What are the chances?

We have been working on the Statistics and Probability section of the Maths curriculum in our Monday maths time. The curriculum statements for Grade 5 and 6 are in the images below.

Probability is the measure of how likely an event is.

We have sorted probability words, looked at a scale of probability and worked on collecting data about the chances of rolling numbers on a fair die. One of things that we discussed was how the results of our experiments could vary from the theoretical probability.

Die Challenge

We rolled a die and recorded our results for 12 rolls and each result was very different.

We then combined our results using a Google form and could see that the more results we gathered the closer these results came to the theoretical probability outcome of an equal 1 in 6 chance of rolling each number.

We would love to collect more data and ask that you have a go. Roll a fair die 12 times and record your results on our Google form. The graph should change over time as more results are recorded.

We have also written a list on our books in response to an open ended question that Mrs S put on the board.

Listing Outcomes

We needed to think about outcomes that have a 1 in 2 chance and give as many examples as we could. The outcomes we were thinking about were those in the middle of our probability scale as a 1 in 2 chance can also be described as 0.5 or 50% or 1/2. The outcomes are equally likely to occur.

What ideas could you add to our list? Please leave a comment sharing your thoughts.

Investigating Adaptations with a focus on Birds

For our Science Inquiry with Mrs C we have just completed some work on birds and the adaptations they have developed to survive in their environments.

Each of us selected a bird and researched to find out the physical and behavioural adaptations it needed to live in the environment it could be found in around the world.

As part of the presentation of our information we created scaled 3D models of our birds. Take a look at some of our finished models.

Have you created a 3D model before? What materials did you use? Do you have any interesting facts about birds? Please leave a comment sharing your thoughts.

Creating Spirolaterals

We are one week into Term 4. The last term at our school for our Grade 6 classmates. Time has flown by since the start of this year.

To start our term Mrs S found an interesting Maths challenge that mixed Maths and Art. We created some spirolaterals.

Spirolaterals using the 10 time table

Spirolaterals using the 10 time table

Spirolaterals are geometrical images that are created by repeating a simple rule. For our spirolaterals we explored the patterns in our multiplication tables. Mrs S found a blog post with a video and that was our introduction to creating spiral patterns by following a rule.

Multiples of 10 explanation

Firstly we needed to write down the multiples of the number we chose and then reduce all double digits to single digits to get our pattern of steps for the spiral. Each turn was 90 degrees and we needed to always turn in the same direction. This could be clockwise or anticlockwise.

For the multiples of 10 the steps started by moving 1 square and turning 90°, then 2 squares and turn 90°, 3 squares and turn 90° , 4 squares and turn 90° and so on until the largest part of the spiral at 9 squares before starting again with 1.

Below are some of our trials. Many of us are still working on finishing our patterns.

It all sounded easy but keeping track of the steps and turns needed lots of concentration.

What patterns have you noticed in the multiplication tables? Do you think that all the patterns in the multiplication tables will create a closed spiral pattern. Please leave a comment sharing your thoughts.

Let’s Collaborate

Earlier in the year Mrs Smith received an email from Miss Crowther and the children of 5/6 Team@UPPS. It let us know that she would be travelling to Tassie with some of their class on a school trip. She asked about spending a day with our class.


© Google – Imagery © Terrametrics, NASA, Map data © 2015 Google

Oh, wow! What a great idea. We would get to meet some of the children we have exchanged Trading cards with and Mrs S would get to meet someone that she has only spoken with via email or Skype over the last four years.

The answer was definitely yes and the date was quickly added to the school calendar.

As the day drew closer Mrs S thought and thought and thought about what we could do. She felt that this would be a great day to collaborate in person so we were sorted into groups of 4. Each group had children from both schools. During the day we worked together and got to know each other as we created some tetrahedral kites.

Before we started with the kite making the 5/6 CS students gave the 5/6 UPPS students a tour of our school and found out a little about our guests.


Making the kites was a little tricky at first. To start we watched a video. Then we read through the instructions and worked out how to join six straws together with string to create a tetrahedron. Thank goodness for pieces of wire as this made threading the string through the straws a little easier. We learnt that tying good knots was important when repairs were needed on one kite which did not quite get out the door for the first test fly. All was good once some knots were retied.


Working together gave us the opportunity to combine four small kite sections together to create a bigger tetrahedral kite. Our fickle weather made the first test fly of our kites a little troublesome but eventually all the kites were in the air. Take a look at our Animoto to the see the fun.

It was fantastic fun meeting our online buddies and creating kites, talking, flying kites, talking and playing games. The day flew by and then 5/6 UPPS headed off to see some more of our great state.

Have you worked together to create something? Have you flown a kite? Please leave a comment sharing your thoughts.

Creating Street Art

It has been a long time between posts. Grade 5/6 CS have been busy investigating birds, working on their understanding of Australian Government, creating 3D book reports and working with graphs. Amongst all of this we were very lucky to have some visitors from the Clarence Council who helped our class work on some stencil art. Over two weeks we cut out some stencils and then used these stencils with spray paints on large pieces of light weight board to create some art. Cutting out the stencils meant being very careful with sharp cutting blades. We used cutting mats to protect our work surfaces.

