A Class Trip in the Treetops

English Class third graders visited Huikea Adventure Park on Monday of this week. “Huikea” translates to English as incomparable and that was certainly what the experience was for our third graders! Many of the pupils were a bit anxious about the challenges of being up so high, but without exception the children overcame their fears. By the end of the day they were as at comfortable in the treetops as monkeys are!

The adventure park is designed to compliment the beautiful woodland setting near the sandy beach of Yyteri.  Several high rope courses, varying in degrees of difficulty, provide challenges for crossing swaying bridges, tightrope walking, crawling, balancing and more. Safety is of paramount importance at the park.

Twin ladders, Indiana Jones bridges and zip lines are part of the rope courses. The park also offers additional experiences such as the giant Fortuna game shown on the right in the photo collage below and a Pumptrack for scooters of BMX-bikes.

All in all, weather-wise and otherwise, it was a perfect day. The third graders were challenged both mentally and physically at the park. At the end of the day they returned home feeling like they were on top of the world. Now if that isn’t a successful class trip, what is?!

 

 

Planet Presentations by Fourth Graders

Last Wednesday the English Class fourth graders presented Google slide presentations about the planets of the solar system to English Class first and second graders. Working in small groups the fourth graders had researched a planet and then prepared their presentations on their Chromebooks.

The first and second graders were very attentive during the presentations. English Class second graders have been studying space and the solar system in their environmental studies lessons for a while now so this was the perfect end to their unit of study.

Math Fitness in First Grade

English Class first graders revised the mathematics facts they have learned throughout the school year in their physical education lesson.  Teams competed to race from one end of the gym to fetch a fact card. Then they ran full speed back to place the card on the right answer. They also did a revision math worksheet by completing three expressions, and then completing a physical activity. A different physical activity followed the next three calculations until the paper was completed. It goes without saying that everyone had loads of fun!

Heureka Science Centre in an All Day Field Trip

In a time honoured tradition English Class fifth graders, together with the rest of the fifth graders at Cygnaeus School, headed for the Heureka Science Centre in Vantaa early one morning this week.  “Play is the highest form of research,” words originally uttered by Albert Einstein, greeted the pupils on banners when they arrived at the centre. These  words truly took on life of their own during the course of the day as pupils participated in exhibits, did hands-on experiments and explored the fascinating exhibits throughout the centre.

The permanent main exhibition in Cylinder Hall never fails to engage the interest of visitors.  There are all sorts of interactive exhibits that demonstrate the laws of motion, simple machines, laws of buoyancy and laws of physics relating to light and electricity.

Favourite exhibits in the main exhibition include the Foucault Pendulum and the tightrope bicycle seen in the video clip above where one of our fifth graders pedals along the tightrope.

In addition to exploring the main exhibition, the fifth graders observed trained rats playing basketball in laboratory conditions. While the rats focused on their game, an intendent told the audience how the rats are trained and about rats in general.

Some English Class fifth graders even made their own bioplastic, which is a plastic that is made from renewable biomass sources, such as vegetable fats and oils, corn starch, or microbiota. Bioplastic can be made from agricultural by-products and also from used plastic bottles and other containers using microorganisms, according to Wikipedia. Some pupils immortalized their own faces on a coin and learned about the production of money and its qualitative characteristics. In the afternoon the fifth graders watched an informative film in the planetarium about the desperate plight of pandas.

 The relatively new exhibition called Viral!! had all kinds of infectious stuff that pupils could relate to, from common viruses to demonstrations, to social memes -and even ideas. Viral phenomena are everywhere! What is going to catch on next?

Before going home some pupils found their way to Science Park Galilei which is outside the Heureka Centre. There, too, all sorts of things can be deduced which playing and investigating. It was a phenomenally fun-filled school day, chock full of rich learning experiences. The English Class fifth graders and their teacher, Ms. Virpi, want to take this opportunity to thank Cygnaeus School’s Parents Association who worked hard to sponsor this annual activity for our school’s fifth graders.

 

 

 

Spring Litter Clean up

 

It is a sure sign of spring when English Class pupils, armed with gloves and trash bags, spread out in the general neighbourhood of our school. Recently English Class fourth and fifth graders demonstrated active citizenship by picking up trash litter that had accumulated over the winter months.

Besides being a great opportunity to get exercise and fresh air, picking up litter makes volunteers feel productive. It also sends a message to the community that we care.

Trash litter on the ground is an eyesore. Besides being unsightly, it can also pose danger to wildlife and young children.  Let’s keep our environment litter free and beautiful.

 

Space Studies Continue

Last week English Class first and second graders continued their studies of space by listening to more of Mauri Kunnas’ book, Kaikkien aikojen avaruuskirja/The Out-Of-This-World Space Book. Pupils also used their iPads to research the appearance and colours of the planets and sun in our solar system.

On a sunny spring day the pupils spent time outdoors on the playground drawing with chalk their versions of what creatures from outer space would look like. Some fanciful multi-headed aliens cropped up on the asphalt.

The second graders worked on replicating the planets of the solar system on the papier maché planet balls they made last week. The space theme lends itself to other creative forms of self expression as well.

The 13th Annual Spring Run

Weather was perfect for running this Friday when English Class pupils participated in their annual Sponsored Spring Run.

spring run -2018 c

Many parents and grandparents turned out to cheer and encourage the runners on as they ran around Cygnaeus School. Our English Class kindergarten formed a wonderful group of vocal cheerleaders!

The purpose of the Spring Run, running laps around the school, is for the kids to raise funds for their own class. Before the day of the actual run the pupils collected sponsors: neighbours, family and friends, who pledged to donate anything from 20 cents to a euro for each lap run around Cygnaeus School. Once all the pledges have been collected after the Spring Run, the class together decides how to use the collected funds. Some classes use the funds toward a class trip. Others purchase special supplies, or share a special experience like going to an adventure centre or the theatre.

It is always a joy to see the positive energy unleashed when the mass of English Class pupils begin running around the school. It is so heartening to hear them supporting one another, calling out encouragement and kind words. The Spring Run brings out more than the obvious benefits of class fundraising. It involves goal setting, pushing past physical limits,  camaraderie, team spirit, empathy, pride, and grit. It is a tradition of which we are very proud.