New Inquiry Topic – First Contacts

Our inquiry topic for Term Four is called First Contacts.

In this history based unit, students will explore:

  • Indigenous history of the eighteenth century
  • The lives of the aborginal people at this time
  • Those who travelled to Australia on the First Fleet

First Contacts Australian History Series Book

Some of our focus questions this term will be:

  • Why did the great journeys of exploration occur?
  • What was life like for Aboriginal people before the arrival of the Europeans?
  • Why did the Europeans settle in Australia?
  • What were the early interactions like between the Aboriginal people and the European settlers?

The students have enjoyed the introductory lessons in this unit of work. We are all looking forward to learning more about Australia’s history.

What have you already learnt in our First Contacts unit of work?

What do you hope to learn this term?

Can you describe what life was like for the first australians?

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Perimeter

We have been learning about perimeter in class this week.

Perimeter is the distance around the outside of a shape.

For example, here is how you might calculate the perimeter of our current class novel, The One and Only Ivan.

 19cm + 19cm + 12cm + 12cm = 62cm

OR

(19cm + 12cm) x 2 = 62cm

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We have been focussing on:

  • Understanding what perimeter is
  • Identifying when you might need to know the perimeter of something
  • Measuring accurately
  • Deciding the appropriate unit of measurement to use
  • Using efficient addition skills to calculate the perimeter.

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Yesterday in class students worked in pairs to calculate the perimeter of some objects in the classroom. We then shared our work to compare our results.

Today we calculated the perimeter of some outdoor objects, including the basketball court, sandpit, rock climbing wall boundary and the new downball court.

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What have you learnt about perimeter?

When might you need to know the perimeter of something?

Challenge: Measure and calculate the perimeter of something and leave your answer in your comment. Don’t forget to include your working out!

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End Of Term Three

Today is the last day of Term Three.

It has been a very busy term, with lots of learning goals achieved and fun activities experienced by the students.

These tagxedos, made by Olivia and Jessica, show some of the activities and learning topics we covered this term.

 

Happy holidays!

We return to school on Monday 7th October.

What did you enjoy about term three?

What learning goals did you achieve?

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Learning About Fractions

We have been learning about fractions in Maths for the past three weeks.

Our learning intentions focussed on:

  • Understanding numerators and denominators
  • Using and understanding a fraction wall
  • Identifying and naming a variety of fractions
  • Putting fractions on a number line
  • Comparing fractions and identifying fractions that are greater than/less than other fractions
  • Recognising equivalent fractions
  • Understanding mixed fractions
  • Identifying fractions in a collection of objects
  • Using fractions in problem solving
  • Identifying the decimals and percentages of common fractions

Here are some fractions websites for you to practise your skills

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What did you learn about fractions during our maths lessons?

How did your fractions knowledge improve over the past three weeks?

Do you have a fractions tip for other students?

When do you use or see fractions in every day life?

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Grade Four Celebration Of Learning Afternoon

Today the grade four classes held a special event titled The Grade Four Celebration of Learning Afternoon.

Students invited a special person to the classroom for an hour to share their learning, knowledge and skills. It was wonderful to see many mums, dads, siblings and grandparents enjoying the session.

Ava, Mitchell C and Millie introduced our afternoon with a terrific speech about the learning that happens in 4KJ.

Students then paired up with their special visitors to share in some learning fun. Here are the tasks they completed…

Everyone was very engaged with the activities and it was wonderful to see and hear the students telling their special visitors all about their classroom learning experiences.

Here are some photos from our afternoon…

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What did you like about our “Celebration of Learning” afternoon?

What activity did you and your special person enjoy most?

Did you teach your special person something new?

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Idioms

Last week our reading strategy focussed on learning about idioms.

Idioms are phrases that have a different meaning to the actual words in the phrase. For example, if something is described as “a piece of cake”, it is an idiom. It means that something is really easy, it doesn’t actually have anything at all to do with cake.

In class we discussed the literal and the inferred meaning of lots of idioms.

  • The literal meaning is when you imagine the words in the idiom as being the real meaning.
  • The inferred meaning is what the phrase actually means when used in conversation.

Example: To “spill the beans”.

You might imagine someone tipping over a bowl of beans BUT this idiom really means that you have revealed some secret information.

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On Wednesday, each student chose an idiom they liked. They had to draw the literal and the inferred meaning for their idiom. Check out our work and see if you can identify any of the idioms!

Learning about idioms is important because authors often use idioms in books, so we need to understand them in order to understand what we read. Throughout the week we also realised that we use idioms all the time in our conversations!

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Did you guess any of our idioms?

Do you have a favourite idiom?

What idioms do you often hear people say?

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Multiplication and Arrays

In Maths we have been focussing on times tables and the multiplication process.

Multiplication is a very important part of maths, and having a good “automatic recall” of times tables helps us with many different areas of maths.

During class time we have been spending time practising different times tables and using multiplication in our problem solving.

Here are two fun multiplication websites you might enjoy using to practise your skills.

