November has been a month of big projects across a number of subjects. It’s been great to see the kids’ take a hands-on approach to their learning as well as being able to work together for a common goal. They have been considerate and thought conscientiously about the classroom environment. This has yielded some great results and built their respect for the classroom and each other.

In our Science classes, we have studied the formation of fossils and worked to understand what we can learn about the past from them. We incorporated our knowledge of how fossils form to create our own fossil imprints using leaves. Taking our inferences further, we applied this knowledge to our understanding of natural selection and selective breeding. By understanding the traits of animals, extinction concepts and adaptations, we were able to see how animal species changed over time. As part of our study of the earth, we looked at the processes of respiration and photosynthesis. We understood how the planet balances carbon dioxide and oxygen and were able to come up with realistic strategies for looking after the Earth.

This month, Social Studies began with studying the Battle of Saratoga. We used maps to understand the landscape and our textbooks to learn who was fighting on which side. The kids learned about the role of women in the war, the building of Fort Saratoga and the unexpected allies gained by the Americans during the Revolutionary period. We then dedicated our time to produce a 3D model of the battle and trying to incorporate these historical elements. Through the center of our piece, a river runs with soldiers waging war on both sides. Flags depict the nations and a cannon booms from the American side of the river against the backdrop of a sturdy Fort Saratoga!

Our writing project, a school rebellion, was a massive success. Every member of the classroom was able to produce some great work with riveting ideas. By using detailed examples, specific workshops on writing techniques and 1-on-1 encouragement and aid, the students were able to produce unique ideas and create some authentic scenarios. I was very impressed with the range of ideas and the realism that the kids tried to capture. In general, most students were able to harness their creativity with the real-life constraints of a school system to produce a logical and well-paced narrative about a hypothetical school rebellion.

December is fast approaching and I am very pleased at the progress made so far. Every individual has covered ground. Some have shown aptitude and focus in science while others have found motivation in writing class. It has been a balanced month and I look forward to what Christmas will bring from Level 9.

Warm regards,

Teacher Nick