Teaching & Learning Together

This term our class has been immersed in the inquiry of “You’re Eating Rubbish”.

No we don’t really think we’re eating rubbish. Our inquiry focus has been on how important healthy food is for our bodies, the reasons why we need to eat these foods and the impact packaging from our lunch boxes has on the environment in which we live.

During week 1 we kept a food diary to look at what we packed in our lunch boxes. Students had to record each day what food they had and try to decide if it was healthy for them or not. Some students were surprised to find their lunches were not as healthy as they could be while others had some healthy foods. It was great to see some students trying to pack healthier lunch boxes as the week went on. Here are some photos of our lunch-boxes on Monday;

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During our health lessons we looked at the five food groups and what type of healthy food belonged to each group.


During this week we also started sorting the rubbish that we produced – from our lunch boxes only, each day into three groups; rubbish that could be recycled, food compost and rubbish that could not be recycled. Here are some photos of the rubbish we sorted on Monday;

We collated the data on how much non recyclable packages we had for the week and put it into a graph. We were shocked at how much rubbish our lunch boxes produced in one week. On Thursday we collected 36 chip packets but we only have 27 students in our class? Below is our graph;

Week 1 graph

We also compared this data with the other two groups of rubbish and we found that non- recyclable rubbish made up 62% of all the rubbish we collected, whilst recyclable rubbish only made up 4% of the rubbish we collected.

Pie graph

There are three other classes at our school doing a similar inquiry and Mrs Blakes year 4 class have been crunching the numbers! They used their multiplication skills and estimated if every class made as much rubbish as their class and Mrs Lacey’s year 1 class found in a week that would be 2, 996 items in landfill a week! That would be 119,840 pieces of rubbish going into landfill in a school year!

Something needs to change….. (to be continued!)….

Last Friday our class was very lucky to have the opportunity to work with local artist Tracey Grivell. Tracey delighted the class by reading her first published book “Create”. The students loved hearing how Tracey produces her artwork and how her children are immersed in her work; especially how her youngest child Esther literally threw herself into one of Tracey’s painting!

Tracey then showed our class how she creates her trademark “Wave” paintings and we were even allowed to touch one of her beautiful artworks so we could feel the textures she creates in her paintings. She also talked about how painting is a great way to express yourself and how you are feeling  and how it can be a good way to express your emotions.

Tracey explained how to use hot or cold colours to layer the wave using crayons and oil pastels then paint over the wave with thin watercolour paints. Finally Tracey showed us how to flick the paint to enhance the crashing whitewater of the wave.

Then it was our turn to become artists and create our own wave art. The students quickly got to work and enjoyed creating their own waves so much that most of them even produced two!

The end results were beautiful – I love the colours in them and how they are all so different.

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Thank you so much Tracey for creating waves with us!

Book-week Performance

On Wednesday our class, along with the Junior Primary classes, went on an excursion to Goolwa to see Australian Author and entertainer Andy Jones at Signal Point as part of our Book-week celebrations. Andy Jones has written several books including “Scooterboy & Skatergirl” and “Fart-ionary” and uses humour to engage students.

Our class enjoyed the engaging and interactive performance and we wrote a review when we returned to our class. Here are some of the students reviews;

“On Wednesday August 12th, we went on a white bus …called the Goolwa Express. I was on the 9th chair on the left at the windowsill next to Kai, behind Mrs warner and next to Harry’s mum. It took about 11 minutes to get there at Signal Point. We parked between 7 North-folk land pines, 4 on the right and 3 on the left. Then we went inside and met Andy Jones, author entertainer. He showed us a machine that changes his voice. We did the Macarena. Andy got some people to go up in front of 3 schools and they did funny things. Then Andy got some people to tell comedy jokes, they were quite funny jokes. Then at the end we danced to two songs stuck together – they were Gingham Style and the Macarena. Then we danced the Chicken Dance. I was very exhausted. Then we went back to school.” Taris.

