Inspire Us Mondays – Some last words

We have come to the end of Monday Speakers and there are just a few words and a video to share that we have not yet put into a post. All of our speakers have done a great job searching for something to make us think. Sometimes it was very difficult to find a video that would add value to  the work our class was exploring. The last video we saw was fantastic. Our speaker chose to follow up the work we had done with our animations and found a great example of an animated wooden artist’s doll. Take a look.

We had a few words that also related well to our research work on migration to Australia after Federation, Remembrance Day and Mathematics.

Have you enjoyed our Monday Speaker posts? Was there one video that caught your attention and made you think? Please leave a comment sharing your thoughts.

Inspire Us Monday – 23rd Sept 2013

Three more Monday Speakers this week. First we heard about the third book in a series called The Keepers by Lian Tanner. Our speaker was well prepared and delivered her talk without needing any notes at all. She read a small excerpt from near the start of the book that left us on a great cliffhanger that may have inspired some of us to read the book and find out more. The book, titled “Book Three – Path of Beasts” is the final part of the trilogy. Goldie, Toadspit and Bonnie are three of the main characters. The story is set in The City of Jewel and is a fast paced story with lots of action and interesting events within it.

Next we were introduced to our word of the moment. Our second speaker chose the word emigrate which is a synonym of migrate. People emigrate from their country to settle permanently in a new country. This word fits with our current class studies about the migration patterns in Australia after 1901. Emigrate is a verb with three syllables and the word originates from the Latin language.

Last of all we were presented with an interesting video.

Some of our class questioned whether this was real so Mrs S did some internet research before writing this post. She found some interesting information. There is a section on the website Snopes that gives the origins of this video and explains some of the misinformation that has been written on the web about the clip

It was originally created by a computer animation team call Animusic and is part of a set of animated music clips that are amazing to see. Real or not it is an inspiring video and it did inspire a group of computer technicians to create a computer controlled robotic orchestra. Even though this example is an animated creation it may inspire us to think about creating music using unusual items like plumbing pipes. Follow this link to see how the scientists at Questacon used pipes and a shoe to create different sounds. Other musical instruments have been created from bottle tops. Last of all you might like to find out about the Landfill Harmonic movie.

How might this animated music video inspire you? Have you read Lian Tanner’s books? Has anybody in your family history emigrated? Please leave a comment letting us know your thoughts about our book, movie or word.

Inspire Us Monday – 9th Sept 2013

Only two speakers to share this time. One of our speakers was unwell and was not able to present their book talk.

Our video this week was chosen to help us think about our latest classroom history questions. We are researching our migration history focusing on those who came to Australia after Federation occurred in 1901. Our speaker chose to share a video from the ABC Splash site which was originally shown on BTN. (Follow the link to see this video as we are unable to embed it in our post.) It shared the story of a recent migrant family from Liberia. He hoped that it would inspire us to reflect on how difficult it might be to arrive in a new country where everything is strange and unfamiliar.

Our word this week was also chosen to link with our history questions. When lots of people move out of an area all at once it could be called an exodus.

What did the video make you think about? What help would you need to get settled into a new home or a new country? Can you tell us about an exodus that has happened in history? Please leave a comment telling us your thoughts.

Inspire Us Monday – 2nd Sept 2013

It has been a long time since our last Inspire Us Monday. Unfortunately Mrs S was need for more time with her 4/5 class for a while and was unable to work with 5/6 CS. She is now back and we had our first Monday Speakers sharing today.

First of all we heard about one book in the series called Conspiracy 365 written by Gabrielle Lord. Our speaker was one of the first to have a go at not reading from notes at all and was very pleased with his efforts. He shared his thoughts about the book, told us very quickly a little bit about some of the characters and read an extract from the story. The book shared today was the second one in the series called February and our speaker suggest that readers who like action packed stories would enjoy this. The plot is fast paced with lots of thrills for the reader who must find out if the main character, Cal, will survive.

Next we were presented with a section of a video to watch. Our speaker chose this video because it has inspired him to think about magic and illusions. The video shows illusionist Stephen Frayne aka Dynamo walking on the River Thames. It definitely inspired some discussion in our class about how the illusion could have happened.

Last of all was our word of the moment. It is a noun that names a ballet pose. It can also be used as an adjective. It begins and ends with a vowel and contains the letter pattern ‘qu’ as in earthquake and disquiet.


Please leave a comment on this post to tell us about your thought on our book, video or word. Do you know any interesting facts about Gabrielle Lord? What is your favourite illusion? How do you think Dynamo worked his magic?

Inspire Us Monday – 1st July 2013

An extremely windy day at school today that made it very difficult for our class to focus. Both our speakers and audience had to try very hard to ignore the noise from the gusts of wind outside our room.

