30 December 2007

By way of celebration.....

To end our Unit of Inquiry on Pattern Rhyme and Rhythm, we invited parents in for a Celebration of Learning. As well as sharing some songs, some choral speaking and our newly-honed ocarina skills, we also presented our interpretation of The Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe. Her children, amongst whom were Jumping Joe, Creeping Christopher and Undulating Umar, kept her incredibly busy each day, before (thankfully) falling exhausted into bed.

We also shared aloud one or two of the poems we had written (and which appear in written form elsewhere in this Blog) and our artwork. To make the celebration extra-special, we got to wear the patterned party hats we decorated.

The amazing all-singing, all-dancing domino pattern-making machine.....

As a special treat, at the end of our unit on patterns, Mira brought in her amazing…..

all-singing, all-dancing, domino pattern-making machine

for us to use.

There are lots of coloured plastic dominoes to choose from. What you have to do is choose the ones you need for your pattern and then place them carefully in the machine.

Next, turn the machine on; then stand back and watch, as the machine spits out your dominoes in a stand-up row.

Then comes the best bit; you get to knock the dominoes down, like a row of soldiers.

06 December 2007

We started with a green cube and then built a square of orange cubes around it. Then we made another square of green cubes and so on...

maths investigation

We decided to count the number of cubes in each square.
The first square of orange was made using 8 cubes.
The next square of green had 16 cubes.
We tried to guess how many cubes the next square would need. Here are some of the numbers we thought: 14, 20, 90, 26, 27, 19, 18, 30...
So we counted very carefully; we found out that...
The next orange square had 24 cubes.

We wondered if we might be able to find a pattern...

We put 8 in our heads and counted until we got to 16; we found that the difference was 8
We put 16 in our heads and counted until we got to 24; we found that the difference was 8 (again!)
The next green square had 32 cubes
We put 24 in our heads and counted until we got to 32; we found that the difference was 8 (again!)
The next orange square had 40 cubes
We put 32 in our heads and counted until we got to 40; we found that the difference was 8 (again!)
The last green square had 48 cubes
We put 40 in our heads and counted until we got to 48; we found that the difference was 8 (again!)

How many orange cubes do you think will we need to make the next square? How could you find out? Does your answer follow the pattern we found?

What are some things you could say about this pattern?

What a Terrible Noise!

As part of our Unit of Inquiry, ‘Pattern, Rhyme and Rhythm’, we shared aloud the poem ‘What a Racket’ by Trevor Harvey. Then we remodelled it using words that we particularly enjoyed the sound of.

What a Terrible Noise!
By Class 2i

Once upon a time
We lived in town...
The bulldozers crashed

The trucks beeped

The dogs woofed

The motor-cycles zoomed
The cats miaowed

The doors slammed

The children screamed
The cars vroomed
The wind howled

And the drums rumbled.

“The trouble with living in town,” said Mum, “is that it’s SO noisy.” So we moved to the country...
The sheep went baa

The birds squeaked
The babies cried
The dogs barked
The trees shook

The cars vroomed
The thunder crashed
The tractors ploughed

The fire crackled
The horses neighed

The ducks quacked

The shoes tapped
The motors rumbled

The water splashed
The leaves cracked

The rain came down

and the roof leaked.

“Lovely,” said Mum. “There’s nothing better than country sounds!”

29 November 2007

Oops! I made a mistake

I went to the bake sale to buy a cake
I made a mistake and I bought a cup-cake
I went to the party to blow a balloon
I made a mistake and became a cocoon
and I went to the park to see my friend
I made a mistake and found the end
Matthew D

I went to the store to buy lollipops
I made a mistake I bought a box
By Danah

I went to the kitchen to cut some peas
I made a mistake and cut some bees
By Christopher

I went to the seaside to swim in the sea
I made a mistake and ate a pea
I went to the farm to see a pig
I made a mistake and saw a fig
By Maya

