It is one of our duties as teachers to follow our children’s interests. Why? Because the learning will be more effective and the motivation to interact will be much stronger if the activity is based on what they like and want to learn about. An interest in magic was evident from the first weeks of school and the children often made magic potions using natural material outside. All this got me thinking how I could teach them a basic but effective science experiment in order to make real potions. ‘What about mixing vinegar and bicarbonate of soda?’ I thought. Ever since I introduced this activity, the children have eagerly asked to join in, some even spending one hour fully immersed in it, learning through experimentation and investigation, and taking pride in taking their potions home.
Nursery 4 Teacher
Walking by the Grade 4 class may make you feel like you’ve time traveled and landed in Ancient Greece! The students have been delving into this ancient civilization engaging in numerous cross curricular activities in their exploration. They’ve deciphered the letters of the Greek alphabet, trying to decode words and even writing their names in Greek! Focusing on Homer’s Iliad and the Trojan War, these budding historians created a script and expressed their learning through an active performance. They’re currently busy at work drawing Trojan horses, even using geometrical knowledge to create 3-D versions, and writing an historical essay on the war. Some are expressing their creativity and imagination by writing a historical fiction about the Trojan War, adding their own original ideas to what may have happened during the time.
Gr 4K Teacher
Have you ever wondered why Algebra is taught in Mathematics? It can be argued that learning Algebra is like learning a new language. To put it simply, it involves equations to find the unknown. It forms the basis in fields such as science, engineering, medicine and economics however, students are often wondering will they ever use it in real life? Most of the time we use it without even knowing, for example comparing prices in the grocery store or calculating the time it will take to get from A to B. Most importantly, it allows us to practice critical thinking and problem solving skills, while developing a strong mathematical mindset.
Here is a Grade 8 question that you may like to try at home!
Sasha has a riddle: There are two numbers. The sum of the first number and twice the second number is 14. When the second number is subtracted from the first number, the result is 2. What are the two numbers?
The answer will be provided in next week’s newsletter!
Middle School Maths Teacher
“History will judge us for turning our backs while people drowned”
This statement has provoked a desire for change among the Grade 7 students. They are no longer happy to sit back and ignore what is happening in Syria. We have been taking a close look at the refugee crisis and thinking about what we can do. We took part in a simulated Syrian journey to try and understand some of the decisions they are faced with: “I made it to Europe, but I had to make very difficult choices that maybe I wouldn’t have done if I was in that situation for real. I realise why refugees are trying to reach Europe and I really feel lucky.” Gianmarco. “I made it only after countless attempts but I had to sacrifice nearly everything I owned on the way. I also had to ignore people that were in need to avoid getting noticed by border security. Overall a very horrible experience which made me realise how hard it is for these refugees to reach safety.” Filippo R.
This week we are holding a formal debate to discuss whether countries should limit the number of refugees they accept and what are the alternatives. We have also been in touch with the organisation Still I Rise and we hope to collaborate with some of their students. Watch this space for more developments!
Rhiannon Thomas Grade 7 LA Teacher
Qualche giorno prima delle vacanze natalizie le due classi quarte hanno avuto la straordinaria possibilità di vivere un’esperienza unica. Infatti l’autore di libri per bambini Guglielmo Donzella ci è venuto a trovare (virtualmente) e ci ha letto una storia inedita. Questo incontro rientra all’interno dell’unità didattica sulle leggende legate al nostro territorio, che ha visto impegnati gli studenti in queste settimane. I bambini sono stati trasportati nel leggendario mondo del terribile condottiero Attila, quando gli abitanti di un piccolo paesino di nome Lucente si sono messi in salvo dal capo barbaro, spegnendo tutte le luci e i falò e celandosi con il favore delle tenebre dagli occhi dei devastatori. Da quel giorno, grazie a quella trovata, gli abitanti hanno deciso di cambiare il nome della cittadina da Lucente a Buja.
Questo incontro è stato molto toccante e proficuo, sia per i ragazzi, che per noi adulti. Riporto qui di seguito il messaggio che ho ricevuto da lui, dopo avergli inviato i disegni con cui hanno rappresentato la storia ascoltata.
“Letteralmente commosso. È una gioia ammirare come i suoi allievi abbiano realizzato attraverso, i disegni, i colori, le spiegazioni, il racconto che ho letto quel giorno, liberando le loro emozioni, la loro personale interpretazione e calandosi in quella vicenda. Tutte le tavole sono ricche di particolari, avendo accolto le infinite sfumature che hanno fatto visita nelle intelligenze e nei sentimenti dei suoi allievi. Vi abbraccio con infinita gratitudine per avermi coinvolto in un percorso umano che non dimenticherò mai e che porterò sempre nel mio cuore. Vi auguro di avervi trasmesso l’importanza di usare sempre il cuore e la mente per qualsiasi cosa ognuno di noi desideri realizzare. Poiché con il cuore e con la mente si possono immaginare mondi, storie, incontri, progetti.