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We have also been working with arrays to help build our mathematical skills. An array is a set of objects arranged in rows and columns. Each row has the same number of objects, so they represent equal groups.  Arrays can make counting and calculating easier. Thanks to Mr Salsich for this array diagram.

array3

 

Arrays are useful for skip counting and solving multiplication problems.

The array above has 3 rows of 4 blocks. That is 3 groups of 4, or 3 x 4.

We can find out how many blocks there are by skip counting by 4’s:  4, 8, 12 – or by doing repeated addition: 4 + 4 + 4 = 12.

There are 12 blocks. So, 3 x 4 = 12.

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In 4KJ, we have been building our skills to work with bigger arrays. We have been using the two arrays below in our maths lessons this week. The students had to use their mathematical knowledge to calculate how many dots were in the arrays. It was very interesting to see the many different strategies students used during this task.

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Challenge: What strategies would you use to work out how many dots are in this array? We’d love to hear from family members too!

(Tip – click on the array to see an enlarged image).

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What times tables are you confident with?

Which times tables would you like to improve at?

When do you use multiplication in real life?

Where have you seen arrays in everyday life?

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Plants In Action Update

Two weeks ago the students in 4KJ formed inquiry groups for our new topic, Plants in Action. To begin our investigations, we planted seeds in a snaplock bag. You can read about it here.

There were no noticeable changes after the first couple of days of observation. However, when we returned from our Maldon camp last week, we saw that our seeds had started growing!

The photos below show the growth of our broad beans and long beans.

BEFORE 25th July, 2013

AFTER – 6th August, 2013

Ava, Ebony, Mitchell S and Lee

Jacob, Chloe, Jessica and Darcy

Mitchell C, Paris, Connor L and Princess

Heather, Anthony, Millie and Connor F

Olivia, Jake and Yunus

Anneliese, Eden, Jack and Harry

Meg, Andrew, Riley and Sophie

Students have been recording their seed observations in their online science journal. Here are Meg’s observations…

TUESDAY 6TH AUGUST 2013

My plants are making a big changes right now.

Here are the changes I have noticed since last week.

CHANGES:

  1. From one of our broad beans there is a really big root which is about 6cm long.
  2. From the same broad bean, a big shoot is growing  from the root on the side of the seed. It is about 3cm long.
  3. The long beans aren’t changing that much, but some of them are growing really long roots.
  4. One of the broad beans has been very smart and hidden under the cotton wool.

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What changes have you observed in your seeds?

Have you ever grown seeds or plants at home? If so, what kind?

Do you know the parts of a plant? What do these parts do?

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Plants in Action

Today we launched our new inquiry topic, “Plants in Action”.

During this unit of work, students will learn about:

  • Plants and plant growth
  • The changes that occur in a germinating seed
  • How pollination occurs
  • How fruit develops.

During the term, students will increase their vocabulary and make observations about plant growth and seed germination in their individual science journals.

To begin our topic, students formed inquiry teams in class today. Each team member has a special role within their group. These roles are:

  • Manager – Collects and returns all materials the team needs.
  • Speaker – Reports back to the class during discussions.
  • Director – Makes sure that the team understands and completes each step.
  • Recorder – Records any notes and observations that will assist the team to complete their science journal.

Our focus today was bean seed germination.

Students planted broad beans and some long beans in snaplock bags. Over the coming weeks, students will observe the seeds and record any changes in their science journals.

Once the seeds were planted, students wrote a procedural text to explain the process in their science journals. You can read Millie‘s procedural text below with the photos.

HOW TO PLANT SEEDS IN A SNAPLOCK BAG

Equipment: snaplock bag, cotton wool, broad beans, long beans and water.

1. Grab a handful of cotton wool (enough so that your bag is half full) and put in in your bag. You may have to squish it down a bit.

2. Carefully wet the cotton wool. It cannot be drenched, so do not turn the tap on very hard. Turn it on so there is just a little trickle and the  cotton wool is just damp.

3. Take 2 – 3 broad beans and 5 long beans (you may choose to do a bit more or a bit less depending on the size of your bag) and push them gently into the cotton wool.

4. Hang your bag up on a window, where it will get sunlight. You need to leave the top of your bag open, so the beans will have air.

5. The beans don’t grow instantly, you may have to wait for a couple of weeks. You may need to water your beans during this time.

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What do you know about plants?

What do you hope to learn this term about plants?

Do you or does anyone in your family like gardening?

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Learning About Time

Last week our maths topic was time.

Our learning intentions focussed on:

  • Identifying times on analogue and digital clocks
  • Recognising times that are important to us
  • Using 12 hour and 24 hour time
  • Calculating elapsed time.

We used this interactive clock to practise telling the time.

Everyone enjoyed matching the digital and analogue times with these Stop the Clock games.

In this game, players need to match the digital clock with the time displayed.

For one task, students viewed the Geelong to Melbourne VLine train timetable on their netbooks. They had to calculate the elapsed time for distances travelled between a variety of train stations.

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What did you learn about time in class last week?

Do you have a favourite time of the day or night?

List some “time words” in your comment.

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