# Maths – Exploring 2D Shapes

In P4/5/6 this week, we have signed up to the Shetland Sumdog Competition so we made a start at climbing up the leader board on Friday.  We are hoping to build on our success in the National Competition last time so it would be wonderful if the pupils could log in at home too and play along.  It runs until Thursday 17th.  Good luck!

These past few weeks, the class have been learning about 2D Shapes.  We have found out about polygons, regular and irregular 2D Shapes, parallel and perpendicular lines, how to find the number of diagonals a many sided shape has and naming quadrilaterals.

All of this helped lead up to this week’s Maths lesson where pairs of children were given either a description of a 2D shape or a specific shape for them to describe using the correct Mathematical terms.  They had to use different materials to make them as accurately as they could.  I was really impressed with the team work shown and their ability to keep working when shapes did not quite come together and when clues had to be puzzled out.  (Sorry for out of focus photos!)

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# Quiz Time!

In P4/5/6, we have been learning how to build electrical circuits as part of our topic work.  We have also looked at which materials act as conductors of electricity and which materials are insulators.

We found out that metal is a conductor, so we used tin foil to help us build an electrical quiz board for the younger pupils in our school.

We thought carefully about  the focus for our quizzes and tried to keep in mind how to make the questions suitable for younger pupils.

It was amazing to see how many social skills were developed during this process:  turn taking, co-operation, talking and listening, compromising and providing support and encouragement to each other.  Of course, there were opportunities to develop ICT skills too.  It was lovely to see so many pupils eager to pass on their ICT knowledge!  What a team!

To play our games, you need to use an electrical circuit.  Instead of completing the circuit, the  wires at each end connect to our quiz board – one wire to a question and the other wire to the answer.  If the question and answer match, the bulb will light up!  This means that we have completed the circuit!

We can’t wait to show you the finished quiz boards soon and test them out on the P1/2 and P2/3/4 classes!

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# LEGO Renewables

Emma Chittick, who is a STEM Engagement Advisor for Skills Development Scotland, came in to help us with another STEM wind turbine challenge., but this time we used LEGO!

She set a competition to see which design could generate the most power.  The tricky part was trying to build a strong structure to set the turbine on.  The class also had to consider how they attached their blades and in which direction they were facing.

Everyone was so engaged and worked well on their own or with a partner to complete the task.

Well done P4/5/6!  You did a great job!

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# Transition Day

What a super Transition Day we had with the new P4/5/6 class this week!  Mrs Smith came in for the first part of the morning when we spent some time getting to know each other with the Find the Fib game.  Everyone (including Mrs Henderson and Mrs Smith) had to think of 3 things to share with the class about themselves.  BUT, 1 of them had to be a fib.  We had fun trying to guess which statement was false.  Sometimes it was very tricky to decide!

We spent a little time writing down all of the things that were important to us.  Some people had similar interests but it was also good to point out that it’s OK to like different things too.

We then got into groups and took part in some team building games.  We played Lower the Hoop, Pass the Hoop, Lego building Relay and Silent Birthday Line up.  We managed to put everyone in order from youngest to oldest…without saying a word!  Well done everyone!  Amazing!

The afternoon was spent doing a STEM activity.  Each team had the challenge of building a newspaper bridge which would be strong enough to hold a textbook.  Some bridges were so strong that they were able to hold more than 10 books!  It was great to see how everyone worked together as a team and took responsibility for the task.

We are looking forward to welcoming the class back in August where we can continue to get to know each other and work as a team.

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# Playtime

The wet and windy weather hasn’t stopped us from enjoying our new playtime equipment.  The skipping has been very popular and I think it is possibly time to dig out all of those old skipping rhymes for the children to try!

It has been lovely to see the class taking turns, co-operating, negotiating and problem solving in our outdoor play area.  Well done P5/6!

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# Shopping

In P5/6 we have been creating a list of things we would like to use at playtime.  Our budget is £60, so we need to try to find the best deal for each item on our list.

We have been learning how to navigate around shopping websites, using filters so that we can find exactly what we are looking for.  We found out that it was important to check how many items were being advertised and to compare products.  Some products were very cheap but the delivery charge was very high!

Ethan discovered that if he looked a little further and narrowed his search a little more, he was able to find 3 basket balls for the same price as 1 in an earlier search.  Well done Ethan!

Ava and Freya thought they had found a great deal on chunky chalk with 100 pieces in the pack!  It’s a good job they read the reviews as that particular product had a low rating with lots of complaints!  Well done for spotting that girls!

We have noted down all of the things that we think could be bought and now we have to add it all up to check that we are within our £60 budget.  Fingers crossed!

# Biosecurity

On Wednesday 5th February we enjoyed an afternoon of Biosecurity activities. Biosecurity is the protection of a species from other non-native invasive species.

We learned about the Storm Petrels on Mousa and the importance of keeping the island clear of any predators who would be a threat to them.

Afra Skene, a Biosecurity Officer in Shetland, provided lots of games and activities to get us thinking more about Biosecurity and how to spread the word to others in our community.

The children were asked to think of the ways in which they enjoyed learning and to invent activities, songs, games and challenges to try and teach others about Biosecurity. Hopefully some of our ideas will appear in a teaching resource being produced for schools in Scotland!

# Electricity

Today we looked at the next aspect of our topic  – electricity.  It was great fun exploring the electricity boxes and trying to make an electrical circuit to light the bulbs!  Lots of exciting discoveries were made  and I’m sure the hilarity could be heard throughout the school as we tried to create a complete circuit with our bodies!

# STEM – final challenge!

Today was our last STEM session with Emma Chittick this year. The children were asked to use all of the knowledge and skills gained over the past couple of weeks to build something that would generate electricity. Everyone was raring to get started and it didn’t take long for their designs to take shape!

Some made wind turbines, some used solar cells, while some used both in the same structure. It was great to see the children interacting and problem solving together to try and achieve success. I was very proud to see everyone working so well as a team and providing support for each other. Well done P5/6!

# STEM

This term we are looking at renewable energy so we invited Emma Chittick into our class to work on a few STEM projects linked to our learning. In week 1, the children were challenged to build a wind turbine using Lego. When their structures were ready, everyone had a trial run and were given time to make any necessary alterations to their design. It was very exciting waiting to see if it would turn with the wind from the fan! We measured how much electricity was produced from each design.

In week 2 the class were asked to build a structure with solar panels that would capture natural light and artificial light. This meant that they had to design a structure that could change the angle of the solar panel. Again, they were given a trial run, then a fair test with the same conditions for each group. During our testing, we quickly realised one disadvantage when relying on solar energy. The position of the sun moved as we were testing at our classroom windowsill, resulting in less direct natural sunlight for some of the tests.

Keep a look out for the final challenge next week!