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.

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.

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.

Creating Art Together

Last term with Mrs S we all worked together to create a combined piece of art. We looked at some inspiration via Pinterest where some classes had been given one quarter of a set of four tiles with part of a circle drawn on it. The class had decorated each piece and then placed them back together. The vibrant colours looked great.

Mrs S added to that idea by asking us to think about words that were important to us as a class. We brainstormed lots of words and then chose eight of these to use:

  • loyalty
  • courage
  • stamina
  • happiness
  • friends
  • focus
  • respect
  • humble

Groups of 4 chose a word and they wrote this in the circular section of each of their tiles and then added decorative patterns in the other two sections. We tried hard to use mostly cool colours in the centre and warm colours around the outside. We used watercolours and water pens to add the colour.

Here is the end result.

And a gallery of the individual tiles.

Have you ever collaborated on a project before? What was it? What are some of the things that you might need to remember when lots of people are working on one project? Please leave us a comment telling us 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.