Wednesday, 14 December 2016

Google Maps | Santa Tracker

It's (Almost) Christmas!
With a little over ten days to go, at the time of writing this blog post, Google's Santa Tracker is counting down the days to Christmas.  For those celebrating, if you are anything like me you will find it magical and fascinating how the man in red is able to make it to all the houses in the world and now thanks to Google you can follow live.

Novelty aside this year's experience has a strong emphasis on learning:

Santa’s Village, which opened on 1st December, allow visitors to learn code, put your geography knowledge to the test and learn different languages, greetings and traditions.  Each day in a similar fashion to an advent calendar, a new 'gift' is unlocked, and chocolate is replaced with an educational game.

I have selected my top three:

Grade One & Two

Central Idea: Communities make efforts to create transportation systems that meet their needs.

I wonder how Santa, his Elves and North American Aerospace Defense Command NORAD ensure that all the presents are delivered around the world in one night?

Transportation Systems

Grade One 

Central Idea: Celebrations and traditions are expressions of shared beliefs and values. 

Growing up in England I always enjoyed pulling Christmas crackers around the table with my family. Is there any particular traditions you enjoy around this time of year.  Leave me a comment, I would love to hear about them.

Holiday Traditions

An interactive map with colourful, clickable pins that educate about holiday traditions around the world.  You might also like to visit grade one's inquiry Padlet to learn more.

Elementary School

Christmas (& Santa Claus) in any language

I would love to speak Elfish.  I wonder, how do you say Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year in your mother-tongue.  Leave me a comment, with your response and where in the world you're viewing from.

This is an easy one...                                                          This one is not so easy....

I would like to take this time to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and all the very best for the new year.  

~Mr Towse

Tuesday, 13 December 2016

Books and Bowls

What do we do books and bowls have in common? As a new teacher librarian at Seisen I asked myself this question last I had never heard the term Book Bowl.
So as it turns out a lot to do with books ...

and nothing to do with bowls ... or even bowling.

The Sakura Book bowl is a competitive quiz game for Sakura Medal chapter book readers in Grades 4 and 5, and the time is coming again to select students for the Seisen Book Bowl team.

I have been talking with the grade appropriate class this week and have encouraged them to consider what the need to do to join this team. Commitment, confidence, enthusiasm and independence are all PYP attitudes that will be required and extended during this time.

Many girls have set goals to have read five chapter books by the end of the holidays so they can come to the first 'elimination' lunch time meeting in January.

Once we have settled on a team the girls will need to devote school and home time practicing for the various quiz questions. The actual competition takes place in 11th April so lots of time to get bowling... I mean reading!

Guest Readers

It is so exciting to have had new faces along to read and tell stories to our students.
Firstly Mr Brittain made a surprise a visit to several KG classes so that he could read one of his favourite books: The Book with No Pictures by B.J. Novak. A great time was had by all as Mr Brittain had to keep reading the story over and over. The surprise and joy on their faces is very evident.

Yesterday, a kamishibai performer came to tell a Christmas story to Grades One, Two and Three. Storytelling is a wonderful tradition that engages students as they listen to and interpret the meaning of meaning.

Reading to children is very important, in all the languages they know, as it helps them to develop many of the skills that will support them as they develop their own reading and writing skills.