Prep | Year 4 Newsdeveloper
Over the last few weeks, the boys have been inquiring into both addition and subtraction as well as multiplication and division. Particular focus was placed on building a toolbox of strategies which may be used to solve a given problem. While we have finished our units on these key areas the boys are encouraged to continue to find informal ways that they can use their skills. Adding up the grocery bill, multiplying the recipe to feed more people are two ways this can be done.
In the coming weeks we will begin thinking about measurement. This will include temperature, length, volume and capacity, and mass. It might be a good idea to encourage the boys to help with the cooking. It could be helpful to reinforce the concepts that we will be covering in class.
In English the boys have been continuing to inquire into narrative writing. In particular, finding ways to describe a scene that both builds tension and also stimulates the senses of the reader. We did this by building vocabulary that related to what someone might see, hear, smell, taste, feel, or experience emotionally in a particular situation. In the coming weeks, and particularly at the beginning of next term we will also focus on the comprehension of informative texts. This will be enhanced by and link to our next unit of inquiry but is also as a result of thinking deeply about the needs of this cohort of boys from the recent round of MAP testing.
Unit of Inquiry
In our recently completed unit under the transdisciplinary theme of How We Express Ourselves, Year 4 has been inquiring into culture. The boys have almost unanimously expressed enjoyment and excitement at looking deeper into their own culture, where they come from and what is important to members of their own family with many taking action to ask questions of their parents or grandparents. We inquired deeper into how cultures can divide and unite, how protesting and freedom of protest can do both and enact change, how society can and has evolved and changed through dialogue, mutual understanding and respect. In the coming weeks we will shift to a more scientific focus and look into energy including where it comes from and how we can use it.
In Classroom Music the students are inquiring through an Indigenous lens the Transdisciplinary relationship between Music and Visual Art in the Collaborative Unit of Inquiry How We Express Ourselves. They have used their Social Skills to create a group original composition and through drawing, have identified common elements to both art forms. The students have continued to develop their writing skills reflecting upon experiences and expressing these using sentence starters. Communication Skills have been developed through the creation of graphic notation scores where conventional music notation is not suitable for the desired sound. They have enthusiastically embraced the Band and Sight-reading Programmes.
The personalised online learning programme, Education Perfect, has been the focus of language learning and practice these 3 weeks. Students received differentiated tasks and assessments to maximise their understanding and participation. They were instructed and encouraged to use the word lists to learn and practise essential vocabularies. After building the vocabulary foundation, the word lists also helped them to make sentences and learn grammar. In terms of Approaches to Learning, Thinking Skills (Analysing, Transfer knowledge), Communication Skills (Listening, Digital communication, Reading, Writing), and Self-Management Skills (Time management, Personal responsibilities) are the main skills that students consistently apply in Mandarin lessons.
Over the last few weeks in Chapel, the boys have been exploring the Biblical concept of “covenant” or in other words, “agreement or promise”. They have been reminded that there are many examples where God has made a gracious covenant with his people, and yet they broke the covenant. With Easter approaching, we have a wonderful example of God’s plan of salvation through His son Jesus. In week 10, we are privileged to have the visit of “Quiz Worx” – a biblical puppet / interactive show explaining the importance of Jesus’ death and resurrection. This week, the boys are experiencing a visit from the Years 10 to 12 Summer Hill group “Berea”. Berea is a Christian leadership group that helps the students equip and share the good news of Jesus. These older students will be teaching every Christian Studies class this week, visiting CIA (Christians in Action) groups and running Chapel. There are very few opportunities for our boys to share in high school events and this mission will serve as a wonderful opportunity to build relationships and share in the wonders of Easter.