STEAM Challenges at Fun Monday


English Class pupils attending Fun Monday this week participated in two STEAM challenges. STEAM stands for science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics. STEAM is mostly about creative problem-solving, solving hands-on challenges. The first challenge of the day was to construct a container that would protect a raw egg from breaking when it was dropped from a certain height. Working in four groups of three pupils each, the children discussed the materials at hand and possible solutions. When consensus had been reached they worked together to create the container.


Only one group was able to keep their raw egg intact. Lots of cushioning material inside and a soft covering for the outside of the container were attributed as being the reasons why this group’s egg did not break.


The second STEAM challenge was very engaging. The atmosphere was intense and at times breathing was almost forbidden! The task was to use disposable cups as well as large and small craft sticks to build the highest self-standing structure possible. However, the most difficult aspect of this challenge was that the entire structure had to balance on one Unifix cube, which is slightly more that 1 cm x 1 cm x 1 cm.

Lots of experimentation and some incredible group work resulted in a few inspired structures. The winning tower is pictured in the two photos at the bottom centre of the collage. The height was a grand 75 cm. The runner-up is shown in the top right photo of the collage.

First Grade Photo Orienteering


English Class first graders had fun practicing orienteering skills during their physical education lesson this past week. They went to Kirjurinluoto Island park to locate the pictured items that were preloaded on their iPads. They worked with a partner to find each pictured item. Then they took a photograph of one another showing the required item.


The weather was perfect for the outing and the first graders were mighty proud of themselves on their return trip to school, most having found most of the pictured items on their grids.

Designed Puppets on Parade


Earlier this fall there was a post on this blog  about how our English Class second graders designed and then were crafting puppets.   The puppets have been completed  by the second graders, with careful attention to detail, making sure that each finished product resembles the original design. The puppets are proudly on display in the classroom windows for both their makers, as well as visitors to the classroom, to enjoy.

The Numbers 1 and 2


English Class first graders have anchored the numbers one and two in many concrete ways. They’ve used ten frames, clocks, their fingers as well as identified all sorts of things that there are only one or two of. This makes numbers meaningful to the children. The pupils put a great deal of effort into their mathematics notebooks to present these number concepts clearly and neatly.

Learning Food in Finnish S2 Lessons


In their Finnish as a foreign language, S2 lessons, some English Class first graders continued the harvest theme that was started last week with our Tastes and Smells of Autumn harvest season theme day. Among other activities the children played a sandwich shop game to reinforce their Finnish language skills.

Awesome Internet Sites on Fun Monday


Over the weekend second grade teacher Ms. Anu encountered bear scat while out picking berries (upper left photo in the photo collage above.)  That inspired exploration of one of the several incredible Internet sites that some fortunate English Class pupils were able to enjoy on Fun Monday: Who Pooped? In addition to being entertaining this informative site taught us a lot! 

Pupils also explored the ingenious animated site, Draw a Stickman, where they practiced reading and following directions, as well as lots of funny effects of their drawing efforts. There was a brand new episode for those who were already familiar with the site.


On Fun Monday English Class pupils learned about the famous American abstract expressionist artist Jackson Pollock who began creating drip paintings in the 1940’s. The pupils visited the Jackson Pollock site to create their own “paintings” by moving and clicking a computer mouse. We even printed out a few of the very best creations as keepsakes. The last few minutes were free choice and the pupils played Minecraft and other fun computer games.

Drama Exercises in Sixth Grade


English Class sixth graders have been practicing various genres and presentation techniques in fast paced improvisation exercises with their Finnish teacher, Ms. Katri. The character roles, tempo, situations, and scenes literally change at the snap of fingers so there is simply no room for inhibitions.  It is an excellent way for the pupils to draw upon what is within, while at the same time forgetting to pay much attention as to how others perceive us.