Tuesday, 27 May
Year 1 Swimming Carnival
Thursday, 29 May
Upper Elementary House
Yio Chu Kang Swimming Complex
Wednesday, 11 June
Prep Swimming Carnival
Creativity and innovation have been identified for several years now as 21st Century competencies. It is included in our AIS teaching and learning policy and one of the attitudes of the PYP. But how do we go about developing this at school?
A strong commitment to Music and Visual Arts is a great start! Visiting Music educator, Richard Gill, was most complementary of our Music program during his visit last week, and our Visual Arts program continues to be shared with teachers around the world via various workshops run by Theo Mandziy, our Elementary Art Coordinator.
But creativity is certainly not limited to the Arts in fact it needs to be fostered in all aspects of learning. When I get to watch my favourite AFL team play (who just so happen to be on top of the ladder at the moment) I marvel at the creative moves of many of the players, so of course creativity is also important in PE. I recently read a quote from one of the elite players in the team who said “it was the creativity of the game that captured his imagination”. We also encourage creativity to solve and pose problems in Mathematics and iPads are providing a whole new ‘canvas’ for creativity!
Creativity of course needs certain conditions to thrive; time to create, encouragement to take risks, make mistakes, try new ways, persist, and explore possibilities and different perspectives.
This week’s Newsletter provides a range of examples of our students demonstrating creativity as part of their learning.
Head of Elementary
Year 1 Swimming Carnival
Tuesday, 27 May
Year 1 Swimming Carnival
The Year 1 students are currently participating in a Swim Scheme program, as a celebration of the end of the program students will participate in a Swimming Carnival. This carnival provides an opportunity for the students to demonstrate skills they have learnt and practiced during the program.
Date: Tuesday, 27 May
Venue: AIS Pool
Time: 8:40am – 11am
Please click here to view the Year 1 Swimming Carnival 2014 parent information letter.
Upper Elementary Swimming Carnival
Thursday, 29 May
Upper Elementary House
Yio Chu Kang Swimming Complex
For more information about the UE Swimming Carnival, click here.
Please note students competing in the 200m Individual Medley will need to be transported to the
venue by a parent/guardian to arrive at 7:45AM. Click the links below for details of finalists for the 200IM:
Please also check the links below and print the program to bring with you to the Swimming Carnival as no programs will be handed out on the day.
Elementary Sports Coordinator
Learn about iPads from the real experts…our students!
At the next Coffee Confidential we will be introducing Elementary School parents to an integral part of our new Teaching and Learning with Technology Project, 1:1 iPads.
Come along and gain hands on experience in our interactive workshops led by teachers and students from our Elementary School. Learn how to use an iPad for deep learning and walk through a typical learning experience, choosing from a range of apps like iMovie, Showbie, Popplet and other similar rich software.
We will be using iPads in the workshops so if you have an iPad, please bring it with you. Monday, 26 May
9.00am for 9.30am start in the Senior Library.
Places are limited, please rsvp to email@example.com.
Creativity and Innovation in Preschool
Creativity is more than a product – it is a process. Preschoolers create interesting paintings, thought provoking questions and unique sculptures. These may be real examples of creativity, but the decisions Preschoolers make as they paint, sculpt, speak, play and think are at the core of the creative process! Art and Music are common examples of creativity, but creative thought appears in almost all aspects of Preschool life.
Exhibition of Learning
The annual Preschool Exhibition of the Arts is constantly evolving, year to year. This year our Exhibition will take on a new perspective and will demonstrate not only the Arts but the creative elements of all subject areas, identified within our Preschool Curriculum over the year. We look forward to sharing further details with you in the coming months in relation to our “Exhibition of Learning” with the culmination of our work in the Exhibition at the end of Term 3.
Dramatic play forms a major part of our daily program as we can see from this excerpt from the Emus 4 year old Group weekly reflections:
We place great importance in incorporating our outdoor playgrounds and gym activities into our daily programs. It is here we see the children’s natural delight of discovery using a range of sensory and gross motor opportunities, so necessary for the development of healthy growth, for young bodies.
