Lower-Primary - Ms Narissa

A Colourful Christmas!

We would like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas from Lower Primary!

This past two months has flown by and the children have been very busy improving their mathematical skills, becoming more independent with their literacy time and learning about colour during our IPC.

Year 1 have been busy using new strategies for addition, skip counting by 2s and 10s and exercising their brains by using logic puzzles and thinking problems. Year 2 have been learning about 2-digit numbers, near doubles and learning new methods to help them add and subtract.

The children are enjoying becoming more independent with their Daily 5 activities and can now Read to Self, Read to Someone, Listen to Reading, Work on Writing and complete Word Work activities to become better readers and writers. They have been writing about their weekends and doing creative writing about Autumn leaves and using new colour words to describe what they have seen during their IPC unit, Art:Colour. They wrote and performed colour poetry inspired by Christina Rosetti’s poem ‘What is Pink?’. You can see listen and enjoy your child’s work on Seesaw.

The children had an opportunity to present their learning about light to the school during assembly and did a fantastic job! They presented facts about light and performed a book called ‘Flash and Gleam’. They then continued their learning through our new IPC unit Art: Colour.
During our Entry Point and Knowledge Harvest we explored line, colour and shape around the school and brainstormed different colour words to describe colours that we already know. We learnt about Mondrian’s, Matisse’s and Kusama’s artwork and created our own art inspired by theirs. The children learnt about primary, secondary and tertiary colours on the colour wheel and how to mix them, create tints and use complementary colours to create interesting effects.

Today we say a big thank you and goodbye to our Erasmus intern Ms Estela. She has a fantastic assistant to the teachers and the students over the last few months and we will miss her! We wish her every success on her way to becoming a teacher.

Although we’ve had to get used to some new covid restrictions we’ve also had a term full of celebrations! We celebrated Kezhen, Samuel and Laura’s birthdays as well as Diwali, Hanukkah, Sint Niklaas and now Christmas. The children have been working very hard on their Christmas Show dance and we hope that you enjoy it watching it!

We wish you and your families all a safe, relaxing and wonderful holiday break and we look forward to seeing you all in the New Year!

Ms Narissa & Ms Julieta 

 

 

 

Shining our light in Lower Primary 2!

 Welcome to Lower Primary

What an exciting start to the school year!

I’m Ms Narissa and together with Ms Carla we have had the privilege to welcome our lovely little Lower Primary 2 class into the 2021-2022 school year.  Although we are Lower Primary 2, we are so lucky to be able to share our learning and classroom experiences with Lower Primary 1, Ms Julieta and Ms Estella!

Ms Julieta has been working with Year 1 on their Numeracy and I have been working with Year 2!
For our literacy time the children have been learning all about how to be independent learners. They have learnt how to ‘Read to Self’, ‘Work on Writing’ and do ‘Word Work’ to become better readers and writers – and they are doing a very successful job!
After the autumn break, we’ll be learning all about ‘Reading to Someone’ and how to become a better reader by ‘Listening to Reading’. All of these make up the 5 activities that are part of the Daily 5 literacy method. You can always ask your child more about their literacy time and if you have any questions please don’t hesitate to get in contact.

After a short introduction to the brain and how we learn, the children have jumped into learning all about light during our IPC unit this term. For more information about our IPC activities, check out Ms Julieta’s blog!

This year we welcome Alek, Andrew and Daksh into Year 1 – new to primary but not to ISG!
We love having you in our class boys!
We also have two new students to ISG, Arjun from India in Year 1 and Roni from Israel in Year 2 – we’re so glad you are with us!
And last, but not least, the rest of Year 2 is made up of returning students Eyal, Elize, Laura and Tiago who have been great at showing our new children what ISG is all about!

Unfortunately, Daksh was only with us for a short time and we had to say goodbye a few weeks ago as he returned to India. We all miss him and wish him all the best in his new school. Who knows, we may get to see him again soon!

This month we were also lucky enough to be able to celebrate Tiago’s birthday with fantastic homemade cupcakes that he helped make -yum!

Finally, to finish off our first few weeks of the term we shared a thrilling Halloween party with Upper Primary and performed a poem about witches for the Pre-Primary children!

We wish you a very safe and enjoyable break and look forward to welcoming back everyone for the next term in November!

Ms Narissa

A beautiful end to a wonderful year!

Firstly, I would like to start with a huge thank you to the children for making this such an incredible year. They have shown themselves to be such a caring, interested and creative class and it's been a true pleasure to teach such a group of wonders- thank you! With this, I would also like to say a huge thank you to all the help and support we have had over the course of the year- Ms Irene, Ms Anelda, Ms Cristina, Ms Maria and Ms Dena have all played a role and I would like to thank each and everyone of you for your hard work and dedication. 

