Last Post

This will be the last post on this blog as our school year ended in December.  The Grade 6s are off to Secondary School and the Grade 5s will be Grade 6s in 2014.

We would like to thank everyone who has been part of our blogging journey in 2013.  You have all helped flatten our classroom walls and we have been able to learn with people all around the world.   We would like to thank all our family, friends and teachers who have visited our blog and left comments for us to read.  It’s been a big year!

We have been very lucky to work with different classes on a number of collaborative projects. We say a HUGE thank you to the teachers and students who have blogged with us throughout the year, especially the following people:

* Mrs Monaghan and Class 2 in England for being our ePals, Skyping with us on several occasions, including singing Christmas carols with us and leaving lots of comments on the blog.

* Mrs S and 4/5DS and 5/6CS in Tasmania for working with us on Artist Trading Cards, The Alien Project and 100 Word Narratives.

* Miss Fraser and the Frole Islanders for the Asia Skype Quiz, 100 Word Narratives and Mystery Excursion.

* Rinku and Vaila in England for teaching us about India.

* Mrs Monaghan, Mrs Todd, Mrs Gioia, Ms Majithia, Ms Williams and their students, along everyone else, who helped us research articles for Global UPdate, our magazine about life and learning worldwide.

The Grade 5s (2014 Grade 6s) and Miss Crowther’s

new blog address is

http://upps56team.global2.vic.edu.au

Please update your bookmarks and links!

 

What A Day!

Today we launched our magazine, Global UPdate. Parents, grandparents, friends and guest speakers joined us from near and far to hear about how we wrote our articles, what we learnt and to get their copy of the magazine.  We even had two special guests who weren’t actually in Victoria!

Earlier in the week we were interviewed by Amy from the local newspaper and on Tuesday it hit the stands!  Amy came earlier in the term to talk about writing newspaper articles and we used the information to help write our own articles.  It was great to have Amy come back and see the finished product.  The only problem was that the people in the photo below weren’t actually allowed to open the magazines!  And we’ll let you in on a little secret…they’re only the proof copies that the magazine publishers sent to us so Mrs Placek and Miss Crowther could check things.
 

 

We wore red to support our chosen charity, Red Cross. Nicole from Red Cross spoke about the work Red Cross does and how our money will help people who have been affected by natural disasters. We learnt about natural disasters this term and were affected by the Black Saturday bushfires, so we were really happy to help such a great cause.
 

 
Some of us spoke about how we researched our articles by emailing people at schools around the world.  We explained the process and shared some facts about our articles.  We also had a panel of students who answered questions from the audience on everyone’s behalf.

 

 

 

Mrs Monaghan was a special guest speaker…all the way from England!  It was only 9:15am in Australia but it was 10:15pm on Tuesday night for Mrs Monaghan!  We’re very grateful that she stayed up so she could talk to us about all the great projects we have worked on with her class.  Technology means that we can work and learn with people on the other side of the world and feel like we know them.

 

 

Our third guest speaker was Jeremy Scott who is cycling 50 000km around the world to raise money for The Heart Foundation.  At the moment he is in Sydney.  Click HERE to visit his blog and read about his adventures.  Today was a rest day for Jeremy which was lucky for us because he could talk to us!  Jeremy told us about the things he has seen on his adventure.  In one photo there is an ‘elephant’ road sign!  He has cycled in temperatures of -20 degrees and met bears.  Sometimes it has been really hard to keep going, but he does.  His trick is to think of a hard thing he has done in Turkey and remind himself that nothing is as bad as Turkey.  Jeremy is nearly at the end of his trip as he only has about 5000km left to ride.

 

 

At the end of the launch we finally got to see a copy of the magazine and it was AWESOME!  We ate red velvet cupcakes, red grapes, red apples and red lollies whilst we read our articles.

 

 

 
We all enjoyed sharing our magazine with our family and friends.  We hope we get to write one next year!

What was the most important thing you learnt from publishing the magazine?

