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.

Signs of Spring

Spring arrived in all its glory almost overnight here in Pori. Ms. Tellervo took her English Class first grade class on a field trip to a nearby park so the pupils could use all of their senses to make notes of the many signs of spring. The first graders worked with a partner to work on their environmental studies notebooks.

The first graders heard birds chirping and buzzing bees. They saw blossoming flowers and budding trees. They smelled the fresh green grass and felt the warmth as they sat in the lovely spring sunshine.

The days of spring are here
Warm sunny days are near
Birds in trees, flowers and bees
The days of spring are here.

~ Author Unknown ~

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.

Learning About Space at Entry Level

English Class first and second graders, together with the kindergarten class, got together  on Tuesday of this week to learn about space and the solar system to which we belong. They read excerpts from the wonderful book by Mauri Kunnas called Kaikkien aikojen avaruuskirjaThe Out-Of-This-World Space Book.  Then they watched a short video about the sizes of stars and the planets in our solar system. The second graders continued their space studies with some hand-on work. They covered balloons using a papier-mâché technique that uses potato flour. Once the balloons have dried, the second graders will paint them to resemble planets.

Learning Parts of the Body

In yet another of their collaborative ventures, English Class first and second graders joined the English kindergarten class this week to work on learning parts of the body. Together they drew outlines of a body and then labeled the body parts, as well as major internal organs.

The children worked together smoothly and everyone was engaged in the experience.


Shrovetide is Sledging Day in Finland

Today, Shrove Tuesday, is called Laskiainen in Finland. Laskiainen marks the first of 40 days before Easter. Laskianen also takes into account pre-Christian tradtions of celebrating the middle of winter with winter sports and fun.  Riding down icy hills on sledges is very much part of the celebration of Laskiainen. Farm folk used to believe that the longer a sledge slid downhill, the longer the flax and grain would grow in the summer. So people practiced long and hard to get long sledge runs.

Today English Class first and second graders went to a nearby park to ensure that next summer’s crops grow tall. They slipped and slid on their sledges with great joy and abandon. Then they returned to school to enjoy traditional Sledging Day fare for their school lunch: pea soup followed by cocoa and a sweet bun.

Clay Heart Workshops

Over the past three weeks English Class pupils have been participating in clay workshops organized by Ms. Sylvia. The sixth graders learned about  three hand-building techniques using clay: the slab technique, the coil technique and the pinch pot technique. Then, using the slab technique the sixth graders created interesting textures on the clay they rolled out. They carefully constructed heart-shaped boxes and lids for the boxes.

It was heartening to watch the sixth graders work on their heart boxes. A few pupils had worked with clay before and they were ready and willing to share their know-how with their classmates. In the collage above you can see some of the heart boxes after they have been fired in the kiln.

The third graders also learned about clay hand-building techniques. They used the coil method to create coiled clay hearts. The third graders worked with great focus and concentration.

Our amazing English Class first graders outdid themselves with the intensity that they poured into their coiled clay hearts. The completed hearts were lovely.

English Class second graders also learned about clay hand-building techniques. They worked very independently and intently on their coiled hearts. It bears note that the second graders did an excellent job of  cleaning up after themselves. There was no evidence in the classroom that they had used heavily pigmented red clay!

Hopefully later their spring there will be time for the fourth and fifth graders to also experience a clay workshop. Check in with the blog after our winter break to see how the pupils finished their clay work after it was fired.