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.

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© 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.

Kite

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.

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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.

Farewell 2014

School is over for the class of 2014. We have created, explored, questioned and worked our way through four terms together. Our grade 6 classmates have been farewelled and are now off to High School next year. We wish them all the best in the next stage of their learning and hope that they may drop by our class blog and leave a comment.

Mrs S found this very short video to share as the last post for 2014. It contains a very simple but powerful message for us all to remember.

The video comes from a website she found that has many useful tips about creating sketchnotes to help you record ideas and thoughts that you would like to remember. Sketchnotes are a visual thinking tool that use a combinations of words, quick sketches and connectors to create notes about an idea or topic. We used sketchnotes throughout the year in our Monday journals to keep a record of our weekend experiences, thoughts and ideas.

Have you heard of sketchnotes? How would you use sketchnotes to help you at school? Please leave a comment sharing your thoughts.

Our Dot Day Creations

Here are some of our Dot Day creations.

Rohan made a mark by creating a Scratch program. Click the green flag to watch his bouncing dots. Click the red octagon to stop the show.

We created a display outside our room with our blotting paper dots and our concentric circle patterns. We added a QR code directing those with a mobile device to our class blog post about Dot Day.

Dot Day display

Cascading Dots

We explored creating patterns using concentric circles. Each level out from the centre contained an extra element of our pattern.

What do you think of our dots? Have you used Scratch to create? How have you made your mark and where has it taken you? Please leave a comment sharing your thoughts.

 

International Dot Day

September 15th is the date when Peter Reynolds published his book called The Dot. It is the story of a little girl called Vashti and her journey towards creativity.

In 2009 a group of teachers began to use this date to celebrate International Dot Day. They shared their ideas over social media and more and more classes around the world have used this day to explore the themes of bravery, creativity and self-expression as Vashti did in the story of her dots.

Explore our ThingLink to hear Vashti’s story, find out who has been creating celebridots and about some artists who use dots in their work. Hover over the image and follow the links attached to it.

While the Grade 5’s have been finishing up their learning at the pool the Grade 6’s delved into creating some dots. We used blotting paper and water soluble textas to create some of our dots. We made printed patterns with cotton reels and circular felt stampers. We are working on some patterned dots and we are working on some digital dot artworks. Once our work is finished we will share in another blog post.

Below is a video of a celebridot in creation. Watch as Renee Kurilla, a children’s book illustrator, creates an image that is similar to her celebridot.

The Making of a Dot from Renee Kurilla on Vimeo.

 What might you create for Dot Day? Have you created something that is special to you? What was it? What did you use to create it? Please leave a comment sharing your thoughts.

Swimming and Water Safety Time and IT Helpers

Our Grade 5 classmates are spending some time each day at the pool. They are participating in our yearly Swimming and Water Safety program for students in grades 3-5. They are all using the time to become better swimmers by practising their strokes and to learn survival and safety techniques.

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Creative Commons License Photo Credit: Eugenio via Compfight

On Tuesday, before the Grade 5’s headed off to pool,  all of the class worked hard  by becoming IT buddies for the children from Prep F or the children from Prep/1 G. They helped the students in these classes to do some drawings using ArtRage. This computer program is one of Mrs S’s favourites.

Before using ArtRage both classes listened while Mrs S read a story. Prep F listened to a story called Russell the Sheep by Rob Scotton and Prep/1 G listened to Diary of a Wombat by Jackie French. Then each class drew their favourite part of the story with some great technical help from the Grade 6 helpers. Everyone practised using layers to separate out parts of their drawings.

Adding layers in ArtRage can be very useful.

Adding layers in ArtRage can be very useful.

While our Grade 5’s were enjoying themselves at the pool the Grade 6’s were hard at work back at school. They were all challenged to create a presentation of the drawings created by the younger classes. Mrs S did not tell them which computer program to use and many of the class used two or even three different programs while creating their presentations. They found out that it can be a very repetitive task as they added pictures, resized them, worked on transitions and timings, and tried out different layout ideas.

Below are some of the finished presentations. Not everyone finished in the timeframe we had. An afternoon was just not long enough!

 created by Rohan

created by Hugo

created by James E

Have you created a presentation? What programs did you use? Do you have any tips for creating a good presentation? Please leave a comment sharing your thoughts.

Getting to Grips With Figurative Language

Mrs S spends some time reading to us each Monday. The story we are listening to at the moment is The Phantom Tollbooth. It was written in 1961 by Norton Juster. We have been following the adventures of Milo as he set off on his travels in The Lands Beyond.

The auhor uses figurative language devices throughout the story. We watched a podcast that introduced us to the idea that figurative language helps an author to add interest to their story or song. An author does not use the literal or everyday meaning of the words when using similes, metaphors or idioms in their story.

Today we explored only one form of figurative language. We chose to look closely at idioms.

