Author - Ms. Cally

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March 2019: Triathlon
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February 2019: Raising Caterpillars to Butterflies
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January 2019: Class Assembly
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December 2018: Our Biggest Highlights
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November 2018: Tuning Into Our Second Unit of Inquiry
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October 2018: Extending Our Learning Through A Guest Speaker Session
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September 2018: Interviewing Our Teachers
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August 2018: Lifelong Learning Begins Here!

March 2019: Triathlon

On March 1st, our C&S and Excellence students truly showed us what it means to be risk-taking, balanced individuals as they participated in the annual Magic Years Triathlon!

The MY triathlon is an exciting event that takes place once a year, providing our students with the opportunity to get fit, exercise healthy choices and gain confidence. Our 4-5 year old and 5-6 year old students went through a series of three physical activities – swimming, cycling and running. Each student exemplified determination and endurance as they completed each round of activity, cheered on by their loving families and friends who were present to support them through their tasks.

Our Grades 4 & 5 students also played an important role today as they organized a warm up for their younger friends, kept them going through each specific task and tracked the scores for the day. They were such caring and principled individuals – providing their younger friends with encouragement and example, helping them get through the activities with strength and support.

At the end of the triathlon, all students received a certificate for their enthusiastic participation at an awards ceremony and proceeded to celebrate their individual and collective success with their peers and family with healthy snacks and drinks. It was truly a wonderful day at Magic Years with so many collaborating to ensure the event’s success. A big congratulations to the Creativity & Service and Excellence students and a Thank You to our G4&5 students! The whole school community is so very proud of your hard work and achievement!

(Adapted from MY Weekly Communication)

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ANNOUNCEMENTS:

  • Weekly rotation of library books on Tuesdays
  • Updated Class Schedule (addition of Clay and Sewing lessons)
  • Book Week 2019 (18th March to 20th March 2019)
  • Parent-Teacher Conferences on Thursday, 21st March 2019
  • Check Seesaw for other class announcements

February 2019: Raising Caterpillars to Butterflies

Small actions, big impacts. Greeted with an exciting student-initiated action by one of our friends, it was the perfect addition to evoke curiosity and deepen learner agency in the classroom. Upon an email sent home, one of our friends decided to take care of caterpillars, and even brought some to school. Next, we collaboratively planned to build a home for the caterpillars whilst identifying what they need to grow. Day in, day out, we observed the growth of these wonderful creatures.

Additionally, we explored the life cycle of a butterfly to better understand our daily observations of our temporary ‘class pet’. Until one fine day, we saw it moved into its pupa/cocoon stage and eventually, we watched the beautiful transformation before letting it go in our mini garden at school. We also encountered one sad incident whereby one of the butterflies was not able to fly away due to a pair of weak wings. It was a melancholy experience for all of us, and many began to ask why did it turn out the way it was. Could it be… because there was not enough food? Could be it lack of space? Did someone touch or press the cocoon? 

Exercising their agency, students take ownership of their learning, express their ideas and opinions, and reflect on their development of the learner profile attributes. Students have a range of opportunities to develop, demonstrate and reinforce attributes of the learner profile in the daily life of the learning community. 

(The Learner, IB PYP 2018)

It was surely an amazing learning experience for our class community, especially having opportunities to evidently reflect our learner profile attributes of caring and knowledgeable, as well as increasing our enthusiasm and motivation to explore new knowledge on other living things around us. Forward we go!

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January 2019: Class Assembly

Our class community has been inquiring into the central idea, “All living things have needs” since the beginning of this term. Our inquiry begins with a huge excitement about caterpillars! Thus, we have decided to present our knowledge about the life cycle of a butterfly to better understand how a caterpillar could transform into a beautiful butterfly, in our class assembly.

On top of that, we collaborated with Ms. Jacky, Ms. Tai and Ms. Tong to share the significance of banana plant, as an example of living things, in our local culture. As creative thinkers, we worked with Mr. Emmanuel to create our art pieces of different elements of living things around us, and we used them as displays for our assembly backdrop.

Our class assembly ended with a wonderful music performance (xylophone & singing) based on the “We’ve Got The Whole World” song in collaboration with Ms. Fon, Mr. Game and Ms. May. It was a great day to celebrate our learning with our school community!

Here are some of our wonderings as we collaboratively continue tuning into the unit, putting learner agency right in the heart of our inquiry:

How do animals eat and survive?
Why are there frogs living on trees?
I wonder about different types of whales.
How do plants grow?
I wonder about the life of a huge fish!
How do animals grow?
Why are there some flowers in the garden?
Why are flowers colourful?
Why do tigers have sharp teeth?
Why do some people kill the lions? It is not good!
I wonder if tigers can save and protect other animals from danger.
How do we protect the animals around us?
How can we save the sharks? We cannot be near them!
Why do some animals fight with each other?