I went to the bathroom to do a wee
I made a mistake and found a pea
By Matthew W

I went to the park to play
I made a mistake and said today
I went to the laundry to wash my socks
I made a mistake I washed a fox
By Swati

I went to the park to play
I made a mistake; I lost a day
By Justin

I went to the shop and
I made a mistake and I went to the party
By Michelle

I went to the house to get a mouse
I made a mistake and found Mickey Mouse
By Joe

I went to the park
I made a mistake and made a mark
By Sofia

I went to school to read
I made a mistake and saw a centipede
I went to the house to get a mouse
By Mats

I went to the beach to find the sea
I made a mistake and found a bee
I went to the kitchen to bake a cake
I made a mistake and found a flake
By Isabella

I went to the playground to climb a tree
I made a mistake and I saw a bee
By Naoya

I went to my dad to get a kiss
I made a mistake and bit my wrist
I went the kitchen to find my dad
I made a mistake and found a lad
By Evangeline

I went to the jungle to find a fox
I made a mistake and found a Knox
By Azri

I went to my room to find a pen
I made a mistake and found a hen
I went to my room to find a toy
I made a mistake and found a boy
I went to castle to see the king
I made a mistake and found a ring
By Patricia

I went to the lake to get a fish
I made a mistake and got a kiss
I went to the bathroom to brush my hair
I made a mistake and brushed a bear
I went to the toy room to find a pen
I made a mistake and found a hen
I went to the beach to lie in the sun
I made a mistake and lay on a bun
I went to the bathroom to wash my socks
I made a mistake and washed the cocks
I went to the kitchen to bake a cake
I made a mistake and baked a snake
I went to the kitchen to eat a bun
I made a mistake and ate a gun
By Dangi

I went to the lake to lie in the sun
I made a mistake and lay on a bun
I went to the king to chat with him
I made a mistake and gave back the ring
I went to the kitchen to bake a cake
I made a mistake and made a lake
By Giulia

I went to a party to have some fun
I made a mistake and had some rum!
I went to the king to chat with him
I made a mistake and gave back a ring
I went to the king to chat with him
I made a mistake and found a limb
I went to the kitchen to bake a cake
I made a mistake and baked some tape
I went to kitchen to eat a bun
I made a mistake and ate a gun
By Max

I went to my love to get a kiss
I made a mistake and got a fish
I went to the den to get a hen
I made a mistake and got a pen
I went to the beach to lie in the sun
I made a mistake and had some fun
I went outside to splash in a puddle
I made a mistake and got in a muddle
By Fiona

I went to the seaside to see the sun
I made a mistake and saw a bun
I went to the bathroom to brush my hair
I made a mistake and washed my bear
I went to lake to get a fish
I made a mistake and made a wish
By Tanmay

I went to friend’s house to play
I made a mistake and I had a bad day
I went to play in the school
I made a mistake and went to the pool
By Umar

I went to run
I made a mistake and I ate a bun
I thought I was holding a cat but
I made a mistake and I was holding a bat
By Per

Spirograph patterns

We had a look at some amazing patterns a little like the one you see below.

Created by Anu

Ours were made using a machine called a ‘Spirograph’.
Some of our parents made the same kinds of patterns when they were young!
Patricia noticed that the name 'Spirograph' sounded a bit like the word spiral. That got us thinking and we all watched carefully as a ‘Spirograph’ pattern was made using the machine. As we watched we saw the pencil moving round in a curved, spiral shape.

We had a go at making our own but we made them in a different way.
How do you think we did ours? Look carefully.

Can you work it out?
You should be able to see one shape repeated lots of times
What shapes do you see?

27 November 2007

Weaving; in and out and in and out...

We were lucky enough to have a visit on Friday from Wendy, Joe's mum. She and Joe had been practising weaving 'Gods' Eyes' with wool and thought that we might be able to make some of our own.

Gods' Eyes are made using a frame of two crossed sticks. Coloured wool is wound around the frame to make a design called "Ojo de Dios" or "Eye of God".

It is thought they originated in Mexico; there, when a child is born the father weaves the central part of the eye. Then each year, another colour is added until the child is five years old.

