Musical Hoops Cooperative Style in Second Grade

Second grade teacher Ms. Leena and their English teacher, Ms. Sandra, helped English Class second graders learn to shift classroom focus from competition to cooperation by having pupils play an interesting game of musical hoops. While music played pupils danced around hoops laid out on the floor throughout the classroom. When the music stopped, pupils were directed to step into a hoop. After each break in music,one of the teachers removed a hoop. Pupils, however, were not eliminated. This challenged the children because there was a greater need to coordinate the activities of each pupil. The children realized  “we are all in this together” and the game became an increasingly cooperative activity of squeezing everyone in.

They quickly understood the importance of working together, friendship, and trust. The skills they developed include communication, empathy, listening, problem-solving and trusting others. As they celebrated the final phase of the game the second graders realized the power of cooperation.  Active pupil-involved process-based learning as mandated by the new Finnish national curriculum requires good cooperative skills.

After this exercise the children listened to Julia Donaldson’s story, A Squash and a Squeeze, which is a delightful story about space (or a lack of space) and the fact that everything is relative.




Autumn-themed Collaboration

English Class second graders and fifth graders worked together on Monday to create collaborative posters with an Autumn theme. The fifth graders skillfully guided the second graders in their work. Check out this video collage of their efforts.

Who Knew Coding Could Be Such Fun!!


English Class fourth graders have been focusing on their lessons, completing homework and overall behaving very well so they earned themselves a day of iPad use. Their teacher, Ms. Kati thought it would also be an opportunity for the pupils to play with a new app called ScratchJr. This app was designed for younger children but is a brilliant way to sample the concepts of coding. The only instructions Ms. Kati gave to the pupils was to play with the programme to get to know the functions of the blocks. The kids were off and running!

During the second lesson Ms. Kati challenged all of the pupils to create individual projects that had a beginning, an event or happening and a conclusion. One requisite was that scenes had to change. Without batting an eyelash all of the pupils set to the task resulting in remarkable stories. After two lessons the pupils knew how to code a cat that could sail, children playing football, a diving trip, sea creatures dancing, a trip to the forest, a wizard playing basketball and or changing naughty children into bugs!  When a problem or glitch cropped up, the pupils worked among themselves to work it out and were successful every single time. Come back to the blog tomorrow and we will try to show you some of their work.