December 1

Were we Lost in Space?


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.


What do Shadows tell us?



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


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.


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.


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.


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.



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


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?

September 13

Who were these strange people in our class while I was away?

Hey, did you all have to come to school at night?

You were not working that slow were you!

You are all in you’re pyjamas. Did you all sleep in extra long?

What’s the story?


Of course, it was the onesy fund raiser, silly me, I forgot. I think you all look like you need a hot cup of cocoa. Don’t you look cute. Looks like our class donated well, thanks team.

Wait a minute you were back out of dress code again. I think this is becoming a habit, was it dress up term?

Book Week 2016



Which characters can you recognise?

How wonderful you all look in your Book Week Parade Costumes. I thought you all did well designing your characters. I was sorry to miss it, so I am glad Ms Belle took these pictures. Almost didn’t recognise some of you.

What fun you must have had.

What did you get up to?

How did you feel as your new character?

What do you like about dressing up?

Which character did you choose and why?

Who will you plan to come as next year?

July 28

Holiday adventures


animated_welcome_catWe are back to start another exciting and very busy term three.

Once we had organised our new learning teams we shared our holiday activities. Ellen gave us a challenge, could we write about our holidays without actually telling us where we went? Sort of like giving clues and hints!


We had a go and as we have been working on descriptive language we tried to use some exciting adjectives in our writing. See if you can work out where we went and what we did.

How did you go? Some found it challenging to not write the destination. Sadly some art didn’t make the deadline so we have to imagine what their work might have looked like.

Which clues did you find tricky?

What hints gave the information you needed?

What other adventures did you get up to on our break?

June 9

We are Super Readers in Room 14. Watch us zoom!

Screen Shot 2016-06-08 at 4.11.31 PM

This year we have been working really hard on developing and improving our reading strategies so that we become stronger and more confident readers of literature.

We all know the 10 most important steps to become an excellent reader.

1 Read, 2 Read, 3 Read, Read, Read

Read, Read, Read, Read, 10 Read

In fact we all know the old poem really well

Read, read, read.

The more you read, 

The more you know,

The more you know ,

The more you grow.

So read, read, read.

Traditional Poem

This poem makes a lot of sense because as you read, you learn more vocab so then you can read more interesting books, which means you learn even more vocab, and then you can read more interesting books, which means you can…and so on. Of course on the way there are other things to focus on too.

Reading isn’t just saying words. Readers need to comprehend the text to understand what they are reading. They need to read accurately. Reading should be smooth and Fluent. Readers should also grow their word knowledge.

We worked out what we thought good readers do and we strive to achieve these strategies


Good readers have an inner conversation.

When I’m reading my brain is switched on and ticking over

We know that a good reader uses lots of strategies before they read.

They activate their prior knowledge things they may already know about or have experienced.

Make predictions about what might be going on in the book.

Ask questions

While they are reading, good readers are switched on, they are..

Check the text is making sense, and they understand what’s going on.

They keep making predictions and check if they’re right or not.

Work out tricky / challenging words.

Make connections with ideas and experiences in the text.

After reading

Check how they went. Revaluate their predictions.

Can summarise the text.


We have our own super hero and we are flying through our goals. Some of us want to move into higher Reading Recovery box levels and some of us want to fly through our percentage goals in Accelerated reading.


Some of us are even tripling their percentage score. Wow, what reading dynamos we have here. Either way, we know it will take lots of hard work and effort to become good at anything, especially Reading.

Now where is a good place for you to settle down and read?

Fluency progress

We have been checking how our fluency is going. After our spelling partner tests on Friday mornings we do a fluency test. We have been reading to our team mates for one minute and then counting how many words we have read. We negotiate to take turns to be a reader or a listener. Then we record our scores on a chart. 

We have noticed our scores are changing and we discussed reasons for this. Some have noticed the scores rising each week. These people thought they were practicing lots and that helped. Some noticed the scores were rising and then they were falling, only to begin rising again. Our thoughts were that once we moved levels the vocabulary may become more challenging and as they got used to it they read faster. Clearly fluency improves with practise.


Authors use the most amazing words to write their fabulous stories and when they do we create pictures in our minds eye. This is called visualising and it is a useful strategy to use when you are reading as it helps you to understand what is going on.


I was reading children’s classic, The BFG by Roald Dahl, a wonderful author who uses the English language in such a creative way that he even invents his own language! We have had such fun listening to the exciting adventures of poor Sophie and The BFG as they have to deal with those rotsome filthy giants. We even get to find out what goes on in the royal household.

During an art lesson we had a go at our visualising what we thought these characters would look like, after we had finished the last chapter.

Look at our portraits of swishwiffling whoppsy characters from the BFG

Now we are all very excited because we know that a new motion picture will be released very soon. It will be interesting to see what the creators of that film thought the characters look like. Wonder if we thought the same?

Our preservice teacher Senija helped with our narrative writing skills. She wanted us to write about a dream. In an art lesson we created dream jars to go with our published narrative.

Sweet Dreams

P.S. As of the last Friday of term two we congratulate the readers  for their hard efforts.  Check out the movement of their Super Heroes IMG_0599

So many got to beyond, way to go, you are awesome.

Something to comment on.

How do you think you are going with your reading?

How do you know your reading is improving?

Which strategy are you focusing on ? Why?

Which books or authors do you particularly like to read?

Who reads in your household? What do they read?