Our first speaker for today shared an easy read book called Sam Snoop and the Mystery of the Noisy Car by John Parker and Matt Katz. It is part of a series of books, called Sprints,  written for young readers who are beginning to explore chapter books. It was interesting to learn that the main character, Sam, is a girl who solves mysteries. Some of the class connected this to other “who dunnit” books when writing their reflections. Sam’s sidekick is a dog called Sniff and throughout the book hints concerning the resolution of this narrative can be found in the thought bubbles attached to this character. Our main character, Sam Snoop, uses a great invention called an Amazing Earbox to help her solve the mystery of why Freddie Fast’s racing car is making a strange noise. Read the book to find out what happens at the end.

Next came our video for the week. A story that had recently been shared on the news and is now a book called A Long Way Home. A story of perseverance in the search for a family. Using memories of when he was 5 years old Saroo used modern technology to narrow down the search for his family after a series of unfortunate events separated him from all the family he knew.

Last was our word. A very quickly produced poster for our wall and a great connection to our current work about our solar system. A word with no vowels and many y’s. The word chosen was syzygy which is used to describe the alignment of three celestial objects such as the earth, moon and sun.

 Please leave a comment on this post to tell us about an easy read book you have enjoyed. Have you heard about Saroo and his amazing search? How would you feel if you became separated from your family? Leave a comment to tell us your thoughts.

Inspire Us Monday – 24th June 2013

It was great to see that two of our speakers were definitely well organised this week.

We heard about a book called The Devil Walks written by Anne Fine. Our speaker tried very hard to talk to his audience and only had a short outline written down on his piece of paper. We heard a quick plot summary and where introduced to some of the characters in this Gothic story. The story’s setting is late Victorian times with a main character who has a very unusual childhood. Daniel spends the first part of his life living as an invalid separated from the rest of society by his mother. The twists in the plot lead readers to discover what happens when he is taken from his mother. An important prop in the story is a miniature house. This house is an exact copy of the house his mother, Liliana, grew up in. Another very important character is Daniel’s uncle. You will need to read the story find out whether it was a good or bad thing for Daniel to meet his uncle.

Next was our word for this week. Our speaker selected the word aggregate. Interestingly aggregate can be used as a noun, adjective or verb. A very versatile word. It was chosen because our class is presently working on some research about the Solar System and our speaker decided that part of the process of researching a topic is to combine parts into a whole. What do you think about this connection? Follow the link to the definition of aggregate to see if you agree.

Our inspire us video was chosen very quickly on Monday morning. It is another great example of someone who sets a goal and sticks with the task of reaching that goal. Along the way their health improves, they support a relative with Cystic Fibrosis and run the Boston Marathon in 2009. Since then Roger Wright has continued to raise funds for Cystic Fibrosis and you may like to watch another video where Roger talks about how he achieved his goal.

What goals do you set yourself? How do you keep yourself motivated to achieve your goals? How do you help others achieve their goals? Please leave a comment.

Inspire Us Monday – 17th June 2013

Three speakers who were prepared and ready to go for some more sharing this week.

First we heard about the book by Yann Martel called Life of Pi. Our reviewer gave a quick summary of the story and recommended it for good readers aged 12 and over. The story’s main characters are Piscine Molitor “Pi” Patel, a Tamil boy, and a Bengal tiger called Richard Parker. Pi is a Catholic, Muslim and Hindu who finds himself adrift on the ocean with Richard Parker after the ship that he is travelling on sinks. Pi struggles to overcome hunger, wild animals and loneliness while he is drifting in the lifeboat with the tiger. To find out what happens you will need to read the book or you may have seen the movie that is based on this Man Booker Prize for Fiction book.

Our word for this week was supernova. It was chosen to compliment our current research about Space and The Solar System. It is a noun and is the label for a stellar explosion that can occur when a giant star suddenly collapses at the end of its life. The last supernova to be observed in the Milky Way was seen in 1604 by Johannes Kepler.

Last of all we watched another video. This week we saw a different video about  Nick Vujicic. This video is a trailer for a DVD called No Arms No Legs No Worries. A video all about having a positive attitude no matter what difficulties you may be facing.

Have you read Life of Pi? Have you watched the movie? Are there differences between the movie and the book? Can you suggest some other words that would fit with our Space studies? Add a comment letting us know what you think.

Inspire Us Monday – 3rd June 2013

Mrs S made a mistake with the timetable for our book talks, video and word sharing so that we needed to fit in six speakers this week. We had three speakers before recess and three speakers after our daily fitness session.

Our first book talk for the day was about a girl called Addie Harris who has all sorts of accidents, is bullied at school, is overweight and unhappy. The book called Addie Accident, by Shirley Corlett,  is a fast paced novel filled with humour. Addie and her imaginary friend, Hubert, are determined to break the accident spell that Addie believes is responsible for her bad luck. This book show how Addie changes as the novel draws to close and she learns from her mishaps. Our speaker chose to read us a small excerpt from the middle of the story as a way of enticing us to read this book. There are 29 chapters to read and is recommended for 9-11 year olds.

