In German this term, the students in Year 1, 2 & 3 were welcomed to online learning each week with a greeting video and lesson. The students were able to feel right at home with the familiar animals who are always with me when I travel to their classroom at school. Anton der Affe (the monkey), Gerti die Giraffe (the giraffe) und Diddl die Maus (the mouse).
The greeting video included all the songs to say Hallo (hello) Guten Morgen (good morning) and Guten Tag (Good day), and to ask and answer the question Wie geht’s? (How are you?).
I asked the students each week to check the video to see if they could find anything new on the screen and to draw it on a piece of paper as a record of all the weeks. Then I would tell them all about the item from the previous week’s video.
Here are some of the items they found in the video; a shoe, a German soccer shirt, pens, rulers, pencils, Pritt glue stick, Aromat, pizza and a packet of sweets. These items introduced the famous German companies such as Adidas, Staedtler, Faber-Castell, Henkel, Knorr, Dr Oetker and Haribo. All products that we can buy in our local shops that are German.
We discussed celebrations in Germany around this time; Easter in Germany and made an Easter craft from the Hallo Anna Workbook. We learnt about the Maibaum (Maypole) festival that is celebrated in Germany to say goodbye to the winter and discovered that the Maikäfer (May Beetle) and Marienkäfer (ladybug) are all symbols of hope in Germany, that the summer and warm weather is near.
We were surprised about the fact that Fanta was invented in Germany and that the word originates from the words Fantasie (imagination) and Fantastisch (fantastic) and we were disappointed that Nutella and Kinder chocolate are not produced by a German company, but yet are part of the German culture. The chocolate even has a German name Kinder meaning children.
As a task to end the term, I asked the students to send in a picture that they had made or a photo of themselves and any of the German products. Thank you, it was Fantastisch to see your smiling faces and the German products. I could see that Dr Oetker pizzas, Aromat on popcorn and Haribo might just become a favourite in your home.
At the end of every lesson we sing Auf Wiedersehen (Goodbye), bis bald (see you soon) to all the animals. We have learnt that the words in German do not just say ‘Goodbye’ but that it always has a hope in it that we will see each other again, and I hope Klasse (Year) 1,2, & 3, that I will see you again soon. I am really looking forward to it.
Auf Wiedersehen, bis bald!
Frau Kerstin Pani
German Teacher Primary School
During the last two weeks of school our Year 12 Chemistry, Biology and Physics students came into school to complete practical work in the laboratories. Completing practical assignments is an important skill as it allows students to apply the theory they have covered in class and I am certain that when the Year 12’s return next term they will complete many more such assignments.
Finally, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to every one of you. Thank you to every student, parent, and teacher for all the hard work and effort you put in this term. Without your dedication and hard work our program of online learning wouldn’t have been possible.
Please look after yourselves during this holiday and we look forward to welcoming you back next term.
Head of Academics High School
As we come to the end of this term, it is with much gratitude in my heart that I write this week’s newsletter. This has not been an easy term for anyone, parents, students and teachers alike. We have all had to adapt to a new type of “normal”, adjust our thinking and challenge ourselves in everything we attempted.
I hope you now understand what we mean when we say that ‘teaching is a calling’. I do not think there is any teacher who is in this profession for anything other than the love of children. After all, our children are our future. We nurture them so they may create a better tomorrow.
I salute every one of you parents. You have been challenged in this storm and have endured. At times you might have felt fearful of the unknown, yet every day brings new hope.
I am reminded of a quote from Eleanor Roosevelt:
“I believe that anyone can conquer fear by doing the things he fears to do, provided he keeps doing them until he gets a record of successful experience behind him.”
To every student, I wish you a wonderful time of rest during this holiday. May the time spent with family be one of joy and laughter.
To my staff, I wish a time of rest and refreshment. We will start the new term with renewed vigour and strength.
Stay safe and keep warm.
Something that has struck me throughout the term is the reaction my students have had to lockdown. It would have been easy for them to give up and simply do the bare minimum, but instead they threw themselves both into online learning and into projects at home. Not a morning meeting goes by without one or more of my students telling me about something they made, something they’ve done, or a cool new exercise routine they thought up. Moreover, generally the things they are sharing are things they’ve done with or for family members – going cycling or running with their parents, making a cake for their Dad’s birthday, looking after a younger sibling, playing with their pets, and so on.
The lockdown encouraged our students to experiment with what they could do at home. They baked, made art, and spent time with their families. Don’t get me wrong – they’ve had their frustrations, but they have taken what they had and made the best of it, and I am incredibly proud of them for it!
