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.
* 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.
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?
The ChristmasCountdown is on! Shops have been filled with decorations for over a month and there are now only seven school days left before the start of our Christmas holidays. However, there is a lot to look forward to before the end of term, including:
We will be singing Christmas Carols with students in England next week. Mrs Monaghan’s Class will sing ‘Shine Jesus Shine’ for us and we will sing ‘We Wish You a Ripper Christmas’ for them. We might also sing ‘Frosty the Snowman.‘ Class 2 have been learning about Australia and have been practising ‘Deck the Shed with Bits of Wattle’ and we will ALL sing this together at the end. You can sing along with ‘Bucko and Champs’ version of the song below.
On Thursday 19th September a small group of students and their families returned to school in the early evening.
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 havein 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?
Last week two schools and four classes met online for a Skype Quiz. We first met Miss Fraser and the Frole Islanders earlier this year through a Mystery Skype. In the chat that followed the Mystery Skype we discovered that both classes were learning about Asia. So, what better way to celebrate a term’s learning than to have a quiz?
Earlier in the week, 5/6JC and 4/5P worked in small teams to brainstorm multiple choice questions for Miss Fraser and her class. The list was narrowed down to ten questions.
Before the quiz began we allocated roles. There were quiz masters to ask questions, fact fairies to share information after each of the questions we asked and contestants to answer questions. We also had a ‘music man’ to play the theme song, performers for the ad breaks, photographers, a camera person and Google Gurus.
Each school/team had four life lines:
* Ask the Audience (the class voted on each of the answers)
* 50:50 (two wrong answers were eliminated, leaving two possible answers)
* Phone a Friend (contestant ‘phones’ a classmate)
* Google Guru (a student with internet access can Google the answer)
Killara Primary School asked us ten multiple choice questions first. They were all about China because that was this term’s Unit of Inquiry. You can see how many you would have answered correctly by clicking on the slideshow below.
We used three of our life lines and won $5000. Next, we quized Killara about different countries in Asia because that is what they have been learning about this term. You can test your general knowledge of Asia with the ten questions we wrote below.
Our Skype Quiz was caught on film and you can watch a very edited version of it in the clip below.
Thank you to Killara Primary School for a great afternoon and congratulations on winning $500 000 imaginary dollars. We hope you enjoyed it as much as we did!
What quiz question about China would you add?
How have you used Skype in the past?
Do you have an idea for our next Skype with Killara?
Take one borrowed classroom (Thanks Miss Varker and 3V!), a hijacked TV (Thanks Mrs Placek!), 26 super excited 5/6JC students (especially after a wet day timetable), a number of equally excited students from another class somewhere in the world, the magic of technology and you have all the ingredients for a Mystery Skype.
Over last few days we assigned and practised our roles for the Skype call. We had Greeters/Question Askers, Clue Keepers, Questions Keepers, Google Mappers, Runners and Photographers.
It was soon time to cover our school logos, take our positions and solve the mystery of the location of our Skypers.
Each Runner took messages from one of the Google Mappers to the ‘Inbox’ question basket so our Question Askers could ask the questions. Our Clue Keeper kept track of the answers where we could all see them and our Question Keepers recorded the questions so we didn’t ask the same ones twice. Meanwhile, the Google Mappers kept narrowing down the area according to the answers from the Mystery Skypers. If we asked questions with a ‘Yes’ answer we got to ask another one. When we got one wrong it was the other school’s turn to ask us a question about our location.
The breakthrough came when Aidan gave a runner the question “Are you in Sunbury?” The answer was ‘Yes’ and we knew we were closing in on our Mystery Skypers. A quick thinking Ethan Googled ‘Schools in Sunbury’ and we worked our way down the list until we came to Killara Primary School. We were talking with Miss Fraser, Caroline and the 5/6s of Frole Island.
Thanks to our photographers, Laikyn and Matthew, all the action was captured for you to see in the PhotoPeach below.
After each class had solved the mystery there was time for a chat. We learned that we have some things in common; they are learning about Asia and we are learning about China. We also found out some differences, including they have six Grade 5/6 classes and two class pets.
Thanks Frole Island for a wonderful Mystery Skype!
