31 January 2008

We have been wondering about glass

We have been wondering about glass.

We know that glass can be breakable.

We know that when it breaks, it goes into sharp, dangerous jagged pieces.

We know that car windows are made of glass.

We wondered what would happen if the glass in a car window broke. Would it make sharp, dangerous, jagged pieces?

This is what Per found out:

The glass in car windows is laminated so that it doesn’t break into sharp, dangerous, jagged pieces. When it breaks, the pieces are small and not sharp, so people don’t get hurt by it!

We also noticed some other special glass in the school. One of the windows had thin metal wire inside the glass. We think this might be to make the window stronger so that it would not break so easily.

What other kinds of glass can you find out about?

..........continuing the story of The Iron Man

At the start of latest episode of The Iron Man, by Ted Hughes, the Iron Man had been living happily in the scrap metal yard, eating his favourite foods of spicy metal stoves and slurping up metal spaghetti chains.

And so, all was calm and peaceful. The farmers went about their work and the Iron man munched away to his heart's content.....that is, until the arrival from the night sky, of a beast most terrible, a space-bat-angel-dragon, the size of the whole of Australia,

who wanted nothing more than to eat living things, lots and lots of them (after all, with a body the size of Australia, can you imagine the size of his stomach?)
There was world-wide PANIC.....until the Iron man thought of a stupendous plan to save the world from the space-bat-angel-dragon.

Before we read on to find out what his plan was, we tried to think what we might have done. Here are some of our more bloodthirsty ideas:

Maybe the Iron Man will go up to the space-bat-angel-dragon while he is asleep and twist him up in iron chain, attach him to one of the iron poles and then swing him round and round, faster and faster. Then he will let him go and the space-bat-angel-dragon will fly up into the sky and never return.....

Maybe the Iron Man will tickle and tickle the space-bat-angel-dragon to make him fly away.....

Maybe the Iron Man will take scrap iron and make a sword with it and the use it to cut off the space-bat-angel-dragon's tail.....

Maybe the Iron Man will make an enormous boat; he will put the space-bat-angel-dragon in the boat and send him to Antarctica, where he will be frozen.....

Maybe the Iron Man will dig a gigantic hole for the space-bat-angel-dragon and then he will cover it with dirt.....

Maybe the Iron Man will grow bigger and bigger and bigger and fight the space-bat-angel-dragon and make him go away.....

Maybe the Iron Man will take a giant rock and throw it at the space-bat-angel-dragon.....

Maybe the Iron Man will hit the space-bat-angel-dragon with a piece of iron and squash him.....

Maybe the Iron Man will ask Hogarth for a knife and fork and he'll tap them together and then the space-bat-angel-dragon will follow him to a farm where he will eat all the animals. Then the Iron man will use the knife to cut the space-bat-angel-dragon.....

Maybe the Iron Man will cut the space-bat-angel-dragon's wings with a cutter so he will not be able to fly any more.....

Maybe the Iron Man will take some fire and throw it and the space-bat-angel-dragon will die but the Iron Man will not.....

Well maybe one of these ideas is the right one.....but I guess we'll have to wait and see what happens in the final.....gripping.....episode.....

I, for one, can hardly wait!

Glass, Plastic, Wood, Metal

We have been doing some more research into our four materials:
glass, plastic, wood and metal.
We tried to find out at least five facts about each.

We now know that glass:
  • is a material made by humans
  • is made by heating sand (just like the sand on the beach) and chemicals together
  • is made in factories
  • is used to make marbles
  • lets light through
  • can be transparent or opaque
  • is used to make mirrors
  • does not stick to a magnet
  • feels smooth and cold

We now know that plastic:

  • is a material made by humans
  • can be made into many different things
  • is made in factories
  • can be very soft
  • is made from oil which is found under the ground in rocks, pumped out using water and sent in pipes to a refinery
  • does not stick to a magnet
  • can last for ever

We now know that wood:

  • is a natural material
  • burns
  • is used for furniture
  • can be hard or soft
  • can be heavy or light
  • has bark which feels rough
  • needs to dry out before it is used
  • does not stick to a magnet

We now know that metal:

  • can be hard and shiny
  • can feel cold
  • can be found in rocks
  • can be magnetic
  • can be used to make nail scissors and spoons
  • is a natural material
  • can be made by humans
  • comes in different types like gold and silver

What else can you find out about glass, plastic, wood or metal?

25 January 2008

Take a look at our Iron Men

I expect you remember that we are reading 'The Iron Man' by Ted Hughes
I expect you also remember that we had a go at making our own 'Iron Men'
Well, here they are.....

If you like what you see, why not pay someone a compliment?

Investigating the properties of plastic - in a roundabout way!

