Week 17 in Y1.2

Dear Parents,

We’d like to say a massive thank you for the lovely Year 1 party that you arranged for the children this week. We really appreciated your help preparing the food and drinks, setting up the party and spending time celebrating the end of term with us. The students really enjoyed it.

On Wednesday the Year 1 students did a great job at the Arts Assembly. They paraded in while playing their musical instruments and then performed for the audience. Some of the children were quite nervous about going on stage, but they all overcame their fears and felt very proud of themselves after the assembly. Thank you to those of you who were able to attend this event and support the children.

Ms. Junior and I would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a very happy holiday. We’re looking forward to seeing everyone rested and refreshed again in January!

Best wishes,

Ms. Gillian

Week 16 in Y1.2

Dear Parents,

Thank you so much for attending the Celebration of Learning this week. The students were incredibly excited to share their learning with you and clearly enjoyed having you visit their classroom. They did a wonderful job of taking about their musical instruments, sharing their teaching books about caring for the planet, showing you their nature photography and guiding you around the other work they had on display in the classroom. We hope you enjoyed the event as much as we did.

We are coming to the end of our Sharing the Planet unit and so have been busy this week finishing off various tasks. During writing sessions the students have worked on publishing a favourite teaching book to keep in their Writing Progress Folders. Next week I will be sending home the other teaching books that the children have been working on in recent weeks. When you find some spare time over the vacation, please encourage your child to share these books with you.

This week in Math we have been reviewing the 2D shapes and 3D solids we have been learning about. We have also continued our work on the numbers 11 to 20. The students practised using mathematical vocabulary such as more than/less than and greater than/smaller than to compare teen numbers.

During unit time the students have enjoyed nature scavenger hunts around the school and more time in class enjoying junk modelling. They also made a representation of their nature photograph using charcoal.

Next Wednesday (13th December) at 2:10 the Year 1 students will be performing at the Primary School assembly. The plan is for them to get the assembly off to a great start by marching in while playing the instruments they made in Music class. You are very welcome to attend this event.

Please enjoy the two slide shows of photos from this week!

Kind regards,

Ms. Gillian

Sharing The Planet Update 2

Dear Parents,

We are continuing to work hard in Year 1 on our Sharing the Planet unit. The line of inquiry that has been driving a great deal of our learning over the past few weeks is: Personal choices that can help care for the environment. We have been reading books such as, ’10 Things I Can Do To Help My World’ and ‘The Earth Book’ in order to help generate ideas about the things we can do on a regular basis to care for the environment.  For example, the students found out that by turing the water off when they brush their teeth they can save around 18 glasses of water. The students have also been working on their own teaching books about the actions we can take to look after the planet. They are really looking forward to sharing these books with you during our celebration of learning next Thursday 7th December from 8:30 – 9:00.

Another area we have been focusing on is: Responsibility/sustainability ​- investigating ways that familiar materials can be reused. The students have been thoroughly enjoying being creative by making models, toys, pencil holders and other things from empty boxes, cardboard tubes, egg cartons and other materials that might otherwise be thrown away.

One of the areas we are focusing on during our reading and writing sessions is that there are established ways of setting out print and organizing books. In particular we have explored the role of titles within books. When writing their own teaching books about caring for the planet, the students have been encouraged to come up with appropriate titles that will give the reader a good idea of what their book is about. This was challenging for the children and some of their initial ideas for titles focused only on one of the themes covered in their book, such as ‘Pick up Trash,’ rather than giving an overview of the whole text. However, with guidance they were better able to come up with more general titles such as, ‘Care for the Planet’ and ‘How to Love Nature.’ When reading with your child at home, please look at the titles of the books you share and talk about them together.

As well as helping the students to secure their understanding of the number system, we have also continued focusing on Shape and Space during our Math sessions. One of our goals is to develop the student’s ability to sort, describe and compare 3D shapes. Using pictures of real-life examples of 3D shapes, such as skyscrapers shaped like rectangular prisms and oranges shaped like spheres, the students have been sorting the shapes into groups. They then drew their own pictures of real life examples of 3D shapes to add to each set.

Please enjoy some photos from this week in Y1.2.

Best wishes,

Ms. Gillian

Week 14 in Y1.2

Dear Parents,

As you know, one of the projects that the Year 1 students are currently working on in connection with our current unit is to make musical instruments using recycled materials. It has been wonderful to see how motivated the children are by this project. They are busy tapping, scratching and shaking the things they find to see if they make an interesting sound. Many students have made their own instruments at home and have brought them in to share. This is a great example of the children taking action based on their learning at school. Thank you so much to those of you who were able to support the students in making their musical instruments during Ms. Betsy’s Music class this week. Your help was greatly appreciated. We have been working in a similar way in class to turn ‘trash’ to ‘treasure’ by making models out of the recycled materials you have kindly sent in from home.

