04 November 2015

Getting creative

It's hard to be creative when you're battling a head cold, but that's life when you're a teacher. Mostly it's easier just to keep going yourself than to prepare material for someone else to teach. Add to that the complication of a Grade 3-5 assembly on Friday led by Grade 4K and you'll get a picture of life for me at the moment.

Let me show you a few pictures of just a few things that have been happening in Grade 4K this week.

First of all, an update on the chair bags. The students think they are great. Here are some photos of them in use, with homework folders tucked in the bags while student complete their Homework Planbook for the week.

The big chairs!
Previously these folders would have been on the floor under the chairs.
Now they are much safer.
And the small chairs!.
Several years ago I purchased a set of Scholastic Book Report Posters called Book Butterfly. Check out my original post about these here. Happily as well as the original posters, they come with a black-line master so I've been able to continue the project, using A3 photocopies. This year each of my English Language Arts groups read a different novel (largely as a read-aloud with lots of discussion along the way) and then each student completed a book report on their own. Here are this year's posters. (These were finished a few weeks ago, but I only got them marked and displayed this week.)

This afternoon my students had some fun as they showed me a little of what they have learned about landforms. I randomly paired the students up, and equally randomly allocated them a "landform". Along with their allocated "landform", each pair received a 15cm x 20cm  piece of black foam core board as their base, and each table was given a tub of "Kiddie Clay".
Here's what they produced.
Teachers aren't supposed to have favourites, but I was most impressed with the peninsula, complete with lighthouse, the volcano and the mesa. Considering they had about 40 minutes, no tools and only the five colours of clay you see above, I thought they did a pretty good job.

One of the things my class is doing for assembly is a puppet play. I've been experimenting with using a clothes rack for the "theatre" but it's not quite big enough, so today I decided to get creative. I walked down the end of the street, and round the corner to where there are several local plumbing supply stores. I was on the hunt for poly-pipe, and I found it. Unfortunately, one of the parts that I had hoped to find is not available in Cambodia (at least that was what I was told), so I ended up with some spare bits, and something not quite as sturdy as my original plan, but I think it will work. Since they'd already cut the pieces before I discovered that I could get three-way connectors I brought the pieces home and here's what I came up with.

I've actually got a dark brown sheet at school already which I'll be using for the front piece, and some fabric that I'll use for the backdrop, but I used bedsheets here so you can get the idea. I need to dismantle it and put it together again in the classroom tomorrow for a test run, then I'll dismantle it again to move it to the assembly location. I'll try and remember to take some more photos when we rehearse tomorrow afternoon.
My original plan had cross bars linking front and back frames at the top, and another bar across the bottom at the front for stability. I just had a thought that if I were to get four more T-connectors and cut both front and back supports into two pieces, I could get those extra cross bars in, but hopefully this will work for Friday. The picture below might make that clearer.

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