Our 1st graders in Pöllönkangas school have 4th graders as their friendship class. We have been doing many nice things together. The 4th graders have also helped the 1th grade students in learning different things like signing into our computers and other ICT issues.
A couple of weeks ago we had a lesson together again. We played a nice game together which had been created by 1st grade students and their teachers. There was a gameboard for every group and the 1st grade students had invented different functional and sporty task cards for the game.
The year 1 and year 4 students made pairs to play together in groups. In one group there were three or four pairs. Pair threw the dice and then they moved on a gameboard as many times as the dice showed. If you stopped in a place where there was a star in the square you had to turn a card with a task to do with your pair. The tasks included: Tickle your teachers toes, do jumping jacks 10 times, do the floss dance with your pair, jump with one leg, make an yoga position and so on. The winner was the pair who got to the end of the game board first.
If the students had time, after the first round they played another round so that the whole group made the tasks which the cards showed.
Looking forward to next time to do something nice with our lovely friendship classes!
Teachers from the Run, Jump, Learn! project received a ton of ideas from their training in Bäckskolan, Kisa. We were quick to start using these ideas in our own schools. Here’s an adaptation of one of the outdoor lesson games we learned. Year 1 students in Pöllönkangas School really enjoyed this activity! Here’s how we played.
Pupils work in pairs or threes. Each pair collects 10-15 pine cones from the school yard and place them between the players. Pupils take turns to take away one or two cones at a time. The pupil who has to take the last one loses.
We try to make lessons as active as possible at Plascrug. Here the Year 1 pupils are learning the story of ‘Rosie’s Walk’ by acting it out on a journey around the school grounds. At the end of the journey the pupils could tell the story on their own!
Year 1 is learning writing skills. This week we were learning to master the sounds g, nk and ng. One of the activities we carried out was a treasure hunt. The teacher placed cards with g/nk/ng-words around the gym hall. Pupils had a treasure hunt sheet where to write the words. They we able to select a place for themselves and their sheet of paper. When the activity started, the kids ran to a word, read it, memorized the spelling and ran back to their answer sheets to write the words.
A very simple but a very motivating activity! We had great fun!
We took inspiration from the pancake races in Spain and Sweden today and held an Easter Games event! Pupils from Year 1 (ages 5 and 6) took part in egg and spoon races, egg rolling, an egg toss and a hunt the egg game using cones. They had to find and collect the eggs in their team’s colour and leave the rest. The winners were those who collected the most!
Two teams are given two different numbers. There are six different math problems for each of the numbers. These calculations are written on plates which are located face down on the floor.
First member of both teams start at the same time, they run to the play area and turn a plate of their choice, and calculate the sum/difference/multiplication/division. If that matches with their target number, they can keep the plate and return to their team and send next team member to continue. If number does not match, they leave the plate on floor face down and return to their team and next member continues. The team which has found all 6 plates matching their result, is the winner.
During the week in Wehretal in Germany we teachers learned many nice things to do with pupils, both outdoors and in the classroom. We are looking forward of trying the outdoor games this spring! Here are two examples of some nice classroom games, which already have become part of our lessons.
The first one is a good game for learning for example vocabulary in foreign languages. We had just talked about names of animals in Swedish with the sixth-graders and wanted to practice the vocabulary a bit more. The teacher had made small cards only with pictures of the animals, so the pupils had to know the names of the animals in Swedish. First we tried to remember the vocabulary together and after that every pupil got a card of his/her own. The pupils started to move in the classroom, and every time they met each other they had to ask “Which animal do you have?” The other pupil answered for example “I have a dog. What do you have?” After getting the right answer both of them said “ Lets swap!” and they had to swap the cards.
The second game we learned in Germany was like a small tournament in the class. In this game four pupils at a time each get their own corners of the classroom. The teacher starts to ask questions about things they have learned during the autumn and the pupil who gives the right answer first, will get the permission to go forward to the next corner. So the one who is the fastest can move on and the pupil who is the first one back in his or her own corner wins the round.
Each pupil takes part in at least one round and depending how many pupils there are you will go on from the first round to the finals. Our pupils loved this game, and they would have wanted to play it again and again. Here are some pictures of our seventh-graders.
First, we make a big circle in the snow. After that we make walkways from the circle to the centre. In the middle we made a smaller circle.
When the game starts we choose one catcher. The other children are trying to escape and run in the gear. If they want a break they can rest in the little circle in the middle were the catcher can’t take them. There they count to 10 and then they must leave again.
We want to encourage our pupils to learn independently inside and out of the classroom so we have created these fun challenge cards! Each card explains how to play a game or activity and every card is different. Some challenges require a group of people to play, others can be completed independently. Photographs and a ‘star rating’ help pupils to choose suitable challenges for their ability and environment. Each school created 10 challenge cards so we now have a pack of 50 fun outdoor activities to try in our schools!