We have been taking a closer look at plastic. We already know that there are a LOT of things that are made out of plastic. We decided to go on a plastic hunt to see what we could collect; we planned to use it in our art lesson......

By the time Thursday came around, we had a HUGE plastic sack full of goodies; and as luck would have it, for lunch that day we had yoghurt, which came in plastic pots!

First we tipped all the different plastic things onto the carpet and took a careful look at them, keeping in mind their different properties. Then we decided what we wanted to make and chose the things that had the properties we needed. Finally we set to work - with rolls and rolls of plastic sticky tape.

Look what happened when we were talking about it afterwards!

Tanmay described what he made:
This is a robot and its eyes are long. The head is made out of plastic knives and its tummy is made of a plastic milk bottle.

‘I like your robot because he has black eyes,’ said Azri.

Then Azri described what he made:
This is an animal that goes under the sea. I used a plastic knife for his hair and he has a tiny tail made from a plastic lid.

‘I like what you have used on it,’ said Per.

Then Per described what he made:
This is a parachute and it is made out of a plastic bottle and three plastic bags.

‘I like the bottom part of the parachute,’ said Justin.

Then Justin and Matthew described what they made:
This is like everybody and it’s someone that walks with hair behind him. It’s made from plastic bottles and lids and straws.

‘I like the way you made the hair,’ said Matthew.

Then Matthew and Chris described what they made:
We made a rocket and it has stands and boosters and also it has a way that they can get out. Two of the boosters are made out of plastic straws and the big booster is made out of a plastic cup and the stands are made out of plastic yoghurt pots.

‘Well I like the way you put the boosters on,’ said Rekik.

Then Rekik described what he made:
Well I put a booster there and then I put plastic knives on the rocket. It’s made out of plastic.

‘I like the way you made the booster,’ said Giulia.

Then Giulia described what she made:
I made a rocket and it is made out of plastic. It has 4 windows made out of plastic. I put some fire on it. I used the red plastic net from oranges.

‘I like the way you put the fire on it,’ said Fiona.

Then Fiona described what she made:
I made a fairy and she is mostly made out of plastic knives. Her eyes are made out of plastic straws and her wings are made out of plastic knives.

‘I like her face,’ said Isabella.

Then Isabella described what she made:
I made a boat and it’s made out of plastic. I used a plastic knife to make the paddles.

‘I like the way you used the knives,’ said Patricia.

Then Patricia described what she made:
I made this snail and it is made out of plastic ribbon for the tail and the head and I used plastic bottle tops for his shell.

‘I like the way you did the shell,’ said Evie.

Then Evie described what she made:
I made a rocket and it has a yellow window made out of a plastic lid and the plastic boosters have fire made from three plastic straws.

‘I like the way you made the boosters,’ said Danah.

Then Danah described what she made:
This is a puppet girl and she’s mostly made out of plastic. Her hair is made out of a plastic label and her tee-shirt and skirt is made out of a plastic bag.

‘I like the way that you made her hair,’ said Sofia.

Then Sofia described what she made:
This is a flute. It’s made of plastic straws. I asked Danah to give me a piece.

‘I like how you made the bits for your fingers,’ said Maya.

Then Maya described what she made:
This is a crocodile and I made it and first I took this plastic grape box and then I put this plastic yellow straw and then I attached it to a parachute.

‘I like how you did the body,’ said Michelle.

Then Michelle described what she made:
This is a girl and it is made out of plastic and her hair is made of plastic ribbon.

‘I like the way you made it,’ said Swati.

Then Swati described what she made:
I made this and the first thing that I did, I put a plastic yoghurt bottle over here and then I put a plastic straw inside it and then I put sellotape over it.

‘I like the bottle,’ said Naoya.

Then Naoya described what he made:
This is a rocket. I made it out of a plastic yoghurt bottle.

‘I like your rocket,’ said Umar.

Then Umar described what he made:
I made a rocket with fire down here. I made it with plastic bottles and a very long pointy part.

‘I like your rocket,’ said Vaishnavi.

Then Vaishnavi described what she made:
This is a telephone. This is made out of plastic. I used plastic knives and plastic bottles and plastic straws and a plastic label.

‘I saw the same pictures in a cartoon and I laughed and laughed. I like your telephone,’ said Tanmay.

Then Tanmay described what he made:
This is a robot and its eyes are long. The head is made out of plastic knives and its tummy is made of a plastic milk bottle..........

17 January 2008

Sorting Our Shoes in Maths

Everybody should take off one shoe (no, it doesn't matter which one!)
Put it into the centre of the circle.
Now look carefully at all the shoes. What do you notice?

We wondered....how can we sort the shoes?