If you wrote a magazine, what would you make it about?

 

Global UPdate!

This term one of our main focuses has been to publish a magazine comparing similarities and differences of countries around the world.  And…we’ve done it!  We’ve called our magazine Global UPdate.  The ‘UP‘ is for Upper Plenty.  Our magazine has articles about life all around the world.  From Germany to Tokyo and England to Canada we’ve got it covered.

We worked in teams to write the articles about all sorts of things, including literacy, foods, favourite things, numeracy, schools, fun and games, natural disasters, hobbies, sports and animals.

After weeks and weeks of planning and gathering information through emails and Skype we finally finished our articles!  As we type this post they are being processed at the publishing company.  The company sent us two ‘proof’ copies so that we could check that the layout is perfect and there are no spelling errors or typing mistakes.  We get one more chance to see our updated proofs.

 

The Front Cover

Once we have approved the new proofs the company will print 100 copies of our magazine!  We have decided to sell them for $15 each. We have to pay the publishing company and would like to raise some money for a charity.  Any profits made will go to Red Cross.  This charity was chosen because they support children all around the world and children all around the world helped us write our articles.

Thank you to everyone who helped us with the magazine.  We are looking forward to seeing our published magazine soon!  If you would like to order a copy, please leave your details in a comment below, use the contact form (under ‘Contact’ at the top of the screen) or drop into the School office.

If you wrote a magazine, what would you write about and why?

What magazines do you enjoy reading?  Why?

 

Skype with Rinku

On Thursday 19th September a small group of students and their families returned to school in the early evening.

Why?

To Skype with Rinku and learn about life in India. Rinku is currently located in England, so whilst it was 6pm Friday evening our time, it was only 9am Friday morning for Rinku.

In Term 2 we spent a lot of time reading, researching, watching film clips and wondering about different parts of Asia. However, there is nothing quite like speaking to someone with first hand experience. Rinku knows a lot about living and learning in India because she has lived there and taught at a small rural school in a village called Chembakolli.

We thoroughly enjoyed listening to Rinku tell us about Chembakolli.  There was a chance for us to ask specific questions and have them answered.  We also showed Rinku an Indian dance we had been practising at school.  Next time we’ll add some music!

You can watch some of our Skype call in the film clip below.

 

 

We discovered that some things are quite different for children in Chembakolli:

* They walk to school in groups so they are safer if they come across animals in the forest.  Sometimes monkeys jump on them!

* If they see an elephant they have to climb the nearest tree and wait until it passes

* Their lunch boxes are metal and have a little bowl.  Children might have rice and lentils for lunch.

* Their school is two storeys high and in the old hospital

* Some children have to walk for 30 – 40 minutes to get to school

* The houses don’t have glass in the windows

 

We also found out that there are some things we have in common:

* We both make Christmas Cards and sell them to raise money for our schools

* Have assembly and children perform dances

* Have similar school hours

* Usually have literacy and numeracy in the morning

 

Find out more about Chembakolli by reading the slideshow below.  It has been made by the Action Aid team who Rinku works with in England.

 

Our Skype call was made possible by Skype in the Classroom and the clever people at Action Aid, Vaila and Rinku.  We would like to thank them for giving us an opportunity to talk to someone on the other side of the world.  We would also like to thank our parents who brought us back to school.  Thank you everyone!

Have you ever Skyped with someone in a different country?

What would you do if you saw an elephant on your way to school?

Do you know any facts about India or another part of Asia?

Sur – prise!!!

It all started when 4/5P and 5/6JC got called over the loudspeaker to go to their classrooms at recess. We were wondering what was happening. We saw the lanyards and thought that we were going on an excursion. We all felt a little bit confused until we saw the Mystery Excursion tickets that said:

 

We quickly hopped on the bus and had three clues about  the Mystery Excursion. Our first clue was ‘Friends’ and a little while later we got two more clues, ‘Performance’ and ‘100’.  After the clues, people started guessing: King Kong, another primary school, Hoyts or IMAX. We were pretty sure that it was Killara Primary School after we had our third clue. The reason was because we had sent 100 word narratives to Killara PS for them to complete.

