Friday, February 27, 2009

Friday Fun - 27/2/09

Fun This Week
This week we had minimal interruptions to normal teaching time. It was nice to have things running to schedule, but was by no means boring!

Alligator in the Classroom!
We have been encouraging students to take charge of their learning, exercise their brains and share their knowledge. One student was a great example of that this week. On the weekend she purchased a cracking egg toy with an 'alligator' inside. When put into water the alligator starts to grow and begins cracking out of its shell. She brought it into school to share the experience with us. Everyone is very excited to check it out in the morning to see how much it has grown.

We looked at different strategies for working out the five times tables. We talked about how it's easy to count by fives to work out the lower tables eg. 3 x 5. For the bigger numbers we tried multiplying by 10 and then halving the answer. For example: 8 x 5 becomes 8 x 10 (80) halved (40). I found that this is a good strategy in theory, but students need to be confident with doubling and halving larger numbers first.
We also worked with data collection and graphing this week. We explored different types of surveys and the types of information they are able to gather. We looked at how Venn diagrams can be used to collect and sort information. This first diagram shows student preferences when asked "Do you like going on the internet and/or playing computer games?"

This second diagram shows student preferences when asked "Do you like chocolate, strawberry, and/or plain milk?" Readers' Theatre
While some of our students were doing Fife and Drum lessons, the others did Readers' Theatre. Students read and performed "Spider Woman and the Gift of the Loom" from a resource book full of Readers' Theatre plays. We will be doing one each week in the hopes of improving student reading fluency and expression. I would like to see students performing radio plays at some stage, and would also like for students to write some scripts of their own.

We focused on 'respect' this week in our FRIENDS values program. We looked at examples of respect/disrespect in both a comic and a picture book ("Zen Ties" by John M. Muth). Students thought about why respect is important and wrote about how they show respect to others. We also performed roleplays where students responded to scenarios assertively, but not agressively.
We have been busy registering our students for SuperClubsPlus and some have been able to get on already and have a play. It's amazing to see how much they've been able to do at home without teacher instruction. They seem to be loving it so far and one student commented that it brings students together who wouldn't ordinarily talk at school.
On Friday we had a session with SCP in the computer lab. One of the year 5 students who really knows her way around SuperClubs came to talk to the group about what she's learned with it. She really inspired them and was a great support to them as they got started.

House Meetings
Our Swimming Carnival is only a couple of weeks away so students met in their house teams to elect house captains. The air was buzzing with excitement. It's always great to see how things like this bring students together and build school spirit.

Rowan of Rin
I will write a separate post about "Rowan of Rin" over the weekend.

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