One of the scientific skills that we are helping the students to develop is the ability to look really closely and thoughtfully when observing the natural world. This week we practiced this by going outside to take ‘nature photographs’ on iPads. The children each had their own iPad to work with. Next week we will use the iPads again to take ‘zoomed in’ nature photos.

Ms. Rose came to class to talk with us about the process of turning food waste into compost. The students had become interested in this when they visited the teacher’s vegetable garden. Ms. Rose spoke to us about how to make compost and then took us to look at the compost bins in school so that the children could see the process first hand. Many of the students were able to make the connection between composting and minimising waste.

In Math we have been focusing on the vocabulary associated with position, location and direction. The students have been learning to give and follow directions such as forwards, backwards, left and right. One way that we approached this was to play a game where the students worked with a partner to take turns being a robot and a scientist. The scientist’s job was to guide the robot around the playground by giving clear instructions such a ‘Forward one step, left one step, right on step, etc.’ It was a great way for the children to practice their collaboration skills as well as to develop their mathematical vocabulary. Another way we have used directional language was when guiding a counter around various mazes and when designing our own mazes. We have also been focusing on the numbers 11 to 20. The students are increasingly aware of the fact that a number such as 12 is made up of one group of ten and two more.

In writing we have continued working on writing teaching books. This week we thought about the purpose of a book’s title and how it often gives us a good idea of what the book will be about. This is especially true of non-fiction books. The students have been creating and writing titles for some of their own teaching books, such as, ‘How to Care for Cats,’ ‘Jellyfish’ and ‘ABC Alphabet Book.’ This week the students had lots of fun thinking about the sounds they have been studying when we went on a sound hunt around the school. Each student had five letters to focus on and they had to find real life examples of items beginning with their sounds in the school environment. For example, they found ants, an apple core and Mr. Antonio starting with the letter a.

Please enjoy these photos from this week.

Kind regards,

Ms. Gillian

 

 

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

Please Come to Our Celebration of Learning

Dear parents,

You are invited to the Year 1 sharing of learning session on Thursday 7th December from 8:30 – 9:00am.

As you know, our students are busy inquiring into how our actions can make a difference to the environment we share. They will be applying their learning to write a teaching book about how to care for the environment. We would like the students to share this book with you during the celebration of learning. 

We look forward to seeing you in our classrooms then.

Kind regards,

The Year 1 Team

Message from Ms. Betsy

Dear Y1 Parents,

In music class busy inquiring into how we can create instruments using recycled materials.

We need your help!

Please bring to school any materials that can be used to create an instrument.

Please clean anything before you send it to school.

We will create the instruments together in Music class in the coming few weeks.

Examples of good materials to send to school are:

Plastic Bottles

Bottle Caps

Paper or Plastic Tubes

Boxes

Metal Cans

Plastic Bags

Cardboard

Buttons

Nails

Beads

Etc.

Please encourage your children to tap, shake and scrape their way through your recyclables to find some suitable things to bring for Music class.

Thank you for your help!

Best Regards,

Betsy Stalter

PYP Music Teacher

Sharing the Planet Update

Dear Parents,

There has already been some great learning going on in Year 1 connected to our new Unit of Inquiry, ‘Sharing the Planet’. Please see below for examples of some of the learning engagements that have been taking place over the past three weeks.

Personal choices that can help care for the environment

Students have been tuning in to how we share the planet and talking about ways to care for the environment. We have approached this area through the lens of ‘resources’. Students have identified the many resources they use at school during the day. These include: paper, pencils, glue sticks, etc. They worked as a class to make a concept map showing their understanding of the term ‘resources’, listing the resources that they use and thinking about how best to care for them. Some students spoke about the importance of not wasting materials which was a great connection to our Unit learning.

During our Buddy session this week, the class worked with their Year 5 Buddies to discuss and record many of the ways that humans can both help and hurt the environment. The older children had many great ideas to share on this topic, which they then shared with their younger friends.

Identifying natural and human-made resources

In order to gain a better understanding of how we share the planet it is important that students understand the difference between natural and human-made resources. As a provocation, students looked at a seed pod and were asked if they thought it came from nature or was human-made. We went on to gather student examples for both categories. We had some great discussions about whether paper is natural or human-made. We ended up deciding that even though paper comes from trees and so is made from a natural material, humans had to make it into something we use to write and draw on.

Observation is an important skill that we will work on in this Unit so the students have spent some time in the school garden areas noticing natural and human-made things and making careful observational drawings of them.

Show an awareness of sound–symbol relationships and begin to recognize the way that some familiar sounds can be recorded

During writing time we have been focusing on saying words slowly, identifying the sounds we can hear and writing them down. We call this stretching out words. Students are encouraged to use an alphabet chart to help identify the sounds. For example, when writing the word ‘hat’ the children say the word very slowly, count the sounds that they hear and identify the ‘h’, ‘a’ and ‘t’ on the alphabet chart. This is a great strategy for early writers to use and many have been applying it successfully when labelling pictures and/or writing sentences.

