Teaching & Learning Together

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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Goal Setting

At the beginning of the school year, students were asked to think about their goals for this term. We held a class party to start off the new year and made our new years resolutions our learning goals. Students identified areas they thought they were finding tricky and wrote these as their learning goals on party hats. I was really impressed with how well (and honest) the students were at identifying their goals. We have put these up as a class display, so they could refer to them regularly.



This year our school values have changed to Community, Confidence and Respect and we have been discussing these a lot in our classroom. We used our school values to identify personal goals for the students to work on. Students traced around their arms and wrote their name in texta along their arm. They used patterns to ‘colour in’ their arms.

On the palm of their hand they wrote their personal goal for this term. They also identified adjectives that they thought they already had that would help them achieve their personal goals and wrote these on on their fingers. We have displayed these in our classroom window for everyone to see. Each hand is reaching for one of our school values. Don’t they look great?

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This week we will planning how to achieve our goals this term. The students will use the sheet below to help them which I have adapted from Mrs Patten. I look forward to reading their responses and to seeing them achieving their goals.

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2014 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 2,600 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 43 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Last Wednesday, our class joined our year 6/7 buddy class to listen to a presentation by two Year 9 students from Victor Harbor High School. Maddie and Ella talked to the students about the impact rubbish is having on the environment and then asked the students to go out into the school yard and oval to collect any non recyclable and recyclable rubbish they find.

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After only 20 minutes we had collected enough rubbish to fill a cut life size replica of a whale! :(

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We then went back to the year 7 class and watched a video to reinforce the impact of rubbish on the environment. Students then got together to brainstorm ideas on how to reduce the amount of rubbish we have in our school environment and help protect our wildlife.

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When we returned to our class, the year threes wrote a reflection on what they had learnt from the presentation and how they felt. They also wrote one change they could do to help change the world. Here are a few of these reflections;

“When I saw the whale I was disgusted at how much rubbish there was. My idea was that every person has there own garbage truck and drive their rubbish to the dump.”   Matthew

“I felt really upset when I saw the photos. I learnt not to litter and when someone litters – it not only makes the world a disgusting place but it also kills wildlife as they mistake it for jellyfish or plankton or fish. Some photos made people upset when Maddie talked about it. I felt like I just had to do something about it, so I did. At recess I picked up 23 pieces of rubbish. If you see someone litter, pick it up and say “put this in the bi – it could save lives!”  I am going to make a poster and it’s going to say “Pick Up Rubbish Wednesday and Friday Lunchtime. Meet at Oval. Help save Wildlife!!! Please join Us!”    Maya

“This morning when Maddy and Ella were talking about rubbish and what happens to it, I felt very sad. When we picked up rubbish around the school I realised how much rubbish is in and around our school. I felt sad seeing pictures of animals dying or that had already died.  I will make a change by not buying lots of small packets and just buy one big packet.”   Sunset

“I felt sad for the wildlife animals in the sea and on land. I wish everyone would stop littering and care about wildlife as much as they care about their families, and try to help the wild animals. I think to stop ALL of the rubbish, is to take your rubbish home.”   Kyle

“The whale was very scary to see how much rubbish was in it. I learnt that a lot of rubbish comes every day to school. There was a lot of rubbish up against the dog Park fence, I even found a large box! I also learnt that people put dog’s poo in bags and chuck them over the fence! A movie told me that scientist estimate about 3.5 million pieces of rubbish blows into the sea each year. My idea is that we get a hole in our school bins instead of the pop up lids.”   Alex

They came up with some excellent solutions to the litter problem and I have included these below;

  • My change is to never use plastic again. ~ Dylan.
  • I think that we should only use containers. ~ Courtney.
  • I think we should protest and put our rubbish in the bin. ~ Declan.
  • Everyone should try and take containers to store food in and pick up as much rubbish as they can. ~ Lola.
  • We can stop using plastic by taking containers and using paper bags. ~ Maggie.
  • Stop bringing wrappers and just walk those couple of steps to the bin. ~ Esther
  • We can save our sea life animals by, as soon as you get home, transfer all your plastic bags into containers and send kids to school with no plastics! ~ Tihana.
  • My idea is to get a hole at the top of the bin because the pop up bins let rubbish come out. ~ Lucius
  • I will start a campaign and I will put up posters to stop littering and try to get my friends to help. ~ Selena
  • We should convince everyone to stop littering. ~ Jay
  • So I have been thinking of a solution. That is to pick up at least 20 bits of rubbish every day. ~ Ellie
  • You should make a difference to stop it being like this and make the world be here longer. ~ Kiara

Two girls from our class were so motivated by Maddies presentation, that they have set up their own website called Don’t Waste the Wild to help educate other children about how to save the environment and stop the rubbish pollution.

We loved this quote that Maddie shared with us at the end of her presentation.

I might not be able to save the entire world but if I pick up that piece of rubbish, I WILL save that fish’s world or that dolphin’s world or that sea bird’s world.

I may not be saving the entire world but I’ll be saving their entire world.

 Maddie is passionate about changing the world. If you would like to follow her mission you can find her on instagram ~ @dontwasteourwaves



As part of our literacy program this term, we have been looking at using persuasive texts in advertising. Students have been creating Passion Project kits as a follow up from our Passion Projects last term. These kits will be sold at the Pasar on Thursday.

To get started the students used a planning sheet to brainstorm what their kit would be called, what would be in the kit and what they would need to make it. We then each created an advertising poster to sell our kits and let the customer know more information about them.

Then the real fun began. I explained to the students that we were going to make a TV commercial for the kits using stop motion videos. We watched some real commercials and talked about the language used to get customers to buy their product. We also looked at a range of commercials and discussed who the intended audience would be and discussed who would buy these products.

The students were then asked to use a storyboard to plan their 30 second commercial! They not only had to think of what they would see but also what they would hear, the camera angle and type of shot.

Once the planning was finished they were able to get started. However before they did we watched a few tutorials on how to create a stop motion video first, which proved to be a great help.  Now they could start! Soon they were creating their backgrounds, making props and building their sets.

Then start they did….taking lots and lots of photos. We were surprised at just how many photos you needed to create a simple action!

Finally after much perseverance,  and a lot of restarts, we were finished! The results were amazing and we are very proud of the them. We have posted some of these below. We hope you enjoy them!

(Hmmm that tow  instead of two spelling mistakes is going to haunt me!)


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