Year 5 Teacher
Here are some of the interesting things Year 5HK has been up to…
During the second term the Year 1 classes have had individual, small group and class Zoom meetings.
The class zoom meetings have been fun times to see friends, share news, play games and even dress-up. The students have really enjoyed seeing their classmates even though they can’t play together it has been a way to connect with each other. As their teacher it has been a chance to see the class and catch up with what they are doing and how they are coping.
On Friday, 5 June my class enjoyed another Master Chef class. This time they watched a cooking demonstration on how to make Cheese puffs. The students then received the recipe via email and were encouraged to bake some for their families. Judging from the photos I received, they are all budding chefs!
Year 1 Teacher
CHEESE PUFFS RECIPE:
1 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 cup grated cheese
Salt and pepper
Mix these ingredients together.
1 egg (beat with a fork) add about half a cup of milk.
Mix with dry ingredients. Spoon into a muffin pan and bake at 220 for 10 minutes.
Recipe from: Gabriel Bamani
Year 1 Student
At the best of times the winter holidays can be a little daunting with trying to find things for your children to do. Welcome to a one of a kind winter lockdown holiday!
Here are some ideas of what you can do:
A camping trip at home could be fun! Let your child’s imagination run wild as they pretend to go camping. Put a tent up in your house or build a den using a table, some cushions and a sheet. Add some fairy lights for night time. Have a braai, roast some marshmallows and afterwards tell stories in their dens or tents and sleep on mattresses in the lounge.
Create obstacle courses inside or outside depending on the weather. These can be set up easily on your lawn using items found around the house. If it is a cold rainy day you can make an obstacle course out of crepe paper inside. Criss cross it from one wall to another, leaving small gaps for your little ones to climb through. See if they can make it through the course without tearing the paper.
Learn & experience a new country or culture without even leaving your home. Play a game with them by letting them blindly point out a place on a map, after which you all find a way to bring one aspect of that place into your home through food, language, dress etc. If only for one day! Make a meal celebrating that culture e.g. Italy – make Pizza; France – Crepe Suzettes or even America – Hamburgers.
Grow your own vegetables or herbs. Gardening can help your children learn about where food comes from, how things grow and how to look after them by watering them. To start off, try regrowing vegetable scraps including lettuce, avocados and carrot greens etc. You can also make cress heads by drawing silly faces on empty egg shells, fill them with soggy cotton wool and add cress seeds. It won’t be long before they start to sprout.
Pebble art can also be a fun family activity. Using felt tips or acrylic paint coated with varnish to give an extra layer of protection for the outside. Place the completed pebbles in the garden or give to family or friends as gifts.
Make ‘Wallpaper People’ out of an old roll of wallpaper, or any other paper. Lie your little one down on the paper or draw around them (if you don’t have big paper just use chalk on the bricks outside). Amazing how long they will spend colouring themselves in afterwards. They might also want to make a wallpaper mom, dad or sibling too.
Drive-in movie can be lots of fun! It’s quite easy to turn a big cardboard box into their very own car and they can help paint and decorate it too. Put a cushion inside, give them some popcorn, put a movie on or just enjoy a family movie from the comfort of your couch with lots of snacks of course!
A tea party can be enjoyed and lots of fun with a little bit of imagination. You can even bake some of their favourite treats with their help and decorate them. They can then invite their toys or siblings or parents along – giving each of them their own invitation. They can dress up and enjoy a treasure hunt or games in the garden.
Your very own Master Chef competition can unleash the cook in them. Encourage your children to participate and come up with ideas of what to cook.
Dancing & singing can keep the children active by having dancing and singing competitions using their favourite songs.
Hope that you use some of these ideas and enjoy these winter lockdown holidays!
The world has inevitably changed how we teach and how students access, share and facilitate information. Mathematics has been fun for most our students, with the assistance of great websites like Quizizz, Kahoot, and SPARX, which allow students to be interactive while learning. The most popular way of teaching has been the use of pre-recorded videos, either from specialist providers such Khanacademy or produced by teachers themselves. The latter have typically involved teachers delivering lessons backed by PowerPoint presentations on Zoom, the most popular screen and video recording software.
I love hosting classroom quiz games. They can be great for formative assessments and a tool to help students review before a test. You’ve probably used (or at least heard of) the multiplayer gaming website Kahoot. There’s a lot to like about Kahoot: it’s free, works in web browers on tablets, computers, and smartphones, and you can input your questions (or copy a pre-made quiz from their library).
