The Learning Journeys with Pak Sal

Hi MS Team

This school – the students, the parents, the teachers, the Nature, the buildings – is so amazing. You know, every day when I walk in through the gates, I am still in awe at being a part of this community.

In my MS Number Skills unit, we have been building our skills – through question-answer, practice and games. Students have demonstrated developing abilities to perform the four operations, find Highest Common Factors, solve multi-step order of calculations, estimate/approximate, add/subtract positive and negative numbers. Our favourite day is Game Day on Friday – there’s fun and excitement, healthy competition, motivation to learn and practice and teach one another. I’ve been getting in ‘trouble’ from the nearby teachers by how much screaming, cheering, shouting (all Maths/Numbers vocabulary) that’s been going on. This week, we will have our post-unit assessment and I am sure that my students will demonstrate significant growth from the time that we have spent together.

In my MS Extension class – doing the HS Financial Maths unit – we have covered application topics such as: commission, simple interest, percentage change, profit/loss (to name a few). Students have been completing set homework and doing weekly timed quizzes (as are the requirements for all HS Maths subjects). In addition, students have been working on the unit assignment that involves two budgeting exercises; one for living in Bali, the other for a future-projection about living in another country. The discussions and research involved in this assignment are rich with insight, inquiry and decision-making – not to mention many conversations have made me smile. Here’s a sample: Student 1: “No way – I’m not living with parents, even if it saves a lot of money”; Student 2: “I’ve lived on a boat for 3 years – I’m never doing that again”; Student 3: “it’s really hard finding information about cost of living in Greenland”; Student 4: ” We’re going to live together – but the apartment has only one bedroom, so she is going to sleep on a mattress on the floor in the living room” (I wonder how long that would last); Student 5: “Pak Sal – how much does it cost to insure a Maserati?” (you’re asking a teacher?!?). This week we will do the final assessment task and I will be able to pass on my formal marks and grades to the HS team.

In the Grade 7 thematic – Hunger and Nutrition – the 7B students have been looking at the physiology of hunger, the biology and chemistry of nutrients, and the Human Digestive System. On Friday students were allowed to research ‘Human Digestive System Games’ and they found a very amazing learning tool called ‘Guts and Bolts’ – google it; it’s fun, easy (to start with and then quite challenging), and one of the best ways for students to truly understand the inputs and outputs of various human body systems.

Thank you for your time – reading this content rich (sorry – no photos this time) blog. I truly love being in the classroom and sharing the learning journey of our amazing MS students.

Kind regards

Pak Sal

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