Learning Through Concepts

Dear Parents,

When our students inquire into the units of inquiry, they do so through a conceptual lens. What does this mean in practice?  What are students learning through these conceptual lenses?

Through our first line of inquiry ‘Appreciating Earth’s natural and human- made resources’ students are inquiring into the difference between natural resource and human-made resources. They are being encouraged to appreciate the nature within our school campus by going on many walks around the school. On different walks they have stopped to make observational drawings, used magnifying glasses to look more closely at nature and carried out surveys to record the natural and human-made resources they see.

Another concept that is framing the learning during this unit is responsibility, specifically what is our responsibility towards our environment? Our students are developing their understanding of this concept through gaining a better understanding of what waste means and resources might be wasted. Some of the students’ comments were that food, electricity, paper and water are being wasted and that recycling and reusing are a way to reduce our waste. Next week, we are planning to visit our school compost area to learn more about recycling food waste.

Ways to help/support your child at home

This unit provides a wonderful opportunity for engaging in open discussions with your child. One of the most important ways that you can assist your child at home is to connect with nature as much as you can and to draw their attention to the environment around them.

This week our school hosted a parent coffee morning about how we develop our students’ mathematical skills. A skill that we are aiming to develop throughout the year is our students number sense.

 How?

 One way is by subitizing, a term devised by the theorist Piaget referring to the ability to instantly recognize the number of objects in a small group without needing to count them, such as being able to recognize the number of dots when using dice without having to count each one individually.

Why is subitizing important? A predominant focus of our early math curriculum is the development of an understanding of number. Subitizing is an essential part of developing number sense as it helps children relate to numbers and to actual items or groups of items. This is known as number conservation. It is not uncommon that young children learn to count by rote but do not really understand the meaning behind what they are doing.  By looking at groups of objects, children can start to develop an understanding of how a number is made up: for example, six dots could be two sets of three dots, or a set of four dots and two dots. This understanding of part-part-whole relationships helps children to separate and combine numbers and accelerates understanding of addition and subtraction.

Playing dice games at home is an excellent way of supporting mathematical understanding with your child – and great way to spend family time together.

Please enjoy some photos from Week 13 at school.

Best wishes,

Miss Gillian

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