This week we started tuning in to an inquiry into how we experience the world through our senses.
On Monday, when the class came in from play time they noticed something was different.
Shotaro: It smells like popcorn in here. Somebody has been eating popcorn.
Johnny: Why does it smell like popcorn?
Claire: Who has been eating popcorn?
Lucy: Ms Leah, did you have popcorn for your snack?
Arwyn: Hey, there's a popcorn maker.
Shotaro: And there's the popcorn maker box.
Johnny: Are we going to make popcorn?
Nora: Can we?
We talked about what popcorn smells like.
Griff: Popcorn smells like ... popcorn!
Teddy: Well, to me the smell is bad, because I don't like the smell of popcorn. So I say it smells like durian.
Pieter: It doesn't smell like popcorn. It smells like Cheerios to me.
Siena: Well, it's made of corn. Maybe it smells like corn.
We brainstormed how popcorn smells, looks, tastes, feels and sounds and made a chart.
Afterwards, some students helped Ms Florence make more popcorn, and we investigated popcorn further through our senses by smelling it, tasting it, feeling it, looking at it, and listening to it being made, pressed and eaten.
Wednesday after break time, again something was amiss.
Shotaro: It smells like oranges in here.
Johnny: Oh yah, it does!
Emma: Why does it smell like oranges in here?
Nora: I bet we are going to make orange juice!
Arwyn: It's like the same thing as before with the popcorn.
Siena: It's to learn about the senses.
We talked about what oranges smell like and charted down our ideas.
Lucy: They smell like Fanta.
Shotaro: Fizzy drinks.
Claire: Ice cream.
Teddy: Orange juice.
Adam: Rough. The outside is rough.
Emma: The inside is kind of soft.
Pieter: Squishy squashy.
Frankie: The seeds feel like cereal.
Griff: The seeds can feel kind of wet.
Aubrey: The seeds are like a plastic piece of corn.
Lucy: Or sometimes sour.
Adam: Orange juice.
Griff: The seeds are crunchy.
Johnny: The seeds don't have much taste. They are kind of plain.
Shotaro: Like an orange ball.
Johnny: The inside is like a moon, a half moon.
Adam: A bomb.
Shotaro: There's a white skin.
Griff: The seeds can be all shriveled up.
Griff: When you bite into an orange, the sound is like 'psssst' and juice comes out. If you happen to bite into a seed, it goes 'crk'.
After we investigated further using our senses of taste, sight, hearing, touch and smell, we made our own charts.
One of the best parts of this week has been seeing old friends and getting to know new friends. We want to have a classroom where everyone works together and is comfortable sharing their ideas so getting to know each other better has been an important part of our week.
Here we are finding out more about one another:
Have you ever played "Make 20"? To play it, the first person starts with a number smaller than 20. Then the second player says another number. The two added together should be less than 20. You keep going until you get to 20, but don't go any higher!
Claire: Six! That's 20!
Here are a few photos of some of our other Math activities this week:
This week we read the book I wish I'd Stood on Everest with Hillary and Norgay. We discussed how Hillary and Norgay reached their goals.
Arwyn: They cooperated. They used teamwork.
Siena: Even when things were difficult, they kept going.
Pieter: They need to keep practicing and practicing, and they needed to learn skills.
Emma: They never gave up.
Shotaro: They were brave.
Adam: They were not afraid.
Siena: They were risk takers.
Arwyn: And they were principled and caring. They were all those things.
Claire: They had to give up things sometimes and work at it.
Pieter: One time I wanted to go to a pizza party, but then I couldn't, because I had a soccer tournament so I had to go to it.
Teddy: Because you were part of a team.
Pieter: Yes. I didn't win, though. I came in third.
Siena: But it doesn't matter. It's about having fun.
Shotaro: And doing your best.
Before and after the reading, students asked questions about Mount Everest and the two climbers, prompting a discussion about what they knew about Mount Everest.
Lucy and Nora: Wait! Is this story actually true!
Griff: Yes, it's true. Mount Everest is in Nepal.
Frankie: And also China.
Pieter: Wait a second, how can it be in two places?
Aubrey: Because it's that big.
Frankie: And it's between both places.
Griff: It's the tallest mountain, the tallest in the world.
There were several questions we jotted down to research further:
Griff: How tall is Mount Everest?
Griff: Were Hillary and Norgay the first to climb other tall mountains?
Siena: What is the tallest mountain in Europe?
Shotaro: Why is Mount Everest so tall?
Johnny: How are mountains formed?
Griff: Are Hillary and Norgay still the only ones who have climbed it?
Teddy: How many people have climbed Mount Everest?
Claire: Has anyone ever died on Mount Everest?
Johnny: How do the sherpas fix the ladders over the crevasses?
Griff: Ms. Leah, have you ever climbed Mount Everest? Why would people want to climb Mount Everest if they might die doing so?
Shotaro: I think they do it because they want to be so high.
Siena: Or they want to be famous. Maybe they want to be famous.
This morning we watched a video on Mount Everest. Students took notes and sketched Mount Everest as they watched.
Pieter: Mount Everest is 8,800 meters. See? It says so there on the whiteboard.
Adam: Before Mount Everest was under the sea.
Siena: Then the land broke apart, and India crashed into the rest of Asia.
Shotaro: And the mountain is made of rock.
Lucy: With crystals.
Later we read the book a second time.
Claire: Why is climbing Mount Everest so dangerous?
Teddy: Because it is very hard to breathe.
Shotaro: There is not much air.
Siena: The air is thin.
Siena: You might fall into a crevasse.
Shotaro: Or fall off the rock. It's very slippery.
Griff: That's why they wear those things (crampons).
Frankie: And they use those axes.
Lucy: Also it's very, very cold.
Nora: You can freeze to death it's so cold.
Adam: That's why they are wearing all that clothes.
Griff: But you can also get a sunburn. The man in the video, his skin was very tanned.
Pieter: Because you are closer to the sun.
Griff: But how do the tents get there?
Siena: The porters bring them up. The porters carry everything.
Teddy: The sherpas.
Griff: Was Norgay a porter? He was a sherpa.
Johnny: I still don't know how the sherpas fix the ladders over the crevasses.
Griff: How long ago was it? That they were boys? 1920's? How old would they be then?
Emanie: It's 2015.
Griff: They would be very old. Are they still alive?
We will continue our inquiries into Sir Edmund Hillary, Tenzing Norway and their climbing of Mt Everest.