During term 4 (2014) we unpacked the concept of 'Exploration' to see if there were any characteristics that we could link between Explorers and ourselves as learners. Over the term we discovered some powerful insights and made some interesting connections. For example, successful explorers use maps to know where they are going, and show where they have been. Successful learners also use a type of 'map' (a plan) so that they know what their goals are and how they are going to get there, and then they can talk about their learning journey with others. Here is a Venn diagram showing some of the connections we made:
Our concept for term 1(2015) is 'Communication' as we are developing self agency across the school. Agency is defined as:
-study and research
(from "They're Not Bringing My Brain Out." Rosemary Cathcart).
An example of these learning skills in action is demonstrated between two year 3 girls below who are redesigning our learning space to be more welcoming. After drafting some ideas went to other classrooms to get some good ideas and interviewed students and staff to see what makes them feel welcome. They then held a planning meeting to share back their research and observations before deciding what they would like our space to look like. Using the word 'because' is introduced to them to develop their communication skills as they devise a plan for our learning space...
-it's a different kind of hurt it hurts your feelings not your body
Term 2 Weeks 1-2 Identity
Some students created a piece of name art to represent who they are. Here are a couple of examples:
Weeks 3-4 The Brain
|First the teeth tear and chew the food |
into smaller pieces, and mix with
salvia to swallow
|Then food moves down into the stomach where |
stomach juices, strong enough to dissolve tinfoil,
break the food down even further
|After that the food moves through the small|
large intestines with nutrients leaking out
into the bloodstream
|Finally, any excess food, that cannot be used by|
our body is excreted
Katelyn and Emily wondered if our digestive system could be improved. They were particularly interested in the small and large intestines - 10 metres! How does that all fit into one human abdomen? Surely it could be shorter? Mmm...then there would be less distance for all those all good nutrients to leak into the blood stream. As they played with ideas they came up with another solution. Maybe if the intestines were coiled into a spiral there would be less kinks and bends for food to get trapped in. The nutrients could still leak out of the front and back...
Week 7-8 DNA
Did you know that if you lay all the DNA in your body out in one long line it would be able to go to the sun and back 70 times!?! We found that fact particularly hard to get our heads around this week. Then we extracted DNA from broccoli, kiwifruit and banana's and when we saw the threads of DNA that appeared, but were too small to even see under a microscope we started to understand how small DNA really is.
Thanks to Nikolai who sacrificed his delicious-looking strawberries from morning tea to extract even more DNA...we had lots of fun!
We also had fun 'giving birth' to our own little people. From a set of 46 chromosomes, we matched all 23 pairs. Any facing up were the dominant genes and using the code key we were able draw our new person - there was lots of comparisons and discussion going on!
Nikolai and Sam have been debating whether cloning is a good idea. As scientific experts their task was to convince the PNCC whether a Jurassic World would be a good idea for Palmerston North. They researched about cloning and considered alternative points of view as they strove to analyse all the information. (our WALT). They presented their expert opinion to the council (the rest of the class). Here is their speech:
Week 9 -11 Forensics
|Here are some examples of blood splatter patterns from different|
heights. We analysed the results and decided that height creates speed and
makes the droplets separate out upon impact; like raindrops
We finished off the term with trip to the SOCO, the forensics section of the Police Department. We had an amazing visit and were able to see lots of what we had learnt in real life. Unfortunately we came back to school to find our shared lunch missing! Quickly our Forensic experts got to work, fingerprinting, interviewing, observing, analysing and decoding...it was a hive of activity. We managed to solve the crime and find our lunch - what a great team! Thanks to our wonderful parents and siblings who helped us out with clues, transport and supervision. Here are some photos of our day: