Winter Holidays

Victorian schools are currently having their mid-year two week holiday break.

Australia is in the southern hemisphere, so it is winter here. Our blogging buddies in North America and England live in the northern hemisphere, so they are enjoying their long summer vacation.

The image below shows a world map. (Click on the image to see it more clearly). The red line is the equator. The equator is an imaginary line that is drawn around the earth, dividing the two hemispheres.

Source: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File%3AWorld_map_with_equator.jpgBy User:Cburnett (Image:World-map-2004-cia-factbook-large-2m.jpg) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)], via Wikimedia Commons

All countries above the equator are in the northern hemisphere, while countries below the equator are in the southern hemisphere. Areas that are close to the equator are warmer than other areas.

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We live in Victoria, a southern state of Victoria. The days and nights are pretty chilly here at the moment!

Here are some winter facts:

  • The winter months in Australia are June, July and August.
  • July is generally the coldest month in Melbourne (Victoria’s capital city). The average July temperature in Melbourne is 13.4 degrees.
  • On average, Victoria receives about 49mm of rain during each month of winter.
  • In Victoria, snow generally only falls in the mountains in the east of the state.
  • Victoria’s lowest ever recorded temperature was -11.7 degrees celsius at Omeo in 1965, and then again at Falls Creek in 1970.

Image source: photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/hansel5569/8234897712/”>55Laney69</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>cc</a>

What do you like to do in winter?

What is your favourite season?

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Our World, Our Numbers Concludes

This is a cross post from the Our World, Our Numbers blog.

Since 25th February, the seven classes participating in Our World, Our Numbers have enjoyed:

  • learning about different areas of mathematics from their friends in other countries
  • making comparisons and contrasts between their lives and the lives of their blogging buddies
  • sharing mathematical knowledge and skills
  • using a range of tools to create posts
  • engaging in rich conversations through commenting

It is now time to finish up the Our World, Our Numbers project. To conclude this wonderful learning experience, all of the classes have been working collaboratively on a collection of mathematical poems.

Watch the Sliderocket below to see the classes perform:

  • The Skip Counting Song (B4, New Zealand)
  • Aussie Doubling Ditty (4KM and 4KJ, Australia)
  • What is a Million? (Room with a View, England)
  • Triangle Trouble (Mr Avery’s Class, Massachusetts, USA)
  • Smart (Mrs Yollis’ Class, California, USA)
  • Shapes, Shapes, Shapes (Mrs Watson’s Class, Canada)

Head over to the Our World, Our Numbers blog to leave a comment.

Which was your favourite mathematical poem? Why?

What did you enjoy about the Our World, Our Numbers project?

What did you learn from this global project?

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“Our World, Our Numbers” Global Project Update

Everyone in 4KM and 4KJ is enjoying the collaborative global blogging project, Our World, Our Numbers. You can read more about this exciting project here.

We have already learnt so much from our blogging buddies. The topics covered so far have been currency, landmarks and recipes. Head over to the Our World, Our Numbers blog to be a part of the learning!

We have published the post below about food on the Our World, Our Numbers blog. Leave a blog comment here on our class blog, or join in the commenting action on Our World, Our Numbers!

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Recently, when Miss Jordan was doing her grocery shopping at the local supermarket, she investigated the cost of a variety of typical Australian foods. Supermarket prices often change, as each new week brings about a new catalogue with different sales and savings. The presentation below shows the prices she collected last weekend.

Were you surprised by any of the prices of these grocery items?

Do you eat any of these foods?

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In Maths, we have been learning about rounding. Rounding numbers means to change numbers to make them easier and more convenient to work with. We round numbers when we use money all the time.

As you may remember from our currency post, Australia’s smallest value of money is the five cent coin. We often need to round prices up or down to the nearest 5c when we’re out shopping. The table below shows some examples.

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Which grocery items in our presentation above need to be rounded?

When have you rounded money or other numbers before?

If you had $30 to spend, which typical Australian foods would you buy?

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Skyping with Mrs Yollis and her Class!