Con affetto vostro Guglielmo”
Maestra Francesca insegnante classi 4G e 4K
Things are definitely moving in Grade 5! Exploring “movement” across subject areas has got students thinking about their own gestures, fluctuations, and shifts. You can catch them creating angles and perfecting synchronization at recess time, or sculpting a Giacometti inspired structure during Art. The student artists have dabbled in exploring movement through both Pop Art and Futurism, creating a whirlwind of colorful and varied expressions of how they perceive motion. As the saying goes, “All creative activity begins with movement,” both physical movement towards new adventures and inner movement towards growth and developing new ideas. Movement has given us lots to think about!
Grade 5 Teacher
Al termine dell’unità didattica sulla cartografia, la classe terza si è cimentata nella realizzazione di un progetto digitale su Google Earth. La celebre applicazione, grazie all’uso dei satelliti, sta diventando sempre più precisa e ha reso la mappatura di un luogo un vero e proprio gioco da ragazzi!
Grade 3 ha pensato così di creare una mappa dei giochi che amano fare insieme nel cortile della scuola. Con l’utilizzo della localizzazione e delle diapositive possono spiegare ed illustrare come si fa a giocare ad acchiapparella o come sono diventati dei grandi appassionati di gessetti e capanne di foglie. Seguiteci nel nostro percorso che continuerà a svilupparsi durante tutto l’anno scolastico!
It’s that time of year when students in Kindergarten are turning into readers, discovering the power of illustrations to tell a story, recognizing sounds, letters and words they’ve learned in Phonics on the pages of the books they read, and developing a taste for a certain topic, author or genre.
Very often parents ask their teachers ‘what books do you recommend’? So this week the ECC teachers are sharing their favorite classroom books to exemplify some of the qualities that turn books into classroom favorites!
1 – Choose books with big, appealing and interesting pictures – this is one of the reasons an author such as Eric Carle is loved so much and his books feature prominently in Pre-Nursery, Nursery 3 and Nursery 4.
2 – Choose books with repetition or story patterns – children are hooked by stories that have parts which repeat, as it makes the story predictable and familiar. This also makes it a great way to support language development, as the Pre-Nursery worn out copy of ‘Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed’ shows.
3 – Choose books with a theme relevant and familiar to children – making and losing friends, discovering who you are, sharing, family stories, school life, good vs evil are topics that appeal to children as they are part of their daily lives. A book such as Elmer, which encapsulates several of these themes is a favorite in Nursery 3.
4 – Choose books with fascinating language – rhyming words, alliterations and similes, sound words, and made-up words have the power to wake up children’s curiosity and imagination. This brings us back to Kindergarten where you can hear the students incorporating phrases from familiar stories into their play all the time, as well as acting out their old time favorites.
Hopefully this will help when you choose your next book for your child and happy reading to you!
Kindergarten Teacher and ECC CoordinatorRead More
When we teach a language we are working with an essential tool. A tool that we use to express feelings, emotions, ideas, opinions. But to give organized ideas, opinions based on facts, express feelings and emotions in a correct and deep way, we need to not only know the code but also activate thinking skills like inferring, comparing, thinking about alternatives and solutions.
So in this second term, with Grade 8, we started activating and analysing some thinking skills through the vision of short films and readings that allow them to learn how to improve their thinking.
The purpose is to talk and reflect on topics like bullying, friendship, tolerance and empathy allowing them to use the language in a more free way, even if they make mistakes while they are speaking. The following step is to analyse the language, reflect on the usage and do a metacognition on how they express their ideas. This is important because we are working on something that they produce and comes from their creativity. Finally, the third step is to put their thoughts and ideas into words, but in a more accurate way.
In this opportunity we worked on a Pixar short film “For the birds” and talked about acceptance and tolerance.
As we read in the article that Ms Valentina wrote a few weeks ago, movement is an integral part of child development, helping with memory, language and attention. How do our youngest ECC students develop their gross motor skills? Here in Pre-Nursery, we love being active, using both our indoor and outdoor space to run, jump and dance. Listening to music is a great way in which we incorporate movement, stretching and dancing to the beat, a good way to wake the body up in the morning and get our blood pumping. It also helps build up our appetite for snack time. Our indoor soft play area is where we can safely practice to balance, which helps us with running and walking, and crawling through tunnels and over blocks. Of course building obstacle courses with our peers is part of the fun!