March 21

Harmony Day



We wore orange for the day and donated a gold coin for our World Vision sponsor child.

On Friday the 18th of March we celebrated Harmony Day. Australia usually celebrates this event on the 21st of March, but as Friday was also National Day of Action against Bullying and Violence our school combined the two special days. 

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Our class is a great example of a huge mixture of cultures coming together.



The theme for Harmony Day this year is Diversity is Our Strength. 

We discussed what we thought diversity is and agreed that while we are all very similar, we are also quite different and that was a good thing, because through these differences there is a lot to learn.

One of Ellen’s favourite Harmony Day posters is  the map of Australia made by many different Australians.

IMG_0202We had fun working out the many differences we could find.

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We looked back at our identity paintings and realised that we were very much the same as the poster. We all have different interests, experiences and worries.






As we work in teams with very different people, the challenge is always to bring harmony when working together. How do you keep a team working well? The students were unanimous in declaring that respect was the key.

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Being respectful in the way you speak to classmates is always helpful. However, sometimes when there’s lots of things to discuss or we have to make exciting decisions, we may forget to stop and think before we say something. We may speak in away that isn’t respectful, so we need to think about how we say things and how our comments may affect people.

Suggestive Language vs Bossy Language

We have been learning to use suggestive language when we have an idea or when we want to share our thinking. We use words like How about, or what do you think about, or why not…., maybe we should

When we hear words like I’m going to, or we will do it this way, or I know, we will….. your going to and he’s doing…it sounds like someone is a boss and bossy language doesn’t help teams work together. Sometimes this kind of talk leads to arguments, which is never the best way to decide something.

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We found that using suggestive language made it easier to negotiate because everyone’s ideas are heard. That way the team feels better and decisions are made quicker. It’s also a great way to build stronger ideas because team members can add their ideas on to others.

One person is clever but not as much as all of us put together.

Things to think about

Have you tried to use suggestive language?

When for which task?

What happened?

How has negotiating helped your team?


March 14

Understanding number


For most of this term we have been familiarising ourselves with numbers.

Talking about your learning helps clarify your thinking

Talking about your learning helps clarify your thinking

That means understanding

  • odds and evens
  • place value to thousands and ten thousand
  • how number expanders work
  • expanded notation
  • rounding to ten

Reading large numbers can be tricky and we know the more we have a go the more we begin to understand. We are certainly working on building stronger mental pathways.

Have a go at working out these numbers? (answers later)




23 hundreds +8tens+ 2 ones



Then of course we need to know how to read and write three different versions of a number.

Standard Digital Form  4 852

Expanded Form 4000+ 800+50+2

Word form  Four thousand eight hundred and fifty two


We played some games of Bounty Hunters where we had to calculate our collection of nasty pirates to see who could get close to a target number. Our knowledge of adding and counting in hundreds, tens and fives came in handy. But it was our clever mental calculations and strategic thinking that helped us get close to the winning number. Sometimes the cards were not in our favour!

Sometimes in maths we have to think and calculate quickly.

Knowing our number facts is a really useful skill in maths. Games like Pig help us to build quick thinking and calculating. Have you explained how to play this game with your families yet? Why not challenge them to a game.

Adding scores is when we rely on our mental computation strategies.

Such as:-

  • chunking,
  • friendly numbers
  • doubles
  • rainbow number facts
  • make to ten
  • near doubles

All this practice helps us to make better sense of how our number system works and so that we can use this knowledge to get to really interesting activities such as problem solving. We are going to learn and share lots of strategies that will support us in solving a variety of mathematical word problems.

 Answers to the numbers are. How did you go?

2673, 7509, 5090, 2382, 2467, 6742

How do you feel about your understanding of place value?

What are you doing to help you mental facts along? (read an earlier post on number facts)