 

 

When we got there, Miss Fraser greeted us with a bearded dragon (lizard) called Sheldon on her shoulder. Soon we were at her classroom and we met the students who had completed our 100 word narratives. As we were reading our narratives we were wondering if they would finish the way we thought they would. We were surprised at some of the endings!  You can read all of our narratives by clicking on the bottom right hand corner of the texts below.  KPS’s endings are in red font.

 

After that our partners gave us a tour of the school. We were shown the gym and after we had finished we went back to the gym to play Penguin Olympics and Golden Child.

We then went to our last activity for the day which was to watch KPS’s school production, Wiping Out Waste (WOW). It was a good production about how to stop people littering. It was an original musical written by their Performing Arts teacher.

We had a great day and hope to see them again soon!

 

Have you been to a live performance before?

What was your favourite part of the Mystery Excursion?

What surprised you about KPS?

Miss Crowther’s Flipped It!

It’s official, Miss Crowther has flipped…our classroom!  Together with Mrs Placek, Miss Crowther is becoming a ‘fully flipped’ teacher with the help of the clever people at Sophia.

It means we will be completing tasks at home so that we already know some things about the topic and focus of our face to face lessons.  By preparing for our face to face lessons more time can be spent doing the ‘hard’ stuff at school with our teacher.

The term ‘Flipped Classroom’ is used to describe what we are doing because we have swapped (or flipped!) around what we do at school and what we do for homework.  Traditionally, we started learning something at school and then practised it more at home.  The only problem was, that if we needed help, our teacher wasn’t there to help us.  Now, we can start at home and continue it at school with our teacher.  We can ask questions, work with others and learn in a better way.

At the moment, our flipped learning focuses mainly around writing.  This week, at school we are writing narratives and learning how to use and punctuate dialogue correctly.  So, this week’s flipped homework is to watch the video below made by Mrs Placek and Miss Crowther about using dialogue correctly.

After watching the video we have to check our understanding by completing a quick quiz.  Click HERE to see (and do!) the quiz.  At school Miss Crowther will help us to apply our learning to punctuate dialogue correctly in our narratives.

Has your teacher flipped it?

What do you think of flipped homework?

 

History

This term we are learning more about Australian history.  Our focus questions are:

* Why and how did Australia become a nation?

* How did Australian society change throughout the twentieth century?

* Who were the people who came to Australia?  Why did they come?

* What contribution have significant individuals and groups made to the development of Australian society?

 

So far, we have discovered:

* Australia hasn’t always been a nation.  There used to be six colonies with their own set of rules.

* The six colonies were Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania, South Australia and Western Australia.

* If you bought something from another colony you had to pay a tarrif on it.  Tarrifs are like taxes.

* Colonies had different sized railway tracks so you had to swap trains.

* In the late 1800s lots of people started to like the idea of becoming one country because national pride was increasing and it would mean a better defence against possible invasions.

* Not everyone liked the idea.  Smaller colonies were worried that colonies with larger populations (New South Wales and Victoria) would dominate.

* After many meetings (called conventions) and drafts of rules, a referendum (like a vote) was held and Australia finally became the Commonwealth of Australia.  This is called the Federation of Australia.

 

This week we had to find out five facts about Australia’s first Prime Minister, Sir Edmund Barton.  We had 15 minutes to research and record our facts as dot points.  We then created a Voki using our facts.  Our Vokis had to look and sound as ‘life like’ as possible.

 

Bailey and Daniel made this Voki:


 
Chelsea’s Voki:

 
Madison and Billie’s Voki:

 

Eve and Alicia’s Voki:

What facts do you know about Australia’s history?

If you researched an important person from Australia’s past, who would it be? Why?