We had a lot of fun in 4KM and 4KJ yesterday morning, because we skyped our blogging buddy, Mrs Yollis, and her fabulous 2/3 class!

Mrs Yollis lives in California, USA. There is a big time difference between California and Victoria. You can read about time zones here. When we started the call it was…

9.00am Wednesday in Leopold, Victoria

2.00pm Tuesday in Los Angeles, USA

Mrs Morris, Miss Jordan and their students have been connecting with Mrs Yollis and her classes since 2009. Last year Mrs Morris even visited the USA and got to meet Mrs Yollis in person!

The format of today’s Skype call was called “One Minute Hot Seat”. Five 4KM/4KJ students and five students from Mrs Yollis’ class prepared questions to interview a student from the other side of the world. The stopwatch was ticking as each pair had one minute to chat.

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Here are some of the questions and answers from our Skype call.

Check out some photos of the Skype call.

Did you learn anything new during this Skype chat?

Who do you like to skype?

If you were preparing interview questions for the Skype call, what would those questions be?

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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?

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A – Z of Technology Tips

The 4KM and 4KJ students have improved their technology skills so much this year! They have learnt a lot about troubleshooting while researching, creating and collaborating online. Importantly, they have also improved their understanding of internet safety and etiquette.

We have loved blogging with Mrs Yollis’ class in Los Angeles, USA, this year. In fact, 2012 is the fourth year that Mrs Morris and Miss Jordan’s students have worked together with Mrs Yollis’ class.

We decided to come together with Mrs Yollis’ class for a final end of year project to demonstrate our technological understandings and teach others.

We hope you enjoy our A-Z of Technology Tips: A collaborative project by 4KM, 4KJ and Mrs Yollis’ class.

Did you learn something new?

How have your technology skills improved this year?

What other technology tips could you offer?

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Edublog Award Excitement

Today was an exciting day for 4KM and 4KJ  as it was the Awards Ceremony for the worldwide Edublog Awards.

We were honoured to be shortlisted out of hundreds of nominations in many different categories.

Many students stayed in at recess and watched the ceremony on the interactive whiteboard at 11am. There were some fabulous results for 4KM, 4KJ and their friends. The top five in each category were recognised.

Best Class Blog

We came THIRD out of the shortlisted 34 blogs!  Mrs Yollis’ Classroom Blog came FIRST. Congratulations to our blogging buddies.

This is the second year we have placed in the top five. What an honour.

Best Teacher Blog

Mrs Morris was thrilled to come FOURTH in this competitive category. This is the first time her teacher blog has ranked in the top five.

Other Great Results

Many of our blogging buddies also experienced excellent results to recognise the fabulous work that they do with educational blogging.

Mrs Yollis and her class came SECOND in the Most Influential Blog Post category and her former student, Jaden, WON two categories.

Mr Avery and his class came THIRD in the Best Use of Media/Video category.

Mrs Hembree and her students came THIRD  in the Best Librarian/Library category.

Ross Mannell, one of our favourite commenters, came THIRD in the Best Individual Tweeter category.

See all the results here!

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All of our blogging friends, teachers, students and classes are winners in our eyes.

This year, 4KM and 4KJ have discovered how blogging can help us improve and grow in so many ways. While awards are nice, we all know that personal improvement is what counts. This is something we have definitely won!

Thank you to everyone who voted for us!

What has been your blogging highlight this year?

Who did you vote for in the Edublog Awards?

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2012 Edublog Award Nominations

It is time for the annual Edublog Awards!

The Edublog Awards have been running since 2004 and showcase some of the most popular blogs in education.

The purpose of the Edublog Awards is to promote and demonstrate the educational values of blogging. This is something we really believe in.

It was very hard for us to narrow down our choices for nominations as we have blogging friends in all corners of the globe.

Here are our nominations

Best Class Blog

Mrs Yollis’ Classroom Blog

We have many blogging friends but Mrs Yollis’ class is the first class that Mrs Morris and Miss Jordan’s class connected with nearly four years ago. We have developed a very strong friendship and Mrs Yollis’ class are always teaching us something new. Mrs Morris even had the chance to visit Mrs Yollis and some of her students and parents earlier this year. 

