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Making Learning Visible

Richland Academy / Making Learning Visible (Page 35)

A ‘Rectangle’ of Friends in JK

Today the JK embarked on a ‘collaborative progettazione’, exploring the realm of ‘Relationships through Friends’.

A poem was read to introduce the unit of interest.

Several questions were asked of the JK children and recorded for documentation:

  • What do ‘friends’ do together?
  • What are you going to draw about ‘friends’?
  • What are you going to show or tell about ‘friends’?

Apple Printing in PK

The PK children experimented with colours, numbers and shapes while printing with apples.

They selected paint colours based on the apples that they had gathered- yellow, red and green. They carefully cut open the apples in different directions, and the children excitedly counted the seeds that became visible inside. In one apple they counted up to six seeds!

Sebastian was amazed to see a “star shape” in the middle of the apple after we removed the seeds. Some of the red and yellow paint mixed to form orange, and Alexia exclaimed “Apples can’t be orange”!

Understanding our Bodies through Spatial Awareness

Spatial Awareness is an organized awareness of our body’s position in space.  It is a concept closely related to Kinesthetic Identification and studies suggest that there are strong links between a well-developed sense of spatial awareness and artistic creativity; as well as success in math. Spatial awareness is essential to the development of abstract thought. In Drama, our objective is to find out how Kinesthetic Identification gives us the ability to organize and classify abstract mental concepts through discovery of ourselves.

What JK Learned about Tomatoes

The JK students gathered on the carpet to discuss and share their findings concerning the JK unit of interest about the harvest and tomatoes. The children were asked the following simple question: ‘What did you learn about tomatoes?’

The thought and meaningful discussion that ensued is by far ‘not simple’, but rather a complex learning and retrieving experience for our JK boys and girls!

More Than Math: A Peek at Richland’s Innovative Math Program

In line with 21st century learning, Richland students are investigating problem-solving and exploring hands-on mathematics that can be applied to real life situations. Grade 4-6 Math and Science Teacher, Mrs. Pamenter, considers the interests of the students when organizing her math lessons because she appreciates math as “structured and spiralled.” Our Grade 4 students are using a problem-solving method, called Bansho, to define specific problems and build on the previous practices that they have learned. In this way they look at the past to help them ‘shape’ their future. Taking the student’s math objectives and making them practical, the Grade 4 and 5/6 classes are enjoying ‘Practical Application Mathematics’ in their exciting math projects, “Zoo Project: Measurement and Geometry in Action” and “Dramatic Mathematics: Bringing the Dramatic Flare to Mathematics,” respectively. In these projects, the students have to think about why they are doing what they do, making it vastly different than textbook math.