We started ours with a black centre. Then we chose two different colours of wool so that we could weave the rest in a repeating abab pattern.

If you decide to make one of your own, you can hang it up as a decoration. We have used ours to decorate the classroom!

16 November 2007

Hooway for Wodney Wat - and a discussion on bullying

Imagine having the name Rodney and being unable to pronounce your Rs. Poor old Wodney Wat; he was teased mercilessly by the other rodents in the class. In the end of course, tiny shy Rodney triumphed by saving his whole class from Camilla Capybara, the big, bad bully. His classmates cheered for their hero. "Hooway for Wodney Wat", they shouted.

hooway for wodney wat

But it was the beginning of the book (Hooway for Wodney Wat by Helen Lester) that most interested us. From the illustrations in the book we decided that Wodney probably felt sad and shy.

Why does he feel like that? we asked ourselves.
Per said the kids were pushing him around. Max said they were teasing him and Dangi said they were being mean. Maya thought they were naughty, Chris said they were rude and Tanmay said they were unkind. Joe described their behaviour as bullying.

What is a bully? we asked ourselves next.
Maya: someone who laughs whenever you make a mistake
Swati: children who push and hurt you
Justin: sometimes they are rude and they never stop; each day they do it
Joe: someone who's mean to other people
Per: someone who bosses you around
Max: they are mean people and they don't listen. They push people. Sometimes they get sent to the principal
Danah: they can be screaming at you and hitting and kicking you
Sofia: they sometimes get time out
Evangeline: if you have something yummy to eat at school and there's a bully sitting beside you, they would ask for it and they wouldn't say please

We agreed that bullies can hurt you by hitting or kicking but they can also hurt your feelings. Max explained that there is teasing that is funny for everyone and a different teasing that is unkind. "It can make you scared," said Danah. "You might cry," said Dangi. Max said that you would feel frightened and Swati said that you'd be afraid.

These are things we thought you could do if you were being bullied.

I could tell them to stop
I could tell a friend
I could tell a grown-up
I could tell the teacher

What could you do if you saw someone else being bullied?

Cheesy jammy chequerboards

First take two slices of bread. Spread one thickly with jam and the other with cream cheese. Engage willpower and try not to take a bite.....just yet.

Next, cut each slice into three strips. Turn and cut again into three strips. You should end up with 12 white squares and 12 red ones.

Now use your squares to make a chequerboard pattern. Admire your work, pose for the inevitable photo and eat. Yum.

Sorry mum if appetites were spoiled!

15 November 2007

Patterns on my socks

If you look carefully at the photo of our socks, and then read what we wrote about the patterns on the socks, you might be able to work out who is wearing which sock! Have a go and see if you are right. What does that say about our descriptions of the patterns?

Which is Naoya's sock? Who is wearing the black and white socks? How many people have an ABAB pattern on their socks?

MAYA: Isabella's socks are pink, white, red, white, pink, purple, and so on. It goes snap, clap, jump, clap, snap, flick. That's it!

DANGI: Sarah's sock pattern goes white black, white black, white black, white black and so on. It is a zebra pattern but it was on a sock. It was made of wool. It's an ab pattern.

ISABELLA: Maya's sock was white but a pattern it had was lines and no lines, lines and on lines and so on. It goes 1,2,1,2,1,2,1,2

SARAH: My sock pattern goes like this - black white, black white, black white, black white. You can also say boy girl, boy girl, boy girl.

FIONA: I just needed pale blue to make this pattern. It is white, pale blue, white, pale blue, white, pale blue, white, pale blue. It is also a 121212 pattern.

MAX: My pattern goes like this - bump, flat, bump, flat, bump, flat, bump, flat. You can't see it very well though. It is an ababab pattern.

NAOYA: My pattern goes blue, light blue, purple light blue. It is an abcb pattern.

CHRISTOPHER: Danah's sock pattern is black and white, black and white and so on. Danah's pattern is a 1212 pattern.