Meeting Miss Fraser

Last week we had a special visitor.  Miss Fraser from Frole Island dropped in for a quick visit.  We have met Miss Fraser via Skype twice but never ‘for real’.  The first time we met was during a Mystery Skype and the second time was for our Asia Skype Quiz.  It was very exciting to meet a blogging friend face to face.

We know that we have to be very careful when we meet someone in real life that we have only ever met online.  However, meeting a teacher from Skype is very different to just meeting ‘anyone.’

 

Meeting Miss Fraser

 

Miss Fraser was a special guest at our Student Blogging Club.  Later this term Miss Crowther is going to visit Frole Island.  Miss Fraser and Miss Crowther are also working on a special surprise for their students.  We wonder what it could be…

What do you think is the special surprise?

 

Alien Project

Towards the end of Term Two we focussed on writing information reports.  We learnt that good information reports have:
* A general opening statement or classification
* A description
* Related information grouped into paragraphs

* Sub headings
* Summary
* Visual text (photos, diagrams, maps etc.)
* Specialised language
* Present tense
* Use third person
* Sentences with one or more facts

To conclude our report writing focus we wrote a report about a fictional alien to share with Mrs Smith and our friends in 5/6CS in Tasmania.  As they had been learning about Space,  Mrs S suggested we write a report about an alien.  We sent them a copy of our reports (without the visual diagram). 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
Students in 5/6CS recreated our original aliens from the description in our reports. Check out the results in the slideshow below.

 

 
5/6CS also gave us valuable feedback on our report writing skills.  We sent them a checklist to use about the structure, language and features of our reports.  They filled them in and posted them back to us.
 

Report checklist completed by 5/6CS students

 

Feedback and advice from 5/6CS

 

Feedback and advice from 5/6CS

 

We really enjoyed creating our aliens, writing our reports, sharing them with 5/6CS and reading their feedback. Thank you for working with us Mrs Smith and 5/6CS!

 Have you ever written an information report?  What was it about?

What type of alien would you create?

 

Debating with Technology

Throughout this term a group of students have participated in a Debating Project.  Each week, up to seven students from five different schools meet in an online meeting room. 

Everyone can see and hear each other using the Polycom TV

At the start of the project we learnt how to speak confidently and to ‘think on our feet.’  That means, we had to think quickly and without any notes. Mr O’Brien, the teacher running the project, gave us some fun activities to help us.

What Good Luck, What Bad Luck

In this activity we worked in a small group to tell a story.  The first person started off with ‘What good luck…’ and the next person jumped in with ‘What bad luck…’ and so on. 

For example: ‘What good luck, it is the weekend’

‘What bad luck, there is a power cut and I can’t watch my favourite show’

What good luck, I’ll watch it online later’ and so on

Rabbit On

We each got a topic and had to ‘rabbit on’ for 30 seconds.  ‘Rabbit on’ is another way of saying talk a lot. 

Time to Debate

Soon it was time to participate in an actual debate.  Students from a different school adjudicated (that’s a debating term for scored) and timed each debate.  Each speaker had one minute to argue their team’s point of view.

Listening to our opposition in Debate 1

Our first debate was TV is a Bad Influence on Children and we were the affirmative team.  Our second topic was Cigarettes Should Be Banned and we had to argue that they should not be banned.  The UPPS Debating Team worked hard to present clear, logical arguments and rebutt the opposition’s points.  After two very close debates against strong opposition sides, we won and made it through into the Grand Final.

The Grand Final is this week.  Each school suggested three possible Grand Final topics which were placed in a hat and one was randomly selected.  We are on the affirmative side and have to argue Children Should NOT Be Kept in Detention Centres.  This topic was suggested by Sam so he is very happy about it.  It is also a topic we have discussed in class after reading Morris Gleitzman’s novels Boy Overboard and Girl Underground.  Wish us luck! 

 What do you think… Should children be kept in detention centres?

If you could pick the Grand Final topic, what would it be?