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Milky Way, 08 September; Living things/ Organisations

Last week, Milky Way class finished their eight week unit investigating living things. The students:

  • Readily understand and differentiate living versus non-living things and have learned an extensive vocabulary relating to life and various aspects thereof.
  • Understand plants’ requirements for growth.
  • Learned to recognise as sight-words as well as by pictures, over forty different animal species and more impressively, can assign these animals to one of seven taxonomic classes on which the class focused (amphibian, bird, crustacean, fish, insect, mammal, reptile).
  • Can assign a taxonomic class to a novel animal species by various delimiting traits.
  • Garnered a basic understanding of the human organism with specific focus on the skeletal and circulatory systems.

Coincidentally, the class completed their mathematical unit on length and measurement. To assess this content, each student undertook an assessment of understanding. Students’ sequentially completed two written tests with awesome overall success. These were a ten-question, 41-point science test, and a six-question, 14-point mathematical test (while answering all questions correctly on the mathematics test resulted in 14 points, there were some questions where students could attain bonus points for providing additional detail in their answering). Students were not limited by time, reading ability (questions were read to the students by the teacher) or writing ability (in most cases students spoke their answers which were noted verbatim by the teacher). This was likely the first exposure most of the learners have had with such assessment but as stated, overall results were awesome. The median score for the science test was around 83% and for mathematics, it was almost 93%.

During the testing period, those students not participating at any given time were provided free time. Herein, many students were eager to view animals using a ‘google image’ search wherefrom they would illustrate selected animals.

This week has seen a few new beginnings for Milky Way, including the commencement of a new transdisciplinary theme, how we organise ourselves, with the central idea that people in organisations have different, interconnected roles. Their initial line of inquiry will be the various roles of ISN staff.
Concurrently, a new mathematical inquiry into triangles and quadrilaterals has commenced, and the class has restarted tennis lessons.

Meanwhile, the class continues daily practice for the upcoming sports festival and recently, noticeable improvements have been made.