Getting Prepared for Halloween

On Monday of this week English Class first and second graders learned a little bit about the history of Halloween together with some Halloween vocabulary words. The children also learned that similar celebrations are held throughout the world. After watching a couple of short video clips, the children set to work crafting their own haunted houses.

The project involved tracing around a pattern and then cutting out the house from folded black paper. Windows, doors and decorations were added to taste after the folded house was glued together along one edge.

Once the houses were completed to their satisfaction the children made tall ghosts from lightweight cardboard. Each ghost was then inserted between the two parts of the folded haunted house so that it could be moved to pop up here and there, accompanied by spooky ghost sounds.

The haunted houses will reside on the windows of the first and second grade classrooms until Halloween. They look “spooktacularly” cool!

Seven Brothers for Aleksis Kivi Day

October 10th is the day that Finnish author Aleksis Kivi is honoured. English Class kindergarten pupils, together with English Class first and second graders worked together in small mixed age groups to craft the characters in Kivi’s most famous work, Seven Brothers.  The  seven Jukola brothers were: the stubborn oldest brother, Juhani,  twins Aapo and Tuomas, the fairly religious brother Simeoni, twins Lauri and Timo, as well as the clever young brother, Eero. Seven Brothers was the first Finnish novel to capture the hearts of  common people for the reason that it was written in Finnish and not in Swedish. The escapades of the roudy seven bumpkin brothers still entertains people today.

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.

Harvest Workshop

English Class kindergarten children joined English Class first and second graders in an environmental studies workshop this week. They have been learning about harvest time herbs and vegetables.

Working in small mixed-age groups the children identified particular herbs and vegetables like leek, radish, dill, parsnip, swede, cabbage and beetroot. Some veggies posed a challenge to identify, but luckily there was also more standard fare, like potatoes!

Math Stations in First Grade

English Class first graders are shown in the collage above working at various math station set up throughout their classroom. Some of the stations were designed to practice making patterns, to make number comparisons, and to learn basic number constructs and operations. Each station encourages differentiated instruction and fosters the engagement of the pupils in the classroom.

Learning stations offer multiple ways to learn and understand math concepts. They expose pupils to a variety of strategies and choices that address many learners’ needs. While pupils are engaged in purposeful learning activities, their teacher, Ms. Tellervo, has an opportunity to work individually or with small, flexible groups to better meet the individual needs of her pupils.

First Grade is Blooming with Good Manners

English Class first graders are blooming with good manners.  The first graders listened to their English teacher, Mr. Gregg, read them the classic story, The Berenstain Bears Forget their Manners,  where Mama Bear initiates a politeness plan for the Berenstein Bear family. They have been learning about being friendly and polite in their environmental studies and English lessons. During an art lesson the children worked in their table groups to prepare lovely flowers to remind them of basic good manners. They traced around their own hands and then painted the hands and cut them out to create colourful petals for their flowers.

The result is a lovely classroom display of blooms.

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!