Term Two Begins!

Today is the first day of Term Two. The students and teachers are happy to begin this busy 11 week term!

We have lots to look forward to this term including:

  • The return of our student teachers, Miss Smith and Miss McKeegan in mid-May
  • The conclusion of our Our World, Our Numbers project in a couple of weeks
  • Bike Ed starting mid-June
  • Pen licences for students with consistently neat joined writing
  • Lots of great learning with our netbooks

We hope everyone had a terrific holiday!

Mrs Morris enjoyed:

  • Hosting a special lunch for Easter and her husband’s birthday
  • Spending a relaxing week at Mt Martha on the Mornington Peninsula
  • Seeing Jimeoin perform at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival
  • Buying a new car
  • Preparing for the arrival of her new baby and organising the nursery!

Miss Jordan’s holiday highlights included:

  • Spending time with her family, and their puppy Mocha, in Pomonal
  • Enjoying a yummy Easter dinner (and some Easter Eggs of course!)
  • Meeting up with friends for some delicious breakfasts and lunches
  • Doing some shopping, cooking, exercising and reading outside in the sunshine.

What are you looking forward to this term?

What were your holiday highlights?

End of Term One: Happy Holidays!

Our first term for 2013 comes to an end today.

The students in 4KM and 4KJ have had a fantastic nine weeks and have already learnt a lot.

Some of the term highlights include:

We have some fabulous things planned for Term Two including Bike Ed, the return of our student teachers and the conclusion of the Our World, Our Numbers global project.

Of course there will also be more amazing things to learn in literacy, maths and inquiry.

We wish all of our blogging community a very happy holidays.


4KM and 4KJ will be back on Monday 15th April.

What was your Term One highlight?

What are you looking forward to in Term Two?

What are your plans for the Easter holidays?

Descriptive Writing

Good writers can create a picture in their readers’ minds.

They can do this by:

  • using interesting vocabulary
  • elaborating on details
  • showing, rather than telling, some of the details
  • describing all five senses (what can be seen, heard, tasted, felt and smelt)
  • using lots of adjectives (describing words)
  • using metaphors or similies to compare two things
  • using synonyms (words with similar meanings) to make interesting word choices.

Found Blur Motion

The students in 4KM and 4KJ were given the following short, uninteresting recount.

Miss Jordan and Mrs Morris went to the beach. They put down their things and went for a swim. They sat on the sand. Then they went home. 

The children were asked to edit the writing to make it more interesting. They only had a short amount of time to do this but many students did a great job of creating a mind picture for their readers.

Here are some improved recounts by Ella, Harry, Logan M, Paris, Millie and Rochelle.

Could you leave a comment with your own improved description of the beach recount?

Do you have any tips for making writing more descriptive?

4 Pics 1 Word

Thanks to our friends in Mrs Phillips’s class for the inspiration for this lesson and post!

4 Pics 1 Word is a popular app available for iDevices. The game involves solving word puzzles. Each puzzle contains four pictures that have something in common. You have to guess what the common word is.

Here is an example:

I’m sure you can guess that the answer to the puzzle above is SIGN. The pictures show the verb (doing word), sign and the noun (name of thing), sign.

4 Pics 1 Word can help us improve our spelling, logical reasoning and vocabulary.

4 Pics 1 Word often uses homonyms. These are words that are spelt the same, sound the same but have different meanings.

For example, the word bat is a homonym. This can be an animal (noun), a thing used for hitting in sport (noun), or a verb (eg. it was his turn to bat next in the cricket match).

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The students in 4KM and 4KJ created their own 4 Pics 1 Word puzzles for you.

They used Microsoft Word and learnt skills such as:

  • sourcing Creative Commons images and using attributions (or using clip art)
  • setting transparent colour
  • spacing and aligning objects well
  • formatting text, images, text boxes and shapes

Can you guess the answers to these puzzles?

 

Leave a comment with your answer. Don’t forget to say which student’s puzzle you’re solving!

Do you play 4 Pics 1 Word? What do you like about it?

Internet Safety Comics

The students in 4KM and 4KJ have spent a lot of time this term learning about being safe online.

We were involved in a webinar on Safer Internet Day and have completed some great activities about digital footprints, strong passwords and internet safety.

Having a class blog is a terrific way to learn about appropriate online behaviour and “netiquette”. We have blog guidelines which we all follow to make sure we are being safe while blogging.

Today we watched this fun Garfield cartoon about online safety. Just click on the image below to watch it yourself.

There was an important message in the video about remembering the acronym YAPPY.

YAPPY are the personal details that you should not reveal on public spaces online.

YAPPY stands for:

Y – YOUR NAME
A – ADDRESS
P – PASSWORD
P – PHONE NUMBER
Y – YOUR PLANS

The video also reminded us that we should not meet people we connect with over the internet in real life.

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The students got creative with the website Make Beliefs Comix to demonstrate their understanding of internet safety and YAPPY.

Make Beliefs Comix allows you to make a comic with two, three or four panels. You can chose from a range of characters, backgrounds, objects, speech bubbles and thought balloons etc. This site is free and doesn’t require you to sign up.

Here are some of the comics that the students produced.

If you want to see the comics in a larger format, click here. 

What do you think of the students’ comics?

Have you tried Make Beliefs Comix? How did you find it?

What are your tips for being safe online?

Our World, Our Numbers Global Project

In 4KM and 4KJ, we love to connect and learn with our friends around the world.

Today we are launching a new global project called Our World, Our Numbers.

We have a blog http://ourworldournumbers.edublogs.org where we’ll meet up with our blogging buddies to learn together for the next five weeks.

