The Three Little Pigs Materials STEM Challenge

As part of our two week Science inquiry into materials, we took part in a STEM challenge based on the story “The Three Little Pigs”.  In GROUPS, students needed to construct a house for the pigs by selecting and combining everyday materials.  Some engineers were working for the pigs – they needed to build a house that would not be blown apart.  Some engineers were working for the wolf – they need to choose and materials so the house would blow down.  We discovered that house construction is a tricky task and working in a group takes practice.  The classroom looked like an explosion site for a little bit but boy we had fun.  We also had lots to talk about as we dared to fail to succeed…

You might have ago at home constructing an improved house out of everyday materials – remember to decide who you are working for (the wolf or the pigs).

PHYSICAL SCIENCE: Materials Investigation

2Ms is working on a two week inquiry investigation into the properties of materials.  This week we have been building our vocabulary to be able to describe materials like a scientist.  We have also be sorting materials, observing materials,  hypothesizing (having a guess) and testing our thinking.  SORTING, DESCRIBING, OBSERVING, HYPOTHESIZING and TESTING are all things scientists do.

What are some new words you have discovered the meaning of that can be used to describe materials?

On Friday we undertook a GLOVE investigation.  I put the call out for students to search for gloves around their house.  We could not believe how many different types of gloves there were…

Once we had sorted our gloves, we had to reflect on why different gloves are made from different materials.  We then had to choose another object/item that could be made from different materials.  This was a bit tricky.  We found it hard to think of an item and even harder to think about the materials they were made from.  Some people thought about different balls (we had to google to find out what they were made from).  Some people suggested shoes but then found it hard to think of different shoes and to know what they were made from and why.

Here are three different pairs of shoes.

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What materials is each made from and why? Can you find another example at home – maybe of different shoes or perhaps a different item (maybe boxes? a particular toy? your own idea?)?

Dare to FAIL and to SUCCEED: Tuning In

Our third inquiry focus is SCIENCE.  Through our inquiry learning, we will explore and work through two processes: the SCIENTIFIC PROCESS and an ENGINEERING PROCESS.

To begin this inquiry, we had a visit from a scientist called Liz and participated in the HANDS ON SCIENCE incursion. This was a great learning experience that helped us form some wonderings about the science behind light and sound. What did you discover from this incursion?  What were some science words used?

This inquiry will not only focus on SCIENCE concepts but will also help us develop a GROWTH MINDSET.  Science is a really good area for us to learn that we are not always going to be successful the very first time we try something.  The three Year Two teachers proved this be demonstrating three science experiments on Thursday that we were not sure would work.  We hoped that they would but there was a chance they might not.  My experiment was called Tea Bag Rocket. What did you like about our science immersion?

On Friday, we then worked on a team challenge.  Throughout the coming weeks, we will be working in lots of different groups on Science and STEM challenges.   It is important that we learn skills to work together.  This beginning challenge was a lot of fun:

SEL: Strong Emotions

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In our lesson today we talked about THREE STRONG emotions that everyone will experience at some point.

Can you name the three emotions we focused on?

We then talked and practiced two different ways to manage these feelings and try to return to feeling calm.

Can you name the two strategies?

Dare to Keep Greensborough Great!

To help get us switched onto our field study inquiry, we went on a local walk.  We were on the look for natural (managed) and built features.  We were also wanting to observe and collect data about ways the local environment is cared for (& by whom) and how it might be being damaged.  As we walked around, we also chatted about places we are CONNECTED to.  We had a great time walking, observing, hypothesising and collecting data.  Thanks to our parent helpers who kept us safe, asked interesting questions and shared some of the connections and knowledge they had about our local area.

What was a place you had a connection to that we walked past?What did we discover about natural and built environments? Do you now have a question or idea that we might need to explore further?

What must we remember when crossing roads?

Dare to Make a Difference: Learning More, Creating Change!

As part of our economic inquiry, we have worked in Action Teams to MAKE A DIFFERENCE.  This step in the inquiry came after exploring what influences the food we eat and buy (most commonly marketing, price and sources of ingredients); some processes involved in food production and also discovering that we can be a bit wasteful. We also developed our understanding that the season of Lent had actions that really connected to this learning: prayer, FASTING and ALMSGIVING.  Lent is a time to reflect on ways we are wasteful or extravagant in our living in order to give them up (fast) and also to give alms.  Giving alms is about reaching out to those in need.  At our school we do this annually by supporting the work of Caritas through Project Compassion.  So we put these two things together (economics & faith) to take our learning further…

All the Year Twos worked through an inquiry process to plan and promote a fundraising day for Project Compassion.  After coming up with the idea to have a topsy turvy day (students as teachers and teachers as students), each action team was allocated a grade to be responsible for.  They then allocated different jobs to each other.  There were team mates who created PowerPoints to explain the work of Caritas and Project Compassion.  There were team mates who created advertisements.  There were team mates who created a booklet of ideas for teachers to use on the day.  When all jobs were completed, the teams presented to the Year Five and Six classes.  They did an amazing job 🙂

The action day arrived and the school was full of students dressed as teachers and some brave teachers dressed in school uniforms.  There was even a guess the teachers photo display – some have changed a lot and some have not at all.

We would thank everyone for dressing up and donating a gold coin to help us carry out our action plan for inquiry.  We had fun learning about new activities such as, yoga, origami, calligraphy, Indonesian words and sign language.  Everyone seemed to have enjoyed this fun filled day especially the students who were able to dress up as their teachers.  It was really fun to see the teachers dressed in school uniforms as well.  Some teachers even had pigtails and braids.  Thank you to the whole school for working together to make this day a success.  We are so proud that as a school we have raised $1024.85 to donate to Caritas.

Our learning was called “Dare to MAKE A DIFFERENCE” and we really did.  I am so proud of 2MS.  What a wonderful first term of learning!

Dare to: Keep Greensborough Great!

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The Year Two teachers will be working this week to plan and prepare for Term Two.  The next focus for RE/Inquiry learning is going to be called “Dare to: Keep Greensborough Great!”  This inquiry learning will help students develop skills and understandings in the areas of GEOGRAPHY and MAPPING.  Students in Year Two need to develop their understanding of the local community.  Some questions we will be exploring include: What is a place? How are people connected to their place and other places? What factors affect my connections to places?  We will also be exploring the sacred places that are important to our faith tradition, as described in bible stories.

Before planning we always find out what students already know about our focus and any questions they might like to investigate.  The students in 2MS have come up with some great questions about Greensborough and what they would like to learn about geography.

I wonder what the mums and dads would like us to learn about the local community of Greensborough and geography? Your comment would be greatly appreciated 🙂