09 Nov, 2018
10 : 00
On Tuesday, the doors of the Year 5 Learning Community opened to parents for Year 5’s End of Unit Showcase. We speak to Year 5 Co-Teacher, Ms Jane Kang, about the showcase and what our students have been learning.
Please explain the topic our Year 5s have just finished.
The theme of this topic was Forces. Our students have been learning about the “push and pull” of forces like gravity, friction, air resistance and water resistance, and looking at simple machines that use forces.
How have we taught this unit?
Taken from our curriculum, the topic is designed to cover Maths, Science and English disciplines.
For the Science part of the unit, our students had to design a product that used a force to enhance their life or solve a problem. One student was inspired by friction to design extra grippy chopsticks and another designed a rubber finger cover to help you grip your glass.
In Maths, students recorded the results of their experiments in graphs and learned about plotting data.
For the English part of the unit, we went back in time to Isaac Newton and read the story of the apple falling from the tree. Our students followed instructional texts and learned about Newton’s Three Laws of Motion. We then asked the Year 5s to teach these laws to Year 3. To do so, they had to figure out demonstrations and write booklets or posters that would help them teach the subject.
How did students show what they had learned in the showcase?
At the showcase, our students exhibited their designs and were ready to answer scientific questions about them. They also showed the teaching materials that they used to teach the Year 3s. We had many parents and staff come to visit and ask lots of questions of our young scientists!
Please explain the “investment” idea at the showcase.
We asked parents and staff visiting the showcase to interview the students about their inventions and then invest (pretend) money in the products they liked most. This was inspired by the American TV show “Shark Tank” or, in the UK, “Dragon’s Den”. The purpose was to give the students’ a sense of purpose for their work and encourage them to explain and reason their ideas. On Friday, we will be holding a market where our students can spend the “money” that visitors invested.
How did the students benefit from teaching Year 3s about forces?
Lots of them observed how it can be very challenging to explain something you know to be true. It meant that they had to find different, clear ways to explain the ideas. This is great language practise and also meant that our students had to have a very thorough knowledge themselves. The Year 5s particularly enjoyed this aspect of the topic, and were pleased to see the Year 3s able to answer questions on forces by the end of the task.
How has the Learning Community model helped teach this topic?
The collaborative nature of the Learning Community means that students are exposed to many more teachers – and students – while they’re learning, exposing them to more ideas and allowing them to benefit from different teacher strengths.
The physical space has also been great, giving students the ability to freely access creative areas for making their products, enabling independent work.