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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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?

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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?

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The Grade Four Netbook Program Has Launched!

It has been an exciting week at Leopold Primary School, because we launched the Grade Four Netbook Program!

The students in 4KM and 4KJ were thrilled to receive their very own netbooks on Wednesday. Netbooks are small laptops, and for our netbook program we are using the TravelMate Acer B113.

We will be using the netbooks to improve our learning in the classroom and beyond. The students will soon have the opportunity to take their netbooks home each night.

Mrs Morris and Miss Jordan are really looking forward to seeing how using the netbooks will help the students develop their knowledge across the curriculum.

4KM and 4KJ enjoyed exploring their netbooks this week. Here are some students using their netbooks for the very first time!

We have already learnt some important skills, including how to look after our netbooks, how to be safe online, using the school network, using the EduSTAR programs and emailing. We’ve also enjoyed doing some quality blog commenting. We will learn lots more in the coming months!

Here are some thoughts from a few of our excited students…

Riley: I am looking forward to doing homework on my netbook.

Olivia: I can’t wait to do more blogging.

Yunus: I think it will be really fun to do maths on my netbook.

Ebony: I am looking forward to researching information on my netbook.

Liam: I am looking forward to being a part of the netbook program.

Jordi: It will be really fun to learn new programs on my netbook.

Logan P: It is amazing to have my own netbook to use at school and at home.

Mia: It is exciting to learn more about technology.

Mrs Morris and Miss Jordan have a lot of netbook activities planned for literacy, numeracy and our inquiry unit. We can’t wait to share all of our netbook learning adventures with our blog readers!

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How do you think your learning can improve by using netbooks in class and at home?

What are you looking forward to doing with your netbook?

Have you got any ideas for activities we could do using the netbooks?

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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.

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Homophones and Homonyms

This week in 4KM and 4KJ we have been learning about some special words – homophones and homonyms.

Homophones are pairs of words that have:

  • the same prounciation
  • different spelling
  • different meanings.

The words pair and pear are homophones. Here are two sentences that show the different spelling and meaning of the words. Mrs Morris is wearing a pair of pink shoes. Miss Jordan ate a pear at recess.

Some other examples of homophones are:

  • there, their and they’re
  • see and sea
  • where and wear

We played the Pairs Word Game to help us learn more homophones

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Homonyms are pairs of words that have:

  • the same spelling
  • different meanings.

*** Homonyms can have the same or different pronounciation.

The word bat is a homonym because it has multiple meanings but is always spelt the same. For example: Mrs Morris saw a bat hanging from the tree. Miss Jordan grabbed a cricket bat for an outdoor game. Mrs Morris used all of her strength to bat the ball to Miss Jordan.

Some other examples of homonyms are:

  • skip
  • wave
  • blue

Try The Homonym Game to discover more homonyms

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Are there any particular homophones or homonyms that confuse you?

Can you write an interesting comment using some homophones or homonyms?

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Me, Myself and I: How to Use These Words Correctly

4KM and 4KJ have been learning about a grammatical error that is very common; the two personal pronouns me and I are often used incorrectly. This is a mistake that can be made by people of all ages.

There are times when the word me is needed in a sentence and other times when the word I is needed. For some reason (maybe because they think it sounds babyish), some people are nervous about using the word me so they use the word I instead.

How do you know whether to use me or I?

Generally, the word I goes before the verb (doing word).

Examples:

I went to a party.

She and I went to a party.

Jane, Mike and I went to a party.

***

Generally, the word me goes after the verb.

Examples:

He made some lunch for me.

He made some lunch for Fred and me.

He made some lunch for the teachers, Fred and me.

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Still not sure?

Take the other nouns of the sentence and try both I and me. See what would make sense.

Example:

Would it be “She took a photo of Sally and me” or “She took a photo of Sally and I”?

She took a photo of I (NO)

She took a photo of me (YES)

She took a photo of Sally and me (YES)

In an effort to teach the community about how to correctly use me and I, 4KM and 4KJ made posters with examples. 

Thank you to Emily and Becky for taking the photos.

What about myself? When should you use that word?

Sometimes people use the word myself when they really mean I or me.

Example:

Please talk to Mrs Hill or myself if you have any questions (NO)

Please talk to me if you have any questions (YES)

Please talk to Mrs Hill or me if you have any questions (YES)

Myself is a reflexive pronoun. That means it expresses something you do to yourself. Sentences that contain the word myself also contain the word I.

The word myself is not supposed to be a commonly used word. It should not be used instead of I or me.

Examples:

I taught myself how to play the piano.

I thought to myself, “I should be more careful!”

I hurt myself when I fell off the monkey bars.

The word myself can also sometimes be used to emphasise the fact that you did something (not someone else). In this case, myself is an intensive pronoun.

Examples:

I did the whole project myself (ie. no one helped you).

