End of 2016

Dear Grade 5 Parents

As we end off a successful Grade 5 year, we would like to extend a sincere thank you to all of you for your support and encouragement towards your children and us as teachers.

We bid farewell to you all and wish you all the best in 2017 as the children head off to Grade 6 to face new exciting adventures.

We wish you all a very restful holiday, a blessed Christmas and a prosperous New Year ahead.

Kind Regards

Renate von Schumann

 

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Who are we?

We in the Rainbird class have been learning a bit more about our self-image. What wonderful conversations have been taking place around who we are, how is our self-image formed, what affects a low self-image can have on us and so much more. It has been a good investigative task as the children were challenged to look at themselves and see how they would describe themselves. Their honesty and vulnerability was amazing to witness as they opened up during our discussions. They task was then followed by a practical activity where the children traced around each other’s head and they then went through magazines to find different images and words that would describe them. What amazing individual end-products were created. Take a look at the photos below to see what the Rainbirds created.

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Birthdays, Solar Ovens and Roald Dahl cheers.

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Cycle tests, assessments and the conveying of the last few pearls of wisdom from teachers, have been the order of the day in our classrooms for the past few weeks. In between all of this it is also great to celebrate. We have had Birthdays in abundance in the Penguin class these past few weeks. It is lovely to stop and think about the child who is celebrating their Birthday and we do that by sitting on the mat and quietly reflecting on the special character of the child whose Birthday it is. We light a candle and the children are given a chance, by choice, to share something special about the Birthday child. It astounds me to see how children reflect and have such insight at such a young age. It is lovely to see the ‘Birthday girl or boy’ being uplifted in such a kind and loving way. It is also so special to see how the children’s comments have developed since the beginning of the year- personal growth is after all as important as the academic growth. Kate celebrated her crown Birthday this week and the children loved getting ice lollies on a warm day. The children chose to be unicorns for the photograph. I just love their minds.

At the end of last term I was thrilled to have two Penguins standing up in assembly to receive a little award for their art contributions during our Roald Dahl celebration week. Luke and Sabrina were commended for their delightful efforts.

We had good discussion and input into ideas behind renewable energy this past week and it is so good to develop an awareness amongst the children in this regard. We constructed solar ovens out of pizza boxes and the most fun part was melting some chocolate at the end of all the hard work. The children had to hold on to their ovens outside as the South Easter swirled around, but we were fortunate to have our reliable South African sun shine brightly that day.

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Big on Birthdays

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Roald Dahl art competition

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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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Grade 5’s tackle the clouds up high…

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We love to pose!!!

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Right on top!

Sometimes we need to make difficult decisions as a teacher…. My mind was spinning last Thursday morning as I tried to decide whether it was worthwhile to head up Table Mountain by means of the cable car on a cloudy, windy and chilly day. What’s more is that we could actually not see the top of Table Mountain. Wise words of ” Just do it!” kept entering my head, and so we gave the go ahead. As per usual, I was once again ‘glad’ to make the decision to “Just do it!”. It was wonderful to twist and turn and gaze and squeal all the way up to the top. Some children had to dig deep and persevere to try and see through the swirling clouds in order to overcome their fear of heights. Learning to live. Learning to persevere. Learning to take chances. I was so proud, and they were too, for not choosing to give up and stay behind. Our guide greeted us with a warm smile, but made sure that he made it clear to me that the conditions were not favourable. “Sign here please ma’am, this is to state that I have made the conditions clear to you!”. Decide, question, deliberate, quiver…”Let’s go!”.

And so we were met with swirling winds, ghost-like clouds, eerie encounters, forces of nature and God’s beautiful creation. We loved it!! All 9° c of it!! Our guide told folk tales and questioned the children for their insights. We even got to experience the likes of apres ski as we were herded into the Wifi lounge for further teaching, hot chocolate and delicious treats. We spread ourselves out and lapped up the central heating, comfy furniture and joys of luxury. The children were in their element and a great day was had by all.

Roald Dahl celebrations were also a highlight for the week. Stories, reading, laughing, acting, drawing and writing creatively were the order of the day. Some of my girls went all out with their impersonations of their giant creations. A couple of children from our class entered the inspiring art competition in light of the Roald Dahl celebration. Luke made a delightful and creative, clay figurine of his interpretation of a ‘modern’ Bfg. Some of the girls used their drawing talents to do their creations and Sabrina did a beautiful drawing.

This all happened in between final assessments and two nights of an entertaining showcase
‘Open the doors’, put on by the entire SP under the capable direction of our dearly loved Mrs Van Tonder. Tick tick tick. Our tanks are full. Tick tick tick. We are happily exhausted.

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Inspired by the great Roahl Dahl

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Swirling clouds, 9°c and loving the exploration.

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Apres ski at the Wifi lounge.

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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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EGYPT DAY

Egypt Day was a welcomed break in our busy schedule of work and routine. The excitement was in the air as the children arrived in their beautiful costumes. They made a tremendous effort and they are sure to take many memories with them with the numerous photos taken. As they entered the world of Ancient Egypt they focussed on their artistic and creative side while making canopic jars, mummies and sarcophagi. These clay creations will be used in their ILT a little later this term. There was plenty of time to enjoy the lighter side of life while chatting, mingling and having a more relaxed day. Take a look through our gallery of photos…

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Happy times

 

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imageimageimageimageimageimageThis past week was marked with an enormous amount of hard work. The children were kept exceptionally busy so we were all grateful to have had an outing to the Aquarium. One often thinks that this territory in the Waterfront is old territory for the children, but once they embark on the journey through seaweed, salty water experiences, bulging fish eyes, lumo floating jellyfish, shark encounters and so much more, then I realise how special these visits to the aquarium really are. We are fortunate to have experienced a lesson in one of the auditorium classrooms and a delightful young lady shared her knowledge on sharks with the children. The lesson is enlightening as it not only explains the details about sharks in general, but it also covers issues around shark awareness, their environment and their threats. The children loved getting to finally open the plastic tubs in order to touch the baby camouflaged sharks.

The new section at the aquarium is exciting, colourful and inviting to the children. There was great excitement as we ventured into dark areas, luminous-lit mirror zones and ‘hidey holes’ around each corner. I love the way the children became absorbed by the antics of the giant sea turtle, enormous fish and electrifying rays.

Back at our Elkanah ‘home’ the following day we also completed our tasks which we designed during the Olympic activity days. We created Olympic magazines with the children and they got to design some beautiful renditions for a magazine front cover during their IT lesson. I was amazed to see how many of the children already have such a key eye for design at such a young age. I am sure that you will be enthralled with the examples shown.

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Time to Shape Up!

It is so exciting to explore shapes and measurement in Mathematics at the moment!  We have been looking at 2-D shapes and 3-D shapes, discovering ways of drawing them accurately and learning all about the difference between area and perimeter.  The lessons have been hands-on, including using the Geoboard app on their iPads to discover the formula for area, measuring and calculating the perimeter of various objects around the school, working collaboratively to analyse the characteristics of various 3-D shapes and using their geometry sets to make accurate drawings.

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