Hopes, Goals and Expectations in Fourth Grade

On Monday morning English Class fourth graders participated  in an exercise where they discussed with a partner their hopes, goals and expectations for this 2017-18 school year.

Their teacher, Ms. Anu, had written discussion topics on the chalkboard for the pupils to share. After the discussions, each pair summarized their thoughts on a post-it and placed it under the given topic.

The first topic of discussion was, What do you hope to learn in grade 4 this year?  The pupils engaged in the discussions very earnestly. Some of the resulting post-it responses included -learn more about our country, -learn more religion, -learn new languages, -learn French/German, -learn to use the new Chromebook laptops, -learn more multiplication and -learn how to use big numbers. The fourth graders acknowledged their own responsibility for success with the following discussion topic, What will you need to do in order to be successful this year?

After intense discussions on the topic of having a smoothly run classroom, the fourth graders concluded that they needed to follow school rules and class rules, moderate their behaviour, teamwork, refrain from shouting, work hard and do homework, listen to their teacher, as well as be calm, quiet and supportive of one another.

The discussion topic, What does your teacher need to do in order to make this year successful?, the children concluded that the teacher needs to be helpful and supportive so they can learn. She also needs to guide them to behave well and be more polite. One pair even suggested that the teacher help some of the class members with their handwriting.

If the fourth graders and their teacher are successful at implementing these hopes, goals and expectations, it is going to be an awesome school year!




Back to School

School in Pori started on Thursday, August 10th this year. Pupils were happy and excited for all sorts of reasons. First graders were naturally excited because they were stepping into their roles as primary school pupils. Other pupils were excited to see their friends again and see who their teacher would be this year. English Class fourth graders were happy to see their beloved teacher, Ms. Anu, waiting to greet them at their classroom door.

Ms. Anu had prepared exercises to help the fourth graders set the tone of the school year in a friendly, positive way. A positive learning environment is one in which everyone feels accepted for their likes and dislikes, for their similarities and their diversities.  When pupils feel accepted and respected by all, then learning can easily become the main objective.

The Spectrum and Light Studies

English Class fourth graders have been learning about light for the past few weeks. After making foldables about the properties of light and rainbow spectrum spinners, the pupils began to learn about the science of the light spectrum. They learned that light is defined by its wavelength and frequency and that light behaves something like waves. The visible spectrum is made up of light within a certain range and frequency. These are the colours that we see.

However some non-visible types of light waves are infrared rays, microwaves, radio waves and X-rays.  These type of  waves make up the electromagnetic spectrum and are greatly used in science and technology in our daily lives. The English Class fourth graders made an accordion foldable to record information about the electromagnetic spectrum under the guidance of their environmental studies teacher, Mr. Gregg.

Para School Day at Cygnaeus

Tuesday, May 23rd was Para School Day at Cygnaeus School. English Classes 3 – 6 were able to  participate in several para sport activities during the course of the day. The para sports activities were an extension of  Finnish Schools on the Move (Liikuva koulu) in which we have been participating all year long.

Rules for playing para games, as well as special equipment required to play the games, such as blindfolds, special jingle balls and a hot air ball, had been sent to our school specifically for using on Para School Day. Mr. Juho coordinated the time schedule of activities.

The photo collage above and below show a game called Goal Ball. There are three blindfolded players on each team. Each player has a designated area in which to play. Players kneel on their knees and may fall onto their sides, either to the left or the right, to prevent a goal.

A throw toward the goal is made from a kneeling position or by standing up and bowling the jingle ball. The judge or referee can only call “Play”, Out” and “Change” while the ball is in play.

Hot Air Ball is a game that is played by keeping their backsides on the floor. There is no scoring or point system. The goal is to simply keep the hot air ball afloat, and moving back and forth over the net from one court to another.

It was interesting to note what an atmosphere of bonhomie these para sports activities generated among the English Class pupils. In second grade great discussions took place spontaneously about how everyone can be physically active, as well as the importance of being physically active. It seems that our pupils were very familiar with several Paralympic events and even could name the athlete from Pori,  Leo Pekka Tähti, who has won five gold medals in the Paralympics.

English Class first and second graders will have an opportunity to try these para sports according to their own schedules next week or even next fall.




The English Class Spring Fest

This year’s English Classes’ annual Spring Fest began with an adorable number by the English Class kindergarten (aka. preschool). As always, the programme was very diversified with everything from cheerleading, tumbling and acrobatics to singing and dancing. This year there were so many reading certificate recipients that it was not possible to get them to all fit into one photograph! Heartfelt congratulations to each and every pupil who earned a reading certificate!

Below are video clips showing the fun assortment of entertainment that friends and family enjoyed on Tuesday evening. There were some acts that are not included here as well, but hints of what took place can be seen in the photo collages above.

Learning About Light

English Class fourth graders have been learning about the properties of light in their environmental studies classes with Mr. Gregg. They  created nifty hexagonal foldables to help learn some of the terms like prism, refraction and reflection, for example.  Another neat hands-on activity was creating two different types of rainbow spectrum spinners. One spinner type had a pencil poked through the centre of the coloured cardboard disc. The other spinner type was threaded on a loop of string. In the video clip below you can see the latter type in action.

As one fourth grader wrote in her spelling notebook for the word interesting, “Mr. Gregg’s environmental studies classes are interesting.”


Active Bodies, Active Minds: Physical Activities for All

English Class first, second, third and fourth graders received invitations to participate in physical activities at the sports centre on Tuesday of this week. The event was organized as part of the the national Finnish Schools on the Move programme put into action by the town of Pori. Pitkis-Sport was instrumentally involved in the implementation of the day’s plentiful, diverse activities.

In the two photo collages above English Class third graders are practicing skills related to baseball, football techniques and relay skills.

All of the pupils had a chance to hone balancing abilities with a wobbling balance disc and scooters.

English Class fourth graders enthusiastically threw themselves into all of the activities available.  They are practicing long jumping and hockey skills as shown in the photo collage above.

A rousing game of football got the fourth graders moving rapidly up and down the mini-football pitch.

Field hockey and frisbee golf were very popular with all of the classes.

The English Class second graders played field hockey with great determination and a very positive spirit.

The second graders could show off their strengths when they played football and practiced baseball using a scaled-down football in an activity called tunnel ball.

The English Class first graders showed spirit and fitness on the football field. They played with great energy!

In the photo collage above you can see first graders practicing defensive playing skills in the upper left corner in the hockey box. The players tried to block other players from getting their ball through a hole in their designated holes while trying to score a point by getting a ball into an opponent’s hole. The sun was shining, even if the wind was a bit chilly. Fun was had by all and lots of new things were learned.