Learning to Sew in Third Grade

In their second design & craft class this week English Class third graders are learning to use a sewing machine. Of course they first learned about safety procedures, one very important one being to never put one’s fingers on top of the presser foot or under the needle in any way.

The third graders practiced sewing on paper without thread. They learned to sew straight lines and how to back-stitch at the beginning and end of each line. They also learned how to turn corners or pivot by putting their needles down, lifting the presser foot,  turning the paper to get things realigned and then once again lowering the presser foot before continuing to sew. They also practiced sewing curves.

The class picked up the basics of using a sewing machine very quickly. In fact, a few pupils have already completed their sewing machine driver’s license successfully. That means that next week they will begin work on their very first project! It will be fun to discover later this autumn what the third graders design and create using their new-found skills!





An Action-packed Night School and Field Trip for Third Graders

Although it was not quite 24 hours long, the English Class third graders and their teacher, Ms. Anu, managed to cram an awful lot of amazing experiences into one night and one day. Beginning on Thursday evening of last week, the third graders gathered in their classroom for a sleepover at school. After breakfast the next they headed to the island of Reposaari to explore the defense fortress park that dates from the 1930’s and the rocky shoreline. Back at school on Monday, working in four groups, the pupils wrote about their experiences. The text accompanying the photo collages below is the result of their efforts.

On Thursday at 18:00 most of us came to night school. Some of us came later to night school. When we came inside, we dropped our bags and went outside to play. Outside the girls were practicing cheerleading and boys were playing football. When we came inside most took out their phones and started eating candy. After we had played with our phones enough we voted for the movie that we would watch. The movie, “Mulan” won the voting. We started watching the movie and in the middle of the movie one of our classmates came to night school.

When the movie stopped most of us were crazy and some took their shirts off. Most of our classmates were arm wrestling. Some were doing push-ups and running circles in the hallway. After that we came to the class and had our evening snacks. Then we brushed our teeth. Even though we were told not to, we started telling horror stories. One of the stories was the licking dog. After a long time of fidgeting, we finally fell asleep. (by Maxi, Ayyoub, Benjamin, Oska, Antti, Thomas)

After we woke up we got ready for breakfast. Our breakfast was in the cafeteria and we ate yogurt and sandwiches. We drank Trip juice.

After the breakfast we walked to the bus station. The bus took us to Reposaari and we were allowed to play with our phones. When we got to Reposaari we walked to the forest. (by Siiri, Santi, Thomas, Otto and Sophie)

We were at the Linnakepuisto. It was a sunny day. Some boys were playing war and some were recording a video. Some of the girls were playing war nurses.

There was a trench, rooms and a bird (lookout) tower. There were bunkers as well. And then we started to walk to a beach. We took pictures of the waves. Anu took pictures of us. We had fun. (by Lilian, Iiris, Karl and Onni)

From the beach we started walking to a restaurant called Merry Monk. At the Merry Monk we first washed our hands. Then we went to our seats and the server came to ask what we want to drink. After we got our drinks we waited for the food.

Then we got our food which was French fries and meatballs. After we ate we got to choose if we would take vanilla ice cream or strawberry ice cream. But most of us took the vanilla one. 

We went to Reposaari School and we took a couple of pictures of our cheerleading. After that we walked to the bus station and we danced at the bus station to warm us up. The bus came and we went to the bus. The bus ride was normal and it took 1 hour. We got to go to school already 20 minutes early. And then we rode home. It was lots of fun! (Ida, Amelia and Amelie)



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.




Finnish National Fishing Day 2017

Wednesday, May 17th was National Fishing Day in Finland. This year English Class first graders, third graders,  fifth and sixth graders, visited the banks of the Kokemäki River to learn about the different types of common fish and their anatomy. Each group had their own time slot. Pupils also had a chance to learn about fishing and then could actually fish with worms. Pupils were also able to taste some Baltic herring that was on offer.

The annual Fishing Day event is organized by the regional chapter of Finland’s Recreational Fishing Association in cooperation with the (Satakunnan Kalatalouskeskus) and other fish-related organizations. In addition to on-site activities, pupils and teachers were given lots of information in the form of booklets and brochures to explore back at school.  There was information on different types of bait, lures, fly fishing and ice fishing. There were directions for scaling and cleaning a fish, too. There was even a brochure that explained how to skin a burbot!

Cold temperatures and a brisk wind combined to make a wind chill factor that felt more like January than May this year but the interesting activities made almost everyone forget how cold it was.

Pupils were able to taste Baltic herring fillets that had been breaded lightly and then baked. For some pupils it was a bit of a concern to eat the herring bones and all, but actually , the herring bones are very soft and pliable so there is no choking hazard.

Below is a video of English Class fifth and sixth graders tasting herring, learning about fish anatomy and actually fishing.

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.

Underbar Övning: Peer-to-Peer in Swedish

The English Classes hosted a TET/work experience student from Sweden for a couple of days this past week. Here is what she wrote about herself:


My name is Saana and I am doing my TET/2-day work experience here at your school on Wednesday and Thursday of this week. I live in Bollnäs, Sweden. During these two days I have cleaned and straightened for the teacher by filing papers in folders and binders. I taught the sixth graders some Swedish. I also taught the third graders a little Swedish.     

At my school in Bollnäs we just got our report cards and I am in the sixth grade. In Finland number grades are already given in the fourth grade. In Sweden we don’t get graded until the sixth grade. We don’t get number grades; we get letters, A – F.

It was really fun getting to know your school. I would like to come again. Thank you for this opportunity.

Our English Class sixth graders started studying Swedish for the first time this year. Under the guidance of their teacher, Ms. Anneli, they prepared questions for Saana. It was the very best kind of practice for the sixth graders because they were able to hone their language skills through practical immersion with someone their own age. Together they could compare and contrast, and realize all that they have in common with one another.

Saana also taught the English Class third graders some words in Swedish. The third graders were very eager to practice their new vocabulary.

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.