Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Last Wednesday and Thursday of Term 1

Today was all about finishing off. The morning up until lunch time was dedicated to Science Reports, the Storm Boy essay on film angles, the symmetry unit and the  Shape boards. I reiterated the fact that the camera angles discussed in the essays need to refer to specific examples in the film. I modelled the writing of a paragraph about the arc angle and how it was used effectively in the film referring especially to the mysterious and scary nature of Fingerbill's encampment.

After lunch students had quiet reading, music options. In pairs and small groups they  learned some new games for inside and out like hopscotch, King, SOS etc so they could teach their buddies how to play them tomorrow at 12-00 when we have a scheduled Buddies session.  Students also had access to a few new and intriguing nets to 3D shapes which they could add to their boards if they so wished.

I also might like to add, the class received a little reward from Mrs Sutton for being the best behaved group in library for the last I am so proud of them all.

Thursday was another finishing off day ending with a school music assembly. We also had an extended buddies session where the grade 2/3's showed my class all about a game of marbles and then my students ran various games such as hopscotch, skipping with chants, origami and logic games.  Well done to those 16 students who handed in their Science Report by the due date.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Where is 'Storm Boy' Greg Rowe now? Monday/Tuesday

Tomorrow we will watch this clip and then students will have the morning to write up the notes about the camera angles in their Storm Boy booklets  that we focused on so closely on Friday.

The Spelling words for this week are: ure and words with  tricky double consonants:

signature sufficient
temperature    territory
measure committee
treasure suffocate
moisture graffiti
manufacture assassin
culture curriculum
pressure apparatus
gesture colleague
literature appropriate

As it is a short week this final week of term one, the tests will be held on Thursday afternoon.

Today, Tuesday we did Spelling Bingo, spent the morning working on essays on the use of filming techniques in Storm Boy. We discussed what the introduction could look like and students then wrote a few more paragraphs focuses on the different angles used with specific reference to the film

Following recess and daily phys.ed we started on the next major unit which focuses on bilateral, rotational, planes of symmetry and their applications in the real world. The front cover of the booklet they have is the assessment and states clearly what is being assessed in this unit. We will also be doing some simple collage work to show bilateral symmetry.  Then it was off to library. The afternoon block was dedicated to Quiet Reading, symmetry work, science report writing, and more time on the Storm Boy essay.

Sample, KF and AW are working on another approach
The girls started on their reflective diaries.

Friday, May 25, 2012

More on Camera angles and Mr Percival

 Spelling Bingo, spelling tests, survey on spelling strategies, guess the     number (which we haven't played for a while) and then the main  emphasis of the day was on camera angles in relation to the film Storm  Boy.

 We looked again at the notes we had taken from this short  presentation done as a project by a high school student and clarified  what each type of shot was.

We then watched Storm Boy again pausing it from time to time to discuss the use of the angles to achieve different details and emotions. On Tuesday students will be using their notes to write up their mini "essay" on how angles were employed in the film.

 We also focused on what happened to Mr Percival (Gringo) after the filming of Storm Boy and read two very interesting news articles about the three pelicans who were used in the film. Gringo has passed on to Pelican heaven and the other two are still living at the Adelaide Zoo. We discussed the vocabulary and how such articles can be useful when writing about films. 

Students also had some time on their film summary pro formas in their Writers' Notebooks and did the desk change ready for the last week of term.

Here is a short excerpt from this classic film:

Two students PS and KS had three lessons to work on publishing their Science reports whilst OF and BS were working on their 3D Explanatory texts.

Students who did not achieve full scores on their respective spelling tests have postcards with the one to five words they need to learn.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Finish off, Music, Classifying Triangles, Assembly

This morning we spent an hour systematically going through all the major tasks we have been working on this year and students wrote notes in their Skills Books as to what needs finishing before the last day of term next Thursday. The 3D Explanatory Posters and the Science Mould Reports are needed for moderation purposes across the schools in our cluster next Friday. 

Then, following Spelling Bingo, we moved onto a task which required students to classify a range of shapes into groups with the emphasis being on the mathematical reasoning behind their chosen way of grouping them. They could measure them, use protractors, scissors, write and make markings on them, in fact, anything they liked which would assist them with the task. Students were encouraged to use the Maths Dictionaries in the classroom, the internet and to have discussions with their friends. These will be collected at the end of tomorrow. A few of students (BS, VL, & PS &KF)  were working on their 3D Explanatory Posters or an assembly introduction so they didn't get quite as much time as the other students.

Music was on the cards after recess, followed by more time on the above maths tasks.

