April 2

Harmony Day – Everyone Belongs

This year Ellen was at a maths conference and missed celebrating Harmony Day at Grange. But Thankfully Mrs Tunney our relief teacher captured some of the events that our class were involved in.

Traditionally we transform the school by simply changing the colour of our clothes. The colour for Harmony Day is orange, so we could wear orange for the day. If we did, a gold coin was donated which we send to support our World Vision sponsored child.

We had an harmonious assembly where classes shared work about diversity, tolerance and inclusivity. Australia is our home and like our class, there are many nationalities that live together. Harmony then, becomes an important concept to understand and practice.

We all worked hard to write acrostic poems using the ideas from our brainstorm on how to let everyone belong. We were able to decorate and publish them before Mrs Tunney put them up on display.

Giving people compliments and acknowledging the kind and helpful things they do is an important part of showing respect. Lending someone a hand when they need it is a simple act, but very powerful.

The class was asked to trace around their hand and write a message of gratitude  when someone included, helped or supported them.

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Once decorated, they passed their messages on.

I hope you enjoyed the activities on the day. Happy Harmony Day everyone.

Somethings to think about.

What did you think about the events of Harmony Day?

What things have you done to include others?

How has someone helped you out?

Do you think we should celebrate Harmony Day? Why or why not.

 

 

February 5

It’s a wrap …… or …. the class that didn’t get away!

Well 2016 has come to an end and it was time to say good bye to my fabulous learners as they prepare to move to year four.

Now what do you do with things you like? Put them in a jar and keep them for later! Well at least that’s what the BFG did when he found dreams he caught.

As we were making snow domes for Christmas presents, something magical happened and the children suddenly found themselves trapped.  argh…..

Poor things, should I let them go?

 

Oops can’t, they trapped me too.

What fun that was.

But all good things come to an end and sadly, I say farewell to my dear class of 2016.

I’m sure their teddies will support them as they bravely venture into year four.

What a fun and busy year it has been.

Farewell

All the best in 2017

December 13

End of Year Celebratory Team Lunch

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Tuesday is traditionally Party Day here at Grange Primary School. A time for classes to have their end of year class parties and have a fun day. Given we are a class that works together, thinks together and acts together. This day was not going to be an ordinary class party!

Ellen actually doesn’t do “class parties”, instead this was a chance for teams to get together to organise a festive shared lunch. To be a collaborative effort it meant that there was lots of negotiating, discussing and organising. As our school doesn’t endorse red foods, the menu needed to be healthy and foods that all team members could eat. Mind you as it was also a celebration, one red food per team was permitted (choose wisely).

There was lots of decision making as they realised planning menus can be tough, some members had allergies or were fussy eaters. Now they know the dilemma parents regularly face! This was also not a time to put demands on parents to cater, food needed to be organised or made by the students too.

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Being nearly Christmas, they could bring decorative utensils, write up menus, placemats and bring other festive additions. I challenged them to turn our room into a festive restaurant. They were brilliant with their division of jobs and all teams worked well together to assemble a great healthy lunch with a spectacular Christmas theme.

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We had won the Golden bin award for keeping our yard area tidy the week before, so we started the day using the sports equipment for some out door fun. But it was a really hot day, so we ended up back in the cool for some of our favourite co operative games.

  • Door Keeper ( that was a new one)
  • Prisoners and Guards
  • Freeze frame
  • The Queen of Hearts is dead!
  • Countries

Oh what fun they are we were in stitches at times. Then it was time to set up. Teams were very busy working collaboratively together. Take a look.

We even asked a neighbouring teacher to judge their efforts and he found it very difficult as the creative spirit was every where. So we decided everyone was a winner today.

After a quick efficient cleanup and our lunch play we settled back to watch the BFG.

Congratulations my lovely elves you did a fabulous job working , thinking and acting together. I am proud of you the best shared lunch by far.

What did you enjoy the most about today.

What would you do differently?

If you could change the movie which one would you pick.

December 1

Were we Lost in Space?

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In term three and four our science topic had to do with What creates day and night, so it made sense to also investigate other cosmic ideas. We had enormous fun investigating these science ideas. We had a go at recording what we thought happened in space, before learning new information.

To begin with, we had to get our heads around the different ways things move in space. You would think that we would know if we were spinning and moving on Earth, as we live here, but oh no!  Our eyes can play tricks on us and our brains often get tricked too. This great Crash Course Kids clip on how the Earth moves, did help us clarify a few misconceptions.

 

Trying to understand the differences between and remember, rotation, revolution, orbit did make our heads spin.

