Birch Class 2019/2020 Term 1

The Day the Crayons Quit Term

By teacher Cristina Mirabile

Birch class has been enjoying a variety of engaging and fun activities throughout these last 7 weeks! In literacy and numeracy, we have been using the carousel technique to work simultaneously with different topic and level groups. This works well in class and keeps everybody busy and focused on their task. Here are some examples of our work.

Literacy

Speaking, Listening and Drama

For speaking, listening and drama, we have been playing games such as the “Hot Seating” (to express the character’s feelings), the “Conscience Alley” (to practise persuasive speech) and “Pair Improvisation”. Children enjoyed discussing and reflecting on various books: The Day The Crayons Quit (their favourite), The Lion who wants to Love, Giraffes Don’t dance, Up and Down, The Lion Inside, How to catch a Star and also some stories from the Mr Man and Little Miss book.

Everybody, gradually, has been gaining confidence in talking and making a positive contribution to the discussion while listening attentively to the other’s point of view. Also, so many new and interesting words have been learnt!

Reading

Our read aloud sessions got more and more engaging with book talks that helped children to understand the text, the characters, the facts and the authors. We also made links to other books and/or our own experiences.  It was interesting to see how many pupils linked the fear that the little mouse experienced at the beginning of the story (The Lion Inside) to their own fear when they started school and did not have any friends.

Also, children spent at least 15 minutes every day reading to another person. They are becoming indeed enthusiastic reader!

Creative writing, phonics and spelling

Creative writing has been encouraged throughout various activities in class. We started three weeks ago using our Story Books for re-telling the story that we previously read in class but also for writing our own stories. Children love writing new stories! In The Day the Crayons Quit, they have learnt how to use adjectives to describe the book characters and how they can make our story more interesting and less boring!

Kids love making silly sentences!

Kids also had guided writing session where they practiced spelling, tricky words, punctuation (full stop, capital letter, question mark and exclamation mark) and letter formation. We have been spending 15 minutes every morning with phonics multisensorial activity. We explored short and long vowel sounds, consonant blends (L family bl-cl-fl-gl-pl-sl, R family cr-br-dr-fr-gr) and diagraphs (ch-sh). To add an element of fun we have also read together short phonics stories, poems and rhymes. 

Numeracy

Kids have been working on count, recognise and write numbers 1-10 (20 and above for the more advanced); practice using correct language, symbols and vocabulary; order a set of one and two-digit number. They enjoyed working on one more/one less, addition and subtraction facts and words problem with hand on activities in the forest, collecting and sorting acorn, leaves and sticks!

Children have been enjoying multisensory activities to practice greater/fewer, number bonds, number patterns and sequences, also Singapore Math Method has been applied to solve words problems with addition.

We had lot of fun baking apple cakes! We practiced measuring and comparing quantities and we also sold them and raised £14 for the homeless!

The following week, kids made their very own hand made Italian pizza, so yummy, they made enough for all the school’s children and staff! What a teamwork that was, well done Birch!! We also had lot of fun making a volcano-shape focaccia with the leftover pizza dough. That was one of the many spontaneous cross curriculum learning opportunities!

Geography/History/Science

Following the IPC theme “Who I am?”, children have been learning about the 7 continents of our world. They enjoyed making the floor puzzle of the world map (again good teamwork!), finding the country where their families come from and playing multisensorial activities to practice cardinal direction and compass points in the class and in the forest!

During the climate change strike week, we also had an assembly on weather and climate, to introduce the global warming and learn about recycling and all we can do to help the environment. Children also made very powerful and colourful signs and posters with clear messages on climate change and we walked outside school to manifest our intention to act on the matter.

In the last 2 week of this term children have been learning about landforms and waterbodies. They made a poster and a final quiz competition to check the learning.

Most of the time, learning has occurred spontaneously: children have also been walking into the forest observing the colour change on the tree and collecting leaves and sticks to make a lovely 4 season poster for our class display.

During the last week in school, Elm and Oak class held a very interesting science museum tour. It was very exciting to see mad science in action! Kids had the chance to experiment how the hydraulic mechanism work, how the water function and so on. They really enjoyed listening to the older kids explaining all the aspect of the machines.

