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

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 

UOI Update

Dear Parents,

Time sure flies when you are having fun – it’s hard to believe that we have already reached the first school holiday of the year!

Over the past few weeks in Year 1 we have been working hard to complete our learning connected to the ‘Who We Are’ unit of inquiry. Much of our recent work has been aimed at helping the students to strengthen their understanding of the following:

●  Identifying themselves in relation to others (family, peers, school class, etc.)

●  Identifying their feelings and emotions and explain possible causes

The students have written books which explain how they make the people they have relationships with feel at different times. For example, “When I dive well, my dad feels proud.” They have also made concept maps showing how others can make them feel in different situations. For instance, “I feel mad when my brother changes the TV channel I am watching.”

We have completed our summative assessment for this UOI. The students have been exploring different social situations with two puppets called Moe and Zippy. For the final assessment each student was presented with the problem that Moe and Zippy are arguing about who will get to dress up in a space suit and helmet. They were asked how the problem could be solved. The students came up with many ideas such as, taking turns with the costume or sharing the costume so that one character wears the helmet and the other the clothes.

After the October break we will begin our new UOI, Sharing the Planet. Please click here for an overview of this unit.

During the first few weeks after the break, the Year 1 teachers will carry out a thorough reading assessment with each student in their class. These assessments will help us to know what each child has learned already and how best to support them with the next stage on their journey towards becoming fluent readers. These assessments will be the teacher’s main focus during reading lessons. The teaching assistants will support the students during independent reading sessions. Consequently, we will not have a chance to write comments in your child’s reading log during this time.

Wishing you all a safe and enjoyable October break.

Kind regards,

Ms. Gillian

Please enjoy some recent photos from the Y1.2 classroom.