June 23

Making wonderful music in one lesson.

We had just the best day today. We performed a music concert for a small crowd. How good was that.


Earlier today, classes were booked into a music workshop with Jon Madin. This is him. To learn more about what he does, go to his website ( where I snuck this image) http://www.marimbamusic.com.au

Jon is a  very talented musician and brought a wide variety of instruments for us to play. He told us he made these wacky instruments himself which impressed us. They were bizarre indeed. There were items that were familiar, but were a strange mix of  objects we might use for different things, such as echo cellos, musical bikes, drums and musical boxes. Although they didn’t look like classical instruments, they sounded amazing especially when we all played together.

We started out learning how play three patterns on the marimbas.

The melody seemed familiar and when Jon started to sing with his guitar, we recognised The Hokey Pokey. That was fun, at the concert we had Sarah, Matthew and Sophie leading the audience in the dance too. They were very enthusatic models.

After becoming quite good at that tune, we moved over to where the echo cellos were situated. Jon demonstrated how to get the cello to rest on our left shoulders and how play using the bow. It was quite strange holding our right arm and only moving from the elbow.

We played a tune called Mama don’t allow. Which was quite interesting because she didn’t allow it, but we played it anyway. We had four students to help with the music boxes too.

Jon was teaching a few classes different songs throughout the day and then at the end of the day we were all invited to play for an audience. He asked some parents to help with some percussion and made the teachers learn a song to perform.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

We had a ball. It was a delightful concert with classes showcasing their newly developed skills. Today Witungga Hall, tomorrow Festival theatre! We highly recommend Jon and his wacky instruments.

What did you enjoy most in the workshop?

Which instrument do you believe sounded beautiful? Why?

What type of music do you prefer to listen to?

Do you play a musical instrument? Would you like to? Which one, why?


November 25

Respect, Friendship, Enjoyment, Diversity, Identity

These are the values that are at the core of what we do here at Grange Primary School. fb_img_1479645417651

Cricket Australia will be promoting the Australia Day Match soon and they will be using this picture.

The two girls proudly holding the Australian flag are Jorja and Jordan both of whom attend Grange Primary School. Jorja is a student in our class, Jordan works in our Games Day Buddy class.

Both great friends and who, in a moment of time, have captured the essence not only of what our school values, but indeed what Australia does. I think this picture speaks volumes.

Thank you Jorja for sharing this with us, now we will share it with the world.

If you could put a slogan under this picture what would you write? Let us know.

December 26

Merry Christmas and all the best for the New Year


Well the school year has now come to an end and sadly I part with an absolutely fabulous group of learners. At the beginning of the year I asked them what their job was, their answer…. To be the best learners we can be. They certainly worked hard and achieved that goal. I am very proud of them indeed and want to thank them for their efforts.


I was taken aback in the last week when a group of parents descended in the room bearing gifts. I was humbled by their generosity and thoughtfulness and send a heartfelt thank you to you all. I get rewarded each year by the growth the children make in their learning and certainly do not expect gifts. I was indeed stunned by this, brought forth even more tears to my eyes, you have my sincere gratitude.  I now have an adventure to seek out Crux RA 12h 22m 28s D-58° 21′ now proudly named Ellen, goodness a star, I am honoured you guys are awesome.

IMG_0034 2Although I may now have a star in the cosmos, nothing is as bright as these dazzling stars. May they continue to shine brightly.

So goodbye my superstars and all the best for your next learning adventures.



November 2

Three Dimensional Shapes

We have begun to investigate 3 dimensional shapes in maths.

We started by understanding what was meant by dimensions.

No it doesn’t mean alien strange worlds!

Dimension is a property that can be measured. ( Property is a characteristic or attribute of an object)

That means a line     _________________________    such as this, can be measured by length. This is a one dimensional object.



But remember this! 




We found out there were quite a few we already knew.

Cone, Square based pyramid, Cylinder, Cube, Sphere, Triangular prism, Rectangular Prism  Are these all related some how? How do you group them? What properties are in common?  Think about it.

We need to know the properties of these 3 Dimensional objects but what are the properties anyway?

Faces (flat part of the surface)

Edges (where two faces meet or intersect)

Vertices (the point where two or more edges meet to form a corner)

We were given a team task to make a mobile that would show and  name the 3-D shapes as well as explained the properties. Ellen gave us popsticks, pipe cleaners, straws, matchsticks, plasticine, string, cardboard and lots of other stuff to make our display.

Team one planning their strategy

Team one planning their strategy

Logan deciding, measuring, comparing and checking.

Logan deciding, measuring, comparing and checking.


Team five working together, thinking together acting together.

Team five working together, thinking together acting together.

It took a while to complete all the shapes and the mathematical information.


