Sekolah Pilar Indonesia

Through Artworks, We Delivered Our Feeling and Thoughts

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“You’re my best friend, just like a family. We keep best moments in our mind. We remember every time with you”. DSC_2381

That’s a part of the song that one of Grade 5 students composed with her group in music class, as their interest for the mini exhibition project. This year, Grade 5 students chose to do a mini exhibition, as a form of Parent Presentation. They took the unit of art under the theme of How We Express Ourselves.

IMG_3503The central idea is “Creating and responding to art develops understanding of ourselves and the world around us”. This time, they made their lines of inquiry from their questions. Despite of challenging found in this stage, the fifth graders showed their enthusiasm by being more selective in forming the lines of the inquiry. Moreover, as they worked in pairs to do the project, the challenges seemed more interesting for them.

DSC_2393Other challenges were to find the information explaining their lines of inquiry, but they have tried to research using different media, such as books, the internet, as well as interviewing people at school and at home.The artwork that they explored were music, drawing, graffiti, mixed media, crafting, etc. Single Subject Teachers, such as art, music, IT, were involved to help students in guiding them during the process of collecting information and to consult on their project.

The fifth graders have learned lots of things during the process; how to learn with others, to share responsibilities, to create their own artwork, and to present the information in front of audiences. Their hard work was seen from the beginning of the project up to the D- day.

DSC_2444This event successfully held on Friday, 26th January. The students enthusiasticallypresented their creation such as performing their own song “Best Friends” and “The Special One”. Positive response and support from their parents and school community were seen during the exhibition. This activity will help them picturing what exhibition looks like next year.

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Let’s Appreciate Our Food!

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Under the theme “How We Organize Ourselves” Grade 1 students had the opportunity to learn about the journey of food production. To find out about our prior knowledge, we worked in pairs and observed different types of food and drinks using a Mini Market activity. After having the observation, we chose one type of food or drink, discussed with our partners and presented our findings about the origins of food. The most interesting part was that some of us had an argument about the origins of potato chips, milk, and cheese.

Potato chips:

Our friends had an opinion that the origin of potato chips is that the worker has to cut the potatoes really thin before they fry them. Others said that the origin of potato chips is from flour. The workers need to put the dough into the mold and make it really thin. After they fry the dough, they give potato flavour to make it taste like potato.

Milk:

All of us agree that milk can come from animals or plants. But one of the groups that choose “milk” said that strawberry milk comes from the cow that eat strawberries, chocolate milk comes from the cow that eat chocolate bars, and vanilla milk comes from the cow that eat grass. Some other groups still didn’t have any prior knowledge about milk production.

Cheese:

We also know that the origin of cheese is from milk. At first, we thought that if cheese comes from milk, it means we only need to put the milk in the freezer to make it solid like cheese. Do you think our thinking is right? Scroll and read carefully our article!

After the mini market activity presentation, our teachers give us a catalogue of products then we have to categorize them based on the origins of the products (animal or plant) in pairs using T-chart. We still had confusion about the origins of food, whether from plants or animals.

Our next activity were watching videos of “How Is Rice Made. kimi Food Facts for Kids.  Inside the Farm with Kids”, “Remarkable Rice. How Does Rice Grow”, “Growing Rice in Indonesia”, and “Growing Rice in Jiuxiancun, China”. From the videos, now we know that Indonesia and China have the same processes to grow rice. After having discussions about the origins and the processes of rice production, our teachers divided us into 4 groups  to make a flow chart about the processes of rice production. We made the flow charts using Paint application, session in ICT lesson.

Next, we had a storytelling session from the book “See Inside Where Food Comes From” by Emily Bone. It is very interesting that milk comes not only from cows, but also from other animals, such as goat, camel and horse! We also read “Learn about Food” by Brimax and watched a video of “How Orange Juice Is Made” to learn that orange come from seeds. After we read the stories and watched the movie, we made a flow chart by drawing the origins of food and the processes by ourselves.

Next experiment was our favourite! We put two cartons of milk, chocolate and vanilla in our school freezer and waited until the next day to prove to our teachers that our thinking was right. After two days, we took the milk from the freezer and opened it in our classroom. From the colours, we saw that the colours were different from the colour of the cheese that we saw every day. Our friend said that maybe the worker put food colouring so the cheese can change the colour into yellow. But after we taste it, it taste like ICE CREAM! IT’S NOT CHEESE! From the experiment, we realize that it was not how to produce our cheese.
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From our flow chart, we made a book about food production. We could choose from milk production, juice production or rice production. In our book you can see our drawings and sentences about food production and the key roles people play in food production.

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We discuss and write our script
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We prepare our props
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It’s time for role play!

IMG_1569For our summative assessment task, we had a role play. First, we chose the topic (milk production, rice production or juice production). Second, we discussed with our group about the characters and who would play them. After we knew our characters, we wrote the story with our group. We practised and we made our own props.

Let’s appreciate our food and be thankful for our daily meal because the processes of food production spend a lot of time and energy!

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Grade 1 students and teachers

FINITE RESOURCES AND HOW HUMANS ACT OVER THEM

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The 4th graders of Sekolah Pilar Indonesia have been exploring their first unit of inquiry under the theme, ‘Sharing the Planet’. The students have been examining the following central idea; the need for finite resources is a factor in relationships between humans and the natural environment, through the key concepts of perspective, causation, and responsibility. They have also worked hard to develop their learner profile attributes.

