One of our favourite math routines is Quick Images. Earlier in the year we played it with dots. This time we played it with shapes. In this activity, students draw a copy of an image after viewing it for only a few seconds. They then have an opportunity to see the image again for another few seconds and make any additions or revisions to their previous drawing. As a class we share our ideas and experiences of what we saw, how we remembered the image, and how that helped us accurately recreate it. The purpose of Quick Images with Shapes is for students to develop visual images of and language for describing 2D shapes.
First things first. We had to finally decide what "value" means. The word is a part of one of our lines of inquiry and it has been causing us some confusion and lots of questions since the beginning of our unit. Most of us had heard the word before, but we weren't quite sure how to use it ourselves. After some sharing of where, when, and how we have heard the word used, Georgia had an "ah-ha" moment which lead us to a class definition:
Value means how good, useful, or important something is!
After this discovery we could then consider the value of imagination in the context of the book Roxaboxen by Barbara Cooney.
What is Roxaboxen?
What is the value of imagination for the children in the story?
After sharing our ideas about imagination in Roxaboxen, we went to our visual journals to reflect on what the value of imagination is for each of us.
Over the last 2 weeks, students have been focusing on composing and decomposing shapes in a variety of ways. Children have been experimenting with different combinations of shapes to fill the same outlined shape. They even created their own pattern-block designs on paper and on the computer using 2D shapes.
Check out the Shape Tool if you want to practice manipulating and creating with 2D shapes at home.
As an ongoing literacy connection to our unit of inquiry, Miss Alison has been reading a children's chapter book version of Alice in Wonderland.
The book doesn't have very many pictures so we have been practicing the reading comprehension skill "visualization" to create images in our heads as we read. We use the reading comprehension stars to help us express our thinking.
"It's NOT a stick! It's a _________!"
We were so inspired by the story Not a Stick by Antoinette Portis that we decided to create our own video version. We collected sticks outside and used creative thinking to imagine these objects from another perspective.
Digging deeper into the line of inquiry "How our imagination helps people to consider other perspectives", we took a closer look at visual art. We read Imagine a Night by Sarah L. Thomson and viewed and commented on four different pieces of art depicting the night sky. Through discussion and shared writing we compared and contrasted the artists' representations and perspectives, as well as our own interpretations. We were amazed to see how our imaginations can help us to think about the same thing in so many different ways!
During the Invitation phase of our units, we begin to explore the lines of inquiry and key concepts through guided inquiry. We love to draw and Miss Alison wanted us to experience this activity from a different perspective. We viewed pictures of some of Michelangelo's famous fresco paintings and imagined ways that he could have painted the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in Rome. We were very impressed by his skill, talent, and creative thinking! Ester S. even said that she wants to do the same thing when she grows up! After our discussion it was time to try drawing from Michelangelo's perspective. It certainly wasn't easy, but we sure had a lot of fun!
On Friday, October 5 we celebrated UN Day at the Elementary School. Children represented their countries beautifully and presented themselves proudly at the parade. Afterwards Grade 1AC grabbed their passports and visited Great Britain, Indonesia, Japan, Switzerland, Italy, and France. When our around the world trip was over we enjoyed a delicious international buffet in the playground. Thank you to all the mummies, daddies, and teachers who planned and supported such a special day. We will not forget it!
As an introduction to our new geometry unit, we collected our prior knowledge about familiar shapes and shared our new observations of them. We used the key concept FORM ("What is it like?") to unlock and guide our thinking. The shapes we focused on are square, circle, rectangle, triangle, hexagon, and rhombus. We also discussed trapezoid.
We have been practicing "creating images" as a strategy for understanding what we read. Harold and the Purple Crayon is a beautiful story about a little boy who draws himself a landscape using only a purple crayon and his imagination.
Miss Alison read the story twice without showing us the illustrations. The first time, we listened with our eyes closed. The second time we listened and drew pictures of what were were visualizing using...a purple crayon! Finally Miss Alison showed us the illustrations when she read us the story for a third time. We enjoyed comparing our illustrations with those in the book. We discussed the similarities and differences using the key concept "perspective".