As with every school year, we have had to say goodbye to some good friends- Alice, Aurora, Marceau, Felipe and Esme Jade- we will miss you all but we wish you well on your next big adventure! We also missed our friends Anan and Kyryll who left before the end of the school year, we hope to see you both back next school year. Alongside all the goodbyes, we were also fortunate to welcome Chihiro into our class for the last 2 weeks of term. It was lovely getting to know you, and again, we look forward to seeing you in September!

This term was all about myths, legends and fables through our IPC topic- The Stories People Tell. The children threw themselves into the topic and shared their knowledge and understanding of these ancient tales. Using the project as a springboard, the children dove into the mystical world of myths and legends. Using these amazing, epic tales as inspiration, they began to weave their own class story. To begin, they picked out the main themes: heros, monsters, gods and goddesses, royalty, magic, epic journeys, battles, triumph and loss, and looked into what elements make a great myth or legend. They then created a character for our story, deciding if they were good or evil and then, using ideas from the stories we read- magnificent cities, turbulent seas, safe harbours, Greek triremes, the deep, dark underworld, resplendent palaces and impenetrable fortresses -they began to explore and create the settings and wove into their story writing as their epic tale developed. Together they wrote and illustrated a beautiful book- of which they all took a copy home and they made a film which they were able to share with their parents and many children in school during an outdoor screening of the show!

Watch it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fhOvKUNq-2A

The year ended with a bang- the children went on a trip to the Blaarmeersen for a sports day, they made tie dye t-shirts, had pizza and watched a movie and finally participated in our whole school Wacky Olympics. A great celebration to end a busy and creative school year. With this I wish you all a lovely summer holiday. May it be filled with adventure, friends, family and love.

Ms Erica

Architects, designers and builders!

Dear friends and families,

This term has been all about buildings and the children have been developing their design, architecture and construction skills! They decided they wanted to plan and build a city; one of the construction materials available in the classroom is Makedo- Makedo is a building system using screws and saws to cut and fit pieces of cardboard together. Armed with a basic know-how of how to use it, the children were eager to get started and set to work constructing a range of different buildings. Over the next few weeks, the city started to take form and the children worked together to make a park, lay the roads, carefully place each building in position, number and labels the structures, design the river and build bridges to cross it. The children chose to use Bee-Bots to traverse the city. Bee-Bots are simple robots that can be programmed to make journeys around different maps. Creating roads for Bee-Bots takes time and careful measuring. Now the hard work was done, the children could finally start to programme in the instructions and get the Bee-Bots to make journeys around the city. They thoroughly enjoyed this project; it encompassed many different skills such as design, construction, maths, technology, computer programming as well as interpersonal and negotiating skills as they designed, built and steered their paths through their city!

The children have also been looking at a range of buildings from around the world; Ms Maria who comes from near Barcelona shared a wonderful lesson with them about Gaudi and Casa Batllo. The building is based upon the legend of St George and the dragon, the class then recreated the building, each group concentrating on a different part. They used a range of different materials and made a beautiful reproduction! They have also learned about the Eiffel tower, St Basil’s Cathedral, the Burj Kalifa and Tower Bridge, to name just a few. We have also been looking into architectural drawings and floor plans. The children looked at the original plans from the school; they were fascinated by the floor plans and quickly set about trying to work out what each element was and how it was represented. We discussed how the plans are drawn from a birds-eye view and how to represent doors, windows, sinks, toilets…. etc. Equipped with this knowledge the children were keen to have a go themselves and draw floor plans of their own houses, bedrooms or even gardens! 

In literacy the class have been delving into the wonderful world of Micheal Rosen, a children’s poet and author who writes funny stories and rhymes. A firm favourite is the poem Chocolate Cake and the Eddie stories which have prompted great joy and hilarity! Next term the children will be writing their own funny stories in the style of Micheal Rosen, I can’t wait to see what they come up with!

This term has once again brought in some new and familiar faces; we are all delighted to have welcomed back an old friend Esme Jade, it’s great to see your great big smile once again! We have also had a new intern- Ms Cristina who will be with us until May- welcome. Sadly, we had said goodbye (for now) to Ms Anelda who will return in June, fortunately we have the help of the wonderful Ms Dena who has taken over from Anelda, again- welcome! With that, I wish you all a wonderful and fun-filled holiday.

Erica

 

 

Settling in....