Sand has a wonderful unstructured quality. As children mix, pour, sift measure and mould sand they are using mathematical skills, their imagination and increasing their social skills. Working with sand can be relaxing and it provides Preschoolers with a smooth sensory experience. Our Year 12 Buddies this week enjoyed the wonders of creativity within the sand pit.
Use of the multipurpose hall provides opportunities for our Preschoolers to engage in large muscle activities, informal games, ball skill development, and cooperation in planned and purposeful, yet fun experiences.Research suggests that active play has benefits beyond those of physical movement – it improves mental development and correlates with high levels of success later in life.
Music provides Preschoolers with opportunities to develop physical skills, cultivate social skills, refine patience, boosts self-esteem and introduces children to other cultures.
Use of the Ukulele is an integral part of the Preschool program and this week the Wallabies shared this, engaging in a sing along with their friends, the Year 12 Buddies. Demonstrating a continued interest in music, Ms David, James and Ari, provided the Wallabies and the Year 12 students with this musical opportunity.
Our Preschool environments are well planned and purposeful, as was noted in our recent review by an Early Childhood Expert. We continue to interest and engage young children, helping to achieve planned learning outcomes through innovative ways of promoting effective learning.
Head of Preschool
Assistant Head Preschool
As mentioned in Mignon’s introduction, creativity is not limited to the Arts, which can be a common misconception. Part of our daily teaching and learning focuses on developing our student’s ability to be creative and imaginative in their thinking and in their approach to problems that are posed to them and that may arise as they are completing a task.
Ken Robinson, a leading expert in the area of creativity in education, tells a story about, “a little girl who was in a drawing lesson. She was six and she was at the back, drawing, and the teacher said this little girl hardly ever paid attention, and in this drawing lesson she did. The teacher was fascinated and she went over to her and she said, "What are you drawing?" And the girl said, "I'm drawing a picture of God." And the teacher said, "But nobody knows what God looks like." And the girl said, "They will in a minute." Ken Robinson, Ted Talks 2006
As the little girl in the story clearly articulates, children have a great capacity for creativity and for imaginative ways of interpreting the world around them. I asked Isolde and Kaylie from 2KE to define what creativity meant to them and to share some examples of how they have been creative in their thinking. Here is what they said:
“It means like making something. You think about how you are going to do it and if you are creative, you do something that other people might not do. You need to take a risk and try it out. If it doesn't work out, then you could try it again, but you can change it again too.”
To illustrate this, for a recent summative assessment task for their unit of inquiry, Isolde chose to demonstrate her understanding through a model representation of a tsunami and create a tsunami wave to explain how the wave is generated. She explained how she came up with the idea of making a wave:
“I was thinking about how I could make it move and you know how with staples, sometimes you can make the staples move if it is half on and half off. But I thought that might be a bit tricky, so I used popsticks. And then I had to make sure that I held them in the right spot. I wasn't sure it was going to work but it did. I was planning things in my head and I made a planner to make sure I had enough time and resources to complete my task” Isolde, 2KE
In EAL classes, Year 2 students have been talking about their favourite places in Singapore. To enhance the students engagement in English, Mrs Nalletamby asked them to identify their favourite place, describe it, articulate why it is their favourite place and create a model using materials of their choice. Students will then explain the features of their place and use the Pic Collage application to design a poster advertising their chosen place and the reasons as to why people should visit that place.
The Prep, students in EAL have been exploring materials and the language associated with different materials found within the School. They were required to explore a selection of different materials, focusing on describing the materials and then construct something incorporating the materials and explain their creation, labelling the different materials used.
Included here are some other examples of students demonstrating creative thinking in classrooms within the Lower Elementary. We encourage you to take some risks and be creative in your own life, sharing these with your children.
Nick Martin and Megan Howard
Assistant Heads of Lower Elementary
Creativity in Language
In 3C with Cally Slider, students have the opportunity to choose the way they respond to literary texts. Responding through book reviews and Reader’s Theatre allows students to create their own understanding of the important themes and concepts found in these texts. One learning experience which allows 3C students to demonstrate their creativity involves them being asked to innovate on an existing story. By changing the ending of the story their creativity as authors is developed. On other occasions, students are given the story ending and asked to create the orientation of character, setting and plot. Fostering creativity in literacy helps to develop language skills and build a life-long love of reading and writing.