Congratulations to you mathematicians, almost all of your teams completed the task in the time set. After you had shared your investigations of the properties it is clear that these features are starting to make sense. I loved that you listened carefully and made team members check their edges or vertices more carefully.

Homework task

Now that these shapes are much more clearer in your head, how are you going on your solid shape hunt around the home. Can you find examples of these shapes? What is it? Where are they? Why would that shape have been used? 

I looked at my roof the other day, checking out a pigeon that seemed to be dancing around, and I recognised parts of a 3-D shape, but it was connected to a part of another. Have you noticed anything like that?

Remember to show your team your investigation by this Thursday.

September 9

Resource Based Learning RBL

This term we have been working closely with our knowledgable Librarian Janet Sweeney, who has been helping us learn more about the history of parts of South Australia. It’s important that we understand that things change over time and that while we might be familiar with things now, it may have been quite different in the past. Change affects people and environments, in some cases significantly and we need to understand these changes from different perspectives.

City of Adelaide from Mr Wilson's Section on the Torrens, June 1845, G. F. Angas (AGSA Collection)

City of Adelaide from Mr Wilsons Section on the Torrens June 1885 G.F.Angas

We began by looking closely at The River Torrens which is a major river close to our school and very familiar to us all. Geography and mapping skills were needed to understand origins of the river from the source, the beginning, and the end, the mouth of the river.

Map of Adelaide

Look closely, can you locate the River Torrens ?

We were able to use google Earth to find and locate the path of the River Torrens  from the source in the foothills as it meanders its way across the Adelaide Plains east to west to the mouth at West Beach.

5285663506_acc398eaa7_m 2

Researching the Past

We know that the river flows through the land of the Aboriginal people of Adelaide called the Kaurna people. They called the river Karrawirrapari which we learnt meant Red Gum Forrest River or sometimes it was called Tandaparri which meant Red Kangaroo River. The Kaurna people used the river for water, hunting and built campsites along the banks using resources from the river environment. Researching information about past events is history, so we needed to rely and build our literacy skills in locating information which was linked to the River Torrens environments from long ago.

Here a Kaurna male is cutting holes in the tree to help climb up and we can see signs of this activity today in this scar tree. 

We discovered that the river was a place which provided a lot of food for the Aboriginals who camped nearby. Foods such as water fowl, cockles, fish and barti, which are witchetty grubs, these were found in the bark of the river gums. As the seasons changed we found out that the river changed from raging fast flowing flood waters in winter to small chains of small ponds in the summer months.

images-2Witchetty grubs like to live in the bark of trees close to the river and were quite a tasty snack for the Kaurna people.

It became very clear to us that Karrawirrapari was a very important resource for the lives of the Kaurna people in the past.

Building researching skills

We were given lots of information both written and visual to gather our facts. Note taking is a really important skill and can be a challenge. We needed to use lots of reading strategies to look at texts using their words and images, find key words and then summarising them into our own sentences.

Having notes meant that, once we examined the features of the genre explanation, we could order our sentences into a logical structure and explain what the river was like in the past. We used the same skills to discover facts about the present.

Researching the Present

Over the one hundred and seventy nine years of settlement the river has had many changes. We discovered that William Light who was the surveyor of Adelaide named River Torrens after his friend Robert Torrens. The river is a popular place for recreational activities for the people of Adelaide such as river cruises, paddle boats or having picnics along the banks. When people walk, ride or jog along the Linear Track, which runs along the river, they can see plaques that acknowledges both the indigenous and white settlement names Karrawirraparri and River Torrens.

Breakout Creek, Henley Beach South, Malone & Telfer

We know too that bridges, paths and lights have been added for pedestrians and traffic. At the mouth of the river, to stop the land from flooding, cement banks and flood ways have been added.

Settlers brought with them non native animals that have escaped and are now using the river as a their habitat. The house mouse is now the most common mammal found along the river. The European Carp is destroying the natural habitat and is eating the native fish. However many original water fowl can still be found along the banks.

A major change to the river was the building of three reservoirs in the catchment areas which now provides Adelaide with 60% of our water supply.

As we researched the present day uses of River Torrens, we all agreed that the river continues to be an important part of Adelaide and we couldn’t imagine Adelaide without it.

Comparing the river at different times

An interesting task was to use a Venn diagram to compare similarities and differences with the past and present features of the river.

DSC08485 DSC08486 DSC08487

Art captures our images of the past

One way to show our understandings is to reflect and imagine scenes from days past. Using our knowledge of what the early river may have looked like, we created pictures using mixtures of coloured pencils, crayons and watercolours. We were inspired by looking back at some early landscape paintings. We were proud of our efforts. We wrote some sentences to describe the scene. What do you think?

What has been the most interesting part of our research for you?

What things do you along or on the River Torrens?

Do you have any questions about the river that may need further research?