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The start of Term 4

11 Oct

This week saw the start of our fourth term.

Tuesday was our first day back.  The students had class and I had a Professional Development day about reading (yep a PD day on the first day of term) so I didn’t get to see my class until Wednesday.  And as I had long service leave at the end of third term the students were beyond excited to see me (which is always good for your self-esteem 🙂 ).  It took us 40 mins just to mark the role in the morning as they all had SO much to tell me.

So needless to say that with only 3 days in the classroom this week my Five for Friday post will be a little “lean”!

  1.  Baby Cards – We had two families have new babies this week – both boys.  So it was a perfect opportunity for some ‘real life’ writing.IMG_5591
  2. Teddy Bear Hospital – We had medical students come to school to run a Teddy Bear Hospital workshop with our classes.  The students participated in 4 activities (sun safety, dental hygiene, exercise and healthy body).  This is a great FREE program run by the University of Queensland.IMG_5602
  3. Teddy Bear Maths – We couldn’t bring our Teddy Bears to school for the day and not make the most of it! So we used our Teddy Bears for maths, we read to our bears during “Read to Self” and we wrote descriptions about our bears during “Work on Writing”.IMG_5599
  4. Sounds in Science – During our “Project Time” this week we have been focussing on our science unit.  This term we are looking at sounds.  The students loved making HIGH and LOW sounds with the musical instruments.  However we did agree that we would NOT make a very good class band.IMG_5615
  5. Inquiry Time – During our inquiry Time this week I had 8 boys work together to build a camp site.  They made a fire (they even put pom poms on sticks to use as marshmallows), tents and swags to sleep in.  I suspect a few families went camping over the holidays.IMG_5620

So that is Week 1 down with a very busy 8 weeks to go until Christmas holidays.

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Kids Connect Toowoomba

4 Sep

This week I was given an opportunity to facilitate a group of students at the local Kids Connect conference.

This is a 2 day conference attended by students from Grade 5 to Grade 7 from schools within our district.

The group I was facilitating were given the task to create a QR Code scavenger hunt around our local Cobb and Co Museum.

Firstly we planned and planned.  Then we used iMovie to create “Did you Know?” and “Cryptic Clue” Videos, uploaded them to You Tube, created a QR Code for each video and finally created posters to display around the Museum.  Easy!!

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 Well it was was easy, it just took us 2 days to do it!

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It was a great experience – I think I’m going to create a welcome video and a QR Code for my class next year.  And I will admit working with older students for a couple of days was a refreshing change. I didn’t tie up a single shoelace for TWO whole days!

School in August

23 Aug

Hello and welcome to my first Five for Friday for August!

  1. Maps: This week we started our Geography unit. We are looking at maps. Our excursion to the Empire Theatre gave us the perfect reason to look at google earth and follow a map. We even attempted to draw our own.IMG_5127IMG_5129

  2. Healthy Harold: Anyone remember visiting the Healthy Harrod Van as a kid? Well the van has been parked at our school for the past week and Tuesday was our day to go!IMG_5107

  3. Parent Readers – This week as part of Book Week I invited parents to stop by and read us a story.  I had a few brave Mums and even a Dad come to read.  The favourite story was Stone Soup – which a boy in my class picked for his Mum to read to us as it was his Dads favourite story from when he was a kid (how cute is that?). No one in the class had read it before and they were really intrigued by the storyline!lucky

  4. Mystery Substance – A student bought this interesting substance in for Show and Share.  She didn’t know what it was called and I am clueless as to what it is. It’s not cloud dough or goop? Any ideas?

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  5.  New Door – we had a very exciting day on Thursday.  My classroom door came off its rollers.  While I was on the phone with the office arranging to get it fixed – 2 little inquisitive boys headed on over and the next thing bang – broken glass and all!IMG_5122

 Well that’s another week done and dusted! Not many weeks now until I take some long service leave and head off to India!

This is Book Week

19 Aug

It is BOOK WEEK this week!

We started the week off on Monday with a whole school Book Character Parade.  I had one little boy ask me everyday for 2 weeks when was Dress Up day as he was busting to wear his spiderman outfit.

All the teachers at school dressed up as witches or wizards.

I looked stunning!

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On Wednesday we are off to the theatre to see a stage production of Wombat Stew (although I think the students are more excited about catching the bus than anything else!)

We also have a school wide challenge to read 10 000 books.  Everytime a student reads a book they add a link to our reading chain.  The links are collated in team colours to see which ‘house’ reads the most books.

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 Lastly I have invited parents and other teachers to pop into our classroom at any time to read us their favourite story. It will be interesting to see how many brave parents take up the challenge!

Have fun to everyone who is celebrating Book Week this week 🙂

Handwriting Nazi’s

15 Aug

I’ve created handwriting nazi’s in my class.

When you teach Prep and Year 1 a lot of time is spent teaching the students the correct way to form their letters and numerals.

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Every week we have a handwriting “letter of week” that we focus on.  We do fun handwriting rotations where the students spend 1 min at each activity practicing writing the letter in a different medium (read about them here and here).  The year 1 students also have a formal handwriting text-book to practice their writing (not that I’m much of fan of this one).

 I’m starting to think I’ve been overdoing it a bit!

In the past week or 2 the students have been on my case! Whenever I write on the whiteboard in front on them they have been pretty quick to correct me if I incorrectly form a letter, pick up my pen in the wrong place or start my letter in the wrong place (I admit that today I did do a lazy capital A although most of the time I think I’m pretty right).

Don’t you love it when these type of things come back to bite you!

The Cultural Unit

12 Aug

For the first four weeks of term we have been learning about the Aboriginal Culture.  We have made rainsticks, woven artworks, read many Dreamtime Stories and learnt some songs.

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Last week we wrapped up our Cultural Unit with an excursion to our local Cobb and Co Museum.

It was a fantastic excursion – so well run and organised.

The students worked their way through a series of activities that included:

  1. Dreamtime Stories and clay sculpture making
  2. artefact study and learning a traditional game.
  3. Fire Making/Attempting (no one was actually successful)
  4. Learning a dance and listening to a didgeridoo player
  5. Outdoor games – spear throwing (with tennis balls) and boomerang throwing
  6. Aboriginal Art – Hand painting and Class MuralIMG_5051

The hardest part was walking up the hill home!

Oh and before we left we quickly visited a special exhibit that the museum had on local sportspeople as a Dad of one of the students in my class was in the display. You can imagine how exciting that was!

Aboriginal Artwork

24 Jul

Last week as part of our Indigenous Culture Unit my class made rainsticks.  This week in keeping with the theme we each made a piece of Aboriginal Woven Artwork.

For this activity we asked the students to each bring in a Y branch to use as the main structure of their art piece.

When we did the ‘test’ run we realised it would be too difficult for the students to wrap the twine around tightly themselves so we decided that we would do that for them to start them off.

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We viewed a collection of Aboriginal Artworks online to give us some inspiration before we went out to the playground to collect pieces for our own.

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We decided against letting the kids collect feather from the ground (health reasons) but did pull out the natural coloured ones from the art cupboard for the students to use.

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The students were then let loose to create their own art piece.

We were amazed at how quiet the students were while weaving and at how long they spent creating their piece.

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They look great when they were finished!

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 And I’m sure they have all been hung somewhere special in the students houses!

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Let’s hope next week when we attempt to make our own ochre is just as successful!