Working on our Multiplication Facts

As part of our Maths this term we will be focusing on our understanding and recall of the multiplication facts. Quick recall of basic multiplication facts can help us to solve more complicated mathematical equations easily.

Mrs S has created a padlet with some links to help us become faster with our recall of multiplication facts.

There are some strategies that can help us when we are working on our multiplication facts. One of these could be called the Twin Rule. When we are multiplying two numbers it does not matter which way we write them the answer will be the same. 3 x 4 and 4 x 3 will both equal 12. The real name for this strategy is the Commutative Law.

What strategies do you use to understand and remember your multiplication facts? Can you recommend any other good websites for our class to use? Please leave a comment sharing your thoughts.

Order of Operations

Last week we did some work in Maths about BODMAS. The grade six Maths curriculum focuses on exploring the use of brackets and the order of operations to solve equations.

Order of operations

Curriculum statement from the Australian Curriculum for Year 6


When you have an equation like 10 – 3 x 2 which part of this do you solve first? Do you work out 10 – 3 first and then multiply the answer by 3 or do you work out 3 x 2 and subtract the answer from 10? The order of operations helps to make this decision easy.

Order of operations 1

Definition taken from the Australian Curriculum glossary

We created a diagram to help us remember the order in which we need to solve equations that contain more than one operator. First come brackets. Next is orders. Orders are exponents such as powers and roots. Next come division and multiplication. They rank equally so in our diagram we sat them side by side with an arrow to remind us that we go left to right. Last comes addition and subtraction. They also rank equally and left to right is important.


Our Order of Operations diagram

We used our new knowledge about brackets and order of operations to have a go at maths challenge where we were able to use only four 4’s, brackets and the operators + – x ÷ to create equations with as many different answers as we could. We also found a great game to play that helped us practise using our order of operations knowledge.

Have you had a go at the four 4’s challenge? What equations can you make? Please leave a comment sharing your thoughts.

24 Hour Time – Is It Confusing?

Day 311 - Take your Time

Christophe Verdier via Compfight

One of the Mathematics curriculum statements for Year Five is about comparing and understanding the differences between 12 hour and 24 hour time.

Curriculum statement

Mrs S found some research that had been conducted by McCrindle, a research company, where it stated 1 in 10 adults in Australia are confused by 24 hour time and cannot read it properly.

24 hour time, sometimes called military time, shows how many hours and minutes since midnight. 12 hour time splits the day into two sections. The first section runs from midnight to noon (the AM hours) and the second section runs from noon to midnight (the PM hours). The Math is Fun website has a great image comparing 12 hour and 24 hour times.

We may see 24 hour time on train, ferry or bus timetables and airlines use 24 hour time when listing flight departures and arrivals. It is used to avoid confusion about when an event is occurring as the numbers in a 24 hour period are all different when using 24 hour time.

If 12 hour time is used we see the same set of numbers used twice in a 24 hour period and need to see the AM or PM suffix to help us read the time correctly. The timeanddate website has some great information about AM and PM.

Mrs S found an online interactive that we can use to practise telling time and also to practise converting times between the 12 and 24 hour time systems. You might also like to have a go at Stop The Clock (12hr time) or Stop The Clock (24hr time) to brush up on your time telling skills.

Where have you used 24 hour time? When would it be better to use 24 hour time? Please leave a comment sharing your thoughts.

Looking at Floods

In Term 1 this year with Mrs S we are investigating floods. We listened to the story called Flood written by Jackie French and illustrated by Bruce Whatley. We also looked at some before and after images of the 2011 Queensland floods before having some time to write down questions, words and information the word floods brought to mind.

Here are some of the questions we came up with.

flood questions5flood questions4flood questions3flood questions2flood questions1
We also listed words and Mrs S created a wordle to find the common words on our pages.

floods 1 wordle

We are now doing some research to find out more about floods and the impact they have on communities and the natural environment.

Do you have any good web links that you could share with us about floods. What questions do you think of when you hear the word flood? Please leave a comment sharing your thoughts.

Solving Problems in Maths

Last week with Mrs S we used our maths knowledge to solve an open ended problem in Maths. An open ended problem has several or many correct answers.

