We are the students from 4KJ and 4KM at Leopold Primary School in Victoria, Australia. Our teachers are Miss Kelly Jordan and Mrs Kathleen Morris. We use this space to share all the great things that are happening in our classroom. Please leave a comment!
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!
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.
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?
The two hour literacy block is a popular part of our day for many 4KJ students.
Part of our literacy block involves students doing some independent reading. This is when students spend time practising reading strategies with a good fit text.
When selecting a good fit text, students need to:
Know most of the words in the text
Be interested in the storyline, theme or topic of the text
Understand what is happening in the text.
While independent reading is a quiet and individual task, afterwards we enjoy discussing the books or texts we are reading.
Many students have favourite authors or a series of books they love to read.
Miss Jordan has always loved reading and had a huge collection of books as a child. When she was young she loved to read books written by Enid Blyton and Roald Dahl. Graham Base picture story books were another favourite.
Miss Jordan has kept a lot of her childhood books and novels, and now they are in the classroom for the 4KJ students to read. It is great to see different generations of children enjoying similar books! Of course there are also many wonderful new authors and books we enjoy too.
Enid Blyton’s classic books are still popular today.
There are many Roald Dahl books in our school libary.
The illustrations in Graham Base’s books are amazing!
Do you have a favourite book or a favourite author?
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 literaland 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.
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!
In 4KM and 4KJ we have been learning about apostrophes.
An apostrophe is a type of punctuation.
On a keyboard, you can usually find an apostrophe to the left of enter.
Apostrophes can be confusing. Here are some tips that might help.
Unfortunately, there are many people who don’t know how to use apostrophes correctly. In an effort to teach the community about correct apostrophe use, 4KM and 4KJ students created some posters using Kerpoof. They chose one of the apostrophe rules to demonstrate in their poster.
Check out our work…
Tip: click on the full screen button for a clearer view.
Did our tips help you learn about apostrophes?
Can you make up a sentence to demonstrate your understanding of one of the apostrophe rules?
Mrs Morris has recently been reading 4KM and 4KJ the novel, Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren. This was one of Mrs Morris’s favourite books and movies when she was younger.
Pippi Longstocking is about a nine year old girl with superhuman strength. She lives with her monkey and horse in a cottage and gets up to all sorts of wonderful adventures with her neighbours, Tommy and Annika. Pippi loves to tell stories about her travels around the world. She is great at exaggerating, tricking adults and doing things in an unusual way.
Although this book was written in the 1940s (nearly 70 years ago) it is still fun to read today.
Leo enjoyed reading too!
While reading this book, we have been practising the comprehension CAFE strategy “make a picture or mental image”.
When readers picture what is happening in a story, they can understand and remember more of what they hear or read.
Certain details in the story help us to make this mind movie. Many 4KM and 4KJ students could imagine themselves right there as the story was unfolding. When we return to the book after a break, we can revisit the pictures in our mind to remind us what has happened.
We often need to bring our imaginations and prior knowledge to a text to complete the details and make it our own. Our mental pictures often change as we read.
Sometimes books are made into movies and the picture we had in our minds might be similar or different to the pictures we see in the movie. Here is the trailer to the Pippi Longstocking movie which was made back in 1988.
Does the movie seem similar or different to your mind picture?
We do writing every day as part of our two hour literacy block.
Part of being a good writer is making sure that others can read our writing easily. Having neat handwriting is important and we are always working on our writing in class.
We use Victorian Modern Cursive joined writing. To improve our joined handwriting, we aim to do one formal handwriting lesson each week. We use this time to practise our joined handwriting, while Mrs Morris and Miss Jordan give us feedback. Joined handwriting is sometimes challenging, especially when you first learn, so it requires a lot of practise.
Click here to view the Victorian Modern Cursive joined writing that we learn.
Each week we do a variety of writing lessons with different learning focuses. We balance our handwriting lessons with writing activities on our netbooks. It is important to write well and type well.
In Grade Four, students are eligible to earn a pen licence. Once a student has their pen licence, they can do all of their writing with a pen. They receive a certificate and a licence card. To get their pen licence, students need to consistently demonstrate:
That they can form all letters of the alphabet correctly
Neat joined handwriting at all times
Good posture at their tables and a comfortable pencil grip
An excellent attitude towards writing.
There are eight students in 4KM and 4KJ who have already received a pen licence! Congratulations!
Mrs Morris and Miss Jordan are looking forward to handing out more pen licences throughout the year!
What writing activities do you enjoy?
What are you working on with your handwriting?
Do you have any advice for students who want to get their pen licence?