Keshma Patel is a Grade 6 teacher at Micklefield Primary School for girls in Cape Town and a 2016 Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert. She believes that: “as a teacher your learning should never end. Education is ever changing. You never have a dull moment. There are always new goals to set, new ideas to explore and different ways to inspire young minds.” Keshma has featured on our blog before in a post entitled ‘MIEExpert Spotlight #3: Keshma Patel – Project-based learning, 1:1 technology, student websites and Minecraft!‘
Once a year, Micklefield School hosts a Theme Week. During this week both the learners and teachers explore, discover and innovate. This year Micklefield delved into the exciting world of Back to the Future. Have a look at what the different grades explored:
Grade 0 & 00
The Grade 00’s and 0’s made wonderful futuristic machines out of recycled materials. A few Grannies from Grade 0 shared Show ‘n Tell about music players from the past and the Grade 00 brought in an item to be locked away in a time capsule, only to be opened again in Grade 7.
The Grade 1 girls had a wonderfully creative session where they designed their own buildings for the future from Lego that they brought from home. What was special was that all their designs were unique. They also enjoyed seeing each other’s designs.
The Grade 2 girls designed fabulous inventions to solve real world problems. They imagined themselves as grandparents (at the age of 64) and decided what problems they might face on a typical morning while looking after their grandchildren. Using ‘Paint,’ the girls designed fabulous inventions to solve their problems.
The Grade 3 girls learnt about sustainable food resources and food of the future. We made Looking into the Future posters where we all predicted what we would be in the future and where. We visited the Brown and Annie Old Age Home in Pinelands where we interviewed the elderly about what school was like when they were children. The girls thoroughly enjoyed hearing all their special memories and stories. All the girls spent the week with eyes open and minds wondering and thoroughly enjoyed all their activities and chances to explore and imagine.
The Grade 4 girls explored the Changes in Medical Technology over time. They especially enjoyed researching all the weird and wonderful cures used in Victorian times…..a stinky sock to relieve a sore throat or a potato to help with earache! Today’s cures seem so much simpler and effective! An outing to Vincent Pallotti Hospital with a tour through the X ray department and the advancements that have been made, was especially enjoyed.
The Grade 5 girls explored the world of electronics with Club Electron. They learnt about and experimented with different circuits, breadboards and the basic building blocks of robotics. They also began their project of being environmentally aware citizens of the future and making Eco-Bricks.
Women inventors were the focus in Grade 6. The girls chose a women inventor that has influenced the world we live in and explored how their invention has helped society. The girls then had a chance to become inventors themselves, using littleBits they created innovations that could solve a world problem. Panic buttons on school bags, wind powered cars, reading glass to help Dyslexia and trackers to locate lost pets, were created.
The Grade 7 girls debated whether robot teachers will take over the classroom in the future. Another debate topic was whether using avatar students was useful when training teachers. The girls also interviewed their parents about being teenagers in the 1980s and they then made videos on iPads about the differences between life as a teen in 1986 and life as a teen in 2016. Great fun was had when the girls dressed as teens in 1986.
A highlight for the week
The Grade 4, 5, 6 and 7 girls came to the computer lab to watch a short video. Then we skyped Richard Hardiman. He spoke brilliantly about what it takes to be an inventor, the process he went through, his concern for the environment and what his dreams for the future are. The girls then asked questions about his invention and also for guidance about the inventions that they have been working on.