 

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December 2018: Our Biggest Highlights

Wait a minute, Term 1 has ended already?!

Our class community is very blessed to have an incredible team of parents and students. We definitely enjoyed our learning journey in Term 1, and are looking forward to experiencing new learning opportunities in the next term. Here are some highlights that we don’t want you to miss out:

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ANNOUNCEMENTS:

  • Weekly rotation of library books on Wednesdays
  • C&S and Excellence Class Assembly on Thursday, 24th January 2019
  • Check Seesaw for other class announcements

November 2018: Tuning Into Our Second Unit of Inquiry

Our class community welcomes a brand new month, November with lots of questions about WHO WE ARE… especially about our names! Mmm, building upon students’ curiosity and inquiring minds, I have decided to further add some teacher-fairy dust by reading few stories about NAMES, as listed below.

Lalo Wants a Real Name by Julia Mercedes-Castilla and Stephanie Harlow

My Name is Aviva by Leslea Newman

My Name is Elizabeth! by Annika Dunklee and Matthew Forsythe

… some other fictional stories that set out different names to the story characters. 

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Subsequently, we compiled a huge bank of wondering questions just like the following! I am positive that we will have even more wondering questions as we venture deeper into this self-inquiry.

Is there a book for all names?

How does each colour get its name like orange, red, and purple?

Does everyone like their name?

Why each road has its name?

Why my mummy named me Zen?

Why my mummy choose Wingo for me, and not another name?

Can my name be changed?

Why don’t my parents call me Matt? It is shorter!

How does each country get its name?

Why does my family has the letter N, except for my little brother, Sky?

Why do my parents call/name me Frieda? Is there a story about it?

Where do our names come from?

How does Magic Years got its name?

The kind of questions we ask is determined by purpose. In an inquiry classroom, questions have a range of purposes, such as to engage students’ interest/intrigue/curiosity, to help students make connections between ideas, as well as to help students ‘dig deeper’ and take an idea further (Kath Murdoch, 2017). Having these in mind, a new interest to create our own name books has started brewing in our classroom atmosphere. While the kids are engaged in writing their name books, they will soon have a surprise from me, and their parents soon in our names party this coming week!

ANNOUNCEMENTS:

  • NO SCHOOL for kids on Monday, 12th November 2018 *Teacher In-Service
  • Weekly rotation of library books on Wednesdays
  • Loy Krathong Assembly on Thursday, 22nd November 2018 
  • Check Seesaw for other class announcements

October 2018: Extending Our Learning Through A Guest Speaker Session

After weeks of diving into our unit through collaborative tasks and classroom discussions, we have had a special guest speaker session conducted by Mr. Roshan, Ray’s dad. It was definitely a great learning experience to hear new thoughts and ideas about our central idea. The session revolved around our big ideas on communication, sharing and feelings under the transdisciplinary theme of How We Express Ourselves. On top of that, we also invited the Creativity & Service class (Ms. Zana’s class) community to join our guest speaker session, knowing that it offers significant, relevant and engaging learning experience for them too.

Guest speakers have become an important part of the educational experience for students. They expose students to real-world life experiences from the position of someone who has been there. One important benefit that is derived from having a guest speaker is the enhancement of the students’ educational experience. 

(Janelle Cox, TEACHHUB, 2017)

Altogether, here are some highlights of the guest speaker session:

Communication is when you talk to someone, and you look at them. 

Communication is also saying your friends’ names!

Communication is about sharing ideas. 

Green light means go! Red light means stop! Yellow/amber light means it is time to slow down and be careful. 

Non-verbal communication is just… not speaking at all, but we need to use our eyes to understand. Like the toilet sign, and wet, slippery floor sign. Some signs also give warnings for us. 

Communication is also about feelings – happy, sad, tired, bored, excited, shocked, etc.

We can communicate with our hands… like counting numbers, and pointing to a direction. 

We must use proper voice, use kind voice… like not too loud, and not too soft. 

When we communicate, we have less problems. We can play together!

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ANNOUNCEMENTS:

  • Positive Parenting Workshop on Learner Agency by Ms. Cassie on Tuesday, 16th October 2018
  • OCTOBER BREAK (20th to 28th October 2018) – NO SCHOOL
  • Weekly rotation of library books on Wednesdays

September 2018: Interviewing Our Teachers

Children who are taught to think about things at an early age through open-ended questions are better equipped to understand the world around them, and relate this new information to past or present experiences.

Open-ended questions have no right or wrong answers, but help to broaden children’s thinking processes, to develop their speech and language skills, and to build confidence in their ability to express themselves using words.

