Sunday, February 21, 2016

SIS Elementary Picture Book Contest 2016

We would like to congratulate all the girls who submitted manuscripts (story writing and pictures) for this contest and announce the winners.

Grade 4 winner
Book Title: My Colors, Your Colors
Every time George saw something new he would find a new color and George loved color. He hated black and white because they bored him. 

*Special Judges Prize for Illustrations*
Book Title: Blue bird

 As soon as the books are published a copy will be available for checkout from the ES Media Centre.

Semester 2 Learning Outcomes

As a whole Elementary School goal we are aiming to provide parents with more insight into the teaching and learning across different subject areas.  As well as keeping you informed on recent events and classroom learning engagements through regular updates on grade-level blogs, we would like parents to access the curriculum learning outcomes for all areas.  You can download these learning outcomes for Grade Four by clicking on the link below.  Alternatively, you can download the learning outcomes from all grade levels from our website here.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Beginning Explorations in Dance

Dance is a subject where students can explore the many variations and possibilities of movement.  It is open to creative choices.  Dance allows students to learn something new and personalize it through their own choices.  It invites students to make new connections between things they have already learned.

Grade 4 students have been learning various movements, such as turns, triplets, runs, swings, and leaps.  They have starting exploring ways to vary these movements.

Martha Graham serves an excellent role model for exploring the possibilities of dance movement.  Grade 4 students have read about Martha Graham's collaborative work "Appalachian Spring." Martha wanted to tell a story about the days when pioneers set off in search of new land.  People traveled west across the United States to put down roots.  In the story you'll see Martha Graham playing the part of the bride and Erik Hawkins playing the bridegroom.  The rest of the dancers play the parts of the preacher, the pioneer woman, and the four followers.

Here are some video clips for Martha Graham's "Appalachian Spring."
Appalachian Spring performed by Martha Graham Dance Company (2014)

Here's a special link to this performance with Martha Graham.  She collaborated with Aaron Copland for the musical score and Isamu Noguchi on the set.  This was filmed with a 16mm camera in 1944 with the original cast.  Sound was later dubbed into the recording.                                                      Martha Graham dances "Appalachian Spring"

We'll be exploring movement possibilities and creating our own dance pieces throughout this unit.

Models of the Respiratory System

We encourage students to make connections between units of inquiry from this year and to previous years. Earlier this year, fourth graders studied energy. Their knowledge of energy came in handy when inquiring into the function of the human body, because movement is a form of energy.

Fourth graders know that the muscular system and the skeletal system work together so we can make voluntary movements. They also know that muscles cause other movement in the body. For example, the heart, a muscle, pumps our blood. Muscles also move food through the digestive system.

Our models of the respiratory system demonstrate something amazing. How do we breathe? How does air move into our bodies? Muscles aren't pushing it like the heart pushes blood. Air doesn't just fall into us!

Here are pictures of the girls constructing and observing the models. The top of a plastic bottle represents the chest, the balloon represents the lungs, and a ziplock bag represents the diaphragm, a muscle.

Making the models is one thing. Using the models to reflect on the function of the respiratory system is more difficult.

Here is what Ayane wrote: "When the diaphragm gets smaller, there isn't enough space to keep the air so the balloon's (lung's) air gets forced out."

Here is what Tanatswa wrote: "When the diaphragm contracts the balloon releases air out but when it relaxes the air goes back inside."