English

Working together – both challenging and fun!

The last week or two in Grade 5 has often required children to work in pairs or groups, flexing and stretching their collaborative skills.

Afrikaans orals involved working in pairs to plan the script of a conversation about the holidays, using a variety of question words to evoke appropriate answers. English language games in small groups got the children to brainstorm vocabulary and synonyms linked to verbs.

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Measuring their partners and then drawing each other to scale, 10 times smaller in their SS Books, was also great fun.

Reading each others’ blogposts and posting positive and polite comments was another way to encourage constructive interaction and the sharing of ideas. Please be sure to read your child’s blog and to also add your encouraging comment!

On a larger scale, during Drama, the Grade 5 classes have been practicing synchronised movement in time to music, which has been beautiful to watch!

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On Wednesday we begin our ILT where group work is integral to successful learning and presentation of the finished product. 

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Categories: Afrikaans, Blogging, Drama, English, ILT, Social Sciences, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Book week and more…

Book week was met with much enthusiasm as the Grade 5’s put their hands to work on their Book Dioramas.  I thoroughly enjoyed their interpretations and creative style.  I so enjoyed seeing our children reading to the younger children and we are so fortunate to have the junior campus next door.  The children also experienced a number of other activities such as making up a story and turning it into a play, making a digital book trailer, writing a short story and turning a known story into a cartoon.  A highlight of course was when the book fairy aka Mr Preston rang the bell and we would drop everything and read.  All in all it was a lovely short week focused on the world of imagination that books have to offer.

This week we introduced the NS topic of fossils and the class blew me away with their creative efforts at drawing pictures of fossils.  They certainly have made for an amazing display in our classroom.  The class found the topic quite fascinating and generated a lot to talk about from questions to personal stories.

In Social Science we focused on the build of South Africa.  In IT they used Google Earth to search for certain Capes and Bays and had to use the snipping tool to put the images onto a worksheet.  It was lovely to see the faster workers explore our coastline for other familiar Capes and Bays.  The children also had to show their understanding of the build of South Africa by building it out of playdough.  Who would have thought 10 year olds could get so excited about playing with playdough.  It ended with many of them asking for the recipe…so guess what they will be doing at home.

Please take a look at a few of our wonderful moments in class the last 2 weeks.

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Creatures that live in the soil

The Grade 5’s spent a busy and productive 3 days during their Integrated Learning Task this week. Working in pairs, they presented the research they had done last week, firstly as a visual poster and secondly in the form of an oral presentation.img_6117img_6109Summarising information and putting it into their own words, is a skill they are still developing. They were encouraged to avoid plagiarism and to acknowledge their sources. Some very attractive and interesting posters were produced, while sticking to the deadlines set.                                                                                                                              img_6115Well done Grade 5’s! I think we all learnt a lot from each other!img_6129img_6125img_6131img_6120img_6122img_6113

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Fantasy to Reality

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The Gr Fives enjoyed researching some unusual characters from African fantasy last week. They followed this up by creating their own fantasy people – writing and speaking about them. They certainly produced some very unusual ideas!

Back to reality meant punctuating sentences correctly and reading texts carefully for information. Language and comprehension skills are the foundations on which we can share and communicate our creative ideas!

In Afrikaans we are trying to get our communication skills off to a good start by practising basic greetings in small groups and pairs. Keep practising those ‘Vraagwoorde’!

On the Maths front, gathering real data and presenting it in graphs can be fun! Tallying and comparing different coloured cars travelling along a busy road nearby our school produced some interesting results. It was another opportunity to extend learning beyond the confines of the classroom.

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Categories: Afrikaans, English, Mathematics | Leave a comment

Science Wizards

We recently celebrated Science at Elkanah House Senior Primary, with our Science Expo.  It was truly a celebration, as it brought out the best in our children.  The Grade 5’s topic was ENERGY, and believe me, there was more than enough energy doing the rounds on Expo Day!  The children researched an experiment or an investigation of their choice, related to energy.  After attempting the experiments, photographs were taken and posters were made to communicate their findings.  The children had to consider their aim or the question that they wanted to explore, the apparatus that was needed, the method that had to be followed, the observations made through the results and then draw a conclusion.  On the day of our Science Expo, the judges made their rounds and the parents and visitors came to view the experiments and talk to our children to get firsthand knowledge about their findings.  Our children were well-prepared and confident when answering the public’s questions.  They were very excited to demonstrate their experiments.  So much learning, problem solving and critical thinking happened during this task.  This was so much more than just Science!

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Here are some of the Pelicans making their posters.

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Take a look at some of our final “products”.