In the afternoon we did silent reading and then attended a whole school assembly which ran for the usual 45 minutes. The students who had finished their 3D Poster presented them in the assembly. Tonights focus for homework is definitely the Science report.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Books, books and poetry, Art, Triangles, Science Reports,

One third of the class away at cross country so we didn't start anything new. I also had three girls from Mrs Hayley's class as she went to the Huon and Channel Cross Country. Students had their usual Spelling Bingo, Art lesson and lots of time on their triangle work, their Science reports and their shape boards. The day was productive. I introduced some new books to the library and we looked at the work of Michael Rosen the poet.

Second term students will be doing a poetry unit so I am encouraging them to read as much poetry as possible. We have a wicker basket dedicated to poetry books in the withdrawal room.
EC- nearly ready to make a prinbt

A print

A string printing mat, NS

A print - NS

A string printing mat
Researching triangles - KK

Researching triangles - VL

Keep your eye out for the little books on the little shelf.
This week the shelf contains: The Little Book of Calm ( a personal favourite), Little Polar Bear,
 Little Captain, Piglets, The Littlest Book of Cats and Mice, A Teddy Bear's Little Instruction Book

At the end of the day the grade 6 boys came in to say what a great day everyone had at the Huon and Channel despite the cold, wet weather and proudly showed us the shield the grade 6 boys had won. 

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Dictionary usage, "ful" and "sce", triangles...

We started the day with Spelling Bingo, focusing on ful and sce words. Students have spelling tonight instead of the usual maths as they didn't do the spelling on Monday.  These words will be tested on Friday.

There were two spelling groups this week. 
We also talked again about how to locate words in a dictionary; this is a real skill and children need to be shown how to do it efficiently without wasting time by just randomly flipping. When you are young they are hard to use. The internet is also of course extremely quick and handy for checking spelling. We discussed the use of the two header words at the top as a quick way of checking what words appear on that page. We will focus on the pluses and minuses of spell checkers on computers soon. Ample time was given in class on the spelling contract.

Library was taken by Mrs Louis Sutton today and the students were very well behaved and enjoyed their session. 

After lunch we had silent reading a focused closely on triangles, looking at what is a triangle and how are they classified. Some students has quite a few misconceptions and hopefully we have ironed these out. They will continue with this task tomorrow looking really closely at equilateral, scalene, right angled and isosceles triangles.
I sat down individually with each of the grade six students and went through their last persuasive text they wrote and talked about their future goals. The tangrams they did with Mr Mac have been backed and are now in their portfolios. Our next focus will be on quadrilaterals. Students need to keep making their 3D shapes and get them glued onto their boards. Twelve students will be presenting their Explanatory postrs on their chosen 3D shapes in assembly this Thursday afternoon.

A couple of students have finished their soft toys and borrowed my camera to get a few shots outdoors to use in the advertisements they will be writing to promote their toys.

All photos students take go into the 5-6 Coote folder on the Photo Drive so students can access them to use in their reports, diaries, stories etc...

Good luck to those students running in the Huon and Channel Cross Country tomorrow.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Persuasive Writing Tests and Reading Tests Marked

I have marked the persuasive texts the grade 6 students wrote about whether energy drinks should be sold to children 16 and under. Most of them were of a good standard with many more students successfully using rhetorical questions and emotive language. The majority of students are writing clear introductions, but a few a still forgetting to briefly state their main arguments in their opening paragraph, or, to sum up and restate their opinion at the end.

I alerted students to the following spelling words on Wednesday which were the most commonly misspelt in their texts and have asked them to learn the words by next Tuesday. We looked closely at the part of each word which they were having difficulty with. We also discussed the importance of using the  given support materials which modelled some of the words below. The marked texts, along with the ten writing criteria being assessed, will be put into students' portfolios on Tuesday if parents wish to look at them. The portfolios will go home with the mid-year report.

which         irritable          dehydrate          poison          dietitian          complaining          caffeine
too many    equal              beverages         believe          pressure         nervous                 coffee
allowed      headaches     major                doesn't

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Canteen Roster...SRC, Naplan, Physical Education, 3D Shapes and Art

The second day of Naplan testing passed fairly quietly. The grade 6 students completed a reading test whilst the grade 5's did the Naplan reading component. After that students scored a Physical Education lesson much to their delight. 

After recess it was onto the final in class session on their 3D shapes boards. Students can now make their additional shapes at home and stick them on as they complete them.  Twelve students now have produced their A3 Explanatory posters focusing on their chosen two 3D shapes.

In the afternoon, some students had art (the ones who didn't have it  last week, half the class) and music options went ahead as usual. I also went through the persuasive texts with individual grade 6 students and dicussed their assessments and the  progress they have made individually. Some students really took on boardwhat they needed to do to achieve a higher result. This is a really important skill/realizaton to have, to  recognise what needs improving and to actively work on it.  Those students who didn't have art continued with their shapes boards and their Explanatory texts. I am really over the moon with the standard on this and students are achieving good results with a small amount of teacher guidance.