MICHELLE: My pattern is dark pink and lighter pink and light pink and white and green and dark green and pale green and yellow and brown and dark red and then it starts again.

JUSTIN: My sock goes blue yellow, blue yellow and my sock is a good pattern. It is a dcdcdc pattern.

MATS: I made this pattern. This pattern is blue and yellow. It is Justin's sock.

GIULIA: My sock has a pattern. Blue, white, grey, white, blue, white, grey, white. 12321232. abcbabcb. My socks come from Japan.

TANMAY: Well the pattern is bump, flat, bump, flat, bump, flat and so on. It is a tricky pattern. We could also feel it. Max is my friend that's why he chose me to be his partner.

PATRICIA: I brought my sock because it was a pattern. It is an abcabc pattern. It can be a 123123 pattern.

PER: Bump, down, bump, down, bump, down. ABABABAB. Tick, tock, tick, tock. Sticky, nice, sticky, nice.

JOE: Matthew W's sock pattern is an AB pattern.

MATTHEW W: My sock pattern is ABABABAB...9, 10, 9, 10...

UMAR: Sofia's pattern is green and orange and a flower.

SOFIA: My sock pattern it's green and orange.

AZRI: Per's sock pattern is ABABAB

MATTHEW D: Giulia's sock pattern is 123 123 123 and abc abc abc. It has three colours. It comes from Japan.

SWATI: Patricia's sock pattern is a tricky pattern. It like it. I like it because it is so pretty. 1213 1213 1213

DANAH: It is an easy pattern; cdcdcdcdcdcdc

EVANGELINE: Michelle's sock pattern goes - dark pink, lighter pink, light pink, dark green, darker green, light green, yellow, brown, purple; dark pink, lighter pink, light pink, dark green, darker green, light green, yellow, brown, purple. 123456789, 123456789...

Publicising our Blog

It was Class 2i's turn for assembly this week so we asked opurselves what we wanted to share. Of course a veritable forest of hands rocketed into the air:
I want to share my spirals picture.
What about our vegetable faces?
I'm really proud of my maths.
I'd like to share my elastic pattern.
Can we show them our symmetrical patterns.
Let's read Lots on Top.
What about.....? Can we.....?

But you can't please all of the people all of the time........................or can you?

Well, it turns out that with a bit of planning, yes you can. Momo was summoned to set up screen and projector and KE found out to much relief that, somewhat surprisingly, the wireless connection in our assembling space is within reach of..........whatever it needs to be within reach of!

And so, at the assigned time we were off.

First we asked ourselves the question, What is a Blog? And although one or two outside the class had heard the word, no-one was able to give us a satisfactory explanation; so we helped them out.

First Danah explained that it is how we work on something in the class and then we put it on the Internet.
Max added that you get a camera, take a picture of something and then somehow (oh how I agree with that word choice) you connect it to the computer and other people can see it - and you can see it too.
Giulia told us that you can click on somebody's name and there will be a place where you can write comments to somebody else.
Per ended by saying that comments make people feel happy - and the person who pays the compliment feels happy too.

We got to share some of the different parts of the Blog; the slideshows of our art, some of our writing, our maths. We even showed Alya in Class 1o that she had received a comment from Harrison's dad. When we read it to her, she told us she felt happy. And judging by the huge smile on Harrison's face, he was feeling pretty proud of his dad too!

Why don't you make someone's day by looking at their work and paying them a compliment; it just might make your day as well.

09 November 2007

Diwali - and some new patterns

This year, November 9th, is the festival of Diwali. It is the most widely celebrated festival in India. Not only Hindus observe Diwali but also Buddhists, Jains and Sikhs.

To help us learn more about this special occasion, we were lucky enough to have a visit from Tanmay's mother. She first told us the story of how Prince Rama and his wife Sita were sent away from their home and how they had to go and live in the forest, along with Rama's brother Lakshmana. After 14 happy years there, Sita was kidnapped by the ten-headed demon Ravana, but she was eventually rescued by Rama, with the help of Hanuman, the monkey warrior. 'Divas' (oil lamps) helped guide Rama and Sita back from the forest to their home in Ayodhya. When they arrived, Rama was crowned as king.