“Today we went on an excursion to Goolwa. we watched a man called Andy Jones perform. We went to Signal Point. Andy told us what humour meant. Andy asked two people to come up and tell a joke. I thought that it was pretty funny. When we were in the hall with Andy Jones we did the Chicken Dance. We also did the Gingham Style mixed up with the Macarena, while Andy played the guitar. The hall was in a gallery. It was a bit boring watching everyone else but as soon as we got up and started dancing I wasn’t bored! I think everyone in the whole world should go see it because it was so awesome!” Rain

“Today we went to Signal Point for Book-week. We went on a white bus with a small group of other people. We went into the gallery. We saw lots of other classes. He made us do the Chicken Dance and made us do the Macarena mixed with the Whoop in Gingham Style. It was very funny. He split us into two sides and we had to do belly dancing. We looked very funny. I think young people should go. I liked it. I thought it was very funny. The person that was doing the show is Andy. He had very spiky hair!” Mia

Today we went to the art gallery in Goolwa. We saw this man called Andy Jones. He had some cool beats. He asked some questions. It was pretty funny. We did the Macarena, Whoop in Gingham Style, then we did the Chicken Dance. He showed us stuff. I reckon more people should go there. He did some jokes and he got some kids to tell some jokes. They were funny and I loved it.” Brandon

A community art project

Last week our class joined our buddy class Mrs Turley’s Year 6/7’s in the library to work with mosaic artist Mike Tye and community member, Ruth Miller on creating design ideas for a community art project at the Port Elliot Dog Park.IMG_0594

Mike spoke to the students about what the project was and how they could help in coming up with a design for the pavers that will be handmade and laid under the shelter at the park.

The students then formed small groups and worked together to enthusiastically write down or sketch their ideas.

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After brainstorming the students identified their top five ideas which they then shared with the group. Of course the students felt a dog theme was important along with strong ties to the beach. Some of their ideas included;

  • dogs surfing
  • dogs at the beach or walking on the beach at sunset
  • flying dogs
  • dogs playing
  • riding a motor bike
  • different size dogs
  • paw prints
  • bones saying dog park
  • dog saving someone
  • creating a dog poem
  • lots of small dogs put together to create a big dog shape

Ruth Miller said, “It was a great activity, the students participated really well and had some terrific ideas.”

Mike will now work on consolidating some aspects of their ideas to formulate a design which the students will help him create early next term.

Mystery Skype lesson

We were very lucky to do a mystery skype this week.  A mystery skype is where you connect with other people via skype and ask a range of questions to gather enough information to form an answer to the big question. We were able to skype Ibu Eliza and Pak Pahot, who are two Indonesian teachers currently visiting Australia as part of the BRIDGE project. The students were asked to use maps and ask Ibu Eliza and Pak Pahot a series of geographical questions to try and work out where they lived in Indonesia.

Each student greeted the two teachers and then introduced themselves in Indonesian, for example;

“Selemat siang Ibu Eliza dan Pak Pahot. Nama saya….Harry”

“Good morning Ibu Eliza and Pak Pahot. My name is …Harry”

They then went on to ask their question.  Some of the questions included;

Do you live in the Northern hemisphere?    Ya

Do you live in Sumatra?    Ya

Are you surrounded by land?     Tidak

Do you live near the sea?    Ya

Do you live near Aceh?    Ya

The students took turns in asking our guest these questions and were very excited when they finally discovered they lived in Medan!


 Below are some photos of our class during the Mystery Skype. Thank you to our photographer Harry, whom took these photos!

Hint slide your mouse over the photos to read the comments or click on the photos to enlarge!