In late 2011, many of us worked on an award winning global project called Our World, Our Stories. This latest project is based on a similar format with a mathematical focus.

Classes involved

The students are all from primary (elementary) classes and are from three different continents and five countries.

Mr Avery’s sixth grade class from Massachusetts, USA

Mrs Monaghan’s 3/4 class, Room with a View, from England

Mrs Morris and Miss Jordan’s grade four class, 4KM and 4KJ, from Victoria, Australia

Mrs McKenzie’s 2/3 class, B4, from New Zealand

Mrs Yollis’ 2/3 class from California, USA

Mr Salsich’s third grade class from Connecticut, USA

Mrs Watson’s K/1/2/3 class from Canada


View Our World, Our Numbers in a larger map

How will it work?

Students from all classes will connect and collaborate by sharing their mathematical lives. This will happen through the blog and involve a variety of media.

A different class will “lead” a mathematical topic every four days or so, publishing posts and replying to comments.  The other classes will read the posts, possibly publish their own posts, and leave blog comments.

We will share topics such as currency, seasons, time zones, population data etc.

The learning

Through blog posts, the students will teach each other about different aspects of mathematics based on aspects of their own culture.

The learning will continue in the commenting section where students, teachers and parents will engage in conversations to explore mathematical and cultural topics further.

Students will gain an understanding of mathematics through the eyes of children in different countries and cultures. They will make comparisons and contrasts between their lives and other students’ lives.

If you want to keep up to date with how the fun and learning unfolds, there is a “subscribe via email” box on the right hand side of the Our World, Our Numbers blog.

Get Involved

We encourage all members of the 4KM and 4KJ community to get involved!

4KM and 4KJ are leading the first topic by sharing our currency.

Head over to the Our World, Our Numbers blog now to check out our post and leave a comment.

What do you think about our new global project?

Keyboard Shortcuts

4KM and 4KJ have been busy learning a lot about their netbooks so they can use them to their full potential.

Knowing some basic keyboard shortcuts is a great way to save time when using a computer.

Today the students in 4KM and 4KJ were given the following list of commands.

They had to work with others to explore their netbooks and figure out the Windows shortcuts.

  • cut
  • copy
  • paste
  • undo
  • redo
  • mute
  • sound up
  • sound down
  • brightness up
  • brightness down
  • refresh
  • find
  • zoom in
  • zoom out
  • open a new page/window
  • open a new tab

When the students had discovered the shortcuts (and added others they know), they made themselves a bookmark with the the shortcuts they’d like to remember and use the most.

Here are some of the students showing their bookmarks.

Do you know the shortcuts for the commands listed above?

What is your favourite keyboard shortcut?

Tagxedo Word Clouds

The students in 4KM and 4KJ have enjoyed getting to know each other over the past couple of weeks. Yesterday, they used Tagxedo to create a word cloud on their netbooks. Their word clouds demonstrated something about themselves or something they’re interested in.

Word clouds are a fun way to present words. Tagxedo allows the students to be really creative; they can customise the font, colour, layout and shape of their word cloud. The more frequent a word, the larger it appears.

Here are some Tagxedo word clouds from 4KM and 4KJ students. 

Meg

Mitchell C

Ella

Claudia

Ryley H

Jess

 Thanks to Miss Mckeegan and Miss Smith for helping the students learn about Tagxedo.

What did you think of our word clouds?

Have you ever made or seen a word cloud? Tell us about it.

What words would you use to describe yourself or your interests?

What’s Your Sentence?

Mrs Morris and Miss Jordan love exchanging teaching ideas with other educators around the world.

Over the holidays they came across an idea from their Twitter/blogging buddy, Joan Young, which they used in their classroom on the first day of school.

Mrs Morris and Miss Jordan invited all the students to think about the year ahead and come up with their “sentence”. This is a phrase that defines how they want to be remembered this year.

It’s important to think about your goals and take action to become the person you want to be!

We displayed our sentences to share our ambitions with others!

Here are some 4KM and 4KJ students sharing their sentences.

What’s your sentence? Leave a comment and tell us!

Have you ever set yourself a goal? We’d love to hear about it.

A New School Year Begins!

Today is the first day of the 2013 school year at Leopold Primary School in Victoria, Australia.

After nearly six weeks of summer holidays, Mrs Morris and Miss Jordan are excited to welcome the 54 new 4KM and 4KJ students. Some of these students were in 2KM or 2KJ in 2011!

We have a lot to look forward to this year including our new 1:1 netbook program, Bike Ed and of course our camp to Maldon.

Mrs Morris and Miss Jordan are certain all the students will learn a lot in 2013 and enjoy being part of our wonderful classroom community.

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We had a very warm summer in Leopold and we look forward to hearing how all the students spent their holidays.

Mrs Morris and her husband, Nate, enjoyed Christmas with Mrs Morris’s family. They also spent some time at Indented Head where Nate’s parents rented a holiday house. Mrs Morris and Nate enjoyed a holiday to the historic town of Beechworth and our nation’s capital, Canberra.

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Miss Jordan travelled back to her family’s home in Pomonal (near Halls Gap) for her Christmas celebrations. In January she painted her house and she also enjoyed seeing friends, exercising, going shopping, cooking and reading. Miss Jordan loved meeting her family’s chocolate Labrador puppy, Mocha.

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Mrs Morris and Miss Jordan also spent a lot of time in the holidays preparing for Technify Your Teaching in 2013. This was a professional development day held at Leopold Primary School on January 24th. We had 60 teachers attend from all over Victoria to learn about how to use technology in their classrooms.

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Leave a comment and tell us about your holidays.

What are you looking forward to in 2013?