Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Liter of Light Prototype

The Liter of Light group have been working on a Prototype. Here is the video telling the story so far …

The Liter of Light has a fan page on Facebook. Ms Jane was able to share our video with the group by sending them a message. Grade 5 are not encouraged to use Facebook as you must be over 13 to use it. Ms Jane made a screen capture of the message written by Illac Diaz on the Liter of Light FB page about our Grade 5 Liter of Light project.

Here is the first post on the Liter of Light Fan Page

Illac Diaz has been encouraging our class to keep going with this project. Here is the post that he made about our first light installation at the Serpong Landfill Community. 5MJ students are being called 'Ambassadors of Light'.

Monday, 21 November 2011

Measuring an Accurate Circle

When the Solar Bulb group of students wanted to mount a coke bottle into a rigid piece of cardboard, they came up against a problem that they tried hard to solve by themselves. How can you make the hole the right size if you have a bottle and you cannot measure the it’s diameter. The idea they came up with to solve the problem was after much discussion…but was it accurate!

It looks simple to embed a coke bottle into a sheet of plastic ... but how do you measure the circle accurately?

Does the diameter equal half of the circumference?

How can you work it out? Is there a Mathematical formula that can help you?

Below are the calculations that Grade 5 came up with.

What we wanted to find out was - Does a = 2b? a is the circumference and b is the diameter.

Friday, 18 November 2011

Liter of Light

5MJ looked at this TEDx talk by Illac Diaz from the Philippines. He is the founder of the Light of Light group which is responsible for installing 200.000 lights in slum areas in the Philippines. 5MJ are very interested in learning about this as a possible solution for the people at the Serpong Landfill.

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Singing at the Landfill Community

Ms Marion made a video about our first visit to the Landfill in Serpong. The students were given the task to get to know the children there by asking simple questions such as "What class are you in?", or "What time do you make up?".

The students from SWA were surprised to find out that many children don't go to school and some children have to wake up at 2am in the morning to collect water as they don't have running water in their house. It made us realize that many children have to live without basic rights such as access to clean water and the right to have an education.

After returning to SWA the students looked at some of the issues facing these children. They decided which issues they were interested in and began to inquiry into possible solutions for these problems.

The 3 issues that the class decided on were:

Lighting: the houses were very dark in the middle of the day. What could be a low-cost solution?
Water: the houses had no running water. The well was far from the houses and was very poluted. What solutions are there to help this situation?
Housing: the houses were very small and looked unsafe. What can be done to help this?

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Observations at the Landfill Site

On Wednesday 5MJ went to visit the Landfill site otherwise known as TPA Serpong. They made many observations and are currently doing some real life problem solving activities to see what solutions are needed to improve the quality of life for the residents there.

Here are some photos and the initial observations by 5MJ. The class has broken into three groups based on the student observations.

Those groups are:

Water – there is no running water in these houses. The children have to carry water to use in the kitchen. How could this problem be addressed? What is needed to have running water in each kitchen? Is it possible?

Shelter – these houses look very unstable. How could they be improved so that they are safer to live in? Why do these houses look temporary. Do they own or rent this land?

Light – the Liter of Light is a project in the Phillipines. It is a project where you place a used liter Coca cola bottle in the ceiling of a house to act as a skylight during the day. (Click here to see the website Liter of Light) We went inside some of these houses and it was very dark despite it being very sunny outside. How could we install some Liter of Lights in these houses? Ms Jane has been in contact with the head of this project in the Phillipines and he is keen to help us. How could the students of 5MJ start a Liter of Light project in Indonesia. What needs to be organized? How can we get sponsorship?

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Jangan Menyerah

5MJ decided to go further with learning about how resources are unevenly distributed in the world. The teachers arranged a visit to the local landfill community. This community is only 15 minutes drive from school. There are 40 families who live on the landfill amongst the rubbish. The class has been learning to sing a pop song in Indonesian which is all about trying your best no matter what the circumstances. It is a lovely song which fits well with the class as we are currently striving to complete some personal goals. We hope that it will inspire the children that live at the Landfill community.

Here are the words and a video of the teachers singing the song.

F G Am
Tak ada manusia
F G Am
Yang terlahir sempurna
F G Am
Jangan kau sesali
Segala yang telah terjadi

F G Am
Kita pasti pernah
F G Am
Dapatkan cobaan yang berat
F G Am
Seakan hidup ini
Tak ada artinya lagi

F G Am
Syukuri apa yang ada
Hidup adalah anugerah
F G Am
Tetap jalani hidup ini
Melakukan yang terbaik

[intro] F G Am

Jangan menyerah…jangan menyerah jangan menyerah ….aaaaaa
jangan menyerah jangan menyerah jangan menyerah aaaaaa

[intro] F G Am

F G Am
Syukuri apa yang ada
Hidup adalah anugerah
F G Am
Tetap jalani hidup ini
Melakukan yang terbaik
F G Am
Tuhan pasti kan menunjukkan
Kebesaran dan kuasanya
F G Am
Bagi hambanya yang sabar
Dan tak kenal Putus asa
jangan menyerah….menyerah …..
Jangan menyerah…jangan menyerah jangan menyerah ….aaaaaa

Monday, 14 November 2011

Our Class eBook

Technology is alive and well with our students!

