Monday, 25 November 2013

WW II Deception, More Flags, and Audacity

What a week!


Last week the Penticton grade 3, 4 and 5s tried to work with the audio software Audacity, but the technology was not working for most students.  This week was a whole different story.  Everyone was able to get the software working and students started recording, editing, playing with effects, downloading music and sounds...  the list goes on!  This class was all about 'playing' with the software and finding out what it could do.  Students were encouraged to take risks.  It was exciting to see how engaged the students were, and to see them sharing their new found expertise with each other.  At times it was very loud in the classroom (something about recording your voice makes students yell) and at others it was very quiet as students listened through their headsets to their recordings.

World War Two Presentation

The Summerland classes (AIM and ASPIRE) were treated to a presentation by ASPIRE parent and World War Two history enthusiast, Myron Dueck.  Mr. Dueck created a presentation that discussed WWII in the context of our theme; Top Secret Communication.  Mr. Dueck gave students a brief summary of the events leading up to WWII as well as the war itself.  He talked about the Enigma Machine, which the students had been introduced to in an earlier class, as well as methods of deception used by the different sides in both WWI and WWII.

USS West Mahomet in dazzle camouflage, 1918. 
One method of deception that Mr. Dueck describes was the use of dazzle camouflage .  It was used on ships mostly in WWI .  Instead of trying to camouflage something as large as a ship, the idea was to paint it to make it difficult to tell what type of ship it was, how many ships there were, and which way the ship(s) were heading.  The photo to the left shows a ship with dazzle camouflage.

In addition to the images in his slide presentation, Mr. Dueck also brought in some artifacts from his WWII collection.  The grade 1 and 2 class, who are currently learning about flags, would have been interested to see the German flag from a U-boat.  It was specially constructed to enable it to withstand being submerged in water.  Students also got to see a bayonet, as well as some ceremonial daggers, a grenade (empty of course) as well as other items.

The students had lots of questions and the hour that we had originally planned on for the presentation stretched out for almost an hour and a half and at that, Mr. Dueck left them wanting more!  A big thanks to Mr. Dueck for giving this presentation, and a thank you as well to the AIM parents for accommodating a change in schedule so that the AIM students could also be there for this presentation.

More Flags

The Grade 1 and 2 class continued to learn more about flags this week.  First of all, the students looked at flags from various countries and discovered that there are 6 main flag colours: red, blue, yellow, green, black and white.  Other colours are used, but they tend to be less common.  We wondered what Penticton's flag looked like.  Did you know that it looks like this?

Penticton's flag.

The students quickly figured out what the different symbols on the flag represented.  We then looked looked at the North American Vexillological Association's 'Good Flag, Bad Flag' section to learn more about good flag design.  The students quickly learned that with flag design, you really want to keep it simple, avoid complicated designs or lettering and stick with 2 - 3 basic colours.  Next class students will be designing their own flags.  We'll see how they follow the guidelines of good flag design.

Thanks for reading and finding out what we did... This Week In Gifted!

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