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.

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.

parcel

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.

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.

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?

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.

curve e rette
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.

Creating Art and Exploring Mathematics

We have been exploring angles with Mrs S. Late last term we worked on calculating the measurement of angles that were created when we added crossed lines to a page. We ruled some lines on a piece of a paper. There were three lines going across the paper and four lines going down.

Angles On Page

We now had lots of angles on our page. We were asked to choose five of these to mark and measure using a protractor.

Angles On Page 1

We then used this measurement to work out the supplementary angle for each of these. We were able to use our knowledge of straight angles to help us. A straight angle is 180 degrees.

After all this hard work – measuring and calculating – we then used our page to create some art. We looked at the work of an artist called Piet Mondrian. In particular we looked at his later abstract works. These had a limited colour palette and used black straight lines that divided the canvas into bold shapes. We used these ideas to finish off our Angles Art. Each of us chose a colour palette that could only contain 3 colours and then we planned which of our spaces would stay white. We made sure that our lines were bold and black. Take a look at the end results.

Which colour palette would you choose if you were limited to three colours? Please leave a comment to share your ideas.

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.