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Partridge Camp 2017

The Pheasants and the Partridge classes had great fun on camp in Simonsberg. They experienced the outdoors and participated in various activities ranging from an obstacle course, puzzle pieces, mummy game with toilet paper, trust your partner blindfolded,  to rafting on the small dam. They all enjoyed a night hike and playing stalk the lantern. They came home exhausted and extremely dirty which clearly means they had a fantastic time with old and new friends. What a great group of children.

 

An exciting 7 days in the Pheasant class

The Pheasants have had a crazy-busy 7 days. Starting last week Friday we had the opportunity to go to the beach and bond with our new friends, as well as spend some time splashing about in the ‘not-so-warm’ water. Thank you to the parents who also joined us and took advantage of the opportunity to grow our Elkanah community. Some moms even braved the waters for a swim. Well done.

On Monday we visited the Animal Anti-Cruelty League where we leaned how important it is to look after our pets properly. We also learned about “living beyond self” by giving very generous donations of food and blankets to this worthy cause.

On Tuesday this week we introduced the iPads into our classes. The children have joined the various Google Classrooms, which will be one of the main avenues of disseminating and collecting tasks. This week we started exploring some of the apps as well as practicing our tables using some fun maths websites.

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We look forward to more fun as the year progresses.

 

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Saving Fred

The Grade 4s have had their first two lessons in a new learning area – Design and Technology!  There is much excitement about what this lesson can hold every week and they are dying to get stuck into their first project.  Before this can happen they had a taste of some of the skills they would be developing and using whilst in a Design and Tech lesson – problem-solving, critical thinking, compromising, clear communication, analysing and evaluating to name a few – whilst saving Fred.  Who is this you ask?

Fred is a worm who does not enjoy following rules and it often gets him in trouble.  This time he went canoeing without a life jacket on and his canoe capsized!  Fred is left stranded on top of his canoe with the life jacket inside it.  The Grade 4s had to help him into his life jacket and then into the canoe using only four paper clips – no hands allowed!  Needless to say the classroom was buzzing with strategies being decided on, levels of tenacity being tested and of course cries of excitement when Fred was saved.

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Learning to work in groups

Today was the start of a new term and new groups for the Guinea Fowl class. We played a few games to help us get to know each other and to work collaboratively. The first exercise was to build a pyramid using six cups, an elastic band and pieces of string. The children were not allowed to touch the cups with their hands.  They had to use the elastic band and the string.

Our second activity involved using 20 pieces of spaghetti, 5 large marshmallows and some cellotape. The idea was to build the tallest structure possible that could stand on its own. The tallest structure was built by Matthew, Dylan and Liam D. It was 95 cm tall.

Our third activity was playing a card game called Flip Three. It is a type of memory game but the cards have to make a sum. The child who ends up with the most cards wins the game.

Mother’s Day and Similes

The build up to Mother’s Day this past Sunday, presented the Pheasants with an opportunity to express their thanks to their moms. The students were tasked with writing a poem that needed to include a number of similes to express their feelings and thanks for their moms. To start with the students learned about the role of similes in the English language and practiced writing some of their own. They then took a sneaky selfie with their moms. They loaded the selfie into PicCollage and edited it with all manner of backgrounds, frames and digital stickers relevant to Mother’s Day. Once they were posted to Google Drive and printed, they were then used as the covers for their cards, within which were their original and heartfelt, simile-laden poems.

  1. Below is the cover and poem created and written by Sienna Casarin for her mom.

 

You are as sweet as the icing on my cupcake

I hope you know that, I hope you do

Cause you smell like sugarplum and trifle too

You care for me like I care for toffees

I care for you like you care for coffees

 

You are as sweet as the icing on my cupcake

I hope you know that, I hope you do

You have lips as sweet as the glaze on my cherry

So it’s really nice when you kiss me too

All the kisses I want to get, I have to get from you

 

You are as sweet as the icing on my cupcake

I hope you know that, I hope you do

 

Sienna Casarin Gr4 Pheasants

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Cycle Tests and Book Days

Our fantastic Grade Fours had another ‘first’ this week; they prepared for and wrote their first cycle test. While the papers are still being marked and moderated, and the results are not yet in, I can say that they were well prepared and for the most part quite confident about these formative tests. (I can’t speak for the parents though) In class, we refer to them as LFTs – Little Friendly Tests, or in some cases just as a “Check Up” to see how well they can apply the skills we have been practicing, thereby removing some of the stigma and angst associated with writing tests.

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This week we also celebrated “Book Day” at school and the students were involved in numerous activities designed to promote a love for books and reading. The day started with some Afrikaans reading in groups with Mrs Van Tonder.

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After that we went across and spent some time reading to our friends in the Grade 1 Sunbirds class. The Grade 1s were dressed up as characters from Alice in Wonderland. This was a wonderful experience for all the students involved.

We completed our celebrations with two activities. The first was playing ‘musical books’, much like musical chairs, but in this version they had to have a quick look at the blurbs and covers of a variety of books available from the library before moving on again.

The last activity was creating a ‘reading cave’ using our desks, some blankets and pillows and a few dictionaries as weights. The snugly reading cave was a real hit on a cold, blustery day like today.

All in, it was an enjoyable day to celebrate books and reading.

Pheasants and Partridges go Camping

Unless you have been in witness protection for the last few weeks you would no doubt be aware that the buzz at school has been around our annual Grade 4 Camp. Camps are one of the highlights, if not the most popular highlight, of each school year. 2016 was no different. We packed up 44 super-excited Grade 4s on a big, luxury Elwierda bus and headed of for the Simonsberg Christian Campsite near Stellenbosch. Along the way we stopped off at Giraffe House where the learners had the opportunity to watch a live show about some of the amazing and wonderful creatures that live in our world, as well as wonder around the facility and view some really beautiful wildlife. A couple of brave and/or lucky volunteers even got to hold (and in one case, kiss) some of the interesting creepy crawlies.

 

After arriving at Simonsberg and settling in to their rooms, the learners spent the next 2 days involved in various formal and informal activities, all designed to give them a different learning experience to the one they get in the regular classroom environment each day at school. The formal activities involved activities like raft building, obstacle courses, blind fold courses, zip-lines, puzzles and mud swings, all of which encouraged the learners to collaborate and work as a team to reach certain objectives. The informal activities involved the kids making their own teams and building forts in the forest during their free time. For many of the learners this was their favourite part of the camp. Without them realising it they were involved in collaborating, cooperating, conflict resolution, strategising and creative thinking while building their forest forts. Some of them even pondered and/or experimented with the health benefits of being covered in mud from head to toe. For those who were less interested in building forts, the pool provided much enjoyment. In the evenings we went a night hike and created ‘mummies’ on the first night, and enjoyed campfire songs and stories, and stalked the lantern on the second night.

 

All in all it was a wonderful learning experience that the kids will certainly not forget. Thank you to the parents for supplying the delicious baked goods which kept the learners (and the teachers) going between meals.

 

Mr Bellwood and Mrs Coetzee