During their exploration on this unit, the teacher provided students with a variety of learning opportunities, including watching ‘Deep Water Horizon”, reading articles by using the jigsaw strategy, and inviting a parent, who is a geologist of a geothermal company, as a guest speaker. During the sharing session, the students showed their curiosity by formulating questions. Below are some of the questions the students came up with.

  • Are there any differences between planning mining sites on land and in the ocean?
  • Do power plants built near the mining site produce pollution for the surrounding environment?
  • Is geothermal energy dangerous for humans?

From these experiences students were able to describe the process of mining oil in the ocean and the impact of big explosions on a mining site when the proper procedures are implemented. They also were able to identify what tools were used to mine oil in the ocean from watching the movie. The jigsaw strategy was used in the finding out and sorting out phases to explore the second and third lines of inquiry. The teacher provided four different articles about conflicts that have arisen between humans and wildlife or nature over finite resources. The students were asked to read the articles and share the information in groups. After they discussed the article in their group, the students were re-grouped randomly. In their new group the students shared the information from the article they had read. Through this activity, the students were able to understand that conflicts will always arise between humans and other living things, in this case with the wildlife and nature, to fulfill human’s daily needs. As a result of this exploration students were also able to explain how wildlife obtain their needs from nature, for example nature provides animals with a home and place to find food. From the articles, the students learned how to preserve nature and endangered animals not only in Indonesia, but also in different parts of the world.

Desy Ermawati

desy.erma@pilar.sch.id

Grade 4 Teacher Sekolah Pilar Indonesia

Grade 1 Exploring Forces through Games

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What is Play-based Pedagogy?

Play-based pedagogy describes an approach where the teacher recognizes that children learn through an active, hands-on, playful environment. In a play-based classroom, the teacher makes decisions about, and adjusts, the daily schedule, environment, materials, interactions and activities based upon the strengths, needs, interests, and input of the students to enhance learning opportunities. (Common Understandings – Play-based Pedagogy, Department of Education and Early Childhood Development, page 35).

As active children, Grade 1 students enthusiastically explore the world around them through play-based learning. For the young students playing is an effective provocation, one which stimulates their thinking skills in connection to their unit of inquiry.

Under the theme ‘How the World Works’, Grade 1 students had the opportunity to play several games to engage their knowledge about the impact of forces on everyday life. We joined two classes to play frisbee, bowling, javelin, soccer and tug of war. During the games, the students observed important information. We found out that the games had different rules and procedures. We also observed how the objects that we used moved, and identified differences between the weight and size of the objects. Through the games we found out that the more power we use, the faster things move. We also practised our social skills and communication skills by showing our respect for each other.

After we played the games, we held a discussion and some of the students recognized the similarities between the games. The games required us to perform certain actions (throw, push and pull) to make the objects move from one place to another. To engage our knowledge, we read a variety of books, including ‘The Enormous Turnip’, ‘I Can’t Open It’ and ‘Motion’. We also had the opportunity to role play ‘The Enormous Turnip’ book in front of our friends. This story helped us to understand that we need forces to make things speed up or slow down.

One of our formative assessments required students to differentiate between pictures using a Venn Diagram. Students categorized which pictures showed pushing activities, pulling activities or both. After finishing, the students did a bus stop activity to observe other groups’ ideas. From the observation, students found out that other groups had different ideas so we held a discussion to enrich our understanding.

Here are some examples of the students’ comments.

Group A: “Bu, we observed that other groups put the fishing picture as an example of a pulling activity. We think it’s supposed to be a pushing and pulling activity because we have to cast the fishing line out first and after we get the fish, we have to pull it.”

Group B: “We put the fishing picture as an example of pulling activity because we saw the girl in the picture already got her fish, so she only needed to pull the fishing line in.”

When discussing the other pictures, the students sometimes had the same opinions and sometimes their opinions were different. We learnt that it is important to listen to others’ opinions, because every point of view has its own angle and every angle has merit.

We also conducted some experiments about how forces affect movement. Students explored the three stations provided, each representing different types of force. After doing the activities at the three stations, students explained their experiences in one particular station through drawing and writing.

We believe that through play students are able to explore things more enthusiastically and also learn how to negotiate with one another and solve problems, be more of a risk-taker, and develop self-confidence.

Grade 1 Teachers

Sekolah Pilar Indonesia

Save Our Ocean, We Only Have One…

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The Early Childhood Centre (ECC) of Sekolah Pilar Indonesia celebrated the learning journey under the transdisciplinary theme, Sharing the Planet. Kindergarten and Reception classes had different central ideas. In Kindergarten we had ‘Living things need the sea to survive’, while in Reception, ‘When interacting with natural habitats, humans make choices that have an impact on other living things’. We collaborated on these central ideas by considering the lines of inquiries through the form of a simple drama. The drama persuaded everyone to work hand in hand to take care of the sea and maintain the habitat. We also involved our mums in the performance. We were very confident and were risk-takers to share what we have learned. Everybody shared positive responses on our learning.

Furthermore, to deepen our understanding of sea animals and habitats, ECC students and teachers went on an excursion to Ancol Beach and Seaworld. During the tour we showed our curiosity by asking many questions to our tour guide. We also watched a short movie about the life cycle of sea turtles. From that movie we discovered how living things respond to changing environments. After that, we headed to Ancol Beach to clean up the beach. We collected the rubbish and put it in the trash bin.

Through these activities we learnt many things. We understand that the sea habitat is very important to sustain life on Earth. Every little thing that we do to the sea has an impact to our life and other living things.

ECC Teachers

Sekolah Pilar Indonesia