A message from SK
As always, the SK classroom is a busy place. The boys are really enjoying our current unit of inquiry in which they’re reading about, writing about, measuring and exploring matter in all its forms.
After launching the unit at Norval, we asked the boys: “Where do clouds come from?” They recorded their answers and had many creative suggestions. Afterwards, we used a hot plate, water in a beaker and a mirror to collect condensation to demonstrate the water cycle. Evaporation, condensation and precipitation are now part of the vocabulary in our classroom and evidence of the learning that’s occurring.
Our inquiry into clouds was followed by an outdoor learning experience in the UCC Prep Learning Garden. While on a matter scavenger hunt, the boys identified that it was difficult to find any matter in liquid form but were unable to explain why this was. They offered suggestions such as: “Maybe there’s no liquid outside at UCC.”
We used this misconception to develop a question to introduce the scientific method, and we conducted an experiment to see what happened to a liquid that was placed outside. The boys developed hypotheses, engaged in procedural writing and recorded their observations and conclusions. Photographic documentation of this process is posted on the windows outside the main office for parents to see.
In a second outdoor experience, the boys recognized salt as matter in solid form. This led to a wonderful learning opportunity as the boys used their senses to consider the properties of salt. Most notably, they were surprised to feel that the salt wasn’t warm as they expected. They inquired as to why it’s able to melt the ice outside. This question will drive our inquiry in the days to come.
In our next unit of inquiry, SK boys will learn about growth in all living things and consider how we care for living things in various stages of growth. We will welcome chicken eggs and caterpillars into our classroom and look forward to learning about how to care for them. The unit provides a wonderful connection to some action that several of our boys have been involved in outside of the classroom in support of the Yee Hong Community Wellness Foundation. We look forward to the possibility of making a rich home-school-community connection. We’ll begin this inquiry after the March break and we’ll send out more information at that time.
Thank you to our wonderful SK families for organizing our Chinese New Year celebration. The boys had a great time and learned a lot about the Lunar New Year. In addition, thank you to all families for contributing to our Valentine’s Day party. It’s been an exciting few weeks.
Laura Heyes and Pina Porto