A couple of months have passed in L7 and the class has been quite busy! We’ve finished up our second round of Major Assessments and students worked hard to prove all that they’ve learned on our first-semester final exams. Within our subjects, students have been expanding their knowledge on topics new and old and working together to grow their critical thinking and discussion skills.
In Spelling we have worked on vowel-consonant-consonant-vowel patterns, vowel-consonant-vowel patterns, double vowel sounds, and final schwa + /l/ patterns. Students have worked together to define our spelling words using their own knowledge and understanding and have taken part in both group and individual work to ground their comprehension of the words.
In Grammar, we’ve been focusing on all different kinds of adjectives. Students have learned how to describe nouns appropriately, using both regular and irregular adjectives, ranging from how to describe one noun to how to compare two or more nouns. To improve their descriptive abilities students have participated in competitive group activities such as group sentence writing, group descriptive speaking and guessing activities and individual completion of bookwork.
In Science, we have been learning about the different parts of ecosystems and adaptation and extinction. We’ve learned about the importance that each and every living and the non-living thing has in its ecosystem, and how the roles of different living and non-living things constantly and complexly interact. Students learned about different types of ecosystems and created both food chains and food webs, illustrating the level of interdependence in each. Students then learned about the different adaptations for survival that animals and plants have developed and participated in group and whole-class discussion about how and why these adaptations are extremely vital to the survival of the plants and animals that have them. Next students looked at different threats to survival that different plants and animals face, and how organisms affect each other’s chances of survival in both positive and negative ways. Students worked in groups to research and create a poster about three different species of endangered animals in Taiwan and subsequently presented to the class about what they had learned. Lastly, students took a deeper look at fossils, focusing on what they can tell us about the past, and how we can classify fossils into four groups depending on how they were made and what is contained inside of them.
In Social Studies students have looked into different kinds of governments, citizens’ rights and responsibilities within their communities and what different kinds of economies look like. Students have worked together to discuss and understand the difference between needs and want and how their choices of one want or need affect their ability to fulfill another. Students finished up this past week by learning about trade and currency, modeling the intricacies of just what it takes to trade successfully between countries by participating in a hands-on trading game.
In Reading class students have read about a young boy’s move to a larger city to live with his aunt and uncle for a summer, focusing on how authors can use details in a text to help readers understand the personalities and motives of different characters. Students personalized the story by discussing whether any of their classmates had lived outside of Taiwan for over a month and what it was like, or if they hadn’t, what they thought it would be like. Students also read an apology letter from a fictional student to her librarian for bringing a snake into the library. From this students discussed the different ways that details from texts go to support conclusions and generalizations that they come to.
In Writing class students have been expanding their writing skills by tackling different ways of writing as well as different topics. Students have continued to focus on their creative writing and persuasion skills by putting themselves in the shoes of a Christmas pig that has to convince the family that is about to eat her/him why they should choose another source of protein for their Christmas dinner. After those students worked on convincingly expressing their opinions using a combination of reasons and examples when writing about whether or not students should have to wear school uniforms.
In Research class students have been taking a deeper look into Ancient Greek art, specifically focusing on Ancient Greek pottery. Students have learned about the many varied uses that Ancient Greek populations had for their pottery and the different design styles that were popular throughout the time period. For the past couple of weeks, students have been working on creating their own pottery in the Ancient Greek style using paper mache and paint. I am quite excited to see how those will turn out!
Overall this past couple of months have seen a lot of progress in L7. Students have really challenged themselves to grow their critical thinking skills and have impressed me with the ways in which they’ve participated in building upon their cooperative learning techniques. I look forward to seeing what semester 2 will bring us!