Tuning In: As a provocation to introduce this unit Ms. Sheila had two things to show us, bubbles and an empty box…
Relationships are affected by learning about people’s perspectives and communicating our own. Students tuned in to the concepts of perspective and relationships and now were able to complete our first Unit of Inquiry about Balanced Perspectives. In going Further with our Unit Balanced Perspectives we explored why we need to have a balanced diet.
You are invited to join us in celebrating our learning journey on Thursday May 21st!
Unit of Inquiry #4: Passionate Communicators
Central Idea: Sharing our feelings and ideas drives us to develop effective ways to communicate
Transdiciplinary Theme: How We Express Ourselves
As this Unit of Inquiry progresses, we will inquire into ways in which we express our feelings and ideas, sharing our feelings and ideas, and communicating our thoughts successfully.
Learner Profiles: Communicators, Risk-Takers, Reflective
Attitudes: Confidence, Creativity, Enthusiasm
Skills: Social, Communication
Key Concepts: Connection, Perspective
Subject Focus: Art, PSPE
How are we able to use scientific processes to uncover a deeper understanding of air?
We ASK QUESTIONS to further our thinking:
- “What happens when you pop the bubble?”
- “What is inside the hula hoop?”
- “How can you fill up the balloon with air?”
- “Can you use air to move the boat?”
- “Is there air inside there?”
We INVESTIGATE to gain deeper knowledge:
- “I can pump the air into the balloon…LOOK!”
- “If you close the box, it will not have air and then you cannot breathe.”
- “I can make wind with the box!”
- “I can see the air go up now.”
- “You can trap the air with your hands!”
We make PREDICTIONS:
- “I predict it will go up and go left and right.”
- “I think it will bounce.”
- “I think it will fly down.”
- “I predict it will spin 10 times.”
- “I predict the tower is taller than you.”
We TEST our EXPERIMENT and RECORD our findings:
- “It didn’t break.”
- “See, I told you it will fall down and down.”
- “Mine was 5 seconds same as I thought.”
- “The hot water made the balloon go up, but not the cold water.”
We make CONNECTIONS and UNCOVER new understandings:
- “I think my prediction will be correct.”
- “You know it doesn’t bounce because it has no air.”
- “Why when you blow it cannot move?”
- “I can feel wind on my face.”
- “It’s so windy outside so the leaves fall down and down.”
We use a K-W-L chart to track our thinking before, during and after our inquiry and research into Air. Students demonstrate critical thinking, which helps them construct meaning through the research and inquiry process.
Before we begin, we activate students’ prior knowledge by asking them what they already KNOW about Air.
Throughout our inquiry journey, we will continue to specify what we WONDER about Air.
After each research investigation, we will identify what we have LEARNED about Air.
Stay tuned as we continue thinking, wondering, and learning!
Cultures of Thinking – “We define “Cultures of Thinking” (CoT) as places where a group’s collective as well as individual thinking is valued, visible, and actively promoted as part of the regular, day-to-day experience of all group members. Drawing on previous research by Ron Ritchhart (2002), the CoT project focuses teachers’ attention on the eight cultural forces present in every school, classroom, and group learning situation. These forces act as shapers of the group’s cultural dynamic and consist of language, time, environment, opportunities, routines, modeling, interactions, and expectations. As teachers strive to create cultures of thinking in their classrooms, they make time for thinking, develop and use a language of thinking, and make the classroom environment rich with the documents of thinking processes. They also look for opportunities for student thoughtfulness, use thinking routines as supports and scaffolds, model and make their own thinking visible, interact with students in a way that demonstrates an interest in and respect for students’ thinking, and send clear expectations about the importance and value of thinking in learning.”
P’Boom found a nest and bird at the end of our classroom gate, and thought that our class would be able to learn a lot about livings through this experience. It was a perfect provocation into our new unit!
Being researchers, we went to visit the bird’s nest, where the children could share their observations, wonderings, and questions. Through using the thinking routine ‘I see…’, ‘I think…’, ‘I wonder…’, the children were able to deepen their inquiry of the bird. These are some of their wonderings…
- “A bird house.”
- “I see a bird.”
- “If you talk loud, it will fly away.”
- “Can we go and touch the bird?”
- “Is it real?”
- “I think it’s real.”
- “I think it’s fake.”
- “I think it’s not a bird.”
- “I don’t think it’s real.”
- “I think it will fly away.”
- “I want to see the egg.”
- “Is it a boy or girl?”
- “Is that the mom or dad?”
- “Do that bird lives or don’t live?”
- “I think it’s not live.”
- “We have to be quiet so we don’t scare the bird.”
- “We can’t be a monster or the bird will get scared.”
- “If we scare the bird she might fly away and then the babies won’t have a mommy to look after them.”
- “The daddy bird might look after them.”
- “They babies are in the egg, they didn’t come out yet.”
In wanting to give our bird an identity, we decided to give it a name. There was a nomination process through which nine names were suggested, and then we had to vote on a name to give the bird. The children understand that the name with the most votes would be selected. The nomination with the most votes was “Kaka”, so now our mommy bird is named Kaka.
Through making further connections with their learning, we had Ploy’s mom volunteer to come into our class and read us a story (‘Are You My Mother‘ – by P.D. Eastman) about a baby bird hatching and how the mother bird takes care of it.
As an extension, we reflected in our journals on how we can demonstrate be caring towards the bird, the nest, and the eggs and then communicated our understandings with each other.
Why is empathy is an important skill? “the action of understanding, being aware of, being sensitive to, and vicariously experiencing the feelings, thoughts, and experience of another of either the past or present without having the feelings, thoughts, and experience fully communicated in an objectively explicit manner” —Merriam Webster
Unit of Inquiry #2: Living Things
Central Idea: All living things have needs
Transdiciplinary Theme: Sharing the Planet
As this Unit of Inquiry progresses, we will inquire into the characteristics of living things, factors necessary for lifecycles to be successful, and our responsibility for the well-being of living things.
Learner Profiles: Principled, Caring, Knowledgeable
Attitudes: Empathy, Integrity, Tolerance
Skills: Thinking, Research
Key Concepts: Responsibility, Reflection
Subject Focus: PSPE, Science
Presentation from our Open House morning
In the weeks to follow, we will have parents come into our classroom to read to us in various languages. This concepts helps to promote the idea that language is not just spoken, but can be inferred and transferred in multiple ways.
We appreciate your cooperation in extending language and the love of reading within our community.