Dear friends and families,

It’s been a great start to the school year I have loved getting to know all the children and can’t wait to continue to learn more about them each day. Despite all the upheaval from Covid and the ongoing changes to our everyday lives, the children have settled in quickly and have formed a cohesive and inclusive group. It has been exciting to watch their learning this half term and cannot wait to see where their creativity, resolve and interests take us this year. We have been incredibly lucky to have had help and support this term from Ms Anelda and Ms Maria, I am so grateful for the fantastic work they do daily to support and inspire the children's learning.

Our IPC topic Sensational has been a catalyst for many interesting investigations into how our body works and how our senses help us navigate the world around us. The workings of the body  and it’s many complexities have been an endless source of wonder for the children. There have been myriad questions and child-led investigations to find out the answers. It has been a pleasure to watch their interest and knowledge grow over the course of the unit.

Taking inspiration from our IPC theme, the children have delved into the traditional German folk tale- The Magic Porridge Pot. Using Talk for Writing, the children created a series of actions to help them memorise the story; these actions are used to help imbed the patterns of language. They then took this idea of a magic object and began to create their own stories using Lego Education Story Starter sets. Their innate interest in building and Lego was the perfect catalyst for this project. The children structured their stories by building the beginning, middle and end. Using these developing ideas, the children have chosen to create stop motions and short films to retell their stories. We look forward to sharing the results with you all when they are finished!

Our forays to the local woods continue to inspire and excite the children’s imaginations. Here the children have found endless inspiration and have been recording notes about the changing of the seasons. We recently went to write an Autumn senses poem; the children explored the environment and discussed what they could see, hear, smell and feel. When we returned to the classroom they edited their ideas and produced beautiful final copies that adorn the walls of our classroom. This opportunity to get outside weekly provides the children not only with opportunities to explore nature and their surroundings but also to build stronger bonds, problem solve together and develop social interaction skills.

Finally, a huge welcome to Ms Sophie who will take over from me every Wednesday until the end of the year. Some of you know Ms Sophie well, as she taught some of the Year 1 children in Pre-Primary. We have worked together over the past 2 weeks to hand over and help her better understand the rhythm of our days. The children and I are delighted to have her join our class and I know they will have a fantastic time in her very capable hands.

With that I wish you all a lovely Autumn break and look forward to seeing the children on our return to school! Happy holidays all!

Erica

A Trip Back in Time!

This term we have taken a trip back in time and have been learning all about amazing people who have shaped our world and brought about change. The children learned about local hero Jacob van Artevelde, whose statue stands proud over the Vrijdagsmaarkt in the city centre. They delved into his intriguing life and rewrote his story, bringing it to life with beautiful illustrations. Taking a leap back in time, the children were encouraged to imagine what Medieval Gent would have looked like in the time of Jacob van Artevelde. During a trip to the city centre they drew the facades of the buildings on the Graslei, back at school, they continued to work on these beautiful drawings and decided to try to recreate the Graslei as it might have looked in the Middle Ages. Looking at paintings and drawings of Medieval Gent and Flanders they unearthed and reconstructed the scene. Having drawn the scene, it was now time to write about it. The children were encouraged to imagine not only what they might have seen but also what they might have smelled and heard when wandering through the Graslei in the 13th century. Their wonderful descriptions were full of of wooden boats floating, horses clip-clopping, rats scurrying, feral cats chasing, bread baking, sewage stinking… the perfect depiction of Medieval Gent!

The children continued their research into the life of their famous person. They made timelines; using books, ipads and prior knowledge they worked in pairs to pick out pivotal events. Armed with this information, they carefully measured a line and then marked on the decades. The children drew detailed pictures and wrote captions to depict these key episodes and then arranged them in order to give an overview of their lives.  Continuing this research, they delved further into influential people’s lives and wrote detailed fact files. This was a prolonged project that spanned a number of weeks. First, the children thought carefully about non-fiction texts and the features they use and how they differ from fiction. They committed a fact file about Dr Suess to memory- memorising the structure as well as the words. They then planned a fact file thinking carefully about using subheadings, bullet points and finding inspirational quotes. Once they had arranged and collated all this information they wrote their own fact file about their amazing individual, detailing their achievements, misfortunes and triumphs!

The topic ended with a trip to Historium in Bruges  where the children were transported back in time to thriving Medieval city. The children loved exploring the Medieval times and experiencing first-hand the unusual smells! A unique VR experience allowed the children to fly across the rooftops.

Every Friday we continue to go out to the woods where the children are busy constructing shelters from branches and leaves. They continue to wonder at the nature that surrounds us and pay attention to the changing seasons. This is a great time for the children to revel in the great outdoors and learn about nature as well as developing communication and cooperation skills as they work, construct and play together.

