Visual Arts: Using the Design Cycle

For their current HTWW unit in their homeroom class, students are inquiring into the central idea: people apply their understanding of scientific principles to innovate and create. In visual arts class, students are specifically looking at the line of inquiry: how the design cycle is used to innovate and create and the related concept: innovation.

Over the last few weeks, students have been learning about logos and inquiring into logos. They have looked for logos around the school and analyzed these logos to discover hidden meanings. Students have found that every part of a successful logo has a purpose.

After recreating the google logo as a provocation, students did a test run using the design cycle to create a logo for the art room (4.2), for the music room (4.3), or for LIS (4.1). Each student began by investigating (a step in the design cycle) and then used different parts of the design cycle at different times while creating their logos.

Currently, students are designing a logo that represents themselves. This week, they are presenting their best logo to the class to evaluate and to receive peer feedback. Next class they will create their final version using the material(s) of their choice. These logos will be digitalized and used as the icon on their edublog and eventually as the icon in their seesaw blogs.

What are we busy with in Year 4?

Students are learning how to acquire, comprehend and synthesize knowledge (thinking skills – one of the approaches to learning).  They are practicing  these through learning about the six simple machines and how they make work easier.  The students completed their research, made posters and then the rest of the class  used their  (the expert group’s) research to deepen their own understandings of pulleys, levers, wedges, wheels and axels, screws and  inclined planes.  Using the design cycle , students are  applying their understanding of scientific principles to create and innovate various machines. Students showed their work in progress to our Buddies when they visited us.

In Math students have been solving a range of problems as well learning and using the jump and split strategy for subtraction.   

Students continue the writing process with their realistic fiction stories….most are busy publishing their work.

Simple Machines – what are they?

This week students explored new vocabulary connected to the unit (e.g., friction, force, pulleys, work etc.).

We also discussed and consolidated our understanding of  the concepts:

  • form – what is it like?
  • function – how does it work?

We  looked at the definition of  a simple machine – these are tools used to make work easier. In science, work is defined as a force acting on an object to move it across a distance. Pushing, pulling, and lifting are common forms of work. A force is any push or pull that causes an object to change its position (movement), direction, or shape. (from: www.vexrobotics.com)

Students are currently working in small groups/pairs groups to explore simple machines further. They will  practice their research skills to become “experts”  about one of the following: wheels/axles, pulleys, levers, wedges, inclined planes or screws.  They are using books and various website to complete their research.   Students will share their learning with the whole class and in the next few weeks they will use the scientific understandings gained to create their own inventions to move and lift objects.

Here are some photos from learning engagements this week:

How The World Works

This week year 4 students began inquiring into our third unit for the year.   You will find the learning outcomes for this unit here: HOW THE WORLD WORKS.

As a provocation to spark wonderings and curiosity amongst the students, we watched the video below:

Here are some of our wonderings and tuning-in learning engagements for this unit:

Students will develop their knowledge and understandings of scientific principles through exploring simple machines and how they make work easier. We have planned in collaboration with Ms. Hannah, in Art, to ensure the students develop an understanding of the Design cycle which they will use when they create and innovate.

Next week we will start a stand-alone unit on realistic fiction and our next blog post will explain more about this.  For How the World Works unit we will consolidate students’ understanding of the explanation text type.

In mathematics, all year 4 classes have been introduced to the split strategy and tidy numbers for addition.  Building on their understanding of place value, students are making connections on how to use these strategies to solve addition problems.