Once again we ran out of time to fit in all the lessons that I had planned. Still, we did manage to get a terrific amount of learning done and I think we had a little bit of fun as well.
On Monday I taught the children how to use branching databases to sort animals into different categories. Despite the occasional software bug, most children managed to complete the task, and some super science vocabulary was used.
Monday was also memorable because we gained a new member of the team, flock, pack, tribe etc (more of this later). Anyway, I am so pleased that Niah has joined us. Just like our other newest member Skye, she is wonderfully friendly, and keen to learn.
Now that Y6 have completed their SATs, they have more freedom to do some of their roles in school. This week, we were fortunate to get the help of some Y6 writing mentors. They worked brilliantly to support Y4 in writing recounts of when Wilbur escapes from the barn in the story of Charlotte’s Web. Almost everyone produced some excellent work, by varying sentence openers, punctuating correctly and by using quality vocabulary. Faizan’s writing was particularly impressive, in quality and in presentation.
The children have been having great success when learning how to add, subtract and find fractions of numbers. Aisha has been incredibly keen to learn about this area of Maths and has asked me almost everyday whether we can do some more work about fractions. Although we have now moved on to a new topic, the excitement seems to have remained. Today and yesterday we learned about the amazing properties of a right angle isosceles triangle. On Thursday the children used rulers and scissors to create a model of one from a rectangle of card. To put it diplomatically, I was quite surprised to discover how much the children still have to learn about using a ruler to measure. I may have been a little too ambitious when deciding to teach them how to mark out a straight line by scoring with scissors. Hopefully the wounds on my fingers won’t leave scars.
Anyway, the work on shape and geometry continued today with a lesson that is almost 2500 years old. No, I’m not quite that old so I wasn’t actually the first one to teach it! Socrates, the ancient Greek philosopher ‘proved’ that all knowledge was recollection and a teacher just had to ask the right questions to make the student ‘remember’. Perhaps he was right, but I think my class might want to change the quote to ‘all knowledge is revelation’.
We were outside, looking at the square flagstones when I asked Niah how to create a right angled isosceles triangle using a single click line. Her suggestion produced the correct answer. When I asked how the properties of this type of triangle might help us to measure the height of tree without climbing it there was quite a pause followed by a fantastic moment of learning and revelation for many children. After breath was regained, the children used the school grounds to prove the power of geometry, measuring the height of objects that they couldn’t possible climb. By finding a 45 degree diagonal line from the top of an object to the ground, the children were able to measure the length of a lateral line to find the height of the vertical line. Getting a 45 degree eye-line took quite a bit of flexibility.
Shams inspired us to make some stars of hope this week. We used protractors and rulers to draw stars and decorate them with messages of love and hope for the victims of recent terrorist attacks.
Homework: a worksheet about collective nouns for English. Please help your child to complete the task using dictionaries, encyclopedias or the internet. Our spelling focus for this week is ‘cc’ words. The words to learn are accelerate, accent, accept, access, accident, eccentric and success. Our maths focus is CGP books p.30 – 31, adding and subtracting fractions. 12x table facts seem a little rusty so we’ll be having a test on Friday.
Learners of the Week are Leo and Niah. This week’s PE lessons reminded me about how much Leo contributes to our class. During our games of cricket he showed the same qualities he does in class – huge enthusiasm, great participation and a desire for success. My other choice is Niah. How could it be anyone else? Her attitude, her effort and her kindness would be enough, but today during Golden Time she reminded me of just how important it is to let children have some time to simply play. This afternoon, my class put away their iPads, had games of football and cricket, played ‘schools’ and rediscovered the dressing-up box. Thank you Niah. It didn’t take long for you to become ACE.
Have a great weekend everyone