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Practical and Engaging efforts

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Onthouboks Decorating

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During the past couple of weeks the children have been engaged with numerous practical tasks. These play a vital role in their development with regard to their use of creativity and stretch them to solve problems and look for solutions. During the course of the last few weeks they had to create a dramatic presentation in a group which would portray the ‘Photosynthesis process’ to others. Good co-operation, self discipline and creative effort is of utmost importance with this task. The children did a good job and we had many a giggle in between all the serious jargon.

Maths was brought alive by beautiful, jade green three dimensional shapes which had to be explored and defined. The morning light captured the interesting shapes with green shadows on their faces. This was also a group activity and the children were left to solve problems in a collaborative fashion.

Glue, glitter, colorful photos, words galore, personal drawings, verses and lovely Afrikaans woordeskat was used to start their ‘Onthouboks’ project. It was lovely to hear the banter and sharing while they spent time decorating their memory boxes which will be used as a visual contribution during an Afrikaans Mondeling which is being developed. Various stages of Afrikaans discussion, written pieces and an interview with themselves will form the basis for this Mondeling. We look forward to seeing the final product. The children are certainly encouraged to let the creative juices flow during these wonderful tasks.

They also did a ‘Dustbin’ exploration where as part of their Social Science curriculum were instructed to decipher certain ‘sources’ which would help them fill in a table about certain people and households. This was once again a lovely hands on task. I can now just leave you with the unbelievable thought that we are halfway through the third term.

Categories: Afrikaans, Mathematics, Natural Science, Social Science, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

ILT

Last week the Grade 5’s had their second term ILT where the aim of this ILT was to foster an appreciation of local cultures of Southern Africa and to create an awareness of how culture has influenced housing.

They were put in groups and had to research one of our historic South African cultures.  They had to take the information and present it to the class in the form of an informative dramatic presentation based on fact.  They had to write their plays in the form of a script and then had to perform their play to teach the rest of the class about their specific culture.

In their groups they also had to price a number of materials to help Bob the Builder to build a new house for Mr Preston.  They were given a Builder’s Warehouse catalogue to choose the materials from but had a budget to stick to.

Lastly we then watched a number of videos on the housing in informal settlements and the children then wrote individual blog posts of a day in the life of a child in an informal settlement.

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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. 

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

A time to give too…

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Great little helper

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It has been tremendously ‘ On the Go’ in Grade 5 during the past few weeks, with a multitude of assessments and cycle tests. In the busyness of it all it is just wonderful to stop and think of others too. On Wednesday 17 May we had ‘ One day without shoes’ and we managed to collect 550 pairs of shoes, which will be distributed in DuNoon to those in need. The children came to school barefoot on the day, in order to really get to grips with what it is like to go without shoes for the day. The children certainly rose to the challenge and were wonderfully committed to the cause.

We are all practicing our times tables like crazy at the moment and what better way to do it than with a helpful App on the iPad. Drilling , practicing and testing are beneficial skills to get the children on top of their tables.

During our Social Science lesson the children were introduced to scale and the children did a practical task afterwards. They had to measure each other and then draw a picture of their friends to scale in their school books. The children love seeing how tall they really are.

We have also been having discussions around the topic of bullying and cyber safety during our life orientation lessons. These discussions are invaluable to all and I am sure that the children will continue to benefit from the sharing and opportunity to be informed around these topics.

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Behold the beautiful Cacti…

The Grade 5s had a challenging first term in the Design and Technology lessons learning to manipulate wire and work with pliers but their hard work paid off with beautiful end results!  This was a new project taken on this year and they certainly reaped the rewards of their perseverance and positive attitudes.  Look at how stunning these cacti are!

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Finding our way…

We put our map reading skills into practice by taking a walk around the neighbourhood with our street map in hand. The children were given the task to draw their route on the map, as we were walking to one of our local shops. They had to take note of certain landmarks and street names.

Back in the classroom, we used the map (and the experience, of course) to complete a map reading task. The children had to use written directions to draw a specified route on a map, and they also had to write down a route that was given to them into their own words. This is a very necessary and useful skill for them to develop.

Here are a few snapshots of our children in action.

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Save our Trees!

During Environmental Week, the Grade 5’s created an awareness regarding deforestation.  We investigated the causes and effects of deforestation and explored ways of how to prevent it.  This was a collaborative task and the children used their own creative drawings in an iMovie to get their message across.

Here are some of our children hard at work…

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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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Categories: English, Natural Science, Social Science, Uncategorized | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

A short week

This past week was a short one after the long weekend but in true ‘ Elkanah style’  managed to create a jam packed week filled with new insights, discoveries and explorations. We celebrated Green and Blue week and the whole school was buzzing with environmental issues. We chose to explore deforestation with the children and we looked at various videos, had discussions and debates, used a flipped classroom approach and allowed the children to get their creative juices flowing. Their end product will be the creation of an iMovie which will tell a story about deforestation. The creative part is that they have been briefed to design and draw their own visuals using mixed media in order to put across their story. This is work in progress and we will touch on this again with final products and beautiful artwork in the weeks to come.

We also managed to squeeze in an outing to our beautiful Kirstenbosch. It is admirable to hear the children mention so many aspects relating to their learnings in the passed term. The visual world becomes the real insight to them and the learning becomes embedded. We looked at the trees in the area, discussed the fresh air full of oxygen, looked at various plants and their uses and the children are always fascinated with the stories of our Fynbos. Climbing the trees and side roots at Kirstenbosch is a real favourite of our children and we are reminded that they truly are still children who love to use their imaginations relating to the ‘Monkey King’ while they are at play. Kirstenbosch remains a rich and useful playground to all children and parents. IMG_2992

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Exploring the Fynbos with magnifying glasses.

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A snapshot at our week

The children investigated different soil types. They physically got hands on touching and looking at the various soils. They came up with good ideas deciding which of the 3 soil types were best for plants to grow in.

One of the basics we have to get under the belt is vraagwoorde in Afrikaans. One of the ways we try to get the children acquainted with these words and practice their translations is through the memory game.

We practiced our Mental Maths skills by playing the Checkerboard game. A good way to refresh the rusty minds before tackling more complex calculations.

We have a class challenge for the term which is to complete a puzzle of the world to round off our SS theme. It is a great temptation to anyone walking past the table or something to do when they have finished work. Let’s see how long it takes to complete.

Take a look at some snapshots from our week.

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