Thursday, 26 March 2015

Impact of buildings and structures on the environment

This week we have been busy analyzing the impact of buildings and structures on the environment. We did this using De bono's six thinking hats.

Post understanding the role of each hat we applied them and came up with these questions -

Using the questions to guide our thinking....

We enjoyed sharing our projects with Grade 2 .  

We had a Skype interview with Mr. Patel who helped us understand that the key to a strong structure is in laying an extremely strong foundation. Thank you Grade 2 and Ms. Siya for inviting us to this interview.

The job of the masons is not as simple as it looks is something we discovered when we tried to build our own wall. Thank you Ms. Siya for organizing this activity for us. We truly enjoyed it.

In Language, we have been looking at the beginning, middle and end in stories.

In Math, we continued to work on the concept of weight. We tried to find out how much each cube weighed using the pan balance.

Enjoy the spring break!!!!!!

Monday, 23 March 2015

Going further

What an explorative week!!!!

This week we have been exploring how humans around the world have adapted to the climate, the natural environment and the available materials. We looked at how humans all over the world have cleverly created different structures and buildings to take advantage of opportunities and/or overcome problems.

Tree house

House of ice

Sky scrapper

House on stilts
brick house

Mud house
Stay tuned for our presentation to the second graders about all that we learnt and discovered. 

We had a guest speaker Mr. Mustafa, an architect by profession. He taught us some very interesting things about buildings and structures. He taught us about load bearing columns/beams and many other interesting pieces of information.We are so thankful to him to remove time for us and share such interesting things about building buildings.

In Math, we began with a challenge to build an enclosed area with 16 playing cards that has the biggest area inside. The cards had to be touching each other, if only just by a little and they must be on their edges somehow, not just flat on the table.

We began understanding about weight by investigating - How good are our senses at comparing the weight of cubes?

First we were challenged to order four cubes by felt weight.

Post that we were given all nine cube to put in order by felt weight.

We realized that 'felt weight' is subjective - after all, there were disagreements about our orderings. We also saw that as the weights of objects got closer, it got harder to distinguish them by touch.

However we still didn't know how accurate were our orderings. So we decided to use pan
scale to find out.

We recorded our answers in a tabular format.

Next week we will take this investigation further.

We learnt about different signs and symbols from our first graders. It was so much fun to sing an entire song using just sign language. Thank you Ms. Jessica and Grade 1. We truly enjoyed it!!!!!

Sunday, 15 March 2015

Considerations to take into account when building a structure

We began this week with a challenge. We had to build the tallest free standing structure using just spaghetti sticks and marshmallows. The time frame to complete the task was 30 minutes.

Before we took on the massive challenge we looked at some structures from around the world.

It wasn't as easy as it sounds but..... we finally DID it!!!!

Once we had built our free standing structure we did some self reflection.

Post the reflection, we realized what worked and what didn't work . So we set out on redoing the same task. This time we replaced the marsh mallows with clay.

Take a look at how we did the second time.

We were so proud of our structures the second time around that we decided to test the stability and strength of our structures. 

We didn't have 1 or 2 BUT 3 big bad wolves huffing and puffing at our structures .....take a look -

In Language, we have been looking at elements of the story. We studied the settings in stories more closely.

In Math, we have been learning to measure to the nearest centimeter and inch. 

We measured our towers to see which one was the tallest.

We worked on our dream house project. We sketched out our home and then counted the total area we would need to build the same.

Friday, 6 March 2015

How the world works!!!!

This week we began our 5th Unit of Inquiry under the theme - How the World Works. We are going to be investigating about - 'The design of buildings and structures is dependent upon environmental factors, human ingenuity, and available materials.'

We began the unit with a provocation:

We came to class and found a HUGE pile of different construction materials in the room- cardboard, newspaper, boxes, sticky tape, glue, plastic wrap, play dough, chopsticks, tooth picks, foam, toilet rolls, fabric, string, etc.- 

We went crazy with them and let our creative juices flow to make something out of the waste.

At each step we kept reflecting on the process we were going through while building.
Once we were done we sat back and looked at all our reflections and tried to put them in groups. 

We realized that these were things that architects did. We decided to brainstorm on what materials architects use and how.

We decided to put our structures to test. we tested to see if they could withstand ....air, weight and water. 

Take a look at what happened - 

Taking into consideration all that we had been doing over the past days we tried to guess what our new UOI is going to be about.

It was time to unfold the central idea. We looked at the central idea and looked up the dictionary for words we didn't know about. 

We went for a walk outside to see what were the materials available to build buildings and structures around us.

We came back and made a collage from magazines and newspapers and looked at the properties of these materials. 

We then put our thoughts and wondering on a See/Think/Wonder chart

"What I THINK I know/what I WANT to know/HOW I can find out/what I LEARNED"

In Language, we are looking at elements of a story.

This week we celebrated Dr Seuss's birthday. We read several of his books and researched a few facts about him. 

This week we also had a fun assembly by Grades 1 and 5 who made a few of the characters  from the world of Dr Seuss come alive.Thank you Ms. Ceclia and Ms. Jessica for helping them put together such an informative assembly.

In  Math, we are learning about measurement. We began by learning about non standardized units of measurement.

We also learnt about standardized units of measurements like centimeter, meter and kilometer.

What a colorful way to end the week.
Thank you Grade 1 and Ms. Jessica for arranging this celebration for all of us. We thoroughly enjoyed it.