Starting with the parent-student class (already three weeks ago!) we have been trying to understand how we organize ourselves and how other things (animals, objects, sentences) are organized as well.
The first day of class we started fresh with the idea that we could move our desks in anyway we wanted. Some students wanted to put their desks together with another student. Some wanted to sit in the front. Others did not want to change their seat at all. In the end we had some desks off to the side and others in the middle. It was a new feel indeed! However, when we came back to our classroom the next day, someone had moved the desks back to their original row. This provoked several questions from the students about why the desks got moved back and why other teacher use ‘our’ classroom. Who makes the schedule? How do they decide which lessons happen at what time and who uses which classroom?
To answer these questions, we decided that as a class we should write our school principal and IB coordinator to help us understand how the school schedule is organized.
MEANWHILE, as we wait for their visit, we have been learning about what organization means in other ways.
How are words organized?
First we learned about NOUNS and how nouns are organized (people, places, and things). We had a sorting activity and two teams. One team had pictures with words. The other team had only the pictures and had to label them as well, so it was a more interesting challenge! In the end, both groups sorted the pictures into people, places, and things but we discovered that the pictures could have different names. The picture might be a tree or it might be a park. Not having the words labeling a picture might make the activity a bit more challenging but it also gives us a chance to create our own ideas!
From this we moved on to other ways of organization.
How do different animals organize themselves? Why do individuals organize themselves in groups?
We learned that when we talk about individuals together we have to use PLURAL. When we speak about a group however, we use SINGULAR. We also learned that there are many different names for groups that animals form using an interesting and colorful sorting game!
Plural: They are dolphins.
Singular: It is a pod of dolphins.
So we understood that we also had to learn some rules for when to use plural or when to use an apostrophe if an individual owns something.
Plural: These are monkeys.
Singular Possessive: This is the monkey’s friend.
It may all sound very confusing but with plenty of games and practice we are working to figure it out together!
In the process students even made a connection with how they can organize themselves to learn better. Without the teacher’s instructions, students took out their notebook and copied down rules for plurals which helped them in the sorting game we played next!
After we were finished learning how words are organized (singular, plural, possessive, collective) we assessed ourselves on how we think we understand using a standing exercise. If the students thought they understood the rules for when we use different endings for plurals, then they stood as tall as they could with their hands in the air. If they were comfortable the stood straight. If they were a little unsure they could crouch down to show that they still feel they will have to practice more.
We still have some reflecting to do in order to understand and use but in the meantime we will start exploring other questions about HOW PEOPLE ORGANIZE THEMSELVES!