When we first read an open ended maths problem we need to look for the maths terms that we must understand to be able to work out an answer. We also have to work out the steps we will take to record our answer so that we can demonstrate our knowledge to best of our ability.

In last week’s problem we needed to known about parallelograms and coordinates. After looking through our work Mrs S created some charts about parallelograms to put on our Maths wall. She combined our different suggestions into a definition of a parallelogram.


Our definition of a parallelogram.

Our Maths wall now has some different types of parallelograms on display. Each poster uses words and mathematical notations to help us remember these shapes.




Rectangle – one special form of a parallelogram


Rhombus – one special form of a parallelogram.


Square – one special form of a parallelogram.

 Have you solved any open ended maths problems? How did you show your understanding? Where might you see some parallelograms being used? 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.

Creating a Christmas Decoration

On Monday we had some time to create some decorations that we will take home.  One of the tasks was to create a Christmas angel. It was made using double sided Christmas paper cut into circles. There was some folding, gluing, waiting for glue to dry, some decorating, some face creating and lots of talking as we put our angels together.

Our angels are hanging, en masse, in our classroom until we take them home next week. There are several Christmas carols that feature angels and the Christian Christmas story tells of a host of angels that appear to announce the news of the birth of Jesus to the shepherds.

Do you make new decorations for your tree at Christmas? Have you got a favourite decoration? Please leave a comment sharing your thoughts.

Edublog Awards 2014 – Finalist Best Class Blog Category


Mrs S received a surprising Twitter message in our class Twitter stream.

Eddies tweet message

Our class blog had been nominated for Best Class Blog in the 2014 Edublog awards.Thank you very much to those who nominated us. It was a very great surprise to find our class blog listed amongst the 53 finalists.

Our blog has been a great way to share the learning occurring in our room and has also enable us to make some great connections around the world. We have shared and studied weather data, made contact with an author and also tried to show our visitors some of the work we have created during the year.

There are many great class blogs on the voting list and we feel honoured to be amongst them. Voting is through a website called Listly which makes it very hard for under 13’s to vote. Miss Wyatt has added a voting poll on the Student Challenge website that allow under 13’s to vote. Go and take a look and make your vote count.

The Phantom Tollbooth

Over many Mondays Mrs S read The Phantom Tollbooth to us. We followed Milo’s adventure through trials and tribulations until he was successful in his quest. In a previous blog post we shared our work on idioms after we discovered the many idioms used by Norton Juster in his book.

After finishing the story we drew pictures of the demons Milo and his companions met and then Mrs S shared the movie version of the story with us. This was released in 1970. Mrs S asked us to compare the two storylines as we watched. It was also interesting to see the props and costumes used in the film especially the telephone with its dial and cords. Some of us preferred the book and were disappointed at the number of characters missing in the film version.

The main character in the story is very interesting as he changes so much from the start to the end of this book. We worked on some bio poems and chose to portray Milo at either the beginning or the end of the story. Please read our work and see what you can find out about Milo at the beginning and end of The Phantom Tollbooth.

 Have you read a book where the character changes in lots of ways from the start to the finish of the story? Have you read The Phantom Tollbooth? Can you suggest another story where the author uses lots of figurative language? Please leave a comment sharing your thoughts?

Previewing a yet to be published book by Peter Millett

Twitter message

Our class was very lucky to receive an invitation to preview the beginning chapters of a new book written by Peter Millett. He a New Zealand author who has written many books including one called The Anzac Puppy.

He has written a new book  called Johnny Danger D.I.Y. Spy. The book is in the process of being published by Penguin Books and has been sent to the printers. It will be available to purchase early in 2015.

After Mrs S replied to a Twitter invitation from Peter Millett to take a look at the beginnings of this story she received an email with three attachments. They were a synopsis of the story, the cover of the book and the beginning chapters for us to read.

We read it altogether by displaying it on our IWB and some us took it in turns to read some out loud. We asked Mrs S to read most of it so that we could listen carefully before working on our responses to the story. We share the link to our work with Peter and it was terrific for us to receive responses to our work back from him. Follow this link to see his comments.

Have you read any books by Peter Millett? Do comedy books appeal to you? Please leave a comment sharing your thoughts.