So next it was our turn to investigate these celestial bodies for ourselves and really see things in action.

Space is REALLY, REALLY BIG and Things in space are really big and it’s hard to get our heads to understand that. We used these relative sizes pictures to understand that size is indeed relative. That means compared to each other. Ellen is bigger than us, we are small, but compared to a baby we are giants! The Moon is big, but Earth is bigger and when we looked at the Sun, it was the biggest… or was it? Check these out.

Still, hard to get our brains to think of anything that BIG! But distance in space can affect the size of what we see too.

So getting back to the three objets we were studying Sun, Earth and Moon we checked out their sizes. We used a basketball for the Sun, tennis ball for the Moon in this activity. Using our eyes to measure and working in teams we took turns to see how far the Sun would have to be moved away, so that the Moon and the Sun appeared the same size to the observer.

Now I told them that even though we know the Sun is enormous, it is also far away and that it appeared the same size as a full Moon in the sky. Just as their basketball looked the same as the tennis ball from their activity… they weren’t convinced.

It was time to prove it to them. Luckily I had my eclipse glasses and making sure they operated within the safety rules, they each checked out just how small the Sun actually looked in the sky.. it really is no bigger than a full Moon.  Cool!  Amazing, they even saw the Sunspots.

So it is true, the Sun and the Moon appear to be the same size! Incidentally that’s why we get Solar eclipses. These are fascinating events indeed. If ever you can, be in the path of totality.

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What do Shadows tell us?

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Well a lot really and it turned out we already knew a lot about shadows.

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Ah, so now it was time to investigate light and shadows. It was tricky to get our room dark enough, but we experimented with torches and making shadows. Some of us were exceptionally talented at shadow puppetry.

From our observations, we reconfirmed many of our scientific ideas about how light works and what created a shadow. Light does travel in a straight line and anything getting in the way of the ray of light blocked it, creating a shadow. This gave us lots of information to get us thinking of what we could investigate.

Getting back to the sun and the shadows we saw around the school, we decided to set out an investigation on how these shadows in the school changed over the day.

In our teams we planned to go out every hour on the hour and measure the length of a gnomon. ( shadow stick, much like a sundial) Each team found a sunny spot. Lined the gnomon/poster to the North with a compass and set about recording the time and length of the shadows cast by the gnomon throughout the day.

Eventually with shared team work, our boards looked a little like this.

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Once we had all our recorded observations, we could look at the information closely and see if we noticed any thing interesting. This is called analysing data.

In our teams once a gain we set about analysing the information . We discussed our ideas and made our claims based on the data.

To make our observations clearer, we organised them into a table and from that, we could create a graph.

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This graphic record made it easier for us read and come up with some claims and conclusions it was the proof and evidence we needed.

We claimed that:-

Shadows changed length over the day long to short then long again.

That when the Sun is low in the sky, the shadows are longer and when it is high in the sky, the shadow are shorter.

The Sun moved from East to West over the sky because the shadows moved West East.

Our Conclusions

We know that the Sun is in the Centre of the Solar System. It rotates but doesn’t move. So that meant the Sun didn’t move, it was Earth’s rotation that made it look like the Sun was moving.

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So as the Sun continues to shine light and we know the Earth spins once every 24 hours. We get day when we face towards the Sun and we are in night when we are in the shadow of Earth.

But we also know that we are orbiting the Sun and as we go on our year long journey around the Sun, we take our Moon with us. That combination of rotations and orbits does get our heads dizzy thinking about it.

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Understanding how all this works is tricky, but we enjoyed learning about our near celestial neighbours and working scientifically.

We also had the opportunity to give an oral presentation on a topic to do with space. We had a great variety of themes planets, rockets, space travel, famous astronauts etc. These were well researched and shared confidently for the most part.

Space Art

For a creative challenge, we could make an alien from plasticine and perhaps their pet, if they had one.

What do you think of our modelling skills?

Somethings to think about.

What did you think of this science unit?

What didn’t you like investigating?

What would you like to do more of?

What are you still puzzled about and would like to learn more about?

Would you like to work in space?

September 28

Lost in Space

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Grange has another fundraising activity that was fun to do. Kids Arts Works turns children’s art into various objects such as calendars, diaries, cards, mouse mats or sketch pads.

 

We supply the art, they make the products and for every one sold our school gets a percentage. As we have been learning about objects in space for science, we thought we would use that topic for our theme. Check out their adventurous astronauts…. who got…..

We thought families would like to see before you buy.

I thought they did a great job. What do you think?