Once we had discovered where Pak Pahot and Ibu Eliza lived, we then used the rest of our skype time to learn more about Medan by asking them some more questions. The students then wrote a short paragraph about what they had learned and we have shared some of these below;

 Today we skyped Ibu Eliza and Pak Pahot. We found out where they live. Pak Pahot’s  sport is basketball and badminton and his favourite food is beef and noodles. Ibu Eliza’s hobby is travelling. Pak Pahot plays a guitar and an angklung. They live in Medan, Sumatra.  by Lincoln

Today we skyped Bu Cathy, Ibu Eliza and Pak Pahot. We had to find out where they lived. It was hard work we finally found it. It was Medan! Then we asked them what do they have there. We found out that Pak Pahot’s street was called Learning Street and Ibu Eliza’s street was Maren Street. It is very hot in Medan. By Kai

We started to find out where they lived and we found out they lived in Medan. To work it out we were in groups of two and put our hands up if we wanted to ask Pak Pahot or Ibu Eliza a question. As well we found out that Pak Pahot’s favourite food is noodles and fish. Pak Pahot also has a dog and a fish. We also asked them if Pak Pahot has seen a volcano and he has! But it is about two hours away. As well Ibu Eliza has seen  a volcano. Pak Pahot has a child called Michael who is only nine months old. What we learnt from Pak Pahot and Ibu Eliza is that Pak Pahot plays basketball and badmintion. By Sasha

Today we skyped Pak Pahot and Ibu Eliza. It was fun and they lived in Medan. Their favourite animals are a fish, a dog and there were volcanoes nearby. Pak Pahot has also seen one! The water that they swim in there is warm. Ibu Zliza has been to Thailand, Sydney and Melbourne. The island they live on is called Sumatra. By Brandon.

They live in Medan. They like reading books and travelling. It takes two hours to get to a volcano from where Pak Pahot lives. The sea near were they live is hot. They live on the island of Sumatra. Pak Pahot has seen a volcano erupt, he said it was a bit scary! Their houses are made of concrete and bricks. The street he lives on is called Learning Street. By Poppy.

We would like to say a very special thank you to our wonderful Indonesian teacher Bu Cathy for creating the opportunity to make this happen and a big thank you to our ICT support officer, Darryn for all his work behind the scenes to ensure all the technical equipment and software was working. Also terima kasih Pak Pahot dan Ibu Eliza for letting us skype them and embracing the experience. Bagus sekali!

Writing a Review

Last week the students wrote a review as part of the English Australian Curriculum where they need to view and respond to visual text. We watched a commercial from Thailand that I think has a beautiful underlying message. As the commercial was in Thai, (with English subtitles), the students really had to use comprehension skills, inferencing and predicting skills to develop an understanding of what the commercial was about. After watching the students were asked to respond to the visual text by thinking about the following three questions;

  1. What do you think the commercial was about?
  2. How did it make you feel?
  3. What did you think about the commercial?

I was really impressed with their responses and I loved how all the students were able to pick up on the underlying message of helping others for no reward.  Not one student mentioned that it was a Thai Life Insurance Commercial. You can see some of their responses in the slide show below, which you can pause if it goes to fast;

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We have also used this commercial to talk about what it means to help others in our community and why it is important to do so, as part of our Civics and Citizenship lesson. You can watch the commercial below.

Maths About Me Posters

During maths in week 2, our students have been creating “Maths About Me” posters. Students had to do some critical thinking by using backward planning to create mathematical problems that give clues as to who the poster belonged to.

Whilst there are ten clues, the students had to ensure they used at least;

  • one addition sum,
  • one subtraction sum,
  • one division sum
  • one  multiplication sum and
  • one word problem

Students were allowed to create any form of mathematical equation within these parameters.

The ten clues were based around students demonstrating their understanding of number, place value, addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, creating word problems, measuring length and time and gave me valuable insights into what students can and can not do in maths.


The students were really involved in completing this activity and worked well to complete the task over a couple of days. I was really impressed with the results and we will be displaying these during Acquaintance Week, for parents to read and see if they can work out which poster belongs to their child by reading the mathematical clues.

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