Quizizz is an alternative to Kahoot, and there’s also a lot for educators and students to enjoy. It is very similar to Kahoot, with a few key differences. Just like Kahoot, the teacher (or host) chooses a quiz to begin. A five digit game code is provided. Players (students) use their browsers to join.quizzizz.com and input the game code, along with their names. If students are using smartphones or tablets, I display the join link as a QR code.
Kahoot is designed to show multiple choice questions on a large screen, and students respond by clicking buttons on their devices that correspond to the answers they want to choose.
Quizizz takes a different approach. No projector is necessary because students see questions and answer options on their own screens. The question order is randomized for each student, so it’s not easy for students to cheat. With Quizizz, students don’t have to wait for the whole class to answer a question before they continue to the next one.
So, Quizizz is student-paced while Kahoot’s pace is determined by the teacher or host. This is the major difference and can be a benefit depending on the situation. If you want to pause after each question, then Kahoot is better. The class can stop and discuss after each question, immediately addressing misconceptions. With Quizizz, students zip through questions at their own pace, limiting all discussion to after all questions have been answered.
This pandemic has showed us all how important the bond between teacher, student and parent is. It is because of the parents that we are successful at implementing various strategies outside of classroom, since they are the ones who have more contact time with their kids.
I want to thank all the parents that have supported us throughout this unusual journey.
High School Mathematics and Physics Teacher
We have conquered!
This term started off with a lot of uncertainty and unfamiliar ground. Although the challenges were many, the successes were more!
The Year 5 students are feeling amazing and they should. They have tackled challenges unknown to them and educated themselves beyond what any curriculum could teach. They have shown responsibility and maturity as each and every student took control of their learning and applied themselves to every task at hand.
Here’s how Year 5NM turned a challenge into a success with just positive thinking:
“I like online learning because I can work at my own pace, and I can spend more time with my family.” Kourtney Jones
“Ten weeks into it and online learning is going very well. My best part of it has to be working while sitting next to a crackling fire, sipping hot chocolate and keeping warm and toasty during the cold weather” Sanam Srikewal
“My favorite thing about online learning is that I can stay in my Pajamas all day and learn in the comfort of my own home.” Joshua Greyling
“The best part about online learning is that I can concentrate without any distractions” Tshiamo Ngcizela
“The best part about online learning is that I can have snacks in the middle of a lesson and I can spend the whole day in my pajamas.” Isabella Lockhart
“The best part of online learning for me is that I can work at my own pace and stay in my pajamas. I can also snack and take breaks whenever I want to.” Cole Dreyer
“I have found the best part of online learning is I have a friend who is helping me with my work. I enjoy working with him.”
“I enjoy seeing my friends on the calls and I enjoy doing challenging work because I can learn from the challenge!!!!” Jenna Eberlein
We have turned challenges into successes and we keep it moving! Positive thinking is our goal. Well done, Year 5NM!
Year 5 Teacher
We all are aware that the main reason for a Verbal Feedback meeting is for the teacher and the parents to discuss a student’s progress in order to enhance their child’s education. There are also many other important reasons for these meetings, that many parents may not be aware of.
The Year 2 teachers have discussed the importance of these meetings and this is what we have concluded:
– A child’s education is a partnership between parents and teachers – especially in times like these. Verbal Feedback meetings allow the teacher to express how grateful they are for the parents being “sergeants” and ensuring that their children actually do the work.
– We would like to show parents we are here to support them as well as their child. We are here to listen and help where we can.
– Parents are able to ask questions directly instead of waiting for a reply via email. These meetings help the teacher to inquire whether parents have seen any areas of struggle their child faces that the teacher may not necessarily be aware of.
– These meetings allow for parents to be heard and discuss their opinions based on what may work better for their children and them. This dialog helps teachers adapt their lessons to suit the needs of all their students, especially at a time like this where online learning is the main learning platform.
As we near the end of Term 2, the biggest challenge is to try and keep our students happy and occupied, without making their lives more stressful. The students know that something big is happening and they are not allowed to see their friends and teachers except for during our online Zoom class discussions.
During the past 2 weeks, our students have been very busy! We enjoyed learning more interesting facts about creepy crawlies; some took selfies in their school uniform; we had many Zoom meetings; we created our own insects for Art and others even drew pictures of all their friends at school.
The Pre-Reception classes have been learning about the letter ‘r’ in Literacy and they covered counting objects for Numeracy.
It is always wonderful to see our students and families share their experiences with us.
Martie van Dyk