Doing a google define search gives us this definition.

Doing a google define search gives us this definition.

We used some links from our class intranet to find and explore some idioms. When we were reading these it was quite funny to picture the literal meaning in our heads while we puzzled out the figurative meaning. One of our class suggested that we needed to infer the everyday meaning when reading or hearing an idiom. For example when we hear the sentence “She spilled the beans” it does not really mean that a tin of beans has been upended. In everyday conversation we know that this mean that “She talked too much and shared the secret”.

We then chose one of our collected idioms to illustrate with the literal meaning. We then used the idiom in a sentence to show its figurative meaning. We could choose to make an ArtRage drawing, draw on a piece of paper, or create an animation to create our final ideas about idioms. We shared our work on a Padlet wall.

We also had some fun visiting another class blog, Miss Jordan’s class @ Barwon Heads Primary, where they had also been exploring idioms. They had some great drawings which challenged us to work out the idiom from the inferred and literal meanings of some idioms. There were a couple that stumped us! Whoops –  there I go using some figurative language. What does “stumped us” really mean?

Can you share some idioms with us? You could double click on the Padlet and add some more idioms to our wall. Please leave a comment sharing your thoughts.

Creating with a Programming Language called Alice

Some of our class have had an opportunity to create some animations using a programming language called Alice. It is a 3D programming environment that can be used to created animations and stories.

The students are part of an online class and their online teacher uses Fronter as a workspace. There are challenges to complete and students must create their animations, using Alice, and then hand them in. Some of the animations are featured on the start page of the Fronter online environment.

Watch the animation that was created by Elizabeth and featured in Fronter.

And here is one created by Amy.

Each movement of a character needed the correct programming to ensure that the animation worked correctly. The screenshot below is an example of creating using Alice.

A screenshot of Georgie's Alice work.

A screenshot of Georgie’s Alice work.

Have you created a digital story? How did you do it? Leave a comment sharing your thoughts.

Working from 2D to 3D

Very gradually, over many weeks, with Mrs S we have been working on creating a 3D object from a 2D image.

We started out with an ordinary, coloured ink blot. We used some fine tip markers to turn our blots into a character by adding features, arms and legs. Each blot ended up looking quite different.

After we had finished these Mrs S challenged us to turn our 2D characters into 3D characters. We had been exploring 3D objects in Maths. 2D means two dimensional. A 2D shape can be measure two ways and has no thickness. 3D means three dimensional. A 3D shape can be measured  three ways.

We used a pompom as the base for our 3D characters. To create our pompoms we used two circles of card with a hole in the middle of each one. We wrapped yarn around the discs until they were so full that we could not add any more yarn. We cut the yarn around the edge and tied it off. It was hard work but the end result was worth the effort as our pompoms were fluffy, full and ready for us to add the features we needed to create our characters.

As part of our work we needed to identify the different 3D objects that were connected to our character and sketch out the nets that represented these objects. We found out that many of us needed to use lots of different sized cylindrical objects as we worked hard to create our characters. We sketched out the nets in our books and also listed the materials we would need to add all our features to the finished pompoms.

Have you made something from a 2D image which ended up being a 3D object? What nets were involved? Please leave a comment sharing your thoughts.

Exploring Our Weather Data

We have been very lucky to have some of our blogging friends adding data to our spreadsheet over the last few months. Last Monday while our Grade 6 students are away on an excursion the Grade 5 students had time to explore the collected data.

First of all Mrs S gave out a print out of each sheet from our master spreadsheet and challenged us to work out which marked dot on a map matched our data. We had to read the data carefully to find some clues to the locations and use our prior knowledge about the Northern and Southern Hemispheres to help us. The dates confused some of us because the month was written before the day.

We then created some visual information based on the data from our spreadsheet and began adding this to a collaborative Google Doc. Even though we worked hard on Monday we have not finished adding our graphs and charts. We experimented with using MS Excel to create some of our graphs and learnt some new skills. Others chose to create a calendar with icons or  a chart. Take a look at our work so far.

It was interesting to see the similarities and difference in our weather around the world.

What does our data tell us? Please leave a comment sharing an observation you can make from the data we have presented.

Christmas Crafting

Even before the start of the school year in January Mrs S was planning one of our Christmas crafting sessions. She found this great idea on a blog that she visited and collected all the pieces we needed to create our very own Christmas Angels. Mrs S experimented with different types of hair and decided that we were clever enough to make our angel’s hair out of wool. She found another tutorial online and we all managed to create some very fancy hairstyles for each angel. Some of us found making the hair very frustrating but we all persevered and got there in the end!

Here are some of our angels on display in our school corridor before they headed home to decorate a tree or table or mantlepiece.

Why do we make angels at Christmas? Do you have a favourite Christmas ornament? Why is it your favourite? Please leave a comment sharing your thoughts.