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Getting to know us…

Hi everyone,

So this is the first blog entry for this school year. I hope you can read it without any complications.

We began the new school year by getting to know one another a little better and also deciding upon our Essential Agreement for how we can better learn together. We took a few days to contemplate our individual learning goals as well as considering what helps us each of us to learn. After establishing as a group what we thought worked best and what didn’t work so well, we broke off into pairs and made posters to help illustrate the key points for our agreement.

I consider shared reading to be a vital part of the learning experience for this age group, and we have started our reading adventure with the novel, “The One and Only Ivan“. It is a beautiful story of triumphing against the odds and how we can each achieve great things by overcoming our personal fears as well as how important learning can be to achieve these goals.

The story also highlights a great number of the IB Learner Profile attributes, i.e. principled, risk-taker, open-minded, knowledgeable and balanced to name but a few.

We will also be using the story as a springboard for learning more about animals and tying this in with our U.O.I. “Life Cycles”. The students seem to be enjoying the tale so I would encourage you to engage with your child in learning about the story from them, while also reinforcing their developing learning with the current U.O.I.

Speaking of U.O.I. we are exploring “Life Cycles” with the students having also developed the Lines of Inquiry (L.O.I.) for this. These being, 1. How and when did life begin? 2. Why does life continue?

After creating timelines about our own lives and those of older family members, last week we embarked on a Deep Time Walk. The walk used the same methods they had learned to create their personal timelines, except now on a planetary scale, all 4600 million years or so. While on the walk, we stopped at certain points along the timeline and I shared various key points from Earth’s natural history.

Everyone was somewhat tired and a little sun-kissed by the end of the walk but overall everyone seemed to enjoy it.

Next Friday we will be visiting Chausuyama Zoo, where a zookeeper will be giving us an overview of their breeding program for lions and giraffes. The students seem very excited about the trip and I’m sure it will be a lot of fun.

That’s all for this month. Take care and please feel free to contact me with any queries or questions.

Kind regards,