5-6CS Street Art

When we were working with the spray paints we were all outside and dressed in gear to protect our clothes. We also wore eye glasses, masks and gloves to make sure that we were being safe as we painted. We needed to share the pray paint colours and were shown some techniques to help us. Using the spray paints was a sticky business.

Take a look at the Animoto of our work.

Have you ever created art with stencils? What kind of stencils have you used? Please leave a comment sharing your thoughts.

Term 3 Commences

50 degree angle Jimmie via Compfight

We have just had a lovely two week break from our classroom and we are now at the start of Term 3.

We will be having another busy term with class work, sport, music, the Grade 6 trip to Canberra and many other learning opportunities.

With Mrs S on Mondays we will continue to work at our understanding of angles before moving on to working with 3D shapes. To start our term we will need to refresh our memories about the maths vocabulary we use when measuring and caculating angles. There is a great review and introduction to angles video at Maths Antics.

Last term we created and measured obtuse, acute, straight and right angles. We used protractors and rulers to help us with our work. This term we will look at how we can use our knowledge about straight and right angles to work our angles with out needing to find a protractor to help us.

Have you calculated the measurement of an angle without a protractor? How might this be possible? Please leave a comment sharing your thoughts.

Creating Angle Fish

During Maths on a Monday with Mrs S we have been working on some posters about angles. Measuring and creating angles using a protractor is one of the content descriptors in the Year 5 Mathematics curriculum.

Angles Content Description Year 5

Mrs S found some inspiration on the internet via this blog and challenged us to create a poster with four quadrants that contained fish that represented different angles. We created Right Angle Fish, Acute Angle Fish, Straight Angle Fish and Obtuse Angle Fish. All of our fish needed to be correctly labelled, measured and marked. We need to extend the rays of our angles so that it was easy to use a protractor to measure the angle of each fish’s mouth.

Here are some of our finished posters.

Some of us are still a little confused about how to correctly measure our angles. Using a protractor can be a tricky as it contains two sets of numbers and we needed to be very careful to check that we used the correct set to measure our angles.

Have you used a protractor? What angles are missing from our poster? Why might we have avoided making fish for the angles that are missing? Please leave a comment sharing your thoughts.

Artist Trading Cards 2015 exchange

Our class was offered the opportunity to create and send some Artist Trading cards to a class in Victoria. Mrs Smith and Miss Crowther, their teacher, had participated in a trade 2 years ago. They have since participated in several other exchanges of ideas and information. This year they both hoped to have another turn at exchanging Artist Trading cards and discussed the idea via a flurry of emails.

trading cards

Trading and admiring our new cards.

Artist Trading cards are small pieces of art created on cards that are always 64mm x 89mm in size. Most cards are traded or exchanged for other cards. On the back of the cards there is often some information about the artist and the cards they have created.

Both classes have worked very hard to create their cards and at last we have made our exchange by mail.

We had posted off our parcel and have been waiting for a parcel to arrive. It arrived on Thursday and this was a good day as both Mrs S and Mrs C were at school. This meant that our class and both teachers could have fun finding out the contents of the package that arrived at the school office during the morning.


An intriguing parcel awaiting opening.

We had to wait until after recess before participating in a lucky dip to receive a set of cards. Each set of cards came with a neat label describing the artist and their interests. There was also a little treat tucked in amongst the cards.

Each member of the class had a lucky dip to find some cards and a surprise.

Each member of the class had a lucky dip to find some cards and a surprise.

Thanks very much to Team 5/6 from UPPS for creating some great trading cards. Follow the linked text to see more about the cards created by the class in 5/6 at Upper Plenty in Victoria.

More of the great cards we received.

More of the great cards we received.

Mrs S created an Animoto of the cards we sent off to Victoria. We chose to use a theme for our cards.

Have you ever created any very small art? What would you use to decorate a set of trading cards? Please leave a comment sharing your thoughts.

Word of the Week – government

This week we took a closer look at the word government as our word of the week. Mrs S chose this word because it was a common spelling error in some of our writing recently.

Sometimes the way that we say a word can be troublesome for when we are trying to spell it. We may not hear all the letters we need to use when writing a word correctly.

Which words do you know that can trick us when we are spelling because there is a letter we do not hear? Leave a comment sharing your thoughts.

Word of the Week – tenacity

Each week we are taking a closer look at one interesting word. This week our word is tenacity. We think about all our spelling knowledge and make connections to help us remember how to spell and use our focus word. Take a look at our observations in the prezi below.

Are there any other spelling or vocabulary observations we could make about the word tenacity?

One of the spelling activities we do during the week is to write our individual spelling list words in sentences. By doing this we show that we understand the meanings of the words we are learning. Writing an interesting sentence can sometime be a challenge.

Please leave a comment on this post sharing an interesting sentence using our word of the week.