Today we put the finishing touches on our eBook.

Here is a photo of our class editors Shereen and Keaton working on compiling all of the student work into the book. Every student in the class wrote a chapter for this book. Shereen and Keaton asked the class to email their finished work in Pages so that they could put it all together. These two students then collated all the work and made it into the finished book. Initially we wanted to make an ePub format but we had trouble controlling the layout as we had a lot of pictures to include in the book. This book is all about our class inquiry into rice. Most of the content for this book has come from primary resources. We used only a few references from the Internet.

We agreed to make it into a PDF so that the students could have greater control over the layout. Take a look at the finished work here via Issu.

Thursday, 10 November 2011

How Did People Measure Rice Fields in the Past?

Today we discussed how rice fields used to be measured. Ms Jane’s husband told her that in the Batak villages in North Sumatra the rice fields would be measured in depa.

One depa is the distance between your wrist and your elbow.

You measure by using string (raffia) and winding the string around your arm.
Cupak is used to measure the volume of rice. One cupak is one half coconut full of rice.

Did you know that your foot is approximately the length between your wrist and your elbow?

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

SWA Soccer Field and a Rice Farm – Which is bigger?

Today we sorted out our Math problem for measuring the SWA soccer field.

We had a small competition to see which group got the closest measurement to the actual size.

The size of the SWA soccer field is 4,000 m²

Group 3 (Shereen, Gabi, Zubin and Rifqi) had the closest answer which was 3,969 m²

What we realized was that the average size of a Javanese rice farm in Indonesia is smaller than the school soccer field. The average rice farm is 3,333 m². Most of the Grade 5 students thought that the rice farm would be much bigger. It was a shock for us to realize this. We now know that the rice farms that we can see are often several rice farms joined together so therefore have more than one owner. It is now not surprising to us that the farmer will only make 9 million rupiah per year based on getting two harvests in a calendar year. This is not enough to live on as this gives the farmer less than US$100 per month to feed their family.

Take a look at our video to see how we measured the school soccer field. It was not work but a lot of fun!!

Monday, 7 November 2011

Visualizing the Size of a Rice Farm in Indonesia

This is the SWA soccer field. Is it bigger than the average Javanese rice farm?

Here are some students ready to measure the school soccer field.

Today 5MJ had the task to measure the area of the soccer field at SWA. The students have been learning about area. This is a part of our inquiry into the size of a rice farm in Indonesia. We have learned that the size of an average Javanese rice farm is 3,333 square meters. The purpose of measuring the soccer field is so that the students can compare the size. They cannot image how big 3,333 square meters is, so once we know the size of our soccer field we can see if the rice farm is bigger or smaller.

We got our information about the size of rice farms in Java from

This morning each student made a drawing of the soccer field and put a drawing of how big they thought an Indonesian rice farm would be next to it.

Shereen makes her prediction. She thinks that the average Javanese rice farm is much bigger than the school soccer field. Look at her prediction drawing on the mini white board. She then captured this with her Photobooth and uploaded it to her blog. Read Shereen's post.

Friday, 4 November 2011

An Inquiry into Rice Plants in the Classroom

Here is the video taken during the rice plant inquiry in the classroom.

Thursday, 3 November 2011

A Deeper Inquiry Into Rice

As promised, today Ms Jane brought in some rice plants for 5MJ to look at. She brought red rice, white rice and rice seeds for planting. The students were very interested to look at the plants and to continue their inquiry into how rice is grown and distributed.

Each student wrote a blog post about the rice. Some students were so excited they decided to make a poster about the rice. Other students made a video to show the grain of rice inside the husk.

We chatted about many things throughout this lesson.

Ms Jane brought in 3 kinds of rice

5MJ takes a closer look at the rice plants

They were excited to try to open up the rice to find the seed.

Rifqi takes a look and finds to rice grain inside.

Here is the rice grain for the red rice.

We watched a news clip that Ms Agnes found from Indosiar TV about rotten rice. Some people have no choice but to eat Nasi Aking which is rice from a rubbish bin that has been thrown away. This rice is dried out and cooked again. It is eaten with shredded coconut to make it taste better.

Here is the Indosiar video clip about Nasi Aking.


Student blogging in action ...

Many students made posters and movies which they captured with their Photo Booth on their Macbooks. This was a spontaneous reaction as they were intent on capturing their personal learning.