This March in art we will be working on the strand paint and colour. This week we took Vincent Van Gogh's 'Starry Night' as our starting point.
After we examined the original for colour and line we made our own masterpieces!
Each year we learn about a human organ. This year, we focused on skin. We enjoyed building models of a cross section of human skin.
In January and February, we have been practising Gymnastics in PE. We have been working on keeping tension and control throughout our bodies while we attempt balancing, jumping, etc.
We have also been talking a lot about personal hygiene in the context of PE. The children know that they need to become more aware of their bodies as they exercise, and should not need to be reminded to take off their jumper or hoodie if they are sweating. We have also talked about regular showering and daily use of anti-perspirant as they are entering puberty.
In February, we have been learning about Light, and how light can be affected by the medium it travels through. We have talked about how light moves more slowly through glass and water than it does through air, and the impact this has on how we see things.
Our Science experiment for the month was to try to make our own magnifying glasses. It was all hands on deck to try to make them, so we don't have any pictures of the process, but here is a picture of some of the most successful specimens:
The biggest challenges we faced were cutting perfectly compatible discs of plastic from old plastic bottles, and then achieving a perfect seal using a hot glue gun. We then had to fill the 'bubbles' with water, before testing their magnifying properties.
We observed that writing viewed through the water in the bubble appeared larger, as with a magnifying glass. Interestingly, writing viewed through the air bubble inside the water bubble, appeared smaller than normal!
During the month of January, we were learning all about the 1916 Rising. We talked about the circumstances that led up to a determined group of men and women staging a rebellion against the crown forces. We also learned a little about the world stage at the time, when World War I was in full flight.
It was the perfect excuse to take an outing to Collins Barracks museum in Dublin City Centre. Ryan's Mam, Shweta, came along for the trip and we had a wonderful time.
There, we split into two groups and were brought on a tour of all of the fascinating artifacts they have on display there. We saw an original copy of the Proclamation of Independence, uniforms, flags and so much more. It was exciting to see real items that were there at such an exciting moment in our nation's history.
Fifth Class have come into 2019 with a bang, as a throwaway comment has led to some extremely heated debate on the relative intelligence of men and women!
The children did some research for homework and came back to school with arguments to support or reject the motion 'Males are naturally more intelligent than females'. Interestingly, many of the facts and statistics we found conflict with one another, which has made the debate even more complicated!
Many of us were intrigued to take a look at the statistics closer to home, such as this infographic by the CSO:
...and this article by the Irish Times that reports that girls outperformed boys in the majority of subjects in the Leaving Cert.
Ultimately, many people were unconvinced by their opponents, so we will have to delve further into the questions of gender and equality as the month progresses.
This month, we have been very busy working on our performance for the Winter Concert. We will be performing a play that is loosely based on the story of The Jungle Book. We have put hours of work into the props, costumes and concepts needed to build this world, and we are very eager to perform it for the parents on the last day of school.
Today, we performed a dress rehearsal for the other classes in the school. The production went off without a hitch, and the other children really enjoyed our show!
I'm sure all parents have had the problem of asking their child what they are learning about in school, only to get a blank face back from their child, and a vague... 'I don't know...'!
This display just inside our classroom door is designed to help the children reflect on the topics and themes that we are focusing on in a given month, and to add those topics to the board as they arise.
Yesterday, our class had the opportunity to visit the Gurdwara. We were welcomed by Satwinder, who showed us the prayer room and langar, and told us all about the history of Sikhism and how Sikhs practise their faith today.
The Guru Granth Sahib is the Sikh sacred text. It is treated just as the actual gurus of the faith were treated - it even has a 'bed' that it retires to at night!
Satwinder read a chant from the Guru Grath Sahib for us and told us that it contains the answers to any prayer a Sikh person may have.
Sikhs feel that it is very important to be welcoming of visitors, and they always offer food and drink to visitors. In the langar, we were welcomed with a choice of food and drinks.
We all had a lovely time and were grateful to have an authentic experience in the Gurdwara.
The second experiment we did around the topic of magnetism was to try to make our own electromagnet. This involved using a battery and a length of wire to create an electrical current, and wrapping the wire around a nail to magnetise it.
We found it challenging, but all groups eventually managed to pick up varying amounts of paperclips with the magnets. We all observed the heat that was created by the electrical current, as we held the wires to the ends of the battery!