Diwali symbolises the victory of good over evil; it means 'festival of lights'. On this day people light tiny candles or divas to fill their homes with bright light as a sign of celebration.

They also create lovely designs all around their home with colorful 'rangoli' art. Rangloi are traditional Indian geometrical patterns used to ward off evil spirits. They are usually painted on walls or the ground outside the house. Hindus hope that Lakshmi, the goddess of good fortune, will see the beautiful patterns and come into their homes.

After the story, we had a go at making our own Rangoli patterns. We used coloured rice to make symmetrical geometric patterns.

08 November 2007

Pass it on.....

Do you want to know how to play the game 'Pass it on'?

First, get together with about five or six friends. Then think of a shape or symbol that you can paint over and over again. Next choose the colour you would like to paint your shape. Then collect a long narrow strip of paper.

Now, paint your chosen shape onto one end of the paper (your friends will all be doing the same as you, but with their own choice of shape and colour). When everyone has finished, you all say 'Pass it on' as you pass your paper to the left.

You then have to paint the same shape on your neighbour's paper, right next to their shape and again you 'Pass it on' when everyone is ready. You should keep on going until the strip of paper is full of different coloured shapes and symbols; just paint your shape and 'Pass it on'.

When you have finished, see if you can spot any patterns. How many different symbols do you see? Are there the same number of different shapes as the number of people who played the game with you? Do all the strips look the same? If not, why do you think this is? How can you line up the strips so the pattern continues?

Here are some 'Pass it on' patterns that we made this afternoon.

Could you think of another way to play 'Pass it on'? Why not try it out with your friends?

06 November 2007

Vegetable Kebabs; a tasty end to the week!

On Friday afternoon we washed our hands, rolled up our sleeves and set to work with a battery of knives, preparing a mountain of vegetables. Some of us washed and de-seeded peppers, some of us sliced tomatoes and cucumbers into chunks and others opened packets of stoned olives. We heated vegetarian sausages in a pan of hot water and chopped these up too. Then we arranged plates of the different produce on our tables.

To make our kebabs, we were allowed to choose up to three different items. These we threaded onto wooden kebab sticks - in a repeating pattern. Then, once we had had our work photographed for the all-important Blog, we got to munch the results; delicious!

We now have great plans for a fruity version - watch this space!

01 November 2007

Spinning around.....in art

We noticed that spiral shapes are all around us:
Sunflower seeds grow in a spiral shape
Snail shells grow in a spiral shape
Sometimes the weather makes a spiral shape, like hurricanes.
Some fossils are spiral-shaped

What other things have a spiral shape?
Click on the link to find out.

This is how we made our own:

We chose red or black or white paper.

We had red, black and white paint.

We found interesting things to dip into the paint to make our spirals, like unifix cubes, clothes pegs, the 'wrong' end of the paint brush.

Lots on Top!

Today we read a verse called Lots on Top. We noticed that on each page the words made a pattern. We decided to have a go at making our own using the same pattern. When you read it, see if you can spot the pattern like we did!

Lots on top!

I like chicken with sauce on top

I like pasta with cheese on top

I like bread with honey on top

I like chips with ketchup on top

I like pumpkin with cheese on top

I like cornflakes with ketchup on top

Lots on top!

I like pasta with sauce on top

I like chicken with cucumber on top

I like chocolate with bread on top

I like bread with jam on top

I like cake with strawberry on top

I like pancake with chocolate on top

Lots on top!

I like cucumber with olives on top

I like ice-cream with cream on top

I like bread with cheese on top

I like butter with chips on top

I like crackers with melted cheese on top

I like chicken with broccoli on top

Lots on top!

I like chips with ketchup on top

I like bread with chocolate on top

I like ice-cream with raspberry sauce on top

I like ice-cream with chocolate sauce on top

I like bread with butter on top

I like chips with salt on top

Lots on top!

