A Successful Summer Sale

Organizing a sale at any time of the school year is always a challenge for both the class, as well as the teacher. To have a sale during the last couple of weeks of school in particular requires a great deal of focus, coordination and teamwork. The English Class fifth graders and their teacher, Mr. Gregg, pulled it off with flying colours!

Large doses of imagination, marketing and entrepreneurship combined made this sale memorable. A recycling station was set up for used books and toys. Children could trade things they brought from home for objects of fair value, or lacking an item to trade, children could purchase an item at the price of 1 – 3 euros. Mr. Gregg supervised the the station to make sure that fair value was achieved.

In addition to the recycling station, fifth graders offered face and hand painting, a floor ball challenge, a secret obstacle course, among other things to Cygnaeus School pupils who attended the sale.

Funds raised from the sale will be applied to a class trip or study camp in the sixth grade.

First Graders and the Kindergarten Go on a Nature Walk

Spring has spring in Pori at long last! English Class first graders and kindergarten children, together with Ms. Leena and Ms. Eevaliisa, went to experience spring first hand at Polsanpolku on Kirjurinluoto. After completing their spring diaries, the first graders knew what signs of spring to look for. While Ms. Leena was pointing out wood anemones that were growing a bit offside the path to the two classes, a chaffinch alighted on a nearby branch close to the children and began to singing its song lustily. (You can hear a chaffinch singing here.) The pull-rope ferry wasn’t in operation yet, but that didn’t make very much difference to anyone because there was so much to see and hear anyway.

Back at school Ms. Leena used picture cards to review things that the children had seen and heard on their nature walk. It was a perfect spring field trip!

First Grade Spring Diaries

Spring was slow to come to Pori this year. However, English Class first graders have been keeping track of its advance by keeping journals of their observations in their very own Spring Diaries. From snow to rain, the first blades of green grass and buds on trees to bees, butterflies and ants, first graders recorded evidence of the changing seasons.  For some first graders and their families this record keeping of spring observations became a project that the whole family could enjoy.


The Spectrum and Light Studies

English Class fourth graders have been learning about light for the past few weeks. After making foldables about the properties of light and rainbow spectrum spinners, the pupils began to learn about the science of the light spectrum. They learned that light is defined by its wavelength and frequency and that light behaves something like waves. The visible spectrum is made up of light within a certain range and frequency. These are the colours that we see.

However some non-visible types of light waves are infrared rays, microwaves, radio waves and X-rays.  These type of  waves make up the electromagnetic spectrum and are greatly used in science and technology in our daily lives. The English Class fourth graders made an accordion foldable to record information about the electromagnetic spectrum under the guidance of their environmental studies teacher, Mr. Gregg.

Para School Day at Cygnaeus

Tuesday, May 23rd was Para School Day at Cygnaeus School. English Classes 3 – 6 were able to  participate in several para sport activities during the course of the day. The para sports activities were an extension of  Finnish Schools on the Move (Liikuva koulu) in which we have been participating all year long.

Rules for playing para games, as well as special equipment required to play the games, such as blindfolds, special jingle balls and a hot air ball, had been sent to our school specifically for using on Para School Day. Mr. Juho coordinated the time schedule of activities.

The photo collage above and below show a game called Goal Ball. There are three blindfolded players on each team. Each player has a designated area in which to play. Players kneel on their knees and may fall onto their sides, either to the left or the right, to prevent a goal.

A throw toward the goal is made from a kneeling position or by standing up and bowling the jingle ball. The judge or referee can only call “Play”, Out” and “Change” while the ball is in play.

Hot Air Ball is a game that is played by keeping their backsides on the floor. There is no scoring or point system. The goal is to simply keep the hot air ball afloat, and moving back and forth over the net from one court to another.

It was interesting to note what an atmosphere of bonhomie these para sports activities generated among the English Class pupils. In second grade great discussions took place spontaneously about how everyone can be physically active, as well as the importance of being physically active. It seems that our pupils were very familiar with several Paralympic events and even could name the athlete from Pori,  Leo Pekka Tähti, who has won five gold medals in the Paralympics.

English Class first and second graders will have an opportunity to try these para sports according to their own schedules next week or even next fall.




Finnish National Fishing Day 2017

Wednesday, May 17th was National Fishing Day in Finland. This year English Class first graders, third graders,  fifth and sixth graders, visited the banks of the Kokemäki River to learn about the different types of common fish and their anatomy. Each group had their own time slot. Pupils also had a chance to learn about fishing and then could actually fish with worms. Pupils were also able to taste some Baltic herring that was on offer.

The annual Fishing Day event is organized by the regional chapter of Finland’s Recreational Fishing Association in cooperation with the (Satakunnan Kalatalouskeskus) and other fish-related organizations. In addition to on-site activities, pupils and teachers were given lots of information in the form of booklets and brochures to explore back at school.  There was information on different types of bait, lures, fly fishing and ice fishing. There were directions for scaling and cleaning a fish, too. There was even a brochure that explained how to skin a burbot!

Cold temperatures and a brisk wind combined to make a wind chill factor that felt more like January than May this year but the interesting activities made almost everyone forget how cold it was.

Pupils were able to taste Baltic herring fillets that had been breaded lightly and then baked. For some pupils it was a bit of a concern to eat the herring bones and all, but actually , the herring bones are very soft and pliable so there is no choking hazard.

Below is a video of English Class fifth and sixth graders tasting herring, learning about fish anatomy and actually fishing.

“Sailing into Summer” Mural

For the last collective art mural of the school year English Class pupils created colourful sailboats on 15 cm by 15 cm backgrounds. In the photo collage above, English Class third graders are shown planning and creating their sailboats. First they sketched out a design and then they carefully chose materials with which to create their art work. The sailboats they created were all wonderfully unique and reflected all of the planning put into the project!

Every grade level of English Class pupils together created a fine fleet of ships and sloops, yawls and sailing dinghies by painting, tearing, crushing, dabbing, cutting and colouring paper and cardboard.

As with all of our school murals, the whole is greater than the sum of all of its parts. Don’t you agree?