Understand that 2D and 3D shapes have characteristics that can be described and compared

The Year 1 students have been approaching their work on shape and space with great enthusiasm. It’s a very motivating and engaging mathematical area for young learners. They have been looking closely at shapes, noticing their properties and then building them, using resources such as play-dough and paper. We’ve been on shape hunts around the school campus in order to see real life examples of the 2D shapes and 3D solids they have been studying in class. For example traffic cones (cones), balls (spheres) and air conditioning units (rectangular prisms). Someone even noticed that the floor of the classroom is a giant square (if we take away the cupboard and bathroom).

Please enjoy some photos of our recent learning.

Wishing you a great weekend,

Ms Gillian 

FOLSCO Fundraiser

Dear Parents,

 While we are fortunate enough to end the year with our loved ones, indulging in nice food, and exchanging gifts, there are children who never get a chance to experience any of this. Children who are parentless, homeless, and vulnerable living on the streets of Luanda.

 FOLSCO- Friends of Luanda’s Street Children, is a charity community with the aim to help vulnerable homeless children and orphans in Luanda. Their mission is to raise awareness about street children, connect shelters to companies for funds and financially support the existing shelters through collection of donations and fundraising events. If you would like to find more information about FOLSCO here is the website, http://folsco.org/ .

 Last year, LIS students from Yr1 and Yr2 helped FOLSCO to prepare 200 parcels to give out to the homeless street children during their End of the Year Party. We would like to repeat this charitable event this year but expand the fundraiser to include year 3-6 as well. Hopefully we will be able to reach out further and include Shelters and Orphanages who have opened their doors to these children.

 We are kindly asking parents and families to donate toothpastes, toothbrushes, soap bars, crayons (pack of 10), and drawing pads and bring them to school from Nov 27- Dec 8. If you are able to also bring plastic or paper ‘gift bags’ that would be very appreciated. Your child’s homeroom teacher will collect the items in the classroom.

 The Year 3 students will be helping to make parcels with the above donated items during the week Dec 11-15. They will use their own initiatives to decorate the parcels and perhaps make cards as well.

 We appreciate your contributions and so will these well deserving children.

 Kind Regards,

 Primary Team

 

 Este ano, não se esqueça das crianças mais necessitadas de Luanda

 

Caros Pais,

 Enquanto muitos têm a sorte de passar o fim do ano com aqueles de quem mais gostam, desfrutando de boa comida e trocando presentes, há crianças que nem sequer sabem o que isso significa. Crianças que crescem sem pais, sem casa, e vivem vulneráveis pelas ruas de Luanda.

 A comunidade FOLSCO (Amigos das Crianças de Rua de Luanda) tem como missão ajudar as crianças e órfãos que vivem desamparados nas ruas de Luanda. O objectivo da FOLSCO é sensibilizar o público para as condições destas crianças, colocar os abrigos e lares em contacto com empresas que possam contribuir e apoiar com fundos as instituições que já proporcionam alguma ajuda, promovendo recolhas de donativos e eventos de angariação de fundos. Para saber mais acerca da missão e objectivos da FOLSCO, por favor visite o site http://folsco.org/.

 O ano passado, os alunos da LIS dos Anos 1 e 2 ajudaram a FOLSCO a preparar 200 embrulhos para distribuir às crianças de rua durante a Festa de Fim de Ano. Este ano, gostaríamos de repetir esta iniciativa solidária, e ir ainda mais longe, incluindo também os alunos dos Anos 3 a 6. Esperamos assim conseguir chegar a mais Abrigos e Orfanatos que dependem da nossa ajuda para acolher estas crianças que tanto precisam.

 Por isso estamos a pedir aos pais e às famílias para fazer um donativo de escovas e pastas de dentes, sabonetes, lápis de cor (caixas de 10) e cadernos de desenho, e entregar estes artigos na escola a partir do dia 27 de Novembro até 8 de Dezembro. Se puderem também incluir um saco de papel ou plástico que sirva de embrulho, ficamos muito agradecidos. Os professores de homeroom ficarão encarregues de recolher todos os artigos doados nas suas respectivas salas.

 Durante a semana de 11 a 15 de Dezembro, os alunos da Primária Y3 terão oportunidade de ajudar a fazer os embrulhos com os artigos angariados, decorar os sacos como melhor entenderem e talvez incluir também um cartão com uma mensagem.

 Agradecemos desde já a vossa colaboração e apoio, e sabemos que as crianças também ficarão gratas.

 Com os melhores cumprimentos,

 A Equipa da Primária

Week 11 in Y1.2

Dear Parents,

It’s been a short but busy week. We have continued tuning in to our new ‘Sharing The Planet’ unit of inquiry. The students have thought more about the meaning of the word ‘environment,’ particularly the environments they know well such as their home environment and the school environment.

The children thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity of dressing up today and it was great to see so many of them enthusiastically participating in this event.

Wishing you all a lovely long weekend!

Ms. Gillian

Please enjoy some photos from this week.