Snap, clap, snap, clap...

In maths today, we made a pattern of a snap followed by a clap then a snap again and then another clap...(we decided three dots would mean ... and so on... because we thought that a pattern should continue)

We then tried to see if we could make the same pattern using other body parts.
here are some we thought of:

clap, click, clap, click...
clap, slap, clap, slap...
head, shoulders, head, shoulders...
stand up, sit down, stand up, sit down...

Then we made the same pattern in other ways, like:

sun, moon, sun, moon...
star, rectangle, star, rectangle...
red, yellow, red, yellow...

Then we built the same pattern using cubes. Afterwards, we had a go at making some new patterns. How many different patterns can you see? What different ways can you find of describing your pattern?

A new unit of inquiry begins.....

With the start of the second half of the term, so begins a new Unit of Inquiry, the title of which is "Pattern, Rhyme and Rhythm".
It falls in the transdisciplinary theme of How We Express Ourselves, with a central idea that states 'We can find pattern, rhyme and rhythm all around us. ’

During this unit, children will inquire into:
· what pattern, rhyme and rhythm are
· how pattern, rhyme and rhythm work
· how pattern, rhyme and rhythm are connected to each other and the world around us

We began by asking ourselves the question 'What is a pattern?'

This is what we thought.....

Sofia – a pattern is something you put around your neck and then you don’t get cold on your neck; is any colour like blue pink yellow orange
Maya – a pattern is something like yellow green yellow green
Tanmay – I think it is the same as Maya and it can also be triangle square triangle square
Patricia – a pattern can be a boy and a girl a boy and a girl
Justin – a pattern is sometimes something on a t-shirt that is blue green blue green
Danah – you can get cubes and do a red blue red blue pattern
Azri – a pattern can be lots of different colours
Fiona – a pattern can be anywhere; look around and see how many different patterns you can see
Giulia wondered – can a pattern be white white blue white white blue?
Max – a pattern can be three different colours like blue white red blue white red
Joe – a pattern can be green blue green blue; it could also be with numbers like 1 2 3 1 2 3
Evie – a pattern could be like if you draw red blue red blue
Sarah – if you see a house that is pink and yellow that is a pattern
Matthew D – a pattern can be stripy
Swati – a pattern can be if you take one block of one colour and then you take a different colour and then you can make it into a pattern; we can make a pattern with a pencil and then a pen and then a pencil and then a pen
Chris – a pattern can be a hat or a kind of tree
Per – a sunflower and a rose can be a pattern; you can use yellow and red to make orange
Isabella – a pattern can be blue yellow green blue yellow green

18 October 2007

The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein - and a warm feeling inside!

We read ‘The Giving Tree’ by Shel Silverstein. It tells the story of the relationship between a tree and a little boy. The tree gives many things to the boy:
· Leaves to make a crown
· Foliage to hide and swing in
· A trunk to climb
· Shade to rest in
As the boy grows up, he visits the tree less and less often but the tree is always pleased to see him; and always pleased to give the boy what he needs. Things like:
· A trunk to lean on with his girlfriend
· Apples to sell
· Branches to build a house
· A trunk for a boat
And finally:
· Her stump to sit on

We were a bit puzzled about why the Giving Tree was still happy when all that was left of her was her stump……….

So we talked about what things make us happy. Here are some of the things we said to start with:
· Money to buy things
· New toys
· Candies
· A swimming pool in the garden
· A bicycle to ride on………

Then we got thinking about what makes us happy but doesn’t cost anything.
This was a bit tricky at first, but then Danah said, “Being with my mum and dad.”
Patricia said, “Playing with my mum,” and both Sarah and Maya told us they liked playing with their sister.
Giulia likes, “Playing with my friend,” and Tanmay said that, “Having a best friend,” is what makes him happy.
Per loves running, Azri likes to swing and to play in the sand and Sofia says that playing in the park makes her happy.
Justin and Max said, “Climbing a tree,” and Dangi added, “Playing in the leaves.”
Joe and Evangeline love to write and Fiona and Christopher both love to draw.

