Lots Going on!

The B-wing second floor of Cygnaeus School is a hive of busy, busy pupils these days. Even recesses are occasionally being sacrificed for the good of the cause.  Excitement is definitely mounting as pupils and teachers plan and work together. Readers of our blog might wonder what they are up to. Keep following our posts for the next couple of weeks to find out!

Gel Print Workshops

English Class pupils had a grand old time earlier last week at workshops learning how to make gel prints. The pupils were very quick learners and the guest director of the workshop, Ms. Sylvia, was bursting with pride at the wonderful pictures the pupils printed!

The subjects of templates and masks were Finnish national symbols (birch trees, lilies of the valley, bears, holly blue butterflies, perch and whooper swans) in honour of Finland’s centenary celebration on December 6th.

Colours were limited to shades of blue and white. Fifth grade peer pals carefully guided their first graders in using the proper terminology and equipment while gel printing. Other classes worked independently.

More than a couple of hundred amazing prints were made during the course of the workshops. These prints will be displayed on the walls in the second floor corridors after a few more details have been added to the cards. It was a great success!


Halloween Film Project Movies (Part 2)

Here are three more completed Halloween films made by English Class fourth, fifth and sixth grade pupils. Please refer back to the two earlier posts by scrolling down to get more background on this project.

Halloween Film Making Project

In the week leading up to Autumn Break, all of the English Class classes worked on a week long project of making a short Halloween movie. To start the project, the pupils watched a slide programme detailing the components of a story:  the characters, the setting, the plot, the challenge or conflict, and the resolution.  Fourth, fifth and sixth graders worked together in small mixed-aged groups as did first, second and third graders. Each group used a die to determine the setting, characters, challenge /conflict and time of the story, according to the guidelines pictured above.

Then the pupils worked together as a group to write the script of their Halloween movie.

On the second day of the project, after seeing a slide presentation about camera angles and camera shots, each group created a storyboard for their movie. Rather than using storyboard apps, storyboards were created by drawing and writing.

Each group included information about the camera angles and camera shots on their storyboards, along with notation about movement.

For the older pupils the third day of the project was devoted to creating props, masks and costumes.

Once done, groups began filming their productions. The pupils used the iMovie app on their iPads. It was gratifying to see watch them put what they had learned into action. Without exception, teachers were impressed with the work pupils did.

The first, second and third grade pupils used stick puppets and self-made background settings to actualize their movies. Lots of time and effort was put into the details.

The younger pupils paid careful attention to their scripts and storyboards. Their interest levels topped the charts!

Keep following the blog to see some of the completed, edited versions of the Halloween movies the English Class pupils made!


Star Talent Galore

English Class first and second graders are brimming with all sorts of talent! On Friday of last week English Class kindergarten pupils joined the first and second graders to enjoy the first Star Talent Show of the school year.

The variety of performances was amazing! There were jokes, singing and poetry performances, reading in Polish, a performance with a stuffed animal, different types of dancing, from ballet to street dance, magic tricks, video presentations of rowing and go-kart racing and musical instrument presentations.

The audience, comprised of English Class kindergarten pupils along with English Class first and second graders, was both very attentive as well as supportive. The overall atmosphere was so warm and positive that it will surely provide impetus for these budding performers to continue developing their talents.

Mandalas from Natural Materials

After learning what mandalas are, all of the English Class pupils from grades 1 – 6 went to the park on the island of Kirjurinluoto to put what they had learned into action.

Pupils worked together in small mixed-age groups. Because we were in a park, pupils brought colourful flowers and other materials with them from their own fields and home gardens. They could use materials they found lying on the ground at the park, but nothing could be picked.

Some groups made very meticulous mandalas. One group put together a nice, colourful mandala, but then a few crows came and picked off the berries and in doing so, disturbed the pattern of the leaves set out, which caused a bit of frustration.

That group set to creating another mandala without berries this time to tempt more crows.

The natural materials used by the children included chestnuts, acorns, rowan berries, flowers and petals, cones, mushrooms, pebbles, a great variety of leaves, feathers, reeds and reed tufts, lichen, moss, twigs and  rose hips.

Below are some of the mandalas completed by our English Class pupils.

School lunches always taste better outside picnic style. Today’s lunch was no exception! Many pupils went back for second helpings.

After lunch pupils used leftover materials to fill in a map form of Finland that Ms. Virpi drew on the ground. It was close to being completed when ominous clouds moved overhead. After quickly tidying up, pupils and their teachers started back toward school.

A sudden rain shower could not dampen anyone’s spirits! It was a great day for everyone involved!

Nature Scavenger Hunt

Today English Class first and and second graders joined forces to participate in a nature scavenger hunt at a nearby park. Second graders paired up with first graders and then set off to look for the listed items.

Once the children had found the specified objects, their challenge was to create a face using some of the things they had found. Below are more personable characters that the children created.

In addition to learning new vocabulary, the children had an opportunity to socialize and work cooperatively to create something unique from their found materials. It was an engaging learning activity from start to finish.