Most students have now handed in their Storm Boy covers or story boards and next Tuesday we will write up the information on the camera angles and filming techniques used in the film.

Canteen roster, I will put this up in the room on Tuesday when I return. I have only just managed to access my email as my connection at school is dodgy.  This Friday KF is on at recess and NS is on at lunch. I was pleased to see how responsibly these grade 5 students were doing their jobs today, as I have canteen duty on Wednesdays at lunch time. Their manners were impeccable. Well done girls.

SRC update, today at recess during our fortnightly SRC meeting, the students voted overwhelmingly in favour of Cystic Fibrosis for the local charity, and a team of five representing grade 2 to grade 6 students has been organised to paint over the graffiti on the climbing wall under the supervision of our wonderful groundsman Norm Hopwood.

Get well VL, because we miss you!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Naplan, Persuasive Texts; Photos and Library

Grade 5's sat the spelling and writing part of the Naplan testing today whilst the grade 6 classes all sat down to read  an article, an advertisment, and watched three short clips about energy drinks. They could argue for or against them and were asked to support their opinions with evidence. The morning was dedicated to reading the articles and some discussion time amongst all the grade 6's was given. 

After recess students wrote up their persuasive texts in a fifty minute block. They then did their ISL cards and listened to a poem about the Coorong. Mr Macarthy, who will be taking my class on Thursday and Friday came in to see the students in action. I will be out for a small operation on the Thursday and be back next Tuesday.  The spelling is organised for the Monday next week and will focus on ful words and sce words for those students who have no issues with the ful  words in the two standardised tests administered at the beginning of the year.  I also showed and quickly talked about some of the new books to our little library.

After lunch we went straight to have individual and class photos done and then it was Library which I swapped from the morning block to the afternoon block so my students wouldn't miss this lesson, and also  so  I could visit around the all classes 2-6 who have representatives on the Students Council  which I run, in order to give them their books and agendas. The meeting will be tomorrow for the duration of recess in my classroom. We will be deciding which local charity we will raise money for, and organising teams of students to paint over and freshen areas in the school which are affected by graffiti or just need to be a bit brighter and more exciting.

Tonight's homework was minimal given the Naplan testing. Students were asked to focus on a table they are having trouble with eg. 7 times table or 8...also to ensure their Storm Boy cover is complete.

I was very impressed with the work of a couple of students whop took their nets home to make the 3D shapes. The boards are coming along nicely. We will have a final session of class time tomorrow.
An outstanding effort by OFW and AK

Monday, May 14, 2012

Some new additions to the classroom library...and "our "is the focus for spelling

Here are a lovely mix of "new" rescued books to our classroom bookshelves. I can recommend Ten True Animal Rescues as I only just finished this one on Mothers' Day. Rotten Romans is pretty informative too and delivered in a humorous way.

This week's spelling focus is our words and these will be tested on Friday. Tonight's homework is to complete the unit which has these words as the focus.  Here are the words:
odour, labour,armour, behaviour, harbour, neighbour,
colour, parlour, flavour, humour, rumour, clamour, favourite, endeavour,courteous, scourge,journal,  journey
glamour, honour

These are also the focus for the daily Spelling Bingo games.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Exit Mould and Camera Angles

Today we shipped out the mould as it was starting to smell pretty bad and could become a safety issue.   I took a photo of the class behind the mould and later they will receive a photo each as a memento of the time mould invaded our classroom. Students have collected enough data to write up their reports. We looked at some possible ways of graphing the data and also at the online program Create A Graph which students might like to try to master.

Installation made by two of the girls: EXIT mould

Shapes boards are shaping up

Shapes Board

Shapes Board
After recess we continued on with Shapes Boards and naming the shapes and recording information about their faces, edges and vertices.  I gave out a few more interesting nets on card. Student might also look for a few of their own. Three more students completed their Explanatory texts using ICT.

After lunch we had Silent Reading and then looked at they way camera angles can be used in film. On Tuesday we will be looking in detail at the way they have been used in the film Storm Boy.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

3D Shape Boards and the artistic side of the common old cube...

Today we spent the majority of the day on our 3D shape boards. Music options went on as usual. This morning only half the class headed off next door for their art lesson whilst I worked with the remaining twelve students on their 3D shapes and explanatory posters.  Next Wednesday they will swap over. This allows Mel to spend more time helping a smaller group with their string prints.  All students are drawing birds and then using string to give definition to the pictures which will be printed at a later date.