Max then summed the story up for us when he observed that, “The tree is happy because she gave something to the boy.”

To end with we tried to see if this would work for us; we wanted to test if we could make a friend happy and whether this would also make us feel happy.

This is just a sample of what happened:

Christopher told his neighbour, “I am your friend.”
Fiona said to her partner, “I like you.”
Azri and Per paid compliments; Azri observed that someone was a fast runner and Per told Dangi he liked his shirt.
Danah hugged Isabella.

.......and their smiling faces said it all!

So - why don’t you see if you can do something to make someone else happy? It won’t cost you any money – and it will give you a warm feeling inside.

17 October 2007

Peeling Apples

Click on the video control to see the the machine at work. If you look carefully you might spot a spiral pattern.....

16 October 2007

What do you think this strange machine is used for?

What do you think this strange machine is used for?

We took a good look at it – from every angle. We drew a careful sketch of it. Then we wrote down what we thought it might be used for. We shared our amazing ideas with our friends.

Matthew D thought it might be a wine-corker

Sofia thought it was a machine for cooking and Justin thought it might be for mixing soup.

Danah and Fiona noticed a sharp part and thought it could be a cutter.

Isabella and Dangi saw the handle that turned and thought it was an opener and Dangi thought it could also be a drill.

Azri thought it might be able to crack hard seeds and Sarah said it could be a pencil sharpener.

Matthew W and Christopher thought that it might be for making holes and Max looked at the screw part and decided it might be for twisting fibres into rope.

Hmm…..well no-one was exactly right but lots of people were a bit right.

It does make holes.

It does cut.

It works a bit like a pencil sharpener when it peels off the skin.

It even works a bit like a wine corker when it removes the core.

Of course everyone wanted a turn and so we agreed that anyone who brought an apple for snack would be able to use it. Thanks to Fiona, who brought in a huge bag of juicy, rosy apples from the tree in her garden, everyone had a go. Such a healthy class!

03 October 2007

Visiting an apple farm

Class 2i planned a visit an apple farm. Here's what they had to say before they went, but after they had done some research into How Apples Grow:

Fiona said: "I learned that tiny buds are on the tree in winter."

Justin said: "The flowers came before the apples."

Per said: "The bees help and what happens is that they bring something from one flower to the other tree. And the trees get food from the ground and the apples get fatter and fatter.” He also said: “I didn’t know that the piece that holds the apple onto the tree could hold that much weight."

Max said: "At first an apple is a flower."

Swati agreed: "First is the flower, then they don’t need petals and they fall down on the grown and they turn brown, and then a little tiny apple grows."

Christopher said: "If you look at an apple you can see where the flower was, at the other end from the stem. I learned that the bees went to the blossom flower, took something from it and went to another flower."

Several people said: "And that’s the female part of the flower – it turns into the fruit."

Dangi said: "I didn’t know that apple flowers had pollen."

When we were at the farm, we learned some of the things that farmers do to take care of their apples:

Tanmay said: “I learned about the female butterfly."

Patricia said: "They have a little house with paper inside so that the daddy butterfly sticks on the paper...

Maya added: ..." with a bit of glue. He thinks there’s a mummy butterfly because of the smell."

Matthew said: " A big problem for the apple farm is that something eats the apples, and lays eggs inside the apples."

Swati said: "The eggs come from the mummy butterflies."

Max said: "The daddy butterflies sense the mummies."

Fiona said: "The farmer plays a trick; he puts the smell of a mummy inside a box, and the daddies are tricked."

Dangi said: "We saw glue and the daddy butterflies stuck on it inside the box. They were tiny, and we saw lots."

We wondered, "What do you think the nets were for?"

Some people thought that farmers put nets over the trees to keep the birds off the apples.

Joe thought it was "to keep raccoons off."

Matthew thought it was because "when it’s winter it keeps the apples warm."

Danah thought it might be "to stop the birds going on the apples."

