Happy New Year and welcome back. Hopefully everyone had a great Christmas holiday and a restful break. It did not take long to get back into the swing of things here at West Langley. Staff and students hit the ground running when it came to learning. Here are our 5 Things To ROAR About for January 10th including one from our student blogger, Brody. Be sure to share with your family and friends.
1. Student Blogger, Brody, Checks Out How Division Six Used Potatoes To Test Air Pressure: In Mr. Cruickshank’s class they are doing a science project about air pressure. They are sticking a straw into a potato and covering the top with their fingertips to see if the pressure will stay in the straw. They are trying to see if it’s harder to stick the straw in the potato without putting your finger on the top or if it’s harder to stick the straw in without putting your finger on it. The reason why they are doing this project is to add it to their science unit on air, earth and water. Specifically, they want to see if air has strength. I went around and asked three kids about how they enjoyed the project and they said that they really liked it and they were also super excited to learn about the pressure of air.
2. Visualization Brings Story To Life: There are so many different components to helping a child learn how to read. And the students in Mrs Gordon’s Kindergarten/Grade 1 class were using visualization as a way to bring the words to life. Students laid down on the floor and closed their eyes so they could totally focus while the story, The Gingerbread Kids, was being read. They were given the task of creating images in their minds about the characters, the setting and what was happening. They then shared with each other the vivid pictures the story elicited. Imagery is so important when it comes to reading for enjoyment so taking the time to be really mindful of that skill was great for the students.
3. Grade Fives & Sixes Learn About Social Injustice: The students in Ms McLeod’s class did a great activity to help them understand what social injustice can actually look and feel like. They were each given a bag with different amounts of coloured candy in it. Their task, without talking, was to interact with each other, trying to get four candies in their bag that were all the same colour. They quickly realized that there were lots of inequities in where they all started and each student had a different experience trying to fulfill their goal. The conversation that followed the activity was extremely rich, with students getting a sense of what inequity and injustice could feel like in the world around them. Below is a small sample of the candy exchange activity.
4. Creating Patterns As A Foundation Of Math: The grade one & two students in Mrs Williams class came down to the office to share some great learning they had been doing in Math. They came up with different patterns and then used unifix cubes to create three dimensional models of their pattern. It was great to see how confident they were in sharing their understanding of patterns as they related to their models. These important foundations are key to success in numeracy as they go through the grades.
5. Division Four Gets Primed For Science Inquiry: There was a lot of energy in Miss Cooper’s grade four & five class as they began their inquiry unit on body systems. The class room was set up with five stations that the students rotated through, each full of books about different body systems. The groups were given some time at each station to explore the resources, share with one another and, most importantly, ask questions about what they were seeing. This is all in preparation for inquiry units the students will self-develop about an aspect of body systems they are most interested in. The passion and energy was definitely evident when one walked into the room, showing the power of inquiry-based, authentic learning.