Teaching & Learning Together

Writing Stimulus

Today I used a writing stimulus to help  individual students develop ideas in their writing. I found this delightful photo on the Open Mind website and put it up on the smartboard for the class to see. frog on a boat

 

We then wrote down all the things we could see in the photo and talked about what the photo was about. The students were quite  inquisitive of how the frog got onto the bamboo, where was the photo taken? Why was the frog on the bamboo? They noticed that it was raining and how the bamboo looked like a boat with a sail.

I then quickly reminded the class of the many ways we can write including the genres of poetry, narratives, persuasive texts, procedures, information texts, recounts etc. I asked them to share examples of each genre and how we could use it to write about the frog in the photo. How exciting it was to listen to all their ideas.

I then gave them time to choose one  genre and use it to write about the frog in the photo. The students really enjoyed the opportunity to choose their style of genre and produced some amazing pieces of writing. Below is just a few examples of their wonderful work – scroll over to see the genre.. Please not this is their unedited writing, we will be publishing their work in the next lesson.

 

This week we have been celebrating National Literacy and Numeracy Week at our school. Throughout the week the students have participated in many literacy and numeracy activities which was a lot of fun.

With the warmer weather, we decided to do a lot of our numeracy activities outside.

Students formulated questions about the sources of water  as part of the Reach for the Stars challenge. We collected the data from all the classes about where they got their drinking water from on Monday. On Tuesday we represented our data on a column graph.

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On Wednesday we measured the water capacity of our water bottles. On Thursday we used a school map to document where all the sources of water were in our school and were surprised at just how many there were!

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To celebrate Literacy in our classroom, our class set the goal of writing some poetry every day!

We wrote limericks on Monday, which have an AABBA pattern.


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On Tuesday we wrote nonsense poems on big bandaids!

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On Wednesday we wrote Diamante Poems using the Read Think Write website.

 

Finally we wrote an AABB poem pattern titled Love/ Hate poems which the students enjoyed creating for our Poem in Our Pocket  display on Friday.

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To finish off the week, we participated in the Read for Australia activity.

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Ms Lacey kindly volunteered to read the focus book “Sunday Chutney” by Aaron Blabey to most classes out on the oval outside in the glorious sunshine.

 

 

Classes then went into their class groups so teachers could read their favourite book to their class. We chose to sit under a tree near the oval to read the Pirate that wouldn’t wash by Michael Salmon.

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We had a lot of fun doing our activities for Literacy and Numeracy week and hope you can come in to read all our poems and enjoy our work too!

Creative Writing

Today after lunch, I whispered slowly to my class…

Now come a bit closer, I want to tell you a story.

No, come on now, move a little bit closer. I’ll just make the room a little bit darker…that’s better…now, where was I? Oh yes, I want to tell you a story about my family. A few years ago, my family went down this cave in New Zealand. It was a very deep cave and it probably took us about ten to fifteen minutes to get to the bottom of the steps.

Have you ever been in a cave? If you have, you would know it can get really dark, so we all had torches to help us see and our guide had a torch too. Well, when we got to the bottom it was really hard to see. Not like when it’s dark outside at night time. You know, when you can still make out the outline of the trees and the shape of people. It was much darker than that.

We carefully walked a short way and would you believe it, there was an underground river in the cave. Well there was! On the riverbank, there was a small wooden boat which only six people could fit in and there perched on the side was a small man. This man was in charge of rowing the boat. Our guide gently helped us board the boat and the small man started to row down the river. Our guide told us about the small animals that lived in the cave and explained that we couldn’t talk anymore as it would scare them, so Randall, Maddy, Georgia and I all stopped talking.

It was so quite.

There was no noise, except the motion of the oars as they moved through the water…whoosh, drip, drip, drip…whoosh, drip, drip, drip. After a short time our guide gently whispered to us to turn off our torches.

And so we sat there. In the dark.

A darkness so black that we couldn’t see each other. A darkness so black, I couldn’t even see my hand when I held it close to my face. So black. So dark, I couldn’t even see the end of my nose.

We drifted in the darkness, listening to the water as it dripped off the stalagmites into the river… drip… drip…drip… drip…drip…

 

BANG!

Did you jump? Well they did!

Then without saying a word to each other, I asked them to go back to their seats and finish my story. They had to write for ten minutes uninterrupted. And they did! After ten minutes I told them their time was up and asked them if they wanted to stop. They didn’t. After another ten minutes I told them they had to stop  and you should have heard them moan. I asked the students who felt they had finished to come down and share what they had written and allowed those who wanted to keep on writing to do so. Here are their endings;

 

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When we had finished sharing, there were still some students writing and as it was home time they had to stop also. Some of the students came over and asked, “Can we please finish our stories tomorrow?”