Sport/Swimming

Kids had a lot of fun in the swimming pool! They gradually gained confidence in the water and improved their technique!

We had fun also playing Capoeira which involves coordination, strength and flexibility.

Palying Bandiera in the Orchard
Picking grapes in the Orchard

Music

We just started learning how to play melodica! Kids in this class are very musical and love singing and playing music together.

Primary School Classes Update – Winter 2018

Primary Classes Winter 2018

Our Primary School section, for children from 6 to 11 years old, are divided into three classes namely Walnut, Birch and Oak.

IPC at Birch

Birch class topic work for term 2 under the IPC International Primary Curriculum, was focused on history. We looked at ways through which we can learn about the past. More specifically, we learned about the work of archaeologists and the clues that can bring information about the past into the light. The children examined a number of old and new items and described their characteristics (material, date, purpose).

In order to extend our learning on the way of life of Stone Age people and especially their expression through art, Birch and Walnut class visited the National Archaeological Museum of Saint-Germain-en-Laye. The museum guide showed us selected artefacts and the children tried hard to draw them on their notebooks. They were all very attentive and asked many questions.

At the Museum of Saint-Germain-en-Laye

Arts

During our last week of the term, we dedicated ourselves to an art project of creating scented candles. The children learned how to do this themselves while having heaps of fun! Birches took all precautions and used the necessary equipment; wax flakes, electric stove, wicks, glass jars, wax colourants, essential oils, pipettes and wooden skewers. They were responsible for all tasks, from melting wax to adding scent and decorating the jars.

Birch class decided to sell the candles to raise money for charity. During the candle sale, the children did all transactions and gave change themselves.

Candle making at Birch class, Primary School

Oak Class, Primary School

In addition to their busy schedule and team challenges with Elm Class (Middle School), Oak were busy in the kitchen once again.

Just before Christmas, we have learnt a traditional Spanish recipe: “Tortilla”! We wrote down instructions, ingredients, measurements and we cooked it.

Oak class preparing the Tortilla
Oak Class (Primary School) preparing the Tortilla

Maths

We have worked a lot with fractions using visual aids or learning about different strategies for calculations. We have seen and solved various real-life problems involving them. A large variety of activities has helped us to understand the use of comparing and order fractions, identify and write equivalent fractions, recognize them and relate them with decimals.

We have also worked with geometry and with the calculation of different areas, involving real- life problems too. We have learnt properties of different shapes. We have seen and understand the use of them by tackling real life problems.

We have also learnt about the importance of measuring, not only length, area or volume but also turns/angles.

Oak geography and literacy class.
From our geography and literacy activities, Oak class

Meanwhile, at Walnut Class (Primary School)

We had the opportunity to develop our literacy skills through a range of literacy activities:

The Christmas show has allowed us to build our vocabulary, to practice speaking audibly and fluently through our respective roles, to work on gaining and maintaining the interest of the listeners and to acquire a better understanding of the use the appropriate register for effective communication.

We consolidated the use of correct punctuation and sentence organisation through daily writing activities. Furthermore, we practised alternative and phonic word spelling by using the words learnt in context.

We made a tricky words list to order to improve spelling and to note unusual correspondences spelling and sound.

We also reviewed some grammar concepts such as suffixes (-full, -less) and have learnt using some new ones in context. Studying an inspirational moral story and creating our own one was enjoyable! It helped us to illustrate the learning that took place and to familiarize ourselves with this type of narrative. Debating and exchanging ideas about meaningful values such as generosity, determination and kindness was a great way to reinforce these values on an everyday basis in our classroom.

We took pleasure in presenting of our chosen country (based on our personal preferences) and sharing some cultural, historical and culinary elements related to our country to the rest of the class.. The culinary experience will remain our favorite one!

At last, we have been very lucky to spend library time with Monica who helped us to read at loud some of our favourite books and to listen to some great stories with on Fridays! We love reading that way !

Walnut class term 2 year 2018-2019
Walnut Class (Primary School) term 2 updates