More on our holidays topic! I do wish that I had taken more pictures of the start of our topic, but hey-ho. I have put my medium-term planing for all subjects here for anyone who is interested (you may see things here that aren't on there - I do tend to deviate somewhat!).
Drawing on the skills we learnt in the weather topic, children found and interpreted climate data, then chose the best time of year to go on their holiday.
As part of our holidays planning, the children have used tables in Word to create holiday itineraries. You could do this on a spreadsheet, but we have done lots on that but hadn't really explored the formatting options for the tables in Word. It was a great way for them to collate their Maths and ICT skills. They researched flight prices, hotels as well as activities, keeping in mind the characters of their group.
Check back later this week for details of how we got on making tourist maps with QR codes to scan and link to the attraction's website!
I try not to use this blog as a soapbox, but I am on a mission to try to STOP teachers insisting on showing young children regular shapes first. In my opinion, this is the reason that my YEAR 5 children think that something is a pentagon because it 'looks like a house' or that something must be a triangle because it is 'pointy'. These are children who can tell you beyond all doubt how many sides a pentagon or triangle has, yet when you show them a pointy shape, their first, instinctive response is that it is a triangle. ARGH!!!!! So, I am all about irregular polygons at the moment. Anyway, rant over. ish.
So, we played a game. I gave each team of 4 a loop of string. I then challenged them to make different polygons in different ways. For example, in the picture above, I asked them to make a hexagon using all 4 children. I then asked them to make a different one or to just use 3 of the children.
The challenge really came when I asked then to use 3 children to make a decagon. Whoooooo! What a lot of debate and reasoning this took! I had to stop them in the end when I realised that the reason they were struggling was because not a single team had considered making a concave shape, which is far easier to hold. Concave shapes just don't come naturally into their heads as they are not shown these when they learn about shape.
I will definitely play this game again. It made a fun, hands-on warm-up and the kids loved it!
Happy New Year! Well, after an eventful Christmas and New Year, it's been full steam ahead this term. Our new topic is all about Holidays. Yes, I know that this is a common Foundation Stage and KS1 topic, but I've amped it up to KS2! There is so much learning to be done!! The children are loving this topic already. Anyway, I should start at the beginning...
To hook them into the topic, I allowed each team of 4 to come up with a 'tour group', who could be travelling together. We had pensioners, 2 couples, a single mum with 3 children, a family with 2 adults and 2 children, a swimming team on a social holiday and a group of university students. They thought of likes, dislikes, considerations (such as disabilities or allergies) and group dynamics. I then took them and redistributed them to different groups, along with a suitable budget and 2 holiday destination options.
Opening their envelopes was the funniest experience! The 'swimming team' squealed with excitement, the 'pensioners' groaned and laughed and the single mother declared that 'they'd better have a kids club because she's stuck on her own with them all year - this is her break', meanwhile a 'teenage daughter' was sulking about not being able to charge her iPhone in a tent! Talk about getting into character!!
In Maths, we decided to try to figure out how Trip Advisor rank attractions after realising that the top attraction often had a lower rating than those further down. I took screen shots of some of the top attractions in our local area (Manchester), and we had a look at the bars and numbers to check what each represented. After a quick recap of finding percentages using a calculator, the children explored possibilities. Some tried finding the percentage of 'excellent' reviews, some wondered if it was based on the percentage at 'average' or above (thus moving themselves on to a 2-step problem, having to total the categories they were including).
Okay, I know that this is nothing new, but we had a lot of fun measuring distances with maps, scales and pieces of string! We then extended this a bit to calculating how long a journey would take at a given speed. The maps we used were just simple Google maps of Greater Manchester, allowing us to find the distances between our school and local attractions. Later in the week, we converted these from metric to imperial, because let's be honest - who measures distances in kilometres?!
Check back next week for details about the walking tour we are designing for our parents and the fantastic speaking and listening that has come out of it! Sorry for the short post but, as you can see, we've been very busy! More to come soon, promise!
Hi! I'm Mrs P: passionate primary school teacher!