Tuesday, 26 September 2017

End of term 3

Well this term has whizzed by in a flash and is almost finished. We fitted a lot in but also had some interruptions this term with camp, shows, me being unwell etc, which meant we didn't do as much as I had planned.

There is no Quest this week due to show rehearsals and performances. I am hoping someone videos the show so I can get to see the talent in action, as I am supervising students in a holding room so won't get to see the performance.

Last week at Quest with the year 3-6 students I tried something I heard about from a teacher at another school. The students all signed up for 'Penpal Schools' online. This looks great, and for those who are communicating well seems to be making them think and consider others' opinions.

Children can log in at any time to their account to discuss the chosen topic with their penpals (and also to chat to their penpals.) Our topic is "joining forces for the environment". Children firstly fill in a profile (no last names or other identifying data), and are matched with a penpal from somewhere else in the world. They then get to watch a video and read some information (in our case about the environment) and then discuss that with their penpal. They are awarded points for the amount they write. As the teacher I get to see everything the children and their penpals write and can comment, report or delete if anything is not good. They have all done a great job so far and it is fascinating to get a little insight into their opinions. Today I have commented on each child's work so far - so hopefully they will see a little message from me. Please encourage them to sign in to their account and chat to their penpals and show you what they have been learning. It is a learning journey and some have cottoned on to the idea more than others. I would like to try this again next term when I have the chance to have a follow-up lesson once we have started the topic, so that they can look and discuss more in depth. You can find out more here:

The juniors looked at earth movement - layers of the earth (crust, mantle, core) , tectonic plates (we did a puzzle), how the earth moves, and how it is measured (Seismographs). They then had a challenge to design a building that was strong enough to withstand our fake earthquake (desk moving) using just spaghetti and marshmellows. This is always a fun technology challenge and a good one to try at home sometime. I was impressed with their team work, perseverance, and ideas. And just look at the concentration on those little faces! :)

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