Thursday, October 28, 2010

Hitting the Silver Screen

Today was a candy-soaked, creative extravaganza! It was our first time having a full class in almost 3 weeks, which allows us to move forward much more quickly. We spent most of the day on Social Studies, French and Health working on larger projects than are possible in a 1/2 hour class.

First thing in the morning, we got a quick rundown of one student's recent trip down south. I took this opportunity to have the class review what we had done in her absence, which was a great way to do a quick check on how much they were remembering! As usual, they remembered things with a far greater degree of lucidity than myself. I also took the time to review multiplication strategies, as outlined on a handout I sent home. We also took a look at some math review sheets I have sent home to work on over the next week or so.

In Social Studies, we focused entirely on mapping skills; there are many elements of the curriculum that can be taught through mapping, and we hit most of them today! They drew up their own guide of what symbols were on the map, and discussed at length what the significance of each was. The next part, which really challenged their processing skills, was to create 3 questions of increasing difficulty for the rest of the class to answer.

For example, the first might be "Where is the hospital", the second could be "How far is it from the hospital to the next town", and the third would ask a more challenging question such as "Why is the hospital located in a central location". I would encourage you to have your child do this at home as well, as a means of exploring deeper meaning in a text or image. Then, the class responded to a variety of questions about the maps (again, of increasing complexity). Overall a very constructive activity, and one that will come in handy for our Drama in Education program.

In French, the class reviewed this week's vocabulary words and verb tenses. I have also been quizzing on these during down time such as line-ups, recess and "I'm done my work" time. Then, we did some work with "Rubber Sentences". This involves taking a sentence like "My grandfather is reading", and using a variety of descriptive, evocative words to jazz it up.

By the time we were done with it, there was a general consensus that sentences are much more interesting this way. All this French-language work is now being kept in a blue DuoTang, that your child should keep in their plastic bag for use at home and school.

Perhaps the most engaging activity of the day was during Health class. The students and I read some excerpts from the text, then discussed what makes a real friend and occasions when it is good to have friends around. This was a great exercise, and led into them creating (in groups) a short skit that demonstrated one of these attributes/situations. I will leave you with the videos I took of this activity, with 2 more to come later. Also, two of our students have pieces of art mounted in the gallery in the main lobby!

The first video details why it is good to have friends around to protect yourself.

This next video features 3 more students, and focuses on the benefits of friendship with regards to bullying.

The last clip for today features a good lesson on why it is nice to have friends when you are sick. The remainder will be posted tomorrow!

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