Next up was our word of the moment. This week it was the word astronomical and was chosen because we are very interested in the solar system at the moment. It is an adjective with two meanings listed in the dictionary. As well as relating to astronomy it can be used to describe something that is extremely large. We could describe the solar system as astronomical.

Then it was time for a new video to make us think. This video shows how a disabled veteran of the Gulf War used lots of determination and the support of others to regain his mobility.

After recess and our daily fitness routine it was time for our next three speakers and this time we heard all about a book in the Aussie Angels series written by Margaret Clark. This book, called Hello Possum, the fourth in this series all about animals. Our speaker chose this story because she liked the way the author made it seem like the family were talking to you as the reader.  The main characters are Meg, Mike, Mark and Boris. The story is set in Australia and shares the exploits of a family who are involved with the running of a wildlife shelter called Animal Haven. This story tells us about the efforts to save a ringtail possum. We heard an extract from the story and were left with a question – “Will the possum survive and get released into the wild?” We were invited to read the book to find out.

Our next word – thigmotaxis – was chosen because the definition our speaker found included plants. She felt that it was a very unusual word that our class would normally never hear about. It is noun and the word is a scientific word used to describe a behaviour studied by scientist.

Last was the next video. This video is a segment from a show called Getaway. It shares some information about one of Australia’s Paralympic champions, Kurt Fearnley, who crawled the Kokoda trail in 2009. He wanted to promote and raise awareness for the Beyondblue and Movember organisations.

Please leave a comment letting us know whether you have read and enjoyed either of the books shared. What did you think of our video choices? 

Inspire Us Monday – 27th May 2013

Only a movie and a book talk this week as one of our timetabled speakers was away. This week we heard all about the great book called The Thirteen Story Treehouse by Andy Griffiths. Our speaker was well organised and he gave a great explanation for why he chose this book. It is funny with great illustrations and hard to put down once you start reading it. We were given a quick introduction to the tree and its various attractions whilst being given a teaser as to what happens when you throw a yellow cat off a balcony. We will need to read the book to find out whether the cat survives. We also found out that the illustrator is Terry Denton. Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton have collaborated on more than 15 books including the Just series.

Our second speaker for the day showed us his chosen video. Our speaker was inspired by seeing how a rising star in the restaurant industry left his job to feed the homeless. His non-profit organisation called Akshaya Trust helps to give dignity and food to the homeless in India.

Please leave a comment on our post to tell us your thoughts about this video. Maybe you have read our featured book and would like to share your favourite part?

Inspire Us Monday – 20th May 2013

An exciting start to our Monday this week as we had a parcel to open. Our set of Artist Trading Cards from 5/6 UPPS had arrived. After conducting a swift bit of sticky tape surgery we had the parcel open. Inside were lots of little parcels full of trading cards made especially for us by our trading partners in 5/6 JC.

We had great fun with a lucky dip, choosing, before sitting down to take in the great artwork sent to us. Each set of cards had a theme and many could be put together to create great scenes. There were collages, pencil drawings, bright texta masterpieces, trucks, meandering paths, brick walls and many more. We have had great fun trading and our class is keen to do some more. Thanks very much to Miss Crowther and 5/6 JC for the fantastic artwork. Follow the link to see their art on show in one of their blog posts.

After such an exciting start to the day our Monday speakers waited until after recess to share their work. First of all we heard all about the book by Enid Blyton called The Folk of the Faraway Tree. It was first published in 1946 and has been reprinted many times. Our speaker used great eye contact to keep us interested as she described the characters and she just referred to her dot point notes a few times during her talk. She didn’t let slip all the plot details and left us wondering about the threat to the tree. Many of us had also read the story and it was great to hear that the reason for choosing this book was that others in her family had also enjoyed reading the stories about this amazing tree.

Next in line to share was our Word of the Moment finder for the week. This week’s word relates to the questions were are asking about Space in our class. It is a noun and our speaker shared the plural form of the word – nebulae. A nebula is nursery of the Universe – a place where scientist believe that new stars form.

Last of all was the sharing of a video. Something to inspire us. This time our speaker chose a very different type of video and some of the class did not believe that it fitted into the category of inspiring us. Our speaker did introduce the video first and gave her reasons. She firmly believed that this could inspire us by making us think about the ideas explained. Watch the clip and please leave us comment to tell us what you think. Is this inspiring? What inspiration can we take away from it?

I was inspired and intrigued by the behaviour of water on the International Space Station. I admired the great way in which Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield explained the different way that water behaves in the Space Station and how his film clips have made more people aware of the International Space Station that circles above us.

Please leave a comment on this post letting us know your thoughts. What makes a film clip inspirational? What inspires you? Have you read any Enid Blyton books? Have you an interesting fact about our universe to share?