Creativity in Thinking
In 4S, students use ‘Visible Thinking Routines’ across a range of curriculum areas to develop and show their creativity and understanding. As a graduate of Harvard’s online ‘Making Thinking Visible’ course, class teacher Paul Somerville harnesses his students’ creative power through the regular use of these routines. The ‘Circle of Viewpoints’ routine involves students considering a range of perspectives in their responses. By being asked to take on different perspectives of characters in Greek Myths, 4S students created dialogue between characters to show their understanding of the motivation for a character’s actions and beliefs. The ‘Headlines’ routine requires students to capture the essence, or big idea, of an event in a few words. Some examples that 4S students created are pictured below. In their recent unit of inquiry looking at cultures and beliefs, the students used ‘The Explanation Game’ to create possible descriptions and uses of unusual artifacts other students had brought from home. Other protocols such as ‘Generate-Sort-Connect-Elaborate’ promote the creation of a flow of ideas which can later be sorted and refined.
Creativity through Collaboration
In Year 5, 5W use creativity to drive the learning that happens each day. Classroom tasks and learning intentions are designed to allow students room to explore and develop their own ideas and understanding. Students have ownership over the direction their learning takes. Class teacher, Rebecca Williams, organises ‘Thinking Buddies’ for her class. These buddies sit together throughout the week: exploring and generating new ideas; re-teaching concepts and skills introduced to the class; reflecting on their learning and resolving any confusion they may have. Rebecca changes the buddies each week, allowing the students to access the creative energy of a range of peers. When two pairs of ‘thinking buddies’ get together to form a ‘bundle’, the creative power is further enhanced. During their current Unit of Inquiry, How the World Works 5W has joined with 5M, to create a collaborative learning community to further enrich their opportunity to develop creativity as well as to share and drive new ideas.
Creativity in Lesson Design
Teachers are always seeking ways to engage their students. Head of Year 5 and 5S teacher, Garth Sadler, recently delivered a creative and engaging lesson, developed by the Year 5 teachers, on supply and demand related to their unit of inquiry about entrepreneurial thinking and innovation. Here is one student’s account of that creative learning experience.
5S Lesson on Supply and Demand
Last week we had a lesson on supply and demand and we got to create biscuits. Mr Sadler gave each person a handful of counters. Each counter represented currency. The red counter was worth one $adler. The blue counter was worth two $adler$. The yellow counter represented three $adler$ and the green counter was worth four $adler$. Everybody was given different quantities of $adler$ because in life everybody has different amounts of money.
Each ingredient had a price. Mr Sadler would call up people by tables to collect their ingredients. The Shopkeeper then calculated which item was the most popular out of each category based on demand. Mr Sadler then changed the prices of the ingredients depending on whether or not it was popular. For example, if something was popular he would make it more expensive and if it wasn’t so popular, he would lower the price making it cheaper.
First we had to decide if we wanted a chocolate biscuit or a plain biscuit. We had to choose between red icing, yellow icing and orange icing. Then we had to choose which toppings we wanted. We could choose gummy worms, M&Ms or sour skittles.
One person in our class unfortunately went bankrupt before he even got to buy toppings because he didn’t start with a lot of money. Luckily, he ended up becoming the second wealthiest person in the class because everybody gave him donations.
Mr Sadler auctioned off the chance to get the topping first. It was between three tables. The first table said no and so did the second but the third table was willing to pay lots of money. Since nobody else bid that table offered 1 $adler and got it for that low price. If no one else bids you can bid at a very low price but still get it.
After everybody made their biscuit, Mr Sadler auctioned off an opportunity to get any biscuit with their choice of icing and four toppings. The person who ended up getting this bid 33 $adler$! What I found interesting was that the person who got this spent the least amount of $Sadler$ in the beginning.
Mr Sadler then went around and collected tax from everyone. We had to pay 10% of what we had after we had purchased our biscuits. The people who had run out of money and become bankrupt didn’t have to pay tax.