In our next stage of inquiry, our class community went on an inquiry adventure to interview teachers within our school community on some of our wondering questions. We worked in small groups to demonstrate our communication skills when asking these questions and listening to the replies or answers from the teachers.

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Question 1: Why is it important to make good choices?
Answers:
• So that we can make new friends, stay strong & healthy and we can learn!
• We want to be part of our school community.
• We think carefully so that we can stay safe.
• So that we can be the best version of ourselves.

Question 2: What happens if we don’t listen to our friends?
Answers:
• We might miss something special from them.
• We cannot play together, and we will be sad.
• We will be alone and we cannot share our ideas.
• They might feel upset with us.

Question 3: How do we make friends at school?
Answers:
• We talk to them, we call their names and we keep a good eye contact with them.
• We communicate with them, and we listen to them.
• We play together and help each other.
• Be kind and happy.

Question 4: How can I share my feelings?
Answers:
• We can use our facial expressions.
• We can use simple words so that people can understand us.
• We use kind words and our biggest smile.
• We say it nicely, and no shouting please.

Question 5: Why is it not okay to hurt others?
Answers:
• We don’t want others to feel sad.
• We don’t want them to get hurt.
• If we hurt others, we don’t feel good deep down inside our hearts.
• We want a happy classroom, together.

Oh boy, these are some amazing answers or replies that we have received from our school community. Be sure to communicate further with your child at home, and it would be awesome to talk about some powerful magic words like I AM SORRY, THANK YOU, PLEASE, EXCUSE ME, and many more!

On top of that, our class community also enjoyed making some artwork related to unit of inquiry about feelings with the integration of language component (Readers Workshop, Writers Workshop & Phonics). A for ANGRY, S for SAD, and N for NERVOUS. Definitely a great way to make new learning connections together!

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ANNOUNCEMENTS:

  • NO SCHOOL for kids on 20th & 21st September 2018 (Thursday & Friday)
  • Weekly rotation of library books on Wednesdays
  • Looking for parent volunteer(s) to be our unit’s guest speaker to share new, inspiring insights with our class community – please contact Ms. Cally

 

August 2018: Lifelong Learning Begins Here!

Taking an inquiry approach to learning means drawing on one’s capacity as a researcher, a thinker, a self-manager, a communicator and a collaborator. Teachers who use an inquiry based approach understand that the power lies in the process. They work hard to privilege the process of learning.

(Kath Murdoch, 2017)

The power truly lies in the process. How exciting! Our class community has been spending time together to inquire into our classroom essential agreements, routines, and expectations in different situations and specialist lessons throughout this month of August. By doing this, we begin to make authentic learning connections to our first unit of inquiry that we will continue to explore for about 6 weeks.

Transdisciplinary Theme: How We Express Ourselves

Central Idea: Sharing our feelings and ideas drives us to develop effective ways to communicate.

Lines of Inquiry:

  1. Ways in which we express our feelings and ideas
  2. Sharing our feelings and ideas
  3. Communicating our thoughts successfully

Key Concepts: Form, Connection & Perspective

One of our first provocation activities was to build a birdhouse. This took us by surprise, and on a really spontaneous note. We were listening to an online story titled “The Birdhouse That Jack Built” during our story time, and few of us saw a bird watching us from the window next to our circle time! We then agreed to plan and create a birdhouse for the bird, how fascinating when inquiry happens as such!

In small groups, students have learned how to effectively communicate their ideas in designing their birdhouse at our planning stage before moving forward to build their prototype model using soft foam and toothpicks in our STEM class. We definitely have more to come, and having our students engaged in collaborative activities like these gives them the opportunity to share and communicate with one another (in line with our central idea).

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We are now two weeks into our inquiry, and these are our wonderings that we look forward to unfold together. It is just the beginning, and we are excited for more!

  • How do we share ideas with our friends?
  • What happens if we don’t listen to our friends?
  • Is it good to listen before talking?
  • How do we share our ideas with our brothers and sisters?
  • Why is it important to make good choices?
  • How can I share my feelings?
  • How do we make our class a happy place?
  • How do we make friends at school?
  • How can we grow and be kind?
  • Why is it not okay to hurt others?
  • How can we understand our teachers and friends?
  • Can I sing to share my feelings?
  • How do we protect our friends’ feelings?
  • Why do we say thank you?

 

ANNOUNCEMENTS:

  • Check out our updated class schedule (last updated on 31st August 2018)
  • Reminders on our daily footwear and PE indoor gym shoes on Mondays
  • Back to School Night event for parents and teachers on Wednesday, 5th September 2018 (5:00 pm to 7:00 pm)