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Having fun, using the 5 C’s…

Creativity … Critical thinking … Collaboration … Cooperation … Communication …

These skills were the focus of our Integrated Learning Task this term, using Ancient Egypt as our theme. This ILT is one of our Grade 5 highlights. It involves research about Howard Carter and King Tut’s tomb, mummification, Ancient Egyptian farming and Ancient Egyptian family life. The children collaborate and share their findings with one another. They use the content of their research as a vehicle to implement these very important 21st century skills.

The children wrote Diary entries for English, built pyramids together, performed an archaeological dig in groups, used their pyramids to complete a measurement and shapes task for Mathematics, created an informative Powerpoint slide on pyramids and wrote a letter to their friends in Afrikaans, telling them about our recent Egypt Day activities.

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Exploring the many uses of plants

Recently the Grade 5’s researched plants that are found in Africa, with the focus on how they are useful to us.  They came up with a few wonderful and interesting facts, which they presented in the form of a poster.  This was a Natural Sciences task, which then flowed over into an English Oral presentation.  This is what a few of them had to say:

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Treehorn is shrinking…

We loved reading an extract out of Treehorn in class.  He has a big problem at school:  he is shrinking and he can’t reach the water fountain!  But no one wants to listen to him.  The teacher sends him to the office, the secretary is too busy to pay attention and the principal only hears what he wants to hear.  This made for a lively class discussion about how adults listen to children, or how they sometimes don’t listen to children, but actually should.  The children presented their own version of the story as a role play.

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Verbs are Powerful!

As an extension of our Language exercise on verbs, the children wrote poems describing actions, using powerful verbs.  Take a look at some of their examples.

Powerful Verbs Poem BiyuPowerful Verbs Poem FallonPowerful Verbs Poem KarmenPowerful Verbs Poem LynnPowerful Verbs Poem Mikeya

 

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The eve of a public holiday and long weekend!!!

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I would like to mention our Book Day from 2 weeks back. Although our campus did not carry one theme through for the day, it was most evident that the children were exposed to a rich array of books and characters and words and creative writing and wonderful input into the world of imagination that books have to offer. Our school foyer hosted a delightful reading chair and reading corner, our Grade 6’s ( and their spirit- filled teachers) dressed up as book characters and I thoroughly enjoyed their interpretations and creative style. I so enjoy seeing older children read to younger children and we are so fortunate to have our junior campus right next door. Our class set up a book display at the back of the class which featured all the children’s favourite books,
either from their home bookshelves, or from our school library. This table display was a centre of attention for the week and we had lovely conversations around characters, different scenes and general storytelling. Our pictures show some true bookworms in our class including the delightful ‘Mr B’.

Last week brought forth a most welcome public holiday….. Work, work, work, smile…….pause. The children delight in the mere thought of a public holiday, as do the teachers. There are always so many stories to share afterwards and our classroom mats during devotion time are scattered with flapping hands and arms wanting their turn to share their news. We have spent a considerable time in Grade 5 these past couple of weeks discussing ‘feelings and emotions’. We have brainstormed different feelings, we have shared stories personally and in diary format( this tied in nicely with our book week ‘diary’ focus) and we have explored different ways to deal with the various feelings and emotions that come our way. It is just amazing to see some children open up once the platform is there to share valid experiences and emotions.

We explored the fossilisation process in Natural Science during the week before last and we used our IT lesson so that the children could gain from a ‘flipped classroom’ experience by reading and learning from a superb website. This site is created by our local Fossil Park in Langebaan and allows children to investigate the fossil process by means of slides, which are animated. An informative paragraph follows before the animation is shown, so that they can capture the information in a cognitive and visual way.

We introduced the wonderful world of ‘Plants’ to the children this past week and our first lesson related the parts of a plant and the internal structure of a flower. The children were fascinated to learn that most flowers have both a male and female part to it. The flower lends itself to the essential practice of drawing a scientific diagram in their books.

One of our Social science lessons last week was also in the IT centre and we taught the children about capes and bays around our South African coastline. Google Earth was used to search for certain capes and bays and then they had to use the snipping tool to select a cape or bay in order to insert it into their worksheets. It was lovely to see the faster workers explore our coastline for other familiar capes and bays- each time a delightful story went with the finding.

I have also included some of my pictures which were taken at our museum outing and in the Company Gardens. Creativity is just everywhere where we look in Cape Town. What a privilege for us to teach in this environment and for the children to grow up here.

And now……. after another public holiday and a superb long weekend it is time to buckle down and prepare our Scallywags for the English cycle test this week.

Categories: English, General, Natural Science, Social Science | 2 Comments

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