At the end we had to calculate the value of our biscuit we made. Some people bought two biscuits. The total value for my biscuit was 78 $adler$, but I only started with 60 $adler$ which shows that I ended up getting very good deals. The majority of the value of my biscuit was the toppings. I bought 4 skittles and the value for them was 60 $adler$ although I only bought them for 38 $adlers.
I learnt that it’s good to spend wisely and that good things come to those who wait. One person didn’t spend much money and ended up being the richest person.
By Amara Mathialagan - 5S
Richard Gill comes to AIS
The visit of Richard Gill last week brought creativity in the Arts sharply into focus for our students and teachers. In Week 5, classes from Year 2, 5, 7 and 9 went to the Lower Elementary music room for a special session with Richard Gill, a former Australian conductor and a regular guest on the TV show Spicks and Specks. This man is renowned for his passion to teach children music. 5S was lucky enough to land the spot as the one Year 5 class, so we got to see Mr. Gill on Thursday and Friday. One thing all of us noticed was that Mr. Gill was very, VERY interactive. He got us to sing a very ‘interesting’ song: The lion and the unicorn were fighting for the crown; the lion beat the unicorn all around the town; some gave them white bread, some gave them brown; some gave them plum-cake and drove them out of town. Apparently it’s his favourite bit of nonsense. And we LOVED it.
It was clear he wasn’t making it up on the spot with this activity. He had everything planned out in his head, and we could tell by the way he explained it. Thursday was really fun and we hadn’t expected to want Friday to come so much.
When Friday finally came, we all met Mr. Gill outside the door. He taught us a new song: Mama says no play, this is a work day, up with the bright sun, get all the work done. If you will help me, climb up the tall tree, shake the papaya down. Shake it down, shake it down, shake the papaya, shake it down. Shake it down, shake it down, shake the papaya down! We did a very fun dance which involved saying: ‘Mango, blueberry, strawberry, banana, apple pie.’ It was a fun routine.
In conclusion, we learnt many interesting and exciting things which have broadened our understanding of music. 5S would DEFINETELY do this activity again and again if we had the chance! (Hint, hint)
By Lily Wilson - 5S
Assistant Head of Upper Elementary
The term continues with students busily involved in numerous physical activities. The Preps have just completed a unit on hitting and striking, looking at the best ways to hit a ball using a bat, racquet or stick. Attention has been paid to the grip on a bat, where to stand and where you should be looking when hitting a ball. Beginning next week, students will get a chance to put their skills into practice, playing some games of modified cricket.
To link in with their ‘Where We Are In Place and Time’ UOI, Year 1 students have just started looking at games from around the world. The students are being challenged to devise games using limited equipment to understand how other cultures and societies use things in their surroundings to develop their own games.
This week, the Year 2 students completed a learning journal task based on the game kickball and had to demonstrate their understanding of gameplay whether they are kicking or fielding. This understanding will be further developed as we continue to play friendly kickball matches amongst the classes.
The Year 3 students have been fortunate enough to have an experienced dance instructor come in this week to introduce the Malay culture through dance. Apart from learning a traditional dance, the students are also learning some simple greetings in Malay, the traditional costume for boys and girls and the meanings behind some of the dance steps.
Similar to the Year 3 students, the Year 4 students have been expressing themselves through movement, more specifically through the martial art Tai Chi. Under the watchful eyes of two Tai Chi Masters, the students are learning some basic moves and sequences. Each movement requires great posture, coordination and balance and is proving to be a challenge for some!
The Year 5 students are coming to the end of their Emergency Care unit and are presently involved in practical and theory assessments based on their response to an emergency. Students have been assessed on their confidence in delivering DRABCD, using a resuscitation mannequin. Assessments will continue over the next fortnight.
This week the UE students will be starting their second rotation of the cricket and netball program. After three weeks of learning the skills and basic rules of cricket and netball the students enjoyed a week of game play. The boys will now be starting the Netball program and the girls will be outside participating in the Cricket program. It is advised that the UE girls now bring a spare change of school uniform the day that they participate in the sports program. Students will participate in Cricket outside even if it is raining.
Elementary Sports/PE Coordinator