Saturday, March 18, 2017

Learning Outside the Classroom

It was a busy week of exploration in 4L. We headed out of the classroom for some learning beyond our four walls and made some interesting discoveries! 

In unit, we continued to pursue our independent inquiries. We began our week with a visit to the Choral Synagogue of Vilnius. 

4L at the Choral Synagogue of Vilnius

Here we met Ms.Natalija, who shared with us about Judaism. She introduced us to the basics of her religion, showed us around the synagogue and patiently answered our many questions! Unfortunately, we ran out of time, but she has invited us to come back in the near future to continue our conversation. 

Throughout our research, we have been practicing analysing and synthesising our new learning. We then use this new learning to build understanding by making connections or evaluating how our thinking might have changed after new experiences. 

On Wednesday, grade 4s took a trip to Kaunas to visit a more traditional synagogue, mosque and Russian Orthodox church. 

We spent time listening to different religious leaders share their thinking/religious philosophies, show us around their places of worship and answer our many in-depth questions. 

In the synagogue, Mauša Bairakas, spoke to us about Judaism. At the mosque, we learned about Islam from the Turkish Imam, Abduallah Belge and his assistant, Nelli Mažitova, who spoke English for us. As it was too cold outside, we were graciously invited to stay to listen to the call to prayer and eat our lunch inside the mosque. It was a new and interesting experience for most of us! Finally, we wrapped up our day with a visit to Christ's Resurrection Russian Orthodox church where we learned about Christianity from Deacon Constantine. We were very grateful for our Lithuanian and Russian speaking classmates who asked our questions and then translated all responses to English so everyone could understand. It was remarked several times in each place we visited that we were extremely thoughtful in our questions, and that no one had quite expected such inquiries from 9 and 10 year olds! 

Once again, we spent time processing and organising our new learning. We reflected on what we had heard and shared our thinking in several conversations sparked by our observations and connections. These conversations continue to drive our thinking deeper and help us build our own understanding of world religions. 

Each bit of research adds some new thinking to our class mind map

Basel was inspired to share his mini Qur'an after our trip so the students could see, first-hand, what Ms.Mažitova talked about

We have made many interesting comparisons and drawn some thoughtful conclusions. As we reflected on what learning steps to take next, we realised that a major piece of our learning is still missing: eastern religions. Next week we look forward to inquiring deeper into Hinduism, Sikhism and Buddhism. 

We have been studying stained glass in art class with Ms.Dayana as part of our transdisciplinary learning. During this study, we have observed different examples of stained glass and noticed their presence in almost all religious places of worship. This has created a mini inquiry for us. As we visit various religious buildings, we have also tuned in to similarities and differences in architectural elements and symbols. We even got a chance to create our own stained glass masterpieces in art this week. 

In language arts, we continued to explore poetry. We determined that to become better poets, we must read lots of poetry. We looked at these three poems together this week:

F u z z 
of peach skin
my upper lip just

b  e  f  o  r  e

                                -Arnold Adoff from "Touch the Poem"

So much depends 

a red wheel

glazed with rain

beside the white
                               -William Carlos Williams

on grandma's coffin
a single blossom

as if I could

                             -Ralph Fletcher

We also played with some creative book spine poetry in the library. Here are some of our creations!

"Goblins hoot between shades of gray"

"Listen goblins... how to steal a dog"

"One day you'll know pirate stories; breaking free, coming home"

"The kid in the red jacket going postal; the candy shop war, a bad spell for the worst witch"

"The old man and the sea, a night to remember. Like you'd understand, anyway"

"Lithuania: Twist of time somewhere in the world right now"

"Death on the Nile... you have to stop this!"

"It's me, Margaret. I found my last best friend, Peter Pan"

"Dragon's magic eye creates and constructs incredible Minecraft cities

We experimented with line breaks and white space to see how it changed our compositions. 

Basel changes the white space of Peach Fuzz poem

Gerda reworks the white space and line breaks on the Red Wheelbarrow poem

We cut up our own poems and played with line breaks and white space

We recorded how the poem changes each time we alter the white space

We looked for patterns emerging in our lines

We also noticed that revision happened naturally each time we restructured our poems

In reading this week, we got together with 4A to listen to some new book booktalks. We're always delighted to learn about new books! This was the second half of the set Ms.Alie brought back from Canada for us to share. We continue to try out new series and genres to find books we love. 

Ms.Alie shares about "The Princess in Black" series
Meda gives a booktalk

Mante booktalks the novel "Raymie Nightingale"

Sofia booktalks the novel "Circus Mirandus"

In math this week, we took our unit 5 assessment. We then spent time inspecting and correcting our mistakes in order to keep a growth mindset and build new understanding. Next week we will begin Unit 6. Here is the family letter so you can see what new concepts we'll be studying. 

Though we did not get to visit Tymo Park this week, we did make a bit of time to play on our way back from the synagogue in Vilnius. 

We continue with our Passion Projects during Genius Hour. This week, we got to hear from several of our friends who had finished work on their current projects. 

Domantas shares his finished basketball game created using Scratch software

Sofia and Gerda (who's plugging her ears because she can't stand to hear herself on video) share the song they were inspired to write to raise awareness of friendship conflicts, and to inspire kids to be kind and persevere when things get tough!

Finally, we had the pleasure of celebrating our friend, Yelyzaveta's birthday on Friday (even though her birthday is actually on March 18th)! We wish her a wonderful 10th year ahead! 

1 comment:

  1. Hello, to everyone, what a wonderful week:)))). Poetry, magic and churches:).