Recently, we have learned about pop art by exploring the style of Andy Warhol. We looked at many examples of his work and noticed that he often uses the following elements in his work: bright colours, repetition, and iconic objects, logos, or people. We chose an iconic symbol or object and tried to create a piece of art in the same style. Below are some examples of our amazing work!
This week, we spent some more time exploring the movement of tectonic plates in our Earth Science unit. We already know that this movement is caused by convection currents; in other words, heat rises and cold descends to create circular movement in the Earth's lithosphere. This week, we started thinking about how we could create a model of the movement of tectonic plates. These are still a work in progress, but we are off to a good start! You can check out a few photos of our models in the initial phase of development below....
I can create a scientific model that clearly shows the movement and results of tectonic plates.
Next week, we will peer and self-assess the strengths and weaknesses of our models so we can make improvements. Stay tuned for the new and improved versions!
Last week, Division 1 and 2 had a visit from one of our district's Science Helping Teachers, Mrs. Lim. She introduced us to some pretty amazing tools called Little Bits. Basically, Little Bits are magnetized circuits that can be used to build our own creations; different pieces and combinations light up, make buzzing sounds, make propellers move, create vibration and react to pressure.
Mrs. Lim helped us learn how all of the different parts work and now we have been left to our own devices for a few weeks. In that time, we are working in groups of 4-5 to create a product that has a function. Below you will find a photo of our learning intentions and basic criteria for this project. Basically, we need to design something innovative using Little Bits and other recycled materials.
Today, we had our first official work session for these projects. It was so much fun! All of us were engaged and excited to be learning in a really creative way. Some of our current plans include cars, a working elevator, an air hockey table, an alarm clock, and a UFO. We know that we will have to think critically about our results each session in order to make improvements to our designs. Who knows what the final results will look like! We look forward to sharing our learning process - both the highs and the lows - with everyone in a few weeks.
This week in French Language Arts, we have been learning to recognize les figures de style (literary devices) in poetry. Some examples that we are focusing on are metaphor, comparison, onomatopoeia, and personification. It can be really difficult to recognize imagery in a new language, but Mme. Leconte is helping us learn to recognize, infer meaning, and soon create our own examples of les figures de style.
Many of us were really excited to start a mini unit on poetry because we love having the chance to show our creativity. Others are really strong writers and enjoy the opportunity to paint pictures in our readers' minds using words. A few of us are unsure whether we like poetry or not, but we are keeping an open mind about our learning.
To deepen our understanding of these literary devices, we listened to a new French song this week by Zaho called Tourner la page; it is full of examples of les figures de style which we tried to identify, categorize, and understand. You can watch the music video of this song below. We are also reading a variety of poems with different styles to get a better idea of how we might use these literacy devices in our own writing when we compose our poems.
For the past couple of weeks, we've been exploring how open questions in Math can help us learn better. An open question is one that offers access to learners of all ability levels and learning styles. It may also have multiple solutions, meaning that we need to thinking more critically to understand the concept and whether we are meeting the criteria or not. If you're interested in learning more about open questions in Math, check out Marian Small's book "Good Questions: Great Ways to Differentiate Mathematics Instruction" here. She includes a lot of really practical information and explains how open questions can be beneficial for students.
Since we are just beginning a unit on the relationship between decimal numbers, fractions, and percentages, we've been exploring place value and how base 10 blocks can help us represent numbers in different ways. For example, one of our open questions was: "Use 12 base 10 blocks. How many numbers can you represent?" We spent a lot of time on this question but everyone was on task because it was challenging and fun. Some of us worked in groups and some of us worked individually. Some of us used numbers, some of us drew pictures, and some of us used base 10 blocks to help find our solutions. Whichever tool or strategy we chose, what was most important was communicating our thinking. Another example of an open question we explored in class was: "If the solution is 4,2 what possible decimal numbers could be in the addition or subtraction sentence?" Some of us found digit patterns and others found visual patterns using base 10 blocks. We were all successful in coming up with more than one possible solution.
We will continue to use open questions throughout the year to push our mathematical thinking!
On September 10, 2013, we had an incredibly special day at our school: Identity Day! This was an amazing opportunity for students and staff to share their passions with each other. We saw all sorts of passions! Dogs, cars, soccer, music, baseball, cheerleading, baking, art, creative writing, martial arts... you name it, we probably saw it. Exploring the uniqueness of so many students and staff was a lot of fun! Unfortunately, Mme. Bunker was sick with the flu that week and couldn't be there to experience our finished products, but she helped us to prepare and she heard that we were amazing. Some of us shared our passions by making a poster, some of us made videos, and many of us brought display items like trophies, photos, and samples of our work. Identity Day is definitely something that we enjoyed and would love to participate in again. Ask us about what we are enthusiastic about and we will always have lots to share! Hopefully we will be able to post some of our photos and videos here soon.
For the time being, here is Mme. Bunker's example that she shared with us earlier this year.
Today we celebrated Dot Day! This is a special day based on the book "The Dot" by Peter Reynolds. In the story, Vashti does not believe she is good at art... or creative. She doesn't know how to begin when she is staring at a blank page. Her teacher encourages her to make her mark with a simple dot. She says to Vashti "Now, sign it." Little does Vashti know that her dot will soon become a masterpiece!
Vashti's teacher takes her simple dot, frames it, and places it on the wall right above her desk. Vashti is so surprised! How could her dot be considered so special? She soon sets out to make more dots, better dots... and in doing so, she creates a gallery that is admired by many.
This story is all about learning to express our inner sense of creativity and encouraging others to do the same. Every year, many students from around the world read this story and share their creativity in a variety of ways. We chose to make dot art this year. Check out our ePortfolios for samples of our work.
We are a class of Grade 6/7 students in Surrey, BC, Canada. This blog is one way we will share our learning with the world!