Justin thought that it could be " electrified, so the birds can’t eat the apples."

Christopher thought it was "to stop the worms."

Swati thought it was "to stop the insects."

Per thought maybe "everything that flies can’t get through."

We were given a hint: it has something to do with the weather:

Joe thought it might be "so the apples don’t blow away."

Danah thought "when it’s snowing, it protects them from the snow."

Tanmay thought that it "is so the apples don’t get wet."

Fiona thought that it keeps "the lightning off the fruit."

Christopher thought it might "keep the thunder off."

Maya thought it was "to save them from a big tornado."

Patricia then thought that it protected them "when the ‘stars’ fall out of the sky in a big storm."

Now we were getting close: it's not stars that fall, but ICE.....Then Joe remembered that ice that falls is called hail. It often comes out of the sky in a big storm, and can do an enormous amount of damage to the apples. When apples get damaged by hail, farmers cannot sell them.

In fact we didn’t see nets over the trees on our visit because there were no apples on the trees. Swati said that we didn't see apples on the trees because "the people have carefully picked them and put them into the back of the truck and driven them away.”

22 September 2007

After Arcimboldo

Mira has been doing a course using nature for some really cool activities; we decided to try out one of them today - to great effect! Children worked in 3 groups, each choosing someone to lie down on the ground. The rest of the group then hunted for sticks to make an outline of the body. Then, with the body out of the way, they filled the outline with different parts of plants: leaves, petals, seeds and so on.

With bad weather predicted for the early part of the week, our Arcimboldo-inspired natural art will probably be scattered (quite literally) to the four winds. Luckily we made a photographic record for you to enjoy.

15 September 2007

Art Soup

To make ART SOUP, all you need is a classroom full of enthusiastic six and seven year-olds and a basket of different vegetables.

First use your choice of sliced vegetables to make a face. Admire it, change the expression, clamour to have it photographed. It is OK to taste as you work! (Click on each child's blog to see the picture they made).

Next, wash the vegetables (after all that tasting!) taking care to remove any that might be more suitable for a salad (in our case radishes and cucumber).

Put the vegetables into two huge saucepans, each with a litre of water and two child-sized pinches of salt.

Set to simmer in the staff-room kitchen.

When the delicious smell of cooking wafts all the way along the corridor and up the stairs to Class 2i, it is probably ready.

Bring the saucepan into the classroom and blend the soup with the help of 'Brenda-the-Blender'. It is essential that everyone has a turn at using the blender - but do make sure that, however exciting it is, before the motor is switched on, the head (of the blender!) is submerged.....the teacher can only stand being splattered with near-boiling soup so often!

Once the soup is smooth, serve.

Delicious ART SOUP. Thoroughly recommended.

Here's the story:

Umar said, “Mira cut up all the vegetables.”

Max said, “We did not put the radishes in the soup.”

Fiona said, “ We put the radishes and cucumber together to make a salad.”

Dangi said, “ We had potatoes. We added salt and water to make the soup.”

There were other vegetables in the soup as well. There were carrots, cauliflower and celery. 18 children said that the tomatoes went into the soup but 6 said that they did not.

Tanmay told us that 2i went to the staff room to cook it.

After the cooking Per said we put the ART SOUP in a machine to mix it.

Some people ate the ART SOUP. Patricia did not.

Everyone in Class 2i helped to make the ART SOUP.

Edible Art

As part of their Unit of Inquiry into "How we share the planet", Our World of Plants, students in Class 2i created pictures out of fruits and vegetables. Read about their work on each student's blog.

Before the start of this lesson, children were invited to try and guess what they would be doing in art. They were given some clues; that they would not use pencils, paint or crayons; that there would be no need for paper, scissors or glue; that they might even get to nibble their work along the way....

I love the creative way in which everyone used the different vegetables and fruits. Who would have imagined fennel slices for a smiley mouth or celery leaves for hair? And who would have imagined what we would get to eat the following day for our lunch? Click on the link to ART SOUP......