Thursday, March 21, 2013

Chain Story created by 5K


It was a cold, shivery night! It was really dark and Harry could hear weird noises. He wanted to leave the house. But, Harry’s friends were extremely scared and were hiding under their blankets. Harry gathered some courage and bravely walked outside his door. Surprisingly, he saw that his friends were already out! Suddenly, he saw a shadow, shadow of a tiger!!

When Harry went nearer to see what it was, he saw a huge load of ice! Harry shouted, “Look, look, it’s snowing inside my house! What are we going to do?” Sam suggested that all of them could go to his house as it is close by. Then they could get some help. So, all of them walked anxiously towards Sam’s house. Unfortunately, they lost their way and entered a creepy forest. There was no sight of another human!!

Gradually Harry, Sam and all other friends walked into the increasingly dense forest. Subsequently, they found a bear, a talking bear! The talking bear was quite talkative. Harry asked the bear to help them find their way. The bear led them towards the end of the forest and there they found a stream of water. It was gleaming under the moonlight. Harry could see silvery fishes swimming near the shore. Splash! Slush! Splosh! Squish! The curvy waves were hitting the humungous rocks.

Harry was so mesmerised that he missed his step and leaped into the water! His heart started thumping! Lub – Dub – LUB – DUB – LUB – DUB… He knew this would be the end of his life! He was miserable. He was terrified. He was breathless. He was petrified. But, amazingly, Harry could breathe! He could feel pure, cold air entering his lungs. How? He didn’t have a clue! For the next hour or so, he kept swimming endlessly! He had no idea where the icy water was taking him.

His heart missed a beat when lying in the river bed, he saw a glittering, dazzling box. The box had intricate floral designs on it and from the yellow shine, Harry could tell it was made of gold! As Harry reached for the box, he was attacked by a giant fish. It was a fish he had never seen in his life before! It was partly shark and partly whale. In a hurry, Harry glided towards the sparkling box. As soon as he touched the box, He started spinning and swirling in the water. In a second, he was out! Astonishingly, he wasn’t even wet! Where were his friends?? Had they left him? How long was he inside the water? What will he do now? His head was flooded with all sorts of questions! Exasperated, Harry sat on the floor and opened the chest. Comfortably sitting inside the chest was a tiny, white note. On it were three words – WAKE UP HARRY!!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Using audio tools to enhance reading skills

The audio tools are excellent resources to reinforce good reading strategies. There are many ways of creating/audio audio files: online (websites like or offline (softwares like audio boo and built in computer accessories like 'sound recorder').

The class 5 students have been making good use of these audio tools in the classroom. We used it to create a glog for our previous unit. We have now begun to use the tools in Reading. There are a couple a few things that the students have done so far:

They read pages from the ORT books and recorded their own voices. Later, they heard themselves and reflected on the short-comings. They re-recorded themselves to notice the improvement. Many students listen to stories online.

In Novel study, the students are focusing on the Bloom's Taxonomy as of now. For the 'analysis' stage, the students were asked to talk about how Narnia undergoes seasonal changes from different perspectives: the queen, the faun, Mr. Beaver, etc. They recorded themselves speaking and later self-reflected.

Here is a sample in which a student talks about the change of weather in Narnia from the queen's perspective:

Monday, March 4, 2013

Integrating Mathematics

Amongst the five strands of Mathematics, 'Data Analysis' is said to be the easiest to integrate with the units of inquiry. However, one needs to be mindful of integrating it meaningfully and creatively. While creating graphs based on data collected is simplest to accomplish, there are many other ways of integrating this strand.

For our unit on Energy, we focused on the skill of analysing graphs and making conclusions. Groups of students were given different graphs based on energy and its consumption. They were asked to read the graphs carefully. For the new terms, students were asked to refer laptops in order to find the definitions/explanations. They also added information on the 'I found that...' wall as and when they found something new.

The teacher put forward provocative questions as the students inquired into to the graphs: 'Why do you think Canada is leading in energy  consumption?'; 'Why don't the African countries use a lot of energy?'; 'Why doesn't India use a lot of renewable energy?'; 'Why do you think the cost of installing solar panels will decrease over time?'. There was an elaborate discussion after this.

This was very well connected to the AgaKhan Strand 'Economics for Development'.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Four Corners

Grade 5 did a very interesting learning engagement today. Four captions were displayed around the class: COMPLETELY AGREE, AGREE, DISAGREE AND COMPLETELY DISAGREE. The teacher put forward provocative, open-ended questions/statements like  that were related to energy and it's suutainability. For example: "We should try and use solar energy as much as possible"; "Countries must fight with each other to own resources"; "Rich families to own many cars"; "Energy can never be created nor destroyes, it can be converted". The students were asked to stand next to the caption that they thought was right. There were discussions for each of the questions. The AK strand 'Economics for develoment' was kept in mind while framing the questions. This gave an opportunity for the students to reflect and put forward thoughts and arguments