Reflecting On Our Learning

As the end of the 2013 school year approaches, we have been reflecting on all that we have learnt this year.

We have covered so many learning topics this year! Every day we do two hours of literacy and one hour of maths, and we have specific learning intentions for each lesson. We like to relate our learning to real life, and of course everyone enjoys using the netbooks for many of our classroom tasks.

All of the 4KJ students have thoroughly enjoyed our four inquiry topics this year. We started the year focussing on Information Technology, before moving onto Smooth Moves, Plants in Action and concluding with First Contacts. The students’ research skills and knowledge has improved a lot this year!


To reflect on our learning, students created mind maps using Freemind, which is a program on the netbooks. Mind maps are a great way to organise your thinking.

Below are a few mind maps that show just some of what we have learnt this year. Click on the icon in the bottom right hand corner to view the mind maps.


Mitchell C


Connor F



What have you really improved at this year?

How else could you use a mind map in your learning?

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Fitness Fun

This morning, the grade four students were scheduled to participate in an hour of tabloid sports outside, which was organised by the grade six P.E elective group.

Unfortunately, the weather did not cooperate and it started pouring with rain just as we were about to head out! Instead, we made our way to the LINC (our school gym) for some indoor fitness with our P.E teacher, Mr Hair.

Watching the big screen, the first challenge was for students to complete a fitness routine using the website Fitness Blender. The instructor modelled each exercise and the students followed his moves. The workout included sets of four different excercises:

  • Burpees
  • Side lunges
  • Push Ups
  • Jumping lunges.

We started at 10 repetitions for each exercise and decreased it by one each time. We definitely worked up a sweat by the end!


Afterwards, Mr Hair put Just Dance on the screen and students showed off their dancing skills whilst following the actions on the screen. There was lots of singing, dancing and fun!

Here are some photos of the students enjoying their morning of fitness!

It was great to see every single student in 4KJ particpating and having fun, while working on their fitness!


What did you enjoy about our morning fitness session?

What is your favourite kind of exercise?

Why is it important to exercise?

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Celebration of Learning Afternoon

Today the grade four classes hosted parents and family members for our final Celebration of Learning afternoon.

You can read about our two previous afternoons here and here.

The purpose of this afternoon was for students to showcase and present their group projects, which were PowerPoint presentations based on our inquiry topic, First Contacts.

A variety of topics were covered, including life in 18th Century Britain, life for the First Australians, indigenous artwork, the First Fleet journey and convicts.

Students have been working hard for the past week on their presentations. The steps involved in creating the presentation were:

1. Form groups and decide on a specific topic to present.

2. Plan the presentation.

3. Research the topic online and in library books.

4. Put the information you researched into your own words.

5. Design an interesting and visually appealing PowerPoint presentation (including image attributions and a bibliography).


Everyone did a fabulous job presenting their projects to their classmates, parents and family members. Prior to the afternoon, we discussed the important elements of a quality presentation.

All students worked hard at:

1. Speaking clearly and loudly.

2. Making eye contact with the audience.

3. Elaborating on information when necessary.

4. Engaging the audience with a smile!

Here are some photos from our afternoon. Thanks to our photographer, Ava!


After each presentation, students and parents provided quality feedback to the group. Presenting in front of an audience, which is called public speaking, is not an easy task, but it can be very rewarding. Miss Jordan is so proud of all of the students in 4KJ for doing such a wonderful job with their presentations!


What did you enjoy about our special afternoon?

What did you learn about First Contacts from watching the presentations?

How do you feel about public speaking?

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Collaborative Learning In 4KJ

In 4KJ, many of our learning tasks involve collaboration. Collaboration means working together to produce something.

Collaborating on tasks in the classroom has many benefits, including:

  • Students develop their “getting along” skills.
  • Students feel a sense of achievement from working as part of a team.
  • Students can learn from each other.
  • Students can teach each other new skills and strategies.
  • Students can get peer feedback from their classmates.
  • Students can take on different roles in group tasks.

This week students have been working in collaborative groups to make a presentation about our inquiry topic, First Contacts.

Everyone is enjoying discussing this interesting history unit, compiling information, gathering resources and creating interesting presentations in their groups.

Here are the groups hard at work!


What collaborative tasks have you enjoyed this year?

What do you like about working as part of a team?

What skills do you bring to group tasks?

Do you collaborate or work together in tasks outside of school?

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2D and 3D Shapes

We have recently been learning about shape in our maths lessons.

The world around us is made up of space and shape and these are very important concepts for students to understand.

We used Jenny Eather’s Maths Dictionary for Kids a lot to learn and revise vocabulary such as:

  • 3D shape
  • 2D shape
  • prism
  • pyramid
  • vertices
  • edge
  • face

We have enjoyed drawing and labelling shapes, making 3D shapes with nets, counting edges, faces and vertices and playing a range of games to learn about shapes.

