In Maths this week, children in Year 4 came together on a collaborative mission. Their goal was to create 2-D geometrical shapes by cutting them out of a folded piece of paper with just one cut. It began with an inspiring video, Brains Grow and Change, that voiced the message that that there is no such thing as a math brain or a math person! Any-one can learn any level of math with hard work and effort!
This was an individual task but students had to work together and share ideas and strategies as well as celebrate their mistakes. The children began by drawing a scalene triangle in the centre of the paper and made multiple folds before trying to cut it out with just one straight cut. They explored the task, and made lots of conjectures. There was a lot of frustration and emotions of wanting to give up but they were continually encouraged to keep exploring. With no luck of finding that one cut, this lesson was revisited during the course of the week with different shapes and a lot more success was achieved.
There are FIVE essential elements to the Primary Years Programme curriculum:
Attitudes, Knowledge, Key Concepts, Skills, and Action.
This week we introduced our students to the essential element of Action. We talked about how their learning and understandings will lead them to making connections and taking action.
Authentic and meaningful action needs nurturing and like all the essential elements, action is ongoing and takes time to develop and grow. Action captures the children’s interest and provides opportunities for ongoing learning.
Some thoughts shared by the students about what action means to them were:
….to do something
… to change something
… to be kind and caring
… to speak
….to help someone
….to think about something
Learning about taking responsible, thoughtful and meaningful action is all about who we are. We look forward to the children developing their understanding of what responsible action looks like for them and how they will transfer their understanding to taking action in school, at home and in the wider community.
In the unit this week students began finding out about the questions (wonderings) from last week. Students used library books and charts to do their research. We unpacked the features of a non fiction text:
Captions: Help you better understand a picture or photograph
Glossary: Helps you define words that are in the book
Graphics: Are used to help you understand what the author is trying to tell you
Illustrations/Photographs: Help you to know exactly what something looks like
Index: This is an alphabetical list of ideas/keywords that are in the book. It tells you what page the idea is on.
Labels: These help you identify a picture or a photograph and its partsMaps: help you to understand where places are in the world
Special Print: When a word is bold, in italics, or underlined, it is an important word for you to know
Subtitles: These headings help you to know what the next section will be about
Table of Contents: Helps you identify key topics in the book in the order they are presented
Year 4 started the week as special guests in the Primary library!
Our school librarian, Ms Anton, hosted all year 4 classes and gave us a much needed orientation session of the layout of the different sections and new locations of texts (fiction and non-fiction) in the library.
We reviewed the guiding number system chart and were introduced to the new picture symbols and colour codes used to help us find the books we would like to read.
We were reminded of some of the procedures and practices used when choosing and taking books from the library. The children were then invited to take action and select a fiction and non-fiction text to book out for their own use.
The year 4 teachers checked out a collection of non-fiction texts, which focus on human body systems. These books will be used to support the children’s inquiries and learning throughout our Who We Are unit.
We look forward to seeing the children become experts at using the library as a primary resource for their own learning, curiosities, adventures and enjoyment throughout the year.
In class, the students began inquiring into our first unit, Who We Are. So far the students have engaged with a multitude of resources in all 3 classrooms, practicing a Visible Thinking Routine, I see, I think, I wonder. Some of their wonderings are..
- I wonder how the brain works
- How many bones does a skeleton have?
- How does the heart work?
- I wonder how the brain gets messages?
- What does saliva do?
- How do people get bone diseases?
- What is the difference between the small and the big intestines?
Students also shared their prior knowledge of body systems as you can see in the photos below. They were guided by the three questions that helped to elicit their knowledge.
- What body parts do you know?
- What body systems do you know?
- How are they connected?
Year 4 has had a great week of wonderful collaboration that is also helping the children form good working partners.
This week students began inquiring into our first unit for the year. You will find the learning outcomes for this unit here- WHO WE ARE.
Some learning from this week:
We hope the students will build upon their knowledge and understanding from the unit in Year 3, which looked at different types of health. We look forward to collaborating with Dr Nazneen to ensure the students develop an understanding of human biology.
Our language links will include writing explanatory reports about a chosen body system and learning how to present information in a variety of ways. Ms Anton in the library will be supporting the students’ research skills and helping them find the features of different explanatory texts.
Some of our mathematics will be taught through the unit, using Data Handling to collect and record information including heart rates, height, PE records of distances they can run and throw and timing themselves carrying out various physical activities. The PE department will be working closely with us on this unit.
If you have, or know of anyone who has some expertise in this area, please let us know! We would love to have more guest speakers to share ideas and information with the students.
We look forward to hearing about the action your children may take as a result of the learning in this unit.
Over the next few weeks students will be watching videos and practicing a range of problem solving strategies which are geared towards building a growth mindset in Maths as well as and laying the mathematical foundation for the rest of the year.
Here are some photos of Year 4 students collaborating on THIS problem.
All of the Year 4 teachers completed an online course ‘How to learn math’ from Stanford University. Some of you may know a little about Jo Boaler, who is a maths professor at Stanford and has completed many research projects on how students learn best. Please follow THIS LINK to see a handout from Jo Boaler about the best ways to support your child with maths at home. As a school we are working hard to ensure your children receive the best possible maths learning. Furthermore students are being registered with www.mathletics.com again. User names and passwords will be distributed to students when the registration is completed.
Some of our thoughts about Maths…
Dear Parents, Carers and Students of Year 4.2,
Welcome back to our returning families and welcome to our new families!
My name is Annabelle Mambwe Ngulube and I am very excited to start a new academic year with you all. I have been teaching here in Angola for the last four years and I am happy to be a part of this wonderfully diverse and vibrant LIS school community. I am from Zambia and I am a proud mother of two daughters who are 22 and 17 years old respectively. I am looking forward to experiencing a dynamic year with the children and I will be happy for them to call me Ms. Bella.
Please be aware that our class blog will be the main source of information this academic year. The purpose of our blog will be to communicate, share and inform you all of the learning that will be happening in Year 4.2. Either myself or the students will be posting photos and explanations of our learning and we welcome you to comment and engage with our class. We will also share recent articles and items of interest about learning, and some ideas of how best to support your child’s learning at home. Please subscribe to the blog at blogs.lisluanda.com/4point2/ and you will receive a weekly update every Friday with all the posts from the week.
Here is the Yr4.2 Specialist Timetable 2017
Our first unit of inquiry will be under the transdisciplinary theme of Who We Are. Further details and information about this will be posted on our blog next week.
A couple of things to share with you as we start our new year. You will receive a hard copy of our single subject timetable today, please support your child in being independent and prepared for his/her various lessons.
We look forward to our first Parent Connection Meeting on Friday 1st September and our Year level ‘Back to school’ evening presentation, on Tuesday 5th September. Further information of these events will be communicated in due course.
Ms. Arishana Riek will be teaching Year 4.1 and Ms. Whetu Wilson will be in Year 4.3. Our Year 4 teaching assistant is Ms. Vera. If you have any questions or queries about anything please email me on firstname.lastname@example.org. I’m looking forward to a fantastic year of learning,
Ms. Annabelle Mambwe Ngulube