Most Influential Blog Post

Family Blogging Month by Mrs Yollis’ Class

Mrs Yollis came up with the idea of Family Blogging Month a number of years ago. She runs it twice a year as a way for families to become more involved in their child’s education. Mrs Morris and Miss Jordan have borrowed her idea many times. We would like to nominate Mrs Yollis’ class for most influential blog post because there are now hundreds, if not thousands, of class blogs around the world implementing their idea of Family Blogging Month.

Best Individual Tweeter

Ross Mannell

Mr Mannell comments on so many of our posts and student blogs. He asks us questions and gets us thinking. Mr Mannell also writes us extended comments on his own blog. Mrs Morris and Miss Jordan met Mr Mannell on Twitter. He is a retired primary school teacher who loves to use Twitter to find and support students and classes around the world.

Best Use of Audio/Video/Visual/Podcast

Mr Avery’s Classroom Blog

Our friend Mr Avery is amazing at making videos with his students. He uses green screen technology and other cool features to demonstrate learning. Mr Avery’s class is especially talented at making maths videos. What an fantastic way to learn!

Best Library Blog

The Bulldog Readers

Mrs Hembree and her students in Seattle create this fabulous blog that links kids to books and web 2.0 tools. Mrs Hembree shares our love of reading and we enjoy seeing what is happening on her blog. Mrs Hembree also comments on the 4KM and 4KJ blog and is always there to give us a reading recommendation.

Lifetime Achievement

Sue Waters

Sue Waters works for Edublogs (which is the blogging platform we use). She goes beyond her job description by helping people with blogging at all hours of the day and night. When Mrs Morris or Miss Jordan have a blogging question, Sue is always there to give them advice and suggestions. She is a real blogging guru who has a passion for helping others. 

Best New Blog

Grade 3/4 Learning Legends at Lonnie

Mrs Murphy and her grade 3/4 students at Pt Lonsdale have just started their blog this year. They are from a school in our area and they like making posts on a variety of topics using a range of web 2.0 tools. They feature a lot of student work/posts and have also been involved in some exciting global projects. 

Now it’s your turn

If you have a blog or website and you want to submit your nominations, just visit http://edublogawards.com to find out how. You have until November 26th to nominate. Voting will be begin soon and then there will be an awards ceremony in December.

What do you think of our nominations?

Who would you nominate?

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Monster Global Project

In 4KM and 4KJ we love working on projects with our blogging buddies. We also enjoy learning about traditions in other countries.

It was recently Halloween and we have just completed a fun monster-themed project with our friends in Mr Avery’s class. Mr Avery’s sixth grade students live in Massachussets, USA.

This is how the project worked:

    1. Students in 4KM and 4KJ were matched up with a partner in Mr Avery’s class.
    2. All students drew a picture of a monster.
    3. Next, the students wrote a detailed description of their own monster.
    4. The two classes switched their writing (but didn’t swap their pictures).
    5. The students had to draw their partner’s monster using the detail in the written description.
    6. We compared the original drawing to the drawing our partner made of the monster!

The results:

The results of the project were so interesting! Here is the writing that 4KM and 4KJ students prepared along with their picture and the picture that their partner in Mr Avery’s class prepared.

We learnt:

  • Writing needs to be very clear and detailed for someone to generate the same mental image that you started with.
  • Writing is an excellent way to help people create a mental image when it is done well.
  • When you leave details out of your writing, people can’t read your mind to imagine what you were thinking.
  • Good readers create mental images when they’re reading.
  • Working together with other classes is fun!

Be sure to check out Mr Avery’s blog post to see the results of his students drawing our monster pictures!

Last year Mr Avery completed the monster project with Mr Salsich’s class. Click here to read about it.

What else did you learn from the project?

After reading our descriptions, did our monsters look the way you imagined?

Have you got any tips for writing good descriptions?

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