In Social Studies, we have been learning about democracy in Ancient Greece and comparing it to our modern-day democracy in Canada. After doing some research and creating a comparison table, we had to present a short speech on which democracy we thought was better. Mme. Bunker gave us feedback to help guide our learning - for example, what was our criteria for "better" or "fair" - and we had an opportunity to record a second improved version of our speech. Below are a few examples. Enjoy!
We have been learning about circles in Math and the relationship between different measurements in a circle. Here are some of the formulas we started with on day one:
r = d / 2
d = 2r
We took circular objects that we found around the classroom and made charts that look like the one below to help us discover how each measurement was related to the others. Before we understood what pi was, we measured the circumference of the objects using string and a ruler.
Le rayon Le diamètre La distance autour (la circonférence)
2.5 cm 5 cm 15.7 cm
5 cm 10 cm 31.4 cm
9.5 cm 19 cm 59.6 cm
Most of us were able to notice that the circumference is almost 3 times the size of the diameter. This was a pretty cool realization, because then we were introduced to the irrational number π (pi). This led us to discover one more formula: C = π d
This is pretty abstract Math, so some of us had a hard time applying the formulas when solving problems at first, but we are all starting to get the hang of it now. We will be celebrating Pi Day on March 14 (3/14 - the last day before Spring Break), so feel free to bring a nut-free pie of some kind to share with the class!
Previously, we shared the initial versions of some of our scientific models. Now we have gone through the process of improving them to bring you these final versions! We worked in groups and we were able to choose the best way to share our model: pictures or videos. All of us tried to show convergent and divergent movement, and we all succeeded in that way. However, showing how this causes mountains to form and earthquakes was much more difficult! You can see that these models are definitely more accurate than our first attempts, because we self-assessed our first models informally to determine whether they met the criteria of movement and showing how the resulting phenomena form. We learned that taking a second (or a third!) look at something can really help us see the issues and, therefore, help us improve our understanding. These are some of our final products. Enjoy!
We have spent quite a bit of time these past few weeks learning about social roles in Ancient Egypt. We explored the importance of the pharaoh and how the nobles and scribes served as "assistants" in a way. We learned that there is social class hierarchy that can help us better understand these and many other roles in this ancient civilization.
Once we had a good basic understanding of these important social roles, we were ready to begin our first mini project: a skit. We have some talented actors and actresses in Division 1, so it was no problem at all jumping right into this activity.
Today were our final presentations. We will use what we learn from this skit to help us go more in depth during our final project starting later this week. Below is one of our performances... enjoy!
Today, we continued our reading unit on poetry. We are getting pretty skilled at recognizing metaphors, comparisons, and personifications in French poetry, but it really is a bit tricky in a different language to understand the meaning of these devices. Today, we worked in groups to find and analyze literary devices in a particular poem. Below is a picture of Ayu's work on personification.
Ideally, we want to be able to analyze a French poem and interpret the author's words. This might take us quite some time, but we will continue to try. The past few lessons have focussed on practicing the skills that will help us meet the learning intention below.
I can recognize and explain implicit messages in poetry.
We are part way there!
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!
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!