Of course, you can.

Celebrating Bookweek

This week we have been celebrating Bookweek and the theme of Connect to Reading. Our class joined the junior primary classes on Monday morning to connect with our parents and grandparents in reading together. We were delighted to have several visitors join us in reading a broad range of books including Alex’s grandparents who came all the way from the Riverland to listen to students read and read to them also.

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After our reading session we went down to the gym for a Bookweek parade to show off our amazing costumes. They looked fantastic and it was a lot of fun.

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On Wednesday we went on an excursion to the Alexandrina Library where we participated in a Wordy Workshop. Students had to create descriptive paragraphs to describe what might be in the mystery box.

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The students enjoyed coming up with all sorts of weird and wonderfully gross descriptions! Here are a sample;

In this box there is a pair of shoes that are really sweaty…that are really old and mouldy. when I put my hand in the box, I feel something fluffy, it feels like mozzie poop. I can also feel MACDONALDS! with noodles. On the mouldy noodles are slimy goo and honey and cake…seriously who puts cake inside their shoes?             Beau

It is a sock with mouldy cheese in it and an out of date bottle of juice and it smells like the smelliest thing on Earth.                              Jay

Inside the box is a humongous dark, chocolate tasting thing that sounds like a bird chirping in the morning and the smell is unbearable and it is a ….BLUE-RINGED OCTOPUS!           Alex

It was heavy and smelt really gross. I poked my tongue in and bit. It was a dead fish floating in mouldy green sea water! It felt like a dolphin with scales. I spat it out right away and it was all mouldy.               Bayley

After our workshop we walked down to the wharf area to have lunch before exploring a wonderful playground on the riverfront.

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Our class also enjoyed looking at a range of art in Signal Point and The Old Police Station as part of the SALA Festival. It was interesting to hear what the students had to say about the various art pieces and critiquing their favourite piece. They were also fascinated by the Old Police station as they were allowed to go out the back to view the cells and explore the old courthouse, its’ witness box and the prisoners stand.

A big thank you to Charlene for coming on the excursion with us and helping to take students through the galleries.

We had a great time and are looking forward to more special activities next week as we celebrate National Literacy and Numeracy Week. Stay tuned!

 

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As part of the Book week celebrations Mrs Bevan our school librarian read to us one of the shortlisted Picture books called the Treasure Box written by Margaret Wild. The students were fascinated by the illustrations created by Freya Blackwood which were made from intrinsic collage. We decided to create our own collages by using a similar technique to Freya Blackwood and another author illustrator called Jeannie Baker. We read the book Windows and then created our own view from a window using mixed media to create a collage.

They then had to write a descriptive paragraph to describe what they could see outside their ‘window’. Students were encouraged to finish their paragraph with a wish that related to their collage.  The students worked really well and I was impressed by the descriptive noun groups that they used in their writing. You can see their results below – hint; you can read and see them better if you double click on the photo!

Well done everyone!

 

 

Hi everyone,
Our latest student reflections on our Passion Projects are now on our website for you to see. Just click on the following link.

Thank you so much to the parents that have all commented so far – I wish you could see their eyes light up when they see they have a comment!Even our librarian Dorothy has made a few comments – thanks so much Dorothy for taking the time.

Thank you so much to all our mentors that are volunteering their time to work with the students in our class. We could not do this project without your support and I am overwhelmed by your generosity!

Kind regards, Sandy

Welcome back to Term 3.

 

This term our classroom has changed; there are different tables and new stuff like bean bags and we can now sit wherever we want. It has changed a lot. This is what some of our class thought of the changes;

Tiana – ” I feel really good because the back corner where the bookshelf is, the big palm tree looks cool. You can sit under the leaves.”

Beau – ” I like the changes because it makes me feel more comfortable and it doesn’t feel so plain”

Kyle – “I love the new setup. It is so much better than it used to be . It’s nice and relaxing.”

Courtney – “I like the classroom and I like to choose where I sit.”

Maya – “I feel really happy.  I really like the way our class is now. (please don’t change it back Mrs Warner) because I like it this way.”

Saxon – “It is good because it is cool with the bean bags.”

Tihana – ‘I feel really comfortable and it is easy to learn in. I think the little tables are working and I really like the reading area.”

Esther – “I like the class a lot because it makes me feel happy and want to learn.”

Screen shot 2014-07-28 at 10.12.31 PMThis term we have been doing passion projects and that means we get to learn about anything we like. Some of us are learning about cooking skills, volcanoes, tornadoes through to making a video game. I am learning about popular stuff and Tiana is learning about cooking. We have a website called Mrs Warners Passion Projects where we can write about how our passion projects are going and what we need to do next!

Written by Esther and Tiana

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