Pöllönkangas school had a “a cross country skiing month” in February. On the 25th of February we had our skiing day. Students could choose if they wanted to join in a skiing competition of make a small skiing trip, around 5km. Next pictures are from our competition arena.
On Thursdays we have 2h optional subjects. One group of 5th and 6th graders have P.E. as their voluntary subject. A couple of weeks ago we had “snow building” in P.E.. It is very important to know how to prepare a snow cave as a shelter, if the weather conditions change rapidly to very bad. There are some important rules on how to do it, and we learned these. First students made a basic cave. After that the ventilation holes were added. If you must spend a night in that snow shelter, it is good to have a “bed” also. So, that is a good structure in a snow cave. If you build the snow cave too airtight, the consequences are the same as in an avalanche, you don’t get any oxygen.
We wanted to try some things, which I learned at our LTT teacher training in Germany. Outdoor teaching was a big part of our visit and that’s why we decided to go to the forest with my pupils.
It’s winter and it has been a very cold week in Finland. The temperature has been about -25 degrees and we have lots of snow here. That’s why the outdoor activities were a little bit different to do here than in Germany.
Today the weather was really beautiful. The sun was shining and temperature was about -21 degrees. First we were playing “Pöllöhippa” “Catch the Owl” at our school yard. Kids liked to play it and they were running a lot. That was a good start, because they became warm. After that we walked together to the nearest forest.
In the forest we learned how to do “fox-walk” and “owl-eye”. Then we did the same exercise, that we also did in Germany. We walked alone like foxes around the forest and did “owl-eye” when we wanted to. It was important to be quiet. Pupils thought that the exercise was nice and relaxing. After that we were playing “hide and seek”-game together. It was really fun to run in the snow and also a little bit hard. But we loved it! And everyone was asking the same: “Can we do this again someday?”
We definitely must do lot more outdoor activities! It is nice to be out of the classroom and the forest is definitely the place where your mind can relax.
This game is a nice moving break for any lesson. In the pictures you see our fourth graders playing.
Instructions: Music is played while pupils move around the room. When the music stops, teacher calls out one of the words and everyone tries to save oneself as fast as possible.
Flood: get your feet off the floor to stay dry
Storm: grab someone so wind will not take you
Fire: dive on the floor and lie low on the ground under the smoky air
If you want, you can also make this a competition: After a few warm-up rounds the last one to save him/herself falls out and becomes a judge. One by one everyone falls out and the last one standing gets a good round of applause.
We had our athletics competition on our school a few weeks ago. The sports you got to choose from were for example running for 60 or 600 meters, long jump, high jump and shot put. When the day started, all of us had our warm up together, and then it was time for the sports.
Every sport we did on the day was outside except for high jump, and it was competed on the gymnasium. The day was also a tryout to the final competition between schools in Oulu, and everyone who got to first or second place in any sport has the chance to go and represent our school on the big competition between the schools in a bigger sports stadium, near the center of Oulu.
Even though there was a chance of getting to the bigger competition, the day was not supposed to take that seriously witch was really nice, and it made the sports enjoyable. On the next week after the competition, there was a distribution of prizes on our gymnasium, and the winners got medals.
Overall, I think that the day was successful, and it was fun!
Last year – while we were on our first Erasmus+ teacher training in Aberystwyth in Wales, we learned about Sport Wales and the „Activity Packs“ they use to help young children to increase their motion skills. We liked the idea of Activity Packs for the youngest so much that we decided to introduce them in year one here at Kleeblattschule in Germany.
Two pupils from each class will have the opportunity to take the bags home and test the possible activities for one week. Their ideas will be documented via drawings/photos which they are being asked to add to a little booklet that goes along with the bag. We are really excited to get to know all the activities and physical exercises that can be done with the contents of our Activity Packs. We will let you know about the reactions and ideas. An additional bag will be handed to the kindergarten next door.
The children in Year 5 (ages 9 and 10) had to work in groups to try out different positions in a game of Quidditch. They created, collected and then interpreted the data. Children then worked as a team to decide which position best suited each member.
Among the most important basic things in math are the combinations of ten and the doubles. Year 1 practised these skills this time with balls. They also learned to tell math stories. Each story included both addition and subtraction. One told the story and the other counted it by using twenty frames and red and yellow counters.
„Time to move“ – that’s what teachers at Kleeblattschule said more often than usuall. We try to activate our pupils by integrating an additional activity or TRP game in everyday lessons.That can be a welcome ritual in the morning, an active break in between two parts of a lesson or a TPR song in Science or English.