Archive for October 2014

Response to Literature – acting out a book

A great way for English language learners to respond to something they’ve read, or something that has been read to them is by acting out the book.  A colleague of mine loaned me Yo! Yes? by Chris Raschka which is a 34-word story about the beginnings of a friendship between two boys.  I didn’t even have to suggest that Sipan and Ziv act it out, after the first reading by me, Ziv was already pointing to one of the characters and then pointing to herself.

The video is fantastic.  It captures the true facial expressions, gestures, voices and feelings of the two characters.

Yo! Yes? from AISB EAL on Vimeo.

Acting out stories is always fun..especially when you are a beginner English language learner and still experimenting with the language.

Grade 5 Inquiry into Solar Energy

Welcome to another year in English as an Additional Language (EAL) at AISB.  This year, I’m working with Grade 4 and grade 5, so I am lucky to continue working with some of my students from last year.

For the first six weeks, we have all been busy settling back into school routines and have completed our first unit of inquiry.  The unit in Grade 5 was under the Sharing the Planet transdisciplinary theme.  They were inquiring into resources around the world, specifically energy resources.  We decided to inquire into solar energy in EAL class and I challenged them to cook an egg using only the sun.

They started writing down what they knew about solar energy and then we used various websites and on-line books to research solar energy and its various uses.  The children learned about solar panels and solar ovens.  Initially, they came up with various solar oven designs, based on their prior knowledge.

IMG_2766  Here is Anna’s initial prototype, made out of clay.

After they went home and continued to research ‘solar ovens’ by talking with parents and searching on the web, their initial designs changed.  Yeonatan came in with his prototype oven, and Anita and Anelise arrived with their oven half-built.

IMG_2827 IMG_2828 IMG_2831 IMG_2869

Once they wrote their plan and built their solar oven, they took their devices outside.  Luckily, it was an extremely sunny day.  Each of the box ovens had one whole egg (still in the shell) and two s’mores.  I decided that even if the egg worked, melted chocolate with marshmallow was going to be more exciting (and tasty) for the students than a (potentially) cooked egg!

IMG_2874

Anna is so proud of her egg-cooking device

Yeonatan smiling with his oven

Yeonatan smiling with his oven

Omer with his final design

Omer with his final design

Anelise and Anita with their solar oven

Anelise and Anita with their solar oven

The four devices - you can see the reflecting happening already...

The four devices – you can see the reflecting happening already…

We put the devices outside at 9:00 a.m.  They drew lots of attention from other students during recess and the fifth graders constantly ran over to change the position of the ovens depending on where the sun was.  They later informed me in class that they were not only changing the position, they were also moving the lid up or down depending on the position of the sun.  What great scientists!

Changing the oven's position as the sun's position changes

Changing the oven’s position as the sun’s position changes

The ovens get a lot of attention at recess

The ovens get a lot of attention at recess

Making some adjustments

Making some adjustments

Checking on progress... "Ms. Erika, the chocolate is starting to melt!"

Checking on progress… “Ms. Erika, the chocolate is starting to melt!”

6 hours later…

The first ones to open the oven are Anita and Anelise.  They didn’t want to wait any longer so they decided to eat one each of the s’mores and check the egg.  At this point, the sun was behind the school and the oven had been in the shade for the past hour or so.

And…..the results?

THE EGG WAS COOKED!

Anelise and Anita eat their cooked egg!

Anelise and Anita eat their cooked egg!

The next person to check his egg was Yeonatan: Check out the video below!

password for watching the video is aisbeal

The next person to check his egg was Omer.  Check out his video below!

Password for watching the video is aisbeal

Then finally the girls decided to eat their s’mores….

Password for watching video is aisbeal

The results varied depending on the oven.  It was an incredible inquiry.

Connor McGovern Jersey