Hundredth Day in the English Classes

Yes, today we reached the hundredth day of the school year. At assembly this morning Ms. Sylvia explained to the pupils in the English Classes that this tradition of celebrating the 100th day of school is a little more than forty years old. The tradition began as a way of making the concept of 100 more concrete to entry level pupils. It has developed into a tradition that has gradually crept up through primary school grade levels. From kindergarten pupils to sixth graders, the English Classes at Cygnaeus School celebrated in a myriad of ways. After their Finnish lesson this morning, our first graders quickly made the dazzling 100-eyeglasses shown in the photo collage above.

Together with their fifth grade peer pals, the first graders created a list of one hundred adjectives. With their peer pals, the first graders searched their classroom to find 100 numbered stars that had been hidden. Once no more stars could be found, each first grader arranged the stars that s/he had found in ascending numerical order. The fifth graders checked their work. Then the first grade pupils sorted their numbered stars into even and odd numbered stars. The next challenge was to create a long line of all 100 stars in numerical order.  That was when we discovered that there are still three stars that have not been found!

The last challenge using the numbered stars was to lay them out on a table in rows of tens.  With a little trial and error, this task was mastered, too. The session with the fifth grade peer pals concluded with 100 seconds of silence. During the last lesson of the day Ms. Sylvia read the book, Fluffy’s 100th Day of School by Kate McMullen to the first grade class.

The fourth graders, together with the English Class kindergarten, started their Hundredth Day workshop with a rousing workout to Jack Hartmann’s Let’s Get Fit: Count to 100 Song. Then the pupils practiced estimating numbers of unifix cubes up to one hundred and then actually counting them.

Other activities included filling in the missing numbers on a hundred chart and drawing pictures of how they imagine they will look one hundred years into the future.

The second and third grade classes, along with some sixth graders, had 100th day booklets that offered lots of fun activities. These included estimating how many dice rolls it would take to reach a total of 100, estimating how many times someone’s name could be written in 100 seconds, doing fitness activities for 100 seconds and lots, lots more.

Finally some sixth graders were challenged with the task of writing poems celebrating the 100th day of school by using exactly 100 words under the guidance of Ms. Sandra. Incidentally, while thinking about what to write, a realization was made that our sixth graders have passed their 1000th day of school. The Finnish school system has 190 school days in a year. That means that the thousandth day in total for sixth graders occurred just before the autumn break. The Hundredth Day poems will appear in this blog within the next couple of days.


Researching Domesticated Farm Animals

In their environmental studies lessons English Class fourth graders have been researching various domesticated animals found on farms. Working in small groups the pupils used their Chromebooks to find out about the life cycles and young of these farm animals, their unique features and the many ways these animals benefit humans.

The groups of pupils worked diligently and learned much about these useful animals.

Today pupils presented what they had learned so that the rest of the class could learn about  specific farm animals. Just learning the vocabulary of common farm animals is a feat: sow, hog, piglet, ewe, ram, lamb, billy, nanny, kid, hen, cockerel/rooster, chick, mare, stallion, colt, filly, heifer, calf, bull, cow, etc.



Fourth Graders Participate in the Ice Skating Tour

The 20th annual Ice Skating Tour arrived at the artificial ice skating rink in Pori on Friday the 15th of December. English Class fourth graders, along with other fourth graders from Cynaeus School, participated in all of the fun activities that were on offer. This event is sponsored by the Finnish League of Ice Skating.

The pupils actively skated for sixty minutes under the guidance of trained ice skating tour leaders. The goal was to try to  engage pupils in the joy of skating and to work up a sweat while having fun.

A refreshment break added to the enjoyment of the overall experience.


Keyboarding Skills on Chromebooks

Making the best use of their Chromebooks is important for English Class fourth graders. It is clear that learning online and using educational technology make knowing keyboarding skills a necessity. Keyboarding is the updated term for what used to be typing on a typewriter. It means using the keyboard without looking at your hands, preferably using all ten fingers. With practice pupils gain finger strength, speed, and dexterity by doing keyboarding exercises. That facilitates their learning using technological devices.

Christmas Pageants Herald the Beginning of Advent

English Class first graders and second graders visited the Pentecostal Church in Pori to take a journey back in time (Aikamatka) via a time machine. They went back in time via a time machine built by Professor Danger to visit the year that the baby Jesus was born. Taking photographs during the Christmas pageant re-enactment was not allowed, but the overall journey was rich with all sorts of sensory experiences. Our guide started by taking us to visit King Herod, who was in a state of anxiety and looking for the new king. We then traveled through the village of Nazareth where we found out that Mary and Joseph had already left to go pay their taxes in Bethlehem. We sat around a campfire with shepherds and could hear the sheep in the distance and other night sounds when suddenly angels appeared and told us that the new king had been born. We went on and finally arrived at a stable where the baby Jesus lay in a manger in a stable. After paying our respects we continued our journey and encountered a wise man who offered to show us the star gazing place he and his two companions had used to follow the bright star over Bethlehem. Our time machine journey ended at the home of the Salonens who very generously served us juice and gingerbread snaps. It was a memorable experience for all!

On Tuesday English Class fourth graders enjoyed a different Christmas pageant re-enactment, The King is Coming (Kuningas tulee), produced at the parish centre of the Lutheran Evangelical Church.

At  the palace King Herod let the fourth graders know that he was desperate to find the new baby king that the prophets said would soon be born.

All of the elements of the Christmas story were carefully acted out, from Mary being visited by an angel to find out she would be the mother to the new king,  to Mary and Joseph leaving Nazareth to go pay their taxes in Bethlehem.

The peaceful scene in the stable will stay with the children for a long time to come.


Fourth Grade Boys in District Football Meet

On Tuesday of last week the English Class fourth graders headed to Karhuhalli to participate in the district school football meet. With the girls cheering them on the fourth grade boys won the first game against Friitala 3 – 0. Then, in spite of terrific cheerleading support,  they lost the second game, 1 – 3 to Luvia class 4a.

The boys rallied in their third game and defeated Kauttua 2 -0. That put the English Class fourth graders in the bronze match. Unfortunately to their great disappointment, they lost this match. Regardless of this, it was a spectacular day!

What added to the fun of the day was eating lunch at a local fast food restaurant! Because this is a very rare occurrence, it was a real treat!


Halloween Film Project Movies (Part 1)

The films created by English Class pupils, as described in the previous post, are being completed in dribs and drabs. Here is a sampling of the work of a couple of groups of fourth, fifth and sixth graders. It is particularly heartening to notice that pupils made good use of their planned camera angles and shots!