Saturday, May 2, 2009

Friday Fun - 1/5/09

It was great to be back at work this week with a fresh start to the term. As always at the start of the term, we had a couple of pretests to determine what students know and the direction we should take with their learning. The Maths test covered the topics we will be studying this term, so we can group students by ability to cater lessons to their needs. The Australian History test shows us what students already know about Australia's history prior to 1900 including Indigenous lifestyle, significant historical figures, and major events and phases. We were quite glad to see that they don't know much at all yet, because that means that we can continue with our program as planned! Now that the tests are out of the way, let's look at what we did for fun.

Fun This Week

Readers' Theatre
On Tuesday we watched the video of the Readers' Theatre Performance at the end of last term. Students used a self-evaluation sheet to record their thoughts about their own performance. They also jotted down notes about the performances of others and shared these with their peers. On Thursday we read a poem/folk song called The Wild Colonial Boy and students worked in groups to decide a way to perform the poem to the class. Here is a You Tube video performance of the song from raymondcrooke.

Bus Timetables
This week students learnt about calendars and timetables. I talked to my class about catching buses and suggested that while they don't use buses much at the moment, they will probably want to use them more when they go to high school so that they can meet up with their friends. I told them about the first time I tried to catch a bus and how I failed miserably! We looked at a few bus timetables that you can pick up at the bus interchange, and then I showed students the phone number they can call for information and also the website.
We went onto the website and looked at the local bus routes that would get us to the closest shopping centres. I handed out copies of the map and timetables and students could use these to create their own imaginary journeys. One boy worked out how to get to McDonalds for dinner and home again. Another went from home to a cafe for breakfast and then still arrived at school in time.
We finished up with a sharing circle where everyone shared their journey and then we did a quick review of the steps for reading the timetable. This was a lot of fun and I'd be keen to revisit it again later in the year.

Story Parts
Miss Eschauzier taught my Literacy group this week. She showed students how to create descriptive phrases for settings in pictures and then they worked on individual descriptions of a setting of their choice. They then did a Kagan strategy: "Stand up, Hand up, Pair up" to share their work with numerous partners.
On Thursday students thought about characterisation in a couple of texts and then created their own characters using a Character Profile sheet. They will be doing more work with these characters next week.

Science for Smarties
Miss Eschauzier also taught a science lesson on Friday afternoon. Students explored what happens to the colours when smarties dissolve in a bowl of water. They used this experiment from the Surfing Scientist. It was amazing to see the way that the colours remained separated when more than one smarty was involved. Why not try it for yourself?

Next week I will be out of the school at the Microsoft Innovative Schools Conference on the Sunshine Coast, so there may not be a post next Friday.

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