Happy holidays everyone!

It has been a busy and productive half term with lots of Christmas inspired activities, an amazing performance and a trip to the city centre!

We have been learning all about people who inspire us through our IPC topic ‘People of the Past’. At home, the children researched a person who stimulated their imagination and who’s actions inspire them. During our Entry Point, the children shared this information with one another, bringing books, images or items related to that person. We have a wide range of interesting and varied individuals ranging from artists such as Frida Kahlo, to activists like Susan B. Anthony and King Sejong, the inventor of the Korean alphabet.

Using the beautiful series of books Little People, Big Dreams the children have been delving into the lives of amazing people who have made a difference to the world. They have been learning how to draw out relevant and interesting information and how to present it. They made beautiful and informative posters about these incredible people and their achievements.

We went on a walking tour of Gent to discover more about it’s rich and varied history. Our lovely guide Bruno gave the children some remarkable insights into our beautiful city, he also introduced them to the local hero Jacob Van Artevelde- a famous Gentian whose statue stands proud on the Vrijdagsmaarkt. We will be exploring more about this intriguing man and the times he lived in when we return to school in January.

We have also been learning about a famous author- the wonder that is Dr Seuss. The children learned to recite his much-loved tale The Grinch Who Stole Christmas. Using the Talk for Writing method, they came up with a series of actions to illustrate the words, these actions helped imbed the patterns of language and memorise the poem. They did a beautiful performance with an animation video in the background using puppets and scenery that they had made themselves! It was a beautiful end to a fun and busy term, and I was so proud of each and every one of them.

All that is left to say is a very happy festive season to you all- may it be fun-filled and relaxing. See you all in 2020!

Erica

Who Am I?

Welcome back! I hope you all had a fantastic autumn break and are feeling rested and ready to begin another fun-filled term.

In literacy, the children have been working extremely hard at writing their very own creation myths. They began by creating and developing the characters in their stories by making beautiful masks and then interviewing one another to really delve into their creator and how they made the world. They recorded their thoughts through story mapping; a process that helped them develop their ideas and think carefully about the beginning, middle and end of their stories. They then took these ideas and translated their story maps into a storyboard. Finally, the children choose to record their creation myths as beautifully illustrated books, like the much-loved Fire Children original. We invite you all to come and have a look outside our classroom where they are on display for all to enjoy.

We have been getting out and about in nature as much as possible and have been developing many skills such as cooperation and resilience through these valuable outdoor experiences. The children have also been using this time to delve further into our topic work such as creating self portraits with natural materials and creating settings for their Fire Children stories and using these settings as a springboard to develop vocabulary and ideas.

In IPC, the children have learned all about their bodies and organs and the important role each one plays in keeping us alive and well. We have also been learning to express ourselves in different ways and used our experiences during our trip to SMAK to create ‘All About Me Boxes’ where each child produced a small box filled with their favourite things as a means to express their identity and individuality. On Friday, we had the exit point for our topic – Who Am I? Thank you to all who joined us to celebrate all the hard work and effort that the children put into their first months back at school- it was a great success and was thoroughly enjoyed by all involved.

 

First Weeks of Fun!

We have had a super start to the school year and the children have spent lots of time learning about one another and building new friendships. It’s been wonderful to hear about all their summer holiday adventures and get to know each child individually. It has also been great to see some familiar faces and to welcome some new friends to ISG: welcome Bianca, Laura and Berit; it’s fantastic to see how quickly you have all settled into your new school and class!

Our current topic is Who am I? Through this topic we are busy exploring our identities; celebrating our differences and the characteristics we share. For our Entry Point the children looked at photos that had been changed so that only their very basic facial features were recognisable and had great fun trying to find out who was who. They then drew some lovely sketches of their faces which are on our classroom door. We have also been on a trip to the SMAK museum where the children were introduced to a variety of artists and saw the many ways they expresses themselves and their identities. We will use this visit as a springboard for children to make their own personal and expressive works of art.

In literacy, all of Year 1 and 2 are also currently working on a creation myth from West Africa called The Fire Children. Through the story the children are doing lots of different activities from story circles to making their own fire children characters from clay. These sessions help bring the story to life and allow the children to explore all areas of the literacy program in a creative and meaningful way.

Our numeracy programme has started well, the children have been building on their numeracy skills, revisting numbers, number facts and number bonds. We will be moving on to shape and symmetry next week.

I am looking forward to a fun year of learning and watching each child grow, develop and enjoy their time together!