Yesterday we Skyped with some very talented artists and ‘origami-ists’ (is that even a word?!) from 5/6CS in Tasmania. At the start of the term, Mrs S and 5/6CS sent us Artist Trading Cards and we created some for them. The only problem was that we didn’t know how to make the fancy little paper card holders. So, we Skyped with them and they taught us!
Some students in 5/6CS stayed in during their lunch time and showed us how to turn one piece of A4 paper into a card holder with four pockets. It was easy to follow most instructions but we had to keep on checking to see if we followed them correctly. Our sound was a bit dodgy to start with but we fixed it by the end of the instructions, just in time for our chat. We had to ask them to sing the alphabet whilst we tested our sound. We think they thought it was a strange request!
When we finished we all held up our card holders and 5/6CS cheered and clapped. We were proud of 5/6CS for their wonderful instructions and proud of ourselves for following them correctly.
After we made our card holders we had a little chat. Some of us were able to talk to the artists who made the cards we received. Ideally, you are meant to meet the artist who makes your cards face to face. However, we need to collect a few more 5 cent coins before we can afford a trip to Tasmania!! So, Skype was the next best thing. It was wonderful to talk to the person who created the cards we received.
After our Skype call, we got a little carried away with the card holders. Some people decorated and made some more using coloured paper. Most of our card holders are ready to be sent. We hope to have them in the post by Friday
It started with a Morris Gleitzman book and ended with a Skype call to a retired Air Force Corporal. Morris’ book, Boy Overboard, really made us think about the lives we lead in Australia compared with the lives of the book’s main characters, Jamal and Bibi.
The book is fiction yet it is based on interviews Morris has conducted with people who have experience of Afghanistan. Therefore, some parts are very close to what it is like to live in Afghanistan as a kid. We were surprised to read that Jamal and Bibi were playing near landmines and that Bibi wasn’t allowed outside by herself. It was also strange to read that the Government had pulled the ribbon out of cassette tapes and thrown it up on to power poles. Reading that Jamal and Bibi’s house got blown up because their Mum had been running a school in it was so different to how we get to go to school.
All of this made us want to find out more about Afghanistan. We did some research online at school but we also wished that we could talk to someone.
Our wish came true yesterday when we Skyped with Richard to find out information about Afghanistan. Richard worked in the air-force as an Avionics Technician on the Hercules Aircraft for seven years. He was deployed to the Middle East for the first time in 2007 and then again in 2008, 2009 and 2010.
We asked Richard LOTS of questions and got LOTS of information. We’ve summarised what we found out…
In Boy Overboard, Jamal and Bibi were always playing soccer. We found out that Afghani people not only play soccer, but they like flying kites as well. We learnt that the temperature can reach 40 – 50 degrees! It can get as high as 60 degrees in an un-air-conditioned aeroplane. We thought 40 degrees was hot! It also snows in Afghanistan in winter. The terrain is very rocky, hilly, dry and dusty. Jamal played soccer in the desert but there was no mention of snow in the book. It must have been set in summer time. We wonder if they have a wet season or not?
We liked seeing the pictures, especially the helicopter and planes. A Hercules can carry 128 passengers or 92 troops. Sometimes it carried animals. Can you imagine the smell after animals had been in the plane for two hours on a hot day?
It was surprising to find out what their currency looks like. It was also interesting to learn that Richard used American dollars when he was there.
He has earned four really cool badges. He has an Iraq Campaign medal, an Afghanistan Campaign medal, Australian Defence medal and a Return from Active Service medal. He also showed us his badges…. the Bob the Builder one amused us most!
Boy Overboard didn’t talk about food in Afghanistan much. We found out that Richard ate mostly on the base. One base even set up its own McDonald’s!
Jamal and Bibi didn’t have any pets. But, other people in Afghanistan do. There are lots of goats, chickens, dogs, donkeys and camels. If you have a donkey you are fairly rich. It’s like us driving a Rolls Royce!
You can read the full transcript of our call below. Click on the bottom right hand corner to make it full screen.
We really enjoyed our chat with Richard and are very happy that he gave up his time to talk to us. Thanks Richard!