For the past two and a half months, our EC 3 students have been inquiring into ‘How The World Works’. Throughout this inquiry, the children have explored, discovered, and investigated simple science activities which we have prepared on our invitation tables. To tune-in to our learning, we started with nature walks. Through these valuable walks, the children found natural and human-made materials as we walked through the school playground and grassy area. Students collected interesting objects on their walk. Following each walk, when we returned to the classroom, students shared what they found. Each day, at our invitation tables, we prepared simple hands on science activities. These activities changed throughout the course of the unit.
As our inquiry continued, we introduced student to the scientific method, which they used to conduct various experiments. First, students would make a guess or hypothesis. Next, the students had fun exploring materials given as they carried out their investigation. Finally, after they finished the experiment, students made a conclusion about their findings.
Finally, to celebrate our inquiries, the EC 3 class held their Learning Expo on 20 March. To start our Expo, students sang ‘Solid Liquid Gas”, a song that explores the changes in states of matter. Next, students led parents through various inquiries that included Sparkly Glitter Slime, Volcano Eruption, Magic Balloon, Squeezing the Oranges, and Rocket Balloon. Lastly, students had the opportunity to create a self-portrait using a variety of natural material the students gathered during their nature walks.
The 100th Day of School, on 31 January, provided the perfect opportunity to begin our most recent Unit of Inquiry. Our ‘How We Express Ourselves” unit provided opportunities for students to uncover our central idea, “People recognize important events through celebrations”. Throughout the course of the unit students learned about different celebrations around the EC 4 world. Guest speakers from our classroom community were invited to share about special celebrations in their family and country. In addition, we had many opportunities to explore how and why people celebrate by participating in various school celebrations. Students learned about various seasonal holidays such as Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Chinese New Year, and Dr. Seuss Day, to name a few.
This unit provided opportunities for students to explore and extend their learning in Bahasa Indonesia class as well as in Library and Art class. Working with specialist teachers, students were able to learn more about how Indonesians celebrate Independence Day. They were able to explore how different holiday celebrations have similar and different elements. Finally, during our Art integration, the students created decorations for our classroom celebrations as well as invitations that were sent to parents.
Our unit ended with a celebration of our learning through the EC 4 Learning Expo that was held on 22 March. Students led parents through a variety of stations providing opportunities to showcase their learning throughout the unit. Students created a world map that highlighted which celebrations each member of the class participated in at home, and the country of origin for those celebrations. They used math skills as they created a pictograph that shows the number of students who celebrate different celebrations. Each student shared with their parents a celebrations book that showed different elements from each celebration studied in class. Finally, students were able to share about their favorite celebrations and about the guest speakers who visited the class.
In our final unit of the year, EC 4 students will investigate about plants and what living things need in order to survive.