I myself cleaned the whole classroom (ie. you did this task alone).

 

Can you leave a comment demonstrating how to use me, myself and I?

Have you seen or heard me, myself or I used incorrectly? What was the mistake?

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Procedural Texts

During the year, 4KM and 4KJ have focussed on a variety of text types or genres during our writing lessons.

This week we have been writing procedural texts.

A procedural text instructs the reader how to do or make something. There are usually three parts to a procedural text:

1. The goal or title – this tells the reader what will be achieved.

2. Requirements or materials – a list of the items needed to achieve the goal.

3. Instructions or method – a step by step description of what the reader needs to do to achieve the goal.

Common procedural texts are recipes, rules for games, science experiments, instructional manuals (eg. putting furniture or toys together) and operating manuals (eg. how to operate a vacuum cleaner).

We learnt that it is very important to be specific when writing the instructions. Every detail possible should be included so that the reader knows exactly what to do.

Here are two examples of procedural texts that were written in our class this week…

How to Eat a Banana

By Trent

What you need:

  • A banana

Method:

1. Firstly, you must get a banana.

2. Hold the banana in your hand with the stem up.

3. Hold the stem with your hand.

4. Pull skin back in any direction.

5. One strip of the banana skin should be off.

6. Get the other two strips of skin and pull them down.

7. All strips of skin should now be down.

8. Hold the banana up to your mouth.

9. Put half a mouthful of banana into your mouth and bite it off.

10. Take the banana away from your mouth.

11. Chew it.

12. Do everything from step 8-13 until done.

13. When finished, put the banana skin in the bin.

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How to Brush Your Teeth

By Liv

Requirements:

  • A soft bristle toothbrush
  • Fluoride toothpaste
  • Sink
  • Mouthwash or water
  • Cup (optional)
  • Floss (optional)

Instructions:

1. With the toothbrush in one of your hands, squeeze a centimetre of toothpaste onto the bristles of the toothbrush.

2. Turn the tap on cold, and wet your toothbrush to let the toothpaste soften.

3. Put the toothbrush into your mouth and slowly brush in small circles.

4. Make sure you brush all of your top teeth and your bottom teeth, back and front.

5. You should brush your teeth for two to three minutes, twice per day.

6. Once you have finished brushing your teeth, before removing your toothbrush, gently brush the top of your tongue to get rid of any bacteria.

7. Take the toothbrush out of your mouth, turn the tap on cold and rinse your toothbrush out.

8. Grab the cup, fill a quarter of it with water and rinse out your mouth.

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What did you think of Trent and Liv’s procedural texts?

When have you used a procedural text to make or do something?

Do you have a favourite text type or genre of writing?

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Melbourne Cup Day

Today is Melbourne Cup Day!

racehorse

It is called “the race that stops the nation”.

Here are some Melbourne Cup facts:

  • The race is 3200 metres long.
  • The race is for horses aged three and over.
  • It is held on the first Tuesday in November each year.
  • The first Melbourne Cup was held in 1861.
  • 2012 is the 152nd Melbourne Cup.
  • The race is held at Flemington Racecourse in Melbourne, Australia.
  • It is run as a “weight-for-age handicap”. That means the weight of jockey and riding gear is adjusted to a certain amount depending on the horse’s age and how well it has gone in previous races. Some horses carry more weight. Some horses carry less weight.
  • Race day in Melbourne is a public holiday. That means no school or work for people in Melbourne.
  • Many people like to bet on the race or particpate in a “sweep”.
  • The famous horse “Phar Lap” won the race in 1930.
  • The present record holder is the 1990 winner “Kingston Rule” with a time of 3 min 16.3 sec.

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We had a sweep in 4KM and 4KJ today. That means everyone pulled the name of a horse out of a hat.

It was a very exciting race and the results were:

First place with the horse Green Moon was Luka and Liv Y

Second place with the horse Fiorente was Joshua and Hannah

Third place with the horse Jakkalberry was Elijah and Shakira

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What horse were you going for in the Melbourne Cup?

Do you do anything to celebrate the Melbourne Cup?

What other sporting events do you think “stop the nation”?

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Swap It, Don’t Stop It!

4KM and 4KJ are enjoying our new term topic, Healthy Choices.

Last week we learnt about an Australian government initiative called the Dietary Guidelines for Children and Adolescents in Australia. We know it is important to eat a balanced diet with foods from all of the different food groups.

Yesterday we learnt about another campaign the Australian government is running. Swap It, Don’t Stop It is a national program aimed to help Australians make healthy food and exercise swaps.

It’s all about swapping some of the things you do now with healthier choices.

The Swap It, Don’t Stop It website has a lot of excellent advice about making healthy choices.

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What is your “swap it, don’t stop it” idea?

How do you stay fit and healthy?

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