Learning about Living and Nonliving Things


On Wednesday of this week the English Class second graders learned about the characteristics of living and nonliving things in the world around us. First they discussed what features make something a living organism. Then pupils took turns pulling a word out of a small bag and then determining if it was living or nonliving. Most of the words were easy to determine, but cloud and star were words that bore a little more thought. The pupils luckily remembered the list of characteristics of living and nonliving items and were able to determine that clouds and stars are nonliving.


For more practice, pupils sorted picture cards into living and nonliving items. After collecting pictures of living and nonliving things for their notebooks, pupils filled out a worksheet to put in their environmental studies notebooks.


Ms, Kati, the second grade teacher, did not help at all in giving directions for the worksheet. Pupils had to independently read the directions and follow the directions for the task. Homework for the day was to a colouring task related to living and nonliving things.

The Fifth Grade Goes Google



Since the beginning of this school year English Class fifth grade pupils and their teacher, Mr, Gregg, have been learning to use Chromebooks. They have learned many tips and advantages of using the Chrome browser, the versatility of the omnibox, as well as learning about the features of some of the Google applications, such as Google Drive, Google Docs and Google Slides. Pupils learned how effective a tool Google applications are for collaborative work.


This week pupils were introduced to Google Classroom where Mr. Gregg has started posting assignments in some subjects.  Pupils eagerly grasped the new learning tools and very quickly adapted the new information to their learning tasks.

The Annual School Peace Proclamation

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Yesterday, August 23rd, a proclamation of peace at school was declared on the island of Kirjurinluoto. All of the English Classes, along with the rest of the pupils from Cygnaeus School and a handful of other schools attended the event that is part of a tradition that originated with the Mannerheimin League of Child Welfare in Turku and dates back to 1990. The local school peace proclamation event on Kirjuri was organized by the town’s Well-being committee which is comprised of the town’s sports and leisure department, the local police department, social and health services, Winnova’s First Aid, rescue services and the Martha organization.peace proclamation

All sorts of physical activities were available for the children to try ranging from circus tricks, Sumo wrestling in air suits, elephant ball and lacrosse to first aid and dental hygiene activities.  A warm lunch of lasagna was served to all of the pupils on the island so that left some time for free play in the park. Older pupils enjoyed a concert by Youngheart.

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By the time the pupils returned to school, they were pretty tired. In fact, the second graders asked if they could spend the last few minutes at school before the school day ended by just relaxing and reading!


More of Shel Silverstein’s Poetry


English Class third graders continued their exploration of some of Shel Silverstein’s poetry. This week the children read the poems, Hinges, Whatif, Homework Machine, and Voices. Emphasis was on reading out loud with inflection. Pupils practiced reading the poems to themselves and then one another.


Pupils then discussed what each of the poems meant to them. Finally each pupil wrote the poem, Voices, in his/her language arts notebook. This is a good poem for recitation, as well.


Field Trip to the County Fair

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On Friday of this week English Class fourth graders, as well as other fourth graders from Cygnaeus School, were invited to visit the 3rd annual Satakunta County Fair (Satakunnan maaseutunäyttely), which is an agricultural exhibition for the area. Fourth graders study about agricultural produce and livestock in their environmental studies lessons this year so the field trip is an excellent way of getting hands on experience.

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The fair was held at the local trotting track and featured lots of animals to pet and admire. There were goats, sheep, calves, alpacas, piglets, ponies, horses and chickens, to name a few.

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The pupils thought that it was fun getting close up and personal with the animals. Farm machinery and tractors were also on display but could not compete with the draw of live animals.

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Carnival attractions rounded out the unforgettable experience of being at the fair for the children.

Fourth Graders Don Mr. Twit Beards

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English Class fourth graders, under the direction of their English teacher, Mr. Gregg, have started reading The Twits by Roald Dahl. It’s an excellent, fun book full of new adjectives and colourful language. The first few chapters introduce us to Mr. and Mrs. Twit, two brilliantly despicable characters who are constantly playing mean tricks on one another.

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Mr. Twit has a filthy beard full of dirty, disgusting things. The 4EN class  designed their own disgusting beards full of things we could describe together using rich, imaginative language. The book is a great way to start the year and get our creative language juices flowing!


Friendship and Diversity in Second Grade


English Class second graders practiced using their English first thing after the summer holidays by participating in a search for friends who had certain likes. What fun it was to circulate among classmates and ask questions!


Ms. Kati read two lovely books about accepting differences to the second graders.  Afterward the pupils engaged in a lively discussion about the books  and Ms. Kati was particularly pleased at how well the pupils used their English.

Another exercise was a partner activity of “Roll and Read”.  Partners took turns rolling a die and then read a sentence or short paragraph out loud to the other. (Practicing the text had been a homework assignment the day before.)