Sunday, January 29, 2017

Watch Out! Here Come the Grade 2s with their Transportation Dances!

The Grade Two students are becoming knowledgable about many different forms of transportation and how they move in varied ways.  Students have been making connections between these forms of transportation and ways that they can be expressed in dance.  They are learning to collaborate better, too.

One of the concepts students connected with transportation was  "Fantastic Shapes."  To make an interesting shape, students remembered the following steps:
Think about the shape of the form of transportation:
-Move your feet
-Move your arms
-Move your torso
-Move your head and change your expression

Students made various transportation poses, melting from one pose to the next.  By making poses in this manner, students create more complex and interesting poses.

They reviewed their knowledge of locomotor movements, moving from one place to another by skipping, jumping, hopping, tiptoeing, running, leaping, etc, and axial movements, movements in one place, such as stretching, spinning, swaying, etc.

The next concept students explored further was pathways.  Students thought about each type of transportation and move in a straight, curvy, or zigzag pathway.  They also used their upper body to create movement with their arms and head.

One of the most challenging concepts for students was the idea of flow.  When we thought about kinds of transportation, some traffic can move easily for long periods of time, whereas other kinds of vehicles stop and go.  In dance, we call this free flow and bound flow.

Students created dance pieces connecting these concepts with their knowledge of transportation.  Students performed their dances for their peers and received feedback.

In addition, students collaborated in groups of three in a concept called flocking.  When students are flocking, one person leads, and two or three dancers follow behind in a triangle or diamond shape. Each student created her own transportation dance, and the rest of the group followed her dance.  This meant that every student had to be very clear in her movement.

Can you tell what kind of transportation the dances are about?

How are the students working together?

Do you see varied locomotor movements?

What do you like best about these dances?  What could students improve on?

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Sounds of Transportation Through Onomatopoeia and Instruments

We're inquiring about transportation through Music!  The Grade Two students have been "exploring sound as a means of expressing their own imaginative ideas about transportation." (PYP music curriculum)

To inspire us, students started by learning the song "I Have a Car," an American camp song about a Model T Ford.  This showed students how transportation has changed over time.  Think about the kinds of sounds that your car makes.

I Have a Car

I have a car.  It's made of tin.
Nobody knows what shape it's in.
It has four wheels and a rumble seat.
Hear us chugging down the street.

Honk! Honk! Rattle! Rattle! Rattle! Crash! Beep! Beep!
Honk! Honk! Rattle! Rattle! Rattle! Crash! Beep! Beep!
Honk! Honk! Rattle! Rattle! Rattle! Crash! Beep! Beep!
Honk! Honk! 

Students made a dance to express the song.  Students worked in groups of four to create instrumentation.  They brainstormed their choices about car sounds by exploring various instrument sounds from the four different instrument families--drums, woods, shakers/ scrapers, and metals.

Then they chose an instrument for their sound words--honk, rattle, crash, beep.  Then each group practiced using the rhythm of the words.  They are continuing to improve and refine this.

Honk! Honk! Rattle! Rattle! Rattle! Crash! Beep! Beep!

What do you notice about their choices?  You can see creativity at work with the many different possibilities students generated. Click on these super short videos to see them.

How are their choices different from the other groups?  What makes their choices interesting?

Students will be listening for the sounds created by other forms of transportation, and creating ways to express the sounds through onomatopoeia sounds and instruments. Fun!

Mrs. Handel-Johnson and Mrs. Kampa


Exploring Transportation Systems at Haneda Airport

How do airport systems meet the needs of our community? Grade 2 took a trip to Haneda Airport to find out firsthand. Today we investigated the different systems at the airport and how they work.

These are the outcomes we wanted the girls to attain by the end of today in addition to having a great time.

I am able to...
  •  name multiple systems at Haneda Airport.
  • explain how more than one system at the airport works.
  • explain the purpose of multiple systems at the airport.
  • explain multiple factors to consider when choosing to travel by airplane (speed, distance, cost, safety, environmental impact).
Here are some pictures from our field trip today to JAL Sky Museum and Terminal 2 Haneda Airport. Thank you very much to our chaperones for joining us!

view of 787 and Tokyo Sky Tree in the distance from the 5th floor of Terminal 2

On our way from arrivals to 5th floor Observation Deck

Picnic Lunch and Plane Watching at the Observation Deck

Passing through security at JAL Sky Museum in the afternoon

Captain and Co-Pilot

Awesome Photobomb up in JAL business class
 Unfortunately, we were asked not to post any pictures from inside the hanger.

What We Learned:

"I learned that an airplane has about 4 doors." (Boeing 777)

"I learned that some airplanes land with their front looking down or up."

"I learned that ground handling and cargo staff help where airplane park."

"I learned that airplane can't go backward."

"I learned that there is an orange thing that let's people know where airplanes are."

"I learned that every three minutes an airplane arrives at Haneda from another airport."

New Questions We Have:

"How can an airplane land safely?"

"How many people can an airplane lift?

"I'm curious about how many pilots there are."

"How do the pilots wake up in an airplane?"

"What is a plane made of?"

"How do airplanes fly in the air when the rain comes?"

"How are airplanes made?"

"Why can airplanes fly?"

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Writing Conferences + Transportation Apps

Grade 2 students have been working on science writing. As they wrote, their teachers met with them one-on-one for writing conferences. Students were given feedback cards to improve their writing.
During this conference, Yua received a feedback card with reminders of how she can revise her writing

There are several feedback cards that give clear guidelines to students so they can be successful in their writing

Jillian received this feedback card that reminded her to use her sketches to add more information
Camille enjoyed using an app that teaches children about the connections between subway lines
In an app called Tiny Airport, students explored and discussed the variety of systems that are involved in airports. They imagined what the airport would be like without some of the systems.