Sharing the Planet Unit Update (Week 15)

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‘, ‘The Earth Book‘ and ‘Don’t Throw That Away‘ 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 a lot of water and by reusing things they can reduce the amount of trash they produce. 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 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 ‘The Trash Book’ 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 ‘How to Care for our Planet’ or ‘Helping the Earth’. 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 cereal boxes shaped like rectangular prisms and marbles shaped like spheres, the students have been sorting the shapes into groups. We also added pictures of objects we found around the school grounds on our shape hunt. 

Please enjoy some photos from this week in Y1.3. 

Kind regards,

Ms Doris

Sharing The Planet Unit Update (Week 12)

Dear Parents,

There has been some great learning going on in Year 1 already 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 sharing materials and caring for them which was a great connection to our Unit learning.

 

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 a pencil is natural or human-made. We ended up deciding that even though the wood came from nature the pencil itself was made by humans. 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 sketches 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 approached their work on shapes 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 playdough 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 when we are in the classroom we are inside a rectangular prism!

Please enjoy some photos of our recent learning.

Wishing you a great weekend,

Ms Doris