So I have officially been here for over a month now. I cannot believe it is March already. I was here for the whole month of February, and man did it fly by!! The biggest update, as you can see from the pictures, was our Angor Wat project. Although I cannot take credit for the concept of this project, I can’t express enough how proud I am of my students. My co-teacher has done this project in the past, and he did it with his students the week before us. Since I came in late, my students were a little behind, but I still wanted them to do have the opportunity to build. We were able to see how the projects from the other grade 5 classes turned out and went from there. In Social Studies, the students are learning about the history of Cambodia. For a little over a week, they learned a lot about Angkor Wat which is very important to Cambodia, considering it is the symbol on the Cambodian flag. They learned about when it was built, how long it took to build, why it is so important to Cambodia, and other facts. After learning all about Angkor Wat, it was time for us to build our own. Other teachers had been saving their toilet paper rolls so we could have enough for 3 classes to build!
I really let my kids be their own creative directors for this. Yes, they had seen other projects from the classes, and they of course knew what it looked like realistically, but after a base form, I let them construct what they thought was applicable. This was great to see because all of the kids were so involved. Our word of the week was “teamwork” so we learned about what it is like to work with others and that everyone should be involved. We made sure everyone had their ideas heard. The kids worked in their teams of 4 and had to plan out how they wanted it to look, and then they had building days.
Day 1: Planning on paper and drawing what they wanted Angkor Wat to look like
Day 2: Planning on cardboard with all the materials, but nothing is permanent
Day 3: Gluing basic structure
Day 4: Glue, glue, glue
Day 5: Final touches (adding flowers, water and decorative pieces)
Team Pigs: Neri, Dalin, Narak, and Sovin
The kids really look forward to building, so I had been saving it for the last class of the day so it was an incentive for them to be on their best behavior all day. One day, they did lose their building time. This was even a bummer for me because I really like seeing them work together on their projects. This has been the highlight of my days too!
As a class, they were able to show off all of their hard work at our weekly assembly. Originally we were just going to display the projects for the students to walk by after assembly, but after seeing Teacher Mike’s class present their projects, my kids wanted to too (of course)! The kids would say, “Teacher, sentence,” meaning wanted to read the sentences of the facts to the school just like the other classes. So I picked 4 kids that wanted to present, and during assembly they stood up in front of the other classes and shared the facts we learned with the other students. They loved it and were so proud of themselves!
This was an amazing project. (Thank you Teacher Mike!) I loved that the kids were so interested in it because they had been learning about Angkor Wat all week and then had something to look forward to after learning. I saw a lot of kids in class step up and be fully interested; it really allowed a lot of the kids to shine. Some of them just really took to this project and would ask at the beginning of the day, “Teacher today Angkor Wat?” to make sure we were still doing the project. We learned about teamwork and to make sure everyone had a part in the building process. Proud teacher!
Team Monkeys: Sokchan, Sophorn, Sophea, and Nita
Team King Ants: Sreysor and Veasna (Sun Heng and Panha tpp)\
Team Monkeys: Sophea, Sophorn, Sokchan, and Nita
Team Kung Fu Pandas: Phearak, Pasy, Sreynith and Vibol
The 4 students presenting at assembly.