Wednesday, 30 November 2011

good days; bad days

What a treat we had today.  Yanis wanted to read to us. 

‘In our family,’ he read, ‘we have good days - and bad days.’


And do you know what?  It’s the same at school.  In our school we have good days - and bad days.  But we are working really hard (especially so during this unit of inquiry) to make sure that we have many more good days than bad days. 

We are working really hard at finding peaceful solutions to our conflicts.

Earlier on we had had a conflict.  Maybe I should tell you about it.  Someone was playing with both of our Lego people (we are a little short of Lego people in our class!)  Someone else wanted to play with them.  Oh-oh.  Conflict!  Two people want the same thing!

What actually happened was that the two boys could not agree peacefully and so of course the teacher took the Lego people away.  Which meant that none of the two boys was able to play with the Lego people.  Which is rather a shame, isn’t it!

I wonder; if you had been there, how might you have solved the conflict?  Would you have been able to solve it so that both boys were happy with the outcome?


another peaceful art lesson…..

It was back to Kandinsky again this week.  Back, to Kandinsky and his concentric (that’s one inside the other) circles.  Back to Kandinsky and his concentric circles of peace.

This time though, instead of drawing free-hand circles and then using watercolours, we decided to trace them onto coloured paper before cutting them out and sticking them down.  To start with we would need 6 large circles.  Very carefully we traced round a large (round) tray.  We made sure that we held the large (round) tray very still so that our circles would be perfectly (large and) round too.

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Next, snippety snip, we cut out the large circles we had drawn.  One, two, three…..

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four, five…..                                                           and six.

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And drippety drip we stuck them into place on a black background.


So now we have six circles stuck.  (Try saying that fast with a mouthful of crumbly biscuit!) 

Next we would need 6 medium-size circles. Very carefully we traced round a medium-size beaker. We made sure that we held the medium-size beaker very still so that our medium-size circles would be perfectly round.

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Then, snippety snip, we cut around the medium-size circles we had drawn.  One, two, three…..

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four, five, six.

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A dab or two of glue and now we have six more circles stuck - on top of our six large circles. 

Finally we would need 6 small circles. Very carefully we traced round something with a small (round) face.  Some of us chose the glue sticks we were using.  I wonder; what would you have chosen to trace round?  Then, snippety snip, we cut around the small circles we had drawn. One, two, three, four, five and six.


And slip, slap, slop, we glued them into place.  So now we have six MORE circles stuck (hopefully you have finished the crumbly biscuit by now!)


Six large circles, six medium-size circles and six small circles.  How many circles altogether?  Can you work it out?

year 1 blog

Now excuse me while I take a nap; it is just so incredibly peaceful here…..


a bit of a puzzle; take two

How about that!  Three very excited boys just couldn’t wait to share their own puzzle bit.  And Yanis’ mummy was their victim!


All she did was pop her head round the door to ask me a quick question – and she was all but dragged across the classroom to see just how cleverly all of the puzzle bits fitted together with one another.

I hope she was impressed!

choose a button, any button

Choose a button.  Any button.  Look at it carefully.  Now find one word that you can use to describe your button.  You could describe its colour, its shape or even the number of holes it has.

For each word we think of, we will make a card.

Now let’s put one of those cards in a hoop – and if the word on the card is one that could be used to describe your button, pop your button in the hoop!

Is your button black?


(How many buttons are not black?)

Is your button square?


(How many buttons are square?  And how many are not square?)

Does your button have 4 holes?


(How many buttons do not have 4 holes?)

And what about this one?  Is your button blue?


(Have we managed to put all the blue buttons in the hoop?  Can you find the one we missed?)

And now; what other labels do you think we made to describe our buttons?

a bit of a puzzle

Just before lunch on Monday (no that’s not especially significant) everyone was given a jigsaw puzzle piece.  A rather dull and boring blank jigsaw puzzle piece.  The task was to colour it; anyhow you like.  All one colour…..


or in a rainbow of colours;


in a pattern…..or with pictures.  With crayons or with markers.  Your choice!


And of course fast colourers…..


would find someone to help so that no-one feels left behind.  It would be a work of co-operation!

Next, all those jigsaw pieces would be cut out…..


snippety snip.  And the last step?  Well, to fit the pieces together of course!  But the best thing about our jigsaw, is that there are no corners and no edges, no patterns to follow, no tricky bits to find.  Because our jigsaw fits together just the way we want it to. 


The pieces can go whichever way round we want.

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They can fit in beside whichever other piece we want.

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And the jigsaw can go in any direction we want!

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How about that!


Thursday, 24 November 2011

of squares and concentric circles

According to our old friend Kandinsky (as well as to one or two members of 1b) the circle is a pretty peaceful kind of shape.  So just imagine how very peaceful a whole lot of circles must feel!

We took a look at this painting…..


by Kandinsky and it inspired us to have a go at making a similarly peaceful painting of our own.  So we took a sheet of paper with pre-drawn squares.  And we drew con-cen-tric circles (that means circles one inside the other) in each of the squares using oil pastel crayons.

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Next, we chose watercolour paints in combinations that we found pleasing.  A ring of blue maybe…..followed by one of green.

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And then how about a background of yellow…..or russet red?

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And finally – are you sitting comfortably?

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Peace at last!

the feel-good factor!

I read a book on Tuesday.  It was called The Feel Good Book and it was written by Todd Parr.  Every page was dedicated to something that feels good.  Like laughing out loud.  Hahahahaha.


And getting tickled…..


and catching snowflakes on your tongue.  Smile with tongue out


And ooh – after I had finished – we felt GOOD!  It was just thinking about all the things that feel good that did it!  The feel-good factor at work!

And then we started thinking about other things that made us feel good.  Like being up before the sun has melted the frost…..


and watching a fluffy bee at work.


Like melted chocolate. With peanut butter (but don’t tell anyone!)

Like playing a clapping game with a friend.


Like hugging someone…..


and being inside a hug.


And then we worked with a friend (which means we co-operated) to choose a few special things that felt good for us.  We wrote them down and then together (which means we co-operated) we chose the ones we felt best about to have printed.  Then we worked together (yes – more co-operating) to illustrate each page.

For Tanisha, collecting leaves feels good…..and for Lakeisha it’s being in bed!

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Playing pirates feels feels good for Ella…..but for Yanis it’s making sandcastles.

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Walking in the grass with bare feet feels good for Hiromi…..and for Joseph too.  But he also likes being in the park.  Barefoot in the Park perhaps.

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Baking feels good; learning ABCs feels good; eating apples feels good.

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As do lots of other things besides.

We pasted all of our feel-good thoughts and pictures into a BIG yellow book.  Our first pub-lic-a-tion.   A magnificent work of co-operation!

We shared it in assembly on Wed-nes-day.  And do you know what?  Afterwards, one of the teachers asked us if we would put it in the library so other people could check it out.  Well of course we could.  After all, we know that just thinking about the things that make you feel good can make you feel good.  Can you imagine how people who check it out will feel once they have read it!

It’s the feel-good factor at work!  All the way round the school!  And back.