String print
The shapes boards will be pinned to the display boards when not in use so to keep them safe. Students should now have four shapes made from scratch using their own hand-drawn nets (cube, rectangular prism, tetrahedron and a square-based pyramid. They are receiving nets daily to construct and add to their boards.
3D shape boards

Working on their shapes

An outstanding effort by AK, very impressive!
A new improved rectangular prism, well done.

I also brought some of my son's award winning bunnies into the room which he made completely from scratch adapting nets to make bunnies. He made these in his first year at Hobart College. Here are three out of a series of fifteen. We discussed cardboard models, skeleton models and hybrids models in relation to these artworks. I really want students to see the connection of learning about 3D shapes to the real world and also the artistic world.
Model bunnies
Below is an example of an Explanatory poster produced using ICT skills by a capable grade 5 boy. 

Here is another outstanding effort

I found this by accident on the internet on Sunday. I made these artistic picture cubes with some Blackmans Bay students some nine years ago. Here is one I designed using Graeme Base illustrations as an inspiration. This is an exceedingly challenging activity and you have to think outside the square BUT it is on offer for those students ho feel they have the design and perseverance skills. This one is obviously produced with a printing aid. The ones below are hand-drawn.

The Lorax assignments came off the display wall today and are now in students' portfolios along with their individual assessments. Tomorrow, those students who finished their persuasive posters promoting picture books which have war as a theme, will be sharing them in the afternoon book buddy assembly. Here are three examples:

I might also add, I am currently marking this week's spelling which focused on "tion" words and the standard is very high. Three students have promised me they will have theirs in by tomorrow. Tonight's homework is to start a cover or storyboard panel (which I showed them how to do) on Storm Boy.

Monday, May 7, 2012

3D Maths Moderation Assessment

Today was a full on mathematic's day with a short library interlude. Here are some of the materials students have to make their 3D models with, apart from the cardboard nets they have either drawn up themselves or been given.  They will receive three more nets tomorrow.
Possible 3D shape construction materials
Students have the choice of using the A3 Black line proforma I made up for the assessment task (which is already A3 size) or they can save the digital version on to a USB stick so they can use ICT skills to make their poster. I showed them how to obtain and  use images off the net or import their own photos of  the 3D shapes they have made into the document. The A4 posters they make digitally can be easily photocopied and converted to A3 colour if students have them saved on a USB device.  Below are the proformas. I shared one I was making. They have been asked to choose a simple 3D shape and a more complicated one to investigate. Below is the blank  basic proforma.

3D Shapes
Squared-based Pyramid
Hexagonal Prism

Real-life example

Shape of base

Number of faces

Number of vertices

Number of edges

Number of curved surfaces


Skeleton Model
OR Cardboard Model
OR a  hybrid

Example of 2D Net

Sketches from different

Extra Information and Interesting Facts
Here are two examples of explanatory posters on 3D shapes which I made from scratch. I have focused on a hexagonal prism which we haven't looked at yet in class. Students can use the above digital template to design their own OR they can be really adventurous and design their own template.

Example 1... to show the possibilities

Example 2 with views and skeleton model

Hexagonal prism made from Plasticine and toothpicks.
The photograph was then inserted into the poster.
Skeleton cube made from peas and toothpicks
I made the cube from toothpicks and frozen peas. We only had baby peas in our freezer which made the job a bit fiddly. When the peas dry and shrink, the structure becomes more rigid. This usually takes a couple of days. Students may like to experiment at home where the peas can be kept frozen before use.

All students chose and made their own skeleton model for a simple 3D shape today and photographed the finished product for insertion into their Explanatory posters. These are on the student drive where students can access them.  Students need to ensure that their Extra Information and Interesting Facts section at the bottom of their posters is in their own words.
Have packed some skewers for G to use tomorrow for her
rectangular prism.  Top efforts with what we had though.

Skeleton cube made by JS
Some snap shots from today:
Making a truncated pyramid skeleton model

Referring to a maths dictionary

The three nets given out on Friday made up. This student 
scored his shapes very carefully.

Step pyramid

AD's square-based pyramid skeleton model

Students also viewed a PhotoStory all about finished shapes boards completed by students from a like age group to give them something to aim for. They will all receive their card tomorrow to mount their finished shapes on and on which to write a summary of the attributes of each shape.

Below is a photo of the finished Japanese flowering cherry blossom trees. They look very effective. Well done Blackman's Bay students. Sensei Townsend must be very proud of you all.  I have one of these trees in my front garden and love it when it flowers in our spring.
Cherry Blossom Viewing

I also hope my beautiful-inside-and out grade 6 girl with the severe neck is feeling better. xx