Thursday, June 28, 2012

Keep working on the Softies

I am encouraging the students to persevere with their softies because later I hope to get a Tasmanian author in to talk to them about writing picture books and they will use their characters to design and make a Mr Men type of book to share with their buddies in the future. As they finish students are given a camera to go get some shots. These will be used in the advertisements they are designing to promote their toys.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Spelling Bingo words for the rest of June

These words will be one students will be using throughout their Tomato Sauce Investigation. They will be tested this Friday and then used again the following week for Spelling Bingo games.

tomato                        value
sauce                          milligrams
energy                        average
kilojoules                    mode
ingredients                  median
protein                        mean                      
sodium                       range
carbohydrates            quantity
saturated                    brand
grams                         nutrition
organic                       content

The Great Tomato Sauce Investigation

Over the next few weeks students will be conducting a predominantly mathematical investigation into different brands of tomato sauce. This will allow them to focus on nutrition information panels, gain an understanding of milligrams, grams, unit pricing, data collection, the program Excel and the ingredients of tomato sauce, most notably the quantities of sugar, fat and sodium . There are ten brands under scrutiny some of which claim to be organic and healthy. I purchased ten types to make use of percentages a little easier for students. They will also focus on kilojoules.  The Spelling Bingo words for this week and next will be words students will be using in their investigations. See Spelling Bingo Sauce Words blog entry for this list:

The sauces selection is:
Outback Spirit Real Australian Sauce
MasterFoods Tomato Sauce (with reduced salt)
Rosella Tomato Sauce(prepared from the choicest ingredient...apparently)
Fountain Classic Tomato Sauce
Select Tomato Sauce ( a classic rich tomato sauce)
Heinz Tomato Ketchup (Grown not made)
Three 333 Threes Family Recipe Tomato Sauce (Premium Australian Produce)
Organic Tomato Sauce (Gluten free)
Black & Gold Tomato Sauce (Quality Assured)
Johnno's Home Made Tasmanian Brand Tomato Sauce

I have written the cost of each sauce on the base of the bottle and students will need to work out price per 100 grams.

Ten brands of tomato sauce

Students read about information panels and learn how to decode them
As a class we look at mean, mode, median and the concept of averages and how they can be applied in different situations.

1. Class pose the mathematical questions we will be exploring
2. Design a cover page with a catchy heading to sum up the investigation and clearly state what is under investigation
3. Write up Background Information
4. Collect Data using tables looking specifically at fat, sodium, sugar and unit pricing and whatever is needed to answer the posed questions
5. Enter data into Excel
6. Generate graphs comparing the sauces
7. Write up a discussion
8. Reference and acknowledgments page 

Watch this space for further developments.

Today, July the 3rd students had half an hour to write up their background for their investigation. We talked at length what should go into the background information.

Update 15/0512
Collecting data

Tabling fat, sugar, sodium content per 100ml

Comparing data to ensure accuracy

Unit pricing

Collecting data

Using Excel to table up the information

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Premier's Reading Challenge

I have asked all students to take part in this challenge and I will also be reading to students much more this term We have a magnificent library at our school and hundreds of books in our own classroom. I would like students to read at least five novels and they can supplement their list with other types of books but not of the Mr Men calibre!  Finished reading forms will go into their portfolios. Students can post reviews on the official Premier's Reading Challenge website:

Update 15/07/12
Most students have now submitted an online review and I am encouraging them to submit one per week.

Symmetry Unit and More Shapes Boards

This unit was given to students one week before the end of term one. It focuses on bilateral, rotational symmetry and has a sequenced battery of activities for them to complete. There is a mini dictionary of all new terms at the front of the booklet. The assessment page is stapled to the front of the booklet and the unit has been thoroughly introduced. This week we will be focusing on angles and the use of a protractor and use of accurate measurements. There are two art-related activities for students to complete. Below are some examples of the first activity showing reflectional symmetry.

This coming week students will be receiving their assessments for their shapes boards. Here is an example of an A, a rare rating. Most students will be assessed at a C or B. A C is a very solid mark, not like the C of our school days.

More bilateral symmetry work:

Shaun the Sheep, Note taking, Story Boards and Narrative Writing

As part of the viewing component of the Australian National Curriculum will will be looking at animations. On Friday we viewed four short Shaun the Sheep animations and then students voted on the one we are going to story board and base a narrative text on each. Students chose An Ill Wind and we viewed it three more times. In this episode the farmer builds his own wind turbine to reduce his electricity bill. Shaun an the flock turn it into a fairground ride and wreck it in the process.

Each student has so far taken notes and will be using these to create their own story board showing the significant events in the short animation. They can use 12 or 16 panels. Once their board is finished they will be writing their narratives. Five students had chosen to do story boards for their Storm Boy presentations late last term so we used these as examples to explain the function of story boards.

Later in the term students will be producing their own 30 second animation which involves taking about 300 photos. More on this aspect later in the blog.

I am putting images of the characters and a link to a short clip from the animation here to assist students with their drawings. We looked at all the different ways that story boards can be done and discussed the fact that it is not always necessary to have all the details in each picture. We talked about all the camera shots we saw in Storm Boy and how close ups, partials, high and low point angles etc can be used in their panels.
The official website for Shaun the Sheep will be a useful resource:

Story Board by AD

Story Board by OF
Link to watch the windmill part:

Shaun the Sheep

The farmer

The Burnt Stick

Next week students will be writing a book review on this small novel about the Stolen Generation. I read it to them Friday morning.  The book is called The Burnt Stick by Anthony Hill. Students have taken some  basic notes in their Writers' Notebooks.

Students will be investigating the following questions this coming week.

What caught your attention about the book?
When was the book suspenseful? 
Where there any parts in which you were bored?
Which characters did you like, and why?

Explain how the book as a whole affected you. 
Explain how the author achieved the effects he or she did
Explain the relationship between form and content.
Explain the function of each character in the novel.
Explain the characters' relationships to one another.

Their responses will help them to write their review.

Some artwork happening inspired by The Burnt Stick

Students have a range of pencils to shade with

Using line work

Drafting up book reviews

Reading reviews by other people on the internet and note taking

Today students began their own book reviews on The Burnt Stick. The are three copies of the book available in the room. We discussed in depth what needs to go into a review, the main things being:

The title and author and illustrator
Awards the book has won or been nominated for
A brief outline/taste of the book, but No spoilers!
Mention of significant characters or characters who appealed to you
Discussion of the language and drawings
A recommendation

Below are some drawings inspired by The Burnt Stick