students observed the inside of the pumpkin. Most of them dug their hands with gusto into the interior of the pumpkins and scooped out fiber, mush, and seeds. Squeals of delight could be heard alongside words and sounds expressing dislike and discomfort, but there was no doubt as to every student practicing being risk-takers and being open-minded as they used their senses of sight, smell, touch, and taste.
Day 3 focused on finding ways to count items in large quantities (in this case, seeds), and representing numbers in different forms. First, students exchanged ideas on how to organize the pumpkin seeds so they could keep track of their counting. Soon enough, they filled their paper mats with piled seeds, which they boxed or circled, and labeled with numbers in multiples. Finally, they showed the total number of seeds in standard, word, expanded, place value, and picture forms.
The now-hollow pumpkins have just been composted, and their seeds cleaned and stored away to be planted in the spring!
Every August, at the start of the school year, our students are assigned to a homeroom (with the emphasis on home). In homeroom, our students connect as a community with their classroom teacher and teaching assistant. But they are also given the opportunity to learn and grow with students from other classrooms.
In Early Years, this is achieved through 'Open Doors'. This is a time each week when all of the classroom doors in Pre-K and Kindergarten open, allowing students to learn from and with each other in new and engaging spaces, while also encouraging collaboration.
'Open Doors' strengthens the learning experience as students develop new friendships with peers and relationships with adults.
Learning at ASW is a collaborative, community event!