July 25

Spinning in Space

Last term we learnt about how the Moon,

 

the Sun

and Earth

spin and rotated in space. We also learnt that from all this spinning and rotating, the positions of the Sun and Earth played a big part in how we experienced day and night.

Relative sizes

It was important that we understand exactly how big these objects are. Now that is kind of tricky because we really can’t see Earth as we are standing on it, as for the Sun and Moon, well at a distance they can play tricks on your eyes.

We are fortunate in our Solar System to have the Moon and Sun exactly where they are because they actually look the same size. We know the Sun is huge, but it is 400 times further away than the Moon. The further something is away from us the smaller it looks. That is why when he Moon moves in front of the Sun we get a perfect eclipse.

Actually things in space are big, really, really big in fact somethings are so big our heads can’t get it at all. This is what we mean.

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Checking this idea out

We had a go at using a basketball to represent the Sun and a tennis ball to represent the Moon. In teams we worked together to move the Sun away until it appeared to our eyes to be the same same size as our Moon.

I had my eclipse glasses handy so we all had a couple of safe looks at the Sun. Although this mighty sphere was shining brightly, it looked indeed no bigger than a full Moon. Some children even saw the Sunspots.

Understanding shadows

How much fun is shadow tag! But there is a lot of science in shadows.

Why don’t shadows stay put?

On a sunny morning, we went outside and traced around each other’s shadow.

Then we played some shadow tag. That was challenge, they never stayed put!

Back in the classroom we discussed and recorded what we thought we knew about shadows.

Time to return outside to checkout our shadows….oh no!  They had moved. We needed to trace them again.

We noticed that all the shadows that we could see had moved from the base. To start with, they were facing west, later on, they were moving Easterly. That was odd. Why did this happen? Ah, the Sun moved. Of course, that was it!  Or was it?

Time to get serious with a scientific investigation.

I gave each team member an investigation planner, together they discussed and recorded their plan. This is a summary of our discussion, once planning had ceased.

Luckily for us the day was one of the last sunny days before the cloudy days of winter settled in.

We went out every hour on the hour, as best we could, throughout the day, sharing jobs to complete the investigation. To make it a fair test, we needed to place the cardboard in exactly the same place, have the same equipment and record the shadow line carefully. Teams worked collaboratively to complete their observations.

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The following day, in our teams, we analysed the information together.

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We had some interesting data that we were able to place in a table and record graphically such as this example. We know that tables are useful to sort out information and graphs show us data that we can see clearly.

We discussed our observations and concluded that as the Sun moved across the sky from East to West, the shadows moved in the opposite direction. Our proof was the marks we recorded on our cardboard posters. We found out that the shadows were longest when the Sun was lower in the sky and shorter when it was high in the sky. Our proof was the measurements we took each hour. Our claim based on our data was that the Sun’s movements caused all this. So the Sun did move!

But

We knew better though. Earth is really the object that moved, not the Sun, that object stays in the centre of our Solar System  and rotates. It is the rotation of the Earth that caused the Sun to appear to move in the sky, which then caused the shadows to lengthen and shorten.

You see we’d also been learning about the spinning and revolution of Earth. There was a lot to remember. Everything spins in space. You can get dizzy trying to remember everything.

We found this clip to be a great reminder.

We learnt a great deal about our neighbours in space and how they affected our life. At the end of the unit, I asked the students to design a scientific poster that explained how we get day and night. Here are a few.

 

Here are some things to think about.

What did you enjoy most about the science unit? Can you remember an impressive fact?

What didn’t you like?

Are there things you still are curious about and have more questions?

How did you feel about giving your oral presentation?

What do you think of space and the things beyond Earth?

What impressed you?

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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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November 2

Three Dimensional Shapes

We have begun to investigate 3 dimensional shapes in maths.

We started by understanding what was meant by dimensions.
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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.

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But remember this! 

 

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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.

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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.