Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Gallipoli Film Study

This weeks students have been looking at the Gallipoli campaign. We also looked at The Australian War Memorial and its significance to the Australian people. Today students worked on pre- fiml activities so that they can more fully understand this iconic Australian film. Students worked on some of the dialogues that occur in the film, colloquial language and the concept of the British Empire. Each pair had an element to explore and present to their classmates. For some students this involved a small amout of research on topics such as The Light Horse Brigade, the British Empire, the money of the day, Ladies Patriotic Auxilliary, whilst others had to present a dialogue and explain what it meant.

28th September.

In pairs or threes, students were given a list of characteristics and actions of the two main characters Archy Hamilton and Frank Dunne. They had to work out which description fitted which character. There were four sets of descriptions. When they had finished their paired work they had to find the other group who had the same set of descriptions and share their outcomes. Each group of 5 or 6 then presented there work to the class. This was a reading, and a vocabulary building activity. All eight groups' work is up on display in the Quiet Room. Next job is writing a character study. Students drew their character out of a bag. On Tuesday we will focus on how to write up a detailed character description.

Update:  Tuesday 2nd October
Today after watching a short interview with Peter Weir the director of Gallipoli, we talked about how to write a character study. The following notes will help guide students through the process.  Characters in focus are Archy Hamilton played by Mark Lee, Frank Dunne played by Mel Gibson, Billy(Robert Grub), Barney (Tim McKenzie) and Snowy (David Argue). Students will write a character study on one of these.

Character Study
* Introduction
* Physical description
* Personality
* Use examples from the film to support your statements about the character.

Make very good notes before you start writing your paragraphs.
Refer to the character comments we did last week on the posters in the quiet room.
Talk to classmate who is doing the same character.
Look for ideas on the internet, read reviews, teacher notes, general comments. Extract what you need and make sure it is your words. Use KEYWORDS!

Useful sites:

Tomorrow morning students have the final spelling test on the Gallipoli Spelling Bingo words. They had a pretest today to sort out the ones they were experiencing difficulty with. Each student has their individual words to concentrate on written on a postcard with the feature they were having trouble being highlighted.

On Wednesday the 3rd of October I will be reading the students the following book which I only purchased on the weekend. For a sneak preview and review see:

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Are Your Homes Safe as Houses? Tasmanian Fire Service

The wise question from Barry Blackwell or Firefighter Barry as he is affectionately known  by the  students.  I think all teachers adore him and appreciate all he does; I am sure the Tasmanian Fire Department are aware of what a gem he is. He is fabulous with the kids and has a friendly and fair approach. I also love listening to him and every year, even after some 15 years I always learn something new. Today the students had their first lesson in fire safety. Tonight's homework is based on today's lesson.
Barry Blackwell

Today Firefighter Barry discussed the importance of smoke alarms, their positioning in a house, and also showed how they worked and how to keep them maintained. Apparently they can be purchased for as little as $6. He also emphasized the importance of having an escape plan for the whole family in the event of a house fire.  The students viewed some footage from a Current Affair showing just how quickly a fire in a house can spread and the damage is can cause in only a matter of a minutes. The focus was on the fact that within a minute dense smoke fills the air and it is impossible to see and after a minute the room temperature soared to a whopping 600 degrees!

Here is the task students need to do for homework tonight. He will be collecting the plans tomorrow in the second lesson and will give students feedback.

Firefighter Barry's plan for the shed

The students' behaviour was exemplary and the following students were outstanding with their answers to questions and also their queries: CB, MH, KK, KB, AW,OsF

Saturday, September 8, 2012

The Glove Hooter Band (new!)

In term three students will be making their own musical instrument called a glove hooter. We spent part of the last day of school painting and cutting off cardboard tubes to different lengths. On the first day back students will be working with an instructional text to put their instrument together. Mrs Kibbey has kindly offered to help me with the musical arrangement for the band.
Puff puff, cutting the tubes into the required lengths...

September 23rd (update)
I now have all the necessary materials to complete out hooters, PVC tubing, latex gloves, hardy
tape and  thick postal rubber bands. Below is the instructional text students will be attempting to follow tomorrow if they have their hooters decorated:

And the other day when I was cleaning out my cupboards I found this old photocopy of a group from Blackmans Bay who made the hooters when I was teaching here the first time around. A lot of the students chose collage as a way of decorating their  cardboard tubes.

Glover hooters from years ago

My latest effort

Top view of hooter

25th September (update)
Today revisited the genre of procedural text and discussed the features of such texts.  Students then read through the Rubber Glove Hooter text and discussed the main features of this text. Quite a few students assembled and practised playing their glove hooters today. 

Butterflies by EC
Aboriginal design by TM

Spray paint design by AK
Colourful hoote by KB


Recycling foils by NS

Another set of glove hooters

Ready to go!

Ready to practise in  our Music lesson

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Chance and Probability Unit

Our current focus in mathematics, apart from the ongoing individualised number program run on each  Monday, is Chance and Probability. This is a carefully sequenced unit which focuses on coin probablity, dice probabilty and spinner probabilty. We will also be looking at probability and chance in  real world situations. We will be using a mathematic model to explore the chance of winning games like ball in the clown's mouth. The spelling bingo list for the next few weeks will also focus on words that will be needed in this unit.

Probability is the measure of how likely something is to happen. Most people use probability words every day. For example, you might say that you will definitely meet your friend after school or it's impossible to finish all your homework before dinner. Another word for probability is chance.

We have now completed five sequenced lessons on chance, the lessons increase in difficulty each lesson. Today (7th September) students looked at probability using random draws, coin flips and dice rolls. We will be exploring these themes further next term.

September 27th
Today we spent the morning doing out fifth Chance and Data lesson. We were also reviewing the use of the program Excel. Students were given two coins each, had to do forty flips of the coins and record the ratio of head heads, tails tails to heads and tails. Once they had collected their data they added to a data base using Excel. Tomorrow we will examine the data and discuss why the outcome was as it was.