If you would like to try some more activities about shape, you can find a collection of games on the Woodlands site here.

Shapes are all around us! What 3D shapes can you see in this photograph?

Geometry for Dummies – Attribution CC BY-SA 2.0

Can you name any 3D shapes in the photograph?

Can you define any of our shape vocabulary?

Can you name and describe some 2D and 3D shapes?

Did you try any of the games on the Woodlands site?

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Mark Greenwood Author Visit

Today the Grade Four students had an incursion with West Australian author, Mark Greenwood.

Mark has written many award winning picture story books that focus on Australian history and legends. Some of our favourite stories by Mark are Jandamarra, The Legend of Lasseter’s Reef, Simpson and his Donkey and Our Big Island.

We have been reading Mark’s books in class, and it was great to meet him in person and listen to his stories. He told us lots of great tales from his adventures in outback Australia and abroad.


After the incursion, we wrote letters to Mark to thank him for visiting and to inform him of our highlights of the presentation. Miss Jordan will email the blog link to Mark so he can read the letters.


Thank you to Mark Greenwood for inspiring and motivating the grade four students to write, tell stories and follow your passions!


What did you enjoy about the presentation?

Do you have a favourite Mark Greenwood book?

What do you like to write stories about?

How did Mark inspire you to create and write stories?

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Haiku Poems

Today the students in 4KJ wrote haiku poems in our literacy block.

Haiku poems are a Japanese form of poetry, and they do not rhyme. They have three lines and each line has a specific number of syllables. The structure of a haiku poem is:

Line 1: Five syllables

Line 2: Seven syllables

Line 3: Five syllables


Here is a haiku poem Miss Jordan wrote about her parents’ labrador, Mocha.

Mocha is cheeky.

Always hungry and playful.

A beautiful dog.


Read our haiku poems below.


What do you think of our haiku poems?

Can you write a haiku poem in your comment?

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Life Education Visit

Yesterday the students in 4KJ enjoyed a visit to the Life Ed Van.

The focus for the ninety minute session was “Be Cyberwise”. Our instructor, Gaye, and her helper, Harold the giraffe, led us through some discussions and activities to practise being safe online.

We focussed on:

  • Being responsible and respectful online
  • Making strong passwords
  • Knowing how to to keep your personal information safe
  • Developing strategies for dealing with cybersafety issues.

We had some interesting conversations and participated in some interactive tasks to learn about being cyberwise. Here are some photos from our Life Ed session.

In 4KJ we regularly talk about being safe and responsible online. We always practise good “netiquette” in class, so it was great to focus on this important issue in the Life Ed van!


Do you have a tip for being safe and responsible online?

What does “Cyberwise” mean to you?

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The One and Only Ivan

In 4KJ we love to read. At the start of the term we began a class novel titled The One and Only Ivan, by Katherine Applegate.

About the book

Ivan is a gorilla who lives at the Exit 8 Big Top Mall and Video Arcade with his animal companions. While he is very used to this existence in his domain, he makes a change in his life and the lives of others, with the help of his friends. The One and Only Ivan is a work of fiction that is based on a true story.

Mrs Hembree is a teacher librarian in Seattle, USA. She introduced The One and Only Ivan to Mrs Morris and Miss Jordan last year. She recommended it to us because the students at her school enjoyed it so much.

Mrs Hembree made a fabulous book trailer. We watched the book trailer before reading the story to tune us into the text.


Our reflections

We have been reading a bit of The One and Only Ivan every day this term and we enjoyed it very much. Here are our thoughts and reflections. Please be aware that our reflections contain spoilers!


What did you think about The One and Only Ivan? Do you have a reflection to add?

What did you think of the characters in this book?

Were there any special messages in The One and Only Ivan?

Can you recommend any other books that the students in 4KJ might enjoy?

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Learning About The First Australians

As we have previously blogged about, the grade four students at Leopold Primary School are currently learning about First Contacts.

Our student teacher, Miss Smith, has taught three great inquiry lessons this week.

Earlier in the we week focussed on the conditions of the land in Australia when the Aboriginals first arrived. We also explored family life for the first Aboriginal Australians before European settlement.

To demonstrate their learning, students created a story board to show a typical day for the first Australians.

We then started to think about what life was like for the first Australians and how different our lives are today. To compare how Aboriginal people live today compared to the first indigenous Australians, students made Venn diagrams.

Yesterday we read a dreamtime story titled Rainbow Bird by Eric Maddern and Adrienne Kennaway.

Students then enjoyed learing some interesting facts about Aboriginal art. We discovered the symbols that were used in indigenous desert art. Students created their own messages and stories for other people to interpret, using the symbols.


What was life like for the first Australians?

What did indigenous Australians have to do during a typical day?

How is your life different to the lives of the first Australians?

What message did you make with the indigenous symbols?

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