Fired Clay Hearts

English Class sixth graders used small amounts of tempera paint mixed  together with white chalk paint to finish their fired clay heart boxes. The lovely textures and details of the boxes really popped with the application of the chalky pastel paint mixture. The next step will be to apply a transparent polish to seal the surface of the boxes.

English Class third graders used the same treatment for finishing their coiled hearts. After polish has been applied to seal the hearts, the third graders will make wire and glass bead hangers for their hearts. The hearts will be completed after the winter break which is during week 8. Check in with us here on the blog to see the completed hearts.

Showers of Sweets

Yesterday morning a menagerie of happy costumed figures passed through the corridors of our school showering Cygnaeus School pupils with sweets. Once again upper secondary pupils from our neighbouring school, PSYL, celebrated the end of  their secondary school lessons with “penkkarit”.  This day marks the beginning of an independent study period lasting a few weeks before matriculation exams begin. We wish all of the candidates for matriculated graduation all the best!

Valentines Day Heart Animals

After the Valentine’s Day morning assembly English Class pupils combined classes and worked together for a couple of lessons to create imaginary animals from hearts they had pre-cut from bits of scrap paper. Third graders and sixth graders are shown working in the collage above.

Pupils made all sorts of creatures, including whales, sea turtles, caterpillars and bees.

There were foxes, owls, skunks, raccoons, monkeys and rabbits.

 There were peacocks, pigs, pandas, a shark and whales.

There were rabbits, dogs, reindeer, butterflies, penguins, mice and ladybirds.

There were cats, elephants, a dinosaur, fish, rabbits and chicks. But most of all, there was lots and lots of creativity and camaraderie. You couldn’t ask for anything better on Valentine’s Day!

Valentine Day Assembly

This morning at 10 o’clock English Class fifth graders held an assembly for the rest of the English Classes to enjoy. Their teacher , Ms. Virpi, was absent today, but the fifth graders carried off their assembly remarkably well, especially considering all of the distractions that were going on at the same time. (Class 6A was holding their Valentines Day sale at the same time so there was a lot of background noise and children and adults coming and going.) Olivia and Veikko started the programme by giving a short talk on Valentine’s Day and its history.

The fifth grade boys did an amazingly well-rehearsed homage to Michael Jackson’s Annie, Are You Okay?  Their moon-walking was impressive!

The fifth grade girls had choreographed a fun cheerleading routine for the assembly. The collaboration between the girls really showed when they did their lifts. It was a great way to begin our day of Valentine celebrations. All of the fifth graders did themselves really proud!

Shrovetide is Sledging Day in Finland

Today, Shrove Tuesday, is called Laskiainen in Finland. Laskiainen marks the first of 40 days before Easter. Laskianen also takes into account pre-Christian tradtions of celebrating the middle of winter with winter sports and fun.  Riding down icy hills on sledges is very much part of the celebration of Laskiainen. Farm folk used to believe that the longer a sledge slid downhill, the longer the flax and grain would grow in the summer. So people practiced long and hard to get long sledge runs.

Today English Class first and second graders went to a nearby park to ensure that next summer’s crops grow tall. They slipped and slid on their sledges with great joy and abandon. Then they returned to school to enjoy traditional Sledging Day fare for their school lunch: pea soup followed by cocoa and a sweet bun.

Valentine Day Cards

The collage above shows cheery Valentine cards that English Class second graders made with coloured paper and paper punches. Each second grader signed his or her own card  using only their first names. Every other class at Cygnaeus School is also making cards, one per pupil. The school’s student council members will then mix all of these cards together and then deliver one Valentine to every single pupil in the school. What happens after that is a secret!

Clay Heart Workshops

Over the past three weeks English Class pupils have been participating in clay workshops organized by Ms. Sylvia. The sixth graders learned about  three hand-building techniques using clay: the slab technique, the coil technique and the pinch pot technique. Then, using the slab technique the sixth graders created interesting textures on the clay they rolled out. They carefully constructed heart-shaped boxes and lids for the boxes.

It was heartening to watch the sixth graders work on their heart boxes. A few pupils had worked with clay before and they were ready and willing to share their know-how with their classmates. In the collage above you can see some of the heart boxes after they have been fired in the kiln.

The third graders also learned about clay hand-building techniques. They used the coil method to create coiled clay hearts. The third graders worked with great focus and concentration.

Our amazing English Class first graders outdid themselves with the intensity that they poured into their coiled clay hearts. The completed hearts were lovely.

English Class second graders also learned about clay hand-building techniques. They worked very independently and intently on their coiled hearts. It bears note that the second graders did an excellent job of  cleaning up after themselves. There was no evidence in the classroom that they had used heavily pigmented red clay!

Hopefully later their spring there will be time for the fourth and fifth graders to also experience a clay workshop. Check in with the blog after our winter break to see how the pupils finished their clay work after it was fired.