Here are some of the ways we tried. We sorted them:

By colour
By whether they are the left or the right shoe
By whether they have a tongue or not
By whether they are hard or soft

Look at these shoes. How do you think they have been sorted?

Hint..........what is our current Unit of Inquiry?

The Iron Man

We have begun reading 'The Iron Man' by Ted Hughes

The Iron Man fell off the cliff and broke into pieces. However, he was able to put himself together again; apart from his ear, which had been found by seagulls and put in their nest. We think he was looking for his missing ear when he walked down, down, down into the sea again and disappeared, with his eyes flashing.

In today's episode, the Iron Man came back. Hogarth spotted him back on the edge of the cliff when he was doing some fishing. Of course he was scared and he ran back home. He told his father what he had seen.

Now, if you told your father that you had seen an Iron Man as big as a house with feet the size of a single bed, what would he have said? But Hogarth's father believed him! He believed him because he had seen the evidence.....

The evidence was a tractor in the yard that had been BITTEN in half! There were teeth marks to prove it. There was other evidence too; chewed up diggers and bulldozers, a half-eaten bicycle wheel and a piece of a mud-guard.

All the farmers from round about decided to make a trap for the Iron Man. And this is what they did.....They dug a huge hole, as deep as three trees with steep sides. They covered it with branches and straw and then earth, so that it looked just like a ploughed field. On the far side of the trap they placed the bait. This was a rusty (but tasty looking) lorry. They hoped the Iron Man would be tricked and fall into the trap on his way to eat the bait, but so far, he has not reappeared.....and we have to wait for the next exciting episode to find out what happens next.
But in the meantime, we got thinking about the things that the Iron Man might have enjoyed for his supper. We know that he likes things made from IRON and STEEL (which are both metal).

In art we made our own Iron Man. We sketched him on paper first. Then we looked at the different shapes we had drawn; we saw squares, rectangles, semi-circles. We cut out the shapes we wanted to use for the body parts from metal foil and used other metal things for his eyes, ears and hands. We used paper clips, thumb tacks and staples and we even provided him with tasty metal snacks, in case he got hungry. But the best fun of all was searching through Momo's bucket of screws, nails and rivets to see what else we could find that might be useful.......................

Take a look at the process in our slide-show.

11 January 2008

Meet the Wooden Tops!

What is it like? - Wood

First we collected different examples of wood products; we found toothpicks, match-sticks and sawdust. What other things did we find?

We looked carefully at the properties of the things in our collection so that we could choose what would be best to make our faces.
We found things that were:
Rigid Brittle Hard Flexible Shiny Dull Soft Rough Smooth

Most of us used flexible cane to make the shape of the face. Some of us used lolly-sticks to make the eyes. Some people made eyebrows from pencil sharpenings. What have we used for the hair?

What would you have used? Why?

What is it like?

For our four materials: glass, plastic, wood and metal, we asked ourselves the question, 'What is it like?'

We wondered:
'Is it hard or soft?'
'Is it strong or weak?'
'Is it heavy or light?'
'Is it shiny or dull?'
'Is it breakable?'
'Is it stretchy?'
'Is it reflective?'
We learned some new vocabulary along the way:
'Is it flexible or rigid?'
'Is it transparent, or opaque; is it translucent?'

We had a few surprises along the way: glass can be both strong and weak; wood can be either heavy or light; metal can be shiny or dull and plastic can be transparent, opaque or translucent.

Below is a VoiceThread of some of our questions. Click on this link to see a larger version.

New Year; New Unit

We have just begun our third unit of inquiry on materials. Our central idea is that the world is made up of different materials which have different uses.

We began by asking the question 'What is a material?' and decided that materials are what things are made of, although there was a bit of confusion about the word when it is applied to fabric.

Once we had agreed on our definition, we had a brainstorming session; to think of as many different materials as possible - and we came up with a pretty impressive list including: glass, plastic, wood, metal, paper, leather, silk, iron, clay, stone.......and as we learn more during the unit, we will add to it! Every now and then we reminded ourselves of our definition, by asking the question, 'Can things be made from this?' or by thinking of something and asking, 'What is it made of?'

Then we split up into 4 groups, with each group choosing one material which they would take a closer look at; these were glass, plastic, wood and metal.

We hunted through magazines to find as many different things made from our material. We cut these out and used them to make a collage in the shape of a wine glass; a wooden boat; a metal can; a plastic carrier bag.

We went on a 'treasure hunt' with a digital camera, in and around the school and made a collection of photographs of our materials. We spotted a glass fish tank; a wooden train set; the metal school bell; a plastic sand tray.

We brought in treasures from home to share at school. Giulia shared a metal vase and a glass bead; Sofia brought in a black glass ring; Patricia showed us a plastic toy cat; Matthew found a plastic toy inside his snack.